The most recent and most popular celebrity in the SAP family, SAP S/4 HANA is a future-ready enterprise resource planning system with built-in intelligent technologies that include AI, machine learning and advanced analytics.
Being the newest in the market, SAP/4HANA naturally comes with a lot of questions for beginners on its functioning, essential features, and the need to test after every single migration process to ensure the shift is accurate and all apps and datasets related to it are functional.
This article will walk you through the basics of all about SAP/4HANA, the changes that will incur once you have successfully migrated your systems to HANA and the need to perform continuous testing to ensure optimum functionality of your applications.
What is SAP S/4 HANA?
As mentioned above SAP/4HANA, an acronym for High-Performance Analytical Appliance is a successor of SAP R/3 and SAP ERP that is optimised for SAP’s in-memory database SAP HANA. SAP HANA is a market-leading in-memory database that offers real-time processing speeds and a dramatically simplified data model. It helps transform business processes with intelligent automation.
Key Features of SAP S/4 HANA
SAP/4HANA comes with its newest features that can offer innovative solutions to your business by seamless integration. It can help you gain speed in your database hosting and development processes.
SAP HANA’s features are categorized into four major aspects
· Database Management
SAP/4HANA enables organizations with improved data administrations and monitoring, workload management and security. It comes with the newest high availability and disaster recovery features that can help your organization protect their most vulnerable yet private data applications with the help of a multi-target system replication option
· Data Enhancement
Data enhancements benefit companies with data modelling, integration and a unique multi-user stage architecture. It can help you integrate data between multiple sources inside or outside SAP/4HANA systems
· Advanced Data Analysis
Advanced processing helps SAP/4HANA to use machine learning and predictive analytics into your custom applications. Latest algorithms have been updated to the Predictive Analytics Library (PAL) to enhance processing. Features like Text analysis, graph, and geospatial enables you to support a more complex analysis of your data and make better-informed decisions
· Application Development
The new application development feature can provide you with updated functions to work on various programming languages that can help you enhance your server’s performance, simplify the tools, and expand use cases
Why do we need to test?
Broadly, there are three key changes including business, compliance or technology drivers that can cause ongoing and discrete changes on SAP HANA. Reasons for these changes of events could be:
- new implementations
- new processes
- consolidation activities
- custom developments
- implementation of Support Packages, Patches & Builds
Intelligent software testing experts can notice that SAP S/4 HANA is the central component of the infrastructure that faced dozens of Support Packages, Patches & Build changes in the last two years. The greatest number of updates are expected to come from it and hence there’s a strong need to ensure testing of SAP HANA after every stage.
Let’s take a closer look at the key changes that are expected to pop up while making a shift to SAP HANA from SAP ECC:
Key Changes in SAP S/4 HANA System
· HANA Database
Although the former three-tier architecture system i.e. the database layer, application layer, and presentation layer are still in place, SAP has introduced its own database system called HANA. The new S/4 HANA can run only on its own database system, unlike its former SAP ECC. There is an in-memory computing engine that allows HANA to process data stored in RAM that would enable HANA to process large amounts of data in a shorter period
· SAP Fiori
SAP Fiori is the new dynamic interface of S/4HANA that provides great user experience across on-premise and other cloud solutions. It’s a browser-based user interface that can run across devices including mobile phones
· Master Data
With the idea to master data in all forms, SAP S/4 HANA has come up with the concept of a Business Partner. They have integrated every customer and vendor data needs into one system. Going forward, Business Partner will be a single point of entry to create, edit, and display master data for business partners, customers, and vendors alike
· Further Changes
Other than the new data integration system established, many other functional changes have been introduced. For example, the changes in the material requirements planning that works as an extension to the material numbers stretching it from 18 to 40 characters, along with an advanced available-to-promise (ATP) process
Role of Testing in SAP HANA Migration
While the above-mentioned changes are an upgrade to your current systems, testing after every single step can ensure that your HANA project is free from errors. There is a list of system testing that need to be scheduled to ensure optimum performance towards the end of your migration.
All these tests can be broadly divided into 4 different categories:
· Functional Testing
Other than ensuring that the reports generated in S/4 HANA are accurate, functional testing ensures that the applications and data being used for testing are fully functional. It verifies BI reports in contrast to transactional information that’s conducted by functional testing. Additionally, functional testing ensures your data is functional across devices including mobile phones
· Role-based Testing
After the import of models from BW InfoProvider to an S/4 HANA, it is important to ensure all tile-based authorizations are followed. This is done by role-based testing techniques
· Performance Testing
Performance testing ensures that the latest HANA project is performing well. At first, these performance tests ensure real-time data transfers across Sybase replication services by shifting the load off the transactional system. Secondly, many performance benefits are realized for analytics, dashboards and reports that can be achieved driving the load against post-conversion HANA based BW
· Report’s testing
It is essential to verify BI reports ever since HANA systems were introduced that combined real-time analytics with transactional information. It verifies the accuracy of HANA based BI reports along with ensuring that all these reports are fully functional
Migrating to SAP S/4 HANA is a complicated process that involves a list of stages. Once migrated a lot of systems in your infrastructure would change which means it’s important to ensure that every single migration process is thoroughly tested.
Though time-consuming make sure you do not cut corners when it comes to testing your migration to SAP S/4 HANA or it may directly impact the performance of your applications. Ensure that you spend quality time in testing your systems to avoid unforeseen glitches in infrastructure.
If you need help ensuring your migration is error-free then approaching a software testing expert is a better way to move ahead. We at ImpactQA help provide quality SAP testing services and we deliver solutions at every other step of your SAP journey from ECC to SAP HANA and beyond.
If you have a new testing project in mind, then schedule a call now and our testing experts will get in touch with you.