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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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).