Technology, and specifically SAP, has moved on leaps and bounds over the last few decades, yet it still surprises us how many customer support and project teams rely on fairly basic spreadsheets or word documents to document and record their system test activities. Surely there must be a better way, without having to spend thousands on a licensed tool?…afterall, in simplistic terms, all you want to do is plan and record the results of a manual testing activity! Well, yes, finally there is; let us introduce SAP’s Test Step Designer!
What is it?
Test Step Designer is SAP’s modern replacement for old fashioned spreadsheet style Test Cases. The Test Step Designer (“TSD”) is a free tool within Solution Manager that allows you to easily and quickly create your test cases, but with the added benefit of additional functionality such as:
- Enforcing a test step sequence
- Making Test Result mandatory
- Creating Testing ‘Runs’
- Creating Defects per Test Step
- Testing transparency
Once created, the test case is fully integrated with the SAP Solution Manager Test Suite (i.e. it can easily be incorporated into a Test Plan).The Test Case is entirely Fiori based and can even be multilingual.
Benefits of using the SAP’s Test Step Designer
So, why use this built in tool ahead of your pre-existing spreadsheet/document based test cases? Well, there are numerous benefits, some of which we’ve called out above, but one of the biggest advantages is the semi-automatic nature of Test Script creation. Yes, you can use Solution Manager to write your test script for you!
When creating a TSD Test Case from the process structure within Solution Documentation, the tool will automatically read all the process steps already specified under that node of your Solution Documentation structure and create an entry within the test case for each process step. Granted, you need to have input your Solution Documentation structure first, but if you consider that S/4 and other best practice process structures are already provided by SAP, this needn’t be an onerous task. Within minutes you can have your baseline test case created and then supplement it with additional instruction steps where required.
Within a TSD Test Case, it’s much easier for a Tester to see what they have to test, with each individual test step being specified at a level of granularity that makes sense e.g.
Step 1 – ‘Create Purchase Requisition’,
Step 2 – ‘Create Purchase Order’
Step 1 – ‘Create Purchase Requisition’
Step 1.1. – ‘Execute Transaction ME51N’
Step 1.2. – ‘Enter Material’
Step 1.3. – ‘Enter Quantity;
Step 1.4. – ‘Click Save’
Step 2 – ‘Create Purchase Order’
Against, each test step it is incredibly easy for a tester to record the results of their test, upload test evidence (which can also be mandated) or raise a test defect. If a repeat of a Test Case if required, rather than having to recreate a test plan and assign testers etc.. you can simply create a new ‘Run’ of the pre-existing Test Case which will create a copy of the Test Case allowing for it to be retested, but still keeping a record of the previous test execution as well. This is a huge benefit to test managers who often just get told a test failed, but ‘it’s alright now!’; now the evidence of the original failure and re-execution is visible for all to see. Another huge item of importance is reusability. Far too often people create a test case, store it on their laptop never to be found again and certainly not visible to the next individual who wants to perform the same test. The TSD ….. will be stored in Solution Documentation which is a central storage location visible to all, this will make sure test cases aren’t created multiple times and people can reuse existing test cases, reducing the amount of effort for Test Managers.
All of these options and enhanced functionality (certainly enhanced over a standard spreadsheet) are available without needing complex setup/configuration and, pleasingly, are available to the user through a very simplified interface. As you can see from the above, the screen if a very straightforward to follow and each test step is clearly defined.
Use cases for the Test Step Designer
Which phase of testing can the TSD be used for? Everything! Functional, Unit, User Acceptance, it doesn’t matter… You can create Test Cases based on your process structure in Solution Documentation, but you can also create a TSD Test Case from scratch or convert a pre-existing excel sheet with test details on, this can be done via the excel sheet template you can download from the TSD dashboard. In our experience, the TSD really comes into its own when being used for end-to-end process testing, specifically due to the ease in which you can use the system to automatically generate the test script for you – this is a real time saver for hard pressed testing teams.
With the Test Step Designer, manual testing is simplified and accelerated. At the same time, you have the chance to increase your overall test documentation quality. Many features like guided test execution or in-depth reporting capabilities enable a testing experience that was not possible before in SAP Solution Manager and is vastly superior to your old spreadsheet based alternatives.
In closing, make your testing team smile again; ditch the spreadsheets and word documents, create your test script once and reuse often, auto-generate your scripts wherever possible and enjoy the new UX.
If you’d like a no-obligation demonstration of the Test Step Designer feel free to get in touch here.
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