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ARIS vs Solution Manager

There is a common question during Implementation projects that the customer and project team always ask – Why ARIS & Solman and why not just one of them.

This blog aims to clearly provide a distinction between the two.

ARIS is an Enterprise Level Business Process Modeling tool. The Business Strategy of the Organization gives birth to Business Processes across the different Organizational Unit. These are drafted in the ARIS modeling tool as a 7 level structure.

What is distinctly different in ARIS is that it does not matter if the Process broken upto the Process step or activity or task is running on SAP or any other system. ARIS just aims to map all the processes that runs in the Enterprise.

The IT Strategy leads to a “Project” – an implementation, upgrade or other kind of project. If this project is an SAP Project, then we could use Solution Manager in addition to ARIS.

What Solution Manager does is to import the Business Process from ARIS to a 3 level structure and “translate” these processes into the “SAP Objects world”, namely the Transactions, IMG Objects, Dev. objects, etc.

Basically Solman in that sense is merely a “Translator”. Business Process translated to the equivalent SAP Object.

The Business processe now gets a Transaction, Program, Job or other SAP objects assigned against it, the IMG documentation, other project documentation gets added etc. thereby completing the translation to an SAP world.


Business Strategy -> ARIS

IT Strategy -> SAP Project -> Solution Manager

The key point is – tomorrow if the Business process that is in ARIS need to run on a mobile device or a third party system replacing SAP etc, these processes should still be available on ARIS. The SAP translated objects just gets replaced with the new system that is being implemented.

Now, what are the synchronization directions?

ARIS -> Solution Manager

From ARIS all the Business processes that are “In Scope” for the Solution Manager “Project” should be synchronized from ARIS to Solman

Ideally, for the Business Processes the synchronization should always be one sided. From ARIS to Solman. This is because of where we started this article from – the processes at the Enterprise level is irrespective of whether they run in SAP or non-SAP. The processes should first be defined in ARIS and if they are running in the SAP systems then they are translated into the SAP object world in Solman!!!

Solution Manager -> ARIS

Any SAP artefacts that are created during the “Project” have to be synchronized from Solution Manager to ARIS.

We start with the “Project” itself.

First synchronize the Solman project into ARIS, copy the processes into this project and then start your synchronization to Solman.

Next will be the “Document types” and related “Status values”. These have to be defined in Solman project and then imported into ARIS and reused from the Process Library against the processes.

Also the “Systems” which are created in the System Landscape need to be synchronized into ARIS. Note here that the Systems (SAP & non SAP legacy systems) are added to the LMDB of Solman thereby completing the Technical landscape documentation and then grouped into logical components are assigned to the Project. This is now reverse synchronized to ARIS.

You could also create “End User Roles” in Solman and synchronize back to ARIS.

In summary any SAP objects that need to be depicted in the process flow on ARIS has to be created in Solman and send back to ARIS.

Hope now that this article provides clarity on whether ARIS and Solman need to co-exist. Once again – Yes, they should!!!

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      Author's profile photo Javier Eduardo Vega Torres
      Javier Eduardo Vega Torres

      HI, have you already evaluate or made the same question regarding Solman 7.2?, Solman 7.2 has dramatically change in this last version. Shoul I use Solman 7.2 without ARIS as my Enterprise Level Business Process Modeling tool?