11/24/2008 by Dieter Steiger
In my article on SAP Change and Transport Management, I discuss the topic of “measures that ensure horizontal and vertical consistency.” After attending the TechEd Berlin 2008, it appears that SAP and its Enhanced Change and Transport System CTS+ remain unwilling to accept this challenge but instead prefer to leave it up to customers and their consultants. “Thanks a bunch, SAP!” “Enhanced” basically just means the inclusion of additional Java objects in Transport Management.
Accordingly, issues caused by overtaking changes (overtaker problems – a common phenomenon in the context of SAP Transport Management) is not addressed by the standard CTS, CTS+ or the ABAP Transport Management, even though we are dealing with a simple measure that is highly effective in ensuring horizontal consistency. For problems that could be resolved using vertical measures to ensure consistency (meaning the challenges posed by the heterogeneity of the SAP system or its integration into a broad customer IT environment), SAP certainly does not provide any solutions.
Given the lack of available SAP tools, the consistency-ensuring measures will typically continue to be performed manually, for example based on Microsoft Excel tables. However, this kind of Microsoft Office-based transport management functions only as well as the person doing the processing. Critical operational expertise rests with a single individual, so if that person is absent or leaves this can cause serious problems.
Summary – SAP Transport Management with CTS+
Conventional SAP Transport Management (CTS) was, and continues to be, barely able to meet customer requirements in complex organizational and technical SAP ABAP system environments in terms of bona-fide transport management for SAP system changes. Either this is done manually, which takes a lot of time and involves a lot of risk, or costly add-on solutions are implemented in order to fill the gap. Moreover, in the event a modern SAP environment includes SAP Netweaver Java development and configuration objects, the challenge acquires even greater technical dimensions. I wonder whether SAP will continue to generously leave this attractive playing field open to third-party software suppliers and specialized consultants like us. Certainly the challenge is an intriguing one, but the efforts and resources of large-scale SAP customers could be put to more profitable use.