SAP Solution Manager

SAP Solution Manager

SAP Solution Manager (sometimes referred to by admins as “SolMan”) is an application lifecycle management (ALM) platform used to implement, maintain, and integrate SAP systems; troubleshoot issues; and keep things running securely, cleanly, and smoothly.

 

As the main administrative solution for SAP users, SAP Solution Manager combines a handful of tools alongside content and direct access to SAP to ensure reliability and stability of solutions. Its numerous applications can be categorized into one or more of the defined Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) stages of service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, and continual service improvement.

 

SAP Solution Manger is part of every SAP installation and all SAP customers use it. It is currently on release 7.2.

 

Table of Contents

  1. History of SAP Solution Manager
  2. What Does SAP Solution Manager Do?
  3. Key SAP Solution Manager Functionalities
    1. Change Request Management
    2. Application Operations (Solution Monitoring)
      1. System Monitoring
      2. User Experience Monitoring
      3. Integration Monitoring
      4. SAP HANA and Business Intelligence Monitoring
      5. Job Monitoring
      6. Self-Monitoring
      7. Root Cause Analysis
      8. System Recommendations
    3. Solution Integration
    4. Solution Testing
    5. Business Process Documentation
    6. Access Control
  4. SAP Solution Manager Logical Components
    1. Technical System Landscape
    2. Branches
      1. Production
      2. Operations
      3. Maintenance
      4. Development
      5. Design
    3. Change Control Landscapes
    4. Document Types
    5. SAP Best Practices Packages
    6. Properties
  5. Other Key SAP Solution Manager Terms
  6. Additional Resources
    1. Blogs
    2. Books by SAP PRESS

 

History of SAP Solution Manager

SAP Solution Manager was first released in the mid-2000s and served as a project implementation tool and support system for SAP solutions only. Users found this limiting as its capabilities focused around the IT department and not the business.

 

SAP remedied this in subsequent releases by opening up SAP Solution Manager to handle not only SAP products, but also integrated systems, partner products, and even non-SAP software. In 2016, version 7.2 was released to the public and continues to be the main release of SAP Solution Manager. It is the only release currently supported by SAP. Intermittent service packs for 7.2 are released regularly, with the latest being SPS 10, which became available in December 2019.

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What Does SAP Solution Manager Do?

SAP Solution Manager, in short, serves as the central hub through which SAP solutions can be implemented and maintained. System administrators looking to make changes to an IT environment, monitor solutions in real time, integrate new solutions (on-premise or cloud), test updates to solutions, document business processes, control access rights, and more, will utilize this tool.

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Key SAP Solution Manager Functionalities

Eager to learn more about the things one can do with SAP Solution Manager? Here’s an overview of the items listed in the paragraph above.

Change Request Management

Change Request Management (ChaRM) is an application management process of documenting and controlling the approval process for changes that need to be made to a system. This is important for troubleshooting down the line—if something doesn’t work admins can look at a history of changes to see where things may have gone off the rails. SAP Solution Manager allows admins to perform ChaRM.

 

SAP Solution Manager ChaRM

 

Key features of ChaRM include:

    • Approval management for requiring permission before rolling out changes to a solution.
    • Email notifications for letting team members know when changes require approval and when imports are occurring.
    • Change approval and documentation management for documenting what changes are being made to a solution and who approved them.
    • Attachments for providing additional documentation on the change.
    • Multilevel categorization for categorizing and reporting on different levels of information.
    • Logging capabilities for detailed documentation on who changed things and when.
    • Supporting change management for many types of SAP solutions.

These functionalities are available out of the box but SAP also allows for customization for a business’ unique needs.

 

Application Operations (Solution Monitoring)

SAP Solution Manager provides a handful of tools to utilize when monitoring solutions for efficiency and technical issues; these tools are part of Application Operations.

 

System Monitoring

This incredibly complex tool monitors systems and should be carefully configured in order to provide a report that is actionable. It provides valuable alerts for all sorts of scenarios for both SAP and non-SAP applications, as well as the databases and operating systems they run on.

 

SAP Solution Monitor System Monitoring

User Experience Monitoring

This tool monitors performance and availability of systems from the user’s perspective.

 

Integration Monitoring

This is actually three separate tools all focused on the same thing: the connections and flow of data between systems. The three tools are SAP Process Integration monitoring (for both SAP Process Integration and SAP Process Orchestration), interface and connection monitoring (both on-premise and cloud solutions), and message flow monitoring.

 

SAP HANA and Business Intelligence Monitoring

These tools focus on business intelligence (BI) to monitor the process chains/queries and data readiness for insertion into a database such as SAP HANA.

 

Job Monitoring

This tool centralizes monitoring of critical background jobs regardless of SAP application.

 

Self-Monitoring

This tool focuses on SAP Solution Manager itself and its ability to collect data and monitor systems.

 

SAP Solution Monitor Self-Monitoring 

Root Cause Analysis

This tool helps IT teams identify where and why something went wrong.

 

System Recommendations

This powerful tool provides a list of notes and patches available for a system, keeping it up to date and free from known vulnerabilities.

 

Solution Integration

SAP Solution Manager provides admins with the ability to integrate disparate systems. This is especially helpful for customers running SAP S/4HANA and looking to utilize SAP cloud solutions such as SAP Ariba, SAP Integrated Business Planning, and SAP SuccessFactors.

 

Solution Testing

The SAP Solution Manager Test Suite allows for manual and automated testing of both SAP and non-SAP solutions. Users can create and customize tests, sign up for emailed result notifications, analyze potential results from a planned changed, and more.

 

SAP Solution Manager Solution Testing 

Business Process Documentation

SAP Solution Manager supports detailed documentation of business processes for teams to utilize when onboarding new employees or learning to use a solution themselves. Library functionality allows for reusing existing documentation and customizing it as needed, while the Business Processes area allows IT and business users a chance to define their perspectives.

 

Access Control

SAP Solution Manager acts like a security tool by providing IT admins the ability to control who accesses what within SAP Solution Manager and when. A variety of roles have already been created by SAP and can be assigned to non-essential users as needed, and tailoring is available if existing roles don’t meet specific needs.

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SAP Solution Manager Logical Components

When adding a solution into SAP Solution Manager, you should be aware of the software components you’ll need to add first. These are known as logical components. Below is a list of the components.

 

Technical System Landscape

This is the representation of a landscape, built out over time as you connect solutions to SAP Solution Manager.

Branches

These are a virtual representation of systems and business processes. There are six different standard branches, but a branch can be used for any scenario required.

 

Production

This branch represents the productive business processes in use. This is a locked area; changes to this branch must be made in one of the other branches, named “child branches.”

 

Operations

This branch is a clone of the production branch and stores business process monitoring metrics (such as KPIs) and alerts. Any changes made to the production branch are simultaneously reflected in the operations branch.

 

Maintenance

This branch creates and updates business processes, such as minor updates needed in a short period, on a daily basis. It is also used to fix bugs or deliver new enhancements to the production branch.

 

Development

This branch designs and creates new business processes for future release. Major enhancements or projects are built in this branch.

 

Design

This branch edits or redesigns business processes imported from an SAP Best Practices package.

 

Import

This branch imports SAP Best Practices packages and releases business processes into the design branch before sending them further up the system.

 

SAP Solution Manager Branches

Change Control Landscapes

These are logical components that dictate what solutions are under Change Request Management (ChaRM) control.

 

Document Types

These are templates for solutions to be based on. This might include functional or technical specifications, scripts, or Microsoft Office-based templates.

 

SAP Best Practices Packages

These are SAP-provided templates on which solutions can be based. They can be procured from the SAP Service Marketplace.

 

Properties

These are metadata consisting of a solution’s creation date and other relevant information such as change date.

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Other Key SAP Solution Manager Terms

In addition to the information laid out above, there are a handful of important SAP Solution Manager terms you should also be familiar with. Here are they are in list form:

    • Application Incident Management (AIM): The process of addressing interruptions or quality reductions of an IT service.
    • Application Lifecycle Management (ALM): Name for processes that focuses on the end-to-end management of a solution. SAP Solution Manager is an application lifecycle management tool.
    • ASAP: SAP-specific version of the waterfall project management methodology and the forerunner of SAP Solution Manager’s functionality. Stands for “Accelerated SAP.”
    • Business Process Change Analyzer (BPCA): A change impact analysis tool that helps define testing scope and integrate with other SAP Solution Manager modules.
    • IT Service Management (ITSM): An umbrella term for processes that focus on providing and delivering services to an end customer.
    • Landscape Management Database (LMDB): A database which includes landscape information for the entire system.
    • Logical Component Group: Process-specific areas typically defined by a module, such as SAP ERP, SAP SCM, etc.
    • SAP Best Practices Package: A set of documentation and templates provided by SAP describing the ideal set of steps and processes to follow when using a solution.
    • Scope and Effort Analyzer (SEA): A change impact analysis tool that helps define testing scope and integrate with other SAP Solution Manager modules.
    • Service Desk: A central location where customers or users of a solution can get timely help from IT professionals.
    • Solution: A container that encompasses all aspects of an organization’s systems and business processes.
    • System Landscape Directory (SLD): A repository of the information of an entire system.

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Additional Resources

Want to learn more about SAP Solution Manager? Additional information can be found in the blogs and books listed below.

Blogs

Books by SAP PRESS

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