Wednesday, 03 April 2019 17:08

Prevent ABAP conflicts before they appear Featured

It is beyond debate that processes, and data hosted in SAP are one of a company’s most valuable assets. Organizations cannot afford (avoidable) outages caused by miss communication or a lack of coordination amongst project teams.

In reality, challenges do occur frequently, and conflicts get resolved at the level of execution. Individuals, let us call them "Heroes" of a project, resolve such incidents before the impact surfaces to the management. Which is a pity, since those heroes spend valuable working time, solving problems that must not occur.

One of the many challenges an SAP© release manager needs to master:

Developer A changes function module XYZ and releases the corresponding transport request to the test-bed shortly after the change has been implemented. The tester takes it up and perform the validation. At this time developer B comes into the picture and applies yet another change in the source code of function module XYZ. Developer B did not check, whether the object was changed recently and is thus unaware of the previous change, which did not yet pass testing either. Unfortunately, the tester found a glitch in the first change and informs developer A to fix the defect. Developer A corrects the issue but does not know developer B recently applied a code change… which is exactly how many overtake, and downgrade scenarios find their origin.

Unless one retains the object lock, like Solution Managers ChaRM, until an object is successfully tested, this could end up in a very complicated and dangerous situation. That is why it is so important to keep an eye on SAP development objects and configuration which did not yet reach the final production stage!

Once the dependency gets recognized it is already too late! Additional efforts are needed to analyze the situation and to create a safe import sequence for the go-live.

Predictive analysis

It is always better to know what is coming before it even arrives! Organizations already use predictive analytics to master complicated topics like capacity planning. The same can be used to eliminate unplanned outages!

Transport Center provides such a predictive feature, fully integrated within the SAP development process. At the moment a developer changes an object, our predictive algorithm is triggered, checking whether a previous version of the same object is still travelling through the landscape. Whenever an earlier version of an object did not reach its final deployment stage, the developer receives an instant notification, before even applying a single change within the system!

Need to know

The dependency awareness, triggered in an early phase of the implementation cycle, enables teams to pro-actively communicate. Dependencies will no longer trigger unpleasant issues at the time of testing or production deployment.

Step by step

A developer navigates to any transaction that allows changing the SAP repository or data dictionary objects. In this example we use the ABAP code editor, accessible via the transaction SE38.

Navigate to SE38

At the time the developer opens an object in edit-mode, a predictive analysis is triggered. The algorithm checks for transports containing the same object. A warning will be displayed only when the object is contained in a transport request that was not imported into all systems of the current system line.

Open the edit-mode

In case the object is still "locked" by an earlier version travelling through the landscape, without having reached production, the following screen is shown, before the developer even gains editing rights! The view consolidates all information relevant for preventing conflicts and analyzing deployment dependencies.

Object Lock screen

Christoph Nagy

Christoph Nagy

My name is Christoph Nagy. I am founder and managing director of ABEX - NCMI GmbH. We develop strategic security solutions for our customers, enabling them to perform automated analysis of security settings and to detect cyber-attacks against SAP© in real-time.

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