Let’s start with the problem we were trying to solve at the time – how can we improve our SAP data refresh approach, test changes better with fewer defects, and increase our agility in IT to deliver value to the business faster? Answering that problem statement was no small feat. Finding the answer would consist of discovering new concepts and ways of thinking, deploying a new software solution, and designing new processes.
So, without further ado...
Introducing Test Data Management
As we all know, having quality data throughout the SAP landscape is a foundational ingredient for development, testing, training and production support processes and teams. Test data management was one of the new concepts that we realized we had to research, learn and embed within the organization.
I like to describe an SAP test data management strategy as the synergy of processes, technical solutions and people to effectively manage and utilize the data needed for any SAP test environment requirements and use cases. In practice, this concept is a fundamental shift in how to think, interact and leverage SAP data. With the right pieces in place, a test data management strategy frees your teams from the traditional constraints that exist with legacy SAP system copy methods.
Defining a complete enterprise SAP test data management strategy would be one of the keys to addressing the problem statement; however, we still needed to find a solution that would enable that vision to become reality.
Discovering Qlik Gold Client
As soon as we saw a demo of the Qlik Gold Client solution, it was love at first sight. We had found the missing piece to the puzzle. It was clear that it would not only address our major challenges, but also be the catalyst to allow us to implement an enterprise SAP test data management strategy and process.
Traditional system refresh or client refresh procedures require days to weeks of downtime. Just thinking about some of the bad experiences I’ve seen with those still give me nightmares.
So, what’s the big deal about Qlik Gold Client? It revolutionizes how SAP teams work and enables a robust, cross-functional test data management strategy that provides new capabilities for refreshing data and building SAP systems.
Once we implemented the solution globally, the true test began. Would this deliver the value and benefits we anticipated?
The short answer: Yes!
It was amazing to see the various use cases we were able to implement that significantly changed how the teams worked. To highlight a few examples:
- Production support teams being able to copy a single sales order and all its related data from production to QA to test a break-fix change
- Performing a delta refresh of multiple document types based on a particular date range
- Reducing infrastructure costs by building shell systems and lean system clients
- Development teams refreshing data in the development system for unit testing
The traditional limitations around SAP data refreshes were eliminated once we operationalized Qlik Gold Client within the SAP environment. The solution and test data management process surrounding it became an essential component to our testing, change management and release management processes.
Churn between development and testing was reduced, because teams had the data that they needed when they needed it for their test scenarios. There were fewer defects related to a lack of quality data for testing. And, agility within the release management process was increased, allowing enhancements and value-add projects to be deployed throughout the business faster than before.
If you are facing SAP data refresh challenges today, I encourage you to take the first step and learn more about Qlik Gold Client, so we can help you modernize your testing approach and speed up your SAP development pipeline.
Unleash your teams so they can work smarter, not harder; eliminate churn within your development and testing processes due to bad data; and make your SAP infrastructure easier to manage and more cost effective.