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Testing in an S/4HANA project – what exactly?

SAP S/4HANA testing is not limited to the implementation and go-live phases of a project. Standard functionalities and extensions of the S/4HANA package should also be factored in. But does this also mean more and more effort?

In its digital core, S/4HANA offers a functionally advanced standalone package as the ‘digital core’, which not only simplifies and accelerates business processes, but also testing. I will explain what this means exactly and how a ‘clean core’ leads to clean test automation below.

What is the SAP strategy in S 4/Hana?

SAP S/4HANA is the fourth version of SAP Business Suite. Its strategy is designed to run exclusively on the SAP HANA in-memory platform, providing companies with a functionally advanced ‘digital core’ capable of integrating, simplifying and accelerating processes.

SAP’s S/4Hana Cloud strategy, on the other hand, focuses its work on further development to offer even more advanced functionalities than the digital core provides. There will continue to be a focus on the test and delta functionality in the latest versions.

What is SAP S/4HANA testing?

SAP S/4HANA testing is a process where the ERP system is verified as free of errors and the specified requirements are met. The goal in this test process is to deliver the best possible software quality in SAP S/4HANA to efficiently analyse and solve existing problems or new risks. This means that testing is a QA process that ensures and verifies that everything is working correctly before the go-live.

SAP S/4HANA testing is not limited to the implementation and go-live phases of a project. SAP S/4HANA is a new generation ERP that receives new releases and updates every three to six months, which must also be checked for errors and specified requirements. SAP S/4HANA testing is an ongoing process, so regular testing is essential with each new update.

What challenges come with this new strategy? What testing tools are available for S/4 HANA?

The SAP S/4HANA strategy is updated and released every three to six months. The challenge here is that you need a team of IT professionals who are constantly available to perform the updated tests. The team must be able to perform and review the upgrade, tests and documentation.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud, for example, provides a test automation tool for this purpose to simplify processing and complete tests within the timeframes required. The test automation tools available on the S/4HANA Cloud system are test catalysts for the testing process. These pre-built test catalysts, such as test scripts, help companies accelerate the implementation of the testing process largely by providing documentation and recording capabilities. These test scripts are useful when testing business process configurations or business process flows, for instance.

How do you keep the core clean and make upgrading and automated testing easier?

The phrase ‘keep your core clean’ refers to the fact that the SAP system should have only minor adjustments made directly in the core. However, this doesn’t restrict you from customising directly in the core with SAP S/4 HANA, which is the case with traditional development.

A clean core makes it easier to upgrade and automate testing while doing a little customisation. The main issue is maintaining the release capability of the system. This helps innovators release new versions of SAP.

However, upgrading in the future will be all the more difficult if each update brings a change to the core of the system with it. This has the consequence that the update cycle is prolonged and thus requires more time.

How can I customise in S/4HANA?

SAP automatically provides updates for SAP S/4HANA Cloud every three months. You can customise via the SAP Cloud Platform. The system core is the only thing that cannot be changed using the cloud system. To this end, SAP offers users various types of flexibility for customising the standard software.

How can I implement customisations in SAP/4HANA?

There are two ways to implement customisations in SAP S/4HANA.

1. In-app extensibility within SAP S/4HANA

2. Side-by-side extensibility via the SAP Cloud Platform

Which customisation or extension scenario is the right one?

Well, it depends on the context. Regardless of whether you choose side-by-side or in-app extensibility, both have significant advantages. Overall, they do not change the core of the system. That means they do not pose any problems in terms of extension. I will now examine both options in greater detail to help your choose the right one for your requirements.

In-app extensibility within SAP S/4HANA

In-app extensibility allows standard features to be customised without having to use external tools. SAP S/4HANA uses a built-in feature to implement changes faster. For example, a few specific changes – such as showing and hiding standard fields – can be set through customising.

Side-by-side extensibility via the SAP Cloud Platform

Side-by-side extensibility allows user companies to develop extensions and custom applications based on the SAP Cloud Platform. The core of SAP S/4HANA remains intact. However, the apps and extensions integrate into SAP S/4HANA via APIs.

With side-by-side extensibility, SAP customers can set up completely new processes. Side-by-side extensibility enables the existing process to be extended with the SAP Cloud Platform. At the same time, this implementation combines SAP S/4HANA data with other system data. It gives you full flexibility so that you can extend and customise applications.

What are the issues in SAP S/4HANA?

In the world of digitalisation, SAP S/4HANA testing is an important topic for business users as well as for decision makers in companies. According to Tricentis, more than 70 per cent of companies rely on manual SAP testing on average, while the remaining processes can be tested automatically. However, manual testing saves neither costs nor time. They can be inaccurate.

There are four main problems in S/4HANA testing here:

  • Insufficient tester documentation.
  • Low level of test automation.
  • Maintenance test of audits.
  • Cost-benefit analysis of testing.

What are the advantages of test automation?

  • 1. It helps in accelerating the testing and business process.
  • 2. It provides an accurate and short test cycle, which is essential when performing updates.
  • 3. It enables faster testing with pre-configured test scripts.
  • 4. It provides a recording functionality that makes it easier to create test scripts.
  • 5. It has easy-to-follow documentation complete with all of the necessary screenshots, especially in case of defects.
  • 6. It provides a dashboard of the complete tests.


SAP S/4HANA is the extended version, and this fourth version of SAP is updated every quarter. A typical SAP tester must have a deep knowledge and understanding of the company’s business process. You may need a certified consultant to implement SAP solutions.

adesso is a Gold Partner of SAP, based on strict evaluation criteria regarding service, quality and expertise. You will receive excellent quality from our adesso team in finding, implementing and accepting SAP solutions and its SAP standard business processes. Our adesso SAP experts regularly participate in SAP training courses and certifications. If you would like to learn more about our SAP portfolio, please visit our website.

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Picture Valentin Le

Author Valentin Le

Valentin Le is an SAP tech consultant and requirements engineer with strong strategic and operational acumen, digital expertise and general project management experience. He helps tech companies reach the next level of operational and organisational performance with transparency, trust and efficiency. Valentin is passionate about helping clients win in the new era of trust-based competition.

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