Need for Extensive Automation in SAP S/4HANA Testing

S/4HANA Testing Nov 19, 2020

SAP S/4HANA is an intelligent ERP powered by SAP HANA and SAP Leonardo Platform. SAP S/4HANA provides solutions with tendrils, and impacts every nook and corner of its enterprise records and processes. Hence, testing is mandatory and remains critical for every SAP S/4HANA transition project.

Table of contents

What is SAP S/4HANA Testing?

SAP S/4HANA testing can be defined as the process of verifying the functioning of SAP S/4HANA with an intent to find out whether the ERP system meets the specified requirements and to ensure that the system is defect free.

Testing is a quality assurance process that ensures the correct operation of SAP S/4HANA before the project implementation Go-Live

The end goal of any testing process is to deliver SAP S/4HANA with world-class quality to solve the day-to-day problems.

Testing is not just restricted to the project implementation and project go-live phase. SAP S/4HANA is a new-generation ERP with regular updates and new releases. So, testing is necessary at each upgrade. The customers adopting SAP S/4HANA have realized that SAP S/4HANA testing is a never-ending process.

Problems in SAP S/4HANA Testing

  • The major difficulties encountered by the key persons are poor documentation of testers, low degree of test automation, maintaining test audits, high cost involved etc.

  • SAP Solution Manager’s Test Suite was introduced to mitigate this problem. However, the configuration and usability factor of SOLMAN remains debatable for the end users and testers.

Need for Extensive Automation in S/4HANA Testing

Small defects impact businesses to a great extent

The objective of SAP is to enable its customers (enterprises) to interact with other enterprise applications seamlessly, in addition to its comprehensive suite of applications.

SAP S/4HANA incorporates the key business functions of an enterprise such as Finance, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, R&D and Engineering, Sales, Professional Services, Procurement, Enterprise Asset Management, Environment, Health and Safety Management, Customer Experience, Human Capital Management etc.

The small change in a small component of S/4HANA can have a large impact on businesses - positive or negative but negative most of the times.

SAP S/4HANA - the product with enormous innovations

The digital transformation journey starts with the digital core, SAP S/4HANA - the intelligent ERP powered by SAP Leonardo Platform and SAP HANA. SAP also wants to transform its existing huge customer base to SAP S/4HANA by 2027.

Many enterprises run on SAP ECC (Enterprise Central Component) customized completely or partially to suite their existing and changing business processes.

The transition to SAP S/4HANA can be done in three ways - New Implementation, System Conversion and Landscape Transformation.

  • A net new ERP customer can start their digital transformation journey via SAP S/4HANA implementation.

  • Existing SAP ECC customers with high level of business customizations and custom code developments may adopt the System Conversion route to get to S/4HANA system

  • Enterprises with multiple ECC instances can adopt the Landscape Transformation strategy to migrate from multiple ECC instances to a single SAP S/4HANA instance (On-Premise/Private Cloud) along with the migration of business configurations and custom code developments.

In all the three transition scenarios, the end users, business users and the management team are bombarded with a new extensive SAP S/4HANA. Hence, the success of an SAP S/4HANA transition is mainly dependent on the level of testing of business processes by the testers.

Thousands of test cases have been identified for each SAP S/4HANA project. Testing and documenting these test results is another cumbersome activity in most of the projects. Human errors are unavoidable in all circumstances.

Next-Gen ERP requires continuous testing

Each release of SAP S/4HANA is the dawn of innovations and techno-functional upgrades. However, the current test environment is not sufficient to handle these innovations.

Many SAP S/4HANA customers, even after adopting S/4HANA, are reluctant to go for further upgrades because of the uncertainty over the business process changes. Also, there is no proper automation or tools available exclusively for SAP S/4HANA.

There is an urge in the minds of many CIOs to have a testing tool to handle all the innovations of S/4HANA. An enterprise with a proper testing strategy enabled by an all-in-one integrated test suite will enable the business leaders to transition to the next upgrade of S/4HANA without reluctance.

The techno-functional upgrade of each S/4HANA version benefits the enterprises more than expected. However, improper and traditional SAP testing remains a hurdle for S/4HANA innovations.

Resources with good testing traits

A typical SAP tester should have a deep understanding of the enterprise business process and of SAP’s standard business process.

The skill set also encompasses the general software testing abilities.

In an era of digital automation, ERP testing still remains a challenge as it is highly crucial amidst financial factors.


Edson Frainlar

Mission-driven Full-stack Developer with a passion for developing KTern, Dev Collaboration, and teaching. Curious to explore Quantum Information and Computing.