Reflecting on past thoughts

 

I remember about three years back when i was involved  in a Solution Manager upgrade/implementation project, I advised a consultant from a Solution Manager consulting firm to dig into custom BW reporting on top of Solution Manager. In retrospect it's always nice to see advice was actually good advice. More and more customers are reporting on Solution Manager data nowadays so he should have had a head start on that by now already.

 

Revisiting reporting options

 

Not so long ago, I needed to do the same since we proposed at customer side to automate some statistical reporting which was generated in a manual fashion still. In the past I had done some discovery of potential options and some work on specific reporting (availability through ccmsping in a custom SLR for example) but not yet utilized custom queries. So I started again by looking at what's possible nowadays, some releases further down the road.

 

HTTPSstepsSLR.jpg

 

My first idea was to use custom queries in SLR (Service Level Reporting) in Solution Manager but that didn't work out as well as I had hoped. It's too restrictive and too slow to make quick adjustments and generate a result. Since I don't have a publishing platform (BusinessObjects, portal, ...) at hand at this customer on short notice I had to reside to an alternative option. You can see in above screenshot that it did work but you cannot build really advanced queries or anything so in the end it didn't have the requirements I was looking for.

 

HTTPS.jpg

 

In the end, I ended up using the Bex Query Designer and Bex Query Analyzer. Why? AnalysisOffice requires a specific license which is not in place.

 

I've played around with AnalysisOffice during ASUG preconference (at SAPPHIRENOW just recently) and it's indeed better / more interesting then Bex Query Analyzer.

 

Combining Bex Query Designer, Bex Query Analyzer and Microsoft Office, I was able to generate a PDF based report which meets the requirements of the customer in terms of reporting on KPI's. As a next step I will be looking at publishing options and leveraging the BI suite (Web Intelligence or alikes ...). You can read some related posts as I leveraged learning hub, read about that here and I tried out BW connectivity to SAP Lumira.as well which you can read about here.

 

Some challenges along the way:

 

  • The exception in Bex Query Designer is hard to leverage for building the graph in Excel. So I resorted to a calculated key figure matching the exception value so I have another column in Excel which can be used to build the graph.
  • I used an offset function to define the area where the data resides to have the graph dynamically build depending on the available data ~ some months are longer than other months and reporting on the previous month means you need a dynamic graph
  • Performance wasn't optimal ~ I leverage a number of Bex SAP notes to change some parameter settings to optimize the loading time and I also set the query refresh to single dataproviders in order not to be forced to refresh the whole workbook each time
    • I need to look into this further and potentially leverage caching as a way to speed things up further or try to use aggregation up front
  • Figuring out what's what isn't too easy, especially if you don't have a BW background so I spent some time on figuring out the key figures and how SAP calculated them to come to a specific result. Help.sap.com helped to some extent on the infoproviders and key figure description info (you need to know in what something is expressed also for example so check the content first ~ms versus second for example makes a big difference ).

 

In the end, it has been super interesting already to work this out and I look forward to do more around BI reporting on SAP Solution Manager based data. SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is approaching and as it approaches, I'll be checking what options we've got available there for custom reporting.



Solution Manager 7.2 was initially scheduled to be generally available by the end of 2015 (But reportedly postponed to Q2 of 2016) and will introduce big changes. From what we could see in the previews, we get a revamped Solution Documentation. What should we expect exactly? I have tried to synthesize all the information I got from the SAP webinars, with my comments as a Solution Manager consultant.


It would be great to discuss these planned changes. However, keep in mind that this blog entry is based on previews by SAP, and that the finished product might be different.

 

 

Pragmatic Business Process Management

Solution Manager 7.2 introduces what SAP calls “Pragmatic Business Process Management”. This is a way to underscore the fact that SolMan 7.2 is more “Business Processes Oriented. 7.1 was IT/Operations focused. 7.2 will try to balance things more, increasing value for Business Processes/Implementation. The goal is to get Business Process Experts more involved... This translates into most of the following items:

 

 

Documentation before project start

With more focus on implementation and Business Processes, one major flaw needed to be addressed. In 7.1, you can’t start documenting unless you have a landscape. This means that you business process expert can’t document unless the project actually starts. For 7.2, SAP want to decouple the documentation (or at least, the modelling of processes) from the actual landscape. The link will of course need to be done later on, but at least, there will be  no need to “wait” anymore.

 

 

Graphic Business Process Modeling

We gain a business process modeling tool, adapted from Power Designer. SAP is simply using the graphic libraries, so we shouldn't expect the functionalities of the tool. This modeling environment should be for business processes only (No enterprise architecture, no UML).

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 14.37.04.png

Source: SAP

 


Open interface to other Modelling tools

So far we had an integration with ARIS (that wasn't made by SAP). We should be getting an open interface that will make things simpler. Bi-directional, it will be possible to use it with any tool. It won't be part of the ramp-up (but added later).

 

 

Analytics extended to business cases

We should be able to relate business cases to KPI and thresholds from Business Processes Analytics Framework. The way to do it: We define this in implementation, store in SolMan, do our project, and in Live phase we can analyse and continuously check how well our KPI are met by the system users.

 

 

A new Documentation Lifecycle Model

Projects and Solution are two similar concepts for Solution Documentation in SolMan 7.1.

To document in Solution Manager, you will need to create a Project.

Let’s say you are starting an implementation, but will shift to maintenance after go-live. Then, the proposed model is as follows:

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 13.45.31.png

Source: SAP

 

So, you need to create an implementation project and document. This can be made from scratch, or using  “templates”. Once your project goes live, you need to transfer your documentation to a productive “Solution”, and then create a maintenance project. This maintenance project will be used for documenting your changes to the productive environment.

You end up with documents in double or triple, with different versions. You need to use the “compare and adjust” functionality…

 

As if this is not enough, projects and Solutions share a lot, but have a few specificities that make both of them necessary. So you should maintain both.

 

Solution Manager 7.2 will remove this issue by introducing one common directory for Business Process documentation. Projects and Solution are unified. New concepts are introduced. Old ones are rendered obsolete.

 

 

No more Reverse Business Process Documentation

We could see this coming. RBPD, or Reverse Business Processing Documentation, is a great functionality of 7.1. It helps you jumpstart your documentation in the less painful way possible. Instead of manually creating your process steps/ Business Processes and Scenarios, or having to choose them in the very dense BPR (Business Process repository), RBPD creates for you, based on your system usage, an almost ready to use Business Process Structure.

The disappearance of RBPD could be foreshadowed with the introduction of SEA, who also creates a ready to use business process structure for you (because SEA needs one). Or, even more so, with the introduction, with note 2061626, of the Blueprint Generator (used by SEA) as a separate functionality. The blueprint generator/SEA analyzes your system usage and create a Solution Documentation Project that contains all transactions and reports structured by the Application Component Hierarchy comparable to what you can already see in the IMG. Objects that are not standard are listed at the end, under “Customer objects”, and it is your responsibility to affect them to the right process step. This blueprint generator becomes standard tool to generate blueprints, and will be used by Solution Documentation.

 


And no more BPR

It gets replaced by the RDS Content.

 


A new architecture

New concepts are introduced by 7.2. Layers of libraries are now used to avoid redundancy of objects.

They are of 3 types:

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 14.03.19.png

Source:SAP

 

Objects will be in the TOL only if used, with only one occurrence, and structured according to the application component hierarchy.

The PSL will also be created automatically based on usage. Multiple occurrences (of technical objects) will be allowed.

Process Step Library and Technical Object Library are available by system. E2E business process will be used to document across systems.

The creation of the E2E should be simple (you pull steps from the individual systems in the E2E library) but not required, as the TOL & PSL are enough to work with SolDoc. You can start testing as soon as SolMan is set up.

 

 

No more Solar Transactions

If you are somehow familiar with Solution Documentation, then you must know about the SOLAR Transactions. They are used to create, manage and do some reporting on your documentation project.

Those transactions are the heart of solution documentation in SolMan 7.1, and simply disappear in 7.2.

We gain instead, it seems, two mains views: The Solution Landscape UI, and the Solution Documentation UI.

 

 

Business Process Hierarchy with unlimited levels

In 7.1, you document with a 3 levels hierarchy: Scenarios, Business Process and Process Steps.

Without Solar transactions anymore, it's no surprise that the way structures are represented will change considerably. Instead of this 3 levels structure, we are getting boxes representing levels, and the possibility to have as many levels as we want. However, the 3 levels are still there, and will be the core of the documentation. We will simply be able to add as many levels as we want on top of them. This will be very close to the workaround used right now, which consists on coding levels through naming convention (combining levels in Scenarios names, for example).


 

Lifecycle based on Branches

Among the new concepts introduced, the “branches” hold a significant place. If you want a simple definition for a branch, it is simply, according to SAP, a versioning context for documentation. What this means is while we don't have the implementation/maintenance projects anymore, you will be able to maintain your different documentations without affecting the one that is productive. It's based on views that contains only pre selected processes.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 14.14.05.png

Source: SAP

 

 

Integration with ChaRM

You have a change document open for some maintenance in your system, tracking your changes. The corresponding documentation is in the maintenance branch of your documentation. When your ticket is productive, you will simply need to make your maintenance documentation productive. And apparently, this is done automatically. So, 7.2 adds a new layer of SolDoc/ChaRM integration, which is great.

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 14.27.52.png

Source: SAP

 


Requirement management

SAP introduces requirement management in Solution Documentation, and in ChaRM. This will be particularly interesting for ChaRM, as It seems we are getting new transactions types for IT and Business Requirements. A workaround so far had been to adapt some of the standard transaction to allow requirement management using some specific statuses.

 

 

Logical component group

They get introduced to make logical components management easier and avoid redundancy of documentation. We should end up with much fewer logical components.

 

 

This is what I got for the previews. I will update my blog post or create a new one once I get access to SolMan 7.2.


 

 

 

The SAP Solution Documentation webinar can be found here:

https://service.sap.com/sap/bc/bsp/spn/esa_redirect/index.htm?gotocourse=X&courseid=70283905

 

Some additional information in the webinar on Solution Manager 7.2:

https://service.sap.com/sap/bc/bsp/spn/esa_redirect/index.htm?gotocourse=X&courseid=70275220

When working with the Diagnostics scenario in the Solution Manager, We must be very careful about the Introscope Enterprise Manager and always keep an eye on it to ensure the data collection is working well. The problem is that depending on the size of the landscape involved, this scenario can grow fast in complexity and it'll become difficult to identify if the EM is taking care of the job easily or if it is becoming overloaded.

 

The EM itself generates a file called "perflog.txt" which is simply a collection of performance metrics which are stored every 15 second cycle. This data is very useful to understand how the Enterprise Manager has been handling the load and if any action is required to improve its behavior. The hard thing about analyzing this file is that it generates a lot of data depending on how long the Enterprise Manager has been up and running.

 

With the help of my colleagues Roland Hoeller and Allam Drebes, a tool was developed to facilitate this analysis, and also share our knowledge with the customers. The EM Perflog Analyzer tool performs a series of checks in this file and provides recommendations accordingly. Right now, we're releasing it under version 1.0.0.40 and it can be downloaded from its wiki page.

 

In this version we've added 5 main checks to be performed over the perflog file, which are the following:

 

  • Number of Metrics
  • Number of Agents
  • Java Heap Space
  • Harvest Duration
  • SmartStor Duration

 

Through these checks it is possible to identify if the EM is struggling to handle the load and needs any action from the user to correct the problem/avoid future issues. We plan to include more checks in the future as the tool develops further, but right now our focus is to deliver the tool with the most important checks and ensure it is working stable.

 

The main advantage of using this tool is that it'll make possible to understand how well the Enterprise Manager is working and predict issues beforehand based on the historical data present in the perflog.

 

I'm glad that we're releasing this tool today and I hope to hear the feedback from the community, to further improve the tool and facilitate the task of keeping the Enterprise Manager running well and reliable.


Please leave us your feedback and also let us know if you run into any issue when using the tool.


e delivered standard content for Guided procedure as alert resolution path for alerts that arise in job monitoring for ABAP Jobs.

Starting 7.1 SP12, this feature is available in the standard in Job Monitoring.

 

ABAP_ALERT_GP.JPG

 

 

Launch the GP.

 

ABAP_JOB_ALERT_GP_1.JPG

Step 1 of the GP provides link to open the alert details in a seperate window.

 

GP_1_alert_Details_alert_inbox.JPG

 

Subsequent stpes provides options to launch the job log in the managed system. This is mandatory step to be performed(also manually) as expect a job log holds the details of the execution of this job.

 

We provide also the jump-in to launch the job documentaion. Should the job be documented, the alert resolution could might well be docuemnted in the job document.

JOB_DOC_LAUNCH.JPG

 

 

Beyond the standard GP delivered, it is possible to author GPs as well with customer specific resolution mechanism.

Entry point to the configuration from Technical monitoring workcenter

SOLMAN_SETUP_JBI_MON_ENTRY_TECHMON.png

In Job Moniotring, move to step 4, define scope. Select a technical scenraio of interest (else you may want to create one). Technical scenarios are logical grouping according to the user requriement. There can be scenarios that represent for instance, all systems that belong to a business process or being monitred by a particular shift of operators or grouped based on the region of data source.

Define_Scope.png

Select a scenario and move to .2 step for alert configuration. The top table provides an overview of all the selected metrics. On lead selection, the thresholds provided for each metric and the alert texts for selected monitored objects is available.

Change_Alert_text_Save_MO_GEN_ACT.png

 

=> On edit, the text box next to ALERT TEXT opens up for editing. This is a re-usable technical component that is available for system monitoring as well.

 

Subsequently

1. SAVE

2. Generate

3. Activate

 

For the changes to be seen in the notification triggered from Auto-notification and to see these texts in the alert inbox, when an alert is triggered for this MO.

 

Regards, Raghav

For some time now, I have been thinking about a way to allow functional people to monitor processes and message flows, but without letting them use SAP PO. In the past, PI monitoring came close and was not bad at all. But now, my requirements are completely covered using Message Flow Monitoring on SAP Solution Manager. This is what functional people need!

 

We use a SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SP12 system in conjunction with a SAP PO 7.4 SP09 system.

 

Prerequisites

 

SAP PI 7.31 SP07 or higher and SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SP09 or higher. Also, make sure all MFmon related OSS notes are implemented, depending on your Solution Manager’s SP level. More information can be found http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/TechOps/MFMon_Prerequisites#MFMon_Prerequisites-RelevantSAPNotes -> Relevant SAP Notes.

 

For all managed ABAP systems to be monitored with Message Flow Monitoring, make sure

  • ST-PI 2008_1_* plugin SP08 or higher is installed
  • In the SAP Solution Manager Configuration work center, the Managed System Configuration scenario has been performed.

 

You have set up Integration Visibility and run a discovery of your PI system landscape.

In case you need more (specific) setup details, please do let me know

 

Setup

 

On the SAP Solution Manager system, take transaction SOLMAN_SETUP…

1.png

… and follow the guided procedure.

2.png

All the steps in the guided procedure are very straight forward. For that reason, I will not go into detail.

 

Keep in mind that the Flow Maintenance (5) and Flow Group Maintenance (6) steps are imported. Here you build up your monitoring looks and provide names for an Integrated Scenario or a group of Integrated Scenarios.

 

Helpful extras

 

  • Once the setup was finished, I found out that the reporting part was not working at all. To enable it, please do the following: take transaction SICF, put in the field Service Name the value solmanlib and activate that service. Do the same for service name wda_e2eem_mf_overview
  • More information on (specific) Message Flow Monitoring authorizations can be found in a PDF document
  • Be aware of the payload part. You need to define User-Defined Message Search items on your SAP PO system. Only those ones will be visible.
    Have a look at the screenshots below.

 

An impression


general overview...

1.png

Again a general overview, but slightly different look

2.png

General overview with more details displayed.

3.png

Specific flow with all relevant details and payload

1.png

 

The flow track, in graphical modus, with the different systems involved.

For each system, a message status is available.

2.png

 

Reporting overview

4.png

Reporting details

5.png

Reporting details with a legend next to it

6.png

INSTALL THE CERTIFICATE IN YOUR DEVICE


The second part of this tutorial, will show you how to install the certificate in the mobile device, in this case, I will install the certificate in my iphone.

 

For the part 1 of this tutorial use the following link:

How to use the new ONE Support LaunchPad(Ex-Portal) your Mobile devices - Part 1 / 2

 

 

1).-  I sended the certificate by mail to my email that is accessible by my mobile device. is important to attach the certificate file (certificate.p12)
1.PNG

 

 

 

 

2).- When you click in the attachment, the IOS will show the following screen, click on "Install"
IMG_1927.PNG

 

 

3).-  Now you need to type the password that you use to export the certificate from your computer
IMG_1929.PNG

 

 

4).- After the successful installation, you will the the Confirmation screen, press OK to continue.
IMG_1930.PNG

5).-  Now connect to Launchpad.support.sap.com from Safari and start to enjoy the ONE Support Interface!!!!

IMG_1933.PNG



Hi All

SAP Release the new ONE Support Launchpad (ex-Portal ) (https://launchpad.support.sap.com) that run in HCP with Fiori Style!!

This guide show you how to install a Digital Certificate in your mobile device and access to the new Portal Launchpad from you mobile device without type user/password every time.

For the part 2 of this tutorial use the following link:

 

How to use the new ONE Support LaunchPad(Ex-Portal) your Mobile devices - Part 2 / 2

 

 

1).-  Logon to service.sap.com/tcs with Firefox/Iexplorer

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 2.48.11 PM.png

 

 

2).-  Select the option Single Sign-On with SAP Passports from the left menu and click on the red button "Apply Here"Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 2.48.46 PM.png

 

 

3).-  The system will ask your OSS Username and passwordScreen Shot 2015-04-02 at 2.49.15 PM.png

 

 

 

4).-  In the following screen you need to write your password again and click on "Apply for SAP Passport" button

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 2.49.35 PM.png



5).-  Firefox will confirm that the certificate was installed OK
Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 2.49.51 PM.png

You can check that is installed in the right way going to "Advanced--> Certificates--> Your CertificatesScreen Shot 2015-04-02 at 2.50.09 PM.png



6).- now you need to select the certificate and click on the Backup button Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 2.50.29 PM.png  

And select the folder and Name to save the certificate in your desktop
Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 2.50.47 PM.png

 

The system will ask you a Certificate Backup Password
Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 2.50.57 PM.png

 

7).-  after the successful execution, the system will show you the following screen and you will have your certificate file in your desktop.Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 2.51.05 PM.png

    As administrators of solution manager, we are enthrusted with the responsibility to set up monitoring for BW process chains,   BO jobs, DS jobs. We wonder, sometimes, what would be good values for thresholds for certain time relevant metrics like Duration or typical values for records processed and/or data packages processed.

 

We all believe the past performance of the process chians & jobs are indicative of their general performance over a period of time. It would be very effective to have these values (Minimum , maximum, average of the last 10 executions) of these chains/jobs made avialable at the time of setup (SOLMAN_SETUP) and configuration to enable effecient monitoring.

 

BI Monitoring, provides this possibility.

In the SOLMAN_SETUP-> Technical Monitoring - > Job & BI Monitoring -> Bi Monitoring - > Step 4 (Define scope)-> Choose scenario - > Step 6 -> Monitoring & Alerting

 

Go to any of the monitored object types sub stesps( 6.1 to 6.4)

 

Choose the relevant chains/jobs and click on THRESHOLD MASS MAINTANANCE

In the below screenshot you could se that we can provide absolute value as +/- from MIN, MAX, LAS, AVG

 

TAKE_FROM_SCHEDULE.png

 

A simlar example is with a percentage +/- for metrics (in this screenshot for Records procesed)

RP_TAKE_FROM_MAN_SYS_PERCENT.png

 

At this point in time, the values are fetched fomr the managed system and the corspoding values are calculated and shown in the main ALV. on Save & activate, these values atre persisted to the monitored objects. At this moment a pointer is converted to the value and the values are persisted!

 

As mentioned earlier, this is syncronised at this point in time. And not automaticallly adjusted as time progresses. But should there be a need, this reactivation can be done en-masse.

 

 

 

Regards, Raghav

Hello Team,

 

Few years back, it was very difficult to renew Maintenance license for each system (very complicated for big landscape)

 

Dedicated Basis Resource needs to work only on Maintenance certificate really solution Manager doing great job, really good concept of Automatic Renewal of Maintenance License

 

Solution Manager can be used to distribute maintenance license to all Abap systems of landscape. If Automatic License Maintenance is activated, Solution Manager  becomes the agent between a satellite system and Service Market place. 

 

As illustrated below in diagram: it checks with satellite system if the maintenance license is expiring, if yes solution manager receives maintenance license from Service Market Place  and makes it available in satellite system’s s license.

 

Note: To receive maintenance license via Solution Manager  from Service Market Place , it is necessary that a valid maintenance contract is active between SAP and customer



new maintance certifica.PNG


Procedure to setup automatic distribution of maintenance license:

 

To setup solution manager distribution of license, it is necessary that managed systems are configured for EWA report setup in SDCCN. Once EWA is setup in Solution Manager, create job for fetching license data from managed systems:

Go to SDCCN --> Go to To do tab -> Click on Create button on the menu bar -> Select “Get License Data” from the menu



fy1.PNG

This would schedule a daily job for collection license data from managed systems To check the logs of job, click on Done tab - > click on log icon in Logs column


fy2.PNG



How to renew Maintenance License Automatically using Solution Manager

 

Second step is to activate license distribution from change management : Go to Solman_workcenter

 

Click on Change Management -> License Management ( in left Menu )


fy3.PNG

 



fy4.PNG


In the screen select a system and click on “Activate Distribution” select “Activate Automatic Distribution”

 

Solution Manager can fetch the license 30 days in advance.

 

fy5.PNG

 

Thanks,

 

Rahul Yedapally

VIEW

Hi All,

 

I was having an issue on my SOLMAN system and was able to resolve this recently.

I would like to share the resolution here.

I was unable to enter any text in the TEXT field of a change request.

Looks like the Mr.Charm doesn't is against texting 

See the below Video on what happens when I enter the text.

 

We are on Solman 7.1 SP12 and I was able to find the solution from Miguel Angel Arino Clarke 

SAP has released a KBA 2126320 - Unable to type text in text assignment block to resolve this issue.

As per this KBA please implement SAP note  1955587 - Textarea Length Check  to fix this issue.

 

Please take a note that the SAP note 1955587 has manual changes based on your current SAP Web UI Framework component (WEBCUIF).

If your WEBCUIF is already at a greater level than the one specified in the Manual Pre-Implement , these change are already in your system, you can check the Correction Instructions section and see if there are relevant correction for your system. Like in my case, the WEBCUIF is on SP level 12(SAPK-70112INWEBCUIF) and the Manual Pre-Implement are not applicable but correction instruction 1690346 is applicable to fix this issue.

 

Once you note is implemented you will be able to add text in the change request again.

 

Ref : Unable to add test to a Change request in Charm

 

Thanks for reading this blog.

Feel free to comment if you have faced any other issue on Charm and able to resolve the same.

...or why you have lost it.

 

Sometimes happens that, for any reason or by mistake, SAP Solution Manager system is removed from LMDB. It implies that the stages System Preparation and Basic Configuration will be lost.

 

As SAP Note 2020955 says:

 

"There are no means of bringing back the setup, you have to re-run all the steps in System Preparation and Basic Configuration."

 

 

Graphically,

 

Before:

before.jpg

 

After:

after.jpg

 

It is not the best thing that can happens to you but, it could be useful sometimes (thinking in a new SM system not very well configured and you want to start a fresh installation)

It has been quite a while since the last TechED which happened in 2013 and therefore there are lot of new changes happening in Solution Manager as well.

 

This year SAP TechED was so much streamlined/well planned with sessions in Bengaluru,India  and quite a good exposure has been provided in terms of future SAP Products along with working Demo's/Hands-on etc. In addition, plenty of sessions were held on various Topics of Solution Manager 7.1 and how it is going to address the new products/hybrid scenarios.

 

I am fortunate to visit this time and met with plenty of good friends, speakers, SAP developers/sessions speakers friends and really a big thanks to SCN Moderator team for promoting and appreciating the Topic leaders again this year. Of-course I was there representing our Solution Manager space but this on behalf of our entire Solution Manager family spread-ed across multiple organizations and collaborating for noble cause of knowledge sharing, helping others etc.

 

Overall the experience was very good as always and I will try to share some of the important learning which is received during the SAP TechED 2015, Bangalore. Please note that I can't cover everything as we have more than 30-40 sessions but will try to cover the most important key notes received/covered from my perspective.All the below slides or information I have received while attending multiple sessions in SAP TechED 2015 and please note all the slides are part of  SAP disclaimer policy.

 

The very first session which I have attended was ITM100 - Holistic IT Management for Hybrid Solutions and further lot of connected sessions were shared/advised.

 

Here our knowledge was upgraded from HANA and Cloud perspective and SAP’s plan and offerings in this area. We now understand there are multiple options available for SAP customers to either have a complete on premise HANA solution or mixed scenario or completely public cloud based solution.

 

Source - SAP

 

As soon as we understood the concept of these hybrid scenarios we were trying figure out the importance of Solution Manager and whether it supports above.

The answer is yes it supports above hybrid scenario but with certain limitations with respect to functionalities of Solution Manager and it will help us to complete visibility in terms on Promise scenarios and HANA Enterprise Cloud scenarios.

 

How this will happen?

Again the concept remain based upon LMDB and SLD setup we will identify the Cloud scenarios and this will help us to implement functionalities which are running for Hybrid scenarios like Change Management, Monitoring etc.

 


Source - SAP


for. e.g in above scenario, the SLD on cloud solution will be linked to internal SLD on customer on premise and further fill the LMDB with information over VPN network.


Again the concept of monitoring remain the same here and Diagnostic/Host Agent will play the main role as noted above.

 

In some of the other sessions like ITM212 - How to Operate SAP-Based Cloud Solutions with SAP Solution Manager, we were enlightened about Solution Manager 7.1 SP13 as below and can see how good new things are coming from support perspective or Operations side.

 

 

Source - SAP

 

Also, there is good theoretical exposure on SAP Solution Manager 7.2(ITM261- From Business Requirement to Solution with SAP Solution Manager) focusing more on Business Process Management where we will live without

  • System monitoring workcenter
  • Solar01/solar02 for documentation
  • BPM - Business Process Monitoring based on CCMS

 

Source - SAP

 

Really a big thanks to SAP for conducting these wonderful informative session's and I will try to attend the same next year.




From SAP: “All live Meet the Expert Sessions are recorded and will be then available via SAP ES Academy ‘Replay Library’  www.service.sap.com/replay-library

 

The usual disclaimer applies that things in the future are subject to change.  Also a couple caveats:

 

1. I have not used this feature productively

2. I missed parts of this webcast in the middle so my notes are not complete

 

 

1fig.png

Figure 1: Source: SAP

 

Figure 1 shows that SAP plans to make Solution Manager more business oriented.

 

SAP also wants to make SolMan ready for HANA deployments

2fig.png

Figure 2: Source: SAP

 

SOLAR transactions that support documentation and implementation processes

 

SAP said this approach that had drawbacks

3fig.png

Figure 3: Source: SAP

 

Figure 3 shows the current pain points, including a “Rigid 3 level hierarchy”

 

SAP wants to use the new UI – HTML5

 

Basic Concept for SAP Solution Manager 7.2

Solutions can act as a an umbrella

4fig.png

Figure 4: Source: SAP

 

Solution (in Figure 4) covers system landscape where you need to know runtime environment, execution environment

 

New solution documentation UI works with LMDB content, logical component, new logical component group

 

It covers the processes that the customer execute

5fig.png

Figure 5: Source: SAP

 

Figure 5 shows the Solution landscape and documentation UI

 

Sub landscapes relates to a maintenance cycle related to ERP

 

Sites are processes deployed to multiple plant running different ERP systems – for global rollout use cases

 

Document types reflect what documentation to be available

6fig.png

Figure 6: Source: SAP

 

Figure 6 shows the planned solution documentation approach is to be both top down and bottoms up.

7fig.png

Figure 7: Source: SAP

 

Figure 7 shows where attach documentation related to executables

 

Business processes can be reused

 

Define configuration block; define dependencies of the block

8fig.png

Figure 8: Source: SAP

 

Library of executables, config units, interfaces – IT

 

Enable processes – assemble end to end processes out of artifacts

10fig.png

Figure 9:  Source: SAP

 

Introduce a change and include change documentation

 

Ensure properly documented in maintenance branch and transported

 

Documentation needs to be released

System Landscape

11fig.png

Figure 10: Source: SAP

 

Logical components have changed; solution documentation is bound to logical component group

 

When upgrade, you need to restructure logical components

 

Content Activation

12fig.png

 

Figure 11: Source: SAP

 

Figure 11 shows projects/solutions to move to 7.2 content structure; this includes BPMN modeling capability

 

Question and Answer:

Q: What is clear definition for branch?

A: Branch is a versioning context for documentation

 

Q: Is this Solution Manager running on HANA DB?

A: Can run on HANA or other databases

 

Q: Will integration with ARIS be possible?

A: Clearly plan to have open interface to integrate with third party modeling tools

Not available in first version but it is on the agenda

 

Q: Is there is a limit on the number of nodes you can have on your project

A: not known to him

 

Q: Will there be integration with PowerDesigner?

A: plan to have open interface to integrate with third party modeling tools

 

Q: What is the effort to migrate?

A: If you move content from SOLAR to new documentation – content is moved to process area – the respective library structures are created

Fellow Members,

 

In this blog, I would like to share my experience with recent Change Request Management projects. I read a blog on ChaRM on a Developers perspective and I liked it and it was close to the 'things' that you hear in a ChaRM Project. In the same lines, I tried to compile my notes from my work diary and present it here in plain English. The idea behind this effort is to highlight the quote "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice there is.!!"

 

P. S: All the content expressed here are my personal opinions and do not represent my employer or SAP.

 

1. Concept of Change Request and Change Document

 

Often during the blueprint discussion phase of ChaRM projects, the most frequently asked question is 'Why do we need two documents in ChaRM process?'. Most of the customers I worked with, find this concept little confusing. The confusion is more profound if the customer does not have a established change management process or used to any other tools (like sharepoint, custom web forms or editable PDF forms..etc) as Change Request Forms. The hard time for consultant will be to convince the customer and make them understand, how Change Request will be used only for Approvals and Change Documents would be used for handling Transport Management aspects of entire process. So be prepared to convince that the Change Document is where all the action is.

 

2. Who will create Request For Change?

 

This topic sometime gets overlooked. The organization structure of companies running SAP varies from one organization to other. So we can not go with a notion that one size fits all concept. During a initial discussion phase, the work of consultant would become easier if the customer has a well established change management practice. Sometime the end user would be sales agent on the field or sometimes it's the help desk team. Sometime there would be scenarios where in the end user does not have access to SAP system and have to call the help desk hotline to raise a CR on behalf of him/her. So identifying the right set of people for end user trainings is an important factor to be kept in mind while designing the process. Understand your end users of the process.

 

3. Approvals in Change Request.

 

This topics varies from customer to customer and consultant needs to be prepared to expect more than 4 or 5 approvers for a single change request. The standard out of the box configuration has 2 level of approvers(Change Manager and Change Advisory Board). However speaking from my past experiences,average number of approvers I have encountered is minimum three.  This means for consultant would need to customize new partner functions and CRM UI aspects of it. It is possible to have up to 10 partner functions in Change Request UI, so technically we can have up to 9 approvers for a change request(one of the partner function is being reserved for Requester/End User). In some scenarios, the end user raising a change request would not be knowing who would be his 3rd level of approver for the request of change. In such cases we need to design automatic partner function determination using categories. This would ease the process. Also if the organization is huge, then expect to have a very long list of categories to be added to multi level categorization in a change request. In addition, if you could customize the approval procedure determination using categories then it would be applauded by the end users for sure !!   So try to incorporate automatic Partner determination and Approval Procedure Determination based on categories.

 

4. Emails in Approval Management

 

Everyone loves to receive a email if he/she was made as a approver for a change request(if possible in HTML mail format). The scenario would be even more useful, if the approvers receiving emails in a sequential way i.e first Change Manager receives an email, once he approves, Chnage Advisory Board receives email...so on. BUT unfortunately in a standard  process offered by SAP as of 7.1 SP12, the approvers only receive worklist emails in their SO01 inbox. And in the practical world I have never seen anyone checking their SO01 inbox for mails !. So by default, approvers in change request will not be notified via email for approvals. This was very disappointing for me in the beginning because this is one of the most frequently asked feature in ChaRM by all the customers I have come across so far. However later I learnt that with little customization you can convert these SO01 inbox worklist email to outlook/inbox email notifications. However please note, this converted email notification would be in plain text and not a fancy email you wish to see. There is a long thread ChaRM: Approval Settings - Email Functionality in Change Request by which I learnt how to do it. Email notifications for approvers as a part of worklist is one of the most needed feature in out of the box ChaRM solution, hope SAP would incorporate this as a standard feature in future releases. So If you are on 7.1 SP12 or below be prepared to be surprised that there is no html email for approvers !

 

5. Which Change Documents to use?

 

Again, this is one of the most debated topics and strangely, I have seen customers reluctance to use Normal Changes for maintenance purposes. Some of the feedback I hear during blueprint discussion meetings are like, Normal Change is too much 'clicks here and there' and Normal Change is not very flexible in 'what if..' situations. There could also be scenarios where Basis team is trying to minimize their efforts in Change Management and Transports execution process. In such situations they would always push for the Urgent Change instead of Normal Change. Normal Change fits perfectly if the customer has a defined release cycle concept. However in scenarios where the customer is so much comfortable with existing ad hoc transports import, then they expect your new process to work the same way. With the new preliminary imports and other enhancements as of SP12, things have started to change and Normal Change is finding more and more relevance for everyday change processes. The consultants job would be to thoroughly understand the customer requirement and compare that with Maintenance Cycle, Normal Change, Task list and other tools provided by SAP and design a best suitable solution.

There is another perspective for this. Some customers would only be looking to automate the Transport Management process and other would be interested  in complete re-haul of their change management practice to adopt to best practices. So it depends on whose boarding room you would end up So bring in the clarity on type of change document to be used and emphasize on importance of having a disciplined release strategy.

 

6. Approval for Transport Import inside individual Change Documents

 

I encountered this request 2 out 3 times in my previous engagements.  Even though Change Request is approved(in some cases by CIOs too) and handed over to functional/development team for implementation; the leads/managers of functional/development teams would still want to control the transport import process to follow on systems via approval apart from just controlling the phases of cycle. Again you can trace the origin of this type of requests to traditional email approvals that the team leads/managers used to provide before implementing new process. This type of requests can be handled easily by tweaking couple of new actions and statuses in the change documents. No big deal, but time consuming for consultants So be prepared to expect some more approvals in random places.

 

7. Simply the User Experience and UI as much as possible

 

Before you hand over the process to user trainings, try going for minimalistic approach in the CR or CD UI. By default you have lot many tabs inside CR or CD which may not be relevant for every customer. So tweaking the UI and removing not used tabs can add lot more value for the end users. In one of the projects, I was requested to simplify the UI to look like 7.0 version CR screen (with tabs on the top instead scrolling down UI). I have written a blog on how to transform the UI look from long scrolling form to simple tab based UI. Please refer that blog. So go with a lean design.

 

8. User Trainings

 

According to me,  this is one of most time consuming process in ChaRM implementation projects; it is every human's basic nature to be reluctant for the unknown or new things anyway . I recently used one of SAP's tool in training and content management portfolio, WPB (Workforce Performance Builder) and this tool turned out to be very useful for end user trainings in ChaRM. Users liked the way of learning new process ( like creating a new CR ...) in a completely new UI with relative ease. So be well prepared with Kubler Ross theory !

 

 

change.jpg

 

Source: Kubler Ross Change Curve

 

9. We went Live on ChaRM, what's next?


The entire success of your ChaRM project depends on the effectiveness of Basis team in handling Change Documents post go live. The maintenance of ChaRM related task should be owned by competent Basis team, as Esteban highlighted in the comment section, establishing roles and responsibilities in the supervising the Change Management process is vital. There should be a run book available with FAQs and common error situations in handling change documents.

 

Hope this helps all the consultants out there who would be handling ChaRM projects for the first time !!!

 

I would love to hear from all of you on your experiences, suggestions and feedback in the comment section.

 

With Regards,

Vivek

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