Import of customer releases in uptime is available in the SUM
With the newest Software Update Manager (SUM 1.0 SP14) the powerful feature to consider customer transport requests in the SUM is general available. Before this we supported a lot of customers when they used the import of customer transport for their customer releases. Thanks to the close cooperation ensured by the “delivery on request” procedure we improved the procedure to be fully integrated and to be effective in different use cases. In this blog I inform how it works and how to get it.
What it is for?
The Software Update Manager in general considers the planned downtime (SPS, EHP implementation, Upgrades). In the past you had a separate step to import the related transport requests of the target transport after when the SUM was finalized. The import of the customer transports extends the classical upgrade use cases to consider customer releases as well.
This has been changed since the import of customer transports are considered in the SUM procedure. You can call this option in the standard or advanced mode of SUM.
The SUM functionality supports customer releases for ABAP systems in general. But BW is currently not supported.
Your decision to use SUM or the TMS is depending on the purpose, the amount of transport requests and the frequency of import.
In the following graph you get examples when to use the SUM for your customer transport requests:
With older SUM versions the import of customer transports in SUM was only possible in combination with a SAP stack. Since SUM SP13 you can use the SUM for customer transport requests only.
With SUM SP 14 upgrading your system is feasible for the following use cases:
- SAP update only
- Customer release with SAP update
- Customer release only
What do you have to invest?
First of all, there are no separate license fees for using the downtime minimization capabilities in the advanced pre-configuration mode of SUM. SUM is contained in the SL Toolset and the latest version can be downloaded from the SAP Service Market Place.
How to use downtime minimization capabilities in SUM Benefits of nZDM for SUM
In general, in SUM the advanced pre-configuration mode is used for extensive downtime optimization. The import of customer transports is added in this SUM mode as well.
Overview of the steps in SUM to import customer transport requests incl. integration:
When customer transports integration in SUM is activated, the customer buffer will be requested. You use only one buffer for all your transport requests, no matter if they are SPAU, SPDD, development or customizing related. The buffer can be created in CTS or Change Request Management (ChaRM).
The phases of the procedure to import the customer transports are running without any further customer interaction. Only in case of a return code (rc) 8 the SUM has to stop and to ask how to continue. Thus it is always recommended to pre-check the buffer and ensure a rc of 4 or 0.
The customer transports are added to the standard phases in shadow (uptime) and in downtime. The feature checks the transport buffer and based on the customer transport object type the import is done in uptime (mainly DDIC elements) and downtime.
At the end of the SUM the synchronization to TMS ensures that all logs and system buffers are updated. Finally the ChaRM is refreshed.
With SUM 1.0 SP12 the integration to SPAU / SPDD, TMS and ChaRM is realized. Additional transports for SPAU / SPDD are not needed when a general buffer for customer transports is used. The procedure of SUM considers this accordingly.
Benefits of customer transports import
With help of customer transports integration in SUM the overall business downtime is reduced significantly.
Based on a whitelist approach in general the repository related transports are imported and activated in uptime. Only non-repository objects are managed in the downtime of SUM.
This also means, the SGEN in the shadow considers the customer coding as well, additional SGEN runs are not needed anymore.
Which improvement can be expected when customer transports is used in SUM?
According to the experiences we made with our customers a minimum of 50% downtime savings can be achieved.
Do you have to consider a critical amount of transports?
No. We had customer buffer with > 20.000 transports and it was also only used for SPAU or some dedicated custom project related transports.
How to manage customer table conversions to avoid downtime?
If the database cannot execute the structural changes with DB instruments the table will be converted in ABAP. This means downtime for the table. In SUM you have the option to execute the table conversions in uptime. When you use nZDM and customer transports import in the advanced mode your table conversion is executed in the extended shadow (in uptime).
How to get it?
As already mentioned, the downtime minimization feature of customer transports is generally released with SUM 1.0 SP14.