Dieter SteigerDieter Steiger SAP Template Distribution – a One Way Street?

11/08/2007 by Dieter Steiger

Inconsistent customization settings – a typical issue of decentral SAP systems
Large SAP installations with multiple decentral system landscapes struggle to keep SAP customization settings consistent across the company. Conventional approaches , e.g. SAP Template Customization, to distribute templates lead inevitably to inconsistencies. Maintaining a consistent system requires extraodinary effort.

Conventional SAP company template roll-out
In most SAP installations central customization assures the integrity of SAP’s overall company structure. It is built and maintained on a central SAP template customization client. From there it is transported to different decentral customization development systems.

SAP Company-Template System Landscape

SAP company templates transported in such a way get activated on the multiple decentral customization clients. Locally enriched by further customization templates get finally transported by the transport management system (called TMS or CTS) into decentral system landscapes.

It is obvious that with such a procedure decentral customization changes risk to be applied to customization that was configured in the centrally managed company template. The consequence then is an inconsistency between the central and decentral template.

It is difficult to get this under control with organizational measures since there is no technical support to alert autonomous decentral developers when changing centrally configured items.

Further updates made to the central SAP company template then just cannot be activated on the decentral systems anymore. After being transported to the decentral system landscapes they potentially overwrite decentral customization. To still adopt changes from the central SAP company template requires extraordinary efforts and inconsistences are more predictable.

By the way: In contrast to the roll-out of customization the deployment of SAP ABAP development objects is handled without any problems by most large SAP users. Organizational measures are sufficiently assuring the quality of this process.

SAP Company Template Protection with SAP Solution Manager
It is not common knowledge that above problem with inconsistencies can be cured with system support from SAP. SAP Solution Manager can be used for this purpose. Correctly configured it can prevent developers from overwriting central template adaptations when they locally modify decentral system landscapes. A very effective automated quality assurance measure. The central customization gets protected on the decentral systems. The overall system configuration remains consistent!

This quality assurance measure for the roll-out of SAP company templates by SAP Solution Manager can be introduced even after multiple central and decentral modifications and roll-outs. A quality measure highly welcome to any SAP IT managers who know what it means to suffer from template inconsistencies. They normally have a good understanding of what it needs to reactively get rid of them!

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