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Within this blog I want to summarize which smaller or larger applications components exist within the SAP backend, SAP NetWeaver and SAP Solution Manager that all support a better Job Scheduling Management to some degree. I also want to give some estimates on the respective implementation effort and provide recommendations on what to use when. So let’s get started.

All at a glance – for the ones in a hurry

 Overview 1

Overview 2

Some more details – for the ones with more time

 So let’s ge over the applications (shown above) one by one in some greater detail.

SM37: Not much to say here. The transaction is available in every SAP backend system and many customers use it for manual monitoring.

 

Report /SSA/BTC or entry BACKGROUND_JOB_ANALYSIS in transaction ST13: This tool is most likely also just available in your backend system (unless you have an ST-A/PI version that is 5 years or longer outdated) so that no configuration is required. This standalone tool displays SM37 data in a graphical manner and is especially interesting if you want to answer the following question: “You encountered performance problems between 2-4 last night – what was running at that time in your system?”. I described this “well kept secret” in a previous blog “Hidden” tool: Analyzing workload caused by background jobs

 

JSM Work Center: Many customers don’t know that simply by activating the corresponidng SICF services and assigning the roles SAP_SMWORK_BASIC and SAP_SMWORK_JOB_MAN to your user you can already use the JSM Work Center. If you then connect your  backend systems with the SAP Solution Manager via the BC-XBP interface then you can use the JSM Work Center as a central SM37 and you no longer need to access all the different backend systems in order to check for cancelled jobs as an example. This is described in more detail at Do you know how to monitor background job status centrally…without an external scheduling tool?!

 

Job Documentation: If you have the JSM Work Center activated, you can use the Job Documentation application (or it is only a few more minutes in case you need to activate some further SICF services). Also the Job Documentation can be used standalone and you should use it in order to get away from your current job documentation (probably done in MS Excel or MS Word) and use a best practice kind of documentation that was designed for this purpose (e.g. documenting business requirements, business processes, supporting naming conventions as described at Implementation of a naming convention in Job Scheduling Management  or providing some expiry date in order to easily track job documents for review). If you then schedule your jobs via the BC-XBP interface in the backend (or alternatively via SAP CPS) you can also make use of the job document integration with the backend system (see A new column in transaction SM37 – Job Documentation). Especially if you are currently in some implementation or upgrade project you could start to document the new jobs via the Job Documentation application, i.e. in transaction SOLAR01 down on business process step level you can navigate to tab strip “Transactions” and directly maintain job documents (instead of just ABAP reports). Later on you can then use the integration features with Job Request, SAP CPS and/or Business Process Monitoring.

 

Job Scheduling Management Health Check: If you want to learn how much of your respective system workload is caused by background jobs then you should look into the Job Scheduling Management  Health Check as a BW-based standalone tool. You can download the Setup Guide which is attached to SAP note 1516666. For SAP Solution Manager 7.1 the setup should only take a couple of minutes. For SAP Solution Manager 7.0 you require about half a day. You can find more information on this tool at Do you want to know how much backend workload is caused by background jobs?

 

Business Process Monitoring Trend Analysis: The setup of this tool is very similar to the Job Scheduling Management Health Check. This application is good if you interested in the trend how the runtime of your most important jobs evolves over time. You can find more about this application at New Business Process Monitoring functionalities in SAP Solution Manager – BPMon Trend Analysis Reporting. While the setup takes about the same time as the Job Scheduling Management Health Check this application is not for standalone use but makes only sense in conjunction with Business Process Monitoring.

 

Business Process Monitoring: The job monitoring functionality is one of the oldest functionalities within Business Process Monitoring and is out there for 10 years already. The job monitoring is not only working for single jobs but also for complete BW Process Chains (see Best Practice: BW Process Chain monitoring with SAP Solution Manager – Part 1). You can also use all the different interface monitoring capabilities and combine them with your job monitoring efforts. The technical setup typically just takes a few days. But depending on your organizational structure it might take several weeks before the Business Process Monitoring is really established in your day to day work.

 

Job Interception: One functionality that can easily solve most of the encountered problems when it comes to end user scheduled jobs that potentially overload the backend system. Although available since 2003 it is still widely unknown. While the interception itself can easily be configured it only makes real sense in conjunction with some external scheduling tool like SAP Central Process Scheduling by Redwood. Please also refer to Job Interception: Controlling end-user scheduled jobs

 

SAP Central Process Scheduling by Redwood: If you want to

  • Improve your workload balancing,
  • Use job interception,
  • Have more flexible job scheduling,
  • Define dependencies between different jobs across system boundaries,
  • Switch from a time-based scheduling to an event-based scheduling

then you should look into SAP Central Process Scheduling by Redwood Scheduling

 

Job Request/Job Control: If you want to standardize your process for requesting new jobs or changes to existing jobs and if you want to have a tight integration with your Incident or Change Management process in SAP Solution Manager then you should look at the available Job Request application which provides different standardized web-based forms. These form can also be customized to your need (see How to configure SAP’s standard Job Request form – Part 1. Actually instead of having end users to actively open a job request you can also switch-on the Job Control which re-directs end-users from the backend system into the Job Request form (e.g. when trying to access transaction SM36). More information on this is provided at Re-directing transactions SM36, SM37, SA38: Controlling end-user scheduled jobs – Part 1. The Job Request form integrates not only with the standard Incident Management (transaction type SMIN) or Change Management (SMCR) in SAP Solution Manager 7.1 but it also integrates with the Job Documentation. So all information maintained in the Job Request form by an end-user can be automatically taken over via database integration into the corresponding Job Document. Hence no media break and no double-maintenance required. The successful implementation of this functionality takes usually several months as you have to change complete IT processes within your organization.

 

Change Request Management: All customers who want to have some formal approval process in their job request process (described above) need to implement the Change Request Management (if not already done). As this also changes your existing IT processes , it also takes usually several months to establish it in your organization.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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