Handle Your Extensions – test data refresh
A new app
In August 2021 we celebrated the birthday of the cloud service SAP S/4HANA Cloud, test data refresh. Providing relevant data to a test instance is undoubtedly of great value for demonstrating and proving correctness of newly implemented features or any change intended for productive usage. This cloud service takes care of standard SAP scope items and their business data respectively.
Fair enough, but how about custom extensions? Ok, you´ve got me there. Cloud extensions such as custom business objects have not been considered in the service so far. Starting with cloud release 2302 a new app will close this gap. With Handle your extensions – test data refresh customers can pick and choose what custom data shall be added to the refresh cargo.
This blog talks about the purpose of this new app and explains how to use it.
For whom is the app Handle your extensions – test data refresh of relevance?
Customers who have extended their S4HANA Cloud using key user extensibilities or developer extensibilities and plan to request for a service delivery of SAP S4 HANA Cloud, test data refresh will find great value in this app.
The app will allow identifying test data refresh relevant extensibility items to provide test data for custom apps and logics. This is achieved by the creation and activation of a so-called configuration. Within the configuration users can decide upon how to treat the extensibility items during the data refresh. The active configuration is automatically considered in the next test data refresh service delivery.
How-to use the app
At first let me provide you with the an overview and sequence of the app activities. In a nutshell, using the app starts with a creation and ends with the activation of a configuration.
Please keep in mind that this app can only be used on the data source side. This is the production instance in a 2-system landscape.
Without any further ado, let me now introduce you to the app and its handling.
It all starts with the creation of a configuration. The configuration is a unit that comprises all decisions taken on how data of cloud extensions shall be treated during a data refresh. You can create multiple configurations, but only one can be active at a time.
A new configuration is always in mode inactive. To get it activated and picked up by the next data refresh several tasks need to be completed. The first one is to start an analysis which basically scans the S/4HANA Cloud landscape for relevant cloud extensions.
An analysis results can get outdated. This happens when relevant cloud extensions are changed, deleted or new ones are created. An outdated configuration will be labelled accordingly.
Keep in mind: The Task will always tell you what to do next.
Keep in mind: Mode inactive means, that the configuration will not be included in the next data refresh.
After the analysis has finished – check the progress bar of Extensions Analysis for completion – continue with task Include and confirm. Go inside the configuration by clicking on it.
Now the fun part starts. The detected cloud extensions are clustered in four different Extension Types. All extensions within the clusters need to be handled or at least confirmed. The Confirmation Rate on top shows the overall progress across all clusters. A configuration can be activated only after having confirmed all items. Therefore the Activate button is greyed out still.
Next is to decide how to handle the extensions – here for custom business objects. Simply switch the Selection to Included to add extensions and its data respectively to the refresh scope. Data of an Excluded item won´t be refreshed. Bare in mind that data of an Included item will be irretrievably deleted in data receiving instance (Q system – for 2-System landscape).
Transformation: In case you wish to transform data during the refresh, transformation logics need to be assigned to the respective fields of the extensibility items. Click an item to get to the detailed view. There are three different types of transformation available.
- Clear: Values will be initialized.
- Fixed value: You can place a value of your choice. This value will be written to all fields where the transformation was assigned to.
- Special handling: This transformation allows you to handle a field according to a predefined logic. This is especially useful in case you intend to depersonalize data; e.g. vendor numbers are stored in a field. This field needs to be assigned with the logic for vendor numbers to transform it in alignment with vendor numbers in SAP standard test data such as vendor master.
For custom business object MS_WORKFORCE_PERSON two transformations are assigned as an example. The special handling transformation Business Partner ID will transform the values of field WORKFORCEPERSON according to the logic of a business partner. Me being the owner of the CBO or knowledgable person knows that in this field business partner numbers are stored.
The second example is a fixed value transformation, assigned to field AGE. It will always set the age to 29 years here. Please take note that the value given in this example has leading zeros to fit to the numeric 10 digit technical character of that field.
While going through the work list taking our decisions, you likely want to treat several items identically. Make use of the handy mass processing using the Action dropdown. In this example all custom fields are included and will be confirmed at once. Which is what you might want to do for custom fields.
Note: Creating a configuration with setting Use SAP recommendation for selection (see picture above ‘Create a configuration’) active, will automatically set all custom fields to Included.
Complete all items and ultimately confirm them. After reaching a completion rate of 100% the configuration is ready for activation.
Pushing the Activate button will change the mode of the configuration to … guess what?… Active 😉
Congratulations – we just activated a configuration.
The active configuration will be applied to the next test data refresh automatically. In case you change your mind, deactivate it at least 12 hours before the data transfer phase starts.
Keep in mind: As long as there is an active configuration available, it will be used for the next test data refreshes.
As soon as a configuration was used in a test data refresh, its status will change to Frozen. A frozen configuration cannot be changed any longer but reused unchanged for a subsequent test data refresh. In addition a it can be copied – thus used as a template – to create a new configuration which is editable.
What did we learn?
Let me recap and list the most important takeaways:
- A configuration holds settings about how custom data is handled during a test data refresh.
- There is a maximum of one active configuration.
- The active configuration is automatically used in the next test data refresh.
- A confirmation rate of 100% is needed to active a configuration.
- Data of an – e.g. included custom business object – will be deleted irretrievably on the Q-system.
Make use and give feedback
Please make extensive use of this innovative app for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, test data refresh.
In case you miss features or have ideas to improve the app, please place an innovation requests on SAP Customer Engagement – Influence and Adopt for continuous influence session SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Migration
Thanks for your interest in test data refresh.