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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:

Customer Transports use cases.png

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:

Capture2.JPG

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.

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8 Comments

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  1. Julius Kaplan

    so isn’t it possible to add a customizing transport request by default? you have to ask SAP to provide you the steps? is there any particular reason for this?

    thank you

    (0) 
    1. Martin Herrmann Post author

      Hello Julius,

      the SAP made very good experiences when at early stage of a product the customer is in a closer cooperation with the development department. And also customers made very good experiences to have a direct channel to the SAP development at this early stage of a product lifecycle. But the import of customer transports is a technique in the SUM and delivered in an SP of SUM. It is not possible to have a usual ramp up process. Therefore we often use the “available on request” for such new introduced technical features. For both sides it is a benefit to have a close coorperation. SAP development get detailed feedback how customers use it and which improvements are needed additonally. And customers get direct feedback about their requirements and in case of trouble they get a very quick support directly from the SAP development department.

      So regarding your question: it is possible to add customer transports in general in the SUM. It is not planned to have it by default, it will be an option. And it considers all customer transports which might be needed at this time. Several customers even have their own customer releases only for custom specific developments. And this is an important focus of this technique. Individual transports managed with help of Transport Management are not in focus of this approach. However import of customer transports to SUM will be explained in detail in a session with the customer and us. In this session we also discuss the pre-requisites and check if the planning and expectations match with the feature of SUM.

      So hopefully I got your question correct and the answer helps to understand the approach

      Best regards,

      Martin

      (0) 
  2. Julius Kaplan

    thanks for the detailed explanation Martin!

    one more question, if i’m doing an upgrade via sum, at which point i should ask to add my customizing reqeuests into the procedure? what exactly shoud i do? should i open a support ticket?

    regards,

    JK

    (0) 
    1. Martin Herrmann Post author

      Hi Julius,

      it is a very good point, thanks for the questions.

      In general the customer transports import feature in SUM doesn’t exclude any transport types. In case of customizing the transport will be imported in downtime.

      But a main restriction regarding client dependent transports is that only one target client is supported.

      Do you need the customzing settings due to an update of the SAP system? A single customizing transport might be transported without any SUM procedure.

      In general organizational activities are needed to get all relevant customer transports ready (tested, corrected and released) before the SUM starts. So I see your point but I don’t understand the context.

      I propose a direct call, this would speed up the conversation 😆

      best regards,

      Martin

      (0) 
  3. Gulam Mohammed Ibrahim

    Hi Martin,

    Whats the procedure to utilize this approach? I was not able to find any documentation/Sap notes/ SUM options related to this process (utilizing SUM for import of Customer transport without upgrade).

    Thanks in advance

    (0) 

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