Busting myths: Test-Driven Development (TDD) is not possible for SAP project

The concept of TDD

Test-Driven Development (TDD) is one of the Agile methodologies which follows very short development cycles. Each cycle ends with automated tests which are written earlier than the production code. The process starts with designing and developing tests for every small functionality of an application. A developer lists the test cases first and then starts writing just-enough codes to “pass” them. If the test fails then the new code is written and the attempt repeats until the code is simple enough to pass the test.

TDD is said to be a very efficient method as it helps to minimize the number of bugs during testing and overall, it saves your time. As a result, your code is much more robust and you can avoid duplication of code as you check it much more often.

How to perform Test-Driven Development?

The general procedure for TDD is as follows:

  1. Write a test for a particular functionality
  2. Write the code for it
  3. Run the test
  4. Change the code to pass the test (Refactoring)
  5. Repeat the process

While in traditional testing, testers focus on the test case design, in TDD more important is the production code that verifies whether testing will work properly. By working this way you get a 100% coverage test as every single line of code is tested.

The method has a lot of advantages

  • You can spot and fix all the bugs earlier

Since you run a test for each functionality, you successively spot and fix all the bugs upfront that ensures the product code is actually of high quality.

  • The code becomes more simple and easy to understand

TDD helps to understand how the code interacts with other SAP modules. It results in better design decisions and a code that is more stable and less complicated.

  • You gain confidence while making changes

Using TDD, you should obtain faster, more extensible code with fewer bugs that can be updated with minimal risks. With time you become more certain about your changes thanks to repeating refactoring.

  • It supports the teamwork

In the absence of any team member, other developers can easily pick up and work on the code. TDD supports the overall development by making the code more accessible to the rest of the team.

  • Developers save a lot of precious time

Developers test their code but in traditional testing, this often consists of manual tests. Using TDD you can build up a suite of automated tests that will save much of your time.

Test-Driven Development in the SAP environment

Despite the number of benefits TDD offers, it is still a rarely implemented technique. Especially in SAP projects where we work with ABAP, TDD sounds more like rocket science – but trust me it’s not that complicated at all! Thanks to many tools such as ABAP Unit Test Framework or , it’s possible to incorporate Test-Driven Development into your SAP project and increase your performance.

It’s not only possible but also easy to achieve

Using the new feature of Int4 IFTT – Test Case Loader, the whole process is child’s play. The functionality allows for reusing test cases from the old landscape on the new landscape right after the SAP migration process is finished.

In most migration projects (non SAP to SAP middleware, SAP PI to SAP PO, SAP PO to SAP CPI) we already have all of the test cases available in the old middleware. This means that before starting the development on the new platform, we only need to find them and load them to Int4 IFTT where the Test Case Loader does the magic. As a result, using the tool you can improve the work on your application by creating test cases upfront and refactoring the code to make it more simple and stable.

Final thoughts

Test-Driven Development increases the efficiency and quality of the final code and helps optimize the work on projects. Using the method you can start building better software that serves as the base for solid IT products. However, to use it to its full potential it’s good to take advantage of and the tools that make the process so much easier. Int4 IFTT will not only accelerate the testing but also ensure the procedure is error-free so that your attention can be focused on more complex aspects of your business.

This is a guest post provided by Int4.

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