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How to ensure SAP ABAP developers spend less time in testing and more in development

June 21, 2022
   /   
by 
Sohaib Zaidi

Constantly evolving market dynamics and competitive pressures bring new stresses to enterprises every day. To deal with these pressures, it’s imperative that organizations keep pace with the updates of their core packaged applications. SAP is a system that enables enterprises to modernize their operations while taking advantage of its frequent releases and ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming). 

As a high-level programming language, ABAP allows organizations to customize their workflows for financial accounting, asset management, materials management, and other SAP modules. With ABAP, technical customers with programming experience can create custom reports and interfaces. Due to regular updates and customizations in a business's SAP system, testing has become a crucial part of the development and maintenance of SAP.

In this blog, we’ll discuss why manual testing cannot keep pace with agile development and why test automation should be an enterprise priority. 

Why is manual testing non-viable?

  • Customization in SAP requires a lot of testing. If developers perform tests manually, it ends up being a tedious, error-prone, and time-consuming process. In short, IT steals developers’ valuable time from completing business-critical tasks.
  • Manual testing slows the speed to market. Business stakeholders are turned off by the speed at which ABAP customizations can be delivered. In the era of AgileOps & DevOps development, testing feedback needs to be delivered fast. However, with a dependency on manual testing, developers cannot deliver changes promptly. 
  • Most customers have many ABAP customizations in their SAP environment. The more customized objects there are, the more time and effort are needed for every patch, service pack, or enhancement for your SAP ERP. 

Why should SAP test automation be an enterprise’s top priority?

AgileOps and DevOps enable teams to deliver software with greater quality, predictability, and speed. This approach relies on incremental development: each iteration consists of 2-4-week sprints, where the goal of each sprint is to build the most important features first.

Each sprint needs to be tested and adjusted based on stakeholder feedback. Some may not be tested at all. However, ABAP developers working on SAP projects have their own style and skill level. Therefore, business users are largely responsible for testing and providing feedback. 

Continuous testing is the key aspect of the DevOps culture, as it ensures faster feedback. Continuous testing is important in the CI/CD pipeline as it enables teams to accelerate release cycles, lower costs, and reduce risks in a highly competitive environment. However, to introduce continuous testing in development, engineering leads must introduce automation by leveraging the available tools. 

Read our Whitepaper to learn how test automation supports DevOps.

Not all testing tools are created equally

  • Some SAP testing tools require coding knowledge. Business users and manual testers find it difficult to operate them as they aren’t programmers. 
  • Some tools are only record and playback engines that offer small levels of automation, but still require a large amount of manual work.
  • Some tools take a long time to deploy and are difficult to learn, hindering both quality and speed.

Opkey - The best solution for automated SAP testing 

Opkey is the industry’s leading zero-code SAP testing platform, leveraging test mining, predictive analytics, and AI algorithms to autonomously create optimal test models and scenarios. 

Zero-code: Opkey’s codeless automation platform allows functional users, business analysts, manual testers, and any non-technical employee to participate in test creation. This means that individuals experienced with their business processes have the power to create tests around their most used process flows, without IT help

Impact Assessment: When a developer submits updated ABAP code, Opkey’s AI-powered engines track changes in the SAP ecosystem in real time. Users are alerted to the potential impacts on their business processes and receive recommendations on which tests to run, ensuring adequate risk coverage.  

Self-healing Scripts: Opkey largely eliminates the burden of test maintenance. If an automated script breaks due to a change in the object property (Name, ID, Xpath, CSS etc.), Opkey automatically identifies the change and fixes the issue, without human intervention.  

Continuous Testing: With support for continuous testing across SAP Ariba, SAP Fiori and other parts of the end-to-end ecosystem, Opkey enables developer teams to identify and resolve defects earlier. This is critical because according to IBM, finding a bug early in the development phase is 15x less expensive than finding it in a later stage of development. 

Read more: Why does DevOps Require Shift-Left Testing Principles

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