Well, you all agree that many business organizations use SAP applications to control their operations. Today, ERP is gaining immense importance as it helps companies enhance business workflows.
However, it is quite a complicated task to implement these systems. It is a must to configure different SAP modules to acquire the required functionality. Therefore, every SAP implementation requires some sort of testing.
In this SAP online training tutorial, we are going to take you through everything you need to know about SAP testing.
What we’ll cover:
- Overview of SAP software
- What is meant by SAP testing?
- SAP testing modules
- SAP implementation
- SAP customization
- Maintenance of SAP software
- Type of testing applicable to SAP suite
- SAP life cycle and testing phases
- SAP testing methodology
- Creating an SAP test case
- SAP automation testing
- Automation tools for SAP testing
- Performance testing for SAP
- A career as an SAP consultant
- Career opportunities around SAP testing
- SAP testing Interview Questions
Before going into deeper details about SAP testing, first, one should have a basic understanding of how ERP software work. For testing purposes, it is important to have a complete understanding of the features, functionalities, modules, and workflows in ERP systems. These are the basic sap testing requirements, affirming the fact that it is almost impossible to test SAP modules without proper knowledge.
Who this is for?
This SAP testing course is designed to provide knowledge on testing, validation, and configuration of different SAP systems. It helps you learn how different technical and functional modules integrate as a system to meet specific client requirements. If you are into software development company, looking to start a career in SAP or just implementing an SAP project, this tutorial will be helpful. It covers everything you need to know – from the fundamentals of SAP applications to more complex concepts in the SAP ecosystem.
SAP is an acronym for Systems, Applications, and Products. More popularly known as ERP, SAP software, is a software package that organizations use to manage business processes. It integrates all business operations, including finance, accounting, sales, production, logistics, distribution, and human resources. By executing all business processes in an SAP system, information can flow from one SAP module to another without redundant data entry. This not only renders process, financial and legal controls but also facilitates effective use of resources. Keeping it precise, SAP software helps organizations handle their business processes efficiently while reducing operational costs. So, enterprises that are looking forward to dominating the modern business space must endow in top-notch SAP education.
When we say SAP testing, it refers to the approach used for testing SAP ERP software. For every change done while developing, customizing, or maintaining SAP software, you should create test cases to check its new functionality. The generic SAP testing approach can also be applied to ERP solutions from other vendors such as PeopleSoft and Oracle EBS.
Most SAP ERP projects fail because of inefficient testing. There are multiple versions of SAP ERP systems, all designed for different customers and industries. To conduct proper testing, an SAP tester should understand the features and functionalities of all modules in the SAP software.
A module in SAP software is a group of related features or functionalities designed for a specific business process, group of processes, or departmental workflow. The modules are mutually dependent in a way that the functionality of one module can affect the functionality of others.
Typically, there are two types of SAP modules – functional modules and technical modules. They are integrated to ensure business processes run smoothly. The Sales and distribution module, for instance, consists of the sales order process, customer management, and payment process functionalities. Similarly, the payroll process, personnel management, and employees attendance in a company can be grouped as a single functional workflow under the Human Resource Management and Payroll module.
Depending on the vendor or application of the SAP software, modules that serve the same function, or the same grouping of functionalities may have varying module names. The section below provides a deeper insight into different SAP ERP modules.
3.1 Financial Modules
The SAP financial modules are used to manage financial accounting data and processes within an organization. They are the backbone of all financial transactions between a company and its vendors as well as customers. The SAP financial modules include:
i. Finance Accounting and Controlling (FICO)
The SAP FICO module is a core component in ERP systems that allows businesses to manage all their financial data. It consists of two modules – the SAP Finance and SAP controlling modules. The SAP Finance module deals with financial accounting and reporting, while the SAP Controlling module focuses more on planning, monitoring, and decision making. The two are tightly coupled such that once transactions are entered in the financial module, they are passed to its controlling counterpart for further processing, audit control, and analytical reporting.
ii. Treasure (TR)
The SAP TR module controls and ensures competent management of treasury processes. It provides tools for cash management, liquidity management, forecasting, audit controls, and operational risks reduction. The module features the integration of smart strategies that help mitigate financial risks. Overall, the SAP Treasury module is important for cash managers looking to gain a comprehensive oversight of all transactions in their organization.
iii. Enterprise Control (EC)
The Enterprise Control module provides highly reliable and accurate data used by top-level management in a commercial organization. Managers and enterprise controllers use this module to assess whether business processes are performed in line with the company goals. The SAP EC module is further divided into other sub-modules, including:
- Organization Planning and Budgeting
- Profit Center Accounting
- Executive Information System
3.2 Logistics Modules
The SAP Logistics modules form the core of an organization’s information system. Apart from addressing the logistics issue, they convert data into meaningful information and process it in a way that improves decision making. Some components of the larger logistics module include:
i. Material Management (MM)
Material Management is a key challenge in most business environments. The SAP material management module helps manage material requirement, use, and production in an organization. To this end, it is easier to avoid wastage of resources, thus saving money. The key features and sub-components of this module include:
- Inventory management
- Logistics invoice verification
- Master data
- Material valuation
- Foreign trade and customs
- Service management
- Product catalog and management.
ii. Sales and Distribution (SD)
The sales and distribution module is one of the core components of SAP products, alongside the financial, controlling, production planning, and material management modules. The SD module covers:
- Pre-sales activities, such as creating quotations and inquiries.
- Order processing activities, such as sales order creation.
- Billing and invoice creation
- Creating outbound delivery documents.
iii. Quality Management (QM)
The Quality Management module supports all aspects associated with quality control, quality planning, and quality inspection in an enterprise. It specifies the criteria for quality testing procedures, manages notifications linked to quality, and controls the creation of quality certificates. The QM module also stores quality data for all items in an enterprise. In a nutshell, the functions of the QM module include:
- Quality Planning
- Quality Control
- Quality Inspection
- Quality Notifications
- Quality Certificates
- Test Equipment Management
iv. Production Planning
Production planning is one of the areas where if something goes wrong, businesses can incur significant losses. The SAP production planning (PP) module helps organizations accomplish their production planning and management procedures with ease.
The Warehouse management module (WM) is integrated within the SAP software as a component of the logistics execution system. Depending on the complexity and scope of the warehouse operations, businesses can choose to implement a lean WM, a standard WM, a decentralized WM, or an extended WM. The WM module typically deals with:
- Inventory management (Both fixed-bin and randomly organized storage)
- Processing all activities within the warehouse, including goods issue and goods receipt.
vi. Transportation Management
This module covers the entire transportation process – creating, executing, consolidating, and monitoring shipments in an enterprise. With this module, businesses can maintain a high level of customer satisfaction and improve efficiency in logistics. It also reduces operational costs by supporting the following activities:
- Creating and executing optimized transportation plans
- Monitoring shipments so that products are delivered on time and budget
- Managing the processes required for both domestic and foreign trade.
- Applying flexible options for combining deliveries and orders in the shipment process.
vii. Plant Maintenance
The SAP plant maintenance (PM) module ensures that the application is working in optimal condition. It achieves its aim of maintaining smooth operation and high performance across the SAP system through:
- Inspection, which involves establishing the actual condition of the system
- Preventive maintenance which encompasses all measures taken to maintain the technical system in its ideal condition
- Repair and other measures are taken to restore the system in its ideal condition.
viii. Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS)
SAP EHS module helps companies focus on the well-being of their employees. And because employees are undeniably the most important asset in any organization, then businesses should focus on improving the environmental, health, and safety areas for human resources. SAP EHS provides tools and functionalities that help organizations comply with this corporate responsibility.
ix. Product Costing
The SAP product costing module is responsible for establishing material prices and planning costs. It helps enterprises estimate the cost of goods sold. This module is closely integrated with several other modules in SAP systems. For instance, data in this module originates from the material management, production planning, and cost center accounting modules. Similarly, the output from the product costing module is useful to the sales and distribution module.
x. Global Trade
The SAP Global trade module automates global trade and business processes in an organization. It presents tools that help you respond to dynamic international trade laws. Some useful things that you can achieve with the SAP GT module include:
- Cost control during import and export procedures
- Reduced risks of fines and trade penalties
- Streamlined trade processes and international operations
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Elimination of manual tasks
- Seamless integration across all international supply chains
- Minimal delays in both outbound and inbound custom clearance.
3.3 Human Resource Management Module
The SAP HR module helps enterprises streamline their organizational structure. It allows companies to manage their workforce right from the recruitment of new staff to payroll management. The main components of the SAP HR module are:
i. Accounting Payroll
The accounting payroll module streamlines numerous payroll processes, including basic salary, remuneration, vacation leaves, sick leaves, and payment to third parties. It also generates payroll reports and submits the data to the financial accounting module.
ii. Time Management
This module helps in recording and evaluation of employee work schedule, including working hours, annual leave, attendance records, and more.
iii. Training and Event Management
This module helps the human resource team plan and conduct training sessions to equip employees with the necessary skills. The training and event management module supports plans for improving workforce skills, including employee certification. IT also maintains records of events within and outside the organization.
The SAP implementation process involves the collection of practices (designing, building, and tuning) intended to make the system go-live. You can view SAP implementation as the process of turning the vision of a business into reality by the use of SAP ERP software.
SAP environments are unique to a specific domain or industry. This is because each company or organization has distinct requirements for SAP configurations, customizations, internal modules, third-party integrations, and future adaptations. As such, SAP implementations vary from one project to another. The standard SAP implementation methodology involves the following steps:
- Project planning and preparation.
- Creating a business blueprint where all requirements are gathered in detail.
- Project realization or implementation of the business process requirements
- Final preparation, including testing, staff training, and other cutover activities.
- Going live or transition to the new system.
- Special support until all business processes run normally.
SAP customization is the processing of adding functionalities to an existing SAP system. It involves mapping your business processes and requirements to the system by making enhancements, thereby developing reports, programs, or screens custom to an organization. In such cases, the desired functionalities are not available through configuration, so you create a custom code.
Example – SAP End-user Customization
This is a common and among the most practical forms of SAP customizations. It involves modifying user parameters including personal data, communication data, date and time format, time zone, attributes for printing, and so on.
Example – User Interface Customization
UI customization refers to changing the SAP layout as per local requirements or user preferences. You can customize visual settings such as color, theme, and fonts to your preferences. Additionally, you can customize interaction design by adjusting sound controls, keyboard settings, and other attributes.
Here, maintenance means the changes made to the SAP system after configuring, customizing, and deploying it. In this case, we mean changes such as:
- Bug fixes
- Addition of new features or functionalities.
- SAP Kernel Updates
- OSS note implementation.
- Support pack and stack updates
The reason for SAP maintenance is to ensure that the system works in optimal condition. A significant breakdown in the SAP system means loss of productivity. SAP maintenance is also crucial to ensure a smooth workflow across all business processes. Putting it all together, these are the three main reasons for SAP systems maintenance.
i. Inspection – Aimed at identifying the actual condition of the SAP system.
ii. Repair – Done to restore the system to its optimal state. If a function fails, repairs are done to restore its normal function.
iii. Preventive – Preventive maintenance helps maintain the current condition of the system. It aims at minimizing breakdown problems through regular inspection and some minor repairs.
You can test the functionality of the SAP system through several methods. This includes:
7.1 Unit Testing
It is a kind of white box testing done to test the functionality of different units in the SAP system. This type of testing is performed by skilled developers, who understand the functionality of each component in the system performs Unit Testing. It comprises of testing workflows, interfaces, conversions, reports, forms, data transfer rules, and security authorization within the system.
7.2 Integration Testing
Integration testing involves testing multiple components of an SAP system to ensure they function correctly when integrated. With the help of realistic data, It is done in the QA environment. As the business end-users are familiar with data extracted from a real source, this testing uses such data. As configured in the SAP software, SAP integration testing demonstrates that business processes are run with real-world data. It also ensures that interface triggers, workflows, and reports function properly.
7.3 Regression Testing
To make sure that the changes made in the system do not affect the actual functionalities, SAP regression testing is performed. The main motive of this test is to check how the system works with the newly added configuration. Whenever a system gets upgraded, a patch gets applied, new interfaces are added, and configurations are altered, it can have adverse effects on the system. So, SAP regression testing is carried out by skilled testers with various automation tools. This ensures features introduced or enhancements made on the system do not affect the core business processes adversely.
7.4 Performance Testing
Performance testing is done to determine if the SAP system meets the needed level of performance. Its objective is to increase the stability of the SAP software. Thus, it makes easy to deploy systems that sustain a higher load forecast without performance issues. In a nutshell, SAP performance testing includes:
- Testing if the system responds as per the organizational requirements
- Determining if the system can support the desired concurrent user load
- Verifying whether periodic processes are executed within permissible time.
- Identifying system obstructions due to inefficient coding, high transaction rate, or batch volumes.
7.5 Functional Testing
SAP applications are known for their high configurability. They enable integration with third-party applications. Looking forward to such complexity, SAP functional testing is crucial. It determines whether the functionality of all modules meets the business requirements. Skilled testers reviewing design documents and creating test artifacts such as test cases, test scenarios, and test requirements perform SAP functional testing.
7.6 User Acceptance Testing
Also known as Acceptance Testing, it ensures if the SAP system meets the business end-user requirements. The application is accepted by the end-users only if it performs the designated job functions. Therefore, the essential aspect of user acceptance testing is understanding all business processes and ensuring the desired features and functionalities are available. When users take ownership of the system and feel comfortable working around the new business environment, user acceptance testing is said to be successful.
7.7 Security Testing
As the name suggests, Security Testing ensures the safety and integrity of SAP applications. It makes sure that the system users get access to appropriate data and execute the transactions that are relevant to their domain. Security testing is performed by different teams, including database administration, development, infrastructure, and testing experts. They examine high-risk areas like portal security, network security, operational security, product security, source code audit, and access control.
7.8 Portal Testing
SAP systems have different portals depending on the business processes and organizational requirements. Portal testing checks the portals on different browsers.
The Software Development Life Cycle, i.e., SDLC, is a series of steps applied in the design, development, and testing of software. This framework outlines the tasks performed at each step of the software development process. The main aim of SDLC is to improve the overall development process while producing high-quality software that meets customer expectations, on time, and budget. Here is a graphical representation of the SDLC process. Each phase has a unique process, and the deliverables are passed onto the next phase.
Some common SDLC models followed in the software development industry include the waterfall model, spiral model, iterative model, agile model, RAD model, Bing-bang model, and the prototyping model.
Software Testing Life Cycle for SAP Applications
The Software Testing Life Cycle, i.e., STLC, is a series of steps performed to ensure that the software meets its quality goals. It aims to improve the quality of SAP systems so that they align with the market requirements and business goals at large. Each phase of the SAP testing life cycle has specific goals, and its deliverables are requisites for subsequent phases. This section outlines the stages of the SAP software testing life cycle.
The phases of SAP testing – (image source – tutorialspoint.com)
8.1 Requirement Phase
The opening phase of the SAP testing life cycle. The testing team analyzes all requirements by conducting brainstorming sessions and consultations with different stakeholders. This phase defines the scope of testing and ascertains whether the features are testable or not.
8.2 Test Preparation phase
During this phase, the testers identify what can be done and what is needed to reach the testing objectives. It defines various metrics as well as the methods available for tracking. Test preparation also identifies business processes to be tested and their key performance indicators.
8.3 Test Analysis Phase
In this phase, we determine the test guidelines. It involves establishing the test conditions using the requirements (from step 1) and other suitable test criteria. The test conditions depend on the product complexity, skills required, depth of testing, knowledge of testers, test management, risks involved, and availability of key stakeholders.
The test conditions should be outlined in detail. A detailed test condition covers a larger testing scope and allows testers to create exhaustive and more specific test cases. For instance, if you are testing an e-commerce platform, a possible test condition is that customers should successfully make online payments. In this case, you can include detailed test conditions like payments should be initiated through Credit card, debit card, wire transfer, PayPal, Bitcoin, and so on.
8.4 Test Design Phase
This stage determines how tests will be executed. The test conditions are broken down into multiple sub-conditions for exhaustive coverage. During this phase, testers will set up the testing environment and obtain the test data. Test design also involves creating metrics for test coverage.
8.5 Test Implementation Phase
During the implementation phase, testers create detailed test cases using the test conditions (from step iii) and metrics defined (in step iv). The guidelines for test implementation are:
- Prioritize the test case
- Identify the test case that will be used for regression testing
- Ensure the test cases are practically correct
- Ensure test cases are signed off before execution begins.
8.6 Test Execution Phase
This phase involves the actual execution of the test cases – which can be done manually or automated. During this phase, we log the defects, track progress, and report the testing status.
8.7 Test Evaluation/ Test Closure
This is the final phase of the SAP testing process. It involves checking whether all test cases are well executed. It also involves defect analysis and is closed by documenting the entire testing process.
In this section, we will explain the most common methodologies used in testing SAP applications. We start by highlighting the importance of using the right testing methodology, then describe the V-testing model in detail.
Testing software products is not only imperative, but an absolute must that should be done right. Most testing projects do not bring the expected value because they are not executed in the right way. As an SAP tester or project manager, you might wonder – “Do I plan for integration testing, unit testing or both?”, “How can I make the tests more relevant to my business” or “How do I handle duplicate bugs.” All this goes down to using the right testing methodology.
While there is no single standard or most ideal methodology for testing software products; some approaches may suit a particular corporate environment more than others. Even better, there are many tools that when implemented, can improve your testing approach regardless of the methodology you are using. Here are some key benefits of defining a test methodology for your SAP testing project:
- It helps you define and manage your testing requirements
- It helps you track gaps in the testing process
- It is easier to identify and mitigate possible risks
- Helps determine the types of testing to be done
- It’s key to performing root cause analysis
9.1 The V-MODEL
The V testing methodology is one of the most effective SAP testing models. It emphasizes on parallel testing, re-usability, and multiple iterations. We will not go deep into the basics of the V-testing model, but you can learn more here.
A high-level representation of the V-model (Image source: compensationanalytics)
As depicted in the diagram, the testing activities correspond to their equivalent development activities. In this case, for instance, unit testing corresponds to unit design. Similarly, integration testing corresponds to system design. It all converges at coding or development. The horizontal axis denotes the time elapsed, while the vertical axis represents the level of advancement or granularity in the project.
The V-model highlights the relationship between various types of SAP testing and the development process. The testing stage, in conventional models, come pretty late in the development cycle. This makes it difficult to go back and test for processes you completed in the initial stages of development. Similarly, conventional SAP testing methodologies rely on the test scenarios and phases to establish what should be tested.
The V-model ensures exhaustive test coverage as it does not rely heavily on test cases but rather the test requirements and objectives in every phase. It makes it easier to extract the testing criteria in each development stage. Putting it all together, the V model represents a cycle where iterations and continuous feedback ensure high-quality piece of software is delivered. This means the SAP software can easily meet the acceptance criteria before it goes live.
An SAP test case is required when performing a check on the installation, configuration, and implementation of the system. Whether you are performing intranet testing, real-time testing, or a multi-language test, the test case should sufficiently cover the scope of your test. And because SAP software is typically a decentralized system available for simultaneous use by multiple users in real-time; writing ERP test cases requires effort and dedication.
To design an effective test case, one must:
- Determine the SAP role or professional required to execute a particular test case.
- Determine the SAP transaction to be executed in the test case
- Obtain test data required for the test case. Additionally, check whether another SAP tester is using the data or whether it should be created.
- Define the test case characteristics, i.e., status, priority, sensitivity, owner, keywords, timelines, and test classification.
- Identify all prerequisites
- Conduct a peer review of the test case.
- Create both positive and negative scenarios
- Ensure all test steps are well-detailed.
- Document all defects as soon as they occur.
In SAP Solution Manager 7.2, for instance, you can find the create a test case for a particular business process from the test management work center (solution documentation view)
SAP system testing is complex and quite challenging. If testers fail to perform comprehensive tests, it exposes the system to high risks. This includes inefficiency and potential system failure. As compared to the manual testing process, that is time-consuming, SAP automation testing is a better alternative.
In automation testing, the testing team writes the scripts but use software tools for testing purposes. This saves time and improves accuracy when testing the product. During the process, testers re-run test cases that were performed manually. They also test the system from performance, load, and stress perspectives.
The benefits of using SAP test automation tools include:
- Improved test coverage
- Improved product quality, which minimizes production outages.
- The reduced workload in subsequent release cycles.
This section highlights the common SAP testing tools. They include:
i. HP QuickTest Professional (QTP)
HP’s QuickTest is a robust, user-friendly, and feature-rich automation tool that supports a wide range of environments, including SAP. Typically, this commercial tool is keyword driven. Tester using QTP enjoy excellent vendor support, which makes it a popular choice among testing professionals. Currently, HP QuickTest Professional commands a major market share in software automation testing.
Selenium is a software testing suite designed for web applications. It can be deployed on all major operating systems, i.e., Windows, Linux, and Mac. The tool allows users to write software tests in different languages such as Java, Python, Perl, and more.
iii. SAP TAO
SAP TAO (Test Acceleration and Automation) is an automation testing tool developed by SAP in collaboration with Focus Frame, the Hexaware-affiliated company. The tool combines HP QuickTest Professional (QTP) and HP Quality Center (QC) where QTP serves as the execution engine while test scenarios are created from the QC and driven through to the business components.
Both SAP and HP software products have huge corporate support, which gives SAP TAO an edge over other automation tools. Another advantage of this tool is its seamless integration with the SAP Solution Manager.
iv. Extended Computer Aided Test Tool ( ECATT )
ECATT is an automation tool used to create and run functional tests on SAP software. It’s an in-built tool that comes alongside SAP software. The primary objective of ECATT is performing automated tests on the business processes. Some useful features of this tool include:
- It can test remote systems
- It can check system messages
- It can test updates
- It can test reports, transactions, and scenarios.
- It can check authorizations
- It can test the effects of customizing settings.
v. IBM Rational Functional Tester
The IBM Rational Functional Tester is a tool for automating regression and functional testing on Windows, IE, Java, and ERP applications that run on the Windows platform. It provides test cases for standard objects such as bitmaps, lists, and menus as well as objects specific to the development environment. The tool supports a wide range of user interface technologies including Web, Java, VS.NET controls, Delphi, and Oracle.
Silktest by MicroFocus is an automation tool for running regression and function testing. It provides three products – Silk4J, Silk4NE, and Workbench. Silk4J and Silk4NET use Java, C#, VB.NET, and many more. Workbench is more specific and uses VB.NET. This tool supports mobile testing and cross-browser testing. Silktest is a keyword-driven testing tool and can, therefore, provide a collaborative test design environment.
viii. Testing Anywhere
Testing Anywhere is a simple tool for testing the frontend of software products. It creates software bots to automate testing processes without the need to integrate third-party tools or write additional code.
Originally created by Mercury Interactive (currently acquired by HP), WinRunner software is used to automate functional testing on SAP applications. The functional test suite implements a proprietary Test Script Language that allows customization of user input. It captures and verifies user interactions in a bid to identify defects and establish whether business processes are working as designed.
LoadRunner is a powerful testing tool for testing the graphical user interface of SAP applications. It is also one of the best tools for GUI load testing. This tool is becoming increasingly popular among SAP testers due to its effectiveness in handling different aspects of SAP applications.
xi. Visual Studio Test Professional
Visual Studio Test Professional is a powerful tool that brings together SAP testers, product managers, developers, and other stakeholders. It provides high-end tools for each of these roles. A key advantage of this tool is its integration with ALM solution, which ensures that all stakeholders are connected throughout the development or testing process. This keeps the testing teams more agile and better informed. Some great features of Visual Studio Test Professional include:
- Ability to conduct, record and repeat manual tasks
- Managing use test cases
- Creating and managing test environments.
Watir is an open-source tool designed to automate web testing. The tool’s scripting language is written in Ruby, but it can test all web applications regardless of their technology. Watir has features that allow you to connect with databases and read files that are important for effective data-driven testing. It also integrates seamlessly with back-end development tools such as Cucumber and RSpec.
Performance testing is done to check the speed, stability, and scalability of SAP applications. The main reasons for executing performance testing on SAP systems include:
- Ensuring the system conforms to the service-level agreements.
- Managing hardware costs.
- Optimizing software configuration settings
- Verify that the SAP system will not fail or crash during occasional high load, which in turn helps avoid corresponding losses.
There are different test tools for checking the performance of SAP systems. They can be developed as open-source software, such as Jmeter and Open STA or for commercial purposes such as SAP IBM Rational Robot and Load Runner. The choice of the testing tool depends on the SAP application you want to test.
With the wide mass adoption of ERP systems into the modern corporate world, a career in SAP consulting can bring a high level of professional satisfaction while being financially rewarding. SAP consultants can work in different specialties or choose to take a more specific career path. For instance, one can gain experience as a functional SAP consultant, expand into technical modules, and qualify as a project manager.
Project managers can also expand their understanding into peripheral systems, including middleware, to become program managers. With experience managing multiple clients, one can easily rise to the position of a delivery head in a consulting company.
Alternatively, one can choose to gain experience on large ERP systems, including peripherals, then join an organization that uses SAP systems. With great professional experience, one can be absorbed into a high-level management position or even grow into the Chief Information Officer (CIO).
Why choose an SAP Consulting Career?
Apart from SAP consulting careers being in great demand, this section explores the main reasons why many tech enthusiasts are choosing this career path.
i. Opportunities for personal development
A career in SAP consulting offers great opportunities for growth and development. Professionals working in the SAP ecosystem often attend training sessions, conferences, and team-building events that impact their scope of knowledge positively. There are numerous career growth prospects for a consultant who is committed and willing to learn.
ii. Challenging Environment
To find solutions to various challenges, SAP consultants are motivated to be more innovative. Throughout their career life, SAP consultants conduct extensive research and held discussions with other professionals, which equips them with additional skills and knowledge.
SAP ERP consultancy presents unlimited opportunities to travel in different parts of the world. It is often difficult to predict the region you will be deployed for your next project. Although this level of diversity may affect career planning, it brings valuable opportunities for building professional and personal networks. As such, the career graph of an SAP consultant rises exponentially with every new implementation or project.
iv. Commitment to the greater good
SAP Consultants are involved in result-centered projects. Their input has a significant contribution to the overall success of a project. For this reason, an SAP consultant is dedicated to making a positive contribution towards helping their clients achieve success.
v. Great Rewards
Careers in SAP consulting are among the highest rewarding in all parts of the world. This implies that as SAP consultants contribute positively towards growing economies, they also live a comfortable life.
The global SAP market is short of skills, particularly in the field of SAP testing. Unless you work in the IT industry or possess a natural penchant for software technologies, you may not know about SAP testing or the career opportunities it can offer. To establish a reliable talent pipeline, it is important to educate people on how they can get into SAP and build a successful career.
Just like other fields, there are different career paths for professionals with different backgrounds in SAP testing. At a basic level, one should have a great interest in IT to develop a solid foundation when it comes to programming and configuring SAP systems. And because SAP ERP systems are used to support a wide range of business functions, there are several options available to prepare you for a valuable SAP career.
At a degree level, for instance, a finance or accountancy major is a good prerequisite for SAP FICO consultants. Similarly, a commercial or international trade degree can set you up as a SAP SD Consultant. Other careers around SAP testing include:
- SAP security consultant
- Desktop Support Engineer
- Senior SAP consultant
- IT SAP Project Lead
- Infrastructure project manager
While passion for technology and software development is important in SAP careers, so too is the unending desire to understand you can leverage IT systems to improve business processes.
Technical or Functional
The route you take into SAP testing varies depending on whether it prefers a functional or technical role. Technical roles are ideal for those interested in coding, whereas functional careers are majorly for those who enjoy configuring SAP systems to suit organizational requirements. Both technical and functional consultants work together in every project to ensure the system addresses the client’s needs.
What are SAP employers looking for?
From a corporate employer perspective, one of the most important skills every SAP professional should possess is the ability to configure systems efficiently. While it is important to acquire an SAP certification, most employers do not consider it sufficient proof of expertise.
If you’re new to the industry, the best way to advance is by specializing in one field and learning as much as you can. With time you will gain valuable work experience and eventually become an expert. You also need to keep up with the industry trends at every stage of your career. If you started as a system user or junior consultant, you could slowly work your way up to a senior consultant.
SAP testing jobs are for those with great logical diagnostic skills, a strong understanding of software systems, and a great desire to learn new concepts.
Question 1. Describe a test plan and what it includes:
It is a document that describes the scope, schedule, resources, and approach of intended testing activities. The test plan identifies the test items, features to be tested, testing tasks, test techniques, timelines, suspension criteria, the pass or fail criteria, test deliverables, staff (and their responsibilities), and possible risks as well as their solutions.
Question 2. As an SAP testing expert, explain the guidelines for creating and working with a test plan
- Ensure the plan is as concise as possible by avoiding redundancy. If you think there’s a section in the template that you might not need, eliminate that section from your test plan.
- Make use of tables and lists when possible, to avoid lengthy paragraphs.
- Be specific. When listing the requirements of a test environment, for instance, an operating system, specify the edition or version needed rather than just mentioning the OS Name,
- Review the test plan a couple of times before sending it for approval or baselining. The kind of test plan you submit speaks a lot about the quality of work you are going to perform.
- Update the test plan when necessary.
Question 3. Define a test case with reference to IEEE Standard 610 (1990)
A test case is high-level documentation specifying input values, output expected, and the conditions for successfully executing a test. It is developed for a specific objective such as to verify compliance with special requirements or to exercise a program path.
Question 4. Tell us what you understand by unit testing and performance testing in SAP.
Unit testing is mostly done at a transaction level that is linked to configuration. For example, vendor data, customer master data, purchase orders, and so on. On the other hand, performance testing is done to determine the time used to perform different actions. It helps the system meet and satisfies the service level agreement.
Question 5. Using an example, explain regression testing
Regression testing is used to test the impact of changes implemented in an existing system. It ensures the introduction of new functions do not affect how a previous system works. For instance, if an organization acquires a new company, we have to configure the system to accommodate changes. In this case, regression testing is done to ensure the new configuration does not result in errors.
Question 6. What do we mean by SAP?
SAP is an ERP business software package that is designed to integrate and manage all areas of a business. It provides solutions for all operations.
Question 7. Apart from QTP, which other automation testing tools are you familiar with?
Besides QTP, there is Sahi, Selenium, Silk Test, Rational Robot, TestComplete, Jmeter, Testing Anywhere, WinRunner, etc.
Question 8. If you are familiar with QTP, what environment does it run in? What technologies does it support?
QTP only runs on Windows. It supports a wide range of technologies including Oracle, .NET, Siebel, Delphi, Java, WPF, Windows mobile, Silverlight, Flex, PeopleSoft, and Web.
Question 9. What are some of the drawbacks of Selenium IDE?
Selenium IDE lacks ideal features such as conditional statements, loops, database testing, screenshot capture, as well as logging and reporting functionalities. Additionally, it cannot handle exceptions or re-run failed tests automatically. Another downside of Selenium is that it is designed for Firefox only.
Question 10. As a SAP professional, what criteria do you use to pick an automation tool for a specific scenario?
We consider the following factors when choosing an automation testing tool:
- The scope of the SAP project
- The limitations of the tool
- The cost of the tools
- The testing environment
- The tool’s usability and compatibility.
Question 11. List the primary features of an ideal automation tool.
Some features of a good automation tool include:
- It has a good debugging facility
- It supports multiple frameworks
- It is easy to use
- It has a test Environment support.
- It exhibits robust object identification.
- It has an image and object identification and testing abilities.
- It allows database testing
Question 12. On what basis can you refer to automation testing as successful?
Automation testing can only be mapped as successful on the basis of:
- Defect detection ratio
- Reduction in testing labor and other costs
- Automation execution time (saves time to release the final product)
Question 13. Under what two conditions should we not use automation testing for agile method?
- When agile testing asks for changes in the requirements
- When agile requires an exhaustive level of documentation.
Question 14. What are the risks associated with automation testing?
- Availability of skilled resources – Automation testing requires resources with extensive knowledge about programming and SAP testing at large. They should also adapt to new technologies with ease.
- High initial costs – The initial set up for automation testing is very costly. It requires the purchase of the automated tool as well as training and maintenance of test scripts. Ideally, the value of testing results should compensate for the cost of testing.
- If the user interface is not fixed, always avoid automation. You should always ensure that the UI is not changing extensively before automation. Additionally, do not automate test modules that only run once.
Question 15. What are the disadvantages of using manual software testing?
Manual testing takes time and needs a lot of resources, both human and computing. It’s a highly exhausting process that often ends up costing the company more than if the testing process was simply automated. The manual testing process is also associated with inaccuracies, missed issues, and lack of clarity.
Question 16. What is SDLC? Explain its purpose
The Software Development Life Cycle is a series of steps that provides a conceptual model for developing an application of an application, a piece of software, or information system. It involves everything from the initial feasibility study to the maintenance of the application. SDLC provides a systematic approach for building software applications.
Question 17. Apart from the waterfall model, what other models do you know in SDLC?
- V model
- Agile model
- Incremental model
- Spiral model
- Iterative model
- Rapid Application Development model (RAD)
- Prototype Model
Question 18. What is the primary role of a functional consultant?
A functional consultant is responsible for conducting workshops and interviewing clients to gather system requirements. They then map these to the software under development and decide the most effective way of customizing the solution to meet the client needs – both current and future.
Question 19. Explain what we mean by User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
End-users do this type of testing before they accept the application. It could be:
- Alpha testing – Performed by in-house developers and software quality-assurance team before the software is passed on for beta-testing.
- Beta-testing – A few select members of the public or prospective customers test the product to ensure it is a bug–free and works as expected.
- Gamma-testing – It is performed when the final piece of software is ready for market release.
Question 20. Explain the methodology used when deploying SAP CRM projects in a business environment.
- You start by analyzing the business requirements. Here you identify the processes used and whether they are optimized for maximum performance.
- Next, you identify the processes that should be improved and how to make improvements from a business perspective.
- After identifying opportunities for improvement, make an AS-IS analysis of the existing business processes, and design the processes to be used.
- Lastly, translate the processes to be implemented into system processes. These could be marketing and campaign management, compliant or case management, account management, Webclient, and so on.