Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Frequently Asked Questions About Oracle E-Biz Suite Upgrades & Testing

What is Oracle EBS testing?

Whether you are implementing, ordering or patching your Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS) you need to ensure that your EBS system continues to function as expected. Various EBS testing frameworks provide a comprehensive solution for ensuring the quality and performance of your Oracle E-Business Suite system.

Testing EBS prior to deployment and keeping up with the pace application updates while maintaining application quality can be a challenging situation, especially if your EBS testing isn't automated. Some of the major concerns end-user faces are:

  • Recurring patches/upgrades, making it harder to test.
  • Relying on non-technical specialists from different departments like HR and Finance to do manual testing.
  • Long delays in applying critical patches and upgrades.
  • Not being able to get close to 100% code coverage, thereby leaking bugs into production environments.

To eliminate these and increase productivity, delivering a technologically stable and stress free environment for end-users becomes a priority and this is where cloud automation testing plays a crucial part.

Another important reason to deliver bug-free Oracle EBS uprades and patches is the sheer cost of downtime for a system that your entire business relies on. I'm sure you don't want to be part of a team that allows this type of scenario to occur:

What is cloud-based test automation for Oracle EBS?

A cloud-based test automation tool is simply a testing automation tool that runs in the cloud and is able to test your Oracle EBS system without you having to install any component of it in your on-premise network or behind your company’s firewall.

Because cloud-based Oracle EBS testing tools like Qsome already have enterprise-grade security features, you are able to enjoy incredible benefits like:

  • Much cheaper total cost of ownership
  • Improved cash flow and budget management because of subscription-based payment plans
  • Being able to build and run automated tests right after the agreement is signed, because there’s nothing to install
  • Access to new testing features as they are released
  • Meaningful dashboard with deep-dive test analytics
  • 99.99% uptime SLA
  • Centralised management of all test cases, data sets, element locators and test scripts so they’re not lying around on people’s local drives
  • The ability to run tests and view results from anywhere
  • Simple one-click test execution

Because your company has a complicated applications ecosystem, probably consisting of many tools and services working on premise and in the cloud, rigorous test automation is no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity. And cloud-based test automation tools give you the flexibility to test everything.

If you think a cloud-based testing tool could help you, schedule your demo of Qsome today.

Want to see how painless Oracle EBS test automation can be in the digital age (and even get a free trial)?



What are the different types of automation tools for Oracle EBS?

Many tools purport to be able to effectively automate tests for Oracle EBS. Chief among this group is is the erstwhile HP-branded, now Micro Focus-branded UFT set of testing tools. 

UFT and testing tools of its ilk only serve to frustrate testing teams, eat up the ROI that EBS test automation should deliver and leave good reputations in tatters. 

So instead of filling this list with tools that MAY be able to test your EBS system, we've instead focused on tools that DEFINITELY CAN help you automate your EBS testing. 

Qsome Automated Software Testing Tool

Qsome is “one answer all” tool for Oracle Ebusiness Suite which ticks all the right notes like ensuring quality, improved performance and solution driven results. Whether your application ecosystem is undergoing a digital transformation or whether your EBS implementation is a standalone system, Qsome can help you go live every time with zero bugs and with less stress.

Keeping in mind the dynamic and fast paced environment, Qsome allows testing of end-to-end business processes or workflows. Qsome also has the ability to perform integration testing if your EBS system is part of an interdependent applications ecosystem.

Whereas most test automation tools use EBS’s DOM to find and interact with elements on a screen, Qsome’s EBS-specific test automation framework uses visual recognition technology instead.

The result of this different approach to EBS test automation is that you spend less time trying to find elements in EBS’s DOM and your tests are less flaky when Oracle decides to change EBS’s DOM. Net net, by using Qsome, you will spend more time running your automated EBS test suite and less time maintaining it.

Oracle Application Testing Suite (OATS)

It is a comprehensive, integrated testing solution that ensures the quality, scalability, and availability of your Web applications and Web Services. It is an official Automated testing tool by Oracle. However, its cons outweigh the pros in many ways. 

Most importantly, It is very expensive to conduct and requires a lot of human resource training just to manage the environment. A lot more training to help automation engineers build and manage automated tests.

Another common issue that arises is that it only works with EBS’s DOM, which can mean automated tests with OATS being very flaky and requiring a lot of maintenance every time you upgrade your EBS system with new patches and updates. It is due to these reasons that the general consensus among the EBS test automation community is that OATS has a very high total cost of ownership (TCO), which obviously will dramatically reduce any ROI you hope to get from automating your EBS tests.

Which Oracle EBS Automation tool is in demand for 2020?

Your own internet searches will have shown you that there isn't a long list of EBS testing tools that are fit for purpose. Most are despised by their users and only serve to give EBS test automation a bad name. 

That's why this is a short list:

Qsome

The Qsome software testing tool has been built to make the automation of functional testing of web-based and mobile applications faster, easier and more cost-effective. Our software testing tools have been built from the ground-up with these key principles in mind:

  • Users with no testing experience should be able to use our tools without exhaustive training
  • Executing a batch of tests should be as simple as a few mouse clicks
  • Easy cross-browser and cross-device automated testing is a must-have, not a nice-to-have

Some Qsome features that customers most enjoy include:

  • Fast start with the cloud, no training & zero capex
  • Test on all browsers & mobile devices from one designed test
  • Parallel testing to run thousands of tests in no time
  • Meaningful dashboard with deep-dive test analytics
  • Advanced debugging tools: video logs, screenshots & more
  • Risk algorithms for objective prioritisation of test plans
  • Collaborative issue tracking for business & tech users
  • Integrated test knowledge repository for new & old test artefacts
  • Ability to automate EBS UAT testing as well as end-to-end regression testing

Can Selenium be used to automate Oracle EBS tests?

Selenium is an automated software testing tool for testing web applications. It automates browsers, enabling users to sail through various browser-specific testing purposes. What makes this even more important is that most major browser vendors are taking steps to make Selenium an integral part of their browsers.

However, because the Oracle E-Business Suite uses Java Applets, Selenium cannot locate EBS elements on a screen. Effectively, Selenium cannot automate EBS tests and therefore Selenium is not an Oracle EBS testing tool.

Do you want to see how the best OATS-alternative for Oracle EBS test automation could work in your environment?



What are the important steps when upgrading Oracle EBS?

EBS upgrades are often delayed, delayed some more and delayed again by organisations because of the expected headaches from system integration issues. So, it is imperative to fully understand the EBS upgrade process in order to recognize how it can affect your organisation, and more importantly, what you can do to avoid those headaches from manifesting.

Upgrade planning by a centralised team that is aided by business-users and EBS functional experts. Upgrade planning to ensure that a clear and concise project scope with a detailed project plan is created which answers issues like upgrade objective, functionality changes and discusses the effect it may have on the current interface environment. Understanding your EBS footprint is key to working out the scope and size of your EBS upgrade process.

Upgrade Evaluation

Before initiating the upgrade, it is crucial to properly evaluate whether new changes provide equal benefit and business value to the current system. This can be done through analyzing already existing CEMLIs (Configurations, Extension, Modification, Localization and Internationalization, and Integration).

It is crucial to the organizations that these decisions get taken by steering committees or technology strategy boards, if they have one. This type of centralized planning body or function during an EBS upgrade process will ensure that organization has a cohesive, systematic and well-managed EBS upgrade process. The risk of not having these 3 elements is that your EBS upgrade will run well over time and, likely, well over budget.

Upgrade planning

At this stage, a clear and concise project scope with a detailed project plan is created which answers issues like upgrade objective, functionality changes and discusses the effect it may have on the current interface environment. It clearly outlines the human resources involved or may be affected due to these changes, considering proper risk management policies and frameworks. It also defines the responsibilities of project team members involved.

What are the technical considerations when upgrading Oracle EBS?

Your Oracle functional consultants will be well versed in helping you understand technical considerations of an EBS upgrade process. Obviously, your company’s specific needs will dictate the level of customisation your EBS system has and therefore, how much work will be required to successfully perform the upgrade.

However, the two areas that most Oracle functional consultants don’t do a good job of explaining is testing. Particularly test automation for EBS and how to exploit it to reduce the pressure on your business users who will be drafted in to help the EBS upgrade team.

We live in a world where simply picking up manual test cases for EBS and writing automated test scripts is only going to end in tears and lost reputations.

If you’re smart (and you clearly are because you’ve read this much already!) then you will utilise the best Oracle EBS test automation tools to automate entire end-to-end user journeys, because only that will help you go live with zero bugs, every time.

How Can I Automate End-To-End Oracle EBS Functional Tests?

It is critical to conduct an assessment of your current Oracle EBS usage patterns. Identify key process and application issues, analyse manual process steps and third party components, and review existing customisations, modifications and enhancements before conducting functional testing.

It is essential that functionality testing experts are aware of the underlying concepts of organization models, governance, risk management etc. It is due to all these crucial factors that the best EBS test automation tools like Qsome play a huge role in helping you find and fix bugs BEFORE they creep into production.

The beauty of a test automation tool like Qsome is not just that it can automate functional tests, but that with proper test design it can automate end-to-end user journeys or workflows.

By designing and building your automated tests in this manner you will be able to ensure not just that your upgraded EBS functions work, but that they work in the manner that your business users need.

Can I automate Oracle EBS User Acceptance Testing (UAT)?

The final step is conducting user acceptance tests. While UAT was designed to ensure that your business users are comfortable with your new or upgraded Oracle EBS system, poor upgrade planning and a lack of automated regression testing often means that UAT becomes a bug-finding mission.

This treatment of the UAT phase often leaves your business users feeling demoralised and frustrated because they feel like they’re being used like a cheap testing team.

We all know that business users aren’t “cheap”, by any calculation! But you’ve probably been in organisations where this lack of trust between IT and business users has led to lengthy delays in EBS upgrades and patches. Essentially, this situation comes down to a lack of trust.

However, in order to deal with the complications and understand if the upgraded EBS system is working as intended companies automate their regression testing to find and fix the majority of the bugs before UAT.

In this day and age, you have the ability to go one step better for the same, if not lower, investment in testing and test automation.

Some readily available testing tools, like the Qsome test automation tool for Oracle EBS, not only provide quick, robust and cost-effective functional test automation solutions, but they’re also able to automate the UAT testing process.

These UAT test automation tools provide a powerful set of features across test design, test management, planning and automated test execution, these tools are able to turn your UAT from a bug-hunting mission, into a two-way conversation between IT and the business about how to improve EBS to better suit the business’ needs.

One of the best test automation tools for EBS which provides all this functionality is Qsome.


 
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