Table of Contents

    Table of Contents

    SAP Test Data Management Tools: Use Cases, Challenges and Solutions

    Amitai Richman

    Amitai Richman

    Product Marketing Director

    Managing test data for SAP can be challenging. Learn about the ideal test data management approach for SAP systems.  

    What are SAP Test Data Management Tools? 

    Test data management supports agile software development by provisioning test datasets, typically from production data and synthetic data

    A test data management tool is like a conductor for this complex orchestration – extracting test data from multiple sources, masking it to comply with data privacy regulations, and delivering test data subsets to test environments. 

    Testing SAP applications, such as SAP ECC or S/4HANA, is a uniquely challenging task because of their complex data structure, high degree of customization, extensive business logic, and the need for integration across various modules and business processes. Incomplete or defective SAP test data can lead to false positive and false negative test results, which erodes the productivity of SAP implementation teams, and the quality of the delivered software.  

    Therefore, SAP implementation teams are adopting specialized “SAP-ready” test data management tools to optimize the quality of their test data. 

    Get the latest Gartner report on test data management

    SAP Test Data Management Use Cases 

    There are numerous use cases for SAP test data management tools, notably: 

    • Test data generation 

      SAP test data generation involves provisioning a subset of data that’s moved from a higher SAP environment (typically production) to a lower SAP sandbox environment that’s used for testing. When the test data subsetting is well-defined, it can support testing, training, development, and QA efficiently and effectively. Towards this end, each SAP test data subset should include SAP master data (customers, vendors, or devices) and transactional data (orders, deliveries, or payments) that maintain referential integrity. 

    • Mergers and acquisitions 

      SAP test data management tools help organizations adapt to changes like mergers and acquisitions, which can measurably impact SAP systems. The reason? When business units are merged or discontinued, all SAP data needs to be extracted (and preserved, if necessary), which requires careful specification and replication of data subsets. For acquisitions, operational data of new entities needs to be integrated into the unified SAP system, requiring data for pre-integration testing.  

    • Migration to SAP in the cloud 

      Many organizations are migrating their SAP ERP applications to the cloud for enhanced agility, cost savings, scalability, security, and opportunities to leverage the latest technologies. But before they can do that, they need to test the operational impact of this shift in a non-production environment.  

    SAP Test Data Management Challenges

    Large enterprises typically run a 4-step process to implement changes to SAP systems. This can happen hundreds of times per month and may include: 

    1. Configuration and/or code changes in a sandbox environment, to isolate the changes from production  

    2. Unit testing of the changes in the sandbox environment, to ensure that core transactions perform as expected in every system (e.g., ECC, CRM, SRM) 

    3. Integration testing of the changes that have been unit tested, to ensure that the transactions align with, and flow correctly across, all modules and systems 

    4. Rollout of the changes in production, after successful integration testing

    This process requires accurate, fresh test data for every iteration. However, over time, sandboxed data grows stale and no longer represents the production environment.

    A common workaround requires skilled staff to copy production datasets to the sandbox for testing. This method, which involves manually copying SAP production data to a non-production environment, can double the SAP storage requirements and can interrupt development and QA for days or even weeks.What’s more, it leaves actual production data in non-production systems, in its original state – meaning that it may not compliant. Exposing potentially sensitive data to SAP implementation and testing teams poses not only data security risks, but also violates data privacy regulations.  

    Entity-Based Test Data Management Solution for SAP 

    An entity-based test data management approach is ideal for testing SAP ERP systems.

    An entity-based test data management solution ingests data from all relevant source environments (both SAP and non-SAP), masking and compressing it in flight. It then organizes the data into a test data store by business entities (e.g., customers, orders, or products), so testing teams can instantly: 

    • Subset SAP test data using business logic applied to the entities. 

    • Provision the test data subsets to the target SAP environment.

    • Refresh the test data store, selectively, on demand. 

    • Reserve test data to avoid testers from overriding each other’s test data. 

    • Snapshot and roll back the test data for reuse across testing cycles. 

    An entity-based approach to SAP test data management hides the complexities of the underlying source systems, enabling SAP testing teams to provision the test data they need instantly and safely. 

    K2view test data management tools for SAP simplify and streamline the test data management process, empowering SAP implementation teams to provision complete and compliant test data on demand. 

    Learn more about K2view Test Data Management Tools

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