While both of the Companies had existing relationships with other vendors, it became apparent that those vendors were unable to provide end-to-end solutions that would enable the performance testing of complex accounting objects in their SAP implementations.

The Need for Testing

Accounting objects are business objects within SAP that handle accounting processes. Consistent performance testing drives efficiency by identifying issues as they happen, producing a report so that these issues can be identified and acted upon. Instituting this performance testing would help create scalable, highly available performance systems that would improve the overall customer experience.

Prolifics was approached by both Companies to put accounting object testing in place. We have a track record of successful delivery of complex solutions and a deep understanding of challenges and solutions, performance tuning, and expert recommendations for the optimisation of hardware and software utilisation. These benefits made Prolifics a natural fit.

Charting a Path to Success

The Prolifics team in the USA assembled a plan of attack to address the Companies’ SAP testing needs. To ensure a successful result, several objectives would have to be met, including:

  • Boosting efficiency and cutting development costs by rigorously testing performance before going live
  • Ensuring the successful deployment of SAP accounting objects
  • Accurately predicting scalability and capacity and pinpointing bottlenecks
  • Establishing an intelligent Service Level Agreement
  • Providing the ability to control the distribution of the
    accounting object workload
  • Creating benchmarks for production software performance

There were a number of challenges and limitations needed to overcome to deliver on these objectives. The top five available performance tools were unable to detect the accounting object traffic, making it difficult to track performance. There was also no existing solution on the market to conduct load testing for accounting objects. Large infrastructure needs and costly GUI licenses further compounded the challenge.

A Creative Solution

Using Open Source components and a Prolifics Accelerator, the Prolifics team built a creative solution that could overcome the testing limitations. It utilises:

  • Sikuli: This open-source script allows for the automation of various elements, and uses image recognition to identify and control components in the GUI without the need for access to the GUI’s internal code.
  • LoadRunner: This application load testing software offers a thorough picture of end-to-end system performance, making it possible to resolve issues before applications are launched.
  • Prolifics Script Manager: This Accelerator handles script enhancement. It reduces script development time by as much as 20%.

The team combined these elements to create an integrated LoadRunner test script that can simultaneously test several accounting objects and output a performance summary report. With this, they found a feasible approach to evaluate the performance of the SAP accounting objects. They conducted peak load and failover testing to ensure that a substantial increase in user load would not lead to the degradation of accounting object performance.

The team built out the solution over a period of 60 days, encompassing the requirement gathering, planning, design, execution, monitoring, analysis, performance tuning, and test reporting phases. The project utilised four resources from the Prolifics side, as well as one of each of the Companies’ Performance Architects.

Better Testing Creates Better Business

The testing solution led to clear benefits for the Companies. It drastically reduced average CPU utilisation and increased transaction response times, throughput, requests per second, transaction volumes, failover thresholds, free memory, and total write speed. They can also better measure disk utilisation, memory leaks, and CPU load and utilisation.

These enhancements led to tangible business benefits, including:

  • Increased efficiency and reduced development costs
  • The ability to adapt to changing business processes
  • Reduced risk during peak demand times
  • Continuous performance improvements
  • A lowered risk of failure
  • Reduced development costs
  • The reduction of escaped performance defects to zero
  • A substantial increase to internal and external customer satisfaction

The Prolifics team was able to overcome the challenges of the software and the market to create a comprehensive solution that helped the Companies solve their SAP accounting object testing problems.

We demonstrated a high level of teamwork and the ability to adapt, leveraging Open Source performance tools, performance test accelerators, and industry expertise to craft a top-quality solution.

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