Importance of Leveraging Stress Testing for ERP Systems
Are you bombarded with terms like scheduling, visibility, and data engineering? Do these words frighten you? You can say goodbye to complexities and welcome organizations with ERP systems.
The global ERP software market will reach $100k million by 2025 (Statista). An ERP system can help your business:
- By making it more productive
- Streamlining the processes
- Increasing visibility into the different departments
- Removing bugs from your existing systems
Testing your ERP system for performance and load as part of the implementation is essential. It will help you know if your system is ready to go live.
Read on to learn about the benefits of stress tests, how they are used in real-world scenarios, and the process.
Importance of Stress Testing in ERP Systems
When implementing an ERP system for your business, do it in an isolated environment. As a business, there is limited scope to carry out ERP testing for extreme load situations. You may not be able to judge if your system can perform under varying conditions. The stress test will learn how your system endures the different variables.
Let’s discuss why stress testing is essential.
It will identify how your system performs when the traffic increases. Furthermore, it helps answer questions like:
- Can the system work in abnormal conditions?
- What happens when the system fails?
- How long does it take for the system to recover?
A typical use case:
- Healthcare: The practitioners add all appointment-related data to the ERP. In case the system fails, they miss necessary appointments. They may not be able to add important information related to the patient to their records. It can cost them heavily going forward.
- Retail: The user will not get informed about the stockouts in real-time.
Test the Limit
Every ERP system is designed for a specific number of customers. When the numbers exceed, the system breaks down. By testing the limit, you will know:
- The maximum number of customers that can simultaneously work on ERP
- The limit for requests sent to the system.
When you know the limit, you can accordingly plan the operations so that the ERP system stays active and available.
A typical use case:
- Healthcare: Say a person is viewing the records while another is editing. At this point, if the limit of users has exceeded, then the algorithm shuts the data for one person. It offers limited accessibility, which can harm the experience.
- Manufacturing: When the system shuts down or offers limited access to one department, it hampers their work and productivity.
Test the Scenario
The stress test can help judge the system for different conditions. You will know if the system can handle 100 requests in a day or not. It will help us understand what kind of transactions the system can handle.
A Typical use case:
- Retail: Your ERP is used in PoS to manage different payment transactions in retail.
- Multiple users can try payment at the same time using different payment options.
- It can increase the load on the payment systems.
- The retail business should test the ERP for this scenario to ensure a smooth payment experience.
You can define the preventive methods in case your system reaches the breakdown limit. You can conduct code cleaning or database structuring based on your test outcomes.
A Typical use case:
- Manufacturing: If two engineers are assigned to assess the machine performance and maintenance records manually, the data will differ owing to several factors. This can further impact the manufacturing processes, which can hamper the experience. Your system should be ready to embrace these issues and identify the solutions.
With stress testing, you will know whether or not your system is vulnerable. It will help you tighten the security during implementation for the best outcomes.
A Typical use case:
- Retail: If your retail ERP system is not checked for external applications and data exchange, you may notice vulnerabilities in the system. Ensure you test for this scenario and mitigate the security risks.
The Stress Testing Requisites
As a software testing company, you should schedule and organize a thorough stress testing before going live with your ERP system. Here are the requisites to focus at during ERP testing.
- Planning Document: Create a planning document that comprises every aspect of stress testing for the perfect outcome. The planning document should include:
- Transparent Communication: Setup communication protocols for accessible communication
- Similar Server Environment: The company should conduct the testing on a server similar to your production environment.
- Network and System: Ensure the network strength is identical to the production environment
- Tests for Scenarios: Plan the different scenarios and test your system for the same.
The Best-fit Methodology for Testing ERP Systems
A proper process and methodology should be in place when conducting a stress test of the ERP systems. You should adopt the best practices that can improve your test outcomes.
Define the Objectives
When planning stress testing for the ERP system, you should determine the test’s purpose. Identify the objectives you aim to accomplish with this test.
It will help determine the test case scenarios, documentation, and test tools. You can also define the team when you are clear about the objectives.
Create the Governance Structure
The administration of stress testing should be clear and defined.
- You should first determine the team members, roles, and hierarchy
- The team will be responsible for conducting the stress test
- They will be overlooking all aspects of the test
Every person within the team should be clear about the roles and responsibilities they share. Having a person to manage the entire test is equally important.
Identify the Risks
As a software testing company, you should identify the risks of stress testing your ERP systems. Know the parameters that can lead to vulnerabilities in the system. Account for issues that can occur with the testing systems.
Once you know the issues, you should focus on mitigating the risks. You should also capture the material and infrastructure-related risks when determining the tests.
You can determine the risks and mitigate them when planning the test cases.
Stress test for ERP systems is an essential aspect of implementation. It will help you realize the system’s performance in the real world. You will know if your system can handle a sudden increase in load, breakdown, and limited availability of bandwidth.
When performing stress testing for ERP systems, there are several factors to consider. Partnering with the right ERP testing service provider like ImpactQA is crucial to ensure you follow the best communication protocols, identify the risks, and plan for the tests.