Organizations of varying sizes and operations are increasingly opting for ERP solutions to deal with applications that are critical to business. With the transition from old IT systems to modern cloud computing and big data, the complexity and diversity of the application landscape has changed and continues to evolve, based on emerging technologies along with compliance challenges and demands. As businesses today need to manage complex environments with multiple parallel programs, mission-critical applications and initiatives, there’s a growing emphasis on ERP testing solutions to bring some kind of predictability and reliability to these.
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Why these ERP testing steps are important
For efficient ERP testing, the following steps are important:
- Defining testing goals: Unless testing goals are set, it can’t be decided what kind of ERP testing needs to be done, who the testing team should comprise of and the tools required for handling the job. Thus, before debating on implementation, usability or functionality testing, it’s important to decide what end objective you want to achieve.
- Identifying test cases and conducting tests: For identifying test cases, it should be remembered that the application needs to achieve critical business functionality. Due to their unique business requirements, enterprises don’t go live with standard/basic implementations. This makes it important to conduct exhaustive tests on areas which are customized to assist functionality in production. Testing ERP applications’ integration with existing legacy systems is also crucial to ensure they meet business requirements. After the initial tests have been build and run successfully, change in objective and maturity of application functionality will expand the set of test cases. Tests to regularly inspect problem areas in applications (like interfaces to legacy systems) can be added at this stage. Marking the chief business operations that will benefit from the ERP solutions and running the key ERP tests (Regression, Integration, Performance, Usability, and Security testing) also become important to save cost and time while ensuring the systems are monitored continually.
- Analyzing defects and creating test reports: Analyzing the number of defects found in a system would help in the detection of the readiness of ERP application. When the test sets are executed, it’s important to track and analyze failures occurring within the tests and report all such defects. This information can help the testing team to measure and manage how they prioritize defects, fix them, retest and finally close them. Comprehensive reports that outline thorough documentation of all testing processes and outcomes will help the testing team to evaluate test results correctly, and reuses test scripts and cases in the future.
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Why you need test automation for ERP systems and ERP upgrades
ERP systems are usually installed in multiple locations, configured based on the local/unique business requirements and implemented to meet specific industrial needs. Thus, huge volumes of data need to be tested. Together with the ERP systems’ complexity and dependency on other modules and systems, this makes manual testing a difficult proposition. Dealing with security risks of transactions related to centralized databases like clouds and continuous testing of systems that are modified and updated regularly are other causes that make test automation the ideal solution.
The biggest advantage of ERP test automation would be considerable savings in cost, time and resources involved. With continuous monitoring of ERP systems being made easy, finding and fixing bugs would speed up, thus letting businesses avoid substantial loss. Business critical applications can be run easily as test automation helps in routine monitoring of data structures.
In brief, ERP test automation simplifies and speeds up the process of routine testing, apart from facilitating quick coverage of test cycles, including regression and configuration testing. However, it’s crucial to choose the right testing tools and procedures for business processes.
Challenges faced by businesses with ERP testing
Key challenges associated with ERP testing are:
- Dealing with a complex technology: The domain needs complex implementations with industry-specific business processes as well as specific programming and configurations.
- Extensive testing experience: With ERP systems across diverse locations, testers with an extensive level of expertise in enterprise-scale software testing are required, which is hard to find.
- Integration: Integration of ERP systems with newer as well as 3rd party/legacy applications is yet another challenge. Coordinated integration testing of multiple applications with different technologies is also a big issue.
- Concerns with budget and delays: Budget overruns and schedule delays often escalate costs and trigger problems with testing and production issues.
- Performance problems: It’s a tough task to test and ensure Performance SLAs of the integrated system. Absence of a comprehensive performance test plan can also trigger performance issues at different levels (database, application, load characterization, critical paths, tools, user roles, protocols etc).
- Meeting regulatory compliance: As high priority is given to country-neutral and country-specific regulatory requirements and compliance, meeting them too have emerged as a challenge.
Testing ERP applications is a complicated task as a minor change can have significant effects on business process steps, interfaces,system configuration, supporting infrastructures or security. That’s why ERP testing of gomadeindia follows a structured, planned approach to help businesses streamline their activities and deliver higher-quality products/services to their target clientele.