Overview:

With SAP Solution Manager 7.20 Support Package Stack 3, the 7.20 release is general available.

One of the conceptual changes is that the new Solution Documentation function replaces the SOLAR transactions (SOLAR01, SOLAR02).

The big step from SAP Solution Manager 7.10 to 7.20 is performed by the so-called Content Activation.

If you used Change Request Management in SAP Solution Manager 7.10 already, you copied the standard transaction types, for example, the SMCR (Request for Change) or change documents such as the SMHF (Urgent Change), SMMJ (Normal Change) to the customer namespace.

 

When you perfromed the content activation, the existing open documents are reassigned from solar projects to solutions, branches and new change cycle types. All this happens automatically.

You might ask though if this is all that has to be done to get the standard process running. In general, SAP Solution Manager Configuration (SOLMAN_SETUP) provides good guidance for steps such as role update.

Yet, as it contains a lot of optional activities depending on what you have adjusted in the change management process, you might easily oversee and not plan some topics.

 

That's why I created this blog. To give you an overview of what has to be done after the content activation. This is based on my experience as back office contact at SAP working with four ramp-up customers.

Certainly, I cannot make promises here but I am confident that this blog should will boost your project.

If you are not sure, please check the standard or Solman Setup. I would like to point out to you that the release info for SPS 3 is quite detailed for Change Request Management.

 

What I do not cover here:

I will concentrate on CRM WebClient UI and Change Request Management framework and not go into role updates, replaced transactions, e.g. '/TMWFLOW/PROJ' which is replaced by the administration cockpit, RZ70, LMDB.

 

What you need to do after the content activation is finished

 

  1. Adopt the UI configuration.
  2. Integrate into Solution Documentation.
  3. Adapt customer code for SOLAR functionalities for Solution Documentation

 

  1. Adopt the UI configuration

Some SAP standard fields and assignment blocks are obsolete, some are new. Therefore, the UI configuration for your customer transaction type needs adaption.

 

Prerequisites

You copied the UI configuration in release 7.10 by adapting the object subtype to your copied customer (Z/Y) transaction type as shown in the screenshot below (the example illustrates a general change).

 

Strategy:


First rule: Never enhance the standard default UI configuration!!

If you enhance UI configurations, always copy a standard UI configuration and adapt the object subtype to your copied customer transaction type. Never enhance the standard default configuration, marked in the screenshot below. This could lead to the CRM Web UI taking the enhanced default configuration for each transaction type that doesn't have a UI configuration with the transaction type as the object subtype. This can lead to unwanted side effects.

default.jpg



There are two ways to adopt the UI configuration:

 

  • delete the existing customer specific UI configuration for the customer transaction type and copy the standard again. This is best if you have no additional not more than five customer fields added. You are finished then. If you have additional customer fields it depends how many. Most customers know these fields and are more familiar with adding them to the newly copied customer UI configuration.
  • Delete the old standard fields from the copied UI configuration and add the new standard fields. Interesting if you have lots of customer fields added and it's less work to delete the old and add the new SAP standard fields.

UI configuration.jpg

How do you get there?

Call transaction 'BSP_WD_CMPWB' (UI Component Workbench) and enter the relevant UI component. Go to the Views section. The relevant adaptions have to be done in the Header (the Details assignment block) and overview views (where it is defined which assignment blocks are visible). Follow the arrows in the screenshot above.

 

UI component for specific standard transaction types (and your specific customer transaction type):


Header UI ComponentTransaction type
AIC_CMCR_HSMCR (request for change), outside Change Request Management: SMBR (business requirement), SMIR (IT requirement)
AIC_CMCD_H

All change documents: SMAD (administrative change), SMCG (general change), SMHF (urgent change), SMMJ (normal change) and SMTM (defect correction)

All change cycles: SMAI (continual cycle), SMIM (phase cycle) and SMRE (release cycle). Note that normally change cycles do not need to be copied. Therefore, 99% of these cases here don't need to be adopted. An exception are customers who enhance the change cycles.

 

Obsolete Fields and Assignment Blocks:

 

With the general concept being changed from SOLAR to Solution Documentation, some SAP standard fields in the header view are now obsolete for the UI:

- Project (//BTAICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.PROJECT_ID)

- Solution (//BTAICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.SOLUTION_ID) with the description (//BTAICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.SOLUTION_DESC)

- Project Cycle (//BTAICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.PROJECT_CYCLE_ID) with the description (//BTAICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.PROJECT_CYCLE_DESC)

- Installed Base (//BTREFOBJMAIN//STRUCT.IB_BASE) with description (//BTREFOBJMAIN/IBIBASE)

- Component (//BTREFOBJMAIN/IBINSTANCE) with description (//BTREFOBJMAIN/IBINSTANCEDESC)

 

For the overview view the assignment blocks 'Project', 'Solution' and 'Documents' are obsolete.

 

Let's take a look at an urgent change of a 7.10 release:

obsolete fields.jpg

In the header view, you will see the following:

obsolete fields2.jpg

obsolete ass blocks.jpg

Remove those assignment blocks as they are out of interest if you want to check old closed documents of 7.10. Then set them to 'Hidden'. Later, a user can display them in manually via personalization.

 

New Fields and Assignment Blocks:

 

New SAP standard fields in the header are:

 

- Change Cycle (//AICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.BTPROJECT_TITLE)

-  Phase (//AICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.USER_STAT_DESC) has been relocated

- Type (//AICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.RELEASE_TYPE)  with release no. (RELEASE_NUMBER)

- ID (//AICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.RELEASE_CRM_ID)

- Landscape (//AICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.SLAN_DESC)

- Branch (//AICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.SBRA_NAME)

- Development Close (//AICREQUESTCONTEXT/STRCT.DEV_CLOSE_DATE)

- Go-Live Date (//AICREUQESTCONTEXT/STRCT.GO_LIVE_DATE)

 

New assignment blocks are:

 

- Solution Documentation (replacing the former 'project', 'solution' and 'documents' assignment block)

- Transport-related Checks

new ass blocks.jpg

Because all new SAP standard fields and assignment blocks are relevant, they should be displayed.

 

2. Integrate into Solution Documentation

The new change recording feature for change request management brings significant benefits for release 7.20. Summarized documentation becomes visible in the productive branch when the change from the transport is imported into the production system, e.g., the change document reaches its productive status.

 

This integration has been implemented via Change Request Management framework actions and consistency checks. Starting with Support Package Stack 3,you find a description in SAP Solution Manager Configuration (SOLMAN_SETUP) in the Change Request Management area in 9.3.

solman setup.jpg

We've tried to describe it in greater details so we hope that it provides sufficient support.

 

3. Adapt customer-specific code for SOLAR functions for Solution Documentation

A quick reminder that if you did customer enhancements depending on the PROJECT_ID field, these enhancements need to be re-implemented. As SAP cannot see what is enhanced, this has been done with the help of consultants and developers.

Great News!!!

SolMan72Image2.jpg

SAP has made SAP Solution Manager 7.2 generally available to all customers. After a successful early adoption program

involving 400+ SAP customers and partners, there are more than 30 SAP customers live already!

 

This is the first major revision in 5 years and delivers an integrated end-to-end platform for building and running your innovation and operations initiatives whether they are Digital Transformation, transition to S/4HANA, Operations Control Centres, Solution Improvements etc... The platform is open and supports both SAP and non-SAP solutions allowing to use this as your central IT Management platform.

 

This new release provides solutions to increase collaboration with the business, accelerate your time-to-value and provide more transparency across IT solutions and business processes. With support until the end of 2025, focused solutions to accelerate adoption and a new simplified user interface, this provides the opportunity for customers to transform the way solutions are built and run whilst still delivering new solutions to the business in a shorter timeframe.

 

 

Where Can You Start Today?

There is a lot of information available already.  The links below provide a useful starting point to find out more information on SAP Solution Manager 7.2: -

 

 

SAP Solution Manager 7.2 Global Roadshow

To support the rollout for the new release, SAP - in conjunction with local user groups - is running a series of events around the world to provide you with

more detail on the benefits and content of the release, demonstrations of its capabilities and how to adopt it.


A list of past and future events can be on the SAP Support Portal - click here

For those attending these events, you will be receive a voucher for a free eBook copy of the new SAP Solution Manager 7.2 book.


For UKI customers, you can find more details of the event running in London in October - click here or on the video below.

 

 

I look forward to meeting you at the UKI event!

 

Andy Lawrence

IT Delivery & Operations Architect at SAP

 

You can connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn


Note: The information provided in this blog is valid for SolMan 7.1 and 7.2.

 

In ChaRM and ITSM, from SolMan 7.1 SP10 onwards, we may use Mail Forms to send notification e-mails in HTML (or Plain Text) instead of using Smartforms, as we have seen in other blogs and wiki pages here in SCN. Mail Forms are easier to work with and have a better User Experience. They are much easier to edit and include document fields, and we can easily control who can create/edit them using authorizations. They can be created and searched from the Service Operations area in the Navigation bar:

 

service operations.jpg

Dolores Correa wiki page gives more details about how to use Mail Forms in ITSM and ChaRM.

 

Something that may not be clear for everyone is how to transport Mail Forms from SolMan Development to Production. Mail Forms are not saved in transport orders, so they can’t be imported as other transportable objects, but they can be moved to another system. It’s not necessary to recreate all Mail Forms again in Production when preparing for Go Live.

 

There are 2 ways to send Mail Forms to Production. One way is using a report (ABAP program) and another way is via the Web UI.  In both ways, the transport is done via RFC connection. This great blog from John Burton explains in details the 2 ways to run this transport. He also mentions that you need to transport one Mail Form at a time.

 

What I miss in the blog is the info on the authorization needed and the steps to have the Web UI option available.

 

As both ways to transport Mail Forms need to use an RfC, you need to create or use an existing RfC connection with the proper authorizations. In order to allow the transport, the RfC user will need to have authorization object “CRM_IM_ML” with field ACTVT = ‘21’ , which represents TRANSPORT. This is the same object needed for DISPLAY (activity ‘03’) and CHANGE (activity ‘02’) Mail Forms.

 

The second point is related to the Web UI. As described in the blog, you can start the transport of a Mail Form from the Web UI in the Mail Form Search Screen. But maybe you opened the Search Screen and could not see any option available, any button for that as shown below.  If you see only the buttons for New and Copy, you are missing 1 or 2 steps.

 

transp_missing_mailform.jpg

 

First: Your user in SolMan Dev (source of the Mail Forms) also needs the TRANSPORT authorization. Otherwise the button is hidden.


Second: Transport functionality for Mail Forms in the Web UI is delivered by a CRM switch called CRM_PML_MAIL_FORM_TRANSPORT (same name of the ABAP program used to transport ). This switch is assigned to Business Function CRM_MKT_PRD - Marketing Productivity (Have you seen any mention of this business function in any SolMan blog or Documentation? I haven’t) .

So, while you don’t activate this Business Function in your SolMan system, you will not see the Transport button in the Search Screen. As you don’t need to do the transport in the Web UI, since you have the ABAP program for that, you may not need to activate this Business Function, but if you want to use it or give access to a user to do it from the Search Screen in case this person doesn’t have access to run the ABAP program, activate the Business Function.

You can also create a transaction code for the ABAP Program and include it to the user profile.

 

Result after I activated CRM_MKT_PRD:

transp_mailform.jpg

Take advantage of this opportunity to discuss the topic "Solution Manager Diagnostics - Root Cause Analysis configuration" with SAP Experts in a virtual round table. Bring your questions and doubts, and also feel free to share your experiences with other Solution Manager users during the session.

 

 

This session will cover an overview of the infrastructure, what has to be done to perform the setup and where is the information you need to setup different products. We will also collect feedback on pain points faced by customers.

 

Some important points:

 

  • Only S-users can participate in this session (please provide your S-user in the registration)
  • Session limited to 20 seats
  • Concerning questions, it should not involve investigation of complex scenarios or deep analysis
  • After the registration you will receive an invitation with Skype meeting link to join the session

 

When: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM (GMT -3)

 

Link for registration:

 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/solution-manager-diagnostics-root-cause-analysis-overview-and-configuration-tickets-27078125402

 

Please leave a comment below in case you have any question about this session.

 

Regards,

Daniel.

I wanted to upgrade Instroscope Enterprisee Manager of our Solution Manager 7.1 SP12.

 

I checked the note 797147 - Introscope Installation for SAP Customers and understood that "Latest available release on Service Marketplace for Solution Manager 7.10 is Introscope 9.7." The note was giving me the related release note with "Release notes for Introscope 9.7:   SAP Note 2138309". And there were also Setup guide for Introscope SAP End User Edition at http://service.sap.com/instguides -> SAP Components -> SAP Solution Manager -> Release 7.1|7.2 -> Additional Guides - Introscope -> Introscope Setup Guide <version>.

 

I went through the note 2138309 - Introscope 9.7 Release Notes for changes and open issues and found that Solution Manager 7.1 SP12 (LM-SERVICE 7.10 SP12 Patch 4, see Note 2135447) was enough for for Introscope 9.7. I checked the SP level of LM-SERVICE. It was 7.10 SP12 Patch 0. So I upgraded it to Patch 7.10.12.8 with the help of the note 2135447 - LM-SERVICE 7.10 SP12 Patch 4

 

After these checks I downloaded the Introscope Version 9.7 Installation Guide For SAP and started upgrading Instroscope according to the procedure. The wiki Upgrade Introscope Enterprise Manager helped me to succeed the upgrade, too.

 

I discovered th new IEM, assigned the DAA, I could open webview, workstation of IEM. Everything was okey except the status of the IEM. It was not green and I could not get EM Status Info. EM Admin UI screen was like below;

IEM_1.jpg

The status of the IEM can be seen on SM Administration workcenter --> Infrastructure --> Introscope screen, too. There were also "Enterprise Manager solmanhost:6001 is offline" error message on the screen.

IEM_2.jpg

 

I tried changind IEM user and passwords, checked and applied below notes, KBAs and scn discussions.

1771826 - SOLMAN_SETUP activities fail with 'All configured Enterprise Managers are offline'

950886 - Managed System automatic configuration step 'Introscope Host Adaptor' returns "Retrieving list of Enterprise Managers failed: All configured Enterprise Managers are offline - check configuration" in Solution Manager 7.10

2038112 - Basic step "Configure CA Wily Introscope" showing working Enterprise Manager is/are offline - Solution Manager 7.10

https://scn.sap.com/thread/2125751

2198743 - Enterprise Manager is offline " [Manager.UserManagementService] "<USER>" Failed to login from host "localhost" "

 

Neither of them helped me to solve the issue. IEM status was not okey and port 6001 was offline always.

 

So I asked one of my colleague at our office about the issue and he told me that he also had the same problem before and he advised me to apply 9.5.6 version of IEM.

That solved my problem. Here is the EM Admin screen and EM Status Info screen for 9.5.6.

IEM_3.jpg

 

Although the notes was saying that IIEM 9.7.1 is okey for SM 7.1 SP12 with LM-SERVICE 7.10.12.4, our Solution Manager did not accept IEM 9.7.1.

 

After some time loss I have a working and upgraded IEM for my Solution Manager system. That's great.

 

As a conclusion, If I come to the question in the header; since 9.5.6 version worked for my system, 9.5.6 is bigger than 9.7.1.

 

I hope no one encounters this kind of issues and loses time.

 

.

After seeing a lot of discussion threads in which techie's are facing issues while creating a new categorization schema when already a schema is active, I have decided to throw some light on how it work upon in such situations.

 

Assumption: I am considering that all knew how to create a categorization schema for the first time. So, I will explain how to create new schema from existing schema in this blog.


I will explain this scenario with the help of 3 schema.

  1. Existing schema (Schema 1)
  2. Version schema of existing schema (Schema 2)
  3. New schema (Schema 3)

 

So, I assume that there is already a categorization schema been used say schema 1.

 

Step 1: This schema 1 will have all customized transaction types assigned to it as shown in the below screen shot.

 

1.png

 

In schema 1, we will find all the transaction types which are mapped to this schema.

 

Step 2: Now, we will create a version of schema 1, say schema 2.

 

Why we need to create a version?

 

  • At a time, only one categorization schema can be active.
  • If you are creating a new schema from an existing one and if you need to assign transaction types, it throws an error like "Error: transaction type ZMIN has already been included in the categorization schema"
  • So to avoid such errors, this versioned schema will have no transaction types and will be activated.
  • Schema 1 will be changed deployed state i.e. inactive, when you activate schema 2

 

In this step, I have created a version from schema 1 and I have not assigned any transaction type to this schema i.e. schema 2.

 

Change the status from draft to released, so that schema gets activated.

 

2.png

 

Step 3: Once the versioned schema is activated, now you need to create the actual schema which is to be used. In this case, it will be schema 3 will be created by clicking on new option in schema 2.

 

In this schema (Schema 3), assign all transaction types and release it. At last, after releasing, this schema will be used for categorization.

To assign new transaction types, click on new in application areas as highlighted in below screenshot.

 

3.png

 

Note: I would suggest that the valid to date as near future.

 

I hope, the above explanation will get many clarified.

 

I will be most welcomed if you follow the above steps and comment below, in case of any queries/ clarifications.

 

Helpful Link:

Multilevel Categorization - SAP IT Service Management on SAP Solution Manager - SCN Wiki

In this blog, I wanted to share some knowledge on CBTA.

 

CBTA (Component Based Test Automation) is a functionality of SAP Solution Manager where we can create test cases in modular structure. As the name suggests,CBTA is component based testing and there are 2 types of components namely,

                           

                                              1. Screen Components

                                              2. Default Components

 

Screen components are nothing but the activity done while testing the system under test such as mouse click, entering transactions etc. Default components are the data entered at the time of recording such as values.

 

Some terminologies to be known are,

 

1. SUT (System Under Test):

          SUT is the managed system which is to be tested. In SUT Management, the following details are maintained

  • Technical RFC destination (looks like TST_<SID>_<CLNT>)
  • Business user (i.e. Tester Profile)
  • Base URL / HTTP destination in case of non-ABAP systems.

 

2. SDC (System Data Container)

          SDC defines the systems on which the automated test cases are recorded or executed. A system is defined as follows

  • Operational function (eg: CRM,ERP)
  • Technical role (eg: Development system, Production system)

 

3. TDC (Test Data Container)

          TDC is a central repository for all test data. It contains the information of parameters, attributes and variants.

                                         

 

Now we will look how test scripts, SDC are created and see how automated testing is done with the help of SAP Solution Manager

 

Prerequisites:

Perform system configuration steps as given in the guided procedure SOLMAN_SETUP prior to create test script

 

Note: Test cases can be created in configuration phase of each project via SOLAR02 transaction. But I am explaining how CBTA works via transaction SM_WORKCENTER


Step 1: Login into SAP Solution Manager system and run transaction SM_WORKCENTER. Under Test Management workcenter, click Easy Test Automation as shown below

 

1.png

 

Step 2: A pop up opens where you can create new SDC or use existing SDC. To create new SDC, select System Data and enter the SDC name and click create as shown below

 

2.png

 

Step 3: Then you will be directed to SDC creation window where we need to give the name of the System Data Container and specify the logical component, target system as shown in the below screenshots.

 

 

3.png

4.png

 

After entering the details, upon saving the SDC contains the following information

 

5.png

Save these configuration in transport request.

 

Step 4: Now, in Test Management workcenter, go to CBTA Settings-> Maintain SUT. Here, you need to import the SDC created as shown below

 

6.png

 

Step 5: After selecting and importing the SDC, now you need to specify the RFC that communicates with the SUT which is configured as prerequisite and also assign the tester profile so that it enables logon to managed system while the script runs.

 

7.png

 

Step 6: Now, to create Test scripts, in Test Management workcenter-> Test Repository-> Test Scripts

 

8.png

 

When you click create Test Scripts, a pop up will appear where you need to give the name and title of the script, test tool would be CBTA as shown below

 

9.png

 

Step 7: Now, in the attributes tab of the test script, you need to specify the Application Component, here it will be CBTA component, SDC for this test script, Target system, Executable type and the Transaction as shown below

 

10.png

 

Note: Executable can be a transaction, BSP Application, CRM Webclient, Webdynpro application

 

Step 8: Once the details are filled in step 7, now click Launch button as that the script runs in the managed system remotely.

 

Note: In order to run the scripts remotely, settings in the managed system should be done. For this, run transaction SCC4 in corresponding managed system and keep the settings as changes are allowed.

 

Also you must enable scripts to run by making the changes in SAP Logon settings are shown below

 

11.png

 

So finally when you click on Launch CBTA, the scripts runs in the SUT and the test log is stored in SAP Solution Manager system.

 

Useful blogs about CBTA,

Component Based Test Automation (CBTA) in SAP Solution Manager 7.1

1. Solution Manager is free.

SAP put a lot of emphasis on the fact that Solution Manager comes for free. When SAP customers were forced to apply patches and generate installation keys through Solution Manager everyone was told that You don’t need to pay any license fees for Solution Manager, hence it is for free.

I do neither like nor agree with the fact that Solution Manager is for free. I don’t even think it is a good marketing position to be seen as a free tool. Personally I like Android phones, one of the reasons for that is the amount of free apps available for almost anything. But I also treat free apps as consumables, install them, try them a bit and then uninstall most of them in my 6 monthly clean up. However I never uninstall apps that I paid for. I even go the extra mile to try to find out about all possibilities those apps give me. So is it a good thing to be seen as “free”? In my opinion free things always carry the risk to be seen as low value.

 

But is Solution Manager really free? What about the hardware? What about the time and effort spent to configure and set up Solution Manager? But most of all: If it is free, then who is paying for the developers at SAP constantly developing and improving Solution Manager functionality in a breathtaking pace? You are! No matter if you use Solution Manager or not, if you utilize it to a high degree or a low degree. With every of you SAP licenses you also pay for Solution Manager. So given the fact that you pay for Solution Manager and most likely have an installation sitting somewhere in your SAP landscape: Why not have a closer look at that “App” that you paying for and find out what you can do with it?

2. Solution Manager is a tool for SAP Basis

Arguably a lot of the tools and functionalities within Solution Manager aim at supporting a SAP Basis team. The whole system landscape, Diagnostics Agents, Early Watch reports, Technical System Monitoring, Uptime / Downtime Management, Maintenance Optimizer, plus applying keys and patches are all tasks that belong into a day of life of a SAP Basis consultant or employee. Traditionally those functionalities are the main drivers to set up Solution Manager and usually these functionalities stay the only functionalities implemented (properly).

 

You will find that often ChaRM functionality is also completely implemented by a Basis team, often missing out on the full functionality and lacking incorporation of business requirements. But when it comes to Business Process Documentation, Customizing Documentation, Test Management, Component Based Test Automisation, Business Process Monitoring, ChaRM, Service Desk, Roadmaps, Documentation Templates or Custom Code Management, then we need to take a close look at the business requirements to get the most out of the functionality. I would even go further and claim it has to be owned and driven by the business to get useful results.

3. Once you set up Solution Manager all it needs is a bit of fine tuning

This might be related to the perception that Solution Manager is a tool set for SAP Basis. In fact it is true that a lot of the Solution Manager functionalities run in the background without much maintenance once they are set up. However most of the Business Related Functionalities need attention and ownership throughout the complete life cycle to stay up to date and reflect your current solution. The Business Process Documentation should be updated whenever a change or improvement changes the process. Larger pieces of work require projects to be set up, ideally processes to be checked out and updated during the “project” and then to be checked in again. I have set up the Change Request Management for one customer and never touched it in years. Despite the implementation being absolutely stable and virtually free of maintenance, ChaRM still requires you to monitor the progress of change documents. It is actually a great feature of ChaRM to report on stalled and abandoned change documents, to get the owners to reverse the code and / or customization thus keeping your system integrity as close to the production system as possible.

 

While Business Process Monitoring also does not need a lot of maintenance, it requires some housekeeping. Are the thresholds still up to date and valid? Are the monitoring objects still in place or should they be retired to improve performance? Are all extractors still running?

Like with all of your SAP modules you need functional owners who are interested and dedicated to get the most out of Solution Manager functionalities and keep on maintaining Solution Manager.

4. This is not the right time to start using Solution Manager

This is the most common answer that you might get when talking to companies about utilizing their Solution Manager. Some see it as not the right time, because they are in the middle of major projects, some consider it as the wrong time, because they fear the effort of retro documenting their Solution, some consider it the wrong time because a newer version of Solution Manager or major patch is imminent.

I think there is no such thing as the wrong time. Even if a newer version of Solution Manager with major changes is about to be released, there will always be components that undergo changes (or major changes) and other components that will be less affected by a newer version.

 

A good way to approach Solution Manager utilization is looking at what Solution Manager offers, which functionalities will be most useful for your situation and what is the effort to implement and maintain the functionality. Run a workshop first, identify quick gains and potential risks, then decide on a roadmap that suits you, but don’t postpone.

 

If there is an update announced also look at the impacted areas of the update and decide if you want to wait utilizing certain functionalities to avoid doubling up your effort. A good example might be implementing ChaRM on Solution Manager 7.0 while the details (and the fact that you need to re-implement ChaRM) for Solution Manager 7.1 were already known. In that case you might have postponed any ChaRM activities, while the Solution Documentation was virtually untouched by the upgrade.

 

Running a major project might be a good point in time to get your Solution Documentation up to date in Solution Manager, while if you are in a quiet phase will be a good time to look at all of the monitoring functionalities, ChaRM and especially the Solution Documentation assistant.

It is important to get started, no time is a better time than now.

 

5. Nothing will justify the effort of retro-documenting my Solution

If you aim for a 100% complete documentation of your Solution you might actually get away with that argument.

But first of all, what is the purpose of documenting your Solution? There are multiple reasons to do that, namely: Safeguarding the knowledge of your Solution in case key employees leave, reduce the dependency on a 3rd party who does all the configuration for you, prepare major projects especially when it comes to a migration to S/4 HANA. If you are considering to migrate to S/4 HANA you should make sure that you are well aware of how you are using the systems right now, which user exits you are utilizing, which data concepts your custom code uses and how you are using current processes. All of that might change with S/4 HANA.

 

You can run the Solution Documentation Assistant for a start, pick your critical processes and modify the Solution Documentation Assistant results to your needs and requirements. Follow the 80:20 rule and focus on the important things first. You might even leave processes untouched until a project touches that functionality. Put up weighted matrix of business processes, grade of customization and importance for your business. Then try to make sure to cover the 80% of the weighted most important / customized processes.

 

The solution documentation will help you in all project, regression tests, upgrades and eventually in not only going to a HANA database, but implementing S/4 HANA.

The data consistency team has been working on updating the Cross Database Comparison tool to support new source types. We are pleased to announce that the tool now supports OData V2+ services for the ATOM format. (Available with Solution Manager 7.1 SP14 and above)

 

 

Overview

The Cross Database Comparison (CDC) application is used to compare data sources with a complex structure or hierarchy across different systems. By doing so, you check whether the data in the source and target systems is consistent, for example, whether updates in the source system have been correctly replicated to the target system. Examples of complex data sources are sales orders with several items or a master data records distributed across several tables. You can read more about CDC here.

 

With the advent of the cloud, REST web services are used frequently to access data from the web. Enter OData: The OData (Open Data Protocol) is a standard that defines the best practice for building and consuming RESTful APIs. It is a data access protocol built on core protocols like HTTP and commonly accepted methodologies like REST for the web. Various kinds of libraries and tools can be used to consume OData services.


Why OData?

OData provides access to just the data you want. It has scalability built right in to the protocol. Using the conventions of OData, you can make highly specific requests to get a single data item or you can use the feature of linked-data to quickly uncover relationships. It works essentially like ODBC for the web

 

You can read more about OData services here.

 

OData as a new source type for CDC

Since many organizations are migrating data to the cloud, it becomes essential to check for consistency between the cloud systems and the onPremise systems. For this purpose, we make use of the new OData source type.


CDC Source TypeWeb Service used and flow
OData ServiceCDC->OData Request->Cloud ->OData Response-> CDC

 

information_sign_clip_art_7730.jpgCurrently, CDC supports only the ATOM format of OData, version 2.0+.


Prerequisites

There are a few prerequisites the OData service must have in order to be compatible with CDC. It implies that few features of the OData service must be accessible. The features are:


  • Metadata
  • Count
  • OData querying, filtering and expand operations

 

Metadata

A Service Metadata Document describes the data model (i.e. structure and organization of all the resources) exposed as HTTP endpoints by the service.


Example:

 http://services.odata.org/V2/OData/OData.svc/$metadata


Count

The count as well as 'inlinecount' function is accessible and is for counting the number of records extracted.


Example:

http://services.odata.org/V2/OData/OData.svc/Products/$count
http://services.odata.org/V2/OData/OData.svc/Products?$inlinecount=allpages


OData querying, filtering and expand operations

The ability to query entities, filter and expand associated entities should be working and accessible.


Example: 

http://services.odata.org/V2/OData/OData.svc/Products?$select=ID,Name
http://services.odata.org/V2/OData/OData.svc/Products?$filter=ID eq 0
http://services.odata.org/V2/OData/OData.svc/Products?$expand=Category


Features

Since we are comparing with ABAP systems or native databases or CSV or BI systems, the new source type supports multiple features:

 

Metadata

CDC is able to interpret this metadata and convert it to a format that can be understood and presented. For this purpose, as the Service metadata document describes entities. Entities are instances of Entity Types (for example, Customer, Employee, and so on) which are structured records consisting of named and typed properties and with a key.  CDC interprets each entity as a table.

 

For example, the entities displayed in the metadata are:

001.png

 

CDC will interpret this as 3 tables: Products, Categories and Suppliers. So, on selecting add table to the data model in CDC:


002.png

As of now in CDC , the OData source type OData supports only one primary entity (table) selection at one time. If it has relations with other entities, the fields will be displayed as part of the same entity as explained below.


 

OData Entities and properties in CDC (Columns)

From the metadata, we can also see the each entity set is linked to an Entity type. An entity type has properties, keys and or navigation properties (Relationships) to other entities.

003.png

For example, the metadata for the entity Product is:


The product contains the fields ID, Name, Description, Price, Rating, DiscontinuedDate and ReleaseDate. It has the field ID declared as a key field and it has a relation to Category and Supplier as shown in the metadata above.

 

The property fields are displayed in CDC as follows:

 

  • For fields of the given entity having a standard EDM type (like Edm.Int32, Edm.String etc.), the field followed by an equivalent ABAP DDIC type is shown.
  • If the property has an attribute that has KeepInContent = "false", CDC will search for the Target path and display the column name as: PropertyName_S_TargetName. Example : Name_S_Title
  • If the property has a complex type, CDC treats it as a structure and displays it as follows: ComplexTypeName___ComplexTypePropertyName. Example : Address___Street
  • If the property is part of an association (relation) then the column name is displayed as follows: AssociatedEntityName_N_AssociatedEntityPropoertyName. Example: Category_N_ID
  • A combination of the above types is also possible, for example in Products, the Products Supplier's Address city is displayed as: Supplier_N_Address___City
  • Key fields defined in the OData metadata is also displayed in the fields for table.

004.png


Supported and equivalent datatypes

All EDM types have been given an DDIC equivalent. The OData response is always treated as strings, but conversions to a specific type for comparison can be specified by the standard CDC conversion routines.

 

OData TypeABAP Equivalent TypeSupported?

Null

Not-AvailableYes, as (' ')

Edm.Binary

D16RYes

Edm.Boolean

CHARNo

Edm.Byte

INT1Yes

Edm.DateTime

DATSYes

Edm.DateTimeOffset

DATSYes

Edm.Decimal

FLTPYes

Edm.Double

FLTPYes

Edm.Single

FLTPYes

Edm.Guid

LCHRYes

Edm.Int16

INT2Yes
Edm.Int32INT4Yes

Edm.Int64

INT4Yes

Edm.SByte

LRAWYes

Edm.String

SSTRINGYes

Edm.Date

DATSYes
Edm.TimeTIMSYes


Extractor generation

Depending on the data model defined, CDC will generate an OData query. This query will select the desired fields and order them based on the key fields defined and filter them based on the filters provided in the data model.

 

Caution:


Please be careful on the number of fields selected and the number of conditions added to the filters. The query has a fixed length of 2048 characters, if it exceeds this length then the query will not be able to execute and the comparison will fail.


Conclusion

So concluding, we hope this will help you in checking consistency between your onPremise and cloud systems and also between two cloud systems. Have fun trying it out and let us know what you think!


Links

Data Consistency Management Blog: http://scn.sap.com/blogs/data_consistency_management

Data Consistency Management Wiki: Data Consistency Management - Solution Manager - SCN Wiki


In my previous blog, we have seen crucial points you should factor before going for upgrade/migration of your existing SAP Solution Manager 7.1. Now let us go through some of the Functional aspects you must consider before hitting that upgrade button.

 

There is a total overhaul to the concept of Solution, Projects & Landscapes in 7.2 in terms of System, Process & Version. Gone are the days, where you end up creating blank solutions just to activate EWA for some system. SAP suggests and tried to formulate a concept where 1 Customer = 1 Solution in 7.2.

                                       c1.png

    

Putting the ‘Solution’ in Solution Manager

 

In 7.2, the Solution will be the sum of a company’s systems and processes. In 7.1, you have bunch of Logical Components inside a Solution; in 7.2 the Logical Component concept has been completely revamped. It will be now easier to handle due to the removal of the product assignment for a Logical Component.

Consider a situation, you have ERP System in your IT landscape with DEV, QAS & PRD instances in BAU stream. Another 2 systems, DEV & QAS instances in Project stream. Then in 7.2, track of 3 ERP System from BAU would form one Logical Component called Production & Maintenance, remaining 2 ERP instances of Project track would form 'Development' logical component. The collection of 'Production + Maintenance+Development' logical components would now be called a ‘Logical Component Group’ titled 'ERP'.

This is a significant shift from 7.1 where technically, collection of Logical Components is called a Solution. In 7.2 technically Solution will be collection of all the ‘Logical Component Groups’ of your organization with each Logical Component Group having its own logical components.

 

                                      c2.png

 

That explains the ‘System’ part in the statement “The Solution will be the sum of a company’s systems and processes.” How about the ‘Processes’ part of the above statement? In 7.2, all your Business Process Documentation is done inside a ‘Solution’. So, no more SOLAR01 or SOLAR02 projects as container for your Business Process Hierarchy.  Hence no more Check Out/In procedure between Project & Solution for maintaining Business Process Documentation.

 

                    c3.png

 

Solution alone would act as a container for versions of solution documentation, one of which will be the production version. The Production Branch represents the productive version of the entire solution documentation. The Maintenance Branch represents the editable version of the productive solution documentation. Hence, every Solution in 7.2 will have a ‘Production’ branch and a ‘Maintenance’ branch.

 

                                   c4.png

      

So how all these going to affect my upgrade to 7.2? Since the entire concept of Solution Documentation is changed in 7.2, to be able to work with existing content in the new environment, the existing documentation content needs to be migrated to new architecture. This process is called “content activation”. This activity ensures all your business process documentations are retained and are compatible with the newer layout of 7.2.

                   c5.png


After the successful upgrade and content activation procedure, the existing Business Process Documentation would be transferred to new Solution structure and will look like below

 

                                  c6.png

 

  This content activation is a one time activity and cannot be reversed. The key take away for the customer is ‘Plan Ahead and Plan Carefully’ so as to limit the content during the upgrade and reduce the effort required by choosing only relevant Projects and Business Process Documentation for activation.


Things to Do Now to have a smooth transition to 7.2

Blueprint Generation Tool: Customers with an existing solution documentation can use the report attached to SAP note 2061626 in SAP Solution Manager 7.1 to evaluate the structure and prepare conceptually for the new Process Management environment in 7.2. This would you bird's eye view on how your structure might look like in the new layout of 7.2.

Third Party Integration: Customers who are using the integrations in SOLAR01/02 to IBM Rational Suites HP Tools, ARIS tools cannot upgrade to the first release of SAP Solution Manager 7.2, as the interfaces have not yet been adapted. The adaptations are currently planned for later. Hence do not jump onto the upgrade boat as soon as it arrives.

Keep your business process structure simple: This would be the right moment for you to clean up the unnecessary structures from the Business Process Hierarchy. This will save lot's of time during the activation.

Fill those vacant nodes: You might find several orphaned steps without any actual executable assigned in your current structure. To ensure a smooth transition and reduce post-activation effort, assign test cases and one executable (transaction/report, etc.) on process step level wherever possible.

Missing Attributes & their impact: In SAP Solution Manager 7.2, the set of standard SAP attributes has been cleaned up and reduced. If you are relying heavily on the attributes of a node right now, you may need more effort to convert them to Customer attributes while activation. So keep this effort estimation too in your plan.

Keep your satellite system up to date: Plan for installing latest plug ins available for ST-PI & ST-A/PI for all the managed system which are part of your existing solution documentation

Prepare the content activation in advance: The guided procedure in transaction PREPARE_ACTIVATION helps you to define the activation scope before you start the activation process. This txn. would be available as a part of preparation note.

All customers can try the Content Activation of their existing Documentation by availing the CAL SAP Solution Manager 7.2 system offered by SAP. This shall give a good mock up environment to play around your existing documentation and understand how it is going behave after the upgrade & activation. More info. on this is here : http://scn.sap.com/community/cloud-appliance-library/blog/2016/01/18/sap-solution-manager-72-coming-soon-to-sap-cal

Thanks,

Vivek

OCC Dashboard

 

Operation Control Center Dashboard of SAP Focused Insights provides a direct access to key metrics stored inside SAP Solution Manager. It’s primarily intended for IT and business experts who need to build quickly detailed views for in depth analysis.

 

OCC Dashboard is flexible and easy to use, it offers a single web interface to administrate, configure and display your dashboard instances. Dashboard instances and gadgets can be published as a web URL.

 

Several data providers help to access data sources on different time periods and different resolutions. You can filter and merge various metrics on the same chart while the look and feel can easily be changed with few clicks.

 

In this example we’ll show how to use a renderer with dual unit and display business process analytics.

 

We will extend the OCC dashboard created in the previous blogs:

 

 

  • Edit the dashboard
  • Edit settings of gadget number 3 (bottom left gadget, related to CPU)
  • Change gadget’s title: “CPU Utilization”
  • Change gadget’s renderer: “DUAL_LINE COLUMN”
  • For query related to system CPU, select chart type “COLUMN” and change legend: “System”
  • For query related to user CPU, select chart type “LINE” and change legend: “User”
  • Apply your changes
  • Save the dashboard

 

Picture1.png

 

Picture2.png

 

  • Edit the dashboard
  • Open the settings of gadget 4 (bottom right)
  • Enter the title for the alert: “Current business process monitoring alerts”
  • Select data provider “/STDF/DP_BPA” (business process analytics)
  • Select renderer “BAR_CHART”
  • Select panel “Current_Alerts_E2E_Solution”
  • Apply changes

 

Picture3.png

 

  • Save the dashboard
  • Gadget displays the current number of alerts per business process

 

Picture4.png

 

Focused Insights (http://support.sap.com/focused-insights)


Focused solutions for SAP Solution Manager, is the extension concept for SAP Solution Manager, with the idea of helping our customers meet their particular innovation needs on an individual basis, without the need for homegrown software or partner solutions.


The goal of Focused Insights is to build and distribute powerful customer-specific dashboards in minutes using state-of-the-art user experience.

 

The content delivered with Focused Insights has been designed to deliver, in real time, the most relevant and valuable information to the right people. While it provides full transparency of information stored inside SAP Solution Manager, it also takes into account the best practices and experience gained during numerous custom projects, offering a set of prepackaged dashboards tailored to your needs.

 

SAP Focused Insights offers specialized dashboards for experts as well as management or non-technical users. Whether they address the CIO or an expert, dashboards remain consistent among each other since they rely on the same data sources mixed up and presented in different granularities or aggregation levels

 

Focused Insights comes with a rich content. It fully exploits the huge amount of data stored inside SAP Solution Manager. Metrics produced by the activation of a scenario, whether it is IT or business related, become immediately available to the prepackaged dashboards. Raw metrics can be grouped or combined to produce advanced metrics and high level KPIs.


We all agree that, the nature and dynamics of IT organization running SAP solutions are changing rapidly pace. The business is requesting more functionalities and new capabilities from IT. IT leaders have lots of catch up to do with the ever growing business demands.

Amidst all this, new solution is in the offering and we are seeing same excitement that we saw back in 2011 when SAP Solution Manager 7.1 was being introduced. The curiosity is high; and expectations are even higher.

2016-06-17_17-37-15.png

 

Let us breakdown some of the crucial aspects, that, you as a decision maker should consider while hoping on to the new release. I would be covering Technical, Functional & Business considerations in series of blogs.

 

The Timeline:


t1.png


The scheduled release timeline looks more promising by now and quite a good number of customers already experimented with the Ramp Up program. The new release is expected to hit the shelves by Q3 2016. That means, if you have not spent some time in evaluating the fitment, and strategy to upgrade; you still have 3 more months to chalk out some draft plans.

                       

Technical Considerations


  1. i.To or Not to Hana :

One  of the much talked about topics, ever since SAP anounced that Hana is Free for Solution Manager 7.2. All customers with a valid SAP maintenance agreement can use SAP HANA as database for SAP Solution Manager. There is no additional SAP HANA licensing required. However this does not include any SAP-HANA-related hardware cost. You got to procure the hardwares from one of the certified platform vendors. If you are a first time Hana user, then this option give a distinct benefit to you, which makes the hardware investement a good bet. This could be the first system in a general to familiarize yourself with SAP HANA & you can use the SAP Solution Manager 7.2 as your first SAP HANA system for monitoring and administration. This sure gonna generate interest in your Basis teams since even they get to try and experiment Hana for the first time !

Another aspect, adopting Hana as a database to Solution Manager 7.2 reduces the licensing costs associated with solman database. That is, one less line item in your IT budget sheet w.r.t license costs. The total cost of ownership and system footprint would significantly reduce in a long run if you adopt Hana now.

 

  1. ii. Stack Split & its impact

SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is based on SAP NetWeaver 7.4. Dual-stack systems are no longer supported as of NW 7.4. As a consequence, your existing SAP Solution Manager system has to be split as part of the procedure – that is, the Java part gets extracted into a standalone system, next to the persisted ABAP system. While seperating ABAP & Java parts, you have 2 options. You can install a new Java stack without additional database, but reuses the existing database also for the new Java system, using multiple components in one database (MCOD) method. Or install a new Java stack with an additional database.

t2.png

You can perform a heterogeneous system copy of your AS ABAP system to SAP HANA, including post copy activities.

 

t3.png

 

Optionally, you can perform a heterogeneous system copy of your AS Java system to SAP HANA (or any other database, such as SAP ASE), including post-copy activities. By making Hana as a Database for entire 7.2 stack, everyday administration tasks become lot simpler.

 

t4.png

 

  1. iii. To Transit or Not To:

If your organization decides immediate investment on Hana hardware is not feasible however upgrade to 7.2 is imminent, then there are alternative plans. You could opt Sybase ASE as a transit DB for your 7.2 before going for Hana DB, which allows a interim production usage period before you finally migrate to Hana.

So what is the ideal way for upgrade, stack split and eventually moving on to Hana?. One of the options for you could be Transit to Hana approach as shown below;

 

t5.png

2016-06-08_23-30-51.png

In subsequent posts, I would touch upon Functional and Business Considerations about adopting SAP Solution Manager 7.2.

 

Thanks,

Vivek

OCC Dashboard

 

Operation Control Center Dashboard of SAP Focused Insights provides a direct access to key metrics stored inside SAP Solution Manager. It’s primarily intended for IT and business experts who need to build quickly detailed views for in depth analysis.

 

OCC Dashboard is flexible and easy to use, it offers a single web interface to administrate, configure and display your dashboard instances. Dashboard instances and gadgets can be published as a web URL.

 

Several data providers help to access data sources on different time periods and different resolutions. You can filter and merge various metrics on the same chart while the look and feel can easily be changed with few clicks.

 

In this example we’ll show how to use drag & drop to quickly build new charts or re-use existing charts. Caution: drag & drop feature is not supported by all web browsers. It is recommended to use Chrome.

 

In the following, we will extend the OCC dashboard created in the previous blogs:

 

 

 

  • Logon to the OCC dashboard
  • Edit the dashboard “Demo Focused Insights” created previously
  • Select “Settings”

 

Picture1.png

 

  • Add an additional row
  • Apply your changes

 

Picture2.png

 

  • Save the dashboard

 

Picture3.png

 

  • Edit the third gadget

 

Picture4.png

 

  • Enter gadget’s title: “Host monitoring overview”
  • Select data provider “/STDF/DP_SYSMON_SNAPSHOT”
  • Select renderer “ALERT_TABLE”
  • Select monitored object
  • Select view “Overview”
  • Add query
  • Enter query legend

 

Picture5.png

 

  • Select another monitored object
  • Select view “Overview”
  • Add query
  • Enter query legend
  • Apply changes

 

Picture6.png

 

  • Select one legend from gadget 3 (“Monitoring overview”)
  • Hold the button and drag the legend to the gadget 4
  • Release the button

 

Picture7.png

 

  • Gadget 4 contains the details monitoring view for dragged monitoring object

 

Picture8.png

 

  • Select one metric in the detail view (gadget 4)
  • Hold the button and drag the metric to the gadget 3
  • Release the button

 

Picture9.png

 

  • Gadget 3 contains detail view for dragged metric

 

Picture10.png

 

  • Select another metric from gadget 4
  • Hold the CTRL button and the mouse button and drag the legend to the gadget 3
  • Release the button

 

Picture11.png

 

  • Gadget 3 contains detail view for two dragged metrics

 

Picture12.png

 

  • Save the dashboard to keep your changes
  • Edit the dashboard
  • Enter “ERP response time” in the search bar on the top left (this gadget was created previously)
  • Drag the gadget “ERP response time” to the gadget 4 of the dashboard

 

Picture13.png

 

  • Release the mouse
  • Gadget “ERP response time” is now on position 1 and position 4 of the dashboard

 

Picture14.png

 

  • Press cancel to discard your change

 


Part 4 of this blog is available here:Focused Insights: How to build an OCC Dashboard (Part 4)

 

 

Focused Insights (http://support.sap.com/focused-insights)

 

Focused solutions for SAP Solution Manager, is the extension concept for SAP Solution Manager, with the idea of helping our customers meet their particular innovation needs on an individual basis, without the need for homegrown software or partner solutions.


The goal of Focused Insights is to build and distribute powerful customer-specific dashboards in minutes using state-of-the-art user experience.

 

The content delivered with Focused Insights has been designed to deliver, in real time, the most relevant and valuable information to the right people. While it provides full transparency of information stored inside SAP Solution Manager, it also takes into account the best practices and experience gained during numerous custom projects, offering a set of prepackaged dashboards tailored to your needs.

 

SAP Focused Insights offers specialized dashboards for experts as well as management or non-technical users. Whether they address the CIO or an expert, dashboards remain consistent among each other since they rely on the same data sources mixed up and presented in different granularities or aggregation levels

 

Focused Insights comes with a rich content. It fully exploits the huge amount of data stored inside SAP Solution Manager. Metrics produced by the activation of a scenario, whether it is IT or business related, become immediately available to the prepackaged dashboards. Raw metrics can be grouped or combined to produce advanced metrics and high level KPIs.



SAPPHIRE NOW represented a week of inspiration and to some extent madness for me as a SAP Mentor. Luckily I was invited to lunch with Marc Oliver Schaefer so we had the opportunity to catch up and talk about SAP Solution Manager going forward. On a side note I lost weight which was welcome due to the amount of walking (miles) going back and forth between the Hilton meeting room and the conference hall. I also spent an hour or so at the booths of SAP Solution Manager after being unleashed on the show floor .


So let's take a look at the novelties and pointers which SAP placed an emphasis on during the past week at SAPPHIRE NOW around SAP Solution Manager 7.2.

 

SAP Solution Manager mentioned in Dr. Hasso Plattner's keynote

 

readinesscheck-pic.jpg

During the keynote of Dr .Hasso Plattner, SAP Solution Manager was mentioned in the journey of customers toward S/4 HANA Enterprise Management. The SAP S/4 HANA Readiness Check Tool is a service that  can be delivered by SAP through SAP Solution Manager 7.2. The only thing I didn't really like that much is that this is currently a premium service that is being offered, meaning it's not available to everyone, free of charge right now. There might be a good reason for this, I haven't checked (yet), I can understand that it's relatively new and requires some experience from SAP side also to ensure it's well documented, running fine so basically in the beginning keeping some control on SAP side before putting it out there as a self service. It's mentioned in the SAP Press book that SAP wants to put this out there as a self service looking forward. I hope this happens as soon as possible so customers can run this as a self service to help them on their S/4 HANA journey.


Here are some of the relevant SAP notes if you are interested to get this running:

 

2267221 - Service Preparation for SAP S/4HANA Readiness Check (SAP S/4HANA on-premise edition 1511)

2211442 - Service Preparation for SAP S/4HANA Readiness Check (SAP S/4HANA Finance on-premise edition 1503)

 

SAP Press book SAP Solution Manager for S/4 HANA

 

I was also honored to receive a hard copy of the SAP Press book SAP Solution Manager for SAP S/4HANA which was launched at SAPPHIRE NOW. I started reading it at the airport when I went back home, at least until a couple of other SAP Mentors on their way home joined in to wait at the gate . The book is worth reading in terms of getting a view on all the available options, how SAP sees everything fits together, how they see best practice in terms of modeling business process for example also in the solution documentation scenario in SAP Solution Manager 7.2. A recommended read in other words if you are into SAP Solution Manager. Even though I could be considered to be a millennial, a real books still feels different versus e-reading in terms of the reading experience so I preferred the hard copy.


Video interview at SAPPHIRE NOW


 

All in all the video turned out nicely, I need to do this more often and practice speaking about Solution Manager on the spot, in English (not my native language) with a camera in my face . I do stand by what I said here, I really believe SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is a big step forward. Thanks to Ben for setting this up.


More simplification and more extensive reporting capabilities


What I ask for in the video at the end is more simplification and more extensive reporting capabilities so I want to elaborate further on this here.


The simplification part is following SAP's strategy, looking at S/4 HANA Enterprise Management for example so simplifying the underlying database tables and how the product is build on top of the SAP HANA platform. It makes sense to reduce the complexity which is still there in the underlying technical infrastructure also when it comes to Technical Monitoring for example. Unfortunately, when SAP starting developing SAP Solution Manager 7.2 it was too early to get this done but now that's is almost there, we want SAP to work on the next version soon enough, right .


In terms of the more extensive reporting capabilities I would love to see connectivity options, best practice content (predelivered content and examples) that can be used to create custom reporting and dashboarding on top of BusinessObjects product family for example which also includes BusinessObjects cloud because that can make it possible to have a "boardroom of the future" with specific information for the management layer in the company.


Is that possible today? Yes but it's currently complicated and a struggle for many customers to understand which data resides where etc so it can definitely be improved to a large extent. On a side note, the capabilities inside SAP Solution Manager 7.2 have been improved to large extent in terms of having KPI tiles that can be leveraged and dashboards inside of the product.


Value engineering


Something I forgot to mention is that it would be a good idea if SAP spends time on value engineering examples of how leveraging SAP Solution Manager results into monetary benefits. Some scenario's have customers presentations in the SCN wiki space for example which boost best practice / findings / figures of savings or percentages but in general there is too little of all of this which makes it sometimes hard to build a positive business case. In order to use customer data, they would need to be measuring which often they are not doing in those specific area's and without references, you have nearly nothing to go on building the business case. Plenty of customers still argue around the value that SAP Solution Manager brings. It would be nice to be able to counter that more easily. There is some movement in this area already at SAP but I would like to see more.

 

SAP Solution Manager 7.2 SPS02 trial on Amazon AWS


The SAP Cloud Appliance Library now also has the latest ramp-up version available of SAP Solution Manager! This is the ideal way for customers to try out SAP Solution Manager 7.2 if they are not part of SAP ramp-up around SAP Solution Manager but still want to check out SAP Solution Manager 7.2 to prepare ahead of it's general availability release.

 

Focused Solutions (currently still running on top of SAP Solution Manager 7.1)


Something that caused dust waves in the SAP Partner ecosystem is the announcement of SAP to have Focused Solutions available for SAP Solution Manager. This was announced previously on SAP Community Network already here: Big News About SAP Solution Manager: Announcing Focused Solutions


The idea was discussed last year already with a number of experts on SAP Solution Manager in Walldorf and it was already controversial back then. I didn't want to make any statements in the video interview at SAPPHIRE NOW on the topic because I need to look into it further now that the solution is actually available. I'm not hiding this for my customers, I believe in telling them the truth, what it is, what it isn't, you can read about it in above blog post. The essence is that you get a predelivered / preconfigured Solution Manager system where it's not the intention that you start custom coding or customizing it beyond what is considered best practice to keep it easy to maintain, easy to innovate going forward. It's something in between the likes of on-premise and software as a service if you wish, topped off with some premium content (it also comes with a price tag) to deliver more insight to the customer.


I can see how large SAP Partners dislike the concept, especially if they have many resources in action to deliver SAP Solution Manager and SAP Solution Manager projects at customer side as this goes against their business really. On the other hand I also see a market for this kind of proposal in terms of having a quick way to deploy and leverage SAP Solution Manager with less (or lesser) hassle. This will not be the solution for all customers, like I said, there is a market for it which might be limited even. How big that market is, is hard to tell at this moment in time. Like I said before, I won't avoid this at all, my customers will have to make the decision, I will guide them through the different options and explain what's what and where pro / con arguments lie.


The future roadmap would point in the direction of Software As A Service as go to solution since that is the direction SAP is pushing in right now in terms of a cloud first strategy. I also definitely see interesting use cases of having scenario's available separately as a service on HANA Cloud Platform but this is futuristic still, running ahead of the current state of things.


End note


All in all, the future looks bright, I look forward to enabling customers to a larger extent leveraging SAP Solution Manager 7.2. It can definitely also help them on their journey to S/4 HANA Enterprise Management and Digital Transformation so it makes sense that SAP puts it in the spotlight in this sense. I was happy to see it featured in the keynote at SAPPHIRE NOW.


OCC Dashboard

 

 

Operation Control Center Dashboard of SAP Focused Insights provides a direct access to key metrics stored inside SAP Solution Manager. It’s primarily intended for IT and business experts who need to build quickly detailed views for in depth analysis.

 

OCC Dashboard is flexible and easy to use, it offers a single web interface to administrate, configure and display your dashboard instances. Dashboard instances and gadgets can be published as a web URL.

 

Several data providers help to access data sources on different time periods and different resolutions. You can filter and merge various metrics on the same chart while the look and feel can easily be changed with few clicks.

 

In this example we’ll describe step by step how to configure a gadget to monitor an EEM (End-User Experience Monitoring) script.

 

We will extend the OCC dashboard created in the previous blog: Focused Insights: How to build an OCC Dashboard (Part 1)

 

Picture1.png

 

  • Logon to the OCC dashboard
  • Edit the dashboard “Demo Focused Insights” created previously
  • Edit the second gadget

 

Picture2.png

 

  • Enter gadget’s title: “Portal response time”
  • Select data provider “/STDF/DP_EEM_BI”
  • Select an EEM agent from the list (in this example “eem_singapore”)
  • Select an EEM script from the list (in this example “PortalOTO_New”)
  • Add query
  • Enter legend “Singapore”
  • Select another EEM agent from the list (in this example “eem_nice”)
  • Select the same EEM script (in this example “PortalOTO_New”)
  • Add query
  • Enter legend “Nice”
  • Select another EEM agent from the list (in this example “eem_berlin”)
  • Select the EEM script (in this example “PortalOTO_New”)
  • Add query
  • Enter legend “Berlin”
  • Select another EEM agent from the list (in this example “eem_new_york”)
  • Select EEM script (in this example “PortalOTO_New”)
  • Add query
  • Enter legend “New York”
  • Select renderer “COLUMN_CHART”

 

Picture3.png

 

  • Select tab “More Settings”

 

Picture4.png

 

  • Select time range “Last Week”
  • Select resolution “Day”
  • Apply the time range

 

Picture5.png

 

  • Enter Y unit: “Milliseconds”
  • Save and check the chart

 

Picture1.png

 

Part 3 of this blog is available here: Focused Insights: How to build an OCC Dashboard (Part 3)

 

 

Focused Insights (http://support.sap.com/focused-insights)

 

Focused solutions for SAP Solution Manager, is the extension concept for SAP Solution Manager, with the idea of helping our customers meet their particular innovation needs on an individual basis, without the need for homegrown software or partner solutions.


The goal of Focused Insights is to build and distribute powerful customer-specific dashboards in minutes using state-of-the-art user experience.

 

The content delivered with Focused Insights has been designed to deliver, in real time, the most relevant and valuable information to the right people. While it provides full transparency of information stored inside SAP Solution Manager, it also takes into account the best practices and experience gained during numerous custom projects, offering a set of prepackaged dashboards tailored to your needs.

 

SAP Focused Insights offers specialized dashboards for experts as well as management or non-technical users. Whether they address the CIO or an expert, dashboards remain consistent among each other since they rely on the same data sources mixed up and presented in different granularities or aggregation levels

 

Focused Insights comes with a rich content. It fully exploits the huge amount of data stored inside SAP Solution Manager. Metrics produced by the activation of a scenario, whether it is IT or business related, become immediately available to the prepackaged dashboards. Raw metrics can be grouped or combined to produce advanced metrics and high level KPIs.


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