<update>please note that this is an outdated blog post – you can expect an updated perspective soon. I’ve formatted this blog post since I noticed the formatting was messed up due to the SCN migration</update>
A few weeks ago we installed a Solution Manager 7.1 to be used for internal training and setting up demo’s. In this blog series I provide some thoughts on Solution Manager 7.1. You can expect more content from me on #solman as time progresses. Let’s take a look what the devil on my left shoulder has to say about it.
Product naming confusion
My blog which the highest number of views of all my blogs is the blog on SAP product naming confusion and for good reasons. SAP seems to love making product names and versions complicated somehow.
What are you talking about? Solution Manager 7.1 sounds simple enough no? If you look at past products you would automatically derive it’s build on top of a SAP Netweaver 7.1 platform (referencing SAP Netweaver PI 7.1 for example).
You guessed it by now I guess. SAP did it again. Solution Manager 7.1 is running on top of a SAP Netweaver 7.0 EHP2 platform. This means SAPJVM is nowhere to be found when initially installing Solution Manager which is a pity. I would recommend you to switch to SAPJVM 4.1 immediately after performing the installation of Solution Manager 7.1 since Platform JDK will be out of support in August 2012 and depending on the platform possibly even sooner.
Should SAP have chosen another name? Perhaps but I understand where the Solution Manager 7.1 is coming from instead of using Solution Manager 7.0 EHP2 although the later would have been more logical from a technology point of view. SAP worked on Solution Manager 7.1 during three years is the rumor that is whispered in the hall ways. That’s a long time! I don’t even know if that can be seen as a good thing. It would be a good thing if everything would have been über tight and the whole thing blows everyone away.
Of course they wanted to make a statement through the name that they release an all new and fresh Solution Manager. The question then becomes, did they in fact release a brand new and fresh Solution Manager with Solution Manager 7.1 or a polished up Solution Manager 7.0?
LMDB (Landscape Management Database)
I had the opportunity to play around a bit on a Solution Manager 7.1 Beta installation (before Ramp-up). One of the things that surprised me most was the fact that SAP put LMDB in place. I understand the logic or the reason why LMDB is put in place but I don’t really believe it’s the best solution there is.
I already tweeted it back then that we now have three repositories to keep system data. Those three repositories are the SLD, SMSY and LMDB. But LMDB synchronizes with the SLD and auto updated your SMSY data. While that sounds awesome I find it is making something complicated even more complicated. Yes LMDB does solve a number of issues that existed before. The periodic checking and updating of landscape data is positive and useful but still it looks more like a band-aid on a wound instead of a fix.
Errors like “Technical system not properly defined” while the Landscape verification tool which checks the system data was showing a green light are annoying. It stops there, no additional information, no system log message, no application log message to go by.
Those kinds of errors or warnings are annoying. Why? Because you can’t find anything to help you in that situation. It’s like your car stops and shows a red icon on the dashboard. You look up the icon in the car manual but it’s simply not there. That’s the moment when you are forced to call the car dealer and explain him that they need to rework either the car or add something to the manual of the car.
My opinion is still the same, LMDB is adding another layer of possible complications to the already fable SLD and SMSY. I already encountered a situation where I had to go and poke around in both SMSY and LMDB to get the system defined properly. Message to all #sapadmin’s out there start learning LMDB but don’t throw away know-how on SMSY and SLD because you might still need it in some occasions.
DSWP / SOLUTION_MANAGER disappeared
Those who have already used Solution Manager 7.1 will have noticed you can no longer access your Earlywatch Alerts (amongst other things) through transaction DSWP.
Not all bad here because SAP did an effort to provide sufficient documentation on which item of DSWP ended up in which work center and so on. You can find the relevant documentation on https://service.sap.com/rkt-solman.
The fact that DSWP is integrated into the work centers is not a bad thing, don’t get me wrong. What feels unfinished, unpolished and a bit weird is that you end up on the same old DSWP screens in the end when you find the right spot in the work center. I would have liked to see a overhaul of the screens and some evidence of brand-new instead.
Several points show to me that Solution Manager 7.1 isn’t all brand new and redesigned. Some parts are new and some other parts are old and still have the same “dull” feeling to them.
Another weird thing is that all the nifty new features that get introduced are not yet integrated. You can add the dashboard by going here and inserting X and doing Y and I’m like why isn’t this integrated.
Or you have a new feature that has its own proper transaction and SAP then states yes it looks just like a work center but it isn’t. But rest assure we will fix that later on. That makes sense right. I do understand they want to ship new content and that’s a good thing but it would be even better if they could figure out a way to have a more direct implementation into the work centers.
Before you decide not to upgrade or install Solution Manager 7.1 you should read the accompanying blog “Impression of Solution Manager 7.1 by the angel” to see which pointers are good.