SAP Solution Solution Manager main functions SAP BASIS

The SAP Solution Manager is a customer platform that provides content, procedures and services to implement and operate SAP Solutions, including both simple and complex system and application landscapes. The functions provided by the SAP Solution Manager.

Solution Manager main functions

Solution Manager main functions

The SAP Solution Manager is a SAP Solution (R/3 like) based in the SAP Web Application Server, unlike ASAP, which was a PC-based toolset. A major advantage of the SAP Solution Manager is its integration with other key SAP transactions, such as Project Administration, SAP Test Workbench, IMG, BC Sets, and CATTs, which support implementation activities. With the wide range of current SAP product portfolio, solutions, and Integration platform (SAP NetWeaver), all the integration aspects that target both technical and business requirements of heterogeneous environments are very important. SAP Solution Manager plays a key role in providing an infrastructure and a central unified platform to manage and implement these complex environments.

The SAP Solution Manager is also integrated with SAP Service Marketplace both for requesting service and support, or by automatically sending and collecting EarlyWatch report, and also the possibility of assigning traditional SAP notes to internal problems, or escalating problems to SAP. In the following sections you will find a broad overview of the SAP Solution Manager and how this platform supports both the key implementation and operation activities, and how it can be used for service requests both internal, like a help desk, and external through SAP and its partners.

SAP Solution Manager for Functional Implementation

From a methodological point of view, that is, regarding the implementation objectives, Solution Manager is an evolution of ASAP, which is embedded, and it is based on the same phases and principles. In other words, the implementation methodology for the SAP Solution Manager is still based on ASAP concepts, but the toolset is different. SAP Solution Manager supports the implementation of customer's solutions from a process-oriented view instead of the traditional component-oriented view. The deployment of the SAP Solution Manager as the implementation platform, when designed and implemented correctly, can provide customers with many benefits, among which are the following:

  • An organized project view, including the possibility for storing all the project documentation and issues
  • A central point of access for all key implementation activities
  • Tools to simplify the Blueprint, Configuration and Testing activities
  • Standard scenarios provided through Business Process Repository
  • The capacity of requesting the services aligned with the SAP implementation process

For implementation purposes, the SAP Solution Manager provides the following:

  • Implementation Roadmaps, which includes step by step activities to lead the project team in the whole implementation process
  • Implementation Content. By means of the business process repository, which servers as initial templates or input for a process-driven design of customer solutions
  • Tools, including most of the tools found on ASAP, and the integration of system landscape definition, project preparation, blueprint generation, realization of the configuration defined, organization of tests, and so on
  • Reporting, a collection of reporting utilities for project analysis, allowing to display information about the progress and status of the project, worklists, assignments, issues, and so on

Figure shows the Implementation Roadmap within the SAP Solution Manager, which is meant to guide through the functional implementation process of customer process-oriented solutions.

Functional Implementation Roadmap

Functional Implementation Roadmap

Following sections discuss some of the available functionality and tools of the SAP Solution Manager for implementation.

Business Process Repository

As stated earlier, the SAP Solution Manager has been designed to support process oriented rather than component oriented scoping of customer's solution. The SAP Solution Manager provides the Business Process Repository with central access to the list of SAP-delivered business scenarios and supporting documentation that serves as a starting point to identify the project scope. The BPR is therefore a list of business scenarios that serve as a starting point to identify what is to be implemented. Customers can also create and document their business processes. The Business Process Repository (BPR) is a package of reusable predefined business process content delivered by SAP. The BPR content varies for different scenarios but may contain the following:

  • Business Scenario Documentation, including configuration guides
  • Assignments to transactions
  • IMG assignments in the Realization phase
  • Predefined test cases

Besides the possibility of including these business scenarios from the BPR when in the Blueprint Phase and tool, within the Solution Manager, you can check the BPR in the Solution Manager section within the SAP Service Marketplace and then choose Functions in detail, Implementation,Implementation content. You can see an example of a business scenario.

Example of business scenario within BPR

Example of business scenario within BPR

Implementation Roles within Solution Manager

The SAP Solution Manager platform includes some predefined user roles, which can be modified, copied, or adapted according to customer needs and which provides a user menu for each role, including the typical project implementation tasks that are associated with each role. When logging on the Solution Manager using these roles, the members of the project team will be able to access implementation projects with the authorizations assigned to them within the roles and work their specific project activities. Remember that authorizations determine the degree of access to functions and transactions within the project. The authorization concept for the SAP Solution Manager is predefined for the following roles:

  • Project manager. The predefined role is SAP_SOLAR_PM. Project managers are responsible for the supervision, control, and realization of the SAP implementation projects and to perform the daily project management tasks. They have access to Solution Manager functions Project Administration, Project Reporting, Business Blueprint, and so on.
  • Application consultant. Predefined role is SAP_SOLAR_AC. The main task is to should ensure that the Business Blueprint and configuration defines correctly the target business processes, and all other requirements for a successful implementation, such as the analysis documentation, interfaces, reporting, and so on. Application consultants must have both business knowledge and SAP knowledge to configure and implement the customers' requirements. This role has more limited authorizations than project managers, and is intended for project members working in the Solution Manager with Business Blueprint, Configuration, Testing, Message Handling, and a few others.
  • Basis/development consultant. Predefined role is SAP SAP_SOLAR_BC. This role is meant for working on the authorization concept and development activities, for instance when there is a need for customer development not found in the standard SAP Solutions. Within the SAP Solution Manager, they have access to functions and transactions such as Business Blueprint, Organize Testing, and Message Handling.
  • Technical consultant. Predefined role is SAP_SOLAR_TC and this role is in charge of planning, designing, and implementing the technical requirements within the projects. Technical consultants are in charge of performing all the technical tasks in the systems, including all tasks typical to system administration and technical support, and access to Solution Manager functions such as Defining System Landscapes, Synchronizing Customizing, Message Handling, and so on. Additionally, Solution Manager comes with another two standard roles, which can be also assigned to users or project team members, or adapted to other requirements:
  • SAP_SOLAR_ ALL, corresponding to the role for all authorizations within the SAP Solution Manager implementation functions
  • SAP_SOLAR_RO, which is the Read Only role. Users assigned this role will only be able to display the functions in the system, without authorizations to do any modifications.

Solution Manager Roadmaps

Roadmaps provide the methodology to implement SAP projects and are delivered with the Solution Manager. They contain standard SAP implementation methodology and include the most important aspects and phases of a SAP implementation project. An example of Roadmap is shown in Figure. You can access the Solution Manager Roadmaps from the user menu, by selecting Solution Manager | Roadmaps, or by running transaction RMMAIN from the command field.

A fundamental component of Roadmaps is links to accelerators and tools to perform project tasks. Accelerators are mainly documents, information, and document templates that are attached to structure items within the Roadmaps.

With roadmaps, you can do the following:

  • Open and browse the road map structure to display all indications relevant to the project steps, whether the phases, work packages, activities, and tasks.
  • Display accelerators, or documents linked to structure items within the Roadmap. You have also the option of assigning your own documents.
  • Search for specific items within the Roadmap structure.
  • Register and track the status for each structure item. You can assign your personal notes to these status settings.
  • Create issues or messages within the system, to keep track of problems or open issues to be resolved.
  • You can print any of the documents, or the information displayed in the structure items of the Roadmap.
  • Filter structure items by role or subject area.

There are three types of standard Roadmaps within the SAP Solution Manager:

  • Implementation Roadmap. This is the roadmap directing functional SAP implementations. It is meant mainly for Project Managers and Application Consultants. This functional roadmap synchronized with the technical one through the milestone concept.
  • Solution Management Roadmap. The roadmap for the technical Implementation and Operations of SAP Solutions and aimed to the technical team and system managers. The Solution Management Roadmap synchronizes with the Implementation Roadmap using the milestone concept.
  • Global Template Roadmap meant for multisite and multinational projects, providing a methodology for the implementation of a global customer solution. However, when a local implementation is to take place, you have to proceed with regular Implementation and Solution Management roadmaps. This type of roadmap is meant for Sponsors or Program Managers and Project Managers. Other roadmaps that can be installed within the SAP Solution Manager are as follows:
  • SAP Enterprise Portal Implementation Roadmap, which can be used for specific implementation work packages and tasks for the SAP Enterprise Portal, considering the large integration factor it represents.
  • Upgrade Roadmap, which is used to SAP solutions upgrade projects.

In their own specific project targets, each roadmap type contains the standard SAP implementation methodology and cover the most important aspects and phases of a SAP implementation.

Solution Manager Roadmap Structure View

You get the structure view when double-clicking the graphical view. The structure on the left of the screen is the project area and contains the structure of the Roadmap with some of the attributes. The text displayed in the right part of the screen is the viewing area, which contains the description according to the structure item selected in the project area. The tabs and objects you find in the lower right hand of the screen is known as the attachment area. There you can find several tabstrips:

  • The Accelerators tabstrips contains links to accelerators, when there are any available for the structure item.
  • The Notes tabstrip is used to display or create notes about the particular structure elements.
  • The Messages tab is used to create, send, display, and edit problem messages for the selected structure element. If needed, you have the option to attach documents to the message.
  • Set Status. The status of a structure step is displayed as an icon in the structure and you can see it graphically in the Roadmap initial screen. To set the status of a structure item, just click the Status icon, which appears besides the structure item. Initially all status are set to Open. You must pay attention that status settings cannot be inherited along the structure in the Roadmap.

You can also assign new documents or accelerators to a Roadmap structure element. This include inserting or uploading new project documents, links to Web sites, or even execution of specific transactions. In order to do that you have to use the Project Documentation tab.

Implementation Roadmap

The Implementation Roadmap describes how to organize and run an implementation project from a functional perspective. It provides the methodological framework for the tasks involved in the implementation of a SAP solution. It includes, among other things, required project management, configuration of business processes, and technical aspects, test procedures, and training concepts. Roadmaps provide a unified structure for all SAP components, and the componentspecific content is found in the accelerator. It is to be noted as well that the roadmaps include several Milestones, typically after completion of a critical work package. Roadmaps also include some of the services provided by SAP and partners that can help in the corresponding activity within the implementation project.

Just exactly as ASAP does, and using most of the ASAP documents, the Implementation Roadmap divides the implementation process in five phases, with work packages, activities, and tasks assigned as sub items to each phase.Based on the project scope, you can select different Roadmaps according to the SAP solutions or SAP application components being implemented. The lists of activities within the roadmap are not changed, but the Accelerators and tools linked to these activities will present specific information related to the SAP solution or application component selected in scope. The Implementation Roadmap is intimately linked with the Solution Management Roadmap. They are aligned along the milestone concept with critical synchronization points.

The Implementation Roadmap consists of the following five phases, as we have previously seen within ASAP:

  • Phase 1: Project Preparation. In this initial phase, you plan your implementation project and make all the preparatory steps, including setting the objectives for the project, determining the scope, defining the project plan, project team members and establishing the activities and sequence for the implementation activities. Within SAP Solution Manager, and alongside the roadmaps, this phase is also supported by the transaction SAP_SOLAR_ADMIN.
  • Phase 2: Business Blueprint. The purpose of this phase is to determine the project scope and create the Business Blueprint. The Business Blueprint documents business process requirements and additional goals for your implementation. Within SAP Solution Manager, this is supported by transaction SOLAR01.
  • Phase 3: Realization. The purpose of this phase is to configure and test the business processes defined in the Business Blueprint phase and create customerspecific end-user documentation and training materials. Within SAP Solution Manager, this is supported by transaction SOLAR02.
  • Phase 4: Final Preparation. The purpose of this phase is to prepare and conduct end-user training and perform a final test of the SAP system before going live. You also prepare and execute data conversion from legacy systems to the production system. You should also resolve all open issues. Within SAP Solution Manager, a big deal of this phase can also be performed with transaction SOLAR02, specifically to run tests
  • Phase 5: Go Live and Support. The purpose of this phase is to move the SAP system to a live production environment, establish a help desk support organization for end users, and optimize the system performance and technical environment as far as possible. In this phase, you also plan follow-up training and define an upgrade strategy to continually improve the SAP system.

Solution Management Roadmap

The Solution Management Roadmap provides a methodology to implement and operate the technical infrastructure. The Solution Management Roadmap complements the Implementation Roadmap, and both are aligned along the milestone concept with critical sync points identified. This technical Roadmap is targeted at Technical Leaders or project Managers, IT managers, Technical Consultant, Support Engineer, and System Administrators. This Roadmap contains the methodological framework for implementation of the technical infrastructure and operations, providing the following facilities:

  • A unified view of the technical implementation of a complete SAP solution landscape, which can consist of several components and systems
  • Accelerators, providing many documents, tools, and links for helping to reach a successful implementation of the technical infrastructure and support
  • Integration and handover procedures from the project team to the support organization

The phases include milestones and specific services aligned with them. The phases within the Solution Management Roadmap, as stated, aligned with the Implementation Roadmap are as follows:

  • Strategic Framework
  • Technical and Integration Design
  • Technical and Operations Implementation
  • Cutover and Start of Production
  • Operations and Continuous Improvement

In following sections we cover all the technical issues from a more general point of view, most of which are included within either the ASAP Roadmap or the Solution Management Roadmap.

Global Template Roadmap

The Global Template Roadmap provides a methodology for the implementation of global customer solutions. In global roll-out scenarios, you define a global template at headquarters, and place scenarios, Blueprint documents, and configuration in the template. You can specify the parts of the template that are relevant to the subsidiaries and if or to what extent they can change the template in their roll-out projects. Main target groups are Program and Project Manager, Project Team in Global Template project. Overall structuring is as follows:

  • Phase 1: Global Program Setup
  • Phase 2: Global Business Blueprint
  • Phase 3: Global Realization
  • Phase 4: Global Maintenance and Support

The Global Template Roadmap does not sync with the Solution Management Roadmap.

Solution Manager Implementation Tools

Solution Manager includes several powerful tools for streamlining the implementation projects of SAP solutions. The following sections briefly introduce some of the capabilities of these tools. For more information, please refer to the online documentation, the documentation available in the SAP Solution Manager portal, or take the standard training course SMI310, which is very good.

System Landscape Definition

Although the project will start in the Project Preparation phase, you will need to define the system landscape for either a template or implementation project before you can access the component systems in subsequent project phases. The SAP Solution Manager provides a tool for system landscape definition, allowing one to manage centrally all the component systems or logical systems you require for your project. This tool is the System Landscape Maintenance transaction, which can be accessed either from the Solution Manager user menu, or by running transaction SMSY. This transaction allows you to define logical systems, products, and the related RFC destinations that are essential for being able to access component systems from the Solution Manager utilities.

A system landscape for the project contains the following information:

  • Logical component
  • Product version
  • Logical systems for dedicated system roles

In the Business Blueprint, the system role Evaluation may be maintained to test-drive related transactions of process tasks. You can add the systems for other system roles during the course of the project. You cannot maintain the logical system information non- SAP products. The following information is helpful for maintaining logical components:

  • A logical component reflects a logical system set (instances) for a product. If you need to handle multiple instances of systems for a product, create additional logical components.
  • The selection of the logical component influences the selection of scenarios/processes using the Business Process Repository in the Business Blueprint phase. Only those scenarios/processes that comply to the defined logical component and product version are released for selection.

The following functions are available based on the system landscape you define:

  • Navigation to business content in component systems
  • Generation of IMG projects in component systems and distribute central project data
  • Comparison and distribution of customizing in the local systems

Project Preparation

When you are ready to proceed with the implementation project using the SAP Solution Manager, you begin by defining the system landscape and the project. The purpose of the Project Preparation phase is to provide initial planning and preparation for the SAP project. Normally, each SAP project has its own specific objectives and scope, and the steps in Phase 1 help identify and plan the most important project areas. To access the Project Administration utility, select Project Administration from the SAP Solution user menu, or run transaction SOLAR_PROJECT_ADMIN from the command field.

From this transaction you can perform all the central administrative tasks relevant for the project:

  • Creating, deleting, and modifying projects
  • Entering general project data and project language
  • Assigning project team members
  • Defining the system landscape for the project
  • Defining project standards such as status values, keywords, or documentation types

Depending on the project type you select, you can also specifying transport request information. With Solution Manager you can create the following project types:

  • Implementation project. The Implementation project type is considered for singlesite implementations. If you create an implementation project, you can select predefined scenarios from template projects.
  • Template project. The Template project type is considered for multisite implementations. It can also serve as an authoring environment to develop best practices, which customer can create for rollouts or those developed by SAP implementation partners.

If you create a template project, you can select predefined scenarios from template projects and you can transport template projects to other SAP Solution Manager systems. The selected project type will influence the edit options available in the individual project phases (Business Blueprint and Realization) and must take into consideration that only one roadmap can be assigned for each project. You define the structure of the project by specifying the project scope, which contains only elements that are part of the selected template(s). You can set the project scope in various ways, based on the selected project type.

  • Implementation project. By selecting SAP and/or partner templates or user templates created in a template project.
  • Without selecting existing templates. You should build the project structure using elements from the Business Process Repository or the Business Blueprint.
  • Template project. By selecting one or more SAP and/or partner solutions as the basis for your project. Without selecting existing templates, you need to build the entire solution in the Business Blueprint.

This solution can be bundled centrally in transport requests and distributed across other systems. All SAP scenarios that are transferred and saved to the project are copies. The original scenarios remain unchanged when the project structure is changed. Let's review the main functionality of every tab within the Project Administration:

  • The Scope tab also includes locking functions for the Business Blueprint. You can restrict the extent to which project members can work on the Business Blueprint in the Scope tab. For project documentation: All documents with flag Blueprintrelevant are protected in SOLAR01 as well as in SOLAR02.
  • The Project Standards tab contains three tabs such as the following:
    • Status values. Provides information about the status of your project. A status value has a 10-character status ID and a description of the status. Status IDs should be meaningful. Note that status values used in roadmaps cannot be changed or adapted to project-specific needs.
    • Keywords. You can define keywords to flexibly categorize documents, for example, to facilitate search and reporting in the Project Analysis transaction. Keywords should be concise.
    • Documentation types. Various documentation types are available for all types of projects.

Standard values for status, keywords, and documentation types for your project are all set similarly in the Project Administration transaction. If values have not yet been assigned to a project, the project administrator can use the project template, which contains project-independent status values, keywords, and documentation types. Each project type is assigned to a template that contains a number of values for statuses, priorities, and documentation types. You can adapt the project template to suit project requirements. The values set in the Project Standards tab are available as default values in the Business Blueprint and Configuration transactions.

Various documentation types are available for all types of projects. You can use the various documentation types delivered by SAP as templates to structure your project documentation or you can create your own documentation types. Each documentation type has a unique ID. There are two types of project documentation, such as the following:

  • Project-specific documentation. This documentation type is valid only for the project to which it is assigned.
  • Cross-project documentation. You can identify this documentation type by the Global Doc. indicator.

You can create a template for project documentation in the Documentation Types tab. The template enables you to define the appearance and format of your documentation. You can use this template to create new documents during the Business Blueprint and Realization phases. Documentation templates are stored in the local Knowledge Warehouse of the Solution Manager and not in SAP Script tables. If needed, you can define further attributes for the documentation types: Global Doc, Several Documents Allowed, File Extension, or CI Template (Customer Input).

The SAP Solution Manager contains a transport function for template projects. You can supervise change requests for your project in the Project Administration transaction. If you selected logical components for the project and defined at least a development system, all customizing subprojects are displayed in this tab. You can generate the corresponding Project IMGs and distribute the central project data (general data, project members, project standards, country selection) for these Customizing projects.

When the Project IMGs are generated in component systems, everything is initially set in scope. The green and red traffic lights indicate if Project IMGs have already been generated and the corresponding data distributed. Project IMG in application component is assigned the same name as the project in the Solution Manager system.

Business Blueprint

The purpose of this phase is to create the Business Blueprint, which is detailed documentation of the business process requirements of the company, both functional and technical. Standard SAP business scenarios will be employed because they are delivered with predefined implementation content. At the end of this Phase 2, a Business Blueprint document should be generated and discussed for approval or modifications. The Business Blueprint provides a general understanding of how an enterprise's business processes should be mapped in one or more SAP systems. The purpose of the Business Blueprint is to document in detail the scope of business scenarios, business processes, process steps, and the requirements of a SAP implementation.

The Business Blueprint functions within the SAP Solution Manager can be accessed from the user menu, selecting Business Blueprint, or alternatively using transaction code SOLAR01. You will continue using the Business Blueprint in the Solution Manager during the Realization phase (configuration and testing) because it will use the same project structure you created in the Business Blueprint phase to configure and generate test plans. Defining the Business Blueprint enables you to document the business processes that you want to use in your SAP system. You create a project structure in which relevant business scenarios, business Processes, and process tasks are organized in a hierarchical structure.

You can also create project documentation to assign to individual scenarios, processes, or process steps. To define how business processes should run in SAP systems, you need to assign transactions to each process task. Additionally, the transactions that you assign to process tasks in the Business Blueprint are placed in test plans during test plan generation. The transactions can be processed as function tests to test the transactions. Tests are being carried to check if the transaction exists in the component systems. The SAP Solution Manager provides central access to the list of business processes as a starting point for the project scope.

When creating the Business Blueprint, customers select the preconfigured business processes they want to evaluate or implement or they can also create their own business processes. Based on the scenarios selected in the scope, the corresponding Business Process Repository (BPR) content is made available. Using the BPR, as introduced earlier, you get

  • Scenario documentation
  • Transaction assignments
  • IMG assignments
  • Configuration guides
  • Predefined test cases

The Business Blueprint consists of the following structure items that are organized in a hierarchical structure:

  • Organizational units
  • Masterdata
  • Business scenarios
  • Business processes
  • Process steps

You assign content, for example, project documentation, Business Configuration Sets, or transactions, to individual structure items in the SAP Solution Manager. You can also create structure items for organizational units and master data below a business scenario. You use these structure items only if the organizational units and master data are relevant exclusively for the business process above them in the structure. All the levels of this structure can be modified to represent an entire specific solution.

You can use the Structure tab to create or change the project structure in which organizational units, master data, business scenarios, processes, and process steps are listed. For organizational units, master data, and process tasks, you need to specify the component in the system landscape to which the structure item belongs. You cannot specify a component for business processes, because a few business processes run across components. Assignment of components is performed at the process task level, If you chose a predefined structure item from the Business Process Repository, the system specifies the components for the system.

You can maintain new or changed structure items on the Project Documentation and Transactions tabs by assigning documents to scenarios, business processes, and process tasks. There are many other functions within the Business Blueprint that you can use to facilitate the process of defining the specific scenarios or solution to be implemented, such as copying structure elements, pointing to existing documentation, display and modifying the graphic, and so on.

Realization

After the Business Blueprint is complete and signed-off, the next phase, Realization, proceeds with configuring the related system landscape and performing development work to meet the defined requirements. Once configuration work is complete, the testing process should be defined, organized, executed, and documented to validate system performance. The Realization phase uses the same structure previously defined in the Blueprint phase, and within the Solution Manager, the available tools for this phase are accessed using transaction code SOLAR02. For the Realization phase, you can accomplish the following tasks with the SAP Solution Manager:

  • Configure the specific solution defined in the scope and in the Business Blueprint using the IMG (Implementation Guide) and the Business Configuration Sets (BC Sets).
  • Automatically distribute configuration options across components. This makes sense just for similar components or business processes.
  • Organize and assign test cases (for example CATTs, eCATTS or manual test cases) to specific processes which can later be executed and reviewed using the Test Workbench.

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