SAP Software Change Control Insights: CTS, CTS+, Central CTS – Why so many names?
Okay, today, let me try to resolve some confusion out there, when it comes to the naming and especially the meaning of the CTS-related products and features.
You all might have heard of CTS, CTS+ or even Central CTS. The ‘CTS’ in all of those terms refers to the SAP Change and Transport System – and all-integrated software logistics tools to record and propagate changes. Historically, (stick with me here for a second, I won’t bore you with the history of CTS too long), the foundation was developed in the early 1990’s. With the introduction of SAP R/3 a new kind of business software platform was born. The tooling itself grew over the years from the very core (the kernel parts) of CTS including the transport control program tp and the database content tool R3trans, into a fully integrated workbench environment and an advanced ABAP-based transport management system (TMS).
However, not only did the IT world become more and more complex, but also the SAP landscape evolved into something more heterogenous – non-ABAP solutions based on JAVA environments – like SAP Enterprise Portal – started to emerge in the early 2000s. But of course, with the introduction of those new platforms, the need for orchestrated and properly managed change processes became more and more essential. Since so many SAP customers were quite familiar with our ABAP-level CTS-based tooling and processes on top (using solutions like SAP Change Request Management and SAP Quality Gate Management), we decided to integrate those new technologies into the existing infrastructure. Hence, an extension of CTS was developed to manage exactly those new applications – and now, guess what this extension was called? CTS+ That’s right, CTS+ is the extension of CTS to incorporate non-ABAP changes – it was never meant to be the next version of CTS, but instead CTS itself now simply included non-ABAP features. In order to give those a catchy name, the term ‘CTS+’ was introduced.
Okay, now we know, that CTS is still CTS, even if it comes with a CTS+ feature set, but how about Central CTS? Is this the next version of CTS? Well, here the answer is again: no! Central CTS is not the next version of CTS, but rather again, a new set of features of CTS rolled out under this term. The evolution of the transport system did not stop with the introduction of non-ABAP systems and content, but went on together with the evolution of the business landscapes. The basic idea was to focus on actual business solutions, instead of just enabling different technologies. A business process does not stop at system-borders, but rather might incorporate multiple systems, running on all sorts of platforms. Which means, that changes and development for such a process need to be implemented in multiple systems as well. So, how to keep those pieces together? Here is where Central CTS (cCTS) comes into the play – basically, cCTS is a set of features (clusters, collections, synchronization, flexible bundling) helping customers to manage even the most complex landscapes and change processes. And once more: Central CTS is not a new version of CTS, but rather a feature-based extension to enable change processes in complex, heterogenous landscapes.
Well, was this confusing? Another way of thinking about it is this: imagine a box called CTS, just like a model kit with various parts and features included, one of them being plain CTS, another one CTS+ and the third one Central CTS. All those pieces do offer different options and possibilities. You can deploy them all together or as you need them.
So, what to take away from this post? That’s really simple: plain CTS, CTS+, or Central CTS – in the end, it is all CTS!
Thanks for reading and see you soon!