Automated SAP Transport Request Management

  

Most people who have experience working with SAP understand that the management of transport requests involves a significant amount of effort in terms of transferring code or configuration changes from one system to another.

Usually, Basis teams or anyone responsible for managing transports receive transport requests, process them for approval depending on the change management process, move them to different systems after they have been approved, and then finally proceed to perform testing. On top of all that, everyone affected by the changes should also be notified so they can perform testing within the change window and resume operations on time. Or if you are the developer, you may want to get notified when your transports have successfully been transferred to the target system(s). This way, you can immediately see whether or not there are any compatibility and configuration issues and revert back when necessary.

In our last webinar about SAP Transport Automation, we introduced the acronym READ to easily showcase how we simplified the management of SAP transports through automation.

R - Request via SAP Change Request Web Form
E - Execute via Change Request Process Composer
A - Alerts/notifications automatically sent via e-mail
D - Dashboard that shows transport request submissions with requestor details, target SIDs, status, etc.

In this blog post, let's go through them one by one to highlight how they contribute to making the process simpler.


New to SAP Transports?

Read our case study about Leveraging SAP Transport Automation and understand how we've transformed the change management process of our existing customer from conceptualization to the actual implementation.


Request via SAP Change Request Webform

The transport management process begins when a user submits a request using the SAP Change Request web form. All the relevant details regarding the transport request are collected in this stage.

SAP Change Request WebformFigure 1: SAP Change Request Web Form

The user who initiates the request can select the Source SID, choose the Target SID(s), and provide their SAP User ID. The requestor's SAP User ID will be utilized to retrieve the user's email address by making an RFC call and it will be saved in SAP. The form can process single or batch requests.

After the requestor submits the transport request, a request is sent to IT-Conductor to create objects that will store the submitted transport request(s).

Execute via Change Request Process Composer

The execution phase carries out requests from the source by moving them to one or more target systems. It involves a process design in the form of a Process Definition, as shown below, developed using the Process Composer — IT-Conductor’s native workflow automation feature.

Change Request Process DefinitionFigure 2: Change Request Process Definition

The process begins by extracting information from the submitted request and verifying that it is from a valid user and has a valid e-mail address.

Get User DetailsFigure 3: Get User Details Activity Details

The Source SID and all the listed transports (customized or workbench) are also extracted upon form submission and will then be passed to an SAP function module to confirm if all transports are in a "Released" status.

Check Requests ReleasedFigure 4: Check Requests Released Activity Details

If any of the transports have a “Not Released” status, the entire transport submission process will be rejected. If all the transports pass the verification step, the process will proceed to retrieve information about the Target SID(s).

Transport Request ProcessingFigure 5: Transport Request Processing Activity Details

You have the flexibility to adjust the options to tailor the workflow to your specific needs and preferences in terms of executing transports. Once the transport is enumerated, it is then transferred into the system and the import log is generated.

Import LogFigure 6: Transport Request Import Log

Note: For customizing transports, the requests need to be imported in sequence. For workbench transports, the requests can be imported together, and their dependencies will be checked simultaneously.

Alerts/Notifications

The process definition also covers the automatic sending of e-mail alerts/notifications to the designated recipients who need to be kept informed of the changes being processed.

Check E-mail and Sending Alerts MechanismFigure 7: Check E-mail and Sending Alerts Mechanism

In Figure 7, you can see that only the “Notify User on Start” has turned GREEN. This suggests that the evaluations carried out in “Get User Details” and “Check e-mail” have successfully met the criteria in both activities. See below for sample e-mail alerts/notifications.

Email Sent to the Requestor as the Workflow StartsFigure 8: Email Sent to the Requestor as the Workflow Starts

E-mail Sent to the SAP Change Management TeamFigure 9: E-mail Sent to the SAP Change Management Team

Dashboard

The dashboard displays all transport requests that have been submitted, enabling SAP Basis teams to keep track of the status of requests submitted by users.

SAP Transport Management DashboardFigure 10: SAP Transport Management Dashboard
 

They can be shown in various forms depending on how you desire the data to be presented at a glance. In Figure 10, for instance, Requests by Source System (24h), Requests by Target SID (24h), and Requests by User (24h) are represented in bar graphs; SAP Change Transport Requests are shown historically over time using a chart; Transport Requests Submissions are shown as a table.

Request by Source SystemFigure 11: Requests by Source System (Last 24h)

You can further expand details by clicking on the bar graphs, transport description, or any clickable data point. In Figure 11, you can see the list of requests by the selected Source SID with their corresponding Start and Completion Time, Requestor’s SAP User ID, and Statuses.

Request by Target SIDFigure 12: Request by Target SID (Last 24h)

In Figure 12, the pop-up windows for each system list the transport requests by Target SID with their corresponding Work Queue, Start and Completion Time, and Statuses.

Start your SAP Transport Automation Journey with IT-Conductor

Processing transport requests can be complex and time-consuming for SAP Basis teams or anyone responsible for managing transport requests. An automated solution like what we have presented here can help reduce processing time, remove manual processing, lower risks, and increase compliance. Automation also helps in reducing complexity as it eliminates the need for manual implementation, system dependency with Solution Manager, and constant lifecycle management with SAP updates.

IT-Conductor provides a simple yet elegant orchestration solution to allow developers, change managers, Basis administrators, and compliance auditors easy access to request, transport, monitor, and get notified on any changes in your SAP environment.