Custom Columns for Focused Build Test Steps
With Focused Build – Test Steps, designing and executing manual tests with SAP Solution Manager is simplified and accelerated. Many features like content-driven test case design, guided test execution or in-depth reporting capabilities enable a testing experience which was not possible in SAP Solution Manager before. Since SP06 of Focused Build with Test Steps Parameters you now get even more options to design your test cases and handle testing data in a flexible way.
In this article I want to focus on custom enhancement options for Test Steps as there is usually always a good reason to go beyond what’s possible with the standard application:
In Focused Build Test Steps you can add custom columns to the steps table and use these columns in Test Steps Designer as well as My Test Executions and the Test Suite Dashboard. In the following I will explain how to do this and which options you have when it comes to input fields with predefined values or even value helps.
Number and Types of Custom Columns
In total you can define up to 6 custom columns for the steps table. For each column you can choose from the following set of types. Please note: custom columns 5 and 6 allow for language-dependent texts only and cannot be used with the types Dropdown, Value Help or Checkbox.
- Dropdown offering predefined values via BAdI implementation for selection
- Value Help offering predefined values via BAdI implementation for selection within a dialog
- Text Line that renders as a single line of any free text
- Text Area that renders as several lines of any free text
- Checkbox perfect when you want to allow for a binary selection only (e.g., true or false)
How to integrate Custom Columns into the Test Steps table
You can define the custom columns via customizing table “/SALM/TM_C_STCS” in transaction SM30 or you navigate through the implementation guide (transaction SPRO) as shown below.
Besides the (language-dependent) Column Label and Column Type, you can further define the following attributes for each column:
- App lets you define in which application context the setting should take effect (either Test Steps Designer or My Test Executions or both apps). By using the copy function of the maintenance view you can add further lines with specific settings for each app.
- Order defines where the column will be placed within the table. Please keep in mind that there are also standard columns in place (see cutomizing view above in SPRO). The final sorting of columns will be put together based on the settings for standard as well as custom columns.
- Visible switches on/off the visibility of a custom column. This does not affect the data that is stored in this column. In case you switch off a custom column which was used so far, the data will still be kept and you can activate the column visibility later again if needed.
- Sub Step allows to show a column in sub steps as well.
- Execution Editable makes the column editable during execution in My Test Executions app as well.
Value Helps and Dropdown Values for Custom Columns
If you chose Value Help or Dropdown as the type of your custom column, you need to implement a Business-AddIn to retrieve the predefined values that should be offered through the input fields. Via transaction SE18 you have access to the enhancement spot /SALM/TM_TS_CUST_VHLP:
- The interface offers the method GET_VALUES_4_HELP which you can implement to return values through the exporting parameter ET_VALUES. The importing parameters IV_FLNA and IV_HELPKEY give you the name of the custom column (e.g., CUST_04) as well as the search value which might have been entered by the user within the value help dialog.
- When implementing the enhancement spot, via the filter FIELDNAME you define for which custom column the implementation should be called.
- The enhancement spot is shipped with an inactive sample implementation /SALM/TM_TS_CUST_VHLP_SAMPLE which you can take for further reference.
With custom columns you get even more options to design your test cases. Besides the standard columns which allow for a comprehensive description of what testers should do during execution, you can add additional columns to integrate further relevant information. The columns are available throughout the entire testing scenario from Test Steps Designer via My Test Executions until Test Suite Dashboard.
However, the general recommendation of keeping things short and simple also holds for custom columns in Focused Build Test Steps. While you can activate up to 6 custom columns, it is highly recommended to think of the complexity which is increased by each additional column. The Test Steps execution might get enriched with further information but at the same time harder to follow for the testers. Here it might be an option to make a standard column invisible if not needed and activate a custom column instead.