What does adopting SAP Solution Manager 7.2 mean to you as a SAP Customer? – Part 2: Functional Considerations – Solution Documentation
In my previous blog, we have seen crucial points you should factor before going for upgrade/migration of your existing SAP Solution Manager 7.1. Now let us go through some of the Functional aspects you must consider before hitting that upgrade button.
There is a total overhaul to the concept of Solution, Projects & Landscapes in 7.2 in terms of System, Process & Version. Gone are the days, where you end up creating blank solutions just to activate EWA for some system. SAP suggests and tried to formulate a concept where 1 Customer = 1 Solution in 7.2.
Putting the ‘Solution’ in Solution Manager
In 7.2, the Solution will be the sum of a company’s systems and processes. In 7.1, you have bunch of Logical Components inside a Solution; in 7.2 the Logical Component concept has been completely revamped. It will be now easier to handle due to the removal of the product assignment for a Logical Component.
Consider a situation, you have ERP System in your IT landscape with DEV, QAS & PRD instances in BAU stream. Another 2 systems, DEV & QAS instances in Project stream. Then in 7.2, track of 3 ERP System from BAU would form one Logical Component called Production & Maintenance, remaining 2 ERP instances of Project track would form ‘Development’ logical component. The collection of ‘Production + Maintenance+Development’ logical components would now be called a ‘Logical Component Group’ titled ‘ERP’.
This is a significant shift from 7.1 where technically, collection of Logical Components is called a Solution. In 7.2 technically Solution will be collection of all the ‘Logical Component Groups’ of your organization with each Logical Component Group having its own logical components.
That explains the ‘System’ part in the statement “The Solution will be the sum of a company’s systems and processes.” How about the ‘Processes’ part of the above statement? In 7.2, all your Business Process Documentation is done inside a ‘Solution’. So, no more SOLAR01 or SOLAR02 projects as container for your Business Process Hierarchy. Hence no more Check Out/In procedure between Project & Solution for maintaining Business Process Documentation.
Solution alone would act as a container for versions of solution documentation, one of which will be the production version. The Production Branch represents the productive version of the entire solution documentation. The Maintenance Branch represents the editable version of the productive solution documentation. Hence, every Solution in 7.2 will have a ‘Production’ branch and a ‘Maintenance’ branch.
So how all these going to affect my upgrade to 7.2? Since the entire concept of Solution Documentation is changed in 7.2, to be able to work with existing content in the new environment, the existing documentation content needs to be migrated to new architecture. This process is called “content activation”. This activity ensures all your business process documentations are retained and are compatible with the newer layout of 7.2.
After the successful upgrade and content activation procedure, the existing Business Process Documentation would be transferred to new Solution structure and will look like below
This content activation is a one time activity and cannot be reversed. The key take away for the customer is ‘Plan Ahead and Plan Carefully’ so as to limit the content during the upgrade and reduce the effort required by choosing only relevant Projects and Business Process Documentation for activation.
Things to Do Now to have a smooth transition to 7.2
Blueprint Generation Tool: Customers with an existing solution documentation can use the report attached to SAP note 2061626 in SAP Solution Manager 7.1 to evaluate the structure and prepare conceptually for the new Process Management environment in 7.2. This would you bird’s eye view on how your structure might look like in the new layout of 7.2.
Third Party Integration: Customers who are using the integrations in SOLAR01/02 to IBM Rational Suites HP Tools, ARIS tools cannot upgrade to the first release of SAP Solution Manager 7.2, as the interfaces have not yet been adapted. The adaptations are currently planned for later. Hence do not jump onto the upgrade boat as soon as it arrives.
Keep your business process structure simple: This would be the right moment for you to clean up the unnecessary structures from the Business Process Hierarchy. This will save lot’s of time during the activation.
Fill those vacant nodes: You might find several orphaned steps without any actual executable assigned in your current structure. To ensure a smooth transition and reduce post-activation effort, assign test cases and one executable (transaction/report, etc.) on process step level wherever possible.
Missing Attributes & their impact: In SAP Solution Manager 7.2, the set of standard SAP attributes has been cleaned up and reduced. If you are relying heavily on the attributes of a node right now, you may need more effort to convert them to Customer attributes while activation. So keep this effort estimation too in your plan.
Keep your satellite system up to date: Plan for installing latest plug ins available for ST-PI & ST-A/PI for all the managed system which are part of your existing solution documentation
Prepare the content activation in advance: The guided procedure in transaction PREPARE_ACTIVATION helps you to define the activation scope before you start the activation process. This txn. would be available as a part of preparation note.
All customers can try the Content Activation of their existing Documentation by availing the CAL SAP Solution Manager 7.2 system offered by SAP. This shall give a good mock up environment to play around your existing documentation and understand how it is going behave after the upgrade & activation. More info. on this is here : http://scn.sap.com/community/cloud-appliance-library/blog/2016/01/18/sap-solution-manager-72-coming-soon-to-sap-cal