11/12/2007 by Dieter Steiger
Complex SAP systems landscape
The subsequent chart illustrates how complex a comprehensive SAP Business Suite can be, with its various systems landscapes that can consist of development, quality assurance and production systems.
Business processes proceed through various ABAP systems, i.e. SAP CRM, SAP ERP and SAP BW. Consequently, a sales activity will be registered in SAP CRM, while then through SAP ERP, the whole preparation, delivery and financial editing of data will be executed. Finally, corresponding ABC analysis will be run in SAP BW.
In order to save investments, operations and development of such all-encompassing and technically complex systems must be ensured longterm. This calls for specific provisions. The required environment and its components are highlighted in blue in the chart below.
SAP Application Lifecycle Management with HP products
For this reason, a Lifecycle Management Environment has been created for large SAP environments, based on HP’s software products. In the following lines, the roles taken over by the individual products and their integration are described.
1. Comprehensive support of all stages in the development cycle
The actual development cycle is supported by the HP products shown in the chart. In addition, ARIS is used for modelling of the business processes and their visualisation.
Quality Management (HP Quality Center)
HP Quality Center, which is integrated into the Lifecycle Management environment by means of HP PPM, ensures proactive testing. Thus, the data relevant for the testing is collected, changed and validated at the adequate moment. At the same time, the respective test objects are managed by HP Quality Center.
Business Service Management (HP BAC)
HP BAC is integrated into the development process so that information regarding every single business-service can be obtained at every single stage of the development. On the level of business-service, multidimensional impact analysis can be undertaken in all phases of development and test. Furthermore, any related descriptive, organizational and technical objects can be elicited per Business Service.
SAP Solution Manager
Integrating SAP Solution Manager into the Lifecycle Management Environment ensures that the appropriate objects can be transported into the SAP systems landscapes. In so doing, the integrity of ABAP and non-ABAP objects of different SAP systems can be ascertained by means of the combinatorics of HP PPM.
By integrating Web Services Monitoring data of HP Systinet, access to the data about a Business-Services running in production is guaranteed at any time.
2. Driving the development process
HP PPM is utilised, employing all its functionality, to digitize, integrate and automate the processes. The strengths of HP PPM lie specifically in the execution of tasks for which the integration between process and tool are key: it drives all processes and is capable of communicating with every software used in the development cycle.
Unfortunately, by changing the name of their Software Suite to HP Project and Portfolio Management Center (HP PPM), HP have removed the reference to the true strength of their product from its name. Therefore, the name situates the product only in reference to one Gartner IT quadrant: Project & Portfolio Management (PPM), while the former name Mercury IT Governance (Mercury ITG) reflected very well how strong the product is.
- It can be used to effectively reduce, if not eliminate, manual or as well as technical interfaces and communication levels. Duplicate and manual data entry by the user may be removed, so that the risk for failures may be minimised and the efficiency maximised.
- HP PPM combines organisational process stages with technical ones. By this means, it is possible to automate process stages and to include quality assurance measures directly into the process.
- HP PPM allows to integrate SAP Solution Manager as a sub-process engine.
- Thanks to HP PPM, all IT business processes can be formulated, digitalised and optimised in one and the same manner.
3. Integration of the lifecycle data
By means of integration across the various data stores of the tools, all used services and their dependencies can be monitored at any time. Comprehensive impact analysis is possible. For any change using HP BAC integration it is possible to determine all effected Business Services from the very beginning.
Using HP PPM as an integration tool allows to reference and provide the necessary descriptive and organisational objects for every tool or user, while a defined process garantees the consistent integration all the results. This integration of the data of HP PPM into the Lifecycle Management Environment facilitates the complete reuse of the process information across the application lifecycle.
Does HP promise too much?
At least in the context of an SAP environment, the promise of HP BTO’s marketing messages holds true in a very realistic manner. HP BTO facilitates the pragmatic setup and successful operation of an Application Lifecycle Management.