Software provisioning manager (abbreviated with SWPM in this blog) offers many different processes, such as installation, system copy and system rename. Although we have a clear understanding how often our tools were downloaded, it is hard for us at SAP to tell which processes are used how often and with which runtime – which would help us to invest our efforts into improving those procedures you are using most.
To better understand how you are using the tool and to be able to identify possible hot spots concerning the runtime that we should investigate, we introduced a new option into the latest version of software provisioning manager. With this, the tool gathers statistical data of the runtime and offers you to send them to SAP.
In detail, as of SAPinst version 2014.09 (available as of September 2014), the success dialog of software provisioning manager offers a link to send feedback and statistical runtime data to SAP:
This is the case for all processes supported by software provisioning manager, such as installation, system copy or system rename, as long as you are using the latest version of software provisioning manager (updated in September or earlier). Also, we are offering similar feedback options for other software logistics tools already today and plan to enable further software logistics tools accordingly.
But back to software provisioning manager – by clicking the feedback button on the success dialog pop-up window, an evaluation form is opened in your Web browser:
Now, if you should be willing to support SAP in gaining more knowledge about the usage of our processes, you could read through the disclaimer, accept it by clicking the corresponding box and press the Send to SAP button, which would send the anonymous statistical runtime data gathered during the execution of software provisioning manager to SAP via email (prerequisite: the host where the GUI runs has access to the Internet – feedback cannot be sent when you run software provisioning manager in dark mode).
Optionally, you could enrich this statistical data with your feedback about the executed process by entering it in the fields below the send button. If you like, you could also enter a contact email address, so that we could contact you in case of questions concerning your feedback (once your feedback is dealt with, we would delete your email address from our records, so that no personal data is stored also in the final feedback).
What data is sent?
For us, it is important to provide full transparency about what information would be sent to SAP. So, before pressing the Send to SAP button, you can take a look at the Process XML field at the end of the form, listing the exact statistical runtime data that got collected during the run and that would be sent to SAP, if you press the button:
In this course, we do not gather or send any business data or data that falls under data privacy protection (such as the IP address), but technical data about the actual procedure, the runtime and the used platform – for example:
- Platform (OS/DB) –
such as Linux plx291 184.108.40.206-0.5-default #1 SMP 2011-04-14 10:12:31 +0200 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux and HDB for SAP HANA
- Start + end date of the executed process
- Used SAPinst version
- Executed service –
such as SAP NetWeaver 7.4 Support Release 1 > SAP HANA Database > SAP Systems > Application Server Java > Standard System
- Number of CPUs and CPU family –
such as 24/x86_64
- Statistical runtime data –
For what is this data used?
First, as mentioned above, we at SAP want to better understand how our tools are used – that is, which processes offered by software provisioning manager are used more often than others.
Also, we want to identify possible hot spots, such as procedures that run especially long, so that we could analyze them for issues or optimization potential.
And finally, we want to build up a knowledge base concerning expected runtimes our processes take on the supported platforms and products – think of something like an anonymous statistical database of executed processes.
With this, we plan to better prioritize where to invest and where to optimize (for example, as one process is used very often or as it has a very long runtime that we would like to optimize).
In addition, this knowledge could allow us in the future to make predictions concerning the runtimes to be expected for the processes offered by our tools. Wouldn’t it be great, if you could start software provisioning manager, select a service and the tool would tell you in what range the runtime could be expected according to our knowledge of similar procedures on similar platforms and boundary conditions? This would help you to better plan the processes and with this, we hope that we can improve your satisfaction with the tools and processes we offer.
The figure on the right shows a mockup with sample data to give you an idea of the information we could provide in the future with your help.
Also, you can directly influence our development by providing feedback to the teams responsible for the procedures you were just using.
Overall, I want to encourage you to support us to increase the predictability and the quality of our processes by sending statistics and personal feedback to SAP after a run – it should not be much effort for you and I am confident that it will have an impact on our prioritizations, so that we can further optimize the procedures you are relying on. Thanks a lot for your support in advance!
What do you think of this option? Do you plan to use it?