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Testing of the software and system is important for investigating the functions and effectiveness of purpose for which the system is designed. The major use of testing techniques and tool is to gain the information about the quality, reliability, accuracy and errors of software. The present report will analyze the testing methods and techniques that have been used for analyzing the performance, gaps in functions, optimization of process, adaptation usability testing of ERP. In the current scenario, most of the business use ERP (Enterprises Resource Planning) systems for managing day to day operations. Implementation of an ERP requires huge financial investment. ERP offer several benefits to the organisation like better planning and management of resources, analyzing the conditions, forecasting, increasing the productivity and efficiency as well decision making considering the information about the resources. Organisation needs to make sure that the implementation of ERP meets the desired results. It is important for the organisation to test the implementation by using user end testing, pre installation testing etc.
In this enterprises resource planning assignment help, every organization is looking to store the information in a centralized system. According to analysis it has been identified that the majority of ERP system implementation projects fails because lack of testing and proper test plan. The key objective of this research is to analyze the needs of testing of ERP system and outline the key methods that would be used for evaluating the effectiveness. In addition to this, report will provide the information about the trends, issues and current methods that have been used for testing of the system. At the end, it will discuss about the significant of results and findings.
There are several issues like integration of modules, data related issues, performance, accessibility, security issues and customisations that affects the implementation of ERP. The study will identify the process of meeting the gaps and improve the effectiveness ERP systems to achieve the goals and objectives. Understanding of these issues is important for applying the appropriate testing and overcome the gaps. The aim of study is to gain the knowledge about the importance of testing for ERP systems to encourage the performance of organization.
The scope of the current study is to analyze the different testing methods which could be used for testing an ERP system. The study would also propose a testing process for the testing of an ERP system.
The ERP system is implemented to serve benefits to the users of an organization. Therefore, it is required that each module is tested for its functionality. The aim of the study is to appropriate methods which could be used to test the ERP systems. Enterprise Resource Planning system associates data from several processes like sales, finance, and purchase into unified system. An ERP system integrates multiple modules like sales, purchase, and inventory; finance etc. It uses a common database to store data of various modules. An organization generally requires many types software for various departments. For example- accounts depart maintain accounts of employees using a package using an accounts packages while the sales department may be using a CRM system. The aim of ERP system is to integrate the different modules. According to Young (2008), it is important that Integration testing is properly done to check that data flows properly from one module to another.
ERP systems are installed on high performance servers to which the client machines on network connects. Thus it is important to ensure that there is no installation error and the users do not face any issues related to configuration. Thus it is important that the testing is done to ensure that there are no installation issues and could be done by testing the installation.
ERP system provides standard functionality and business processes. Any organisational process which is not present in the ERP needs to be developed and integrated to the ERP. This is called as ERP customisation. Thus it is important the customisation is properly tested by the developers and users by testing methodologies like black box testing, functional testing etc.
According to Ammann and Offutt (2008), the testing of ERP system is important to indentify the issues which could prove to be costly in future. The developers make sure that delivered system meets quality.
The latest trends of testing are-
- Early life cycle testing which focuses on minimizing the risk and predictive performance. It mainly identify defect in system at an early stage of implementation.
- Automation testing that test life cycle, efficiency and performance of the system.
- Non functional testing that gives solutions to test usability, analyze methods of accessibility and enhance performance of ERP system.
For the study, secondary data has been used which has been collected through books, journals and online sources. The secondary sources were selected as the research aimed to study the existing studies on the subject and present an analysis based on it. The study has maintained ethical effectiveness and the data have been collected from authentic and reliable resources.
Testing phase of the ERP system implementation is important to validate the functionalities and configuration of the system and to deliver high proficiency at end user. There is no specified boundary between developments and testing, both are overlapped. Various testing methods related to ERP system implementation are:
Functional Testing: ERP comprise of several modules such as sales, finance etc. Each module has its functionality which has to be tested by the user to identify whether the functionality provided meets the business requirement (Young, 2008). This stage in testing identifies the gap in functional requirement. In case there is a gap in the requirement, the development needs to do the customisation which will help in meeting the requirement. The new development needs to be tested separately and then integrated with the rest of module.
Integration Testing: As part of the integration testing, a functional team from different backgrounds like finance, sales, purchase, inventory, etc could be formed. The team should prepare the test cases which should test the integration of different modules (Ammann and Offutt, 2008). The team should list down the desired outcome of each test case and then should test the cases on a test server. The outcome of the test cases should be recorded and then matched with the desired result. In case desired outcome matches the outcome derived from testing, than the system has passed the integration testing. In case the system fails integration testing, the team needs to review the configuration and setups again. The testing continues till the system passes the integration testing.
Developer Side Testing: For meeting the requirements which are not offered by the ERP, developers have to develop the applications which are integrated to the ERP (Young, 2008). The developers need to test the application first by checking the functionality against the specification for development. The developer’s needs to ensure that there are no data processing errors. The module developed is interoperable and has good performance.
User Testing: User testing is the most important phase in testing as during this stage the user tests the system. The system is designed for the users. Thus the true feedback about the system could be given by the users. The user testing involves testing the functionality, data inputs. The user side testing methods like reliability, adaptability, interoperability and data headlining are being used that helps to meet the objectives (Mathur, 2008) The user testing also involves functional testing as the users would be testing their respective modules. For the user testing, appropriate number of users needs to be defined this would ensure testing of all the modules.
Performance or load Testing: Load Testing is done to ensure the performance of the system. During load testing several users log in to the system and do parallel transaction. The parallel transaction helps in generating the load on the system which helps in identifying the performance gaps (Young, 2008). The load testing should be done on an environment which should be replicated from the production environment to get the accurate results.
For the performance testing, a Web Application Stress tool by Microsoft would be used. The tool offers a user interface using which a stress test could be executed. In this a web link is accessed by web clients and performance is assessed.
The report is available in the software which presents the statistics like total number of requests, failures and success.
Installation Side Testing: Various implementation factors are considered to set up an ERP system in an organization. Factors like physical location, size and structure of organization are analyzed to set up initially. The configuration of the system should be selected with respect to the average load of data, number of users using the system, concurrent sites from which the system would be used etc. (Young, 2008). The installation side testing aims to verify that the configuration of the server is appropriate and installation has been done correctly.
Simulation: This is an important testing methodology as an environment is prepared equivalent to the product environment and all the business transaction is conducted on the simulated environment (Jorgensen, 2013). The sanity of the transactions is then tested by the key business user. In case the transactions are found to be correct, the user accepts the results and give a production go ahead.
Testing Process for ERP: For testing an ERP, an organization needs to define a testing process which could test the ICT system thoroughly. While testing an ERP, it is important that a testing schedule is defined which covers different testing processes. It is also important that a separate test team is defined which has the task to test the system.
The first stage of the testing is to check the installation and configuration of the servers. This can be done by installing and configuring a test server. The second stage of the testing process is to test the performance of the system. For testing the system, several users need to connect to the system and perform high volume of transaction data. The concurrent use by several users would help in determining the performance of the system. If the users find the transaction speeds to be slow than it can be concluded that the performance of the system is not as per the expectation. The administrators need to review the configuration and make changes appropriately.
The third stage of the testing is the functional testing. In this stage the users test specific modules. For example, a sales user would test the sales module and would confirm that the system has performed as per the expectation. This is an important stage which confirms that all the modules are performing as per the business expectation. The fourth stage is the integration testing which would check whether the different modules for their integration. In this stage end to end transactions would be conducted which would test the data integration. The last stage of testing is the simulation stage where the production environment is replicated and transactions are performed. The test scenarios would be evaluated against the achieved results.
Testing is an important element of system development and implementation that helps to maintain the effectiveness as well as improves the performance in terms of accuracy of information, usability and functionality according to needs of clients. According to research it is been carried out that testing of ICT system both pre and post implementation helps to analyze the performance. The major impact of testing is on the usability of ERP system as the factors like configuration, data processing and operational activities need to as per the customer expectation (Myers.et.al.2011).
The study has identified different methods for testing the system and indentifies the gaps in functioning of system. The gaps identified during the testing needs to be worked upon to improve the reliability. The study aimed to identify the needs and effectiveness of testing techniques for ERP system and from the study it has been found that there are different methods which could be used to test the data handling, reliability, adaptability and usability. For any organization data is the more important asset. Testing related to data helps the ERP system to ensure the proper handling of data which is shared among various users. This would be done by integration testing (Riungu.et.al.2010). Integration testing helps in increasing reliability among users.
Load testing of ERP system is important to identify whether the configurations at the server level is appropriately done, The performance of ERP system can be improved by testing the ERP modules in parallel environments where different users perform different task at a time. Addition of new components into the system makes it necessary for ERP system to adapt changes to regulate the organization smoothly. Also, testing related to user interface is helpful to make the ERP system more familiar to the users (Van de Schoot.et.al.2012).
From the above research it has been identified that different types of methods could be used for testing and evaluation of ERP system to meet the requirements. Testing is helpful in analyzing the usability, weakness and areas of improvement according to the benchmarking standard that helps to maintain the significance of system. ERP testing is critical and suggests the roadmap for implementing the different phases of modules and integration (Candea.et.al.2010). Following proper testing methods helps in improving the performance of the ERP which will help the organization in meeting the objectives.
By referring the results and methods of testing for ERP system, it is being considered that to adjust the configuration, import data and user acceptance are the major objectives of applying the techniques. User acceptance is major concern for development team or organization that would be analyzed through the security, performance, adaptability and interface testing of ERP system. Moreover, the changes in the configuration setting have been made through regression testing that helps to identify the common mistakes and issues like connectivity and processing of data. Apart from that, ERP system is all about collection, cauterization and distribution of information. If the testing results are not as per the desired standard than it will be difficult for users to make decisions and maintain the flow of operations (Gillies, 2011). Techniques that have been used for analyzing the effectiveness have insight on export and import of data through ERP system.
Automated testing is suggested for ERP testing as manual testing requires lot of time to complete one round of testing. It is evident, that without testing each and every component of a system and ensuring 100% quality, ERP implementation fails. The most important factor which affects the testing of the ERP is the development of test cases which should test the entire scenario. It is quite possible that a module may pass one test but may fail in another test. Another important factor to be considered is the documentation of the test cases and test results. Documentation allows reviewing what test cases were tested and the results derived.
It is also important that the user requirement is properly documented. Often the developer is ambiguous about the exact requirement of the user. The system can be perfectly working at developer’s point of view but still have pitfalls from user’s point of view. This is a weakness from developer side. In order to avoid such weaknesses at developer side, it is required to use latest tools and techniques for testing and maintain clear SRS (Software/system requirement specification) document to avoid conflict among requirements (Engström & Runeson, 2011).
The user testing is important as the users get a hand on the system. It is important that more number of users is selected for user testing. As the end users would be able to do wide range of testing like functional testing, accessibility testing etc. The users would be able to give the opinion and feedback about the system which would be helpful in improving the performance of the system. Large number of users testing the application concurrently would help in assessing the performance of the system.
From the above research it has been identified that testing of ICT system is important for developing a system as per the ICT specification. The report has provided the information about the process that has been followed at different level of system development and testing according to needs and requirements. In addition to this, research has analyzed methods of testing like functional, integration and load testing. For collecting the data, secondary data collection have been used. Apart from that, report has analyzed the gaps that have significant impact on the performance of ERP system. The major impact of testing is being identified on the usability of ERP system as the factors like configuration, data processing and operational activities need to be as per the demand of client. For further improvement in the testing and effectiveness of ERP system, the developer could use the parallel testing which will help to identify the gaps at initial stage and improve the effectiveness of system. This type of testing is cost and time effective as issues can be sort out at each stage of development.
Books and journals
Amalfitano, D., Fasolino, A. R., & Tramontana, P. (2011, March). A gui crawling-based technique for android mobile application testing. In Software Testing, Verification and Validation Workshops (ICSTW), 2011 IEEE Fourth International Conference on (pp. 252-261). IEEE.
Ammann, P. and Offutt, J., 2008. Introduction to software testing. Cambridge University Press.
BECKER, G. (2012). Rearing ei Termites and Testing Methods Used in the Laboratory. Biology of termites, 351.
Candea, G., Bucur, S., & Zamfir, C. (2010, June). Automated software testing as a service. In Proceedings of the 1st ACM symposium on Cloud computing (pp. 155-160). ACM.
Di Maio, F., Abadie, L., Kim, C., Mahajan, K., Makijarvi, P., Stepanov, D., ... & Wallander, A. (2011). The CODAC software distribution for the ITER plant systems. In 13th International Conference on Accelerator and Large Experimental Physics Control Systems (Vol. 5).
Engström, E., & Runeson, P. (2011). Software product line testing–a systematic mapping study. Information and Software Technology, 53(1), 2-13.
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