What is Dynamics 365 RSAT?

Maria Homann

Automation Expert

Ensuring the quality of an ERP system like Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (F&O) is no easy feat. Yet downtime can have severe consequences for businesses. This is where Dynamics 365 RSAT comes in.

In this article, we will explore what Dynamics 365 RSAT is and the benefits and limitations it brings in helping organizations maintain the quality of their D365 F&O application.

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Why do you need to test Dynamics 365 F&O? 
The challenges of testing Dynamics 365 
What is RSAT and what are its capabilities?
What are the benefits and limitations of RSAT?
Using Leapwork to test Dynamics 365 

Why do you need to test Dynamics 365 F&O? 

Testing Dynamics 365 F&O is essential to ensure the quality and continuity of ERP and finance processes and capabilities, as well as preventing critical incidents that could negatively impact user experience. 

To ensure this quality, testing should be done on several levels, spanning from functional validation of features within modules, to testing across integrations to validate processes across applications.

And it’s not only new functionality that needs to be tested, but also existing functionality when something new is introduced. This is what we know as regression testing

Regression testing of key business processes is perhaps the most important aspect of securing quality, yet often compromised because it requires significant investment in resources. 

Next, let’s look at why.

The challenges of testing Dynamics 365

Testing D365 F&O is a complex affair for a few reasons:

The application is nearly always highly customized and often integrated with other applications. In addition, D365 applications undergo frequent updates. These include Microsoft’s recently introduced Proactive Quality Updates

These factors impact the requirements for testing. 

You need to allocate significant resources to planning, documenting, executing, maintaining, and reporting on testing activities, and that can increase lead time for releasing D365 updates.

As a solution to this, automation can be introduced to reduce the manual effort and overall test cycle time.

This is where RSAT comes in.

What is RSAT and what are its capabilities? 

The Regression Suite Automation Tool (RSAT) was introduced by Microsoft as a testing solution for its D365 F&O customers to assure the quality of processes that run within the application. 

It was built to help organizations be in a ready state to accept new updates from Microsoft. This is a part of Microsoft’s greater mission to help organizations streamline operations and enhance productivity within the Dynamics 365 F&O module. 

It achieves this objective by enabling Microsoft F&O customers to orchestrate the validation of processes and report on these to give insight into their performance.

In other words, it checks that the processes running within F&O run as intended. 

From a technical perspective, the way it works is that you create or automate your processes with F&O - this could for example be an order-to-cash or procure-to-pay process - and F&O saves that as a recording file. This recording file is then copied into RSAT where you can parameterize and orchestrate the execution, in order to validate the recorded process.

What are the benefits and limitations of RSAT?

Using RSAT to test your regression cases comes with pros and cons.

The benefits of RSAT for D365 F&O include:

  • Faster testing cycles: Through automation, manual testing efforts can be reduced. Regression testing can be very time-consuming, and is a prime candidate for automation that can save QA teams valuable time. RSAT was built with this benefit in mind.
  • Quality enhancements: By reducing manual testing and increasing automation, more testing can be covered. This will result in greater confidence in business processes. By minimizing repetitive manual regression testing, human error, which is inherent to manual testing, is reduced.

Though RSAT comes with benefits, it also has its limitations:

  • Usability: RSAT can be a challenge to set up, configure, and maintain. It requires cross-functional technical expertise - in addition to knowing the ins and outs of the business requirements for D365 F&O, you also need to have a strong foundational knowledge of testing frameworks and code - a rare talent combination that’s hard to find.
  • Difficult to scale: When changes to D365 occur - whether due to new releases or system updates - RSAT test cases need to be maintained. This means re-recording every single test that breaks. And because RSAT requires technical know-how, only a subset of people will be able to do this. This creates bottlenecks in many QA teams and makes it difficult to reach the full potential of automation.
  • Limited scope: RSAT works only with D365 F&O. It cannot be used with other applications in D365 or beyond. For businesses with processes spanning across multiple applications and technologies, this puts a cap on scalability and limits end-to-end testing.

From a business perspective, the negative impact of these limitations include high Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and high Total Time to Market (TTM), and as a result, a reduced Return on Investment (ROI).

When you're evaluating the long-term costs and benefits as well as the financial viability of your investment, it is important to consider these metrics when you make the case for automation in your organization.

By approaching automation differently, through a visual, end-to-end test automation solution like Leapwork, you won’t experience the above limitations.

Next, we’ll uncover what sets RSAT and Leapwork apart, so you can make an informed decision about your testing approach.

Using Leapwork to test Dynamics 365 

Among key differences between RSAT and Leapwork are ease of use and cross-technology capabilities.

Ease of use

Leapwork is a completely visual tool, meaning no coding is required to build or understand test automation. This doesn’t just make it easier and quicker to get up-and-running with automation, it also means far less time is spent on maintenance.  

Low maintenance

Maintenance is a burden that is easy to forget up front, but it shows its face as teams try to scale automation. What sets Leapwork apart from other solutions is how little maintenance it requires. 

First of all, tests won’t break with every D365 F&O update. This is thanks to pre-built intelligent adaptors designed to handle the complex and dynamic DOMs in D365 F&O.

And second because, on the rare occasion that something does break, it takes a fraction of the time to find the root cause and fix it. Through a hypervisual approach to debugging, Leapwork makes it simple to pinpoint the exact place a test broke.

Cross-technology capabilities

The biggest limitation of RSAT is that it is built only for Dynamics 365 F&O, and won’t allow you to test across other applications or technologies. Core business processes often involve multiple applications, and in order to test those processes, the tool must work across.

Below is an example of a process that spans across multiple Dynamics 365 applications, as well as applications outside the Dynamics 365 umbrella.

Leapwork can be used across all these technologies, to not only cover the entire Dynamics 365 application portfolio, but everything from Salesforce and SAP to Mainframe and Citrix.

If you want to learn more about how to automate Dynamics 365 testing and dramatically reduce the hours your organization spends on testing, download our Solution Brief below. 

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