Once again, I have some text, and some screen shots, for a post on the daily events in an SAP Virtual Learning Center course on End-To-End Root Cause Analysis, also known as “E2E100.” Today was probably the toughest day, with the initial energy and adrenaline burned off, the known and the unknown captured, plus we’re starting to bang around the training systems way off kilter from their pristine, trap set and baited state. As Somnath Manna notes in a comment to an earlier post, it takes discipline to focus on the course material and get our money’s worth. My commitment (to myself, really) to post each day is my way of reviewing the material to make sure I remember it. Writing it all up and putting it on SCN means anyone else can see my class notes, which is fine, but it also means that 18 months from now when I need to recall what how we did this, I’ll know where to look. I’m fairly sure SAP won’t purge this very soon.
Classroom training trick number one
Sometimes, in a training class, you’d like to save a screen shot, a test file, or another format for later perusal. Nothing proprietary, just settings like database parameters maybe, or the matrix of a report so you can show what is feasible. Except that the training system is protected from accidental change by locking things like the command prompt, FTP clients, etc. One word (ok 2): web browser. As long as the Internet isn’t disabled, you should be able to get to email access. Just don’t try to email install images. You would like a job to go back to, right?
I’m not about to share the course material, such as the instruction book. I think it is “fair use” for me to take screen shots and describe what I did in class. Many times, useful diagrams in the course material are found in similar style in previous slide shows, or in other online technical documentation. However, there is one image that I have been unable to locate. I’m struggling with how to share my thoughts on this design, or “use case” chart, while preserving the spirit of copyright rules. I certainly am not going to type it out, or duplicate it in another format.
The closest available document I found is called “How To Perform Root Cause Analysis for MDM with Solution Manager Diagnostics”, which of course is also copyrighted (version 1.0 / 2006) though as it can be found with a Google search I can tell you about it. Look on page 93. While the paper concentrates on MDM, the overall guidance can easily be adapted to other SAP target products. There are sections on Workload Analysis, Wily Introscope, Change Analysis, CPU performance, etc. Lo and behold, many of the roadmap directions send one on a detour to E2E100 instructions.
Fragility and Monotony
One of my concerns, after seeing more of the moving parts of the “E2E” tool set, is the fragility and fractiousness of this world. As SAP, or any other vendor, wraps new layers around their “classic” products, they still need the legacy parts to work, and they need the new parts to work as well. The more differences with the new paradigm, the more different things that can break, in different ways. I was a little surprised how much of the class relied on, or fell back on, SAP GUI transactions that have not changed in 15 years or more. In some cases, adding a global view with better graphics, better selection criteria, and more power tools is great. In other cases, it just may get in the way. And unless one practices with the new tools, while keeping the old ones sharp, neither may be wielded successfully in a crisis. Monotony is good if it keeps the reactions trained to do the right thing.
By this, I’m not referring to bringing wild animals into your home, or getting your spouse (or your spouse getting you) to go a a party with distant relatives. It’s about the networking that occurs over lunch and on breaks in a training class. I know a bit about several co-workers after we attended one or two day courses such as “Presentation Skills”. Maybe not well enough to be invited to their children’s weddings, but well enough to remember their names years later. Does this work in a virtual class? So far, I’d have to say not so well. I’ve tried not to distract anyone from the main purpose of the gathering, but it would have been nice to see at least one comment on the blog (and I’ve shared the URLs each day, sometimes more than once).
On the other hand, we have each other’s email addresses and there may come a time when we need help getting Root Cause Analysis to work. I’ll know several people who might be there to share a story with. And they know my first name, too.
This is a 2 parter, showing classic transaction analysis via the SAP GUI, amplified slightly with the ability to merge multiple traces. I’ll need to practice using the TransGUID field to have more to share.
Here’s a familiar view, showing the ABAP/Database time breakdown. “Red is bad.” Got it.
A stock report, sorted by per call. Great stuff, definitely old school.
The beginning of launching BMC Appsight. Unfortunately that is about as far as I got with the tool. We needed to go onto another system, and there was a pre-recorded debug case to play with. Most of the class did the exercise; I wish I could have looked over their shoulders.
Here’s the instructor’s demo of the product. There is a view into the classic “abend” screen, and the ability to play back steps to get to that point. Another tool for the belt?
The next several shots are from “Exception Analysis” – another way of looking at the logs. From what I understand, Solution Manager keeps parts of the log locally, and can grab the rest remotely when needed, during the “Jump In” action. How this is set up, how stable it is, and how is is maintained, are lessons for another day.
The last one is a drill down into a Java trace log. We had “fun” with this one.
As I was looking around SCN for other references and cross-references, I looked for Solution Manager in the wiki. I lost the argument about not forking the space into two, so you’ll need to look either here, or here, to start:
I thought I’d find information about Root Cause Analysis here:
Except those are empty. These are not empty, but they need work:
Particularly the former. Wait, did I just volunteer again? Oh noes!