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By the end of 2018 SAP Identity Management 7.2 will run out of maintenance. And upgrading from 7.2 to 8.0 is more than just running several executables and you’re done. SAP highly recommends to plan your upgrade project right now due to several reasons:

  1. First, the latest version comes with quite a number of new functionalities that enhance the solution and make it easier for customers to work with it. So why wait to benefit from the latest developments?
    • Eclipse IDE replaces the former management console (MMC). The development tool for SAP Identity Management 8.0 is now based on Eclipse that offers more comfort in developing methods. Auto complete and syntax checker help you to reduce errors while writing scripts. The product can now be administered easier with less maintenance effort. Not only by providing product updates automatically but also by enabling administrators to perform specific tasks, they weren’t allowed to in the past.
    • The NWA LogViewer allows admins and developers to locate and remove errors as easy as never before. Those are now displayed incl. a detailed description.
    • The BPMN process designer provides a graphical user interface to design processes even more easy during the implementation process.
    • Cloud connectors are now available, SAP Cloud Platform and Success Factors, just to name a few.
    • Versioning had been improved. With SAP Identity Management 8.0 you will see your complete change history incl. restore options.
  2. Second, if you want to benefit from all the new features in Version 8.0 we recommend doing a “clean” upgrade which is not just executing a few installation files and transferring the business content. The architecture and concept of the product has been changed which must be considered when migrating from one version to the other. Here are some examples:
    • AS Java has become a mandatory component for developers of the solution because Eclipse does not have a direct connection to the identity store like the MCC in the older versions did. It is connected to AS Java via REST Interface.
    • A new content provisioning framework has to be integrated and configured.
    • SAP Identity Management requires and supports Java Runtime 1.8. Custom specific solutions based on Java Runtime 1.6 or less must be migrated to the newer version.
    • Scheduling rules might get lost when migrating to 8.0 and should be rebuilt.
    • Windows runtime is no longer provided. Customers who used this service to connect to a windows active directory service must switch to Java runtime. Same applies for Lotus Notes which must be migrated to a new connector based on Java.

    This list of examples can be extended to a huge number of issues that have to be considered when migrating from Version 7.x to 8.0. And there are several hidden problems that might occur like task loops, passwords for data base users that do not comply with the regulations of the new system, or scheduling rules that get lost during the upgrade. So how can you be sure that your upgrade runs smoothly? Some consulting companies, like IBsolution for example, developed checklists and tools based on numerous upgrades that prevent errors already during the design phase of an upgrade project. Experience that enables them to upgrade Identity Management systems based on a fixed price.

  3. Third, as you know: 7.2 runs out of maintenance by the end of 2018. Sounds far away but we expect a shortage of available and experienced resources to support customers on their way to SAP Identity Management 8.0.

 

Summary

It’s worth upgrading from SAP Identity Management 7.x to 8.0 today. You’ll benefit from a better solution with less administration overhead. But to smoothly migrate from SAP Identity Management 7.x to 8.0, customers must consider conceptual and architectural changes as well as changes in the way the business content is applied. Some standard features of the older version are no longer available and issues that do not cause problems during daily operation might hinder the upgrade process. That’s why we recommend planning the upgrade together with an experienced partner. Better today than tomorrow – because there are only a few. And experience matters.

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