Software industry has revolutionised the traditional ways of maintaining records or managing company's resources. 'ERP' is an acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning.
In management, a company's resources are defined by the 4 M's, be it any type of organisation. The 4 M's are Man, machine, method, materials.
Now ERP software can be of any type, depending upon the needs of organisation. For instance an ERP application may be used for payroll management system for employee's salary, finance department may use it for maintaining the budget of the company, inventory management system is used for managing the complete list of inventories and so on. Each ERP application has its own database system for handling data.
Each department have their respective data storage which is meant for that specific department. ERP comes as a solution to such problems by considering all the aspects of a business like its hierarchical structure and functional flow scenarios, thus offering an enterprise solution. Hence access to any department specific information gets easier with a centralised database system.
Need for ERP testing:
ERP testing is not the same as testing any other software application. As we know an ERP application is domain specific, so with respect to a particular domain ERP testing becomes a crucial factor.
An incorrect implementation may result in project failures as a result of an inefficient test planning.
So ERP testing is a way of assuring whether it is able to deliver the required functionality. Few types of ERP testing is listed below:
Functional testing - To validate the ERP system delivers the expected results.
Installation testing - To see whether the ERP application is having any issues at the time of installation or post installation.
Interoperability testing - This testing simply aims at testing whether the ERP application is compatible with other software components.
Interface testing - Interface testing is to ensure that data is passed correctly through the given interface and the control mechanism handles the interactions properly.
Load testing - To check if a system is able to handle data beyond the specified limit.
System testing - This is to ensure that the system as a whole fulfils the expected requirements.
Security testing - Security of an application is important because it may be vulnerable to threats. In the context of ERP application user authentication is very important.
ERP Testing Checklist:
When a company plans to set up an infrastructure for ERP testing, it must plan in advance by preparing a checklist to ensure that every important aspect is covered from a tester's perspective.
Identify the project for which the ERP testing is intended.
Check for the total number of modules available and those that have already been released for the application under test.
Identify the number of target customers who are going to use the ERP application.
Analyse the amount of effort to be invested in writing test cases, test suite, test execution and test reports.
Take into consideration the previous testing strategies and try to analyse the impact of the same on the test execution plan.
Categorise the test scenarios that can be tested and those that can be automated.
Estimate the test environment/framework in which the testing is to be completed.
Outline quality assurance strategy along with quality metrics for ERP testing that are to be used in both manual and automation testing.
Review and carefully analyse the automation test scenarios.
Be it manual or automation we must analyse the best practices to be adopted for improving the efficiency and productivity.
A group of experienced professionals can offer optimal solutions for a given problem.
Maintain a set of test scripts to be used in the process of automation testing.
Determining the process of collecting test data, the input and output of which must be analysed by a domain expert.
Some of the major ERP vendors are - SAP insurance, SAP banking, Microsoft Dynamics NAV (small and medium enterprise), Microsoft Dynamics AX (large enterprise customers)
ERP testing if conducted in a strategic way, may fetch positive results which shall benefit the company adopting an ERP solution. Selection of appropriate tools for a specific company should be done considering the needs for the company and the resources it must deal with.