SAP Testing

What is SAP testing? 

SAP testing is the test approach for testing the ERP software made by the german software developer SAP. This approach has a generic setup so that it can be translated quite easily to other ERP solutions like Oracle EBS or Peoplesoft. 

The test approach can be summarized in the acronym PRACTICES UP: 


All these focus areas are more or less part of a complete or partially ERP implementation, upgrade or migration for test. 


All ERP focus areas are housed in a structured adaptive matrix which distinguishes the best approach for each focus area. The following categories are made:

Motivation What is the reason this particular area is so important?
Preventive Measures  What measures can be taken as early as possible in the Software Life Cycle Development to find errors and improve quality?
Quality Attribute Which quality attributes are best supported in which focus areas? (Functionality, Reliability, Performance, etc..)
Test Base What type of documents are relevant for the focus area?
Where Within which test type belongs the focus area (UT, SIT, FAT, UAT, PAT)
Coverage Based (Formal) Which formal test specification technique is most useful in this focus area? (more applicable for SAP Tester)
Experienced Based (Informal) Which informal test specification technique is most useful in this focus area? (more applicable for End User)

For a successful SAP Test Approach a combination is needed of all PRACTICES UP focus areas in relation with these categories.

PCT = Process cycle test ET = Exploratory Test BPM = Business Process Models
DCoT = Data Combination Test CKL = Checklist FD = Functional Design
EG = Error Guessing BBP = Business Blueprint TD = Technical Design

People involved

Like many other ERP packages, SAP is linked to all integrated business processes. The continuity of the business processes is assured by testing intensive and thus to determine whether an implementation or upgrade can be put into production succesfully. The approach of SAP testing here is therefore not in outline different from other ERP packages. A structured approach and standard set of test techniques described in TMAP can be used easily by a professional experienced test.

Authorizations, customization, interfacing (both SAP internal and external) and conversions are parts that are often mentioned as components that make SAP so unique. Standard SAP functionality does not need to be tested. Even then these area parts can be called unique and is near many ERP packages and therefore the emphasis of testing right on issues such as customization and interfacing.

The best test team in ERP consists of a team with the following members:

  • Functional SAP consultants (Functional SAP consultants with (TMap®) test experience) – They know SAP, they don’t know the customer specific business processes
  • Key Users – They know the specific business processes, but are not the functional SAP specialists
  • Application Management/ Maintenance – Eventually, after testing, the handover of all soft- and test ware will be done towards AM. To involve them in the test process, earlier and easier acceptance will take place


In most cases the development method in an SAP project is a traditional, waterfall based method. This means that the test artifacts that are created correspond to that of a TMap NEXT test project. This means that a Master test plan is created at the start, that there will be standard progress reports and the project will be concluded with a release advice and a test report.

Success Factors

  • Knowledge of SAP is essential, as non-changed but relevant functionality is never described in functional and/ or technical designs.
  • Understanding the data structure within SAP, and additionally creating or retrieving and using test data is an extra challenge in SAP environments.
  • Knowledge and experience of most SAP appropriate tools (i.e. Solution Manager) or tool suites is of great value for each test professional.
  • Knowledge and experience of latest SAP technology developments such as HANA or S/4 HANA.
  • ERP/SAP Test Experience from several assignments in all industries -> Lessons learned and common pitfalls are covered.
  • Knowledge of specific and relevant test techniques which apply the best in a SAP environment.
  • Setting up international ERP/SAP testing team according to the rightshore model.
  • Handling SAP defect management -> differences between enhancements and standard SAP.