Business process-driven testing
A solution offering for better testing of software applications.
Business process models are deliverables created in the documentation (or so called “blueprinting”) phase of application implementation or customizing during enterprise resource planning (ERP). By generating test cases out of these business process models the models can be greatly leveraged for better quality assurance (QA).
Test cases are deliverables in different data formats for tools like Excel®, SAP® Test Workbench or HP Quality Center (HP ALM / QC). Logical gateways and other kinds of decision logic inside a process model define the process flow.
This approach of using process models for QA is also called model-based testing. It is not limited to a single process model or business procedure. Using reverse decomposition of the modeled business architecture, end-to-end process models are derived and used as the basis for real end-to-end testing.
Motivation for the model-based testing
Save money, reduce time for test case preparation to shorten preparation.
Standard applications like ERP solutions have comprehensive support for the execution of business processes, are complex and often heavily customized.
The main challenges in the quality assurance of IT supported business processes are:
- The manual preparation of test case results requires lots of time and therefore costs.
- The traditional design of test cases occupies otherwise deployable, qualified and expensive team resources.
- Insufficient integration testing means low production efficiency and increases maintenance efforts.
- Not all relevant test cases are captured and the test coverage of a business process is too low
- Incomplete tests may have serious impacts on production environment.
- Untested changes of risk-related processes (e.g. SOX) could have enterprise consequences.
- Bad test coverage potentially leads to low software quality and so may have a high business impact.
- An incomplete meshing of the test data will increase the negative impact.
- Insufficient reviews of work products and deliverables add to the negative impact.
About the methodology of model-based testing
Use existing assets from your BPM tooling
With the help of the BPM-X universal process model translator, existing model data can be re-used from existing BPM or BPA modeling tool, be it ARIS®, Sparx® Enterprise Architect, Microsoft Visio® or any other. The business process models including requirements and the diagram graphics are automatically loaded into the BPM-X Test-Case Generator.
Many different potential execution paths are possible when going from the start to the end of a business process. The test cases are generated from the potential execution paths based on different algorithms for process test coverage. Execution probabilities derived from the aggregate of individual logical decisions may be used to compute the overall probability of a specific execution path and therefore allow prioritization among the test cases to be tested.
The number of generated test cases depends upon the selected test coverage algorithm to optimize the efforts spent on test case execution. Test cases can be delivered as Excel® sheets or loaded directly via REST web services into HP Quality Center (HP QC/ALM) test plan. This includes the handling of functional and non-functional requirements and linking of requirements to test cases for requirements coverage. The created deliverables are available for further manual changes (say in the case of incomplete mapping). Based upon these generated deliverables, integration and regression tests can then be performed by test teams. Model-based testing is positioned in the context of test work flows and therefore supports the offshoring of test execution.
The BPM-X Test-Case Generator created deliverables may serve as templates for test automation with suites like SAP® eCATT or HP QuickTest.
Benefits of the solution
Bridge business with IT and build real traceability
The software supported approach for test case preparation relies upon the automatic generation of test cases thereby making isolated functional tests, incomplete coverage of the business logic and disregarded technical interfaces a thing of the past. BPM-X technology ensures the completeness of test coverage and so improves the quality of IT supported business processes. Some benefits can be mentioned such as:
- Business knowledge is preserved in process models and now directly leveraged for testing
- Better communication between developers and testers.
- Capability to automatically generate many non-repetitive and useful tests.
- Using test cases as templates to define test automation saves a lot of time.
- The update of test suites due to changed requirements is eased.
- Real end-to-end test cases permit an easier development of high quality integration tests.
- Capability to assess software quality.
- Overall shorter schedules, lower costs, and better quality are achieved.
Value proposition of this BPM-X offering
Avoid media breaks and overcome communication hurdles
This solution offering is straight forward in its approach closing the gap between business requirements, solution design and application delivery. BPM-X combines in this offering the facts of
- Reuse of existing business process models, regardless of the BPM and BPA tool or modeling language used, e.g. EPC, BPMN™, flow charts or whatever used.
- Select different test coverage algorithms to optimize testing efforts.
- Create deliverables as end-to-end process test cases in formats like Excel® files or BPMN™/XPDL process models.
- Identify ERP transactions, compliance issues, requirements, technical interfaces, as well as work products for selective testing in a process flow.
- Utilize test tools such as SAP® Solution Manager Test Workbench, HP Quality Center, or for convenience use Microsoft Excel® as a testing tool.
Read more about this solution offering in the BPM-X blog
- How process models help you define test data
- Reduce complexity in end-to-end process testing
- Metrics to objectively measure the quality in ERP and application projects
- The value-add you get from BPM to obtain better quality from IT solutions
- Sparx Enterprise Architect and HP ALM (HP Quality Center) – a winning team for business process driven test management