Archive for August, 2017

WHERE TO START WITH SAP S/4HANA

August 18th, 2017

Have you ever wondered, “Where do I start with SAP S/4HANA?” There are four strategies you can begin immediately that will pay off with a smoother deployment.

These strategies are written with new SAP deployments in mind. For organizations already running SAP ERP and converting it to SAP S/4HANA, the strategies would be a bit different.

Prepare Your Business Users

Getting business users involved is as important as any technical aspect of the project. This is because SAP S/4HANA is not merely ERP running in-memory. SAP S/4HANA uses a simpler data model to transform business processes. For example, there is no more data reconciliation between finance and controlling in the financial period-end close, ending the most tedious and error-prone part of the entire process. This is a major productivity win for finance, of course, but it is still a change and one they need to know up front.

Financial close improvements are just one example. Business Value Adviser can help you understand the many other process improvements. Also, most successful SAP S/4HANA projects begin with a prototype, often running inexpensively in the cloud on a trial system.

Prepare Your Data

SAP is ready with a complete set of data migration tools including templates, data mapping, and data cleansing capability. You can start investigating the data mapping right away. Since SAP S/4HANA is built on a simpler data model and has fewer tables, getting data into SAP S/4HANA is easier than with other ERP systems.

You should also decide how much historical data you want to include. You can reduce cost by using data aging so that only the most useful data is stored in memory while the rest is available on disk-based systems.

Organize the Deployment Team

Organizations new to SAP have nothing to decide when it comes to the deployment path. You set up a new SAP S/4HANA deployment and migrate data from the legacy system. Organizations already running SAP ERP have more to do at this point, especially if converting their system to SAP S/4HANA.

Instead, focus on the deployment team, perhaps bringing SAP experts on board through hiring or teaming-up with an SAP partner. The most successful deployments do initial workshops for functional planning, setup prototype and test systems, and start getting end user feedback early on.

The deployment team should also familiarize themselves with SAP Activate, for the latest best practices and guided configuration.

Determine the Deployment Destination

The move to SAP S/4HANA is an ideal time to bring ERP into your cloud strategy. Since it is likely that an organization new to SAP does not have SAP HANA expertise, this makes SAP S/4HANA a prime candidate to run in the cloud.

Perhaps a more accurate term, though, would be clouds. You have a complete choice of deployment with SAP S/4HANA, including public cloud, IaaS (Amazon, Azure), and private cloud with SAP or partners. On premise is an option as well, of course.

Other ERP products are completely different from one deployment option to the next, and many don’t even have an on premise or private cloud option. Whether the destination is on premise or clouds, SAP S/4HANA uses the same code line, data model, and user experience, so you get the consistency essential to hybrid or growing environments. This means that instead of supporting disparate products, IT spends more time on business processes improvement.

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by SAP on SAP S/HANA

http://news.sap.com/where-to-start-with-sap-s4hana/

 

 

QA trends to be aware of in 2017

August 18th, 2017

Based on recently published World Quality Report data and the most frequent QA demands from customers, below is a compiled list of QA trends that are going to make a difference in 2017. All of them are worth attention, as they can bring tangible benefits to QA vendors who build them into their service lines.

Test Automation

This is the undeclared king of QA services and remains the best way to speed release cycles, quickly test fixes, and rapidly evolve code in order to catch defects and not delay deployment. There is a still lot of room for improvement as many companies run manual testing, and are just now starting to think of adopting test automation.

Test automation is not an easy undertaking. It is quite challenging for many vendors and should be precisely tailored to the demands of every customer. It’s not a rare case when we have to deal with an already developed test automation solution that doesn’t fit the customer’s specific business context and has to be redeveloped.

Also, what we face is an increasing number of potential customers who worry their in-house QA team may be unable to handle the newly created solution. We understand their worries, and to comfort them a behavior-driven development (BDD) approach can be applied. It requires no script-writing skills and enables the QA team to more easily handle the automated tests.

Prediction

Script-less test automation will take on greater importance and test automation will keep going far beyond functional testing. It will provide opportunities for software testers to hone their full-cycle automation skills and not simply enhance their functional testing abilities.

Internet of Things

85% of World Quality Report participants say internet of things (IoT) products are part of their business operations. Most commonly, IoT devices and apps are tested for security, performance and usability.

Less frequently we test such aspects as compatibility, interoperability and resource utilisation, but they also matter to ensure flawless user experience.

To guarantee deep test coverage, we insist our testers should not just validate the device itself or its connection properties, but also to think outside of the box to check the most unthinkable, and rare scenarios, as the domain expertise is no longer enough for comprehensive testing of IoT products.

Example:

If you put on an Apple Watch, open the heart rate screen and then take the device off and place it on a pair of jeans or on a towel (fabric matters), the pulse rate reaches 200 beats per minute. Too much for a towel!

Is this situation real? And how should it be treated, as a bug or as functionality?

In fact, quite real: the user finishes his training in the gym, takes the device off and puts it on a towel. But to predict such a scenario a tester should act as a real user and test the device in real life.

Prediction

In the near future, the “out-of-the-box thinking” problem will be solved by means of artificial intelligence solutions. If designed well, they’ll provide real-time monitoring and analytics of IoT products.

Big Data

The digital revolution has led to the rise of big data. Large companies frequently ask for strategies to test big data systems that appear to be too large in volume to be managed in traditional ways.

The most frequent issues are not having enough storage space to back up test data, or not being able to manage the data on a single server. What we pay attention to when working on big data system quality assurance is the importance of verifying data completeness, ensuring data quality and automating regression testing. A tester has to be surgical about testing without taking a force approach.

Prediction

There will likely be new and innovative ways, methods and techniques to provide big data testing. Test automation will also be widely applied, as there is simply too much data and too little time to manually drill down into all the data.

New Service Types

Alongside traditional services, QA vendors are working to develop new services that will bring value to customers and help them gain a competitive advantage on the market. For example, our company has developed a baseline-testing offer. What is the idea? Baseline testing includes estimation of the application’s quality level in general and a roadmap to increasing its overall quality.

QA consulting and test advisory services are also gaining popularity. They’re needed among those customers who want to develop from scratch or improve in-house testing strategies rather than outsource testing needs on a regular basis.

Also, a vast number of testing service providers offer to establish a corporate Testing Center of Excellence. TCoE specialists run in-house tests and expand competencies of internal specialists.

Prediction

With traditional software testing services offered by many companies, QA vendors will think of new service lines to stay ahead of competitors.

Security Testing

It seems that trends are not only about emerging novelties. It’s also about popular topics. Security testing is one topic that will never go out of style. What QA providers should be preparing for now is to handle a steady increase in systematic testing of any type of software products, and to provide staff augmentation to enhance security testing and products development life cycle.

Mobile apps security is a significant field as the number of mobile devices and applications we download grows rapidly alongside with the number of attacks. Seemingly, the demand for security testing of mobile applications will also increase due to the large number of applications working with users’ personal data.

The importance of security testing of IoT products will also increase in 2017. The vulnerability of the IoT developments manifested itself when the Mirai botnet came up in 2016. It has been utilised by hackers to launch high-profile, DDoS attacks against different Internet properties and services. While there are mechanisms to mitigate DDoS attacks, there is no way to find out what the next target will be. Again, users should be aware of the threat of using simple passwords and opening devices to remote access. Security specialists should continuously expand their competencies working with all novelties on the market.

The importance of cloud computing security will also increase. More and more companies are resorting to the use of cloud-based solutions due to ease of use and the opportunity to quickly scale the architecture when needed. At the same time, cloud infrastructure is very attractive to any attacker, because it gives access to all company’s resources and personal information.

Prediction

To stop the vulnerability trend from becoming a reality in 2017, users, mobile app developers and software testers should join forces. Users have to become smarter downloaders and learn not to share personal data with every app installed; developers should follow, at the least, basic security practices; while testing engineers should be able to identify threats to the app and help develop countermeasures.

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Software Testing News

http://www.softwaretestingnews.co.uk/qa-trends-to-be-aware-of-in-2017/

 

Maximize the Value of Cloud ERP with SAP S/4HANA Cloud

August 4th, 2017

Today’s business is moving faster than ever thanks to digital technologies. In this environment, gaining a digital edge means gaining the ability to focus on what matters most to the future of your business and your customers so you don’t fall behind.

In this discussion with early adopters of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, it’s become clear why intelligent cloud ERP is at the core of their digital value creation.

Intelligent cloud ERP is not coming — it is here. It’s ready to be adopted, consumed, and built on.

In the cloud, SAP is going from the system of record to the system of innovation. Built on 45 years of experience with best practices, and translated that into a set of capabilities only possible with the cloud.

What that means for customers is access to a system that is fast to implement, easy to use, free from infrastructure maintenance, built to provide the highest process standards, and constantly upgrading to offer the latest in machine learning and other innovations. Time to value is dramatically reduced, innovation is delivered by SAP continuously and customers and partners are enabled to deliver innovation themselves.

Three themes emerged in the discussion to show why customers are finding a competitive edge and generating new value with our intelligent cloud ERP solution.

Speed is a Strategic Advantage

Business is moving incredibly fast, which is why it’s essential that you have a rapid-to-adopt intelligent core ERP. Intelligent cloud ERP enables you to quickly implement your new system across the organization and bring your core processes on board.

Beyond adoption, cloud also enables fast upgrades. We are pushing out regular quarterly upgrades and releases per year, providing customers with the latest technologies. This velocity of upgrades and new capabilities isn’t possible with an on-premises adoption.

And there is another aspect of speed customers can’t live without: the speed to see data in real-time and act on it. Real-time architecture provides data (knowledge) — and also the tools to act on it quickly.

Standardization to Best Practices is Critical

SAP S/4HANA Cloud is based on a Fit-to-Standard model that embeds best practices across the company. This model brings processes into alignment based on decades of experience and unique knowledge of effective and efficient core business processes. It’s a major break from the complex, customized ERP implementations of yesterday.

Customers tell us the Fit-to-Standard model helps them understand what they need to do and how to accomplish processes more efficiently.

According to Richard St-Pierre, president of C2 International, “The key value a cloud ERP unlocks is a simple way to operate. Especially for a smaller or midsize organisation, with at all the legal, encryption and backup requirements. It’s simply overwhelming for a small shop that doesn’t have a large IT team.  It is becoming way too complex for a company to operate. So, a cloud-based solution like S/4HANA Cloud is really the only option. The alternative simply requires too many resources that we don’t have.”

With a standardized core, they can move at higher velocity and take advantage of new technologies that differentiate their services, rather than focusing energy on creating customized solutions to common industry processes.

Simplicity Powers Business Success

One of the most popular innovations within SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the consumer-grade usability. Executives are confident that they can speed adoption internally with the easy-to-use interface, and for businesses with a distributed workforce, the full mobile capabilities increase the value of the solution exponentially. Instead of having to search out tasks that need attention, users have actions pushed to them, just as they recognize with a Twitter or podcast notification.

More strategically, the simplicity of SAP S/4HANA Cloud means customers don’t focus on infrastructure. Instead, they focus on the business, with the confidence that they’ll be supported on a regular basis — and receive quarterly updates that make the solution ever more valuable. Intelligent cloud ERP grows with you, whether growth is in scale or business function, without a team maintaining infrastructure and implementing potentially disruptive updates.

Intelligent Cloud ERP is Here Now

Competitors are already adopting a solution that provides greater speed, simplicity, and standardized best practices, and receiving regular infusions of the latest in machine learning and analytics capabilities. Don’t fall behind with outdated technology or an outmoded approach. Instead, learn how you can create value on the new intelligent cloud ERP.

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by SAP on SAP S/HANA Cloud platform

http://news.sap.com/maximize-the-value-of-cloud-erp-with-sap-s4hana-cloud/

How To Survive as a QA in a Software Development Team

August 4th, 2017

It is not always easy to be a software tester in a software development team. Developers will often consider software quality assurance (QA) people as inferior and would wonder how they could question the perfection of the beautiful code that they have just written. This article, discusses some of the physical and psychological issues that software testers are facing and propose solutions to avoid them.

What is usually considered in the first place when it comes to a discussion of a successfully finished software development project? Developers’ efforts, used stack of technologies, pros and cons of the chosen development methodology, etc. But the issues which the software quality assurance (QA) team members face from day to day are usually barely mentioned. In this article we will try to shed some light on this question and consider possible solutions of the most significant problems.

The list of day-to-day disagreements that can crush the will of a QA specialist can be divided into two groups: physical and psychological aspects. Physical aspects are caused by the peculiarities of the industry and describe the trends characteristic for most companies. Psychological aspects mostly belong to the sphere of interpersonal communication. You may or may not face them during your professional activities. It depends on the experience of your colleagues, features of project management, and other aspects specific to a specific company.

Physical Aspects: QA to Developers Ratio and Gender Imbalance

This section contains the issues associated with the software development industry itself. Even if you don’t have any experience as a member of a software testing company, you can predict some of the issues by analyzing the available statistical data. For example, let’s take a look at the ratio of testers to developers. Choosing the proper number of the QA team members depends on many aspects. Not all companies follow the Microsoft’s golden rule: “Keep developers to testers ratio equal to 1:1” and the most common ratio is 1 tester to 3 developers. It could even be 1 tester to 10 developers in some cases. The point is that in the most optimistic scenario, a QA specialist will have to handle the code written by three different developers. As a minimum. If the workflow was not adequately planned, you could find yourself overwhelmed with tasks very quickly. It can lead to a decline in productivity, stress, and frustration. Some software development approaches, like Scrum for example, imply regular meetings that can help discuss what has been done, what needs to be done, and what problems does the team have. This Agile context is a good chance for a software tester to attract attention to a great many tasks he or she has. But in the case of larger V model or Waterfall based projects that don’t imply regular meetings by design, there should be a mechanism for communication between teams. The project manager has to ensure that there are no unspoken opinions and QA team members are free to discuss the problems they face as well as ideas to solve them.

The next issue is related to the gender imbalance in the IT industry. According to the statistics, developers are mostly men and the world of QA is represented mainly by women. This situation can lead to different issues. The most obvious consequence is that the relationships between these teams can go far beyond professional etiquette. The problem can take different forms. The most innocuous of which is the common difficulties of communication between groups of males and females. Inappropriate behavior and flirting are fraught with more serious consequences and can influence the psychological climate inside the company. Strict company policy regarding inappropriate behavior in the workplace should be brought to the attention of all employees.

Psychological Aspects: “It Works on my PC” and why Team Building is Important

From time to time every QA team member faces the situation when a developer or a manager disagrees that a detected bug is a bug despite all the evidences. The arguments may vary. The most common situation usually looks like this. You come to the developer and describe the bug that you have just detected. But instead of running to his working place and fixing everything, he makes a helpless gesture and tells you: “But everything works fine on my PC!” Attempts to convince him to your point of view may spoil the relationships within the team and complicate further work on the project. It may look like a complex psychological issue, but it may have a relatively simple technical solution. Make sure that QA and development teams run the same environment. This approach can help to avoid the above problem.

Despite the fact that the peculiarities of the profession associated with solving technical issues, non-tech problems can be pretty difficult to overcome. Since you work with other people you should always remember that the impact of human factors such as subjective judgment can’t be underestimated. For example, what should you do when the project manager is so intended to finish the project as soon as possible, so he insists that a detected bug is not a bug at all and there are no reasons to spend extra time and efforts on solving it? Strict specifications and knowledge of products of large companies with similar functionality are magic pills that can prevent the possibility of discrepancies. Indeed, if your company has clearly defined what is a bug and what is a feature, then you don’t even have to convince anyone of your conscientiousness and can be sure that the work is not done in vain. When you know exactly what your potential competitors have to offer to their customers and there is a bug that can break the functionality of your product and deprive you of a competitive advantage, ignoring it can negate all efforts. Any manager in such situation will treat the opinion of the testing team with due attention.

The burden of responsibility for the quality of the released product is usually on the QA team. Unfortunately, in most cases, the ideas for improving the workflow proposed by testers are ignored. You can imagine what psychological pressure can be caused by the described situation. You must release the product in a limited time, you have no influence on how everything is done, and at the same time, you are considered responsible for its quality. It is an unpleasant situation indeed. The power to resist such challenges usually come along with the experience. If you can’t change the situation, you have to adapt to it. Even if you have to work on a tight deadline, don’t rush. Spend as much time as you need to prioritize code checking and depth of code coverage correctly, and you will be able to avoid undesirable consequences.

In most cases, the team of developers keeps apart from the QA team. Developers stick together, share common interests, and keep the distance from a person that looks at their code as a pile of bugs. Taking into account the fact that the overall number of testers in the company is lower than the number of developers, a QA team member can feel himself as an outcast sometimes. It can lead to a situation when testers and developers perceive each other as members of different castes but not the parts of a common mechanism. Various forms of team building activities can correct the situation. We do not necessarily talk about something costly. The key goal of team building is learning to solve problems together. In order to do this, you don’t have to climb the mountain along with your colleagues. This sounds exciting, but is not necessary. There are a lot of activities that can be held in your own office and will not take more than 20 minutes. Show some creativity and you will find dozens of ways of creating a team spirit.

Conclusion

The climate within a software development company is a pretty sensitive theme. The IT industry is a heterogeneous environment, and there is no single solution that can fit all the companies. Creating a good team spirit is a job that requires adaptation to conditions and flexibility. The desire to show one’s will despite everything will rather harm than benefit. We hope that combining the approaches presented in the article, you will be able to find your own and unique way of building the software development dream team.

Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Software Testing Magazine

http://www.softwaretestingmagazine.com/knowledge/how-to-survive-as-a-qa-in-a-software-development-team/