Why Do I Need To Upgrade SAP Solution Manager?

Why must I upgrade to SAP Solution Manager 7.2

Upgrading your Solution Manager system is now mandatory

Upgrading your software can be tough and we understand that. However, upgrading to SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is mandatory at this time and as you may have heard, standard maintenance for SAP Solution Manager 7.1 has ended as of December 31st 2017. If you are are still on SAP Solution Manager 7.1, your support for SAP Solution Manager has been automatically switched to Customer-Specific Maintenance with restricted support to:

  • No Support Packages
  • Limited technology updates
  • Restricted incident resolution (only covers incidents with known solutions/workarounds to SAP)

In addition, some areas require extra attention if enabled prior to the upgrade. The good news is that SAP has introduced Content Activation procedure that will help prepare and activate all the functions used in 7.1. If any of the areas below are used in 7.1 then Content Activation is required and mandatory:

  • Solution Documentation
  • Test Suite
  • Change Request Management
  • Quality Gate Management
  • Business Process Operations

Content activation at a glance

There are two phases in content activation, prepare and activate. The prepare phase entails to scope projects and design the to be solution. The Activate phase occurs after the upgrade is complete and activates the content based on the prepare phase.

Solution Manager Upgrade Steps

The following diagram shows the major differences between SAP Solution Manager 7.1 and 7.2 and how it may affect your business processes. Fret not though, these changes have evolved Solution Manager into a platform providing mission critical applications that will accelerate your organization’s digital transformation and business processes.

Changes in Solution Documentation

One of the things we love in SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is that Solution Documentation has improved intensely and no longer is there a Project and Solution coexisting in 7.2. The solution is the container holding all information about a company’s systems and processes. It is likely that only one solution is necessary per company and it houses all versions of solution documentation, including the Production branch.

Within a Solution the Branch concept represents the versioning context for processes and documentation, now you can maintain different versions of processes and documents in different branches, what does this mean? Your Production Branch will always contain live productive documentation and maintenance branch is used when modifying a process or document. All other branches can be setup based on current or upcoming projects and innovations.

With Solution Manager 7.2, the graphical interface for business process modeling is based on BPMN 2.0 and is fully integrated with all SAP Solution Manager processes, now you can model processes graphically without having to integrate any third party tools.

Process Libraries allows you to re-use elements to reduce redundancy of documenting process more than once, elements should only exist once and re-used in many areas if they need to.

Process Libraries in SAP Solution Manager

Changes in Test Suite

As described in our previous blog, a major architecture has been introduced with Solution Manager 7.2 enabling new enhancements and functionality making SAP Test Suite a complete End-to-End Test Management solution both for manual and automation covering both SAP and Non-SAP applications.  The user interface of SAP Solution Manager has been completely revamped and the terms “Test Management” and “Test Repository” have been replaced by the term “Test Suite”.

SAP Solution Manager Test Suite

Furthermore, a lot of our customers are asking why they should move to SAP Solution Manager 7.2 Test Suite and what are the benefits of adopting Test Suite instead of their existing solutions. Other than the fact that there’s no licensing cost involved, we strongly believe that the changes and new functionality in SAP Solution Manager 7.2 Test Suite has made it the default Testing Application for SAP and non-SAP applications. With the new functionalities, SAP Test Suite 7.2 has evolved into a full blown application for manual / automated testing and change impact analysis. To see how extensive the changes are, here’s a list of changes:

  • In test packages, you can define the sequence of test cases
  • For test workflows, you can now define e-mail form to inform testers about the test status and that they can start their tasks.
  • This application integrates SAP Solution Manager and the partner’s test management application. This allows the transfer of business blueprints, related documents, specifications, business requirements, links, and test objects such as transactions and custom programs. It can help you to plan an efficient testing phase.
  • Site handling in dynamic TBOM recording and in BPCA analysis: You can now select one site, as defined in the solution documentation, for which the analysis is to be made.
  • Additional option to exclude used originals (originals that are references in the solution documentation) from the BPCA analysis.
  • Additional options to give preference to nodes with dynamic TBOMs and nodes with test cases in the test scope optimization.
  • Semi-dynamic TBOMs can now also be based on the ABAP Call Monitor (transaction SCMON), which is more exact than TBOMs based on the Usage and Procedure Logging (UPL).
  • Self-checks with SCMON.
  • The self-check, which is accessible from the Administration – Change Impact Analysis application, checks whether the prerequisite settings have been made.
  • You can define a final status in your status schema, which you use when the test phase cycle is finished. Test plans with this status cannot be changed anymore. By default, they do not appear in test plans list and analytics.
  • New: The Review Worklist tile allows the test coordinator to access the tester worklist of a selected tester. The coordinator can then review and, if necessary, change all test execution data.
  • New: The Personalization tile allows the users to define their default values (for example solution documentation context and test plan management Attributes) that they want to use in the Test Suite scenario.
  • New settings have been introduced for the creation of test plans:
    • Released Document Only – You can consider only released documents in your test plan. Unreleased documents available in the source solution documentation will then not be visible in the test plan hierarchy.
    • Business Process Variant -If your solution contains business process variants, they are evaluated within the test plan hierarchy. They are available with their corresponding process steps and test cases.
  • New: A test data set can be assigned on test plan and test package levels. The tester then sees the test data set of the test package in the Manual Test Execution application, and can access a data set directly. Test data sets refer to test data containers
  • Manual Test Execution:
    • Tabular Layout – A new layout is available, which offers quicker access to main test status data.
    • Document Handling – All actions for the handling of test notes and test results are now directly available in the Manual Test Execution application
  • New: A team of testers can be defined by using business partners of the Group or Organization type. The team can be assigned as a tester to a test package (or to test cases in case of a Test Package with Sequence). Each business partner (of the Person type) can then see the test packages, which are assigned to his teams, in his or her tester worklist.
  • In Test Plan Management, you can enter a business partner (as responsible person or tester) for a test plan or a test package by using a business partner ID, a user name, or a technical user.
  • You can either create a copy as snapshot of the source test plan (which ignores the changes in the source solution documentation), or create an updated test plan (with the newest version of documents, the newest test data variants for test configuration, and without deleted nodes). Damaged test cases and test data sets are now included in the scope of mass copy.
  • New: The new Test Case Error can be used to report a damaged test case. This error is not related to the tested application, but to the test case itself (such as, wrong description in a manual test or broken test script). Testers from the tester worklist or test coordinators from analytics can report this error.
  • Import or Export for Solution Documentation; New During a branch export, the automated tests that have been included in the scope are added into a transport of copies automatically. After their transport into the target system, they are adjusted during the import of the branch to match with the target
  • New: You can create a transport request for test configurations and test scripts from the test repository.
  • The search criteria for test repository have been enhanced.
  • The SUT Management has been improved in several ways:
    • You can propagate a test profile name for a logical component group into all system roles.
    • The authority check has an additional level and can be controlled by the logical component group and the test profile.
  • New: A new Web URL type (external service) is supported, which allows to retrieve the URL for a cloud system from LMDB. This new type is supported in the test composition environment and does not require RFC declaration.
  • Usability has been improved in several ways to ease the creation of a test configuration from solution documentation. Data in the test composition environment are shown by default:
    • For the creation of a test configuration defined on process level, all test scripts of the corresponding process steps are automatically proposed in the script library.
    • When there is only one executable defined for the structure node (for example, a process step) in solution documentation, this executable is automatic assigned for the creation of a new test configuration on that level.
    • If there are multiple executables, you can achieve the same result by selecting one specific executable in solution documentation and then using the context menu to create a new test configuration.
    • The description of the corresponding structure node (for example, the process step) is added automatically to the title of the new test configuration.
  • New: Usability has been improved in several ways within test composition application:
    • You can use the Share URL function to send the URL by mail so that the current test configuration or test script can be accessed directly.
    • All attributes of test configurations and test scripts are now merge in one single view.
  • New: In the test composition environment, when URI parameters need to be updated to recognize a UI element after it had been changed, the new parameters can be propagated automatically to all relevant test configurations (depending on specified search criteria, for example the default component).
  • Business Process Change Analysis: Business process variants can be considered in the analysis separately.
  • Business Process Change Analysis: You can upload change events of the following analysis types:
    • Support packages and support package stacks
    • Enhancement package
    • Planned business function activation
    • Change transaction
  • Business Process Change Analysis: The test multiplicity option has been added to the test scope optimization options and the optimization approaches. Test multiplicity controls how often an object has to be tested until it is considered as covered.
  • Business Process Change Analysis: Instead of complete business process nodes, the test scope optimization now splits nodes with several affected executables into smaller groups
  • Business Process Change Analysis: From Test Suite – Overview, you can start a change impact analysis to analyze the impact of changes that have not been analyzed yet.
  • Business Process Change Analysis: You can record dynamic TBOMs for SAP Fiori applications.
  • Business Process Change Analysis: You can export complete branches in the solution administration, and decide whether to include TBOMs in the export.
  • Configuration steps have been simplified as statuses are automatically inherited. Scoping for configuration of systems under test has been refined.
  • In the list of test cases, the Assignments column shows you whether a test case is assigned to a test package. This helps you to find out quickly which one of your test cases has not been assigned to a test package yet. Remove Unassigned Test Cases with one click to clean up your list.
  • Number of test cases per test package is now visible in the test packages list.
  • You can filter your list of test packages and test sequences.
  • The planned date for test packages is automatically retrieved from the related test plan. You can set the actual end date of your test plan manually
  • New: Mass maintenance applications are now available for:
    • Maintenance of the test plans attributes
    • Maintenance of test packages attributes (within one test plan)
    • Creation of new test packages within one test plan, for general data and settings.
  • New: As a tester you can assign a substitute to replace you during a time of absence.
  • Test Plan Copy: You can choose to copy test cases with a certain status, for example open test cases only.
  • New: If a colleague has checked-out a document but is not working on it, you can undo the check-out to edit the document yourself.
  • New: In the manual execution screen you can see the hierarchy path and as a tester you can access the test cases hierarchy to execute your tests.
  • You can create or update test notes using drag and drop.
  • The log displayed after execution of automated test will automatically show the tool log if available or the solution manager log. eCatt log can still be accessed from SAPGUI screens and from the solution manager log.
  • If you have entered comments about the test status, they will be included in the test report.
  • New: Additionally, to the test plan status report, the tester data report provides more detail on the test execution.
  • New: Change Request Management Change Cycles can be analyzed by BPCA.
  • New: Impacts from SAP S/4HANA simplification items can be analyzed by BPCA.
  • The database storage of TBOMs has been optimized to consume less space and allow faster analyses.
  • New: A configuration scenario for Scope and Effort Analyzer has been added to SAP Solution Manager Configuration. It can be found under configuration scenario ‘Test Suite’.
  • New: A function to control the visibility of scope and effort analyses has been added.
SAP Solution Manager Test Suite

Changes in Change Request Management (ChaRM)

Enhancements to ChaRM in SAP Solution Manager 7.2 has made it less painful and reduced the amount of work involved for landscape changes. We think this is a compelling enough reason for an upgrade. In this section, we will delve more into these changes.

What will stay?

  • Overall process and scenarios are kept stable
  • User Interface kept stable, only minor adjustments required
  • Near zero impact for typical “ChaRM” end-users

What will change?

  • New User Interface for Task List (moved to ABAP WebDynpro)
  • New general Solution Manager architecture replaces Solar-Project Environment
  • New Change Cycle types

What features may reduce existing custom code?

  • Release Management
  • Enhanced Solution Document Integration (semi-automatic activation of updated content)
  • Enhanced IT PPM integration
  • New introduced Admin Cockpit (replaces several outdated GUI transactions)
Solution Manager Change Management Updates

The new architecture will simplify and bring more flexibility to the on going ChaRM maintenance as well better integration and management of Solution Documentation during E2E process -> (Requirements to Deploy).

Solution Manager Change Management Updates
New Infrastructure in SAP Solution Manager 7.2

The new infrastructure has been redesigned and enhanced to allow us better and more flexible Landscape Support.

SAP Change Control Management - Administration Cockpit

Admin Cockpit including access to “Task List” and all other management activities from one central UI:

SAP IT Service Management - Release Planning

Integrated and Guided Release Planning Application

Quality Gate management (QGM)

SAP Change Management

Overall UI has been improved to facilitate usage and be more intuitive for the end-users:

  • Transport related checks and risk mitigation by using (DGP, CSOL, Critical Objects).
  • Dropdown actions for easy access to manage “Scenarios” and debug issues.
  • Calendar View to easily identify gate and milestones/time between gates.
SAP Change Management

Urgent Changes are now possible with QGM, It allows to bypass gate approvals in order move changes quickly all the way to Production.

Dropdown action are allowed by Scenario Level, Change Level or Transport Level giving lots of fallibility to execute all action from creating, releasing, assigning, importing changes.

SAP Quality Gate Management

From the scenario you can have the “Landscape View” to quickly identify systems part of the landscape, overall transport status , risks and gate status as well execute actions by “right clicking” in the blue section of each system.

Conclusion

We hope that we showed you enough reasons to upgrade and we understand that you might still be hesitant on the upgrade process. We agree that it could be a challenging endeavor when upgrading your systems but the good news is that we have a workshop on how to fast track your upgrade process, check it out here.

If reading this post made you an inch closer to upgrading or feel like you need some assistance, take the next step in contacting us. We offer a no obligation free upgrade assessment to show you the benefits and raw ROI of upgrading or using SAP Solution Manager 7.2. Our SAP Solution Manager experts can facilitate your planning and help you execute your upgrade with zero risk.

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