picture 1.0 – Motorized bicycle – http://www.slickvixen.com/motorized_bicycle.htm
It’s no secret that I haven’t been the biggest fan of the changes related to SAP system maintenance that SAP has made moving from Solution Manager 7.0 EHP1 to Solution Manager 7.1. The Landscape Management DataBase (LMDB) was introduced with Solution Manager 7.1. The first impression from system administrators all over the world was that it seemed to complicate things.
2013: The world is still there
picture 1.1 – Poll LMDB – ref http://scn.sap.com/polls/1409
So what has changed in the meantime? SAP is aware of the fact that LMDB seems to be more complex and that system administrators are struggling to properly configure everything they need to perform maintenance of their managed SAP systems. The above picture shows that a whopping 74% of the voters voted that LMDB is worse then what was in place before.
Not only my poll confirmed this but also impressions / thoughts from attendees at SAP TechED 2012 confirmed the above.
What has happened since then?
As a SAP Mentor I believe in the fact that the new SAP is out there and that teams care about their products and that there is willingness to change things around. I’ve had customers laugh in my face at the idea that SAP, a dinosaur company (huge), would listen to a commoner like me or any other community member for that matter. I beg to differ here and I’ve seen the impact of a single blog post or involvement or commitment of community members. We can make a difference so when a customer laughs in your face, laugh along and know that you can make a difference.
I have been reading up on LMDB and I connected to Wolf Hengevoss who has helped me out by providing information / hints based on my thoughts. Attempts to get even closer to what SAP is doing failed so far as the legal department shows no progress in creating the necessary NDA documents for me to sign. As such, I don’t know what SAP has in its labs at this moment in time. I can only hope it will meet the requirements of #sapadmin.
Wolf Hengevoss and others at SAP have been putting a lot of effort into creating the necessary documentation so #sapadmin would understand the different aspects of LMDB. While the documentation is mostly of good quality, it’s still a lot of content to go through and not so easy to understand. My suggestion is to create video content which shows how to perform maintenance on actual customer landscapes.
Check out the blog post that Wolf Hengevoss wrote as a reply to this blog post here:
What do we really need?
It’s easy to comment on what is wrong and what should be better. It’s harder to come up with viable solutions. What #sapadmin need in my opinion, is the ability to define a complex landscape and create relationship models much like relations between database tables. Those relations then define which systems are connected and that affects the maintenance optimizer run. The landscape patterns provide such functionality but to a too limited extent. End-user experience wise I wish the way we have to perform these actions would also be reviewed. Get a bunch of #sapadmin and developers together and help them out to use design thinking to come to a new solution.
In my dream, I drag lines between systems to create relationships between those systems.
Interesting content on LMDB
Content generated by SAP
picture 1.1 – LMDB wiki page – ref http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/SMSETUP/Maintenance+of+Product+in+the+System+Landscape
The wiki page is an important source to aid system administrators in their quest to perform proper SAP system maintenance. “If no product versions and product instances are reported, this page shows you how to model different products in the LMDB of SAP Solution Manager“.
On the page, you can also find links to the Maintenance Planning Guides for SAP Solution Manager 7.1 (several SP versions exist) which contain valuable information on different aspects of LMDB.
Community generated content
Not only SAP is producing good content on LMDB. A 2012 blog post by Nicholas Chang is a good read in this regard as well: http://scn.sap.com/community/it-management/alm/solution-manager/blog/2011/12/17/sapadmin-how-to-assign-product-system-in-solman-71-how-lmdb-sld-smsy-and-landscape-verification-work-in-solman71
The blog content is good and the comments provide a lot of additional questions and answers and details that might help you.
SAP Insider content
SAP Insider article with good SAP system landscape maintenance example: http://sapinsider.wispubs.com/article.cfm?id=5446
The article is an excellent read to get an understanding of different types of changes (application driven vs technology driven) and what that means for doing SAP system maintenance. Along with that, the landscape pattern is also explained which is another valuable piece of the puzzle.
We zijn er bijna maar nog niet helemaal
picture 1.2 – Are we there yet- ref wronghands1.wordpress.com
To mix things up: a title of a paragraph in Dutch. This way, if you don’t know Dutch, you can most certainly say you learned something from this blog post. Translated into English it means: “We are almost there but we are not there yet”. It is part of a song that scouts would sing when going for a long walk. They could start singing this at the mere beginning of that walk. Translated into LMDB I would say, the concept, the idea is not bad but there still is a lot of work left to fully automate the system landscape maintenance of complex SAP system landscapes.
Let’s be crystal clear here:
For now, #sapadmin have to live with partial automation and we will need to continue to perform multiple maintenance optimizer runs for complex SAP system landscapes. Sometimes we will even have to perform manual actions, checks and perhaps even tests to ensure the end-result will be a consistent SAP system landscape.
LMBD is not a motorcycle just yet. It is a bike that has a battery. It helps you bike but if hope to sit back and relax you can forget about it, the bike won’t move at all without your effort to make it move.