As part of the many blogs published about Job Scheduling Management, there was already one blog SAP is first vendor to provide a comprehensive Job Management Suite explaining how SAP supports all phases of a background job lifecycle (request, document, schedule, monitor, report, optimize). Everything written in that blog still holds true nowadays (two years later). Nevertheless I want to take the opportunity and rephrase a few things, or better speaking, I want to translate how the offerings adress typical customer challenges and goals.
The 5 most common customer goals related to Job Scheduling Management
Customers have a need for transparency and visibility, because a comprehensive and up-to-date Job Documentation is missing. Many customers either document jobs not at all or they only document technical parameters in an MS Excel Spreadsheet or in Lotus Notes database. Often the documentation is just created once during the implementation project and is then never used nor updated. Additionally all the jobs created by end users (see also An easy way to identify end-user scheduled jobs which bypass your central scheduling tool) are typically not documented at all. So customers don’t have an overview about what is really running in their systems and what might cause overload situations. A typical customer quote towards SAP would be “we assume 30% of our daily background jobs are no longer needed…we just don’t know what the 30% are”. Answer to this problem: The SAP Solution Manager provides a standardized and web-enabled Job Documentation application (based on best practice experience) which can be integrated with the following applications (Job Request, Business Process Monitoring, SAP Central Process Scheduling by Redwood, Change Request Management). See also A new column in transaction SM37 – Job Documentation
Every customer wants to utilize his (scarce) hardware resources as efficient as possible. This comes actually down to the scheduling itself. The large majority of SAP customers still schedules their jobs via transaction SM36 and don’t use any external scheduling tool. Answer to this problem: The Scheduling tool provides a lot of advantages in comparison to transaction SM36. Some key words are: Job Interception: Controlling end-user scheduled jobs, enhanced workload balancing, event-driven vs. time-driven scheduling, Don’t leave children unattended – How SAP Central Process Scheduling by Redwood manages the parent-child relationship of SAP jobs, complex job chains for process automation, logical queues and priorities 0-99 vs. job classes A, B, C, How SAP Central Process Scheduling and SAP Financial Closing cockpit work together.
Every customer wants to meet his business goals as good as it gets, i.e. being most effective. Many of the business goals can actually only be achieved if all underlying background jobs within your system environment are processed in time and at the right point in time. Unfortunately many customers do not monitor these tasks at all or only monitor it sporadically with manual means (transaction SM37). Even those customers that monitor background jobs automatically do not map the jobs to corresponding business processes and they only monitor job runtimes and cancellations. Most customers have no insight about the business impact if a job fails. Additionally most customers don’t monitor for business relevant information, e.g. did the job start according to a planned start time or did it finish at a planned end time. Hence it cannot be really ensured that all business goals are met. Answer to this problem: The Business Process Monitoring in SAP Solution Manager allows the automated monitoring of single jobs or complete SAP BW Process Chains in the context of some modeled business process. For more information please see also the previous blogs Functional Scope of Business Process Monitoring in SAP Solution Manager and Best Practice: BW Process Chain monitoring with SAP Solution Manager – Part 1
Many customers have a lack of process governance, i.e. how to request new jobs or changes in a standardized manner and how to bring this together with the previous pieces (documentation, scheduling, monitoring). Many customers created some job request processes supported by different tools (e.g. own web-application, Z-transactions, emails, tweaking ticketing systems from HP or BMC). All these processes typically have one thing in common – they are far from being standardized and contain several error-prone media breaks. Answer to this problem: The SAP Solution Manager provides a standardized and web-enabled Job Request form which integrates with the Service Desk and/or Change Request Management functionality in SAP Solution Manager. It also integrates with the Job Documentation application mentioned above so that no double maintenance effort and no error-prone copy and paste activities are required. For more information please look at previous blogs like Creating a Job Request with SAP Solution Manager and How to configure SAP’s standard Job Request form – Part 1
As mentioned above many customers come with sentences like “we assume 30% of our daily background jobs are no longer needed…we just don’t what the 30% are”. This is first a problem of visibility and transparency but at the end customers want to get rid of the x% of unnecessary jobs in order to save hardware resources. These clean-up activities are often missing at customers. Additionally many customers do not have any systematic approach on what and how to clean-up the existing job schedule. Answer to this problem: The Job Scheduling Management Health Check in SAP Solution Manager can extract job workload data from the respective SAP backend system and stores it in dedicated InfoCubes within the SAP Solution Manager. The application provides then standard web templates with queries that shall show which jobs cancel or finish most often and cause the highest workload. It also shows which users created/scheduled the most jobs and how many jobs are executed on which application server and cause how much runtime.
Visit us also on SAP TechEd 2011 at ALM264 – Manage Your Background Jobs Using Job Scheduling Management
In this hands-on session you will learn how to manage background jobs with SAP Solution Manager. With reference to the Solution Directory, you may document, request, schedule, and monitor jobs using the external job scheduling tool SAP Central Process Scheduling by Redwood. In addition, you will get an introduction of how to optimize your job schedule concept using Job Scheduling Management Health Check in SAP Solution Manager.
Frequently Asked Questions about Job Scheduling Management are answered under http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/SM/FAQ+Job+Scheduling+Management.
If you are interested in further reading. The following blogs (in chronological order) provide further details about Job Scheduling Management functionalities within the SAP Solution Manager.
- Job Scheduling Management with SAP Solution Manager
- Central Job Scheduling with SAP Solution Manager
- Creating a Job Request with SAP Solution Manager
- Job Scheduling Management Enhancements with EhP1/SP18
- Managing Standard Jobs centrally from SAP Solution Manager
- Monitoring Job Chains with SAP CPS by Redwood and SAP Solution Manager
- SAP is first vendor to provide a comprehensive Job Management Suite
- Job Interception: Controlling end-user scheduled jobs
- Implementation of a naming convention in Job Scheduling Management
- Don’t leave children unattended – How SAP Central Process Scheduling by Redwood manages the parent-child relationship of SAP jobs
- How SAP Central Process Scheduling and SAP Financial Closing cockpit work together
- Re-directing transactions SM36, SM37, SA38: Controlling end-user scheduled jobs – Part 1
- An easy way to identify end-user scheduled jobs which bypass your central scheduling tool
- A new column in transaction SM37 – Job Documentation
- Re-directing transactions SM36, SM37, SA38: Controlling end-user scheduled jobs – Part 2
- Creation of Job Documentation Macros
- Job Documentation Templates
- Best Practice: BW Process Chain monitoring with SAP Solution Manager – Part 1
- Best Practice: BW Process Chain monitoring with SAP Solution Manager – Part 2: Setup Example
- How to configure SAP’s standard Job Request form – Part 1
- How to configure SAP’s standard Job Request form – Part 2
- Diagrams for Job Scheduling Management
- Do you know how to monitor background job status centrally…without an external scheduling tool?!