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SAP Solution Manager 7.2 Insights…

If you are a customer currently using SAP Solution Manager 7.1 and planning to upgrade to 7.2, then here a list of tips, tricks and more that I would like to share from managing upgrade projects, including the upgrade as part of the Early Adopter Program. This list is by no means definitive but I hope that some of these items contribute to your successful upgrade!

Do not forget the Mainstream Maintenance for SAP Solution Manager 7.1 ends by December 31, 2017. For more information about SAP SolMan Mainstream Maintenance, please read SAP SolMan 7.1/7.2 Insight… SAP Maintenance Strategy blog.

Before Upgrade Planning

  • Decide to upgrade or install a new SolMan 7.2 system. Consider a new install, if:
    • Running outdated version of SolMan (for example, 7.0);
    • Only using SolMan to generate EarlyWatch reports and/or for Maintenance Optimizer;
    • Current information stored on SolMan is not critical to business operations and doesn’t need to be preserved.
  • Determine the impact and effort of the upgrade based on the scenarios in use. The table below provides the details of impact and effort. Low Effort: No to minimal training and configuration effort, almost a non-event, can be treated as small change. Medium Effort: Some training effort, configuration changes required, can be treated as minor release.High Effort: Full training and configuration required, needs to be treated as major release

SAP Solution Manager 7.2 Upgrade Functional Area Impact and Effort – Source: SAP

  • Decide if Content Activation is required. Content Activation is required if any of the below scenarios are in use:
    • Change Request Management (ChaRM)
    • Quality Gate Management (QGM)
    • Solution Documentation (SolDoc)
    • IT Portfolio and Project Management (ITPPM)
    • Business Process Monitoring (BPMon)
    • Automated Testing (SAP TAO, eCATT, CBTA or other third-party)

Typically, if you only use SAP Solution Manager 7.1 for monitoring services like EarlyWatch Alert, and/or for Service Delivery, such as GoingLive, you do not need to perform content activation.

  • Decide if new 7.2 PFCG (security) roles will be implemented or old 7.1 PFCG (security) roles will be adjusted.
  • Decide to migrate to HANA or stay on classical database. If HANA is not part of the upgrade, then installation and configuration of TREX with SolMan must be completed. If HANA is part of the upgrade, then sizing and purchasing of HANA hardware needs to be done upfront which might take time and needs to be considered in the upgrade planning. The table provides pros and cons of SolMan on HANA.

SAP Solution Manager 7.2 on HANA Pros and Cons – Source: SAP

Upgrade Planning

  • It might sound obvious, but PLANNING is essential to the success of the upgrade project! Document all upgrade activities, sequence of activities, person responsible for each activity and his/her back up in a plan. Starting in the Sandbox system, take detailed notes on all steps performed and adjust the plan accordingly in preparation of the upgrade of the next SolMan system (Development/Test/Production). At the end, the plan becomes the source for Production cutover.
  • It is critical to identify and assemble an upgrade team that will support various activities of the upgrade project. Basis resources play an important role throughout the upgrade, but upgrade to SolMan 7.2 is not just technical. You need a team with knowledge and experience in Project Management, Functional, Development, Security, Testing, Training areas.
  • The strategy, approach and scope of the upgrade project must be clear so all members of the upgrade team are moving in the same direction and working only on what is critical to its delivery.
  • Setup weekly upgrade meetings with the upgrade team to ensure everyone is on the same page and on track.
  • Do not implement SolMan 7.2 innovations as part of the upgrade. Implement innovations after the upgrade.
  • Document offline process to support emergency changes in SolMan Production system while SolMan Development and Test systems are being upgraded. Another option to consider is a temporary dual landscape. A temporary dual landscape can ensure emergency changes in SolMan Production system are possible if required. Also, if you have ongoing development in SolMan Development system, then a temporary dual landscape may be required to make sure the development is not impacted.
  • Document offline process to support incident recording and emergency changes in the managed systems (for example, ERP, CRM, etc.) while SolMan Production system is being upgraded.
  • Plan to retire custom objects in favour of standard SAP functionality. Also, keep in mind numerous objects used in 7.1 are obsolete in 7.2 (for example, /TMWFLOW/REPORTINGN, /TMWFLOW/LOCKMON, /TMWFLOW/PROJ, etc.).
  • Keep in mind, changes in SOLAR01/02 are not possible once passed the development lock point (REPACHK2 phase). Plan accordingly! See SAP Note 1685738 (Changes are not possible during the upgrade) for more information.
  • Plan ahead to find the best window for SolMan Production system downtime and prepare for 3 days of downtime. Below is an example of SolMan 7.2 upgrade schedule for a Production system.

SAP Solution Manager 7.2 Production System Schedule (example) – Source: YKonsulting

Content Activation

  • If Content Activation is not required for you, you still need to opt out of content activation in order to trigger activation of all functions in 7.2 after the upgrade is complete.
  • Before you start Content Activation, make sure you have the latest version of Solution Documentation Content Activation Guide and ensure the latest version of the guide is used during the upgrade. The guide provides comprehensive information about all aspects of content activation.
  • Read and understand every chapter of Solution Documentation Content Activation Guide. Performing content activation without reading and understanding the guide is a risk to the success and the quality of content migration from 7.1 to 7.2.
  • It is essential to understand new key concepts introduced in SolMan 7.2 (Solution, Branches, Logical Component Groups, and System Role). The understanding of how 7.1 is currently being used and how it will be used in 7.2 is necessary for Content Preparation (PREPARE_ACTIVATION) procedure. In Content Preparation you define the scope of content to be migrated/activated to SolMan 7.2.
  • Content Activation can only be executed once, so you do not have a second chance. Hence be absolutely sure to define the right scope of content to be brought from SolMan 7.1 to 7.2.
  • Make sure to perform Mandatory Configuration (System Preparation, Infrastructure Preparation, Basic Configuration) in SOLMAN_SETUP before Content Activation Part 2 in SAP SolMan 7.2.
  • If Change Request Management (ChaRM) is in scope for Content Activation, then it is recommended to perform Change Request Management and Managed System Setup Configuration in SOLMAN_SETUP before Content Activation Part 2 in SAP SolMan 7.2. This will allow you to test ChaRM with new Change Cycles to ensure it is working in SAP SolMan 7.2 before Content Activation is performed.
  • Implementation of the SAP Notes (including the manual pre-/post implementation activities) related to Content Activation should be implemented in the Development system and imported into Test/Production system.
  • It takes several weeks/months between the upgrade of Development, Test and Production systems. During that time, most likely, new SAP Notes and/or new versions of existing SAP Notes related to Content Activation will be released. SAP recommends to apply new SAP Notes and the latest versions of SAP Notes to every system which is upgraded (Development, Test, Production), even if the latest version cannot be tested anymore in development/test system, since the Content Activation is already executed.
  • Content Activation cannot be executed until Content Preparation (PREPARE_ACTIVATION) procedure has been completed.
  • After Step 4 in Content Preparation (PREPARE_ACTIVATION) procedure you can still go back and update the selections in it. You are able to do that right up until Step 2 of the Content Activation in SolMan 7.2. Once you execute Steps 2 in Content Activation, you will no longer be able to change anything in Content Preparation as it will be locked. At that point, you will only be able to display the Content Preparation (DISPLAY_ACTIVATION).

“Activities in the 2 Activate Content step are processed strictly linearly, meaning that an activity will only start after its immediate predecessor has been successfully completed. If an activity ends up in a warning or error state, subsequent activities cannot be processed, their status is set to a yellow warning light and log entries are written noting that those activities did not run because a previous one was not completed. In this case, follow the instructions provided in the log and activity help texts to resolve the error or warning triggered by the first failed activity. If this activity brought up a warning, you may also set its status to Manually Executed, if you think that the warning does not call for further action. Ignore the warning status of the activities which follow the leading failed activity, as those activities will be reprocessed when you restart the step. After having fixed the problem, push Execute All to resume execution of the remaining unprocessed activities in this step.”

  • Ensure the final step of Content Activation (3 Close Activation) is performed. This step triggers the release of all applications for use in SolMan 7.2. If this steps is not executed, then you will not be able to use the new features in 7.2. You can only execute this step if all activities in Content Activation are successfully performed (status green). Closing Content Activation is irreversible, so please make sure that the results of content activation are satisfiable!
  • Close and re-open Change Request Management (ChaRM) Cycles before upgrade. This will reduce the number of Change Documents assigned to a Cycle and hence reduce the runtime during Content Activation. Also, during upgrade to 7.2 SP03 or SP04, it helped to improve the performance of Content Activation in the context of ChaRM. The performance issues have been resolved with SAP Notes 2419683 (ChaRM Content Activation Improvement) 2417302 (ChaRM: Asynchronous reporting tables migration) in February 2017. For more information, please read SAP SolMan 7.2 Insight… Performance Improvements for ChaRM Content Activation. These SAP Notes are not required as of SP05. 

Functional/Development

  • Make sure to update Z/Y transaction types as mentioned in the SAP KBA 2188112 (FAQ: ST720 IT Service Management Frequently Asked Questions):

    “There is no content activation for incidents and other ITSM transaction types in SAP Solution Manager 7.2. On an upgrade to release 7.2, the system will place the Projects and Solutions assignment blocks in read-only mode. SAP does not support adding or changing information in these assignment blocks. SAP provides a new Solution Documentation assignment block, however the system does not automatically move references from the old assignment blocks to the new one – this is due to the limited life cycle of ITSM incidents; most incidents should be closed in a relatively short period of time. If you do require new references to Solution Documentation elements from existing incidents, you must add these manually.”

For more information, please read SAP KBA 2394599 (How to handle your Z transaction types after the upgrade to 7.2) and 1.10. How to handle your Z transaction types after the upgrade to 7.2 section of the SAP Solution Manager 7.2 – Change Request Management: Usual questions and known errors Wiki Page created by Dolores Correa

  • Make sure to update Z/Y business roles as mentioned in the SAP KBA 2188112 (FAQ: ST720 IT Service Management Frequently Asked Questions):

    “If you have copied the CRM business roles delivered by SAP (for example if you copied business role SOLMANPRO to ZSOLMANPRO or similar), you should compare and check your copied role with the corresponding role delivered by SAP: your copied role may have outdated or missing links. In particular, SAP has delivered new reporting links in the business roles. You should perform such a check after you apply each support package from SAP.”

For more information please read 3.1. Customer business roles are not updated after an upgrade to SAP Solution Manager 7.2 section of the SAP Solution Manager 7.2 – Change Request Management: Usual questions and known errors Wiki Page created by Dolores Correa

  • Deactivate Cross-System Object Lock (CSOL) while SolMan Production system is being upgraded (offline), otherwise you will not to be able to save changes in the transport requests on the managed Development systems. Do not forget to activate it again when SolMan Production system is upgraded!
  • Ensure all SolMan 7.1 systems (Sandbox, Development, Test, Production) are in sync regarding coding and customizing before you start the upgrade.
  • Adapt customer specific CRM UI enhancements after the upgrade as they might not work anymore as expected. For more information, see SAP KBA 1570869 (Adaption of enhancements after SP or release upgrade).
  • As mentioned in the Upgrade Planning section above, plan to retire custom objects in favour of standard SAP functionality. Since data models for some scenarios are changed, make sure to check custom code. For example, data models in Process Management and Test Management are completely redesigned in 7.2. Data models in Change Request Management, were improved and numerous objects used in 7.1 are obsolete in 7.2 (for example, /TMWFLOW/REPORTINGN, /TMWFLOW/LOCKMON, /TMWFLOW/PROJ, etc.).

Testing

  • Test functional areas in use on SolMan 7.1 to create a baseline before the upgrade. This guarantees that defects found after upgrade are related to the upgrade. Also this will allow to document test cases required after upgrade.
  • Perform rigorous testing in Sandbox, Development and Test systems after upgrade.
  • Expect defects related to software bugs! Create SAP Incident to report these type of defects. SAP support for SolMan 7.2 is outstanding and they are continuously releasing SAP Notes based on the feedback received from customers around the world.

Basis

  • Back up the database multiple times during the upgrade. SAP recommends to perform backups:
    • Before the upgrade is started
    • Before the upgrade downtime (as requested by SUM)
    • After the technical upgrade and post-upgrade activities
    • After the dual stack split
    • After a database migration (if applicable)
    • Before the Go-Live
  • Document SolMan systems landscape with all connected managed systems to verify that all systems are reconnected to SolMan after the upgrade.
  • Open SolMan system to SAP before the upgrade and ensure SAP Support user with required access are maintained. This guarantees quick access to the system if SAP support is required. Take into the consideration the time difference!
  • Ensure Internet Browser version is compatible with SAP SolMan 7.2 and all related SAP Notes are implemented. See SAP Note 2379352 (Problems in IE11 after Upgrading Solution Manager to SP03) for problems in IE11.
  • Use Maintenance Optimizer/Planner to generate upgrade file for Software Update Manager (SUM) to validate all software components that are required for the upgrade.
  • Ensure the required version of software components ST-PI and ST-A/PI are installed on SAP SolMan and managed systems.
  • Document restore procedure with required resources, and test it if possible.
  • If you have two systems landscape for SolMan (Development, Production), then it is recommended to build a Sandbox system to have the first rehearsal of the upgrade. Build Sandbox as a database copy of the Production system as it will allow you to estimate the total runtime of Content Activation for Production system.
  • As per SAP best practices, run the ABAP stack and the JAVA stack after the stack split on the same DB server. The stack split does not increase the DB size.

Recommended Upgrade Documentation

 Make sure to review the latest version of the documents.

  • SAP Note 2227300 (Further Upgrade Information for SAP Solution Manager 7.2). This SAP Note contains troubleshooting information for the upgrade process that is Support Pack independent and is updated regularly.
  • SAP Note 2194918 (Release Restriction Note SAP Solution Manager 7.2). This SAP Note contains information about restrictions and workarounds. Contact SAP if you have any questions or concerns about restrictions.

 

Until next SAP SolMan7.2 Insights…

Yuliya

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