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 this challenge, we are seeing businesses move towards automated testing.

Many of these, however, still experience significant challenges; test automation solutions aren’t always easy to use. They are code-based, and therefore rely on expensive developer resources to build and maintain, which adds additional complexity to an already complicated system.

That leaves the question: 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 hasn’t been affected negatively by an update.

The problem is, not all enterprises have a dedicated developer 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.




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

One worst-case-scenario happened 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. For them, it wasn’t an option to delay. And 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 after that was chaos. Paychecks were totally incorrect. Some employees received a higher salary, others were underpaid. Vendor invoices couldn’t be processed, their financial reporting didn’t work.

Needless to say, these bugs can be very damaging to an organization. Because SAP drives so many processes in enterprises, the cost of bugs is much higher compared to smaller ERP systems. Testing is a crucial component to ensuring costly bugs don’t go live post-release.


Averare cost of a software bug


So what are the alternative options that 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 with the system. 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 also 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 who 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 our 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. 


Comparison SAP download