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Run Book Automation (RBA) und IT Process Automation (ITPA) can simply be explained as combination of Job Scheduling with a workflow engine.

According to GartnerRBA is attracting considerable attention as the need to design, build, orchestrate, administer and report on workflows that support IT operations process has become a critical need that cannot be met by existing IT management approaches, such as traditional job scheduling products and custom scripting’.  

Recently the acquisistion of Opalis by Microsoft was announced, which confirms the importance of this topic.

In these blogs I will illustrate how to use SAP CPS and SAP Solution Manager to implement a simple workflow that triggers SAP CPS Process Automation script.

An example for a SAP pre-defined solution is the combination of SAP CPS and How SAP Central Process Scheduling and SAP Financial Closing cockpit work together.

SAP Solution Manager and  Scheduling, SAP Job Management Suite, can help customers in achivieng the desired levels of automation and user interaction.

Scheduling itself is highly flexible Process Automation solution that features:

  • pre- and self-defined job and job chain definition
  • Administrator messages, which is the CPS internal administrator workflow engine
  • Redwood Expression Language (REL) to easily extend SAP CPS. Example: REL allows to create Jobs that output the filename of a file detected by a file event or to execute job inside a chain that execute several times
  • Redwood Script (RS): RS gives deep access to CPS and supports the realization of most complex requirements. Example: Dynamic creation of job definitions, custom action to react on job status
  • SAP Scripting: Provide access to the BC-XBP API implementation

Job Scheduling Management offers the following capabilities

  • Job Request workflow and Job Documentation
  • Integration with SAP CPS via the Business Automation Enabler (BAE)
  • Extensibility via ABAP Enhancements

Below are some of several areas in which automation can lead to greater efficieny and less errors

  • Central System Administration (CSA): Automatic execution of simple tasks with short notifications but only if user interaction is required
  • Incident Management: Automatic closing of messages
  • Downtime Management (DTM): Automatic start and stop of SAP System, automatic halting of job queues
  • Notes and Support Packages: Automatic installation of SAP Notes (Hot Notes) or support packages after approval (workflow element)

I will describe in an upcoming blog how to develop a simple custom RBA tool using a combination of SAP workflow and SAP CPS via the Business Automation API (see SAP note 1265635, package SBTI_XBP_EXT).

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