In using Solution Manager 7.0, to date only the necessary standard features have been utilized, such as maintenance, upgrades, incident management, change request management, test management and system monitoring.
For most users, other possibilities also provided by Solution Manager have remained unknown. The "Enhancement Package 1" that was brought out at the end of 2008, which was advertised with enhancements to existing functionality as well as additional features, also has not changed much.
Some of these new features were not fully developed and were therefore only conditionally accepted by users. For example, Quality Gate Management (with which projects and the associated transport should be easier to manage) could not be integrated into Change Request Management. Thus the potential added value was lost.
SAP Solution Manager 7.1 provides considerably more functionality in supporting the operation. At the same time the complexity of the software has increased significantly. While the old version 7.01 was still based on CRM 5.0, the new release builds on CRM 7.0. And this is exactly where the newly introduced features and enhancements can be found, which have more or less influence on the functions of the various WorkCenters.
Run it like a Factory
With SAP Solution Manager 7.1, users not only receive several new features such as system monitoring / alerting framework, a new dashboard and a new web interface for service desk and change request management. SAP has also revised the existing functions. They are useful now, and they are consistently represented. Due to some completely new software architecture, already established scenarios need to be adjusted via migration path, or newly established. The main focus of SAP Solution Manager 7.1 is the application of integrative solution methodology: Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) describes the support of all phases of the IT life cycle and promotes the harmonization and alignment of technical and business areas (business and IT alignment), which run through these clearly defined processes.
In addition, SAP offers a new monitoring system that has a direct connection to SAP Business Intelligence. Other interesting features include:
Application Incident Management:
In the new version Application Incident Management is adapted to the requirements of ITIL standards and allows for seamless connection to "Problem Management".
Change Request Management:
In the current release of Solution Manager, Change Request Management allows for managing and handling changes over the entire life cycle.
Solution Documentation Assistant:
With the help of Solution Documentation Assistant, business process models can be semi-automatically generated and verified.
Integrated IT Services
Much has happened in the design of IT services also. In this respect service processes are now comprehensively integrated – such as problem management, knowledge management and service level management.
In contrast to the previous version of SAP, Solution Manager 7.1 makes standard interfaces available, via which third-party solutions (non-SAP solutions) are enabled to connect and administrate.
System Landscape Management – LMDB
With SAP Solution Manager 7.1 data is only processed by technical systems within the LMDB, and no longer in SMSY. With 7.1 SP 5 product system data will also be processed in LMDB.
The Landscape Management Database (LMDB) is the central repository for landscape information. The core task of LMDB is providing information on the complete system landscape at a central location. This function is already offered by Solution Manager System Landscape (SMSY) and the System Landscape Directory (SLD), with different technologies for different applications.
The aim of the LMDB is to unify SLD and SMSY in the SAP Solution Manager. Basically as far as possible the LMDB is automatically supplied with data.
The application and processing of information on technical systems should be avoided. In contrast, however, information must be manually applied to the logical landscape, because this information cannot be provided by the technical systems and the SLD.
The majority of system information in the LMDB is provided via synchronization with a System Landscape Directory (SLD) in the system landscape, with which that data sent by the SLD Data Supplier installed in the technical systems is continually collected. Smaller amounts of data in the LMDB will be applied manually, or directly provided from data suppliers such as Outside Discovery.
What can we expect with Solution Manager 7.1?
- Monitoring PI 7.3 – The use of SolMans 7.1 is necessary
- There is no direct upgrade path from 7.01 to 7.1. This happens on two levels (technical upgrade and application-specific, customer-related customizing)
- The development of the Solution Manager System Landscape (SMSY) and the System Landscape Directory (SLD) for the new component, Landscape Management Data Base (LMDB)
- The advantages of the new monitoring concept (robots and agents that are centrally managed and distributed via the SolMan)
- The high standardization level of HelpDesk. This already comes with a wide range of configuration possibilities, such that the customer-related amount of customizing can be reduced.
- The introduction of small functions to facilitate the system administrator’s daily, routine activities.
- The consolidation of diagnostics as a standard component that is introduced in the context of configuration (SOLMAN_SETUP).
For most of the above, the course is set in the configuration context (system preparation, base configuration). Also, the correct completion of this configuration is imperative for receiving a working Solution Manager.
Before switching to the Solution Manager 7.1 it is important to clarify if this is possible via upgrade, or if a completely new installation is necessary. This depends mainly on the complexity of the existing system, and on what services and features are already in use. In both cases, the envisaged Solution Manager architecture should be displayed in a roadmap that prioritizes the needs, and takes into account the procedural dependencies and impacts.
All *newer* 64-bit operating systems have already been released by SAP. Only Windows 2012/x64 with core 7.20_EXT/7.21_EXT / ORACLE, as well as AIX 6.1 with core 7.20_EXT/7.21_EXT / SYBASE ASE are not currently supported. The hardware requirements vary by OS and database.
Advantages and disadvantages
+ the individual modules of the SAP Solution Manager are better integrated with each other;
+ additional features have expanded Application Management;
+ non-SAP solutions are now also supported;
+ focus on ITIL standards allows use of the entire service management;
- the provision of detailed documentation is missing to a degree;
- different user interfaces have gone as the cost of user friendliness.
So far, SAP Solution Manager 7.1 gives a good impression, all things considered. More material is available as an overview of individual functions, than was the case with the previous version.
However, detailed technical documentation is partially missing, which would make it easier for users to properly exploit the tool’s potential. With our experience, we will support you in the selection of possibilities and with successful technical implementation.
With the SAP Solution Manager 7.1 users have to deal with two user interfaces. As such for the settlement of some service processes SAP provides the CRM 7.0 WebUI. But especially more technical functions such as test management or project management, are still mapped via work centre. A uniform interface would be better here in the sense of user-friendliness.
In order to continue fully benefiting from the opportunities of SAP Solution Manager application management, such as the use of a variety of new features, companies should upgrade soon to the 7.1 version.
SAP Solution Manager 7.0 EHP1 mainstream maintenance ends on 31 Dec 2013
Due to some completely new software architecture, already established scenarios need to be adjusted via migration path, or newly established. We will gladly assist you in the analysis toward upgrading or reinstalling your Solution Manager 7.1.
Please feel free to contact us; we look forward to your questions.