Manual to Automated Testing: Improving the Quality of your SAP System

Anna Thorsen

Automation Expert

SAP systems, dependent on the industry, can look vastly different. They can be highly customized to the organization's unique needs. This makes testing all the more important.

When testing is performed manually, it not only takes longer, there’s also a higher risk of bugs. For enterprises with large and complex digital ecosystems, manual testing isn’t sustainable.

Read more: Why SAP Test Automation?

To solve the challenge of unsustainable manual testing, businesses are adopting automated testing in SAP.

The problem is, not all test automation solutions are easy to use. They are code-based and rely on expensive developer resources to build and maintain. This adds additional complexity to an already complicated system.

So what options are available for enterprises who need to accelerate their testing cycle, but don’t have developer resources for building and maintaining automated tests in SAP?

In this article, you’ll read about:

Manual testing - a barrier to quality delivery at speed

Upgrades in SAP are becoming frequent. As a result, businesses are regression testing more regularly. This is done to ensure the entire system is not negatively affected by an update.

This poses a challenge. Not all enterprises have a dedicated development team to test. Instead, the responsibility is divided between business users. These users are tasked with performing hundreds of tests manually which can take several days.

Obviously, businesses want to avoid these time-consuming manual tasks because in the days it takes a business user to test the system, other business-essential work is being neglected.

Manual testing creates more bugs

When SAP is manually tested, the process will probably run smoothly in the beginning. As time moves on, and the number of test cases increases, the accuracy of performed tests will start to decline. Bugs will inevitably slip past testers.Manual testing creates more bugsRegression: When you fix one bug, but introduce several new ones.

For large enterprises, the tests can run into the thousands, and testers can find themselves logging hundreds of incidents post-release.

Case Study - National Grid

In 2012, when National Grid, an American-based utility company, was in the process of rolling out an SAP implementation. It was well overdue, and three years in the making.

If they missed the date of their release, they’d overrun costs in the millions. It wasn’t an option to delay. Just a week before their go-live date, Hurricane Sandy obliterated much of the National Grids service area.

Even so, they flipped the switch on the live date. What happened next was chaos. Paychecks were totally incorrect. Some employees received a higher salary, others were underpaid. Vendor invoices couldn’t be processed. Financial reporting didn’t work.

SAP drives so many processes, and the cost of a bug is much higher compared to smaller ERP systems. Testing is a crucial component to ensuring costly bugs don’t go live post-release.


Average cost of a software bug


So what are the alternatives to reduce the need for manual testing, while maintaining the quality of the system?

Automated testing for quality releases

Automated testing is an efficient way of testing as you can run a regression suite automatically to identify if anything is wrong. Plus, it doesn’t require days of manual testing.

[Read more: How can SAP be automated?]

The obvious benefit is that this saves time and money.

However, SAP automation is still widely considered a technical solution that requires expensive developers to build and maintain.

SAP is known for having its own proprietary programming language making it much harder to find a suitable solution outside of SAP’s own tools.

With SAP TAO coming to an end, this also limits the selection further. So what solutions are there for businesses that want to go from manual to automated testing, without having to deploy expensive developer resources?

Why codeless automation is the best solution for SAP

Codeless automation increases the quality of software and helps businesses better prepare for updates and changes to their SAP system.

Whether it’s for specific components like detailed planning tables using SAP APO, or it’s to serve as a replacement for SAP’s own testing system, TAO.

Leapwork doesn’t require SAP programming knowledge. Instead, you use the resources you already have available - the key business users.

Some of the capabilities of Leapwork for SAP include:

  • Lightning-fast SAP automation. Avoid time-consuming and expensive manual tests. Leapwork’s SAP recorder allows a user to automate all steps in an SAP GUI at speed. With the easy-to-use smart recorder, QA personnel and domain experts can build fast, stable, and reliable test automation without relying on developer resources.

A demonstration of lightning-fast Leapwork automation

  • Visualize data easily. Hyper-visual debugging helps to easily and quickly detect errors in pre-production environments. With a Microsoft Power BI integration, teams can also make sense of vast amounts of data. See advanced analytics on the performance of your automation initiatives, from execution outcomes, to individual contributions from your team.
  • Cross-application automation. Easily create end-to-end test cases across applications both in and outside of SAP.  With Leapwork, enterprises can run data-driven tests across a landscape of interfaces. Use the same intuitive approach to building automated tests across your complex ERP landscape, no matter the application.

    Learn more about SAP testing by checking out our tool comparison! You'll find the key factors you should look for in your SAP testing tool, from usability and adoption, to the applications supported. 


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