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Challenges in a Landscape Transformation Projects

SAP Landscape Transformation (in short SAP LT) is a solution developed from tools from SAP System Landscape Optimization services and part of the Application Lifecycle Management portfolio. At the moment version 1.0 is released but 2.0 is in rampup and is announced to be general available, soon. The product has a defined roadmap and SAP works on improvements with customers. In fact there is even an ASUG Software Influencer Council.

A short glimpse at LT 1.0

This toolset is shipped as ABAP software component DMIS on top of SAP Solution Manager. It is a framework with functions for system analysis (repository, customizing, number ranges…) and transformation tools that you use for client transfer and even merging SAP systems. The business case is simplification of IT landscapes in merging and acquisition scenarios and harmonization of customizing of large (perhaps even global) SAP landscapes. So the business case is

  • simplification of an enterprise architecture,
  • simplification & harmonization of processes and
  • reduction of total cost of ownership and perhaps even greening your IT landscape.

The documentation of the tool is good. We have

For me as SAP NetWeaver software architect this online frontend in ABAP package BTP_WD was really inspiring.

What does a Landscape Transformation project look like?

You can think of SAP LT as a framework with some content – think of merging routines for FI, HR and so on. When you doing landscape transformation – merging SAP landscapes for example – this will be done in a huge project consisting of several phases:

  • system analysis,
  • harmonization,
  • tests,
  • go live and
  • activities after the transformation.

Of course this is done in an iterative approach: You will perform analysis and tests all the time. The SAP toolset is quite sophisticated and generic – if you are interested how it works you should look at ABAP package CNV_BASIS.

What are the necessary skills in a landscape transformation project?

The key player of a landscape transformation project is the enterprise architect who owns the big picture of the existing IT landscape and the transformation goal. He works together with business process experts to understand the processes and data models and integration scenarios.

In fact those business process experts do the hardest job because they have to plan the harmonization phase. Within the harmonization phase the systems to be merged have to be aligned. This means harmonization of processes and of master data; which has impact to the whole enterprise architecture.

Before you start the harmonization you need a concise system analysis of repository, customizing and number ranges. Therefore you need an LT expert who knows how to use the analysis and transformation features of LT tool set. Of course general administration tools are helpful, think of transactions TAANA, SQVI and tools from SAP Solution Manager.

In my opinion the technical risks in a Landscape Transformation project are good to deal with. One big challenge is the automation of transformation processes in your whole enterprise architecture.

In my opinion tests are crucial for landscape transformation projects. Landscape transformation is comparable to a game that you have to win without conceding a goal. Therefore automatic as well as manual tests are absolutely necessary.

So let me summarize. A successful landscape transformation project

  • is a masterpiece of enterprise architecture,
  • needs management attention with clear and communicated objectives and
  • needs efficient communication between various experts.

Necessity of knowledge management

In this weblog series I will cover various aspects of a successful landscape transformation project. This will cover system analysis, harmonization, dealing with custom development, test and the LT toolset and I would like to discuss them in expert networking sessions at SAP TechEd.

In my personal opinion knowledge management is one of the key factors of a landscape transformation project:

  • Do you understand your SAP system in detail? Do you know every customizing which has been done since implementation of your SAP systems?
  • Do you understand the data model of your enterprise applications, their processes and integration?
  • Can you establish an efficient communication between experts in a collaborative way?
  • Do you know to link the enormous amount of data from repeated steps of system analysis to your specifications?
  • Can you estimate the harmonization the progress of harmonization?
  • You can’t freeze your whole IT landscape during all phases of your harmonization but you have to deal with necessary changes in your SAP landscape and other non-SAP systems.
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  • Tobias,
      Most of us are in the position of having to be more efficient, and our employers and customers are the same.  However, when you already have the existing system running as efficiently (and as reliably) as possible, you need to change your approach. 

    This is where I see SAPs Landscape Transformation tools being so useful - Once the need for, and target of, the transformation is identified, the process - planning, management, execution, etc - of the transformation must be done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

    I'm looking forward to this series 🙂

  • Hi,
    SAP in its HANA- trigger based replication scenario says that SLT will be the intermediate system for replication. Is this the same? Moving forward SLT would be the more important for the HANA landscape.

    How is SLT different from the system landscape optimisation(SLO) tools provided by SAP. is it a subset fo the same. Any pointers would be really helpful.

    • Hi,

      SLT(the official name is: SAP LT Replication Server for SAP HANA)is leveraging some existing technology capability of SAP Landscape Transformation software. However in additional several other technologies such as the trigger technology for real-time delta replication (or the ability to replicate the data into HANA via a DB connection) is exclusively offered with SLT. You are right - the same developmment team (SLO) is responsible for SLT.

      Since SLT is a totally differnt and independent use case, it is not included in the SAP LT offering. SAP HANA customers are entitled to download, install and use SLT (SLT is part of the SAP HANA software bill-of-material.

      • Hi Michael:

        "SAP HANA customers are entitled to download, install and use SLT (SLT is part of the SAP HANA software bill-of-material."

        Not all HANA editions have SLT as part of it´s core products. I believe the only HANA edition which does not have SLT is "Platform Edition", but one can purchase SLT separately.