Consideration of additional QA clients
Types of SAP system copy
SAP production system copies are created for a variety of reasons, including: - Generating a new non-production system for short- or long-term use - Updating an existing non-production system An SAP system copy is called homogeneous if the source and target operating and database systems are identical. If this is not the case, the system copy is considered heterogeneous. Heterogeneous system copies or platform migrations are not supported by the HP StorageWorks System Copy software for SAP and are therefore not discussed further in this document. In addition, this document deals exclusively with system copies for non-production target systems. Overview of a homogeneous system copy Figure 1 shows copies of an SAP production system that are created for non-production systems. Some copies are short-term (ad hoc) in nature, while others are intended for long-term use. Note that when a long-term system is created from a system copy, a system copy may be needed for updates later in the system's life cycle. This adds the latest transactional data from the original production system. Given their particular importance, this document focuses on scenarios with system copies created for updates. Figure 1: Overview of scenarios with homogeneous SAP system copies Scenario with system copies for updates In order to meet constantly changing business requirements, a production system must be continuously developed and adapted after the initial installation. To do this, you need development, consolidation, and quality assurance (QA) systems that can provide the production system with the appropriate updates as SAP transports.
"The creation of SAP system copies used to represent an enormous effort," says Martin Schulz from SAP Basis Administration. Almost 4,000 employees worldwide access our SAP systems directly. If the SAP systems are down, then nothing works in many departments - and that certainly happened in the past. Although the actual copying process is completed in just a few hours, the manual post-processing - which includes, for example, adjusting parameters, users and rights, profiles, system settings and interfaces - can take up to a week. This keeps the entire seven-person SAP Basis team busy.
Copying needs to be done skillfully
The third-party providers have adapted their tools to various special areas. For example, the "Clone & Test" tool from Pecaso, which is now part of Accenture, specializes in transferring data from SAP's HR module. In addition to HR data, the "Data Sync Manager" from the provider Epi-Use makes it possible to select additional objects from the areas of accounting and logistics. As with TDMS, "Infoshuttle" from Gamma Enterprise Technologies gives users the option of selecting any data from the SAP system. For transport, the tool uses Idocs, which, however, can only be used to transfer small amounts of test data. SNP's "Data Distillery" can either write extracted data directly into the tables of the target system via RFC or generate an export file that can be imported into target systems multiple times. In the source system, users can select by objects, processes and transactions. Further selection options, for example by organizational units or fiscal year, allow a percentage of the data to be filtered out of the system as consistent test data.
The steps to be taken before shutting down the target SAP system can be summarized as follows: Well before performing the upgrade, inform the target system users - especially project managers, developers, and testers - about the planned maintenance work via e-mail, SAP system messages, and/or a message at the system logon. Using the SAP transport system requires careful preparation so that software development projects can be completed as far as possible. Shortly before the start of the update, inform users again that maintenance work on the system is imminent and that they should log off from the target system. After logging users off and locking them out, download system-specific content from the target system database for customization (including security settings, Remote Function Call (RFC) targets, and operating modes).
With "Shortcut for SAP Systems" you get additional functions for the SAP system copy.
Other challenges include the varying duration and quality (completeness) of the results depending on the processor, time dependency on the employees performing the work, etc..
Given the increased use of Big Data, storage space and resulting costs are constantly rising.