In the last year or so we have added many new features to ActiveControl, our SAP DevOps automation software, like parallel import capability, a NodeRed integration framework, integration with smartRetrofit from smartShift Technologies, new analyzers and a plethora of other enhancements and additions. But despite these changes, the core functionality of ActiveControl – the stuff that got us to where we are today – remains key to faster, safer, more effective delivery of SAP change.
The General Analyzers
Imagine being able to see into the future and identify a transport that might cause issues before it is imported into a target SAP system, and being able to address and fix those issues before they happen. That’s what ActiveControl’s analyzers can do for you.
Though more than 70 analyzers are now available, ActiveControl’s General Analyzers have been the backbone of the product for many years because they are run by most users – often ‘straight out of the box’ – in practically every control point during each transport’s progression through an SAP landscape.
The General Analyzers are a group of core transport analysis tools that make sure transports will not adversely affect an SAP system if they are moved forward. The idea is part of the DevOps concept of Shift Left, where we want to find any issues as early in the transport deployment path as possible – ideally through a system that will run all relevant checks automatically and highlight any potential issues without the user having to go looking.
Fundamentally, they give users a high degree of confidence that a change is safe to move forward – a key benefit in this time of relative upheaval, with a lot of companies looking to move their SAP systems to S/4HANA or the cloud, or both. The need for more control over their SAP changes has never been greater.
The General Analyzers – effectively ActiveControl’s default analysis setup – check the following areas:
With the Conflict Analysis analyzer ActiveControl looks at the objects in a transport and checks whether changes have already been made to those objects in the target system. Though this is unlikely in a linear deployment path, it’s an extremely valuable check when managing N+n scenarios where development teams are working independently.
This one is absolutely crucial, especially when you’re deploying large transport volumes. It makes sure any transports that depend on each other to work properly are deployed at the same time. For example, table entries need to be moved with the setup of a new table. Or to put it another way, this analyzer ensures that transports don’t move until everything they need is also ready to go, ensuring you don’t experience related errors in Production.
Overtake and Regression
It can be hard to keep track of who is working on what in an SAP landscape, and everyone who has done so will be familiar with the disruption caused by overtakes and related regression. This analysis checks that a newer version of code will not ‘go past’ a different, older version, potentially creating issues further along the transport path. For example, if an emergency change contains an object that still has a work-in-progress Business As Usual change in the QA system this check would highlight the potential issue in the Dev system instead of finding it in a Pre-Prod or Production.
ActiveControl also checks to make sure that an older change will not overwrite a newer change that might have been deployed out of sequence.
One of many ways in which ActiveControl helps to manage approvals more effectively, this analyzer checks that a user has the authorizations required to complete an approval before they’re able to do so. This helps to support segregation of duties and compliance efforts by ensuring that only the defined users can approve changes to be moved onward at each control point.
Check Transport Release
This analyzer makes sure that each transport has been released before it can be imported into a target system. Perhaps an obvious thing to check for, but an important one since unreleased transports will cause your import to fail. Of course, ActiveControl has the ability to automate the release of a transport as well…
Some transports require ‘manual steps’ which need to be completed pre- or post-import. These are things outside of the standard transport path which ActiveControl cannot automate for you. They can be recorded as necessary actions within the ActiveControl workflow, however, and this analysis check makes sure all such manual steps have been completed at the appropriate point(s) before a transport import can be considered ‘complete’.
Much, much more
Not only do these General Analyzers come activated as standard with ActiveControl, but there are also more than 60 other analyzers that can be assigned to control points along the transport path, helping to further minimize the risk of change and create a more automated, high-speed SAP change and release process.