Before releasing any software, testers need to look at various factors like real data, real interface, real user interactions and overall functionality to ensure a flawless user-experience execution once it goes live. This is where SAP day-in-the-life testing comes into play.
The day-in-the-life (DITL) testing means running a system the way it has been planned to work and behave on a daily basis. Large ERP systems and enterprise companies often perform this type of testing to ensure that systems are running as planned, and there are no last-minute disruptions before testers run user acceptance testing in the production environment. This testing phase is very important in applications that involve multiple integrations and interfaces on a large scale, as it provides an opportunity to find flaws that are difficult to detect at the subsystem level and cannot be detected before integration.
Let us take a deep dive into why large organizations are opting for DITL testing before launching their product.
What Is DITL Testing?
Day-in-the-life testing is commonly done when an app has multiple integrations with third-party applications. Generally, it gets confused with system integration testing (SIT) or user acceptance testing (UAT). Although DITL testing is related to both these testing types, it is different from them. Enterprise-level organizations perform DITL testing to assure that all their products are integrated correctly and their end-to-end business workflow processes are running as designed before going live.
During migration and transformation phases, many customers ignore the DITL testing phase and only focus on regular tests like regression testing, system integration testing, and user acceptance testing. Due to this oversight, enterprises often lose millions of dollars because of failures in the integrations and interfaces in the production environment just after they ‘go live.’
Performing DITL Testing
DITL testing is done by a QA expert with good business knowledge of the ERP product. It is generally done by experienced QA testers who are (SME) subject matter experts. They execute, validate, and confirm that all the use-cases developed for the application involving all the integration of the business tools are working as expected on a daily basis. Based on expertise, a specific segment/set of real-time data is necessary to validate the use cases or user stories. These are preferably related to each other and are assigned to these types of testers.
When Is the Right Time To Execute DITL Testing?
It is not that simple to define when to execute DITL testing on any large-size enterprise system as this stage comes between the system integration testing phase and the user acceptance testing phase. This type of testing involves real-time:
- Users and their roles
- Set authorizations
- Job executions
In simple terms, with real-time business execution, one can get to a production environment before going live with the system. Hence, it is always recommended to perform DITL testing before UAT.
Real-time Common Example
SAP day-in-the-life (DITL) testing is a very common example where this type of testing is performed to ensure that the ERP system works as expected on the real users using real data to manage the business. Enterprise SAP systems involve multiple departments (like finance accounting, human resources, production, warehouses, sales & distribution, etc) with complex integrations of factors such as job execution, data, users, and much more. SAP DITL testing helps in finding out real-time issues during their interactions using real transaction data, user roles, and authorizations from end-to-end workflows.
Benefits of Performing DITL Testing
Generally, it is beneficial for large-size systems and enterprise platforms to have multiple integrations with third-party vendors, tools, and applications. This is why executing DITL testing can give you the following high-level benefits:
- Reduction in production defect leakage by finding blocker defects and fixing them before user acceptance testing.
- Reduction in the overall cost for large enterprises, by implementing pre-release fixes in a software release cycle of ERP software system.
- New features and legacy testing with real-time interfaces before releasing the product. Hence one can analyze end-user responses well in advance and take action appropriately (if required) based on how users interact with the system.
- Real-time validation of users with their respective assigned permissions and authorizations for using the ERP system.
- Performance, crash, and system down issues can be found and resolved before release to ensure volume-based transactions and frequently used transactions are working without delay.
Due to these benefits, the DITL testing approach provides assurance for business teams to release their products in the market with ease.
What Are the Challenges of Performing DITL Testing?
DITL testing is often performed for large ERP organizations like Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP-based platforms involving large volumes of transactions, data, users, and report execution on a daily basis. For such enterprises, not every business day is the same. QA experts might often find it difficult to plan and organize these tests for the following reasons:
Availability of Skilled QA Resources and Access to Real-time Systems
DITL testing involves trained SME or QA experts’ availability for extended periods of time along with access to all the systems, real users, and data volumes. All this increases the upfront cost of the software development cycle, before getting any actual return on investment.
Regular Changes In The Real-time Platform
Every system is evolving on a daily basis with the addition of new features and platform enhancements. Every time a new release of code and configuration goes into the production system, the product team wants to be sure that they do not cause any significant processing change beyond what one expects to change. Hence, to set the new environment every time to perform DITL testing for such scenarios takes a lot of time to assemble and execute. It becomes more hectic when new features are added to the systems.
Hence one needs to plan the DITL timelines efficiently so that the time spent on DITL testing gives the best results. Testers at QASource can help in evaluating and defining these timelines as they know integration, regression, and automation testing which will aid in DITL testing.
Tips and Tricks While Performing DITL Testing
Here are some tips and tricks that would be handy while performing DITL testing:
- Tip-1: Make sure the QA tester performing DITL testing is a subject matter expert in the area or modules assigned for testing.
- Tip-2: Always analyze and define the scope for DITL testing keeping in mind commonly used business scenarios based on the bulk transactions, user roles, and permissions involved by creating an extensive test plan having complete documented use cases explaining all the steps involved. Once the DITL tests are performed, document the findings and share the executed report.
- Tip-3: Make sure the environment setup is a clone of production with real-time data, user roles with authorizations, interfaces, volumes, and job executions. Faking DITL testing in a Dev or QA environment is not recommended.
- Tip-4: Before going for DITL testing, one should make sure that integration testing and regression testing have been performed beforehand as setting up DITL set-up involves a lot of time and effort. Defects that could have been found in integration or regression testing in a QA environment will cost less to fix as compared to the same defects found in DITL testing involving a large volume set-up.
- Tip-5: For large enterprises, DITL testing is essential. For small size and start-ups, DITL testing recommendations should be based on the organization's budget constraints as it is already mostly covered under integration testing.
DITL testing involves skilled QA experts, and a real-time production setup with real-time data and users, hence, this type of testing is often done in enterprise-level organizations. No business owner wants to find issues in production, so consequently DITL testing has found its importance and place in already defined software testing cycles. Large organizations use various applications that are integrated with several third-party tools and interfaces, so the benefits of DITL cannot be ignored. Also, automated testing should be deployed as an effective method to ensure that the core business is not affected by new releases of code, thus aiding DITL testing to be executed with the best results before the software goes live.
With more than 20 years of experience, QASource has provided exceptional testing services to enterprise-level companies who are using various integrated software solutions in their respective domains like healthcare, financial, retail, media streaming, legal, and eLearning to expand their business. Hence DITL testing always plays an integral role in the success of all these large organizations. To know more about DITL testing for the SAP platforms, contact QASource now.