What I learned at SAP TechEd 2013 about BPCA in SAP Solution Manager
Once again SAP TechEd was for me a great place to learn. I remember my first SAP Teched, in 2010, where I was so excited with so many good sessions to attend that I could hardly stop for lunch or a coffee break. Not that this behavior changed after some years…in fact I think it’s worse now since I also have my own sessions (Expert Networking Sessions) to present, meetings and other networking activities. At that time, after working with SAP for more than 10 years and with SAP Solution Manager for 5 years, I could for the first time meet in person the people behind the Products and ask questions directly to the source. It was also in my first SAP Teched that SAP Solution Manager 7.1 was first presented. I remember that my first hands-on session was about the new ChaRM Web UI in SAP Solution Manager 7.1 with Tobias Hauk, and I saved screen shots to send to my colleagues and to show to my customers the great improvements coming with the new release. The new release, as I already described in one of my blogs, changed the way the customers look at Solution Manager, specially regarding ChaRM and Service Desk (now ITSM).
This year again at SAP Teched I could see and practice some great improvements released with a new Support Package of SAP Solution Manager 7.1, SP10 (in fact SP09 and 10 together, also known as Feature Pack 2). Some of these improvements are already described in other blogs here in SCN, specially in the ChaRM area. I will describe here what I learned about the improvements on BPCA – Business Process Change Analyser in the hands-on session ITM264 – Change Impact Analysis of SAP Upgrades using BPCA. This is for sure a session not to be missed if you plan to run upgrades in the next months.
It was a pleasure for me to support Rajeev Gollapudi and Sonal Kumar in this session. It was the first time I was supporting a hands-on session (a SAP Mentor support). I could help them answering questions of the attendees during the Exercises.
In this session, Rajeev explained how the Business Process Change Analyzer (BPCA) can help with doing an impact analysis of SAP upgrades with the new test scope optimization options.
First, Rajeev talked about the strategy for business transformation in major releases, explaining how to have continuous improvement in minor releases and changes with two value releases per year.
Then, he explained the SAP strategy for Test Management, with Solution Manager acting as a central hub to manage all SAP changes and E2E Integration Testing. We had an overview of the products and capabilities integrated with SolMan 7.1, as we can see in the slide below:
Next, Rajeev introduced the Motivation and Approach of BPCA. A main motivation is that planned SAP solution updates occur frequently, not only with SAP Support Packages and Enhancement packages being released but also with Customer changes. It’s usually very difficult for customers to know which critical business processes will be affected with these changes. With BPCA it’s possible to have a Change Impact Analysis, where the customer can identify business processes affected and have a Risk-based test recommendation. Then, there is a Test Planning where Test Cases are reviewed and missing Test cases are created, generating a new Test Plan. And last but not least, there is the Test Execution step where Regression Tests (manual or automated) are performed.
Then, we saw briefly how BPCA works, as shown in the slide below. I will focus on the improvements coming with SP10, so for more information about BPCA, please check http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=221290030
As a preparation, you need first to have your business processes documented (your Business Process Hierarchy) in a Business Blueprint. You need to create a TBOM for every relevant process step. Transactions and Test cases need to be assigned to the relevant process steps.
The business user or the tester can manually run the transactions to generate TBOMs (dynamic TBOMs) or run a program that creates static TBOMs. Dynamic TBOMs are recommended for better accuracy. It’s also possible to create TBOMs using Test Automation Framework using SAP and 3rd party test automation tools, or using SAP TAO 2.0 SP04.
One of the improvements of SP10 is the possibility to generate Semi-Dynamic TBOMs.
According to Rajeev, semi-dynamic TBOMs can be created automatically. A background job can be triggered where a source code scan is performed on managed system and unused objects are filtered out (based on Usage and Procedure Logging function of your system – UPL data). Similar to the generation of a static TBOM, the system analyzes the environment to determine which objects are in the executable entity. Picture below is from the session:
Since last year we are waiting for the UPL function to be available for BPCA. I remember that SAP TechEd Vegas and Madrid attendees were excited when this function was mentioned as a planned one.
Rajeev explained that:
- UPL is a kernel based logging technology providing runtime usage information of ABAP procedure units like methods, function modules, subroutines and much more…
- UPL complements the standard ST03N workload statistics of ABAP executables
- UPL provides 100 % reliable usage analysis without measurable performance impact
- UPL is available as of SAP Netweaver 7.01 SP10 with Kernel 720 Patch 94.
- BPCA uses UPL to identify used ABAP procedure units and to create semi- dynamic TBOMs.
The next improvement was in the Test Scope Optimization for EhP Deployment
Standard BPCA change impact analysis shows that almost all business processes are impacted by EhP. It provides 6% test effort reduction compared to total test effort.
BPCA with Test Scope Optimization, delivered with SolMan 7.1 SP01, gives a Smart ranking of Business Processes / Process Steps, with highest impact and lowest total test effort and consideration of process attributes to mitigate risk. You can identify your test scope and significantly reduce your test effort for regression tests.
In SP10, new functionalities were delivered.
- New graphical summary screen showing the result summary of test scope optimization
- Test Scope Recommendations based on the test scope optimization resulting in further optimization possibility
- Improved performance of analysis run and test scope optimization to handle large change events.
During the exercises, we could:
1. Review a Business Blueprint and start background job for semi- dynamic TBOMs using UPL.
We first reviewed a project in SOLAR01 and SOLAR02, checked the test cases assigned to a process step and changed the System Role to Production. The assignment of the test cases (manual and automated test cases) would be used in the test scope optimization of BPCA.
In the SAP Solution Manager Test Management Work Center, we selected Administration and then TBOM Utilities as shown below (the next pictures are from a SAP Solution Manager SP10 that I am currently working with):
A SAP GUI screen will open. We clicked Generation of Static and Semi-Dynamic TBOMs.
Then we saw the screen below, where we could select the Solution/Project for creating the TBOMs. In the UPL section we had to select the Production System Role.
2. Run Change Impact Analysis for EHP upgrade using Dynamic TBOMs
In this exercise, we could run an analysis for a ECC Support Package using Dynamic TBOMs, and use test scope optimization approaches to reduce the overall test scope. We used a SAP delivery transport request corresponding to a SAP Support Package 01 for SAP_APPL in ECC 6.0 EHP 6 for that.
The main screen is the Test Management Work Center->BP Change Analyser. In this application, we selected Transport Request as Impact Analysis type, the system and client where the transport is located, the number of the transport (could be more than one) and the Business Process Scope of the Impact Analysis (a project, a solution or both).
Example of a Change Impact Analysis screen in SP10 with type Transport Request and Project/Solution as scope.
The result is all the business processes impacted. Then for the result we run the “Optimize Test Scope”, which calls a Test Scope Determination UI.
We can see below an example of the results overview (next pictures from ITM264):
In the Test Optimization Ranking tab we can see the processes included in the scope for 100% test coverage and see the test coverage at each process step.
We also could see ranked list of process steps and which test cases are included in the scope. In the Test Case Recommendations Tab we could observe that BPCA was recommending to create a new automated tests for a process step. From the same Test Scope Determination UI we can create the Test Plan.
3. Review semi-dynamic TBOMS created by background job
In this exercise, we could review the semi-dynamic TBOMs created using UPL.
When the job is finished, the log will show the process steps for which a TBOM was created. In SOLAR01, we go to a process step and select the TBOM tab in the Attributes Maintenance window. We can observe that a “semi- dynamic” TBOM was created by the background job for that node.
4. Run impact analysis against Semi-Dynamic TBOMs and compare results
In this exercise, we could run an analysis for a ECC Support Package based now on the new semi dynamic TBOMs, and use test scope optimization approaches to reduce the overall test scope. As in the 2nd exercise, we used a SAP delivery transport request for that.
We could see that the result was different from the exercise 2, which used Dynamic TBOMs, specially the number of objects in the support package impacting each process.
In the pictures below we can see the different results. Note that the graphs show missing tests for project/solution that were not shown in exercise 2, and the number of Impacted processes with Test Scope Optimization was lower. The Manual effort was much lower. The total test effort in hours and the number of Test cases were also much lower.
It’s planned to be delivered a new application called Scope and Effort Analyzer. This is also something customers are waiting very ansious. The first time I heard about it was during the Teched 2012.
This new functionality is supposed to fulfill the following customer needs:
1. Better planning of efforts for EhP deployments
2. Identification of required developers for custom code and modifications adjustments
3. Blueprint and Test Scope identification
4. Test scope optimization and recommendations
When it’s available, the new functionality will provide:
1. BOM of changed objects.
2. Identification of SAP objects used by customer.
3. Used and unused custom code and modifications.
4. Change Impact Analysis for custom code, modifications and business transactions.
5. Scope and effort estimation, optimized test scope.