SAP Cloud Transport Management available in SAP BTP Free Tier
SAP very recently announced the availability of a free tier offering for selected services in SAP Business Technology Platform as of 1st of July, 2021. Please see the blog posts by Anja Schneider and Riley Rainey for more details:
- Easy path to productive use with the free tier model for SAP Business Technology Platform
- Exploring BTP’s New Free Tier Plans
The great news is that SAP Cloud Transport Management (CTMS) is among the twenty front runner services available in this new plan. In this blog post I will describe how to enable the free tier for CTMS and what are the differences to the paid offering (besides being free…).
Currently the free tier plans are available to Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) and Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement (CPEA) customers. All other new and existing customers can simply sign up for PAYG through the SAP Store to get started.
Additionally you need a new or existing multi-environment subaccount in which you have not yet subscribed to SAP Cloud Transport Management. In this subaccount Cloud Foundry has to be enabled.
If you want to use the full functionality of CTMS including the use case to transport content archives directly in an application (for example from SAP Cloud Integration), you will also have to create a space in your Cloud Foundry environment.
Enable the free tier plan for CTMS
Basically you have to follow the steps described in the documentation for setting up SAP Cloud Transport Management.
Here the first step is to entitle a multi-environment subaccount for subscribing to CTMS, free tier. You can do this on global account level or within the subaccount itself. I will show the configuration from global account level.
After clicking on ‘Configure Entitlements’ choose ‘Add Service Plans’.
Scroll down to ‘Cloud Transport Management’ and select the ‘free (Application)’ plan. If you want to use the full functionality of CTMS including the use case to transport content archives directly in an application, you will also have to select the entry ‘standard’ (without ‘Application’). If you want to create a service instance with limited authorizations you could alternatively also select the ‘export’ or the ‘transport_operator’ entry.
Make sure not to select ‘standard (Application)’, because that would activate the payable version of Cloud Transport Management.
Don’t forget to save your newly created entitlement.
Subscribe to Cloud Transport Management
The next step is to subscribe to Cloud Transport Management. For that enter your subaccount you want to use for testing CTMS.
Open ‘Instances and Subscriptions’ and click on ‘Create’.
Select ‘Cloud Transport Management’ from the list of services.
Make sure that the ‘free’ plan is selected and click on ‘Create’.
It will take a few moments until the subscription is activated.
Complete Configuration of CTMS
Now follow the instructions to complete the configuration as described in the documentation of cTMS. This includes:
- Create role collections
- Assign roles to the role collections
- Assign role collections to users
- (optional) Create space in your subaccount
- (optional) Create and assign quota plan to space
- (optional) Create service instance
- (optional) Create service key
There is no difference in these steps as compared to the payable plan.
Use Cloud Transport Management
You are now ready to log on to the CTMS User Interface. To do this open the ‘Instances and Subscriptions’ view of your subaccount and click on the three dots in the line of the subscription to ‘Cloud Transport Management’. Choose ‘Go to Application’.
You might have to provide your username and password before the overview screen of CTMS opens.
You can now follow the instructions to set up your transport landscape as described here in SAP Help. This includes:
- Create Transport Destinations
- Create Transport Nodes
- Create Transport Routes
- (optional) Create Destinations to SAP Cloud Transport Management
Differences between free and paid service plan
There is no difference in the functionality between the paid and the free plan. However, in the free plan you only have 500 Megabytes to store your transport content (as compared to 30 Gigabytes in the paid version). To check the used file quota click on the down arrow besides your user name on the overview screen and choose ‘My File Quota’.
On the following screen you will see how much space has already been used. If you run out of space, it will not be possible anymore to create new transport requests. In this case you would have to manually delete transport requests you don’t need anymore. Of course you can also switch to the paid version 😉
There is another difference between the free and the payable service plan of CTMS: transport request which are completely imported (in effect which are not waiting for import in any queue) are automatically deleted after 7 days (in the paid version after 30 days). This might help you to stay in the boundaries of your file quota.
Last not least there is no service level agreement (SLA) for the free version of CTMS and support happens via SAP Community only.
Switch to paid version
If you are satisfied with your tests using the free plan and would like to switch to the paid version of CTMS this is possible without losing any data. For that you need to add an entitlement for the ‘standard (Application)’ to your subaccount. Optionally you can also add the ‘standard’ service plan for programmatic access (if not already done above).
Now it is possible to update your subscription to CTMS from ‘free’ to ‘standard’. For that go to your subaccount, open the ‘Subscriptions and Instances’ view and click on the three dots in the entry of ‘Cloud Transport Management’. Here choose ‘Update’.
Switch the plan to ‘standard’ and click on ‘Update Subscription’. Please note that it is not possible to switch back to the free plan without data loss (you would have to delete the subscription and create it anew).
After a few seconds the subscription has changed to ‘standard’, keeping your complete configuration and transport requests intact. This allows for a smooth transition to productive use of SAP Cloud Transport Management.
Nice blog post! Having Cloud TMS in the first batch of free tier services is really cool.
Good to see Cloud Transport Management service in Free Tier
So is SAP now charging for basis TMS functionality? If so, that is a bit unbelievable.
Thanks a lot for your feedback! To provide further details here: SAP Cloud Transport Management service is being offered since end of 2018 and has been part of SAP BTP trial already - what now changed is that it is now also available via the free tier.
SAP is only charging, if you want to consume transport management capabilities in the form of a PaaS/SaaS offering, where you do not have to take care for setting up and running/operating an CTS+ system (which will indirectly also cause certain efforts and costs). Nevertheless, you can still consider to continue to use on-premise CTS+ for handling MTA-based SAP BTP cloud changes, then without additional charge - there are no plans to discontinue CTS+ support here and both CTS+ and SAP Cloud Transport Management service can be integrated into Change Request Management and Quality Gate Management of SAP Solution Manager.
For the cloud service, we charge mainly based on the cost driver for providing this optional offering, which is storage used for content uploaded to the service. Meaning: you upload a change once to the service (where you will get charged based on the size of the content), but can then perform an arbitrary number of transports of this content without charge. For 1 GB of content uploaded to the service, we charge 18 EUR per month according to the price list, which can suffice for hundreds of transports (depending on the content type and size of your changes, of course).
While CTS+ will continue to be provided as-is, we regularly come up with new features and content types for the cloud service. You can get more details on the overall positioning in the blog post of my colleague Harald Stevens here.
I hope this clarifies a bit the overall approach around the topic!
Thanks a lot again,
Boris - thank you for the details!
We are using Licensed version of TMS. We have been using this service for our deployment for past 6 months however, now its giving us warning like , space is almost full ( 27 GB of 30GB used ) while uploading our MTAR files to DEV node.
Can you please let us know how to address this ? We have three nodes and two routes.
Nodes -> DEV , QA , PROD
Route -> DEV_TO_QA , QA_TO_PROD
TMS has an automatic cleanup service which deletes the attached artifacts (MTAs) 30 days after they have been imported into the 'last' target (in your case PROD). We determine this by checking if a transport request not in an importable state (initial, repeatable, fatal) in any import queue anymore. Please also see the corresponding documentation
A typical issue would be that you have a significant amount of transport requests in the 'fatal' status, which you don't plan to import anymore. You should delete these transport requests from the queues.
Another option is that you have another queue (for example 'sandbox') in which transport requests end up without being imported (status 'initial'). That would also keep them from being cleaned up.
If neither of these options fit I would ask you to open a ticket with SAP.