SAP environments are business-critical for many of OrangeCrest’s clients. In large organizations SAP is often used to manage the day-to-day business, running ERP, financials, HR, CRM, and logistics systems. Businesses make long term investments in SAP, resulting in much customization and often in-house coding to ensure the SAP system adapts to changing business requirements. A complex SAP environment can be a challenge for performance testing, as Emiel Smetsers, Technical Lead, for OrangeCrest, explains: “Many organizations are upgrading their SAP environments to SAP S4/ HANA to give them better real-time transaction and analysis capabilities. Maintaining business continuity during a SAP transformation is critical, but it presents significant challenges. As soon as any changes or upgrades are made to the system, performance testing needs to ensure the user experience is not negatively impacted by this. And, it is not only changes within the SAP system that can affect system performance; a datacenter migration, a move to the cloud, or introducing new hardware can all have an adverse effect on performance.”
One of its clients, a global petrochemical company, is located in over 100 countries, with an internal user base of more than 90,000 employees. Within this complex SAP landscape, and a planned migration to S4/HANA, it is difficult to determine how a user experiences the performance of a particular SAP module. The organization has made a strategic move towards more Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions which provides improved overall flexibility, but does not give insight into local application performance.
Working with a range of clients, OrangeCrest has built expertise in application performance management and sees value in introducing performance testing early on in the product lifecycle to focus on both system and network performance. To reduce its total cost of ownership (TCO), OrangeCrest wanted to introduce a preferred toolset to provide a consistent approach to performance testing for its clients.
Having used all the main performance testing solutions on the market, OrangeCrest found that Micro Focus LoadRunner Enterprise met its criteria, as Emiel Smetsers comments: “LoadRunner Enterprise’s support of over 50 protocols gives us a consistent interface to work in, regardless of the target environment. We often compare it to a Swiss army pocket knife, with so many options available to us. We only need to manage one test tool environment, deal with one vendor, and ensure our team is trained in one solution rather than several. This reduces our TCO, and makes us more flexible partners for our clients.”
For their customers, OrangeCrest introduced an end-to-end application testing framework, underpinned by LoadRunner Enterprise, which focuses on both system performance and network performance. Load servers in different regions measure the SAP response time against the local network speed to give early indications of where performance bottlenecks might occur.
Simulated user transactions recreate the exact user experience to verify the end-to-end response times of the most critical functionalities in different regions on both desktop as mobile devices. All performance test results are captured in a central repository for a quick overview, and easy reporting. Based on this data, preventative measures can be taken to avoid production disruption for the client.
Smetsers and the team enjoy working with LoadRunner Enterprise: “The focus of SAP testing has changed from SAP GUI to testing FIORI/SAPUI5 and web portals. LoadRunner Enterprise has kept pace with these developments. It supports the TruClient protocol which helps speed up load testing through the FIORI/ SAPUI5 user interface. In addition, the SaaS solution is easy to manage, and we find LoadRunner Enterprise test scripts more reusable.”
The use of LoadRunner Enterprise has given OrangeCrest some clear benefits, as Emiel Smetsers says: “With the majority of performance testing done through a single solution, we can use our test team much more flexibly to reduce downtime and optimize our skills pool across our various client projects. We spend less time creating and maintaining test scripts, and have more opportunity for reusing scripts across different projects.”
He concludes: “Micro Focus has some great training courses which we benefited from. Having in-depth system architecture knowledge really helps in the day-to-day running of performance test projects, and the training focused on the end-to-end testing process, rather than just load testing. We feel fully prepared to guide our clients through their digital SAP transformation while ensuring business continuity.”