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On a recent customer implementation of SAP’s Change Request Management (ChaRM) application, we encountered a lot of teething problems when first using the system and its many features. This blog is a simple summary of 3 tools you can use to troubleshoot ChaRM functionality in Solution Manager 7 EHP1.  

NB: I did a quick search of previous blogs and couldn’t find anything that mentioned these tools specifically, so I thought I would summarize for the community.

 

1) ChaRM Document Log: First Point of call – Who did what and when?  

In every ChaRM document (all types – be it a Correction, Help Desk call or other) there is a wealth of information that an everyday user can access in CRMD_ORDER. After clicking on “Transaction Data” a user can click “Objects” and the first screen presented should be that in Figure 1 Below.

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This text log captures all the history of actions for this specific document including:

  • Date and Time of action.
  • User ID of user who performed action.
  • Text description of action (this comes from the class/module of code which is executed when an action is performed).

   

The Document log is useful for answering functional questions such as:

  • Who approved this Transport to Production?
  • Who moved this transport to Test?
  • When were the transports created?
  • When were the transports imported?

     

In many cases, the information above will be enough to answer any support or audit related questions for your users. If you are encountering errors, you may need to drill down into task list related problems and view the Application log below as described below.

 

2) ChaRM Tasklist Log: Technical Errors from your specific maintenance/project cycle.

Occasionally a ChaRM change document gets “stuck” with an error condition regarding transports or something just doesn’t seem to be working for a whole group of documents. In this case you usually need to investigate the issue from your technical operations level and the ChaRM task list for your specific maintenance cycle or project.

The easiest way to access the specific task list for a specific document is to browse to the document in CRMD_ORDER. Once your change document is open, click the “Document Flow” button.

 

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This should expand all linked documents (see Figure 2), including any Change Request and/or task list that the current document is linked to.

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Double click on the Task List row, to be taken to the appropriate task list calendar as shown below in Figure 3 below.

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You can see that in the screen above there are red errors for a particular action. In this case: “Release Transport Requests”. If you double click on the line with the error message you will see more detailed information appear as in Figure 4 below.

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In this case, the error was a mistake in the import queue of the Production system as I had been been messing around with transport queues and was attempting to import a Transport of Copies into a system marked as Production (don’t ask! :P).

This TaskList log is useful when answering questions such as:

  • Why can’t I release my transport requests?
  • Why can’t I create transport requests?
  • Why is my document saying “Tasklist Locked”?

   

 

 

3) ChaRM Application Log: Everything you ever wanted to know about ChaRM

Finally, when all else fails, it is worth going directly to the ChaRM Application log and attempting to discern what is going on from all the messages at the application level. This is very similar to the consistency check log which is used when creating/closing a ChaRM Project.

Go to transaction code SLG1. In the Object field, put in the text “/tmwflow/cmscv”. Make any other changes to the selection criteria (such as time restrictions) as required. Execute the report, and you should see a log like that in Figure 5 below.

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Expand any of the messages in the log and double click on the exact message to investigate any problem. Figure 6 below shows an example issue I found in my test landscape whereby the RFC between Solution Manager and the managed system (SS3) was not connecting due to a problem with the TMSADM user being locked. (RFC communication problems are a common error when using Solution Manager to manage satellite systems and you should check your RFCs in SM59 or SMSY regularly.)  

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The application Log is useful for:

  • Investigating system-wide communication / technical errors.
  • Tracing problems that have happened in the past.
  • Obtaining detailed information on ChaRM problems – to the system/user level.

   

I hope this helps you in any future ChaRM troubleshooting!

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2 Comments

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  1. Kumud Singh
    Hi there,
    I have been searching for ChaRM documentation for quite a while and I got something related.
    Thanks. Can you also suggest some similar links which gives greater idea on ChaRM both from functional and background(technical) aspects.

    Why do customers customize standard ChaRM provided by SAP?

    Regards,
    Kumud

    (0) 
    1. Eneko Jon Bilbao Post author
      G’day Kumud,

      I think the SAP Help and Service Market Place is probably the best place for you to get ChaRM information. Doing a search should turn up some overviews.

      In my experience the main reasons for customers to customise standard ChaRM fall into the following 2 baskets:

      – Additional Management Reporting Requirements: New fields in the CRMD_ORDER screen, new custom reports.

      – Additional Complexity in the Release Process / Regulatory Compliance: E.g. dual approvals,  email notifications, workflows to support control etc.

      Cheers,

      Eneko

      (0) 

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