Solution Manager 7.1 SP10 brings improvements in many areas, as we have already seen here in SCN. Last month I was working with Quality Gate Management scenario (QGM), which is part of the Change Control Management, and could notice some improvements in this area too.
As in ChaRM, QGM has been integrated to Central CTS and to IT Calendar in SP10.
A new check was added during the set up of the project:
- Disable transport release in Scope phase
Some features that we already had in ChaRM were introduced to QGM, such as:
- Downgrade protection
- Task Lists
- Urgent Change
- System logon
First of all, I recommend you to read the General Note for QGM 7.1: 1509091. This note mentions the new features, product limitations, authorization roles (I also mention some info about authorizations in my blog) and inform many other notes that must be checked depending on the Support Package you have.
One specific problem that I had was corrected by SAP note 1964353 - QGM: Landscape Graphics shows gray shapes since ST710 SP10mentioned in the General Note:
"Starting from 7.1 SP09; new SICF /SAP/PUBLIC/BC/QGM was created to provide access to QGM MIME repository. This service need to be kept activated otherwise the landscape graphic will not be displayed correctly."
Central CTS integration
Central CTS provides a technical infrastructure for the enhanced flexibility functions in Change Control Management. It can be used not only with ChaRM but also with QGM projects. There is an excellent doc about Central CTS here in SCN that I recommend: How To... Set Up cCTS for ChaRM and QGM
In QGM you will see a checkbox to define if you will use the new infrastructure or not during the set up:
Disable transport release in Scope phase
During set up, in step 4 (Assign Quality Gates to System Roles) you can flag that Transport Release cannot be done in phase Scope:
Trying to release original transports while phase is scope:
There is a new button in the QGM area of the Change Management work center where you select the projects (same area where you find Set up), for Downgrade Protection check:
This button starts the Downgrade Protection check for the project you selected, and you can see it looking at the Details area:
When releasing transports in QGM, if Downgrade Protection is active you will see if there are Conflicts. A message such as
"Release of transport XXXKNNNNNN, XXXKNNNNNN, XXXKNNNNNN canceled due to open conflicts" will be shown.
In this case, the release action has been canceled. You need to identify the conflicts and either set their status to "Ignored" to ignore them or try to solve the conflicts manually. Then you can repeat the release action.
It's important to consider that if you ignore the conflicts, the system will no longer consider these conflicts and execute the action. Ignoring conflicts might lead to inconsistencies, so be very careful.
Picture below shows the details of a Downgrade Protection check:
Task List in QGM:
From SP10 on, a Task List can be created for the QGM Project. Below you can see an example of an implementation project with QGM active and a task list created:
If you work with Maintenance projects, you can create a maintenance cycle. In this case, instead of having the End of Project Q-Gate, you have a Q-Gate called Deploy to Scope.
It’s possible now to import only transports from a change, instead of all the transports of a project. An import subset is done in this case, not import project, but then keep in mind there are risks of wrong import order and downgrades:
Urgent Change in QGM
Besides the transaction type SMQC for Changes in QGM that we already know, which was introduced in SolMan 7.1 since the first Support Package, now there is a new transaction type SMQU, which means QGM Urgent Change.
In the Details area, below tab System Landscape Graphic, there is now a button for Logon to the systems. You select one of the systems of your project landscape and then click Logon to jump to the system (if you use the work center in a web browser, it will ask you to open SAP GUI)
Integration to IT Calendar
Again in the Details area you have tab "Calendar View". In this screen you see your project milestones in a calendar, and now there is a button "IT Calendar" to take you to the IT Calendar in Solution Manager. Tobias Hauk has explained a bit about this feature in his blog New features of Change Request Management (ChaRM) with SP10 (FP2).
The IT Calendar integrated to QGM and ChaRM allows you to establish a central calendar for all your projects and changes:
- Change cycle phases
- Change transactions
- QGM phases
- QGM Q-Gates and milestones
Please be aware of some required settings that need to be configured in Solution Manager:
- Specify for which system roles the entries will be created in the IT calendar for change cycle phases and QGM phases,.
- Specify a threshold for the grouping of similar objects (example: set a threshold of 5 for Request for Change means that all requests for change on a particular date are grouped if their number exceeds 5).
Ex. of one of the IT Calendar settings:
IT Calendar showing QGM project phases:
You will find more information about IT Calendar in this blog: IT Calendar and CHARM integration Solman 7.1 SP10 (How To)