Why Service Virtualization is the Hidden Gem in SAP Testing

As organizations increasingly shift their SAP platform to S/4HANA and other products within the SAP portfolio, it becomes crucial to guarantee ‘business as usual’ operations during these transformations. But with so many aspects to consider, which testing approach is best to ensure a seamless transition?

From validating functional operations, ensuring performance and scalability, integrating with other cloud services, securing data, and enhancing end-user experience, the role of end-to-end testing really is all encompassing. As it’s become increasingly crucial to adopt an integrated view of system implementation, for many, service virtualization has emerged as a groundbreaking testing methodology in SAP S/4HANA transformation programs.

Systematic and exhaustive testing delivers significant benefits
Service virtualization tools have been garnering significant attention among industry experts recently due to their ability in achieving defect-free product releases, ensuring timely deliveries without service disruptions. By simulating third-party systems and EDI/B2B partners, service virtualization can play a pivotal role in ensuring the systematic and exhaustive testing of all components.

And this has been evidenced in the 2nd State of Worldwide Business Assurance for SAP solutions report - conducted by Sogeti, Tricentis, Int4, and Capgemini - which reveals that 41.3% of respondents have embraced service virtualization/simulation tools for automating their manual SAP testing processes. Furthermore, service virtualization proves to be beneficial in complex SAP implementation projects, providing a more sustainable approach that reduces effort (48.9%), improves accuracy (47.1%), and enhances business processes (43.1%).

Achieving the highest standards of quality assurance
In comparison to traditional end-to-end (E2E) testing, the report suggests that service virtualization offers an organized and structured approach for comprehensive testing of SAP transformation programs. This method significantly outperforms E2E testing in terms of efficiency and speed, making it a viable alternative in the early stages of SAP S/4HANA transformation programs.

Building upon the principles of deterministic and atomic testing, the survey reveals that service virtualization has effectively isolated and decoupled SAP projects from third-party systems and EDI/B2B partners. As a result, each test remains atomic and deterministic, maintaining the highest standards of quality assurance.

Service virtualization’s role in facilitating thorough, effective, and efficient API testing marks it as a crucial tool in the SAP quality assurance framework. It also paves the way for the adoption of novel, innovative methods such as generative Test-Driven Development (gTDD). This approach utilizes test cases derived from existing messages to auto-generate integration platform mapping programs, using AI technologies such as ChatGPT.

Clearly, service virtualization proves to be beneficial in addressing the challenges encountered during the implementation of SAP S/4HANA:

  • Simulating third-party systems not only reduces costs but also enhances productivity
  • Accelerates the implementation process by eliminating the need for co-ordination with multiple parties
  • Makes the implementation more sustainable by eliminating the requirement to establish matching tiers of test environments for third-party systems, thus allowing testing of the existing systems without the need for them to be online.

And these benefits can be seen in the results of our survey with organizations leveraging service virtualization/simulation reporting a 48.9% reduction in effort, while 47.1% report achieving more accurate results, and 43.1% experience improvements in their business processes. Overall, AI/ML technologies and service virtualization empower organizations to optimize their SAP testing processes and achieve seamless transitions by eliminating external dependencies, decoupling SAP testing from non-SAP applications, whilst yielding cost reductions.

Find out more…
In summary, service virtualization is a more effective and efficient way to conduct comprehensive SAP testing solutions. It enables a structured and systematic approach to address the complexities of SAP S/4HANA projects, resulting in optimized testing processes and seamless transition.

The State of Worldwide Business Assurance for SAP solutions – 2023 report aims to inspire you and your teams to develop an efficient and effective validation process for SAP implementation, transformation and testing. This in-depth assessment of the SAP environment provides a clear view of the developments and changes that are taking place currently, and are likely to continue in future. To help benchmark your own preparedness, including what measures can be taken to overcome integration challenges, download the report now.

If you’d like to explore service virtualization further, check out this course on openSAP : “Avoid SAP S/4HANA Project Delays with Third-Party Systems Service Virtualization.”

Get in touch

If you’d like to hear more about the topic, please get in touch with me. 

  • Michal Krawczyk
    Michal Krawczyk
    Co-Founder Int4
State of Worldwide Business Assurance for SAP solutions -2023