Do you feel the pain of change? Part III - Testing

10 January 2012

Richard Labib

Richard Labib

Consultant

In Part I of this blog series I discussed how SAP Solution Managers Business Process Change Analzer can be used to reduce the pain of change impact analysis.  In Part II I went on to discuss how solution documentation can be maintained during the change process. In this blog I'll look at how changes can be put to the test.

The pain of change

One of the 'simple' aspects of making a system change is the actual execution of the change.  For example how long does it actually take to implement a new Enhancement Package for SAP ECC 6.0? I've always seen that the actual time to perform the technical work is a small percentage of the total project duration, and this is because it is often a complicated process to identify the change impact, plan and create solution documents, document and execute our tests.

It has always been a key challenge to understand which business processes are impacted when a support pack or enhancement pack is introduced.  Most companies will often perform a regression test of every business process because they simply do not have confidence in knowing which objects in the system have changed. As discussed in the first blog we can use SAP BPCA to identify which business processes require regression testing, but we still need to perform some testing that can be a very costly process.

Testing

To plan and execute tests there are many different products on the marketplace. SAP Solution Manager provides different options that can be utilised depending on which 3rd Party tools are already deployed. In future blogs I will be looking at the different testing options with an integrated SAP Solution Manager, and SAP Quality Center solution.  Within this one I'll focus on utilising the SAP Solution Manager toolset only.

Manual testing

As stated before, we can use SAP BPCA to identify the business processes that require testing, and we can identify the tests that have been performed during the implementation project by looking at the Solution Documentation stored in the Solution Directory. 

In SAP Solution Manager we can create a Test Plan and assign the test cases that a tester would need to execute to verify that the change has the desired effect. Simply put the Test Plan is used to collect all the test cases that will need to be testing in one container.

RichardLabib-PainOfChangeTesting(1)

We can then create packages within our test plan that will enable the assignment of test cases to testers, and enable the sequencing of test cases.

RichardLabib-PainOfChangeTesting(2)

Once the assignment of test cases to testers has been performed, and the test plan has been released, the tester is provided a work list to follow.  The work list will provide them with the required test cases that need to be followed, and a form to record the test result.

RichardLabib-PainOfChangeTesting(3)

Once the test result has been recorded the test plan is updated and a real time view of the test status can be provided in SAP Solution Manager.

So if you only have a manual testing approach SAP Solution Manager can provide an environment that enables you to plan which test cases are to be executed, based on the output from BPCA and the contents from the Solution Directory.  The Test Management Workbench in SAP Solution Manager enables the assignment and sequencing of test cases to testers, and enables real time capture of test results.

Automated testing

As stated before there are different test options that can be utilised depending on the 3rd party test tool that you use. From SAP you can use the Extended Computer Aided Test Tool (eCATT) to perform automated testing of traditional SAP ABAP Dynpros.  For all SAP Enterprise Support Customers with SAP Solution Manager 7.1 you are also provided 2 HP Quick Test Pro licenses that enables the automated testing of web dynpros, or other SAP products that are not based on ABAP dynpros.

Automated Testing with eCATT's is nothing new but it is not often know that we can integrate eCATT's to the Test Management Workbench.  This allows organisations to run automated testing from a central location, collect the test results in real time, and integrate manual and automated test approaches in one tool.

When we create an automated test with eCATT's we can record a SAP transaction and turn this into a script that can be executed automatically. We can use the System and Test Data Container to define the data the systems and data that is to be used for the automated test process.

Once the eCATT is created we can assign and execute the test from our Test Management Workbench. After the eCATT has been executed the result from the test is automatically provided without the need for someone to record a result.

So if you have a manual and automated testing approach SAP Solution Manager can provide an environment that enables you to plan which test cases are to be executed, based on the output from BPCA and the contents from the Solution Directory.  The Test Management Workbench in SAP Solution Manager enables the assignment and execution of eCATT's, and enables real time capture of test results.

So in summary we can take some of the pain away during the implementation of change by working smart.  We can use SAP Solution Managers BPCA to identify change impacts, as discussed in the first blog in this series, we can use the Solution Directory to identify and update the documentation related to our impacted business processes, as discussed in the second blog in this series, and we can use a combination of test tools to manage the testing of change, which has been discussed in this blog.

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