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System Recommendations: General overview

 System Recommendations is a new functionality in SAP Solution Manager, focusing on SAP Notes. It provides a tailored recommendation of notes which should be applied to a selected managed system, and this recommendation is calculated based on the actual “notes status” of this system. Questions like “Is a specific note already implemented in the system?” or “Which version do the implemented notes have? Are there newer versions available?” are taken into account when calculating the recommendation for a system.

System Recommendations collects needed information from the managed systems via a background job that should be scheduled on a regular basis (a direct refresh of the already calculated information for a specific system can also be started directly). The calculation itself is done in SAP’s Global Support Backbone, which means that there is no load being generated on the SAP Solution Manager system or on the managed system.

The recommendation is divided into the following categories:

  • Security-relevant notes
  • Performance notes
  • HotNews
  • Legal change notes
  • Correction notes (for ABAP and Java)

 After the recommendation has been calculated, the user can set various statuses for the recommended notes, like “to be implemented”, “not relevant” or “postponed”. This, in combination with a filter displaying only notes with a certain status, helps to keep an overview of all the recommendations and helps keeping track of tasks which are assigned to those recommendations.

 

 How to work with system recommendations?

 To show a detailed example of how to work with System Recommendations, the following situation is assumed:

A system and security engineer who is responsible for various SAP systems wants to find out exactly which patches released from SAP on the monthly Patch Day are relevant for the security of his system(s). This example will show how System Recommendations can help him fulfilling this task…

To start, he enters the Change Management Work Center in his company’s SAP Solution Manager system and opens the “System Recommendations” functionality.

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To get the exact recommendation, he first selects his company’s solution. This results in a list of product systems which are part of this solution.

To drill down further, he now selects the relevant product system. This will result in a list of technical systems (ABAP and Java) of this product system.

As the recommendations are based on technical systems, he now selects a technical system.

In the following screenshot, these selections have been made accordingly.

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To look only for notes within a specific time range (for example released on the latest SAP patch day) a timeframe can be set accordingly.

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Additionally, the administrator could now select a filter on applications component(s), to further limit the amount of recommended SAP notes. In this example, no filter on Application components is set.

To start the calculation of the recommendation, he now clicks “Apply filter”. If the background job for collecting information from the managed systems has already collected some data, this information is then transferred to SAP, where the actual calculation takes place and is sent back to the customer’s SAP Solution Manager system.

If the background job has not run yet or hast not been scheduled, the user can click “refresh” to start the collection of information directly or he can start the background job for data collection (via the “Settings” menu).

Then the recommendation will be displayed in the lower part of the window.

The list of recommended notes can be displayed in two different views: ordered by application component (this is the default) or ordered by software component. The view can be changed by using the dropdown box “View” directly above the list of recommended notes.

When using the software component view, the information “SP relevant” or “SP independent” is displayed for every note. “SP relevant” means that this note is relevant for the system, as the SP level matches exactly, “SP independent” means that this note could be relevant for the system as the software compoennt and the release are matching, but the exact SP level could not be checked.

As the engineer is focusing on security-relevant SAP notes, he now finds all relevant notes on the tab “security relevant notes”. To get more information on the recommended SAP notes, he can drill down further into each one of them, read the description of the note (by clicking on the note’s title) and select a status – new, to be implemented, postponed, not relevant – for every note.

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After he has finished keeping track of all security-relevant notes he needs to implement, he can filter for a specific status to keep the list view clean. In this example, he will filter for “To be implemented” which will give him a list of all SAP Notes he has flagged for implementation.

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To start working with these notes, he can now directly export the filtered list of notes to Microsoft Excel. This list contains all relevant information he needs to implement these notes:

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With this list, he now can start implementing the notes with transaction SNOTE.

 

System Recommendations and Java Patches

System Recommendation can also be used for Java systems. The procedure is exactly the same as described above; the only difference is that the Java patch notes will only show up on the tab “correction notes”. With the button “Add to download basket”, the Java patches containing the selected notes directly can be added to the download basket in SAP Service Marketplace. An integration into Maintenance Optimizer to approve the download basket is also available.

 

Integration into Change Request Management

 

For Customers using the Change Request Management functionality in SAP Solution Manager, System Recommendations provides integration into the Change Request Management to trigger a Request for Change for the SAP notes selected for implementation.

  • Integration into Maintenance Optimizer to directly download the Java Patches containing relevant Java Patch notes
  • Integration into SAP Service Marketplace to directly add selected Java Patches to the user’s download basket

System Recommendations: How to set up / Prerequisites

 System Recommendations is delivered with SAP Solution Manager 7.0 SP26 and is also planned to be included in SAP Solution Manager 7.1. The functionality is only available within the Change Management Work Center (transaction code SOLMAN_WORKCENTER or SM_WORKCENTER), therefore access to the Work Centers is a prerequisite.

To ease the data collection and to speed up the delta calculation, a background job can be scheduled which automatically collects all needed information from the managed systems.

To control access to System Recommendations, the authorization object SM_TABS (in SAP Solution Manager 7.0) or SM_FUNCS (in SAP Solution Manager 7.1) can be used to grant or deny access to the different tabs of System Recommendations.

Before using System Recommendations, it is strongly recommended to implement SAP Notes 1554475 and 1577059. It is also recommended to configure your Solution Manager system to the automatic update check.

For troubleshooting, please check the application log AGS_SR to see the configuration and check logs. In case of any problem, please create a customer message under component SV-SMG-SR (System Recommendations for Managed Systems).

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23 Comments

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  1. Tom Cenens
    Hello Benjamin

    I’m always eager to read these kind of blogs that announce a new feature or product. Definitely if it’s something that concerns my area of work.

    Thanks for taking the time to blog and also give instructions on the new feature.

    This looks like an extended version of what was previously available in Solution Manager in terms of discovering SAP notes for managed SAP systems.

    I do like the concept but perhaps it should be extended even more. An integration of the SAP Automated Note Search tool could be a good idea. The notes that should or could be applied to solve shortdumps seen in the managed SAP system could be fetched into a separate tab.

    Another idea would be to have the possibility for end-users to keep a favorites list or even synchronize there favorites list of SAP service marketplace with their end-user in Solution Manager. You already have the mapping between the user-id in Solution Manager and the S-user so the only thing missing is a favorites and the possibility to synchronize.

    It would also be interesting to be able to analyze the SAP notes present in the managed SAP systems from the Solution Manager. I don’t know by heart if it’s possible already using Change Reporting but it would be interesting to get quick views on SAP system landscapes to see which notes are applied where (DEV,ACC,PRD etc).

    It would even be interesting to see the delta of SAP notes when comparing SAP systems from different system landscapes.

    What would also be interesting is to have the search box for SAP notes available in Solution Manager. That way the correct filters could be auto-filled (based on SAP system version & components) and it would help people find notes more easily as I believe the filters on SAP Service Marketplace are often not even used or properly known. Using checkboxes or other types of filters the results could be narrowed down and fetched to Solution Manager.

    It would also make sense when you consider Solution Manager as a command center to have the possibility to search the notes, flag them and implement them without the need to go to SAP service marketplace.

    I see how SAP values Solution Manager and is creating a lot of content for it which is a good thing but it also calls for taking a step back to view the bigger picture and keeping things together that belong together thus avoid having ten applications or tools that can be used for similar activities.

    I see a lot of locations (SLD, SMSY, LMDB, Landscape Manager,…) where managed SAP system data is available and I see a lot of applications that still fetch data from the managed SAP systems direcly. It would make sense to consolidate all of those into a single product or application that is then used by all scenarios.

    Kind regards

    Tom

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    1. Benjamin Schneider Post author
      Hello Tom,

      thank you for your valuable feedback. Many of the points you mentioned are already in discussion by our experts for one of the next releases of the System Recommendations tool, especially focusing on the ability to generate a recommendation for more than one system at a time and on further integration into other parts of SAP Solution Manager.

      A monitoring of notes across a system landscape can be achieved with the “Configuration Validation” tool in SAP Solution Manager.

      Best regards,
      Ben

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      1. Tom Cenens
        Hello Ben

        Your welcome, I’m always happy to be able to provide feedback. I already thought it was possible to check SAP note implementation across a landscape.

        The problem with the current note recommendations in DSWP (haven’t yet tested system recommendations) is that cleaning the list up for each SAP system is too much work. There was no filtering on which database the managed SAP system has for example and then it becomes annoying having to clean up all the notes that belong to other database or OS releases.

        Looking forward to seeing more extended features.

        Kind regards

        Tom

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    1. Benjamin Schneider Post author
      Hello Michelle,

      currently, the System Recommendations tool “only” provides a list of recommmended notes exactly calculated for one technical system. Providing information on the test effort is already on our list for further enhancing the tool in the future, currently this information is not provided by the tool.

      Best regards,
      Ben

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  2. Alexander Ganishev
    Hi,

    I tried to use it. But when I selected product system, technical system, released dates and refresh I received message:

    assigned s-user and s-user in rfc not valid. But it the same user.

    How to resolve it?

    Thanks a lot,
    Alexander

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      1. Sean M
        Where is the AGS_SR log you mentioned?

        P.S. I had the same problem as Alexander. I will create a support message, but it looks like there’s something systemic going on.

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        1. Jianfeng Wang
          Helo Sean M,

          I have replied your message. The problem only happens when checkng manually – press “Refresh” button. It is solved in SAP Note 1554475. In addition we strongly recommend you to implement SAP Note 1577059. In future, please also configure your Solution Manager system to the automatic check, afterwards all System Recommendations related SAP Notes will also be present if there are any further issues. Hopefully you can enjoy the application. Any feedbacks are welcome!

          Kind Regards, Bob

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        2. Frank Buchholz
          The background job which is used to calculate the SysRec results writes status information and error logs to the “application log”. You can show it using transaction SLG1 for object AGS_SR.
          (0) 
  3. Jianfeng Wang
    Dear all,

    Thanks all for using the SysRec (System Recommendations). Some of you may have the error message “assigned s-user and s-user in rfc not valid” when pressing “Refresh” button, please implement SAP Note 1554475. In addition I also strongly recommend you to implement SAP Note 1577059. In future, please also configure your Solution Manager system to the automatic check, afterward you could get all SysRec related notes to keep itself update if further problems were found. Hopefully you can enjoy it. Any feedbacks are welcome!

    Kind Regards, Bob

    (0) 
  4. Fabian Krause
    Hi,
    Today I tried SysRec for the first time. In my mind its very helpful. Im just asking if there is a chance to get an automatic report each month about which new notes have been detected for (e.g.) P01? So to say a sendmail option.

    Thank you!

    (0) 
    1. Benjamin Schneider Post author
      Hi Fabian,

      thank you for your feedback. A notification option is currently under evaluation, we expect something like that in one of the next releases.

      Best regards,
      Ben

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    2. Frank Buchholz
      As of SolMan 7.10 SP 3 you can use the built-in BW reporting for SysRec results of the application “Configuration Validation” in the SolMan. You can bookmark such reports, therefore a single link will show you a cross-system view on missing security notes.

      If you don’t run this version of the SolMan yet you can use a workaround which is described in a code exchange project  on SDN at https://cw.sdn.sap.com/cw/groups/cross-system-check-for-security-notes

      Using the report ZSYSREC_NOTELIST and the description how to schedule such standard reports as a background sending the result as mail on the same page you can produce your own notification mail.

      Kind regards
      Frank

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  5. Franz Lengel

    I use the system recommendation, but there are some points which need improvement, in my opinion:

    – Set status ‘done’ for notes with only manual tasks, so they can be supressed by filter

    – As mentioned already be another comment, status of implementation in DEV, QAS,… is missing

    – I like the cross system report, but how to save the settings, so that it filters the same way next time ?

    – I have to download the result to a excel sheet, because it is not possible to set status in this cross system report table

    Thank you,

    Franz Lengel

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  6. Vijay Kottappan

    I can download the notes list in excel but any provision to email the system recommendation notes?

    Perhaps its one of my need to have my team automatically gets it to analyze and discuss.

    This is available in marketplace as a separate segment for hot news, high priority notes like that but getting a report like solman is the one i need.

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    1. Frank Buchholz

      You can schedule email notification within the corresponding BW query (System Recommendations Reporting, ConfVal_Reporting_SysRec – Technical Operations – SCN Wiki). You find the scheduler with a right-click on any list item -> Broadcasting.

      However, why not giving access to the SysRec application directely?

      you can give access to the workcenter or (after activation in transaction SICF) to the WebDynpro application.

      kind regards

      Frank Buchholz

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      1. Vijay Kottappan

        Thanks.

        Basis and Application team have asked to share the notes, i thought of trying without manual intervention to send the report.

        I think broadcast can work for our need.

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  7. Narsing Archanapally

    Hi,

    I am exploring the use of system recommendations in solution manager to identify the notes that are relevant for the target system (BI system). I went to the system recommendations and ran the report by selecting the target technical system and dates. My understanding was that it would show the notes taking into consideration the current patch level of the target system, but I found out that it is shows all the notes. In the “support package name” column it is showing even those support packages that are below the current level of the target system, also in the “SP Relevance” Column it is not showing the latest support pack level of the target system but showing those below the current level.

    Is my understanding that it would show only those notes that are applicable to the target system incorrect? or will it show all the notes irrespective of the SP level and then we have to go through each note to check if it is applicable to the system or not.

    Thanks

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    1. Frank Buchholz

      The application System Recommendations takes the information about installed software component versions and support packages for a “technical system” from the LMDB. Please check if SLD/LMDB is cofigured correctly showing correct data about the backend systems.

      Kind regards

      Frank Buchholz

      SAP Active Global Support – Security Services

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  8. Franz Lengel

    Dear Mr. Frank Buchholz,

    is that useful documentation also available for Solman 7.2 ?

    Thank you with best regards,

    Franz Lengel

     

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