Performing Transports with the TMS SAP BASIS

Up to release SAP R/3 3.1 H, the import phase of transports was always performed at the operating system level. Since the introduction of the TMS, there is a full suite of functions for managing transports and performing imports from within the SAP systems. The TMS uses the tp program for performing imports and other functions. You can still use all the functionality available with the transport control program tp and even with R3trans. The following sections cover these programs in great detail. The TMS includes all the security measures to ensure the proper order of imports. It does allow special preliminary transports and the use of unconditional modes, and other special queue functions, similar to the ones found when using tp.

All the transportable change requests that have been released are now displayed in the import queues of the target systems. When releasing change requests, the system creates several files in the transport directory (data, control file) and inserts an entry in the import queue of the target system. The import queue is the same as the system import buffer, and as such the file is located under the buffer directory.

To access the import queues, access the initial TMS screen Tools | Administration | Transports | Transport Management System (transaction code STMS) and then click on the Imports icon on the application toolbar, or select Overview | Imports. The system will display the import overview screen, with several columns including the system within the transport domain, the description, the number of requests in the queue, and the status. To display the contents of an import queue, double-click on one of the systems. For performance reasons the TMS only reads import queues the first time it accesses them. If you need the latest queue status, select the Refresh function.

Import queue

Import queue

From the import queue you can display the object list, the logs, the documentation, or the owner. You can do this from the Request | Display menu. To begin the transport process, transport all the requests in the import queue into the quality assurance system. This will automatically insert these requests into the import queue of the delivery systems (normally production systems). Then users should check and test what has been transported into the quality assurance system. If tests are verified, the next step is to transport the full import queue into the production system.

Transport administrators will normally select the Start Import function, which will request the target client and start importing the queue in the order in which the change requests were previously released. This function is equivalent to the tp import all command. Imports can be started from any R/3 system within the transport domain; however, if you are logged onto any system but the target system, TMS will show a logon window for providing logon information. TMS will establish an RFC connection and start the tp program in the target system. When tp starts the import, the system closes the RFC connection. When imports have been successful, they are automatically inserted in the import queue for the next system in the transport route.

The status column of an import queue can show different statuses. You can display these statuses by clicking on the Key icon on the application toolbar. The queue can have the following statuses:

  • Open for new requests being added
  • Closed, meaning that the newly added requests will not be imported during the next full import
  • Running
  • Errors occurred during impor
  • Import terminated
  • Import queue could not be read

Besides importing all requests in the queue with the Start Import function, the TMS includes many other options. Following is a list of the main functions that can be performed using the TMS import facilities:

  • Closing an import queue. This is the function of setting a stop mark for preventing imports of change requests that were released and added to the queue after a certain time. To do this, select the queue and choose Queue | Close from the menu. The TMS then sets a mark so that new requests are positioned after the mark and only requests before the mark will be imported in the next import.
  • Opening the import queue. Select Queue | Open to delete the stop mark.
  • Adding requests to the queue. You can manually add a change request to an import queue by selecting Extras | Other Requests | Add. Normally this function should not be used because requests are automatically added. This is equivalent to the tp addtobuffer command.
  • Removing requests from the queue. You can also remove a particular request from the import queue. Select the request, and from the menu choose Request | Delete. SAP's recommendation is not to delete, but to create a new change request with the correction.
  • Performing single imports. This process is known as performing preliminary imports, as opposed to standard import, in which the full queue would be included. To perform the import of an individual change request, click on its line in the import queue and select Request | Import. The system displays a dialog box for entering some information. With the expert mode you can set unconditional modes just as with the tp program.

Options are as follows:

  • Ignore that the transport request has already been imported (unconditional mode 1)
  • Overwrite originals (unconditional mode 2)
  • Overwrite objects in unconfirmed repairs (unconditional mode 6)
  • Ignore invalid transport type (unconditional mode 9)

Transport request import options

Transport request import options

Enter the system client and options and click the Start Import icon. SAP does not recommend this process because there is some risk of creating inconsistencies. However, to minimize the risk, when a single import is performed it remains in the queue and will be reimported the next time the full queue is imported. This guarantees that exports and imports are performed in the correct order.

  • Forwarding a change request. On certain occasions, you can select the function Request | Forward to send a change request to a system outside the predefined transport routes.
  • Transporting between transport groups or foreign domains. Under the Extras | Other Request menu, you have several options for reading the import queues on systems whose transport directories are not shared and that therefore are located on other transport groups or domains. You can still perform transports among these systems, but the import queues of target systems must first be adjusted.

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