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Sapna Modi

SAP Solution Manager - A Concern Area

Posted by Sapna Modi in sapna.modi on Apr 20, 2007 8:00:51 AM
This weblog gives brief introduction of SAP Solution Manager. The main concern here is to mention some areas in solution manager which require some more enhancement and few are mentioned from the better usage perspective of Solution Manager.
What is SAP Solution Manager:
SAP Solution Manager is a tool, which assists in application management as per ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) environment. The tool supports the entire lifecycle of solutions mainly having six phases – Requirements, Design, Build, Deploy, Operate & Optimize as per ITIL standard.
It runs in a separate central system to which all the other SAP systems are connected. These other systems are called as Satellite Systems.
Latest Version:
SAP Solution Manager 4.0.
Features of SAP Solution Manager:
  • Solution Manager helps in all types of project management like Implementation, Upgrade, Maintenance, Rollout etc. by providing the project specific template.
  • It is in line with SAP’s AcceleratedSAP. And provide Roadmaps for the different types of projects.
  • It has Business Process Repository, which talks about SAP’s best practice of running the business.
  • It has eLearning feature, which offers the training along with feedback over web.
  • It has test management feature, which offers the central storage repository for storing the automated eCATT scripts along with manual scripts. The results of testing are centrally stored and always available.
  • It has its own standard Helpdesk feature, which is both SAPGUI based and web based.
  • The Helpdesk feature is totally linked with Change Request Management, which helps in transport for changes required in production issues.
  • It has Solution Monitoring as well as Diagnostic feature, which helps in Operation Phase of project.
  • Solution Manager has lots of inbuilt reports, which server the different areas of it.
  • It is linked with SAP Service Market Place.
  • It can generate Installation/Upgrade key.
  • It has its own Knowledge Warehouse for central documentation storage.
  • It can integrate with ARIS, a detailed graphical business process modeling tool
  • It can also integrate with Mercury tools like QTP for testing in web based environment.
Template Project Type:
  • In Template project type, only the documentation under Gen. Documentation tab in Business blueprint phase is shared to the rolling out implementation project. The requirement of sharing the Project Documentation tab arises many a times.
SOLAR02 Transaction code: Configuration:
  • The development objects are required to develop first in the satellite system and then only the objects can be linked in solution manager. This option increases the chances of missing the objects for those business scenarios. Also the transport request won't be tracked back in solman.
  • The dropdown of the development object shows only limited type of objects. Ideal expectation is that for all the connected satellite systems, the respective development object types which can be attached to a transport request should be automatically populated in the dropdown.
Test Management:
  • The reporting feature of test management is not so user friendly. Specifically in a scenario where the testing is done successfully and logs are recorded in solution manager with few scripts failed. For the failed scripts one has to drill down a lot in the log till the consultant gets the exact issue. This is more painful if the external tool like Mercury QTP is connected to Solution Manager for web based testing like SRM/CRM.
  • The eCATT logs are not at all user friendly. If there is a functional error like GL account doesn't exist then it will be conveyed very clearly in the log. But if is related to some screen mismatch at the run time for that recorded script the such technical errors are very hard to find out from the logs.
  • The SAPGUI pattern of recording is extremely slow and take too much of time for recording enjoy transactions. It not only takes long time for recording but also long time for execution.
  • eCATT doesn’t serve the web based transactions for testing.
Helpdesk Application:
  • There is a BAPI for creating the helpdesk message but no BAPI is available for modification.
  • One has to follow the transaction for helpdesk ticket changes via BDC or so. e.g. CRM_DNO_MONITOR or CRMD_ORDER transaction can be used to modify the ticket. The problem with these transactions is that BDC of these transactions doesn't work if it is run under workflow/background job.
  • The CRM_DNO_MONITOR transaction has a feature of 'Mine' in the selection screen, which shows the tickets created by logged in user. Here all the tickets created by logged in user for different satellite systems should appear. But it shows only tickets created for only one of the satellite systems, whos external Business Partner(employee type) is linked with solution mananger ID. As per the concept of CRM, only one external Business Partner (employee type) can be connected to solution manager ID. Hence rest other satellite systems external business partner are never connected to Solman ID. So the logged in user can not see all his tickets created in different satellite systems.
  • The web interface for the helpdesk application is not really very user friendly. E.g. selection of Component End users won't be aware about the link between their problem and the relevant SAP Component.
  • There should be easy provision available for linking this helpdesk application to SAP Portal as most of the clients do have portal as a central point of access via their users.
  • Automatic assignment of tickets should happen while creation depending on the skills with consideration of availability on that day & workload. And then the concern person should be informed on different communication channel like emails, pager message etc.
  • The functionality of Solution Manager Helpdesk should be like service marketplace with the provision for customized escalation.
  • Generally the clients have some or other legacy system for helpdesk and end uses are very much used to that. Considering this, the layout of the solution manager helpdesk for ticket creation should be very flexible to give the end users enough comfort level in new helpdesk environment.
  • Linking of External Helpdesk to Solution Manager Helpdesk has lots of problems like status profile synchronization etc if the other system is also SAP Solution Manager. And if the connected system is a legacy system then issues of Sold-to-Party etc fields without any values are assigned to them is also there.
Common concerns:
  • Transaction codes are too long to remember.
  • Lots of configuration settings are available in solution manager. A simple handy guide should be available for the different areas of Solman considering this configuration. Even recorded tutor files in this concern will also help to utilize these features efficiently.

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