Skip to Content
Product Information

Manual Testing with Test Steps Parameters

In this blog article I will describe a new functionality for Manual Testing with SAP Solution Manager that comes with Focused Build SP06 (ST-OST): Test Steps Parameters.

Current Situation

Focused Build Test Steps serves you with a comprehensive set of capabilities for manual testing, from test case design through test execution to test reporting. To design a new test case, you can easily take over content from Solution Documentation directly into the test case description. With a few manual additions the first version of your test case is completed and ready for test execution.

However, a test case usually consists of different parts: a rather stable description of what testers should do and a frequently changing set of data that testers should use during execution. But how can you link your test case description with such master or testing data? And what can you do if you want testers to execute the same test case with different data, for example different plants or products?

So far you would either add an external file to your test package which holds the testing data or create separate but similar test cases to distinguish, for instance, between different plants. Both approaches show some advantages but also significant disadvantages when taking a closer look:

Test data in external file Test data inside (separate) test cases
Test Design
  • Only one test case required
  • Test data for different test executions of the same test case is defined in a separate file
  • Low maintenance efforts when test data changes
  • Need to define several overlapping test cases to distinguish between different master/test data
  • Maintenance of overlapping test cases becomes complex and generates additional efforts when test data changes
Test Planning/ Management
  • Test cases and related test data files / external repositories need to be assigned to testers properly
  • Changing test data can be done without changing test cases. Maybe even without changing the test plan when using external repositories for test data.
  • No need to offer external files or repositories to testers, only test cases are required
  • Changing test data requires changes to all affected test cases, test plans, test packages and test executions.
Test Execution
  • Testing is more complex because testers need to match the right test case with the right test data file / repository
  • Jumping between test case and external file is error-prone and generates additional user efforts
  • Testers can find test instructions and related test data at one place, no need to switch between different files or user interfaces
  • Less error-prone and more efficient testing due to reduced complexity for testers

Wouldn’t it be better if we could have a functionality that covers both: the flexibility of a separate test data value maintenance as well as the ease-of-use having all in one place during test execution? And this is what Test Steps Parameters is all about!

In a Nutshell: Creating and Using Test Steps Parameters

To make use of Test Steps Parameters, the following 3 steps need to be taken:

  1. Create a Group and a referring Parameter in the Test Steps Parameters application
  2. Use the Parameter in Test Steps Designer via the context menu
  3. Assign data values to the Parameter referring to a Test Plan, Test Package and Tester

Afterwards the test case can be executed and test data values can be found as seamlessly integrated part of the test case description and instructions.

In the following I will describe each step in more detail.

Prerequisites

Besides the general setup of Focused Build Test Steps and Test Steps Parameters (see instructions in the Configuration Guide for Focused Build SP06), you need specific authorizations to make use of Test Steps Parameters. The authorization role for Focused Build – Test Managers (SAP_OST_FB_TEST_M) covers all necessary authorizations, including authorization object SM_TPLN (maintenance authorization) to perform Value Assignment and FB_TS_CLOG to display the Value Assignment Change Log.

In case you still cannot find the Test Steps Parameters tile in your Fiori Launchpad group Focused Build – Test Manager, you might have to add it manually via the catalog.

1. Create your first Test Steps Parameter

To create a Test Steps Parameter, go to Fiori Launchpad of SAP Solution Manager (transaction SM_WORKCENTER) and navigate to the group Focused Build – Test Manager. From there you open the application Test Steps Parameters.

Before you can create your first Test Steps Parameter, you first have to create a group. This group will arrange the referring parameters in a context menu in Test Steps Designer application. The functions to create groups and parameters can be found directly in the first screen of the Test Steps Parameter application.

Once you created a group and a parameter, you can find all related details like assignments to test cases and test plans in the details view. As soon as you make use of the parameter within a test case, you will find an entry in tab Usage in Test Cases. If such a test case is also selected within a Test Plan, you find the Test Plan in tab Test Plan Assignments. Here you also see if there are any missing value assignments for this parameter.

2. Use the Parameter in Test Steps Designer

In Test Steps Designer you can immediately use your new Test Steps Parameter via the context menu. In all long text fields (e.g., description, prerequisites, instructions, custom fields, etc.) on Header and Test Steps tab you can access this menu via a right mouse click.

When picking a parameter, it will be added in curly brackets, e.g. {Material-Number}, to the text at the position where you opened the context menu. As soon as you save the test case, the parameter usage will be saved as well and can be found in Test Steps Parameters application.

3. Value Assignment

Finally, you need to assign values to your parameters once they are used as part of a test case within a test plan. During execution of the test plan, all Test Steps Parameters will be substituted by values defined with the Value Assignment.

For each parameter you find the assigned test plans in the respective tab in the Test Steps Parameters application. Alternatively, you can access the Value Assignment dialog by clicking on Assign Values and selecting a test plan.

The value for a Test Steps Parameter can be assigned globally for the entire Test Plan. If needed, you can also define several values for the same parameter within the same Test Plan by separating them through Test Packages and Testers. This way you can execute the same test case with different test data.

Important notes:

  • When having several values defined for the same parameter, the most specific assignment will be considered for test execution.
  • For test cases with testing mode “Shared Results”, the value assignment of the first tester is considered only to make sure that testers work with the same parameters.
  • The value assignment is not possible in case the Test Plan is in a locked status or you do not have sufficient authorizations (auth. object SM_TPLN).

For a better understanding, let me illustrate the value assignment for the following exemplary Test Plan:

Parameter Test Package Tester Value
Plant Walldorf
Product Package1 S/4HANA Cloud
Product Package2 Mary C/4HANA
Product Package2 Peter SAP Solution Manager
Product Package2 SuccessFactors

 

  • During execution, the parameter Plant will be substituted in all referring test cases with the value Walldorf independent from Test Packages or Testers.
  • The parameter Product will be substituted depending on the Test Package and Tester
    • In Package1 all testers will find the value S/4HANA Cloud
    • In Package2 tester Mary will execute the test case with value C/4HANA while tester Peter will use SAP Solution Manager as product
    • All other testers in Package2 except Peter and Mary will test with product SuccessFactors

Conclusion

Test Steps Parameters makes manual testing with Focused Build way more flexible. By distinguishing between test case description and test data, design & maintenance efforts are reduced significantly. At the same time, test execution is simplified and less error-prone because test data values are put directly into the test case at the right place for the right tester.

Credits

Many thanks to Christina Pickhardt for her valuable input while creating this blog article!

1 Comment
You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.