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Handling custom development in SAP Solution Manager

by The Tip Doctor

May 27, 2010

The Tip Doctor, Insider Learning Network

This is just one of four questions that Marcel van den Top, Independent SAP Project Manager and SAP Solution Manager Specialist, addresses in the article, "4 Top Custom Development Questions Answered," that was originally posted to Solution Manager Expert in January 2010. For the full article, click here.

While helping my clients get started with SAP Solution Manager, and as a speaker and educator on the tool, I’ve heard many questions about how to best handle custom development within SAP Solution Manager. In this tip, see my answer to one of the four most commonly asked questions about custom development.

Q: What is the value of mapping development objects to business scenarios on the Development tab in transaction SOLAR02?

A: Most companies start off using SAP Solution Manager project implementation functions with transaction SOLAR01 — defining the scope of the implementation in terms of business processes and transactions, as well as loading design documentation to the implementation project or template. Unfortunately, many companies stop there.

You can realize a lot more value by continuing to build up the solution, template, or project in SAP Solution Manager using transaction SOLAR02. With it, you can continue to build your inventory by logging the completed configuration to tailor and enable standard functions and by linking all t he custom objects developed to extend the delivered functionality (described in the last series of bullet points in this section). In effect, you will document the business purpose of each custom object by placing each one within the business process that uses the object. The structure built during the Blueprint becomes the backbone for a complete inventory of all the objects that come into play for each business process.

A complete and up-to-date inventory of all transactions, programs, and reports aligned to business processes has many benefits, including:

 - Improved knowledge transfer: New users or support staff can see all steps in the process for which they are responsible without relying on documents that are likely to become out of date

 - Efficient troubleshooting: You have a list of items to check if a business process stops working properly

 - More accurate what-if analysis: You can review what you will need to test and possibly adapt when considering a business process change

 - Upgrade preparedness: One of the biggest tasks when performing an upgrade is determining what you need to test, what you need to fix, and what you can retire. If you’ve kept your custom development inventory up to date, you have a good head start.

 - Change management: Once you create your inventory, you can include steps in your change management process to keep a running log of changes to the objects. This object change history also pays off for troubleshooting — and, in fact, for all the items listed above.

 - More complete test scenarios: Selecting business processes to include in a test scenario automatically includes the linked custom objects. These custom objects are arguably the most important items to test thoroughly.

Here are the basic steps for establ ishing links to custom development:

1. Use transaction SOLAR02. Select the relevant node from the structure on the left, which you should have created in transaction SOLAR01. I recommend you select either a business process or process step.

2. Click the Development tab

3. Select the type of development object in the Type column, such as program or transaction code

4. Enter the name of your object or use the match code to select an existing object from the logical component assigned to the process step

5. Assign a status and a development manager, if known at this time

About Marcel van den Top: Marcel van den Top has 14 years of experience in analysis, design, and implementation of business information systems. Marcel has gained his knowledge about SAP Solution Manager through SAP projects in different industries — as an SAP ERP Financials consultant, integration manager, project manager, and advisor. 


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