What is ERP?
The name ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), itself defines its meaning i.e. planning or managing the resources, available to enterprise or organization. It is a centralized system or hub, which carries out and controls all sorts of business operation occurring in the organization in an efficient and effective manner.
What is ERP Testing?
It is the process of verifying the functioning of your ERP software solution during implementation. ERP testing is a quality assurance (QA) process designed to ensure the ERP system is correctly implemented and operational before the full launch. It may be carried out, either manually or automated.
it is important for the user to understand how and where the data flows and which are the different sub-systems where the data is saved. This is the most critical aspect of ERP testing. Domain knowledge is very important to get good results.
Importance of ERP Testing
Majority of the ERP Implementation projects fails because of the improper test planning and testing. To understand the importance of ERP testing, testing professionals need to understand the variations of the ERP systems.
ERP systems may be available in multiple versions for multiple domains targeting multiple customers. For example, major ERP vendors are having different versions of their ERP software as below.
Some of the well known ERP software are:
- SAP Banking
- Microsoft Dynamics GP
- Oracle JD Edwards
- SAP Insurance
- Oracle Peoplesoft
- Oracle Siebel
- Microsoft Dynamics AX
- Microsoft Dynamics NAV
What is the process of ERP Testing?
The process of testing the ERP may be carried out in three different phases as shown below:
- Identify the business processes and scope of the testing.
- Setting up the test system.
- Test suites preparation.
- Creation of test data.
- Test case preparation, for manual as well as automation execution.
- Execution of the tests, either manually or automated.
- Logging defects and reporting the test status.
- Analysis of the explored defects.
- Assessment of the test plans and cases.
- Test suites preparation.
- Documentation of the testing process.
Types of ERP Testing
Below mentioned are some of the testing techniques, which may be used to test an ERP.
- Functional testing – this form of a testing technique involves knowing whether the ERP system offers solutions required for a specific organizational need. This testing technique makes sure that all business features are testing, including software and hardware that help run ERP software. In order for this testing to be considered successful, creating a description of test goals and objectives can act as a barometer.
- Performance testing – This testing technique tests the ERP systems ability to perform their individualized tasks in demanding areas and situations. Because ERP runs other integrated systems, it’s crucial to test its performance during those high demand situations, including moments with high data flows and transactions.
- Automated testing – This form of testing refers to the automation of tasks, making tedious tasks easier and quicker to do by completing them all at once. It’s important for a company to select suitable automation tools and cover all test processes for successful results.
- Integration testing – Integration testing involves assessing business scenarios. The aim is how well the ERP system assimilates into the company’s business processes to deliver the expected results.
- Security Testing – ERP solution contains end-to-end employee and employer data. It is thus, very important that only the authorized personnel are given access to sensitive data that too on need basis. This is will also help to minimize the chances of data theft.
Other testing techniques include data handling, adaptability, usability and installation testing.
Benefits of Automated ERP Testing
- An automated testing tool reduces the testing time for the ERP environment consisting of various business processes
- Test automation allows continuous monitoring of ERP systems, which helps in finding and fixing bugs. This helps an organization to avoid any substantial loss
- It overcomes all the challenges faced during manual testing. This includes providing timely, accurate, and quality solutions to the clients
- By implementing test automation, an organization can ensure a hassle-free execution of its critical applications by monitoring routine data structures
- Test automation focuses on the set business requirements
Challenges in ERP Testing
ERP testing is a special niche and not all functional testers can be ERP testers. This creates some challenges when it comes to ERP testing. Here we talk about some of the important challenges:
- Getting the right testers: Testers with extensive experience in ERP testing are hard to find. The success of the ERP testing would depend on their expertise and the amount of domain knowledge they have.
- Integration with other systems: ERP solutions are like a single store of data and information. There can be to and fro data communication from the ERP software to other third-party tools. Establishing and testing this integration is still an open challenge.
- Dealing with complex business rules: The customization if the ERP system is governed by business rules that drive the flow of information and data from one module to another. Setting up and testing these complex business rules thoroughly can be quite challenging.
- Performance Issues: Adhering to SLA’s and performance standards can become challenging for big sized organizations if a proper load and performance testing are not performed.
It is true that the ERP system makes business operation much easier after implementation but ERP testing is having a lot of risks and complexities compared to any software/product testing. Also, managing the quality metrics in ERP implementation projects requires a lot of attention and dedicated efforts as a “team” from the multiple stakeholders. ERP testing requires trusted sponsorship on time and budget from the management and the customers.
It is very important to use the universally proven right process, methodologies, approaches, and automated tools. We should not assume that “automation” completely replaces the “manual” testing, but should not compromise on using the required testing infrastructure and framework.