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What is Dynamics 365 RSAT?

Maria Homann

Maria Homann

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 in Dynamics.

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 Dynamics 365 manual testing 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.

Today, however, Microsoft suggest other solutions than RSAT to those of their customers looking to regression test across unique configurations and extensions.

What are the benefits and limitations of RSAT?

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

Benefits & Limitation of D365 RSAT

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).

Read more: How to Reduce Dynamics 365 Quality Assurance Total Cost of Ownership

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.

Related reading: Top 3 D365 RSAT Alternatives

Dynamics 365 automated testing tools comparison chart

Using Leapwork to test Dynamics 365

Leapwork is a strategic Microsoft partner. The Leapwork Test Automation Platform is recommended for regression testing by Microsoft CTO of Dynamics 365, Mike Ehrenberg:

"Leapwork's no-code experience for test creation empowers a broader percentage of our customers to effectively implement automated testing. Enhancing the quality of their Microsoft Dynamics 365 service experience and lowering the total cost of ownership through Leapwork is a win-win opportunity."

Here are a few more reasons why Leapwork is ideal for Dynamics 365 regression testing:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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

Learn more about Dynamics 365 testing

If you want to learn more about how to automate Dynamics 365 testing and dramatically reduce the hours your organization spends on testing, you can:

➡️ Get our complete guide for testing Dynamics 365

➡️ Watch our webinar on howAscensus unlocked a new mindset for Microsoft Dynamics test automation with Leapwork

➡️ Download our Dynamics 365 Solution Brief below

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