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Author's profile photo Michael Boettcher

Reference Data Management integrated with SAP Solution Manager

Itego Reference Data Management integrated into SAP Solution Manager provides a maximum of flexibility for your governance processes.

In my recent blogs I brought Itego Reference Data Management “to the press” and added details about the basis for all of this, the Itego Master Data Framework. Today I would like to continue with probably one of the hottest discussion topics when you dare to think about a holistic approach to Reference Data: what about the SAP Solution Manager?

Almost every customer, after seeing the great potential using Itego RDM for SAP MDG, has this question. Luckily this has been answered a long time ago. Back in 2014, me still working for SAP, we (the Master Data Governance team) aligned this with the Solution Manager team. Answer: combining both makes a lot of sense and the need for integration is based on the customer processes and infrastructure.

Ok – high level answers like this you heard before I guess. Let’s investigate deeper how that has been solved in Itego RDM.

For beginners: SAP Solution Manager offers components for the management of configuration data (also called Customizing) and this also covers a lot what can be called reference data. Itego RDM offers a solution for the harmonization and governance of reference data. So where is the benefit of RDM? It is here:

  • Business driven governance of reference data
  • Flexible User Interface, Workflow and Data Replication
  • Treating Reference Data as Master Data

Which means: the more you think about Reference Data as Master Data, the more benefit you will get from RDM. In fact, some reference data objects (like classification, exchange rates and others) are not even configuration data. If RDM customers treat Reference Data Objects as Master Data (using the “Business Controlled Governance Alternative” explained in my first blog), Solution Manager is “out” for these objects.

If (and in many cases this is the right approach) customers for some objects use the “Full IT Governance Alternative”, Solution Manager is “in”. Looking into the technical details for this:

RDM (using the Local Staging explained in my first blog), creates a so called “ChaRM Ticket”, providing the link between the communicated reference data and the Solution Manager driven process for releasing this data to production systems.

Technical details for experts:

Screenshot: Using a configured connection to the Solution Manager in the Local Staging Area.

And here is how it looks in Solution Manager:

The ChaRM ticket, which now can be processed, holds additional information about the objects in the associated transport request and allows a guided processing. Means: releasing for test, confirming the successful test and finally importing the change into production.

Needless to mention that this is only the simplest process that you can think of. Customers are free to adjust this process, RDM does not care, as there is a clear segregation of duties.

RDM takes care that the business driven process for the creation or change of reference data is as smooth, flexible and fast as possible. Solution Manager takes care that the technology driven process is just this as well if needed.

With this it is possible to create an integrated process leveraging the Solution Manager to “orchestrate” the “technical release” of the changes:

Probably interesting to see that it also brings the changes to the configuration layer in the SAP MDG production system. If you don’t understand this, please visit again my first blog and consider that SAP MDG keeps the data in a Staging Area. Means: it is not released to the configuration layer before all other productive systems also do know this new data set.

Facts in a nutshell, summary and links to additional resources:

The Solution Manager Integration delivered by Itego RDM delivers the possibility to combine the best of both worlds, spanning the complete cycle from the reference data governance in RDM to the orchestration of the “release to production” in the SAP Solution Manager:

On top of this Itego RDM offers harmonization features that the Solution Manager does not offer (for example the possibility to create, compare and restore snapshots of the SAP configuration data). This will be explained in more detail in one of my next blogs providing more insights into the Reference Data Harmonization component of Itego RDM.  

If you did not see Itego Reference Data Management in action, consider to watch some demos here: Itego RDM – Demos and please also consider other SAP MDG Blogs.

And do not forget to follow my profile and share your feedback.

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      2 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Martin Wingender
      Martin Wingender

      Dear Michael,

      thanks for your blog. Where I am not sure if I have fully understood, is the following:

      Which role does SSM play in the combined scenary with Itego RDM? Does it only control of transport requests in the different system strands? Or is SSM also in charge of bringing the content - say if in RDM a new material group was requested, the key of the material group and its description - into the different DEV systems? Or would Itego RDM do this content replication?

      KR

      Martin Wingender

      Author's profile photo Michael Boettcher
      Michael Boettcher
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Martin,

      thanks for your question! In the combined scenario SSM "orchestrates" the distribution and the processing of the transports. The content is governed by RDM.

      Nevertheless there also will be content which will not be governed in RDM. In your Material Group scenario the SAP customer probably does not want to govern the value list for "default unit of weight". In this case the SSM will deliver this list (as content) to all systems including RDM sitting on MDG and reusing this list in the Material Group creation process.

      Hope that clarifies!

      regards,
      Michael