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How to Reduce Manual Effort in CIM model and CR Content Update of SLD Systems

Introduction

The SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory (SLD) is the main source of technical systems’ information in your landscape gathering data of installed systems via their data suppliers. To be able to handle this data the SLD CIM Model and CR Content need to be up-to-date (see SAP Note 669669). In most cases, this manual action is done on each SLD individually, many of which may exist in a landscape. Using the (Full Automatic) Content Synchronization mechanism and the SLD Namespace concept wisely, you can update one SLD manually and automate the CIM Model/CR Content update for all other SLD systems.

Using Full Automatic Sync to Distribute CIM and CR Content from a Dedicated Namespace

Note that this procedure should be tested by you in a sandbox and used very carefully – not fulfilling the prerequisites or performing the steps wrong, will cause data inconsistencies.

Full Automatic Synchronization (FAS) of SLD content keeps all data of connected SLD systems in sync; this includes CIM Model and CR Content data. However, FAS does not allow for filtering of data, nor does it give any control about the point in time when content is synchronized: All changes become active on the target of an FAS connection more or less at once. Therefore, you must not simply connect the DEV SLD to QA SLD to PRD SLD because all manually created data need to be synchronized in a controlled manner between SLDs with different roles – see How-to Handle Data in the SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory. On the other hand, there is data, which should be available on each SLD:

  • Technical Systems’ data should be available in the whole landscape – but this is easily handled by Bridge Forwarding of Data Supplier data.
  • Also, any SLD version can cope with any CIM Model and CR Content version.

The fastest mechanism that can be used to transport CIM/CR Content is the full automatic synchronization. However, FAS always transports all changes – to use FAS for the update of CIM/CR Content only, a specific configuration is needed:

To separate CIM/CR Content from all the other content (manually created content and technical systems’ data) you can utilize the SLD namespace concept – see figure 1:

CIM-CR_automated_update.png

Figure 1: SLD systems, namespaces and connections in a typical landscape to optimize SLD content maintenance by automation of CIM Model and CR Content update.

Note that there MUST not be FAS connections transporting back CIM/CR Content to SLD (PRD).

Prerequisites

  • All SLD systems, in which CIM Model and CR Content are to be updated automatically, need to be running on SAP NetWeaver 7.1 or higher to be able to retrieve data from another SLD by Full Automatic Synchronization.
  • This process needs not be installed at the beginning – it can be installed at any time, if the prerequisites explained below are adhered to when a new synchronization connection for CIM model and CR Content is added.
  • The unique-path-principle must be fulfilled (the same content must not reach any SLD on two different paths – for valid topologies see How-to Handle Data in the SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory or the Planning Guide – System Landscape Directory mentioned there.)
  • Most importantly, when adding such a new FAS connection for a target namespace that already contains CR Content, ensure the following:  Both the CIM model and the CR content version of the target namespace sld/active and the source namespace sld/cim_cr MUST be the same. Otherwise the CR Content in the target namespace will become inconsistent.

Steps

Automatically updating CIM Model and CR Content should not affect your SLD performance noticeably. In case that your SLD is working without some performance buffer near its maximum capacity, you should either strengthen the SLD system or plan the CIM Model/CR Content update for times when the load is small by planning the manual CIM/CR Content update in the central SLD accordingly. (if this cannot be achieved with FAS, keeping the manual process for such an SLD might be recommendable.)

Note: Once you are using this automated setup for CIM/CR-updates you MUST NOT perform manual CIM/CR-updates in the target SLDs anymore. This would lead to inconsistent data.

  1. Create a namespace for CIM Model and CR-Content on one SLD (probably your central SLD), where you keep CIM Model and CR Content up-to-date, naming it sld/cim_cr for example
  2. Create a FAS connection on every SLD which can be updated with latest CIM Model and CR Content (see “Prerequisites”) to namespace sld/cim_cr on the central SLD

    Note that on these target systems, no additional namespace is required: sld/active can be directly the target namespace for the update to take effect on technical systems data. When adding such a new FAS connection for a target namespace that already contains CR Content, both the CIM model and the CR Content version of the target namespace sld/active and the source namespace sld/cim_cr MUST be the same.

  3. For the source SLD containing namespace sld/cim_cr, there are two options to update CIM/CR-Content:

    a. You can automate the required update of namespace sld/active by creating a local uni-directional FAS to its own sld/cim_cr namespace.

    b. If you want to be in control of the CIM/CR-state of this SLD (which probably is your productive one) you can import it manually.

    Note: You can control the point of time to update CIM/CR-Content: Optionally, you can de-activate the FAS connection updating the CIM/CR-Content and activate it manually, if you want to perform an update.
    Make sure in this case that for each single update to the central CIM/CR namespace the connection is activated.

Result

CIM Model and CR Content will be updated automatically in any SLD reading the CIM-CR namespace.

Summary

Setting up your SLD landscape as shown will reduce the manual effort of keeping the CIM Model and CR Content in your SLD systems up-to-date. In the best case it can be reduced to one system where this data has to be maintained manually.

Additional Information

More information on the SLD is available at the SDN:

16 Comments
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  • Wolf – nice writeup.  One question that our Basis team has though is whether or not we would run into issues if our Solution Manager SLD had a different (newer ) CIM/CR versio than our PI SLD.  We’re unfortunately not yet running a central SLD, so we have this to contend with – they are running their updates to teh PI SLD on a different schedule than our SM SLD.

    Thanks!

    Bernie

    • Dear Bernie – thanks a lot. And: Having SAP Solution Manager’s on a higher CIM/CR level should not cause problems: Received Data Supplier data directly or by forwarding from the SLD dedicated to PI will be integrated correctly.

      Best Regards,

      Wolf

  • Hi Wolf,

    I’ve read through many of your articles and they are very informative. Thankyou.

    One thing I’m not clear on however is the best approach to adopt when performing support package/upgrade type actions on a given landscape that uses the Full Automatic Sync feature.

    My current client had a PI 7.3 Dev, QA & Production landscape in place before I got involved with their project. The SLD configuration uses the FAS feature to sync the SLD from Dev to QA & Prod. The sync to prod is deactivated and only activated when the PI development team need the SLD data in production.

    Dev & QA sync is active all the time.

    We are looking to update to the latest PI 7.3 Support Package Stack soon. I can’t find any documents on the SLD documentation areas that would suggest what the approach would need to be.

    Would it mean syncing up fully production then deactivating the syncs from Dev to QA & Prod just before the Dev PI 7.3 system has the Support Package update process performed (SLD updated and latest CIM CR Content uploaded). Then when QA has the same SPS applied enable the sync again – but would this be correct as the SLD docs say the CIM model & CR Contents need to be the same to initiate.

    Sorry if my question seems daft but I’m a bit concerned that the QA & Production SLD’s could become inconsistent.

    This is the first PI 7.3 support package stack update on this landscape since the initial installation and configuration of the sync’s from the Dev PI 7.3 SLD to QA & Prod.

    Regards,

    Brian.

  • Hello Wolf,

    Thank you for providing this document – it is an elegant way of updating cim & CR content across landscape.

    I do have one question for which I would need more clarifications:

    – Do I have to create the namespace sld/cim_cr in PRD and start propagating the cim and CR content upgrade from here (=PRD) downwards to QAS and DEV ?

    – Or, can I create the sld/cim_cr in DEV and propagate the cim CR content upgrade using unidirectional FAS to QAS and the to PRD (DEV->QAS + DEV->PRD) ?

    The reason for this question is that I would like to test the cim/CR content upgrade in DEV first, then activate the FAS to QAS, then activate FAS to PRD: I am not sure I want to upgrade the cim/CR content in PRD first. Also, at the same time I do have the forwarding of technical data going from PRD-> QAS and PRD-> DEV.

    Thank you,

    Sorin

  •  

    Hi ,

     

    Can we have 2LMBD  where one LMDB connected to one SLD like non-prod SLD and another LMDB connected to PROD SLD, both prod and Non-Prod SLD are in full sync , please comment.

  • Dear Wolf, Congratulations on your blog entries, it certainly helps us to clarify about SLD and LMDB.
    I have many customers and we always have a lot of effort in the SLD manual update, however we can not connect all customer SLDs they are of different landscapes. Is there any way to do an offline synchronization of the CIM model so I can export the data and import again into another client?

    Thank you for your usual help.

    Sergio Vieira
    TIVIT Brasil

    • Dear Customer,

      thanks a lot for your kind words – I’m glad, my posts are helpful. As for your question, I’m not too sure, I really understand it: Downloading and importing the CIM Model and CR Content in SLD system individually is the normal case, what I describe here, is just a way to automate this in a bigger IT landscape…  if that doesn’t help, can you please explain in more detail?

      Thanks & Best Regards,

      Wolf

  • Wolf, thanks for the answer.
    I provide service for divergent clients, and I usually need to update the CIM Model and CR Content periodically through the files available to SAP, this process I have to repeat several times and import many files to reach the minimum version of the CIM Model. I was wondering if it would be possible for me to do this on just one client and export the database completely to re-import to multiple clients without having to import the version through the CIM and delta files available to SAP.
    Is that possible?

    Thank you,

    Sergio Vieira
    TIVIT Brasil

    • Dear Sergio,

      sorry for the delay, I had to clarify with development – regrettably, the answer is “no”, there is no such mechanism. But your request adds to our feedback on the CIM/CR update process, so thanks a lot. Should there be any updates in the future, I’ll post them in one of my blog posts.

      Best regards,

      Wolf Hengevoss

      SAP SE

      • Hello Wolf Hengevoss,

        :´(


        Thanks for the attention and I will always be looking for in your blog if there will be any update for this solution.

        thank you,

        Sergio Vieira
        TIVIT