Case Study

SPAR

SPAR ICS accelerates testing 800% for SAP eCommerce projects
800%
increase in test execution speed
1 year
for complete ROI
84,000
automated tests
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“We are now able to have much more frequent deployment cycles than we had in the past. More importantly, it costs us less to put a deployment on a production system. It’s much more efficient.”

Gerhard Belina, Senior Project Manager, SPAR ICS

SPAR ICS accelerates testing 800% for SAP eCommerce projects

Challenges

Launch new functionality as efficiently as possible while continuously improving business services

Solution

Tricentis Tosca

How SPAR rapidly scaled test automation to improve the online shopping experience

Most IT leaders are talking about digital transformation, but SPAR is facing a digital tsunami, according to SPAR ICS managing director Andreas Kranabitl. SPAR ICS’s ultimate goal is to smoothly combine online and offline business to meet customer expectations as shopping habits rapidly evolve.

Last year, SPAR deployed 100+ updates to production to advance that goal. Extensive testing of each update is required to ensure a seamless shopping experience. As the pace of development accelerated, the SPAR ICS team realized their testing processes would require a much greater degree of automation.

One of SPAR ICS’s greatest challenges was the modernization of their SAP B2C ecommerce environment. A major part of that effort was the launch of an online retail store. Called Interspar, this online platform boasts the largest food range available in the Austrian market. Testing the e-commerce environment was a repetitive and complicated process. A complete, end-to-end test run (from the initial order in the web shop to the final delivery to the customer) required significant manual intervention across multiple systems, including navigating several technical and infrastructure-related challenges.

Challenges
  • Extremely complex system landscapes for multiple ecommerce platforms
  • eCommerce platform front-end includes SAP Hybris, Adobe Search & Promote, Adobe Target, multiple payment systems, and multiple loyalty programs
  • eCommerce platform back-end includes SAP B2C, SAP Extended Warehouse Management, SAP Retail, SAP CRM, SAP ERP, SAP BW, SAP FI, Adobe DAM…
  • Back-end involves a mixture of on-premise and cloud components
  • Complex use cases cover sophisticated searching, personalized recommendations, A/B testing, and multiple loyalty programs
  • Complex use cases result in complex test cases, which create complex test data management and complex test environment needs

In 2019, SPAR executed more than 84,000 automated test cases with Tosca at an average execution speed of 72 seconds – an 800% increase in speed over 2018. According to Belina, the team saw a complete return on their investment in Tosca within one year. “We are completely experiencing the benefit of our automation [transformation],” he says.

Solution

The need for a scalable test automation solution inspired the organization to look into a better setup for quality assurance organization-wide. Recently, the ecommerce division adopted Tricentis Tosca (which had already been implemented elsewhere in the business) and set out to transform testing to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving agile business model. Tricentis Tosca’s scriptless, model-based approach enabled the team to implement automated test portfolios across multiple variations of SPAR’s ecommerce solution, and to quickly pivot from mostly manual to mostly automated testing. Additionally, Tricentis Service Virtualization enabled them to cut dependencies on connected applications, increasing the frequency of testing while reducing test environment costs.

In the future, SPAR plans to continue to scale test automation, as well as to integrate automated mobile testing into its broader testing strategy. For SPAR, testing objectives go beyond just test automation — it’s about optimizing the entire software delivery pipeline to ensure business stability and support an environment of rapid innovation.

Results
  • Cut test execution time for complex, end-to-end scenarios from hours to less than two minutes per test case
  • Fast feedback to engineers on the current state and stability of the SAP B2C system, which has significantly improved release confidence
  • Seamlessly integrated automated regression testing into the continuous deployment process, ensuring that tests run automatically after each software deployment cycle
  • Tests automatically execute across multiple online shop variations
  • Fully automated deployment pipeline with automated tests 
  • Reduced false positive test results due to system problems
  • More frequent deployment cycles
  • Reduced test environment costs