SAP NetWeaver Magazine recently surveyed its readers about performance and testing tools on SAP NetWeaver projects to determine the challenges they face and how they evaluate these tools. When asked about their primary challenges associated with performance and testing, nearly two-thirds of the respondents Unamed improving productivity (65%) while finding knowledgeable, experienced resources (61%) came in a close second. Almost half of the respondents said that finding the right tools or project accelerators (47%) was a major challenge.
Since nearly three-quarters of our readers are currently testing an SAP NetWeaver-based project (71%), these responses become even more important. More than half of these projects include implementing a new application (53%) such as mySAP Customer Relationship Management, SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence, or SAP Supply Chain Management, while more than a third of them (36%) involve upgrading to mySAP ERP.
When asked how they measure their system’s performance, more than three-quarters (77%) of the respondents said that system availability is a key indicator; three-quarters (75%) use transaction response time as a significant statistic; slightly less than three-quarters (73%) look to system reliability as a guide; and two-thirds (67%) look to the efficiency and speed of business processes to be their bellwether.
Interestingly, nearly two-thirds (61%) of our respondents use SAP Solution Manager as a monitoring and testing tool for their SAP NetWeaver systems. More than half of those also use third-party tools. Only about a fifth (21%) of the respondents employ only third-party tools.
The pages of this supplement provide information on some of the products and companies that can help you with your performance and testing tool needs.
SAP Solution Manager Now Includes the Industry’s Leading Java Management Tool: Introscope®
With its support for Java and Web services, SAP NetWeaver creates an extremely powerful and flexible platform for tight integration of SAP and non-SAP applications. While this offers unprecedented opportunities for automating and streamlining business processes, it dramatically increases the “moving parts” and complexity of the applications themselves. Performance and availability problems are more likely to occur, and the complexity of the applications complicates the task of finding and fixing problems. For most IT organizations, this is new technology that requires your Basis, SAP NetWeaver Portal, SAP NetWeaver Exchange Infrastructure (SAP NetWeaver XI), and other application management teams to learn new skills and develop a different way of approaching problem diagnosis and resolution.
To help SAP customers meet this challenge and accelerate their deployments, SAP and CA’s Wily Technology division extended their relationship in August of 2006 to provide an SAP-specific Wily Introscope license to all SAP customers. SAP customers can now use Introscope, the leading Web application performance management solution, to gain visibility into the Java components within SAP NetWeaver, including SAP NetWeaver Portal, SAP NetWeaver XI, SAP Employee Self-Service/Manager’s Self-Service (SAP ESS/MSS), SAP Internet Pricing and Configurator (SAP IPC), and more.
Introscope Capabilities Provided by SAP
The Wily Introscope license includes the SAP-built Introscope dashboards (see below) and the performance metrics that SAP’s Active Global Support (AGS) has relied upon since early 2005 to diagnose production-application performance problems. Now, SAP customers have access to the same optimized version of Introscope that AGS has used to monitor and manage their critical applications in real time, so performance problems can be solved quickly or avoided altogether.
|An example of an SAP-designed dashboard in Wily Introscope for SAP NetWeaver, to help administrators triage Java application performance problems.
SAP customers using Introscope will gain visibility into three key types of data:
1. Response times: Measure the time necessary for a specific component to load (for example, the time taken for a specific iView to load within SAP NetWeaver Portal).
2. Number of invocations: Measure the number of times a specific Java class or method is called. This data can be used to determine how many users are using specific SAP NetWeaver components and correlate this usage volume to response times.
3. Type of calls: Figure out SAP NetWeaver component calls to a specific back-end system. For example, an SAP NetWeaver XI call can be watched as it makes a call to an SAP R/3 application.
With this visibility, SAP customers can optimize the performance of their Java-based applications and quickly detect and resolve performance problems when they occur.
Build on SAP Solution Manager Foundation
Most companies deploying SAP NetWeaver gradually deploy or migrate to Java-based modules such as SAP NetWeaver Portal in small steps. The visibility provided by the SAP-specific Introscope (which is now part of SAP Solution Manager 4.0) is excellent for diagnosing the performance problems that may occur with these modules. However, the SAP-specific Introscope license does not include visibility into custom Java applications or connections to back-end systems that typically increase in number as the deployment matures.
SAP customers can contact Wily to extend the Introscope visibility provided by SAP to include non-SAP systems, custom code, and third-party back ends into one single view. Wily can provide three key areas of expanded visibility and capabilities for Introscope:
1. Expand visibility beyond the SAP environment: Follow a transaction from start to finish and identify the root cause of any performance bottlenecks, whether they occur in the Web server, identity manager, database, interface to Microsoft .NET, or SAP NetWeaver Application Server (SAP NetWeaver AS).
2. Set alert thresholds that are aligned with your business goals and service-level agreements (SLAs): Each customer environment is unique, and for peak effectiveness the alerts and threshold settings should be unique, too. Custom alerts can warn of changes in your environment and trigger specific actions based on those thresholds.
3. Develop customized views: Create dashboard views that reflect your IT environment, or create views appropriate for each stakeholder, from the CIO to the line-of-business owner to the operations and development teams.
Get Started Today
To start using Introscope today, visit SAP Service marketplace to download the software and review SAP Note 797147 for installation instructions. By installing the SAP-specific Introscope components for SAP Solution Manager, an SAP customer can view the same performance and availability metrics used by SAP AGS to resolve SAP NetWeaver Portal, SAP ESS, SAP Computer Services Solutions (SAP CSS), mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM), Web Dynpro, and SAP NetWeaver XI performance problems. If you have further questions or are interested in customizing Introscope for greater visibility, please contact Wily’s SAP response center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sr. VP Global Marketing Redwood Software
Data Center Optimization Through Event-Driven Process Automation: Enhanced Real-Time, Event-Driven Management of SAP and Non-SAP Systems
Automating Operations Across Environments
IT organizations have always looked for ways to reduce the cost of running the corporate data center. Many technologies exist to make this a realistic goal, and the starting point is automation. Like most IT-related functions, automation is not a new idea and various aspects such as data backup and environmental control have been automated for years. There is an increasing focus on the move toward consolidation of automated operations across disparate environments and platforms. The key here is process automation: the provision of a central point for integrating and controlling the execution of application processes — in the right order and under the right conditions.
SAP Central Job Scheduling by Redwood, a core integrated component of the SAP NetWeaver® stack, is one of the latest applications available from SAP. It provides SAP customers with a central point of control for all IT workload processing — not just within the SAP landscape but also across non-SAP applications and operating-system-level tasks.
Increasing System Performance, Reducing Hardware Costs
SAP Central Job Scheduling by Redwood offers customers the ability to increase productivity, reduce hardware costs, and increase system performance by delivering on key objectives such as “lights out” operations, data center optimization, “fast close” end-of-period processing, and streamlined consolidation of multiple SAP implementations. Now, your IT organization can move toward the kind of reliability and flexibility that is critical to reduce manual intervention and improve resource utilization; for example:
- Integration of processing across disparate environments
- Parallel processing to reduce elapsed time and latency
- Dynamic scheduling allowing real-time adjustments to workload based on conditions prevailing at the time of and during execution
- Optimization of IT resources by dynamically balancing workload across the available systems, including support for SAP Adaptive Computing and Grid environments
- Detection of failed processes and context-specific automated recovery actions
- Real-time business event-driven processing
|Architecture for SAP Central Job Scheduling by Redwood
Improving Data Center Operations Through Automation
Event-driven process automation is where real innovation can be applied to take data center optimization even further. SAP Central Job Scheduling by Redwood removes the boundaries imposed by time- and date-based scheduling solutions. The occurrence of actionable business events such as an online user transaction, an incoming file transfer of a customer order, or the receipt of an email can be used to trigger subsequent workload processing in the context of the event that has occurred. Thus, the processes required to fulfill an order for a specific customer can be executed as soon as the order is received, not at some artificially defined “end-of-day batch-processing” time. Chains of related tasks can be constructed to optimize workflow and reflect business requirements, breaking down the communication barriers that previously existed between applications and environments. In this example, the benefits are that the customer receives his or her order more quickly, contention for processing is spread throughout the day, optimum use is made of the available resources, and background-processing window requirements are reduced. See the Actebis sidebar for an example of how a real customer achieved this.
Actebis Improves Order Fulfillment with SAP Central Job Scheduling by Redwood
IT and telecommunications equipment distributor Actebis receives in excess of 5,000 orders a day. In a highly competitive market with demanding customers expecting prompt delivery, Actebis recognized that it needed a solution that would help it achieve 100 percent next-day order fulfillment.
The real-time, event-driven capabilities of SAP Central Job Scheduling by Redwood enable orders to be passed to the warehouse application for processing as soon as they arrive, having a significant positive impact on the business and helping Actebis to achieve its business goals.
The advanced automation techniques provided by SAP Central Job Scheduling by Redwood and implemented by Redwood Software enable SAP customers to create a centralized automation infrastructure that lays the foundation for fully optimizing single or distributed corporate data centers and provide efficiencies that reduce costs and increase productivity.
Benefits of SAP Central Job Scheduling by Redwood
- Increases productivity, simplifies cross-enterprise management, and reduces training needs: Provides a single interface for management of all IT workload including full integration with SAP Solution Manager
- Reduces risk of errors and increases throughput: Enables automated workload processing across all environments and composite applications
- Streamlines processing and increases service-level compliance: Delivers integration across all SAP, non-SAP, and composite applications
- Improves overall operational efficiency: Permits integration with operating-system-level workload (such as system backup)
- Improves responsiveness: Provides real-time, event-driven workload automation based on external activities such as incoming file transfers, business and system events, or environmental metrics (CPU load or paging rates)
- Optimizes resource utilization, throughput, and service-level compliance: Delivers high availability and dynamic balancing of workload across all available resources
- Reduces the time needed to detect and respond to exceptions: Permits automated error recovery across related applications plus integration with systems management frameworks
For more information visit: www.sap.com/centraljobscheduling.
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