Visualize System Landscapes using Maintenance Planner
Maintenance Planner got enhanced with some new features in July 2020. These include:
- Hybrid Landscape Visualization
- Product Analytics
- New Cloud Integration Automation planning
- New Fiori theme
Since these enhancements are running on SAP Cloud Platform Cloud Foundry(cf-eu10), which runs on AWS, the general enablement of these features requires you to create an onboarding ticket. The details of this onboarding are described in the SAP note 2921927.
This blog highlights one of the new features of the maintenance planner – Hybrid Landscape Visualization.
There are various reasons for creating a visual representation of a system landscape. You might want to use it for project plan creation or might want to get a visual representation of the dependencies which exist in the system landscape. A visual representation simplifies the way one would interpret the system landscape. There are already multiple tools which enable IT architects or basis administrators create a static representation of the system landscape.
Objectives of landscape visualization in maintenance planner
This visualization can be used to:
- Get a high-level pictorial representation of the dependencies which may exist in your landscape, as shown in figure 1.
- Get a dynamic representation of software installed in the system. For example, you can select one node in the landscape to view the details in the “Properties” section as shown in figure 2-a and 2-b below:
Figure 2-a: System properties
Figure 2-b: System software details
When a system gets updated due to any software change activity, as soon as the information reaches maintenance planner via the Support Portal, the changed software state starts showing up in the “Alerts”, and the system state can be refreshed.
- Create maintenance plans using the nodes in the visualization as an entry point, as shown in figure 3 below:
Figure 3: Plan changes using visualization
- Identify the list of all landscapes which contain a specific product version by navigating from the Product Analytics feature of the maintenance planner:
Figure 4: Find all landscapes using Product Analytics
More details on landscape visualization can be found in the section “Hybrid Landscape Visualization” of the user guide of the maintenance planner.
Possible ways of representing your system landscape
While the details of how the landscape pictures can be created are present in the user guide, here we try to provide hints around how you can use this feature to represent your landscapes.
Using landscape visualization feature, you may create landscape representations for the following use cases:
- Representing the systems behind the individual business processes spanning across a hybrid landscape, for example, SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central scenario depiction:
- Representing on-premise system tracks which contain typically systems in a given transport domain (development, quality assurance, production etc.).
- Representing the landscape in a manner that specifies system responsibility in case there are multiple IT architects/system owners managing different systems in the landscape. This can be done using custom attributes.
- Representing an upcoming software update/upgrade project scope using a visual format and specifying the target software state using custom attributes.
- Showing non-SAP entities in the landscape using the ‘+’ icon in the toolbar to get a complete picture of your system landscape.
- ..and many more.
Conclusion and next steps
With the visual representation of the system landscapes, we aim at providing a utility which can simplify the discussions between business and IT decision makers. In the future, the idea is to enrich this utility with further small capabilities and integrate it for a better planning experience in the maintenance planner.