What does an SAP Basis Consultant do, and how to become one?

Firstly, what is SAP Basis?

SAP Basis is not a product but a term used to represent the technical aspects of SAP operations. It includes middleware programs and tools that allow SAP applications to communicate with each other and with other systems and databases.

In other words, an SAP Basis consultant is a technical consultant who operates and manages an organisation’s SAP applications. Basis consultants are also called SAP Technical consultants or SAP system administrators.

You can watch the same content as a YouTube video

What are the responsibilities of an SAP Basis Consultant?

Basis consultants are responsible for all the technical aspects of an SAP system. That includes,

  • Installing and configuring SAP applications.
  • Installing and administering databases such as HANA, Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, Sybase, etc.
  • Managing backup and restore.
  • Setting up high-availability and disaster recovery SAP systems.
  • Performing SAP system copies and client copies.
  • Updating SAP systems with support packs, patches, notes and enhancement packs.
  • Creating and managing batch jobs.
  • Configuring SAP transport management systems.
  • Setting up technical monitoring and other automation.
  • Setting up RFC connections between multiple SAP applications.
  • Setting up Single Sign On.
  • Analyse the logs and troubleshoot issues.

On top of this, a Basis consultant should have a good understanding of operating systems like Windows Server and Linux. And they should also have a good understanding of the computer network concepts like routers, firewalls, DNS servers, VPN technologies, etc.

Are SAP Basis consultants different from SAP ABAP programmers?

Yes, SAP Basis or technical administration is different from being a programmer. As we saw before, a Basis Consultant manages the technical aspects of an SAP system. In contrast, an ABAP programmer will design, develop and test ABAP programs and ensure the written code follows the best practices in performance, reliability and security.

Some skills overlap with each other, though. Usually, ABAP programmers have some basic understanding of the SAP technical administration and Basis administrators possess at least a basic understanding of how ABAP programs work. This will help both consultants to excel in their day-to-day work.

How to learn SAP Basis?

SAP offers a System Administration course called [ADM100](https://training.sap.com/course/adm100-system-administration-i-of-sap-s4hana-and-sap-business-suite-classroom-023-in-en/?). It is one of the most famous and longest-running courses SAP offers in the technical space.

It is a detailed course covering almost all technical administration aspects of an SAP system.

It contains topics such as

  • Fundamentals of SAP Technical Architecture
  • System configuration
  • Database Administration
  • RFC communications
  • Job processing
  • System monitoring, etc.

This can be an expensive course, but please note this is an official course offered by SAP. So you can be assured that you will receive value for your money, and this course is highly reputable among the SAP ecosystem.

Apart from this, plenty of free and paid materials are available online, using which you can learn the technical aspects of SAP system administration.

Start with YouTube videos and cost-effective courses on platforms like Udemy before attending official SAP training and certifications, as that might be expensive.

Before joining any course, please make sure it is a legitimate one.

What does the job prospect of SAP Basis consultants look like?

The simple answer is the future looks bright for SAP Basis Consultants / SAP Technical Consultants. The Bureau of Labour Statistics projects a 10% increase in jobs for SAP basis consultants from 2020 to 2030.

However, knowing the technical aspects of SAP systems alone will not be enough going forward. A lot of organisations are moving towards the cloud model. So, SAP technical consultants are expected to know about the working models of the Infrastructure as Service technology like MS Azure, Amazon AWS and Google Cloud.

Understanding the overall solution architecture, change management methodology and cloud integration concepts would boost your job opportunities.

As a basis consultant, you must collaborate with business users and customers to troubleshoot their issues. So, having good communication skills is essential. Writing good work emails, and technical documents, improving your presentation skills and developing a positive attitude will help you land a significant role in your dream company.

Please like and share this blog with your friends and leave a comment if you have any questions.

What is SAP Fiori?

Introduction

SAP Fiori is a set of guidelines that specify how an SAP program should behave regarding user experience. It is a user experience concept and not a technology. It only changes the look and feel of a user interface.

My YouTube video about SAP Fiori

SAP UI5 is the coding language for creating Fiori apps. It is a JavaScript framework and UI library that enables developers to build cross-platform enterprise-ready web applications quickly. It includes over 500 UI controls that align with the most recent SAP Fiori design.

SAP UI5 can be easily learnt if you are familiar with other JavaScript frameworks like React, Node.js, Angular, etc.

What is the purpose of SAP Fiori?

SAP is well known for so many good things. It is a robust application that contains all the major business processes for an organization to run successfully. But SAPGUI (SAP’s user interface for its legacy applications like ECC) is also known for its unintuitive user experience that looks medieval compared to other latest software applications.

The other problem SAP has is the inconsistency of its user experience among the different software applications it offers.

Over the past few years, SAP acquired many software products such as SuccessFactors, Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass, Hybris and many more. They all have been created using different programming languages, and the user interface looks different.

SAP wanted to provide a consistent user experience for its customers among all their different types of software applications and hence created Fiori.

In a nutshell, SAP Fiori’s purpose is to create an intuitive, easy-to-use user interface for all SAP applications. It provides a consistent user experience across all SAP applications, thereby saving time by removing the need to navigate around in needlessly complex and unintuitive user interfaces.

What are the advantages of using Fiori?

Unified user experience – Fiori provides a common user interface framework across multiple SAP applications. This will reduce the training efforts, and the users can quickly grasp an application’s concept and working process from a user interface perspective.

Responsive – Fiori is built using a JavaScript framework called SAP UI5. It is responsive, meaning the web app and UI components will automatically adapt to the type of device it is being viewed on.

Embedded analytics – With SAP S/4HANA, transactions and analytics exist together in a single platform enabling business users to conduct business and perform real-time analytics on live transactional data. SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics is a collection of analytics features and predefined and pre-packaged self-service data representations (i.e., virtual data models) to derive real-time, actionable insights from the data without worrying about the underlying data structure.

Better user experience – The older SAP GUI user interface was cumbersome to use. It was transaction based and was complex to perform many operations. Whereas Fiori is web-based and includes standard UI components like text boxes, check boxes, radio buttons, drop downs, etc., that users are familiar with. It is simple and easy to use, so users can finish their work quickly, improving productivity.

Is Fiori the primary user interface for S/4HANA?

While S/4HANA can be technically used with SAP GUI (SAP’s desktop client-based graphical user interface), for the customers to take full advantage of S/4HANA’s capabilities, they have to access it using FIORI (SAP’s user experience product). For example, functionalities such as robotic process automation and embedded analytics cannot be used using SAP GUI. FIORI apps are also available for the ECC system, but they are limited in numbers and functionality.

Deployment options

SAP Fiori consists of components that must be installed on the front-end server (NetWeaver gateway) and the backend system (ECC or S/4HANA). The SAP Fiori front-end server is an add-on product for SAP NetWeaver Application Server for ABAP (AS ABAP). It delivers the technology software components for the front end required to run SAP Fiori apps with the necessary stack definition. The front-end server and the back-end system will communicate with each other with the help of OData services.

The OData services are a must for using SAP Fiori apps since they fetch the business data from the back-end system for usage in the SAP Fiori apps. OData is a standardized protocol for establishing and consuming data APIs. OData is built upon fundamental protocols like HTTP and REST. OData is used by the SAP Fiori apps to display data from the back end and to update data back there.

From a technical perspective, SAP Fiori can be deployed in three different ways.

  1. Embedded model
  2. Standalone hub model
  3. SAP BTP model

Embedded model:

In the embedded model, the Fiori front-end server is deployed into the AS ABAP of a back-end system. All the required components are deployed in the same back-end system. This model reduces the number of deployed systems, making them less complex to implement.

This is the best approach if you have only one S/4HANA or one ECC system and will not use Fiori for any other SAP on-premises system.

Standalone hub model:

A dedicated AS ABAP front-end server is deployed in a standalone system in front of the back-end system.

This method offers central enablement of OData access for multiple SAP application back-end systems.

You can use one central Fiori front-end system and connect to multiple back-end SAP on-premises systems, thus offering Fiori apps for all the SAP systems in your environment. Fiori Launchpad can be the single entry point for all these SAP systems.

This is the best approach if you have multiple SAP on-premises systems in your landscape and would like to implement Fiori for all of them.

SAP BTP model:

In this scenario, the SAP Fiori front-end server is deployed in the cloud as SAP Fiori Cloud, integrated with on-premises applications using the cloud connector. This option is possible for an on-premises system landscape with all SAP Fiori front-end server components deployed in the cloud on the SAP Business Technology Platform.

These three deployment options have pros and cons, and detailed analysis must occur before deciding on the best possible model for your SAP landscape.

Fiori Apps reference library:

This is a great place to learn about all the standard SAP Fiori apps you would like to implement. You can filter the apps based on the product, line of business, industry, etc. When you select the app you are interested in, it will provide the product features, implementation information and the prerequisites required to implement that particular app.

And in the Fiori apps reference library’s home page, an option to get Fiori apps recommendations based on your system usage is available.

To get the recommendations, download the usage statistics from ST03N transaction from your S/4HANA or ECC system and upload it to this tool. Then it will Analyse all the SAP transactions currently used in your ERP system, map those transactions to the standard Fiori apps available in the library and provide you with recommendations. This recommendation will save you time as you don’t have to analyze the apps available in the library manually.

How to learn Fiori:

There are free and paid options available through which you can learn Fiori.

The first one is OpenSAP courses. They are open-source free tutorials conducted by SAP on various SAP topics. I searched for Fiori, and I was able to find a few classes. It is free for anyone to register and consume the courses. Each course has a test at the end, and if you pass the test, you can receive a certificate.

SAP Community:

There are multiple topic pages available on the SAP community website that are dedicated to Fiori. Here you will be able to find blogs, tutorials, webinars, and events that are related to Fiori. You will also be able to ask questions to the community and collaborate with other Fiori developers.

SAP Help Portal:

SAP Help Portal is a great place to learn about different types of SAP products. They contain a lot of information in an easy-to-read format.

They also consist of a few learning journeys related to Fiori administration, Fiori cloud and Fiori app development.

Some of the training and courses mentioned in this learning journey are paid and might require a subscription.

Conclusion:

SAP Fiori is an integral part of SAP’s user interface strategy. It provides a consistent user experience across different types of SAP products. It also enables the possibility of advanced functionalities like embedded analytics for your ERP system. Fiori is the fundamental user experience for S/4HANA, and if you plan to work in that space, then it is worthwhile to learn how to implement the Fiori apps.

If you find this useful, please share it with your friends.

What is SAP HANA? | In-memory Database

Hello friends, welcome to my blog. My name is Aroon, and in this post, we are going to discuss about SAP HANA, which is the in-memory database from SAP.

You can also watch a video about SAP HANA on my YouTube channel

Please subscribe to the blog by entering your email address and get notified every time I post a new blog post about SAP and other interesting topics. You can do that on the “Blog” page on my website (scroll down to the bottom of the page)

Now let us get into the topic.

SAP HANA stands for High-performance Analytic Appliance. It is an in-memory database.

Before we get into the details of SAP HANA, let us take a look at what is an in-memory database?

An in-memory database is a database that keeps data in memory rather than on a disc.

The primary distinction between traditional and in-memory databases is where the data is stored. Even when compared to solid-state drives (SSD), random access memory (RAM) is faster than disc access. Because an in-memory database uses RAM for storage, data access is much faster than a traditional database that uses disc operations.

In-memory databases are used in applications where faster access to data is required. It is commonly used in applications like real-time analytics, weather predictions, IoT and Gaming, to name a few.

The main downside of an in-memory database is data loss due to power failure. Since RAM is volatile, the data in the RAM will be lost when the power is turned off.

To address this issue, most in-memory database systems offer persistence.

Transaction logging is used to accomplish this. An in-memory database image is saved on the disk during a normal shutdown. The previously saved image is loaded when the application is reopened, and every transaction committed to the in-memory database is appended to a transaction log file. If the system crashes, the database can be restored by reloading the original database image and replaying the transactions from the transaction log file.

Okay, now let us talk about what is SAP HANA?

As mentioned before, SAP HANA is an in-memory database, and as a result, you can run advanced analytics in real-time and offer high-speed transaction capabilities.

It allows businesses to process massive amounts of data with near-zero latency, query data in real-time, and become truly data-driven. SAP HANA is unique – and significantly faster than other database management systems (DBMS) on the market today – because it stores data in column-based tables in main memory and combines online analytical processing (OLAP) and online transactional processing (OLTP).

It was introduced in 2010, and it provides advanced search, analytics, and data integration capabilities for all types of data – structured and unstructured – in addition to acting as a database server, storing and retrieving data requested by applications. It also serves as an application server, assisting businesses in developing intelligent, insight-driven applications based on real-time data, in-memory computing, and machine learning technology. These capabilities are available in the cloud as well as on-premise. SAP HANA simplifies IT, helps businesses innovate, and lowers costs by combining multiple data management capabilities and making all data instantly available from a single system.

Now, let’s look at the benefits of the SAP HANA database.

The SAP HANA database provides far more advantages than simply storing, serving, and providing a single source of truth. The following are the top ten advantages of SAP HANA, both on-premises and with SAP HANA Cloud:

Database services, advanced analytical processing, application development, and data integration are all included.

In large production applications, queries are answered in less than a second.

Versatile: Supports hybrid transactional and analytical processing, as well as a wide range of data types

Efficient: Offers a smaller data footprint with no data duplication, advanced compression, and data silos reduction.

Effective: Uses a massively parallel processing (MPP) database to query large datasets quickly.

Scalable: Scales easily for data volume and concurrent users in a distributed environment.

Flexible: Deploys in public or private clouds, multiple clouds, on-premises, or hybrid scenarios.

Simple: Advanced data virtualization provides a single gateway to your data.

Intelligent: Adds machine learning to applications and analytics (ML)

Secure: Provides comprehensive data and application security, fast setup and other features.

Something to note is that SAP S/4HANA, SAP’s next-generation ERP product, can run only on the SAP HANA database and not on any other databases.

What is SAP HANA Express Edition?

SAP offers a free version of the SAP HANA database that you can download and install on your laptop or a virtual server. It is free to use for in-memory databases of up to 32GB, and you can expand to 64, 96 or 128GB by purchasing an additional license.

You can download SAP HANA Express Edition from this website.

How can I learn more about SAP HANA?

There are so many channels available through which you can learn about SAP HANA.

The first one on that list is through SAP website. Under the “Get started” tab, you will find product demos, learning paths, tutorials, online events and documentation using which you will be able to get a tonne of information about SAP HANA.

SAP Communities – If you are already not familiar, SAP Community is a free website that contains a lot of information about different SAP topics. SAP HANA is one of those topics. In SAP communities, you will be able to find blogs, tutorials, webinars and events regarding SAP HANA and other topics.

In SAP Communities home page, click “Topics” and search for “SAP HANA”

SAP Training Centre – SAP official training & certification centre offers plenty of courses and certification for SAP HANA.

Click on “Explore catalog” –> “Technology” –> “Discover SAP HANA”

You can choose the one that you are interested in and get certified as well.

On top of these, there are obviously other ways like OpenSAP courses, YouTube channels and blogs through which you can learn more about not just SAP HANA but a variety of SAP topics.

End of the blog.

P.S – I just wanted to let you know that I have recently created a course on Udemy called “Introduction to SAP – The Complete Package for Beginners“. 

This is an introduction to SAP course covering all significant aspects of SAP and its products. This course can be beneficial for someone who wants to learn about SAP. You might be a university student, a recent graduate or even an experienced professional looking to get some insights about SAP products and topics around it.

If you are interested to attend the course, just click the following link and purchase it. I am sure you will get value out of it. https://www.udemy.com/course/introduction-to-sap-the-complete-package-for-beginners/?referralCode=A772560772CCFCC917FB 

Hire To Retire Business Process Steps | Human Resource | SAP HR

Hello friends, welcome to my blog. My previous blog discussed the steps involved in a Procure to Pay business process. This blog will discuss the steps involved in a Hire to Retire business process. (HR Business Process).

You can also watch a video about this on my YouTube channel

The hire-to-retire (H2R) business process involves a series of steps and activities in the entire employee lifecycle, from when they are hired to when they retire. The H2R process typically includes the following steps:

  1. Recruitment: The first step in the H2R process is recruitment, which involves identifying the need for new employees and sourcing, screening, and selecting candidates to fill open positions.
  2. Onboarding: After a candidate has been selected, the next step is onboarding, which involves introducing the new employee to the company, its culture, and its policies and procedures.
  3. Training and development: Once the new employee is onboarded, the next step is to provide training and development opportunities to help them acquire the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in their role.
  4. Performance management: As the employee progresses in their role, the next step is to provide ongoing performance management, which involves setting goals and objectives, providing feedback, and conducting regular performance evaluations.
  5. Compensation and benefits: As part of the H2R process, it is essential to manage the employee’s compensation and benefits, including their salary, bonuses, and other rewards.
  6. Career development: In addition to providing training and development opportunities, it is also vital to support the employee’s career development, including providing opportunities for advancement and professional growth.
  7. Employee engagement: As part of the H2R process, fostering employee engagement is essential, which involves creating a positive work environment and providing opportunities for employees to contribute to the company’s success.
  8. Retention: The final step in the H2R process is retention, which involves identifying and addressing factors that may lead to employee turnover and implementing strategies to retain valuable employees.

On a high level, these are the steps that are involved in an HR business process. Software applications like SAP SuccessFactors and WorkDay are used to manage these processes.

If you are interested in learning more about SAP SuccessFactors, please check out my blog here

P.S. Check out my course on Udemy – “Introduction to SAP – The Complete Package for Beginners

Procure to Pay (P2P) Business Process Steps

In this blog, we will take a quick look at the steps and activities involved in the Procure to Pay (P2P) business process.

You can also watch a video about this on my YouTube channel

A procure-to-pay (P2P) business process is a series of steps and activities that are involved in purchasing goods and services and paying for them. The P2P process typically includes the following steps:

  1. Identify the need for goods or services: This might involve conducting a needs assessment, analyzing business requirements, or identifying opportunities for cost savings.
  2. Develop a procurement plan: Once the need for goods or services has been identified, the next step is to develop a procurement plan. This might involve identifying potential suppliers, evaluating their capabilities, and determining the best procurement approach.
  3. Issue a request for proposal (RFP): After the procurement plan has been developed, the next step is to issue a request for proposal (RFP) to potential suppliers. The RFP typically includes detailed information about the goods or services being requested and the criteria that will be used to evaluate proposals from suppliers.
  4. Evaluate proposals and select a supplier: After proposals have been received from suppliers, the next step is to evaluate them and select a supplier. This might involve conducting interviews, reviewing references, and comparing proposals to determine the best supplier based on the criteria outlined in the RFP.
  5. Place the order: Once a supplier has been selected, the next step is to place the order. This typically involves negotiating the terms and conditions of the purchase, including the price, delivery schedule, and payment terms.
  6. Receive and inspect the goods or services: After the order has been placed, the next step is to receive and inspect the goods or services. This might involve coordinating with the supplier to ensure that the goods or services are delivered on time and as specified in the purchase order.
  7. Process the invoice: After the goods or services have been received, the next step is to process the invoice. This might involve verifying that the invoice matches the purchase order, reconciling any discrepancies, and obtaining approval for payment.
  8. Make the payment: The final step in the P2P process is to make the payment. This might involve issuing a check, transferring funds electronically, or using a procurement card.

Overall, the procure-to-pay (P2P) process involves a series of steps and activities in purchasing goods and services and paying for them.

P.S. Check out my course on Udemy – “Introduction to SAP – The Complete Package for Beginners

What is WRICEF in SAP?

Hello, in this blog, let’s look at the WRICEF concept in SAP.

WRICEF is an acronym for Workflow, Reports, Interfaces, Conversions, Enhancements, and Forms in SAP. It is used to refer to the various components and objects that are involved in customizing and extending the functionality of SAP systems.

WRICEF includes the following components and objects:

Workflow:

Workflow in SAP refers to automating and managing the flow of business tasks and activities within an organization. This might include routing tasks to the appropriate users, tracking the progress of tasks, and sending notifications to stakeholders.

Let’s take this simple workflow as an example where an employee requests leave.

  • Employee requests for leave the request goes to his/her manager for approval
  • The manager approves the request
  • A notification is sent to the employee and the leave data is updated in the SAP system
  • Or the Manager might reject the leave request
  • In this case, the employee is notified and provided with an option to re-submit the request or cancel it.

Reports:

Reports in SAP are used to present data and information in a structured and organized manner. This might include creating list reports, form reports, and interactive reports, and using various formatting and layout options to present the data concisely.

Some examples of different types of reports are

  • List purchase requisitions
  • PO by material
  • Display material
  • Display serial number for materials

Interfaces:

Interfaces in SAP are used to connect SAP systems to other SAP and non-SAP systems, allowing data and information to be exchanged between them. This might include creating interfaces using various technologies and protocols, such as BAPIs, IDocs, RFCs, REST, SOAP, etc and configuring them to meet the specific needs of the organization.

Conversions:

Conversions in SAP are used to migrate data and configuration settings from one SAP system to another. This might include extracting data from the source system, transforming it to meet the requirements of the target system, and loading it into the target system. Tools like SAP Data Services and SLT can be used for this purpose.

Enhancements:

Enhancements in SAP are used to modify or extend the functionality of SAP systems without changing the underlying SAP code. This might include creating user exits, customer exits, and BADIs, and using them to add custom functionality to SAP systems. They are also called custom codes or Z transactions.

Forms:

Forms in SAP are used to create and manage the layout and design of documents, such as invoices, purchase orders, and delivery notes. This might include creating form templates, using various layouts, and formatting options, and integrating the forms with other SAP components and objects.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will respond.

Thank you and see you in another blog.

P.S. Check out my course on Udemy – “Introduction to SAP – The Complete Package for Beginners

What happens in an SAP project?

In this blog, let’s take a simplistic look at what happens in an SAP project.

SAP projects are usually complex, and the implementation might take somewhere between a few months to a few years depending on the number of solutions implemented and the complexity of the organisation.

SAP projects usually go through six different phases. They are

  • Project preparation
  • Blueprint
  • Implementation
  • Testing
  • Go-live
  • Support

Project preparation Phase

This is where the project starts and where detailed planning is done. Business processes, solutions that are required to adapt the business processes, objectives, scope, deliverables, timelines, resources, and budget all these things are planned during this phase.

This is the most crucial phase of an SAP project and attention to detail is very important as that will determine the success and failure of the project. Every small and big element must be proactively approached and discussed and must be taken into consideration while planning.

Blueprint

Blueprint workshops happen during this phase where the customer’s requirements are analysed against standard SAP Business Processes. Then the gaps will be identified, and a plan will be created about how to address those gaps.

Either the current business processes will be changed to suit SAP’s standard business processes or custom codes will be created to satisfy customer requirements in the SAP system.

Implementation Phase

Once the business processes are finalised, the technical consultants will start installing the SAP applications, whereas the functional consultants will start configuring the business processes, workflows and reports.

Any custom code that is required will be created during this phase by the developers.

Testing

This is one of the important phases of an SAP project. There are four different types of testing happens and they are

  • Unit testing
  • System Integration Testing or SIT
  • User Acceptance Testing or in UAT
  • Dress Rehearsal

Let’s take this system landscape as an example.

The functional consultants will configure the business processes in the Development system. The configuration changes will then be moved to a different client within the development system to perform the unit testing. Unit testing is the initial test that is done right after something is configured in the development system.

It is the initial, basic level of testing that is done quickly before the next level of detailed testing takes place. In this example, client 300 is the development client and client 400 is the unit testing client.

SIT

Once the unit test is successful, the changes are moved to the SIT system where System Integration Testing is done.

This system will be connected to other SAP and non-SAP applications as well. So it will allow the developers to test the end-to-end scenarios.

UAT

Once the SIT is successful, the changes will be transported to the UAT system to perform the User Acceptance Testing.

As the name implies, this is where the end users will test the business processes and configurations before giving the green light to go live.

If the user finds a bug in the configuration, they are called a defect. The defect will be resolved by the consultant in the development system, and they will follow the same process up until the UAT.

When all the UAT is completed, the project is ready for the go-live.

Dress rehearsal

But just before the actual go-live, a dress rehearsal is conducted to try it out. During the dress rehearsal, every step will be done to replicate the exact steps executed during the go-live process.

This process will help identify the issues proactively and ensures a safe go-live.

Sometimes a dedicated client will be created in the UAT system to perform the dress rehearsal, or a dedicated dress rehearsal system can also be created.

The transports will be moved to the dress rehearsal system first, followed by the data load. The time taken to perform all these steps are calculated to get an idea of how much time it will take to execute these steps during the production system’s go-live.

Then comes the actual Go-live

Once the dress rehearsal is completed, the production cutover will start.

Transports will be moved to the production system followed by the data load. Users will be unlocked, and they will be able to log in and start executing their business transactions.

Hyper care support

Usually, there will be four to six weeks of hyper-care support provided by the support team. During this time, all defects will be treated with the highest priority and will be resolved asap.

Once the hyper-care period ends, the Business as Usual (BAU) period starts and the normal support processes kick in.

On a high level, this is how an SAP project is implemented.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will respond to it.

P.S. Check out my course on Udemy – “Introduction to SAP – The Complete Package for Beginners

SAP SCM Modules & Certifications

I received a lot of comments on my YouTube video about SAP SCM asking how one can learn SAP SCM or what modules should they choose among the so many different ones that are available.

SAP Supply Chain Management is not just one application that you can learn but it is a broad term. It is further divided into different categories and there are different types of SAP applications involved under those categories.

Those categories are Design, Plan, Procure, Manufacture, Sell, Deliver, Operate, & Project Management.

Let’s take a new car manufacturing company as an example and see how these categories and SAP applications will fit in with their business model.

In the design phase, the company can use S/4HANA Research & Development application to design their new car.

Once the car is designed, they can use SAP Integrated Business Planning to plan all the logistics that are needed to start their car manufacturing process.

Once the planning is complete, they can use applications like S/4HANA Procurement & SAP Ariba to procure the raw materials and manage the vendors that are required to manufacture the car.

Then the actual manufacturing and assembling of the car happen. For this purpose, they can use SAP applications like S/4HANA Manufacturing, S/4HANA Manufacturing Execution & SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud.

Then comes the sales process. For that, they can use the S/4HANA Sales application.

Then the cars that have been sold need to be delivered to either the showrooms or to the customers directly. This is one of the trickiest parts of the end-to-end supply chain management process. For this purpose, the company can use SAP applications like SAP Extended Warehouse Management & SAP Transport Management.

The car manufacturing company will have a lot of movable and immovable assets that must be managed along with the people that provide services for the types of machinery and equipment. For that purpose, they can use SAP applications like S/4HANA Asset Management & Field Service Management.

And finally, running a car factory and manufacturing cars is no easy job. It requires highly skilled Project managers and project management tools. For this purpose, they can use SAP applications like SAP Portfolio & Project Management, SAP Product Lifecycle Costing, SAP Commercial Project Management & SAP Engineering Control Centre.

If you look at the SAP Training & Certification Centre, you will see training courses categorised into these eight categories that I just talked about. Depending on your interest, you can enrol in any of these courses, take the exam and get certified. If you ask me which of these are in high demand, my personal opinion is that S/4HANA Procurement, SAP Transport Management, SAP Extended Warehouse Management & SAP Supply Chain Planning are the highly in-demand areas.

Thank you and I will talk to you in another blog.

P.S. Check out my course on Udemy – “Introduction to SAP – The Complete Package for Beginners

Introduction to SAP Cloud ALM (SAP CALM)

Hello friends, welcome back to my blog. In this post, we will discuss SAP Cloud ALM, also called SAP CALM.

Introduction to SAP Cloud ALM – YouTube video

Introduction

When SAP released CALM, people asked if it was just a Solution Manager that is hosted in the cloud. The answer is no.

SAP CALM is a cloud application built by SAP from scratch and it is hosted on SAP BTP which stands for Business Technology Platform. If you want to learn more about SAP BTP, please check out my blog here.

So, it is not a Solution Manager that is hosted on the cloud. SAP claims CALM to have a better user experience, open APIs, cost-effective, simple & easy to configure and use.

What is ALM? or Application Lifecycle Management?

Before we get into the details about CALM, let’s take a quick look at what is Application Lifecycle Management.

ALM software consists of tools and processes that help to manage the lifecycle of a software product from product design up until the end of its life.

The lifecycle of a software product consists of different phases like requirements gathering, building, testing, deploying and operating.

So ALM software provides us with tools that can help us manage all these different phases of a software product. In other words, it can be called the software that is used to manage the development and operation of other software.

SAP Solution Manager was the famous ALM tool that was offered by SAP to its customers. It is free of cost and has got a whole lot of functionalities like application operations, business process operations, data volume management, test management, project management, change control management, process management, IT service management and much more.

But the problem with Solution Manager was it became very complex to configure these functionalities and maintain them on an ongoing basis. It was an on-premise application, so it requires resources to install, configure and maintain it which in turn costs money for the customers.

Customers were actually asking SAP for a long time to create a cloud-based ALM tool that can replace Solution Manager.

Finally, SAP has done exactly that.

As I mentioned before, SAP Cloud ALM is a cloud application. So the application is installed and maintained by SAP from a technical perspective. Right away, that makes it attractive to the customers as they don’t have to spend money installing and maintaining it.

SAP has also promised that it has made Cloud ALM, simple to configure and easy to use. So let us assume it is not as complex as Solution Manager to configure and make things work which makes it even more attractive for the customers.

So, does that mean Cloud ALM is the future? That is absolutely right. In the recently held SAP ALM summit, SAP confirmed that the Solution Manager will be supported until 2027 which means it will concentrate its effort on developing Cloud ALM going forward.

I have made a YouTube video about Solution Manager as well. Please check it out here

SAP Cloud ALM Functionalities

Its functionalities are divided mainly into two categories which are Cloud ALM for implementation and Cloud ALM for operations.

Just like any waterfall model, you design, build, test and deploy the software. After deployment, during the business-as-usual phase, you might come across issues. So, detect those incidents, analyse the root cause, resolve the problem and then automate the solution so that whenever the same issue happens again, it can be resolved without human intervention.

SAP Cloud ALM for Implementation

The above picture shows the process view of Cloud ALM for implementation.

So the steps are Design → Build → Test → Deploy.

In the design phase, you design the functionalities in the SAP system as per business requirements. Conduct fit-to-standard workshops to convert the business requirements into standard SAP processes.

Once the design is complete, you start configuring the software as per the design

Then test the configurations

And finally, deploy and go live with the product or solution.

The above picture shows the different types of technical functionalities that are covered under the Cloud ALM for the Implementation process. The ones that have a small asterisk mean those functionalities are planned to be available later.

SAP Cloud ALM for Operations

The second category is Cloud ALM for operations and the above picture is the process view.

As I mentioned before, once the product is live, you need to monitor for any issues.

Identify those issues

Then diagnose the root cause of why it occurs

resolve the issue

then automate it.

The below picture shows the technical functionalities that make the Cloud ALM for operations possible.

It has got different types of monitoring functionalities using which you can monitor end-to-end business processes, you can monitor integration between multiple SAP and non-SAP applications, performance monitoring, incident management etc.

Supported Solutions

So, what are the solutions that are supported by SAP Cloud ALM? SAP Cloud ALM was created with cloud applications in mind but it has got some functionalities that are available for on-premise S/4HANA systems as well.

SAP has provided a website that lists the different types of solutions that are supported by Cloud ALM. You can filter either based on the SAP application or based on Cloud ALM functionality. You can access the page here

SAP Cloud ALM Demo

SAP offers a free Cloud ALM demo system that anyone can access. You do not require an S user id.

As you can see on the screen, SAP has provided some predefined roles with usernames and passwords. You can use any one of these to access the relative content in the demo system.

For example, if I am a project manager, I can log in as Paul to see the functionalities related to project management that is offered by Cloud ALM.

You can access the demo page here

How to request a Cloud ALM system?

For this, you will need an S user id with admin access. Because the Cloud ALM is a cloud application. It should be linked to a customer account. So if you want to request a Cloud ALM tenant to be provisioned for your organisation, then you must create the request using your organisation’s S user id.

You just go to the Cloud ALM page in the SAP support portal. Then there is this request button. SAP says it only takes 15 mins for a Cloud ALM tenant to be provisioned for you which is excellent.

Link to request an SAP Cloud ALM tenant here

How can you learn more about the Cloud ALM?

Comparatively, Cloud ALM is still new. So SAP is still developing learning content for it. But in saying that, there is already a good amount of learning resources available for Cloud ALM.

The SAP Cloud ALM support portal is your one-stop shop if you want to learn more about this product.

I will walk you through the things that are available on this page.

The first thing you will notice on this page is these three buttons. Discover, Try and Request. The “Discover” button will provide you with a pdf document with high-level information about Cloud ALM. The “Try” button will take you to the Cloud ALM demo page with the user name and password then you can request a Cloud ALM for your organisation using the “Request” button.

Then there is a couple of presentation available. One is a high-level overview presentation and the other one is a value presentation.

Going further below, you will see some customer success stories and then the link that provides you with the list of “Supported Solutions” that we talked about previously.

Going further down, you will see three YouTube videos that describe how you can use Cloud ALM for implementation, operations and service. Below that, there are links that provide more information on how to configure these functionalities in Cloud ALM.

And then we got a Roadmap explorer that provides information on upcoming functionalities in the future.

Then we got links to the Cloud ALM community page, information about services available for Cloud ALM, links to videos, Events and newsletter and finally, we got an admin guide that you can use to configure different types of functionalities in Cloud ALM and then the link to the SAP help portal and some frequently asked questions.

You can access the SAP Cloud ALM support portal here

please check out my YouTube channel if you are interested in clicking here

That’s it for today. If you like this blog, please share it with your friends who might also benefit from it.

If you have any questions, please leave them as a comment and I will respond.

Thank you.

P.S. Check out my course on Udemy – “Introduction to SAP – The Complete Package for Beginners

SAP ABAP Technical Architecture

SAP Technical Architecture

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to my blog. In this topic, we are going to discuss the Architecture of an SAP ABAP system.

High-level architecture:

Three layers of SAP Architecture

On a high level, you can divide the architecture of an SAP system into three layers.

Presentation layer – where the users use channels like SAP Logon Pad, SAP Business Client, SAP FIORI, Web browser or Mobile Apps to access an SAP system.

Application layer – This is where the ABAP or JAVA application server of an SAP system is located. The application server is the foundation of any SAP system. It is the engine that receives and processes all the requests and interacts with the Database to retrieve the required information and send it back to the presentation layer.

Database layer – This is where the Database of a system is located.

All software applications that follow the client-server model have these three layers as their basic architectural principle and SAP systems are no exceptions here.

Now let us get into the details of the Components of an ABAP system:

Technical Architecture of an SAP ABAP System

An ABAP system consists of an ABAP Server Central Services instance which in short is known as ASCS and an Application Server instance.

An instance is an administrative unit that contains various components. For example, ASCS is an instance and the application server is another instance.

An ABAP system has only one ASCS instance but it can have multiple Application server instances depending on the expected load on the system. The ASCS and application server instance can be installed on the same host or they can be installed on separate hosts for high availability purposes. An ABAP system has a system identifier, also known as SID and separate instance numbers. SIDs are usually three-letter combinations of alphanumeric characters and instances are two-letter numeric.

For example, the SID of an SAP system can be something like PE0 and the instance number of ASCS can be 00 whereas the instance number of the application server can be 01, 02, or 03 depending on how many application servers are there. The SIDs and instance numbers are assigned during the installation of an SAP system.

Now let us take a look at the Components of SAP ABAP Server Central Services:

ABAP Server Central Services (ASCS)

ASCS consists of a separate start service, a message server and an enqueue server. The start service within the ASCS interacts with the start service that is located in the application servers in order to keep track of the status of the application server within a particular SAP system. For example, let’s assume an SAP system has 3 application servers. Each application server, when it is started, logs on to the ASCS to advise its runtime state. So that the ASCS knows how many of the application servers are on-state and how many of them are off-state.

Additionally, the ASCS contains a message server. The message server enables communication between individual application servers. It also distributes the load if there are multiple application servers available so that not all the requests are handled by just one application server.

Then, Enqueue server is responsible for managing locks. It ensures, that no two transactions or users are trying to update the same field in the same table at the same time. Thus avoiding synchronisation issues. So if I am editing a program that will update a table, the enqueue server will lock that table and releases it back to others once I have finished updating it.

So, in a nutshell, the ASCS doesn’t process any dialogue requests. That means it doesn’t do any calculations or retrieve data from the database or anything like that. But it acts as an administrative unit within the SAP system and manages the application servers beneath it.

Now let us talk about the components of an Application server:

SAP ABAP Application Server

An Application Server consists of components like an ABAP dispatcher, Gateway, Internet Communication Manager, Start service and work processes.

Let’s take a look at these components one by one.

  • ABAP dispatcher – The ABAP dispatcher distributes the work to the work processes depending on the type of request that comes through.
  • Gateway – The Gateway enables the SAP system to communicate with other SAP and non-SAP systems with the help of RFC (Remote Function Call) functionality by using TCP/IP protocol.
  • ICM – ICM is known as Internet Communication Manager which handles HTTPS and SMTP-type requests from the internet. So, depending on the type of request, it is handled by either the ABAP dispatcher or the gateway or the ICM. For example, if the system receives requests from the SAP logon pad then the ABAP dispatcher handles it. If the request comes from a different SAP system through an RFC connection, then it will be handled by the Gateway and if the request comes from webdynpro application or a web browser, then it will be handled by the Internet Communication Manager.
  • Work Processes – Work processes are a bunch of programs that process the different types of requests that come to the SAP system via the ABAP dispatcher. Different types of work processes are Dialog, Update, Batch, Print and Enqueue. For example, if the request is a dialog request then the ABAP dispatcher sends it to dialog work process and so on and so forth.
  • Let’s take a look at the five different work processes in detail
  • Dialog – The Dialog work process deals with all requests that are executed by an active user or program or RFC and HTTP requests. Basically, dialog work processes are involved whenever a request is processed in the front end by the SAP system. For each application server, you need at least to configure two dialog work processes. But you can configure more if required.
  • Update – The update work process is used to update the database. For example, you make a calculation and you need to update the database table with the result. The update work process takes care of updating a particular field in a table in the database. You need to have at least one update work process in an application server
  • Batch – Programs that can be executed in the background without user interaction are known as batch jobs. Time-consuming and resource-intensive calculations are sometimes configured to be run in the background so that it doesn’t interrupt the real-time activities of the users in the front end. You need at least 2 batch work processes in an ABAP system but you can configure more depending on the requirement. For example, if your company need to run a lot of batch programs, then you might need more work processes for Batch.
  • Print – This work process processes and manages all the print requests. For example, the printing of work orders or purchase orders, etc.
  • Enqueue – This work process handles the locks and unlocks of objects. As discussed before in the ASCS component, Locks are an important part of an SAP system that ensures a table or an entry is not updated by two users at the same time. So if someone or a program is executing a transaction, then enqueue work process will lock that particular table so that only one person or program can update it at any given time. This will avoid data inconsistencies in an SAP system. The lock mechanism is widely used by pretty much all the applications that have a need to update the databases, not just SAP applications. And you need this work process in the application server only if you don’t have an ASCS instance. Otherwise, the enqueue server in the ASCS instance will take care of the enqueue processes.

So, on a high level, this is the architecture of an SAP ABAP system.

Hope it was useful. If you have any questions, please leave a comment on the YouTube video and I will reply.

If you like this blog or the YouTube video, please share it with your friends who might find it helpful.

P.S. Check out my course on Udemy – “Introduction to SAP – The Complete Package for Beginners