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How to Automate ERP Testing

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems work on business-specific customizations, rules, and implementations to enhance the core functionalities of the business. These systems work with all the enterprise departments, such as sales, HRM, CRM, inventory management, purchase, finance, e-commerce, and more. Testing these systems for business-specific implementation is challenging, considering the vast realm and data it spans.

Manual testing has limitations in terms of effort, coverage, and time. Automation testing can support adequate ERP testing with the right automation tool/framework choice.

This article explains the steps to automate your business’s ERP system testing for better quality and customer experience.

Understand the ERP Domain

The first and foremost step is to gain knowledge of the ERP’s architecture, modules, functionalities, integration points, and the specific business processes it supports. It is a vast space to dive deep into and needs a thorough understanding of the business processes involved.

This knowledge gives you insights into how different modules interact and support various aspects of the organization’s operations. Below are the abilities that you will acquire with this knowledge:

  • Know business logic to understand the data flows, interactions between different modules, and calculations.
  • Identify correct and error test scenarios to create comprehensive test cases that cover a wide range of real-world scenarios.
  • Create accurate test cases by identifying the critical business processes and scenarios.

Use training, existing documentation, hands-on experience, case studies, and online resources to gain confidence in the ERP product and business knowledge.

Identify Automation Testing Scenarios

Identify the key test scenarios that cover critical business processes within the ERP system. These scenarios could include order processing, inventory management, financial transactions, reporting, user authentication, etc. You can use the below techniques to identify the correct scenarios for test automation:

  • Explore user flows to identify how users interact with different modules, screens, and functionalities to achieve specific tasks.
  • Collaborate with stakeholders and engage with business analysts (BAs), subject matter experts (SMEs), and end-users to gather requirements and understand the critical functionalities of the ERP system.
  • Consider end-to-end scenarios, which involve multiple steps and interactions across different modules. For example, an order-to-payment process could involve order creation, inventory updates, invoicing, and payment processing.
  • Cover different user roles, such as admin, manager, employee, and customer, to ensure comprehensive coverage and permission levels within the ERP system.
  • Integration testing of modules where the ERP system interacts with other applications, databases, or external systems. Design scenarios that test data flow and synchronization across these integration points.
  • Performance and load scenarios that simulate concurrent user activity, significant data processing, and peak usage scenarios are identified.
  • Security and authorization testing includes user authentication, access controls, data privacy, and authorization levels.

Select Appropriate Test Automation Tool

Once you have the information about the critical business flows and related test scenarios for automation, the next step is to decide upon a supportive and robust test automation. For ERP test automation, you would require a tool that supports E2E, regression, data-driven, cross-browser, cross-platform testing, etc. Additionally, you ought to evaluate the tool’s cost, compatibility, scalability, ease of maintenance, CI/CD integration support, reporting, customer support, etc.

Suppose you choose a legacy test automation framework for your business’s ERP system. In that case, your team must first acquire the ERP domain knowledge and have good programming skills to script the test automation framework. Such tools may have a steep learning curve and associated training costs in terms of money and time.

Otherwise, an intelligent AI-powered tool, such as testRigor, empowers everyone on your team, including sales, BAs, marketing, etc., to test and contribute. The frequent ERP system updates and versions are handled by the self-healing capabilities of testRigor to minimize the maintenance effort.

testRigor supports automation testing of Salesforce, Acumatica, ServiceNow, Workday, and a wide range of ERP systems. It is one the most straightforward ways on the market to achieve high test coverage, while spending very little time on test maintenance.

Create Test Strategy

Create a clear test strategy that outlines the scope of automation, test objectives, supported platforms, test environments, and the types of tests to be automated (functional, regression, integration, etc.), test automation tools, resource allocation, test data strategy, risk assessment, and training.

Here is a good test strategy template for you to refer to.

Develop Test Scripts

Write automation scripts using the chosen tool to simulate user actions, interactions with ERP modules, data entry, and validation of results. Pay attention to synchronization, data management, error handling, and reusability when scripting.

You need to take care of all the areas mentioned above through programming skills while using legacy test automation frameworks, which will add to the existing complexity of the ERP system.

To bypass these programming complexities, you can use testRigor, which provides three user-friendly and quick methods for test case creation:

  1. Use testRigor’s generative AI engine and mention only the test case title. It will generate the test steps within seconds automatically.
  2. Otherwise, use testRigor’s advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) capability to create test cases in plain English commands.
  3. If you are a record-and-play test creation fan, use our recorder to develop tests in plain English derived from your actions on the ERP system.

TestRigor’s automatic wait handling handles synchronization issues. You need not manually provide any explicit wait times; hence, it avoids the ‘element not found’ and many other similar errors.

Manage Test Data

ERP systems deal with enormous amounts of data. Hence, test automation should accurately reflect user data. Prepare test data representing various scenarios, including valid and invalid inputs, edge cases, and exceptions. Therefore, Test Data Management (TDM) is crucial for ERP test automation, and it should cover below mentioned steps:

  • Understand data requirements working with SMEs, BAs, and other testers. Identify the data types needed, such as master, transactional, test, and boundary values.
  • Generate data based on the identified requirements and develop scripts or tools to generate test data. testRigor generates data based on detected field type on UI (supports about 50 types). You can provide your test data and allow testRigor to create random data conforming to a specific format every time the test runs.
  • Create test data libraries of test data sets that various test scripts can easily access. These libraries reduce duplication and make consistent data maintenance across tests easier.
  • Implement data security to ensure that sensitive data is masked or anonymized to comply with privacy and security regulations.
  • Data parameterization allows your test scripts to use dynamic data values. Perform data-driven testing to ensure your tests are repeatable and can be executed with different data sets.
  • Regular data refresh ensures test data remains up-to-date and relevant, especially when your ERP system undergoes changes or updates.

Setup Test Environment

Create a stable test environment that mirrors your business’s production ERP environment. This process includes setting up the necessary hardware, software, network, middleware, databases, servers, third-party integrations, and configurations.

Implement security measures to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access to the test environment.

Build Continuous Integration (CI)

Integrate your automated ERP tests into a continuous integration pipeline to automatically trigger tests whenever there are code changes. This integration ensures quick feedback and helps catch regressions early in the development cycle.

Managing CI/CD integration and its dependencies in programming scripts with traditional test automation frameworks takes work. Use testRigor, which supports easy integrations with a wide range of CI/CD systems, such as Jenkins, CircleCI, and numerous others. It provides ready-to-use scripts that facilitate seamless integration with CI/CD tools on all major platforms, including macOS, Linux, and Windows.

Execute Tests

Run your automated test scripts as part of your testing process. You can execute these scripts on demand, during development cycles, or as part of your continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline. Review the test results and logs after execution to identify failures, errors, and issues and investigate any failed tests to understand the root causes.

Integrate Collaboration and Reporting

Collaborations help share test results and reports with stakeholders, development teams, and QA teams to provide them with insights about product quality. Hence, addressing any issues or improvements identified during automation is supported through collaboration tools quickly.

Traditional test automation frameworks do not support in-built reporting or collaboration features. These capabilities are used via third-party integrations, and managing the dependencies in the test scripts is challenging.

TestRigor provides excellent reporting features with screenshots, video recording of test execution, error text, etc. It offers easy integrations with leading issue management, test management, infrastructure management, and collaboration tools.

Maintain Tests After ERP Updates

Frequent version changes and updates are familiar to ERP system users. Also, as the ERP system evolves, changes are required in the test scripts, and regular review and maintenance of your automated test suite is crucial for the business’s success. With traditional test automation tools, you need to update your automation scripts to accommodate UI, workflows, or business logic changes.

However, AI-powered intelligent tools such as testRigor use their self-healing capabilities to update the test cases as and when the application changes. Self-healing reduces maintenance efforts drastically. Subsequently, it helps you save associated time and cost and deliver a high-quality user experience.

Conclusion

ERP automation testing is a critical activity that is revolutionizing how organizations validate their ERP systems’ functionality, reliability, and performance. Integrating automated testing into ERP environments offers numerous benefits, including increased efficiency, enhanced accuracy, accelerated testing cycles, and improved software quality.

However, the complexity of these systems and frequent updates make it difficult to maintain and upkeep the test suite. Therefore, automating ERP testing is a continuous process that requires planning, effort, and expertise. The role of your test automation tool/ framework is crucial in this process, which can make or break the anticipated success.

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