I’m indebted to a new Facebook friend who emailed me the following statistic: in the test market 74% still don’t use an automated solution, and 53% are using general-purpose business software like Word and Excel.
In the SAP environment, the figures could be higher, with as many as 95% manual testing. Strange don’t you think, when there are dozens of small test tools out there, and the big monsters too? (What do you use for example? – I’d like to hear.) Anyway, maybe this polarity in test tools is the problem. Who wants lots of separate cobbled together tools for different applications, or big expensive software that’s really complicated to use?
There has to be a happy medium for SAP in particular. You work in a customized environment, with numerous patches and support packs, major new versions and your own changes. So why can’t test tools meet those requirements – i.e. be affordable, easy to implement, and quick to use and maintain? My old company, Borland, believe the power of test tools should be hidden under the hood, leaving you to get the job done easily. Some testing newcomers do have easy to use solutions but they only cover one area or can’t be applied to a broad range of applications.
Take web based applications, for example, where different browser and operating system combinations need a broad testing capability to ensure a good user experience. Or even more challenging – in the SAP world – mobile applications which create a whole new level of testing challenges. There’s just no way manual testing is going to give any kind of assurance with so many devices and interfaces out there to test.
I’ve been trying out all the latest test software, but I’m no SAP expert, so anyone out there who’s working hands-on in SAP, I’d welcome feedback on where testing’s going in your environment. Let me know what’s needed.