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Author's profile photo Andrew Melkonyan

SAP & Simplicity: While Some Struggle to Embrace It, Others Are Fortunate to Enjoy It Already


Whoever submits a google search for SAP & SIMPLICITY will find himself/herself showered with conflicting opinions:

  • SAP & Simplicity?  Prffff.  Give me a break….
  • SAP & Simplicity?  Yeah!   SAP embraces simplicity as a way of thinking!….

I have been exposed to some of SAP application packages.  From what I have seen there still are things to simplify or modernize.  This is my “novice” opinion only.  Haven’t been exposed to it for a prolonged period of time.  But I know of at least one subset of SAP application package where simplicity has always been a status quo.  And as for my opinion – the situation in this sector has improved even more with the latest releases.  I am talking about SAP Sybase portfolio, as you might have guessed.

I have just finished a very intensive week of working on a project of moving a 24/7 site from an old architecture that relied on a bunch of replication servers (15.0, 15.2 – Warm Standby, Replicate Sites with & without rep agents) connecting 7 heterogeneous sites (ASE&MSSQL) to a new architecture connecting the same heterogeneous sites – but in a simplified and more robust manner (MSA – flat and simple).   Whoever has had a chance of working with Sybase Replication server in its pre-MSA versions probably still remembers the hard work he or she has been subjected to.   True, it has not been SO difficult to manage, but for a topology with over 2k tables, managing subscription to numerous replicated sites has been quite a challenge.  In order to make my life easier I have built a dedicated software to embrace all the flexibility the environment I was responsible for required.  It has been a great fun still (both writing the tool and managing the site).  Replication server in those versions still has been pretty well worked out to allow an organization to run 24/7 unimpeded.  Warm standby as the central axis (to manage heavy administrative tasks and basic DR requirements, for example).  Ability to attach standby of the flight.  Efficient transaction-based replication.  It has been very stable to run a decade without a single failure.

Still, the setup has been lengthy and cumbersome.  Waiting for 2k replication definitions to be built (and WS needed it as well for more efficient communication between active and standby sites)… Waiting for 2k-x-sites subscriptions to get defined…  The setup (leaving aside the dump/load sequence) has been a matter of hours.

No longer.  With MSA and 15.7 RA and RS releases the whole setup for a multi-site replication topology is a matter of minutes.  If your systems are synchronized and all you are required to do is to setup replicated topology – the time you need to set everything up is the time it takes you to run a short list of SQL commands against your replication server.   If you are diligent enough to set up POC version of your topology, generate and save all the scripts, and then run the same scripts (easily changed) to set up you real environment, the whole thing fits neatly into a couple of minutes.

I really have to express my gratitude to SAP Replication Server engineers.  Loved the software once – it has been very stable and flexible.  Love it even more now – it has added a true flavor of simplicity to it (never used GUI setup though – so I cannot comment on it).

If other software packages from the same house have been as simple to set up and manage, I thing there has been much less disagreement about SAP & Simplicity.  As far as SAP Replication Server 15.7 is concerned – simplicity IS one of its strong features – without compromising stability or flexibility.  I do not know how simple it is to manage replication to/from SAP HANA, but to manage replication to SAP Sybase ASE IMDB in-memory DMBS is a piece of cake (another gem from the same house).

Been there.  Done this.



Keep IT Simple…

My appreciation for that.


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