Introducing SAP Cloud ALM with Focus on Monitoring

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the nature of the SAP Cloud ALM and list the main features
  • Outline the idea of SAP Cloud ALM for operations

Get an Overview About the SAP Cloud ALM

From previous implementation meetings with the implementation partner team of Trust Partner Consulting, Adam knows that monitoring-related topics in the public edition of SAP S/4HANA Cloud projects use SAP Cloud ALM for operations. Carl was referring to these functions and promised to provide further details in the flow of the implementation project.

Therefore, Adam decides to get in contact with Carl, to setup a meeting to get an overview of SAP Cloud ALM. In a further step he plans to ask specifically, which functions can be implemented to monitor the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.

Carl explains that SAP Cloud ALM is an offering for Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and customers benefit from an out-of-the-box, cloud native solution. It is designed as the central entry point to manage your SAP landscape with content-driven guided implementation and highly automated operations. In addition it facilitates collaboration and transparency along the entire end-to-end SAP service delivery process.

There are three main features provided by the SAP Cloud ALM and two additional functional areas:

Implementation

SAP Cloud ALM offers features to help you during implementation, like Implementation project management, project landscape setup, feature management, process scoping and authoring, requirement and note management, task management, document management, test preparation, test planning, test execution, defect management.

For more information, go to SAP Cloud ALM for Implementation

Operations

Features, functions, and processes for operating your cloud centric solution landscapes. Having a central entry point to operate your complete SAP landscape running on different technologies. Different Monitoring features like Business service management, Configuration and security analysis are available (find details in the following section).

For more information, go to SAP Cloud ALM for Operations.

Services

Get a harmonized user experience to easily access all information and assets relevant before, during, and after a service delivery. Get full transparency on your service deliveries: past, current, and upcoming services using the Applications Service Explorer and Service Delivery Center.

For more information, go to SAP Cloud ALM for Service.

Carl further mentions that implementation, operations, and services build the core features of SAP Cloud ALM, which corresponds to the big picture requested by Adam. Nevertheless, these functions do not cover the complete portfolio of the cloud-native tool collection of SAP Cloud ALM. Two other areas that are useful, depending on the scenario are:

Business Transformation

The SAP Business Transformation Center is an offering for planning data transition projects from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA. It's intended for customers who want to gain insights into their legacy SAP ECC system in order to accelerate their transition to SAP S/4HANA-related products.

For more Information, go to SAP Business Transformation Center

Administration

Used for user management, tag management, and landscape management.

Note
For the sake of simplification, the Business Transformation and Administration features are not part Carl's big picture explanation in the above figure.

The following links are a good starting point for additional information:

Optionally, to keep you up to date and get a more comprehensive overview of all existing interactive channels on the SAP Cloud ALM Home page, use the following Demo.

In case you are interested in the basic configuration please consult Required Setup for SAP Cloud ALM within the SAP Help Portal.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition: Use Case Example

As explained, SAP Cloud ALM assists you with the management of your SAP solutions. It helps you to set up and manage projects, define the technical landscape of your products, carry out tests, and much more.

As an example you can use SAP Cloud ALM to create a project to be guided through the configuration of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. In this project, the customer can select task templates, which allows access to the tasks from the corresponding SAP Activate roadmap from within your project. Using this strategy you can steer the implementation forward and complete the tasks logically stringent in the most effective way.

Cloud Facts in General

Betty and Kelly are new to the public edition of SAP S/4HANA Cloud and wonder, which monitoring functions will be provided and who is responsible for implementing these capabilities.

Adam explains shortly that the tool collection SAP Cloud ALM covers topics in the area monitoring as part of the operations feature and suggests discussing further details in another meeting. They decide to force a short-term meeting to get some input.

To get best prepared for the announced follow-up meeting, Kelly uses the chance to ask a further question in the context of cloud-based solutions. Adam lists some key facts for clarification.

The general benefits of cloud solutions should be remembered:

  • You do not need to invest in hardware and delays for ordering hardware are also reduced 
  • No basic setup and no complex configuration needed, as well as no basis operation
  • There is no need to build up technical knowledge 
  • You do not need to plan and execute regular technical update/upgrade projects 

SAP Cloud ALM – Further Facts

In the first meeting, Adam got essential information about SAP Cloud ALM from Carl. As a follow-up task he provided Betty and Kelly with a recap of the meeting. As a result, Betty and Kelly - in their role as business-oriented employees - wondered about the products supported and the necessary usage rights when planning to use operation features of SAP Cloud ALM in the near future. Adam was not able to answer these questions, as he was purely focused on administrative aspects when discussing the big picture of SAP Cloud ALM with Carl.

In addition Adam is curious about some hosting details like the data centers used for cloud-based solutions provided by SAP. Therefore, to clarify these topics, Adam decided to accept Carl's offer of another meeting. As Trust Partner Consulting was already involved in other cloud-based implementation projects, Adam expects that Carl holds the core competence and promptly schedules a further online session.

Supported Products

SAP Cloud ALM is built on top of SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) and as such is optimized for the operation of cloud-centric solution landscapes. But it also covers smaller on-premise solutions and therefore is the proper foundation for ALM of hybrid solutions. 

The shown interactive table of supported solutions is available in the SAP Help Portal.

SAP Cloud ALM – Usage Rights

SAP Cloud ALM is part of SAP Enterprise Support. The usage rights are included in the SAP Cloud Service subscriptions containing Enterprise Support, cloud editions, and in SAP Enterprise Support. It includes a baseline of SAP HANA memory and monthly outbound API data transfer, and may only be used for the customer's own internal ALM processes.

If all prerequisites from a contractual perspective are given, the customer is entitled to provision one SAP Cloud ALM tenant.

For further information about SAP Cloud ALM Usage Rights and how to search for services in the SAP Discovery Center watch the following Video.

You can learn more about the usage rights of SAP Cloud ALM in the SAP Support Portal.

The Discovery Center is available on the following page: https://discovery-center.cloud.sap/. Choose Service Catalog to search for services.

More than one tenant per customer number is not possible. For further information open this SAP Knowledge Base Article (KBA) 3343265 .

Note

The S-user used to order the SAP Cloud ALM tenant will receive the information when it's available, together with the log-on information for the first and only user created on the provisioned tenant.

SAP Cloud ALM – Data Centers

Currently, the following primary data centers are available:

  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • North Virginia, USA
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Tokyo, Japan

Additional data centers are planned in Canada and China.

To check the information presented in the video use the following pages:

Note

Please check these pages on a regular basis, as the SAP cloud solutions portfolio will undergo incremental integration into the data center map.

SAP deploys secondary data centers in the region of the primary data center for backup and disaster recovery purposes. Depending on the SAP cloud services, customers are able to select a specific primary data center. In order to secure technology on public clouds, SAP experts work with hyperscalers.

SAP Cloud ALM for Operations Capabilities

An important outcome of the SAP Cloud ALM introduction is that all involved stakeholders from GloManCorp understood the importance of the operations feature. In a former meeting, Adam only provided a short overview of SAP Cloud ALM and mentioned the importance of the operations feature, which covers monitoring capabilities. Betty and Kelly address this issue again with Adam, who has been responsible for monitoring since on-premises systems were introduced.

Adam tries to clarify the responsibility of monitoring-related functions when using SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. His overview not only includes a list of cloud-based SAP services, but also the traditional on-premises systems. Even if this approach is not directly relevant for the given customer scenario, it may help to understand which tools are used. The main monitoring functions for the public edition of SAP S/4HANA Cloud are provided by the operations feature in SAP Cloud ALM. This is the core message of Adam’s explanation.

Now it's time to drill down to some details of SAP Cloud ALM for operations. Carl provides an overview of this feature.

Carl explains that using SAP Cloud ALM for operations, you can operate your complete SAP landscape running on different technologies, ensure business continuity by monitoring and alerting, increase operations efficiency by automating operational tasks, and avoid anomalies by proactive problem prediction.

Functions, grouped and provided by SAP Cloud ALM for operations:

  • Empower customers to understand the health of SAP business solutions:
    • by providing full stack monitoring and alerting covering the business processes, integration, users, applications, and the health of cloud services and systems
    • by acting as a collaboration platform between the Line of business (LOB) and he Information Technology (IT).
    • by allowing customers to conduct root cause analysis on the technical as well as on the business process level
  • Enable customers to increase the operations efficiency by automating corrective actions as well as regular operations tasks
  • Help customers to predict anomalies in the business process and in application operations by event correlation and learning based on the collected data (AIOps)
  • Help customers to provide transparency regarding the availability of business services including business downtime, business events, and business Service Level Agreements (SLA's)

Additional Information:

SAP Cloud ALM Landing Page.

SAP Cloud ALM Help Portal – Operations

SAP Cloud ALM for Operations – Monitoring Capabilities

The SAP Cloud ALM for operations feature covers a wide range of functions. Depending on the use case and the supported product, the capabilities differ and have to be chosen individually by customers. This means, there are no fixed categories. It highly depends on the scenario, which features of the SAP Cloud ALM for operations are preferably relevant.

At GloManCorp, the monitoring part of SAP Cloud ALM for operations was requested by the internal stakeholders. The following list provides important monitoring functions for this customer scenario, as agreed by all involved in the implementation and operation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.

Carl defines a selection of SAP Cloud ALM for operations, which seem to be highly relevant for the customer scenario, always bearing in mind the initial question of Adam, Betty and Kelly: Monitoring functions.

Business Process Monitoring

This enables the detect-to-correct lifecycle of SAP cloud solutions along the end-to-end processes of the Intelligent Suite.

It aims to provide transparency about the end-to-end process health, based on predefined key performance indicators (KPIs). It enables both, line-of-business users and IT users, to directly identify business process disruptions across the entire system landscape, and to react to anomalies before critical situations arise.

The objective of this app is to ensure smooth business operations without disruptions, and to increase the quality and performance of the business process execution. It also helps to identify technical issues which have direct impact on mission-critical processes with technical monitoring.

Integration and Exception Monitoring

This enables you to monitor data exchanged among services in both cloud-only scenarios and hybrid scenarios within the selected scope.

  • The correlation of integration artifacts provides end-to-end visibility in interface calls and message flows cross all involved cloud services and systems
  • Follow a call or message sequence from a sender to all intended receivers
  • Process alerts and start registered workflow instances
  • It includes the following capabilities: Report component-specific, business-impacting exceptions
Real User Monitoring (RUM)

The basic concept is to get all user interactions and the relevant server requests, which are the correlated to end-to-end requests spanning over several technical components.

Real User Monitoring therefore permanently measures all real user requests from your managed SAP solutions. The monitored services and systems send monitoring data to SAP Cloud ALM, covering performance as well as utilization aspects.

The application offers drill-down possibilities from the global use of selected request types to single executions and execution details.

It is designed for application management service providers and customers who like to get transparency regarding real end user behavior based on high volumes of usage data.

Synthetic User Monitoring (SUM)

Displays performance and availability issues of your web applications even before end users are affected by automatically executing your Selenium IDE scripts on a regular schedule.

In detail, the following functions are available:

  • Upload Selenium IDE files containing groups of test scripts
  • Define runners, which are the components executing the tests of the scenarios
  • Create scenarios and activate it by assigning the scenarios to runners
  • Display availability and performance of all activated scenarios in the selected time frame
  • Drill down a scenario to display performance and availability values on runner and step level

In case of an issue, an event is triggered and you can configure automatic event reactions, like alerts, email notifications, or automatic execution of a procedure.

Job and Automation Monitoring

Job and automation monitoring helps you to evaluate the status of automated actions and background jobs.

The basic concept is to collect individual job execution data and related exceptions. Based on this, a rating for the execution (the run-time is rated based on historical data) can be done. The rating of the latest execution is propagated to the job definition level. You have the option to drill down from the job to the list of executions. Finally, for a more detailed analysis, you have a direct navigation to the corresponding job instance in the executing service. This gives you the option to stop a non-ending execution or restart a failed execution. It is planned to offer these two fundamental job management actions directly from the central monitor.

Health Monitoring

Here you can check the health of your monitored cloud services and technical systems from an application and customer perspective. Technical metrics are collected regularly and can be used to calculate the overall health of the monitored object. The monitored metrics are defined by the service itself and may differ for each service type.

SAP Cloud ALM for Operations – Further Capabilities

SAP Cloud ALM for operations provide more than the discussed monitoring features. As GloManCorp prioritized monitoring, these further features get a lower priority in the beginning. However, later in the project, it is planned to analyze the status of the implementation concerning SAP Cloud ALM for operations. The operations may then be enhanced with further capabilities from this area.

Therefore, Carl briefly explains these further capabilities to Adam and mentions that this topic is part of an a planned and upcoming project phase. Nevertheless, for every interested project team member, here are some details to be best prepared for the discussion.

Configuration and Security Analysis

Track the changes that have been applied to ABAP-based systems that are configured in SAP Cloud ALM.

In the Configuration & Security Analysis (CSA) application you can use the Store Browser to display the technical configuration of managed components. For the configuration items you can display the evaluated changes in time frames. Administration provides information about the managed components and their status in CSA.

The capabilities are available after the setup of ABAP on-premise systems. CSA detects and records common technical changes in a managed system. A change tracking is performed during upload of the extracted configuration information.

On managed system side, the configuration data is collected and pushed to SAP Cloud ALM for operations . There, the data is compared with the previous snapshot to identify changes.

Business Service Management

This enables you to manage business services using assigned services and systems, and related events:

  • Manage business services (add and/or delete)
  • Import service-related events (maintenance, disruption, degradation, and communication) provided by the Cloud Availability Center or SAP Cloud ALM monitoring use cases
  • Maintain your own single or recurring events
  • Set up automatic alerts, notifications, operation flows, tickets, and tasks
  • Monitor the service levels of your business services
Intelligent Event Processing

This enables you to manage event processing rules. You can create new rules, edit existing rules, deactivate, and delete rules when they are not needed anymore.

It provides the following features and benefits:

  • Unified event processing based on rules for automatically, as well as manually, triggered events
  • Enables centralized event handling via event log viewer as well as decentral alert handling via embedded alert inbox
  • Foundation for intelligent correlation of events, for example, correlation of manually generated notifications with automatically generated alerts
Operations Automation

Automate operation and error handling procedures:

  • Register SAP workflows
  • Start workflow instances

The Operations Automation service integrates with:

  • SAP Workflow Management running in a separate SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) account. The integration with SAP Workflow Management is best suited to orchestrate and automate operational tasks that require mixtures of user interactions and automated tasks.
  • SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (iRPA) or similar running in a separate SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) account. The integration with SAP iRPA is best suited to automate repetitive UI interactions.
  • SAP Automation Pilot running in a separate tenant. The integration with SAP Automation Pilot is best suited to automate DevOps tasks.
    Note

    DevOps is a set of practices that aim to improve collaboration and communication between software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) teams.

    The ultimate goal is to enhance efficiency, reduce errors, and deliver higher-quality software to end-users.

    It involves the adoption of various tools, automation, and cultural changes to streamline the software delivery process. DevOps aims to achieve faster and more reliable development, testing, and deployment of software, fostering a culture of continuous integration, continuous delivery (CI/CD), and collaboration across traditionally siloed teams.

    SAP offers tools and services to achieve these goals.

    A good starting point for further reading is this SAP Community Page.

SAP Workflow Management workflows, SAP intelligent RPA  automations and SAP Automation Pilot commands that are triggered from SAP Cloud ALM, are named Operation Flows in SAP Cloud ALM.

Note

The name of the services used on SAP BTP may change in the future.

Landscape Management

Landscape Management in SAP Cloud ALM helps you manage information on your managed cloud services, on-premise systems, and business services. The landscape information stored in Landscape Management is the basis for all other applications in SAP Cloud ALM.

Automatic Import of Customer Cloud Services: Cloud services subscribed by the customer are automatically imported and updated from SAP's Cloud Landscape Directory. The initial import contains all cloud services, which belong to the same customer number as SAP Cloud ALM. Customers can maintain a Corporate Group (CCC) S-User to also import cloud services that belong to subsidiaries of the same Corporate Group.

Connectivity Maintenance: Landscape Management is the main application to set up the necessary connectivity for any use case that uses a pull mechanism to collect monitoring data, trigger activity in managing components, or send data to other receivers, like SAP Focused Run or IT service management (ITSM) integration.

Access to SAP Cloud ALM Service Key: Customers can store and access their SAP Cloud ALM service key in Landscape Management. The service key is needed to connect to the SAP Cloud ALM APIs, for example, for push monitoring use cases. This service key can be retrieved without accessing the SAP BTP Cockpit via Landscape Management.

Status Overview for SAP Cloud ALM use cases: The Landscape Management shows, which use cases are supported for each known service and system. In the scope selector, you can choose service types based on their supported use cases. Furthermore, for each service or system, Landscape Management shows, if the use case is already configured, if the data collection is active or inactive, and if the data collection is in an error state. 

Event Integration with Business Service Management: Business Service Management status events are displayed attached to every service and system type on the overview screen in Landscape Management. In this way customers always know for which of their services maintenance is planned or downtime has been posted. 

External API Management

The SAP Cloud ALM Analytics API is described in the SAP API Business Hub and enables you to build dashboards and reports aggregating all types of data managed by SAP Cloud ALM. The SAP ALM Analytics API comes with OData and REST endpoints exposing analytics data. OData can be used to provide data to SAP Analytics Cloud, whereas REST can be used for other external third-party tools.

Specifically in SAP Cloud ALM for operations, it supports the following use cases at the moment:

  • Business Process Monitoring
  • Integration & Exception Monitoring
  • Real User Monitoring
  • Job & Automation Monitoring
  • Health Monitoring
  • Business Service Management

On the product pages, you may come across additional features or integration descriptions with other products that must be licensed separately. These descriptions may go beyond the product scope specified here. Further restrictions may apply based on your license agreement with SAP.

Additional Information:

SAP Cloud ALM Feature Scope Description in SAP Help Portal.

SAP Cloud ALM Landing Page.

SAP Cloud ALM for Operations Used for S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition

Depending on the used business scenario and the monitoring capability you want to use, different configuration tasks are necessary.

  • Business Process Monitoring
  • Health Monitoring
  • Integration & Exception Monitoring
  • Job & Automation Monitoring
  • Real User Monitoring

In order to access the different Setup & Configuration links on the SAP Cloud ALM for Operations Expert Portal, use the following reference page: SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition

All team members should now have an impression of what is possible and covered by the SAP Cloud ALM for operations feature.

Note

The configuration steps needed for the different use cases can be found on the SAP Cloud ALM for Operations Expert Portal.

In the Setup & Configuration section of each capability you can find the configuration steps depending on the product you want to configure.

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