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Author's profile photo Moritz Gysler

How to get ready for Change & Deployment Management in SAP Cloud ALM

This blog post will help you to understand the new business object “Feature” in SAP Cloud ALM in order to deploy changes.

  • What is a Feature?
  • Which SAP solutions are covered by Features?
  • How to handle Features?
  • Wrap-Up & Next Steps

What is a Feature?

A Feature is a vehicle to deploy your changes throughout your system landscape. A Feature holds the landscape information, the container for the transportable objects and your technical change documentation.

Which SAP solutions are covered by Features?

SAP Cloud ALM can be connected to:

  • Change & Transport System (CTS), hence deployment management for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, and SAP NetWeaver Application Server for ABAP on-premise is covered by Features.
  • SAP Cloud Transport Management Service (CTMS), hence deployment management for SAP BTP, Cloud Foundry and Neo environment as well as for SAP Integration Suite – Cloud Integration and API Management is covered by Features. (More under Supported Content Types)

Further information about enabling transport management can be found here and in these blog posts:

Please note that your managed systems for the CTS integration need to fulfill the following prerequisites:

Note: Please make sure that your TMS is configured properly. 

How to handle Features?

For properly specified Features you can start the implementation to change software or configurations in the development environment. In order to provide the changes in the test environment for proper testing (test integration for Features not yet available) the changes can be deployed via the Features to the quality assurance system. Afterwards Features can be approved for deployment to the production system. By deploying the Features to the production system you are completing the implementation of your changes.

Feature%20with%20transports%20assigned

All changes to a Feature are captured in the history in order to provide transparency and preserve traceability.

Feature%20history

Nice to know:

  • Transports that are assigned to a feature that weren’t imported to one or more quality assurance systems yet will be deployed there first. Then, they will be deployed to the productive system as a package.
  • All transports assigned to a Feature will be deployed with import option “Import Transport Request Again”.

++Update – November 5, 2021++

  • Now it is possible to create user stories or project tasks from within a feature to track the implementation easily. The user stories and project tasks are linked to the feature and can be processed in the task list. 

Nice to know:

  • The excel export of the feature list contains the transport IDs. That’s an easy option to find out in which feature a certain transport is included.

++Update – February 24, 2022++

  • You are able to create a feature from within a requirement. This direct relation is shown in the Requirement Traceability as well.

Create%20feature%20from%20requirement

Create feature from requirement

  • By assigning your production system to the production role in the Project Landscape you can enable a check for the deployment of transports to production. As soon as one target tenant in the Transports section of a feature is flagged as production system you have to make sure that the feature is in status “Ready for Deployment” before triggering the deployment to production.

Deploy%20to%20production%20in%20status%20In%20Implementation

Deploy to production in status In Implementation

Deploy%20to%20production%20in%20status%20Ready%20for%20Deployment

Deploy to production in status Ready for Deployment

  • A failed transport can be set to “Repaired” in the transport section to indicate that you have fixed the error manually. As long as a transport is in status “Failed in <SID>~<CLNT>” the deployment to the next target tenant is not possible.

Set%20Status%20to%20Repaired

Set Status to Repaired

++Update – April 7, 2022++

  • You can find your transports in the feature overview now by using the search field.

Search%20for%20transports%20in%20overview

Search for transports in overview

  • Filter for features with no transports assigned yet.

Features%20with%20no%20transports%20assigned

Features with no transports assigned

++Update – May 13, 2022++

++Update – June 1, 2022++

  • Release versions can be assigned to features from now on.
  • You have to define your release first and assign it to the corresponding implementation project (if not yet done).

Release%20definition

Release definition

Release%20to%20Project

Release to project

  • Now you can assign the respective release versions to features in order to indicate the intended release to production.

Assign%20Release%20Version%20to%20feature

Assign Release Version to feature

  • In the feature overview you can easily filter for the features per release version.

Feature%20overview%20by%20release%20version

Feature overview by release version

Wrap-Up & Next Steps

The Feature can be used as vehicle for deployment and serves as your fast track to production. Together with the technical documentation and the change history you can preserve the full traceability.

In future the concept of the Feature will serve different ways of working and via relating it to the known items like requirements and user stories you are always able to jump on the Change & Deployment train in SAP Cloud ALM. In addition it gets clear that we distinguish between the business view with requirement as well as the work instructions on user story level and the technical view with the Feature as the technical change document holding all the information needed to do your job as a change & release manager.

Looking forward to receiving feedback. For latest updates and notifications you can follow me by clicking Moritz Gysler.

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      3 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Matthias Kiekens
      Matthias Kiekens

      Are there plans on supporting more complex TMS landscapes for example with target groups?
      (Roadmap doesn't show any)

      From SAP Help:

      • Currently supported landscapes:

        • Landscapes with at least two systems per route (also virtual systems)

        • Landscapes with basic consolidation and/or delivery targets (no target groups, delivery confirmation procedures, workflow-driven transports)

        • Landscapes with client-specific transport routes (CTC, optional)

      Author's profile photo Moritz Gysler
      Moritz Gysler
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Matthias,

      Thanks for your question.

      We will incrementally improve the functionalities of SAP Cloud ALM deployment management and here the target groups are definitely in scope. I thought about adding a preview / what's next section since we are delivering features bi-weekly and this would help to keep track. A topic like the one raised by you seems to be a perfect fit for such a section.

      Best regards,

      Moritz

      Author's profile photo Mark Wagener
      Mark Wagener

      Is it plannend to support gCTS in an SAP S/4HANA PRIV. CL. ED. system landscape (dev - qa - prod)?