SAP updates can seem straightforward at a module level, but keeping track of the downstream effects can quickly get out of hand, especially in large organizations. Working with SAP in the enterprise can feel like being trapped in a maze of dominos, where one small change can trigger major disruptions down the line. End-to-end testing can help you avoid these problems by exposing the inconsistencies and unwanted side-effects of your SAP changes, while checking that the final system still meets business needs.
However, SAP implementations are starting to adopt a continuous delivery approach, and testing practices have to follow suit. Continuous delivery needs a high level of automation across environment setup, build, unit testing and integration – all conditions which manual end-to-end testing is poorly equipped to deal with. This is the obstacle that Paul Gerrard, a Systems Testing Consultant and Thought Leader explored with Anand Akela, Vice President of Product Marketing at Tricentis in our webinar: Why Manual Testing Creates Bottlenecks in SAP Environments.
Continuous delivery is a significant shift for traditional software delivery cadences, which traditionally lasted months or even years, into self-contained packages of work with narrow scopes delivered at much higher frequency . Timeframes for iterations are measured in days and weeks, and offer the following benefits:
- Smaller changes mean less risks are associated per iteration
- Errors can be rolled back with minimal loss of time
- Easier to deploy and test
- Regression testing can focus on what that specific change is trying to achieve
With no assistance from automated tests, manual testing quickly becomes the bottleneck as the scale and quantity of regression testing ticks up, with a testing burden that only accumulates over time.
Paul acknowledged that SAP test automation takes skill and time to set up, but also showed us that freeing organizations from the need to manually carry out regression testing is a huge benefit in and of itself. For optimized performance, SAP test automation needs to be a critical activity which runs in parallel with SAP configuration, with automated tests being designed as configurations are changed.
Hear more about why and how test automation should become a core part of your delivery pipeline, and see all the SAP-specific features Tricentis Tosca offers in Why Manual Testing Creates Bottlenecks in SAP Environments.