What is DevOps for SAP Software?DevOps is about people, culture, processes and tools.
It’s an approach that builds on the concept of agile development, focusing on open, collaborative methods and use of automation to increase the speed and flexibility with which new features and services are delivered. Traditional IT development and delivery processes are based around organizational silos where work is passed between teams with little ownership, poor visibility and low levels of satisfaction. In a DevOps for SAP process, teams are organized around business outcomes; silos are removed to create a multi-skilled team who constantly interact with each other. Development, QA, Operations and the business work together with high levels of communication, collaboration, ownership and trust. The ultimate goal is a process of continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous deployment and continuous improvement.
Why Adopt DevOps for SAP?
The age of the digital economy and the resulting wave of digital transformation mean that customer expectations are constantly increasing. Businesses that can’t continually adapt in the face of change won’t remain relevant for long, so traditional software Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) methods – often slow, manual and opaque – no longer fit the bill. DevOps enables you to update and improve your SAP systems – critical enablers of your response to this new demand – as quickly as other enterprise applications. With DevOps for SAP you can deliver new products, features and services to your customers more quickly, without risk to the business.
How does it work?
DevOps for SAP relies on SAP-specific automation that replicates, and connects to, the rest of your Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) tech stack. It even gives you the means to drive an automated cross-application software delivery pipeline from non-SAP tools like GitLab and Azure DevOps.
Key Aspects of DevOps for SAP
DevOps is more of a general methodology than a strictly defined framework with hard and fast rules, so is typically adapted slightly by every business to meet their particular needs. But most versions feature a number of common characteristics, which apply equally well to DevOps for SAP.
Automate, automate, automate
Extensive use of automation is central to DevOps success. It’s what allows you to maintain the speed, quality and continuous delivery expected of a DevOps approach. But the unique architecture of SAP demands automation specifically engineered to deal with issues like transport sequencing, dependency management, code conflicts, overwrites/overtakes, transport deployments, and more.
Integrated tool chains
A typical DevOps workflow will leverage a wide variety of interconnected best-in-class tools for different purposes. In DevOps for SAP the right tool can replicate much of the CI/CD tech stack but it’s still vital to connect SAP automation to the wider IT tool chain, whether indirectly through products like Jira or straight into orchestration tools like Jenkins or GitLab.
Shift quality left
Traditional ALM separates dev and QA but DevOps puts the idea of ‘shift left’ front and center, to increase speed and decrease risk. QA teams are fully integrated from day 1, while dev teams take ownership of quality through concepts like peer review and unit testing. SAP DevOps automation builds tools like ABAPUnit, Code Inspector and many other checks directly into your process.
Cross-functional autonomous teams
Cultural change – both in terms of mindset and organization – is a significant part of DevOps. Creation of cross-functional teams in place of traditional silos is absolutely essential. In DevOps for SAP everyone involved in delivery of a change – process owner, developers, QA, Basis, security, configurators, and so on – works together from the start, collectively owning the end to end process and responsibility for a successful outcome.
Agile development is a foundational building block of DevOps. In fact, many SAP teams see adoption of agile in their development teams – usually choosing Scrum – as an easier first step than a full-blown DevOps approach. Agile shares many of the same ideas as DevOps and, in SAP at least, relies almost as much on SAP-specific automation for success.
DevOps is all about a continuous flow of software changes, with extensive automation powering a train of continuous integration, delivery, deployment and improvement. While it might not always be desirable – or advisable – to deploy automatically to SAP Production systems, with the right tools it’s possible to aim for a much more continuous flow of change that leads to daily Production releases.
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How we can help
The Pioneers of DevOps for SAP
ActiveControl SAP Automation Technology
Basis Technologies’ automation software provides the platform you need to adopt DevOps for SAP. Massively reduce the time, effort and risk involved in execution of SAP change, and achieve measurable business benefits with an entirely new approach to development and delivery of SAP software.