Setting up an automation framework for a large ERP system

The challenge

Real estate software can sometimes be hard to develop and test, especially when the client is the leading specialist in buying, optimizing and repositioning real estate in Germany. The country has strict laws for almost everything, and as a leading state in the EU it’s trying to implement EU laws as soon as they are enacted. Of course, everything has to be reflected in the software. The different modules have a lot of functionalities and interrelations, so the system becomes huge and cumbersome for manual testing alone. One of the trickiest requirements was that the system needed to introduce certain user rights for more than the 25 user groups from the 800+ people in the company.

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Concept to solve the problem

The testing effort was required to include automation that was fast to build and fast to execute. A bigger challenge was the real estate company’s teams not being aligned to each other and not having the same view on the functionality, so the architecture would have to be flexible and comply to ever-changing requests coming from different focal points. That’s why the Robot Framework was chosen as an implementation tool - it was easy to use and maintain, and after building the proper architecture, adding new tests could have been done even from a person with very little experience.


The Robot Framework is considerably simple to use, as it avoids complex Java-like constructs and some OOP principles. It was further simplified by creating general keywords (methods), module-related keywords and internal ones, the latter used by the other two types. Locators were separated in additional files and locator generator keywords were created. These greatly reduced the effort, as a lot of the locators used the same pattern and those patterns could be easily passed to the keywords to generate the needed strings, resulting in 60% less implementation time. Manual tests were also optimized for automation. What is more, the user rights tests almost entirely replaced the manual effort, as they were much more thorough and the execution time was incomparably shorter.

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The outcome

After the ERP went live, it was widely acclaimed by the client’s staff and merit was given to Testimony’s achievement.

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