Scriptless automation – Worksoft Certify

Worksoft Certify from Worksoft is an “automated functional testing platform for SAP”.  What is unique about Worksoft Certify is that users can create automation without any script or code. Worksoft Certify is very tightly integrated with SAP. The alternative to using Worksoft is using tools like HP’s QTP or IBM’s Rational Functional Tester.

The only action that users take when creating automation in Worksoft is to identify the fields used to enter data or user actions, e.g., a checkbox. Note that this is not like the mainstream record and playback technology. The result of such ‘recording’ is a set of steps. Each step has a ‘narrative’. For example, “Input the value ‘OR’ into the order type CtextField”. Note that this is presented in language which can be understood by a non-technical business user.

Worksoft also provides some related products which are interesting.

  • Worksoft Data allows users to use data which is very close to actual data. It allows you to copy data from one SAP system to another. They key here is the tight integration with SAP and shielding users from technical details.
  •  Worksoft Impact is another key software. One of the challenges in automation is to make sure that the changes in the software don’t ‘break’ the scripts. Worksoft completely avoids this problem. It helps analyze the changes in the implementation and highlights which tests are impacted. It presents the changes in language which can be understood by the end user.

Here is some of the motivation for Worksoft’s approach:

  • “You don’t write code to test code”
  • Allows business analysts and users to ‘test’ the software
  • Avoids the ‘tedium’ of manual testing

Worksoft claims that users can easily automate 80-85% of their manual tests. Software upgrades are completed rapidly, 1-2 days, compared to weeks.

Here are a few more features worth highlighting:

  • Worksoft works with SAP on multiple platforms.
  • Worksoft Certify can be used from SAP’s Solution manager
  • Worksoft Certify can be used along with SAP’s Business Process Change analyzer
  • Compared to BPCA Worksoft provides guidance on changes at a higher level.

In the last few years there has been a huge focus on agile development and a focus on automation. In software testing communities testers seem resigned to the fact that automation is an essential skill for testers. The automation I am referring to is using scripting languages like Ruby, Python and tools like Watir, Selenium. Note also that this is probably more prevalent in software product companies, rather than enterprise IT departments. Given this environment, Worksoft has created a unique product which is focused on solving an important business problem. I don’t think this will or can change any of the development and testing practices in other industries. However, testers should be aware of this unique solution.

 What is ERP

ERP systems automate most business functions in organizations. They use a common database and provide an integrated view of the data. The access to the data is in real time. The advantage of such a system is that “Decisions can be made more quickly and with fewer errors. Data becomes visible across the organization.” (from wikipedia)

These are some of the modules in SAP:

  • ERP operations – to manage manufacturing operations
  • ERP Financials
  • ERP Human Capital Management
  • Enterprise Asset Management
  • Procurement

SAP is a market leader in the ERP market. SAP is headquartered in Germany and was founded in 1972. It has more than 55,000 employees. SAP’s 2011 revenues were $13.6 billion compared to Microsoft $69 billion and Oracle $36 billion.

 Information on Worksoft

Worksoft products

Worksoft has a great set of resources on their website. This includes a set of webinars. A simple registration gives you immedicate access to all the resources.

In 2011 IBM entered into a re-marketing agreement with Worksoft. Worksoft Certify, Certify Impact and Certify Data are available for licensing through IBM’s passport advantage. Worksoft Certify is integrated with IBM’s Rational Quality Manager.

Note: Although I work for IBM, the intent of this post is to talk about an interesting technology and not to promote IBM’s products.