The organization was formed following a merger of three different companies. This resulted in thousands of different applications, managed through different IT teams. The application development organization is geographically distributed, and supported by offshore and 3rd party vendors. A mixture of waterfall and Agile development processes are in use, and SAP is used as a core ERP system, tracking all main business functions. The Test Lead summarizes the challenge: “We are the application testing governance layer; responsible for ensuring consistent testing processes across our organization. An organization-wide central test repository would help us with regular audits, and promote test case reuse. Test scripts were produced and stored all over the organization, and people were rewriting tests continually. Our testing needs to be ITIL compliant, and our testing system accessible to development partners who are not on our network. Reporting and transparency is the key to success, but with distributed efforts it is difficult to gain the necessary visibility.”
A consolidating of the application testing platform will pave the way towards a DevOps approach across the organization.
To build a strong process around SAP testing, the organization introduced Micro Focus ALM to improve efficiency in developing, testing, and maintaining applications, as well as gain real-time visibility. Soon, the automated testing model was adopted for the majority of applications. More recently, the ALM implementation moved from an on-premises to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. The Test Lead explains the reasons: “We have many external development partners who will do the core application development, and then hand-over to us to take it through the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase and into production. We wanted a way to put their test evidence into our central repository, as a baseline for future audits and regression testing. The ALM SaaS model made this possible without compromising the security of our own network.”
The organization used SAP Test Acceleration and Optimization (TAO) to create end-to-end test scenarios which were then managed and executed through ALM. When SAP announced the end-of-life for TAO, the team investigated alternatives. The SAP environment is sophisticated with several HANA instances, and Fiori in use. With over 250 SAP test scenarios in place, the new test automation solution would need to align in skill set with SAP TAO test scripts. Micro Focus UFT One provided the answer to achieve test execution at full velocity. GUI testing is a big part of the testing effort, and UFT One has proved helpful in testing a variety of GUIs, including SAPGUI.
Within ALM the organization has created a baseline domain which holds all SAP tests, all project tests, and all core tests from applications other than SAP. This ensures full visibility in the management of all test cases. Every week a full test run is executed against the preproduction SAP environment to check if any of the changes made during the weekly release have an adverse effect on existing functionality. Executed across 6 different devices, all 170 tests are completed in just three hours.
The combination of ALM and UFT One increases test efficiency with clear test processes and cases which is proving helpful in audits. The Test Lead comments on the daily use of the solutions: “Depending on the origin, either a business analyst or a test manager will create and execute a test from ALM. For this reason, usability was key to us. ALM is very easy to use and the feedback from business users and test managers alike confirms this. Moving from TAO to UFT One is easy too. We now have 170 UFT One end-to-end business process-driven automated tests, and we notice that test conversions are becoming much quicker as the test repository grows.”
Test reusability is proving a key differentiator for the organization, as highlighted by the Test Lead: “We often can just copy tests, or very easily make minor changes, and it has reduced the testing time significantly. When we first introduced ALM, the automated testing process realized a saving of $800,000 over five years, through 9,000 saved man hours. We can’t measure the value of sometimes catching severity 1 issues before we put a release into production. The potential fall-out for that could be catastrophic, so this is an invaluable benefit to us.”
ALM supports the audit process through ITIL compliance, clear reporting, and transparent test progress tracking. Its ease of use has increased business user adoption, and ALM is even used to test applications which are managed by business teams. Micro Focus online documentation and training have proved valuable in getting new users up to speed quickly.
The Test Lead concludes: “The combination of ALM and UFT One works very well within our organization. Our ultimate goal is to closer align our SAP waterfall and DevOps development processes. Although there are internal challenges with this right now, we feel we have the technology to progressively integrate our testing efforts across the board.”