Admin 2013 Preview: The State of Testing in Solution Manager with Winni Hesel

  • by Scott Priest, Managing Editor
  • Winni Hesel, Partner, Enowa Consulting
  • March 13, 2013
In this interview with Winni Hesel, partner at Enowa Consulting, he covers how testing is different in 7.1, what pain points he’s seeing from SAP customers, and how regression testing affects Solution Manager.

In anticipation of the Admin 2013 conference, I asked one of the presenters, Winni Hesel of Enowa Consulting, a few questions about his session, “Tools and Strategies to Ensure Effective Testing Using SAP Solution Manager.” Winni is a partner at Enowa Consulting with more than 20 years of experience in SAP consulting. Winni’s current focus is Solution Manager, which has undergone many changes in the transition from version 7.0 to 7.1. One of those big changes, says Winni, is testing, which boasts new functionality and slicker screens in 7.1.

In this interview, he covers how testing is different in 7.1, what pain points he’s seeing from SAP customers, and how regression testing affects Solution Manager.

Q: What is the biggest pain point you’re noticing with customers when it comes to testing?

A: The two biggest pain points we’ve seen are identifying the test scope and mobilizing the testers. We can help with the first one by introducing the testing functionality and using the Business Process Change Analyzer (BPCA) within SAP Solution Manager. The second one is trickier, because the business needs to provide resources to execute the defined test plans. Because it is very difficult to free up resources for testing from the business, a lot of customers are looking to test automation. Implementing automated test tools from HP or Worksoft for example, and automating the testing of individual transactions and entire processes, helps in taking the burden off testers and can reduce the time commitment dramatically.

Q: The abstract of your session mentions regression testing. Can you explain how that relates to Solution Manager and why it’s important?

A: SAP customers improve their solutions constantly. Regardless of the scope of an improvement or enhancement, there always needs to be regression testing. The larger the change impact, the more thorough the regression testing needs to be planned for. For example, SAP Service Packages are usually creating a higher impact than a set of individual customer transports, so a more thorough testing is required. SAP Solution Manager provides functionality that allows you to identify the impact and have project teams focus on the right amount of regression testing.

Q: What are some of the latest updates to testing in SAP through service packs and enhancement packs?

A: BPCA allows SAP customers now to analyze the impact of what is called “Planned Business Function Activation” from an enhancement pack. Planned software changes can now also be tested against programs and other objects. In the past, impact analysis was only possible against transactions.

Q: What sorts of problems can result from customers not properly testing after implementing new functionality or making configuration changes?

A: Existing functionality can be found to be unusable, existing user exits or reports may not produce the expected results: Trouble could come from all areas of the established SAP solution. When improving or introducing new functionality, the new is typically tested well, but existing functionality in neighboring and integrated modules is often forgotten. Depending on the improvement, other SAP systems, such as SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse, SAP Supply Chain Management, or SAP Customer Relationship Management can be affected, as well as interfaces to non-SAP solutions and bolt-ons.

Q: How different is testing in Solution Manager 7.1 than in 7.0? Is it conceptually different or just a different look and feel?

A: In 7.1 testing was dramatically enhanced. The test execution and reporting of defects got an entirely new screen, in which you can now work with a split screen. Testers can see the test script and can record the results all in one screen. Test planning is much more tightly integrated with BPCA results, which was a huge step forward. And new test management reporting capabilities were introduced. Overall it’s been one of the areas that have received a lot of attention from SAP in 7.1.

Winni’s session “Tools and strategies to ensure effective testing using SAP Solution Manager” will be taking place at 4:30 on Tuesday, March 19, in room 119. You can find out more about it at the session’s abstract page on the Admin 2013 site.

Scott Priest

Scott was the senior managing editor at SAPexperts, responsible for the content development and acquisition for topics including HANA, mobility, and Solution Manager. He graduated from Bates College with a BA degree in English. You may follow him on Twitter at @priestWIS.

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Winni Hesel

Winni Hesel is a partner with Enowa Consulting, and his SAP experience reaches back more than 20 years. As an SAP consultant, project manager, and program manager, he has led global rollouts and worked on numerous SAP projects in the Americas and Europe. Winni has six years of experience with SAP Solution Manager and has completed more than 50 SAP Solution Manager project assignments with various scope from projects to ChaRM to Service Desk to test management and business process monitoring.

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