August 12, 2021

Challenges before and after a system copy

AuthorFranz Diegruber

Many IT professionals know this time-consuming task: for adequate and consistent testing and acceptance of changes in programs and processes, SAP recommends a regular "Homogeneous System Copy." After taking a look at manual system copies in general in the blog post „System copy – Manual vs. Automated“ we now look at the challenges of this task.

System copies: What are the general challenges?

First of all, a (manual) system copy means enormous effort from internal or external SAP Basis professionals in addition to the unavailability of the target systems for operational and project teams.

Secondly, the basic core of a homogeneous system copy consists of performing a large number of standardized and manual pre- and post-processing steps in a specific sequence. Depending on the operating system and database management system, the steps to be performed can also differ significantly.

In the environment of complex structures of interrelated environments, it is also necessary to be able to update the complete landscapes consistently in order to be able to test business processes end-to-end.

Typical challenges of system and complete landscape copies:

  • Manual Procedures: Many system/landscape copy activities are performed manually by SAP Basis administrators and require the time and attention of highly trained (and expensive) SAP specialists. To avoid downtime, this is often done on weekends or at night.
  • Inconsistent results: Any manual process runs the risk of performing activities in different ways. Also, some tables may not be updated to the latest version. The result is a QA system that does not adequately reflect the productive system.
  • Large number of SAP systems: : The increasing number of SAP systems means that copies have to be made several times a year for a single SAP system.
  • No optimisation: Some activities, such as the BDLS run, can be significantly optimized by using intelligent tools. Once an activity is standardized and automated, very efficient optimizations and performance improvements can often be realized.
  • Testing without up-to-date data: Some companies have already capitulated to these challenges and no longer update their QA environments at all. This results in a clear business risk, as tests and releases of critical changes are performed on systems that no longer correspond to the current production environments.
  • Settings in the individual system must be restored as they were before the system copy.
  • Interface definitions must again fit the landscape accordingly.
  • The state of transaction data must be consistent across the landscape.

Because of these challenges, the processes involved in preparation, execution, and post-processing must be clearly defined and executed in the correct sequence. The large number of steps and the associated complexity should be recognized and taken into account by every SAP professional.

Despite a defined process, however, errors can still occur at any time. In this case, a decision must be made as to whether the copy should be continued or the process restarted. Whether for a sole system copy, the combination of system and client copy, a single line or complex landscapes, Libelle AG offers an easy-to-use solution that helps to master the above challenges in an automated way -Libelle SystemCopy. Find out more now and get your free whitepaper.

HANA, advanced training, etc.: A look into the future of SAP professionals

Many administrators and consultants who have experience with system and landscape copies are aware of the complexity and duration of this process. One reason for this lies in the SAP environments themselves, as the scope of typical SAP landscapes has always evolved.

From quite straightforward ABAP-based SAP R/3® software to complex, service-oriented architectures with any number of extension options and a broad portfolio of applications. Starting with the standard ERP to the most diverse specialised modules. In addition, new technologies - such as most recently the conversion to HANA - are constantly finding their way into the infrastructures. These are operated partly independently, partly in parallel, and partly already with dependencies on/to the conventional structures.

With the improved capabilities and scalability of today's SAP landscapes, administrators and system managers face many challenges in the face of growing complexity. Thus, these responsible persons must always educate themselves and keep an eye on the market in order to be prepared for the next one, even after the system copy.

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