Illustrating SAP Cloud ALM

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Illustrate how SAP Cloud ALM supports the application lifecycle

SAP Cloud Application Lifecycle Management (ALM)

What is SAP Cloud ALM?

SAP Cloud ALM is an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution supporting customers to implement and operate their cloud or hybrid solutions.

SAP Cloud ALM aids in the implementation and operation of intelligent cloud-based and hybrid business solutions. You can benefit from a ready-to-use, native cloud solution that is designed to serve as the central entry point for managing your SAP landscape. This solution offers content-driven guided implementation and highly automated operations

SAP Cloud ALM supports the complete application lifecycle from design, build, test and deploy. Even monitoring capabilities and applications supporting the operation of SAP solutions are included. The provided capabilities are all built-in, pre-configured and ready-to-use. New capabilities are added constantly and delivered bi-weekly to the customer tenants.

SAP Cloud ALM is included in your cloud subscription containing Enterprise Support, cloud edition and in SAP Enterprise Support.

  • SAP Cloud ALM is cloud native and open.

  • SAP Cloud ALM manages the application lifecycle for the Intelligent Suite.

  • SAP Cloud ALM manages cloud, but also hybrid (combination of on-premise and cloud) solutions.

  • SAP Cloud ALM can be provisioned and consumed immediately.

  • SAP Cloud ALM is an application running on SAP Business Technology Platform and is optimized for SAP HANA.

  • SAP Cloud ALM is an ALM solution optimized for cost efficiency.

In the launchpad of SAP Cloud ALM, you can see the capabilities of SAP Cloud ALM. Next to the Implementation capabilities, you also have access to service delivery and operations capabilities out-of-the box. Based on your user role, you can see also administrative capabilities such as user management, central tag management, API management, etc.

SAP Cloud ALM for Implementation - Customer Benefits

  • Harmonized implementation experience across SAP Cloud solutions
  • Fast time-to-value through content-driven implementation based on SAP Activate and Best Practices processes
  • Customer specific innovation through requirement-driven implementation
  • Instantaneously available, no deployment or configuration activities
  • Fast onboarding of your project team
  • Comprehensive workspace for fit-to-standard workshops
  • Built-in transparency about implementation progress
  • Seamless integration process covering all relevant implementation capabilities

In order to understand the capabilities and how they are used, we will go through a sample project and understand how each capability is used in the right sequence.

Onboarding

Customer can provision SAP Cloud ALM via SAP4ME. The provisioning of the system only takes a couple of minutes. ​

Detailed documentation on how to provision SAP Cloud ALM can be found here: https://help.sap.com/docs/cloud-alm/setup-administration/provisioning

The E2E Process overview shows the main activities by project roles and project phases in which they are executed. The graphic also visualizes the interdependencies and order within the different activities.

Project Setup

Now, the project lead can create a project in SAP Cloud ALM and select the Activate roadmap as the task template. Once selected, all tasks are loaded into the SAP Cloud ALM project and the timelines of the project can be specified (Phases, sprints and milestones). Based on the Activate roles, the project lead onboards the project team members. They get invited to the project via email and see the tasks they are assigned based on their roles. ​

In addition, the system landscape can be defined and the deployment plan with their releases documented. This can be done also in a later point of time but is required for automated testing as well as change and release management.​

For all set up activities, please refer to the Application Help ( https://help.sap.com/docs/cloud-alm/applicationhelp/administration)

Project and Task Management

All Activate roadmap content and accelerators are now available and can be used to track the project progress using task management capabilities. Additional tasks and sub tasks can be created and planned using the timeboxes and Gantt chart view. Mass edit and excel import and export is also available.​​

In the task application, it is possible to have different perspective on the tasks. A lit view provides the ability to show all tasks from different sources and then filter, group and search for tasks based on the current use case. When opening a task, all content from Activate is provided. The tasks can now be used for scheduling, assigning the responsible users, maintain the status, add comments, see the history of each task.

Also, a Gantt Chart view can help for further planning or maintaining predecessor and successor of tasks.

Project Tracking on Overview Page

Using built in capabilities and dashboards, the project progress can be tracked and reported on.

Other task sources

Next to the roadmap tasks and SAP Cloud ALM set up tasks, there are other sources of tasks in SAP Cloud ALM. If the project is using the SAP Central Business Configuration (CBC) for example, the configuration tasks can be loaded, so that central project management can be improved. These tasks can be used to navigate to the SAP CBC project to execute the tasks. Status information is fed back into SAP Cloud ALM.​

Also, tasks coming from SAP Readiness Check can be imported.​

An excel import can be used to import own roadmaps.​

Analytics

To keep track of the project activities and the configuration, development and testing activities, SAP Cloud ALM provides detailed analytics for the individual roles.

Project Tracking in Analytics

Project Scoping

Before the Fit-to-Standard workshops, the Business Process Expert can select the process scope in SAP Cloud ALM. All SAP Best Practice Solution Scenarios provided by SAP are available in SAP Cloud ALM. They can be selected and then the required solution processes and diagrams can be added to the project scope. If the customer conducted an evaluation with the Digital Discovery Assessment tool, the result (excel report) can be used to upload the scope directly into SAP Cloud ALM. ​

Processes can be organized in multiple scopes (e.g. by LoB or E2E process) and can be structured using the process hierarchy. ​

The Process Hierarchy can be created based on customer process structure. This helps to organize processes, test cases and documents later on.​

Process Authoring

If required, and if no modeling tool such as SAP Signavio is available, the pre-delivered SAP Best Practice Process Diagrams can be copied and adjusted within SAP Cloud ALM – Process Authoring. Also, additional value chain flows or BPMN diagrams can be modeled on top to visualize, e.g. end-to-end or integration processes. These modeling capabilities can also be used by partners to bring their own process content or if no SAP Best Practice content is available for the process scope.​

Once published, these diagrams can be used in the fit-to-Standard workshops to document requirements and later create test cases from the flow of activities.​

Fit-to-Standard Workshops

Using the Process Diagrams and the additional assets and supported by a parallel starter system for evaluation, the SAP standard is validated with the customer. This process is supported by a parallel system for evaluation.

Capture Requirements

During the validation of the SAP standard processes, additional requirements can be captured directly in the process. They can be linked to all elements in the process to define where the process or functionality needs to be enhanced. Additional non-process relevant requirements can be captured in the Requirements app. An excel import can also be used to mass import or update requirements. ​

Approve Requirement & Break Into User Stories

The requirement can now proceed through an approval process if necessary. The owner of the requirement is notified once the status of a requirement is set to 'in approval' and 'ready for approval'. A requirement can also be 'rejected', or set to 'not planned', or 'blocked'. ​

Once approved, the functional expert can specify what is needed to fulfill the requirement. He can define user stories that describe the tasks that need to be completed and assign these backlog items to the respective teams. ​

The user stories should include a description of the work package and the planned sprint in which it needs to be developed. The development teams can fine tune the user stories using subtasks. These can be assigned to individual developers to support a fine granular status tracking. In addition, project tasks can be created manually. In the Gantt chart the dependencies of tasks can be maintained. Tasks are assigned to timeboxes, for example sprints, but can also have individual due dates. using duration, story points and estimated effort, the project team can even do dynamic scheduling and track time conflicts. ​

In parallel, the release manager can start planning the releases and development sprints. For the requirements, he can create one or more features. These are used to transport the changes made in the realize phase through the system landscape, from development to testing, and finally to the production systems. ​

Solution Process and Requirement Traceability

Using the Solution Process Traceability application in the Analytics give a good overview of the overall progress. From here the project manager or process owner can track the related elements and their status. It is possible to navigate to all elements from here to see their details. ​

Documentation

During the project a lot of documentation is created. This can be project documentation, solution documentation, interface specification, technical design documents or training manuals. All documentation can be managed in SAP Cloud ALM. Although the tool does not have a document repository such as SAP Solution Manager, it provides capabilities to create documentation directly in the tool using the Document element. The document can be linked to the process to enable easy re-use of the documentation beyond the project. ​

Documents and their status can also be tracked in the solution process traceability. ​

Documents have a status, a priority, a human readable ID. Using the text editor, the content can be captured directly in SAP Cloud ALM. External documents such as word documents, excels or PowerPoints, can be stored in a local repository, for example, MS SharePoint, and linked using an URL reference. An integration of SAP BTP Document Management Service is planned.

Release and Deployment Management

Release and Deployment Management is a multi-step process that involves planning, executing releases, monitoring progress, and managing deployment tasks. SAP Cloud ALM facilitates change enablement by integrating various deployment tools, enabling the orchestration of transport requests throughout the implementation landscape. It provides Deployment and Release planning features to help users stay updated on go-live activities and ensure seamless software and configuration changes. Additional features, such as the deployment of transports and traceability reports, help users track changes effectively. ​

The Release manager needs to create a deployment plan and its releases in the 'Project Setup' application and assign the deployment plan to the project. A deployment plan can be assigned to multiple projects. Also, he needs to maintain the deployment landscape as a prerequisite to handle the changes across the landscape.

Feature

A feature is a mechanism used to deploy changes across your system landscape. It contains landscape information, serves as a container for transportable objects, and includes your technical change documentation.​

The change and deployment manager should create one or more features per requirement once it has the status 'in realization'. The feature has a predefined status flow. Once the change and deployment manager set the status to 'start implementation', the developer can assign their transports to the feature. Alternatively, the change manager can create a transport directly from the feature in SAP Cloud ALM. In parallel they maintain the status of the related user stories and subtasks. This way, the change and deployment manager can track the progress of the development and configuration. Once all user stories are set to 'done', the change and deployment manager can release the feature from development to testing and set the requirements into status 'in testing'. Now, testing can begin.​

Test Preparation

In parallel to the development, the test manager needs to work on the test cases. SAP Cloud ALM allows the preparation and execution of manual and automated test cases. ​

For some solutions, like S/4HANA, the Best Practice content provides standard test cases that can be imported into SAP Cloud ALM to accelerate the preparation process.​

In the Test Preparation application, the test manager can create manual test cases. He selects a scope and the test case type: manual or automated. ​

For the manual test cases he can select a solution process and diagram from his scope. By doing this, he gets already the list of steps from the diagram as the activity structure. Now, he can select which activities are in scope or out of scope and change the order of test activities. ​

To give the testers more details for the test execution, the test manager can describe test action, including title, instructions and expected results. This can also include screenshots. ​

Test Cases can further be categorized using tags.

For SAP Best Practice Content there are also excel downloads available, which can be used to fill the instructions via excel import. For more detailed please read the following blog: https://blogs.sap.com/2022/07/27/how-to-import-test-scripts-from-the-sap-best-practice-content-for-sap-s-4-hana-cloud-into-sap-cloud-alm-manual-test-cases/

Test Automation Integration

For the automated test cases, there are two integrations available.

  1. The test automation tool for SAP S/4HANA Cloud is a free automation provider delivered as part of the guided configuration tools for SAP S/4HANA in SAP Activate. It enables you to test SAP Best Practice processes after implementation or upgrade of SAP S/4HANA Cloud. It comes with pre-delivered test automation scripts.

  2. Tricentis Test Automation for SAP integrated with SAP Cloud ALM is a continuous testing platform that allows you to design automated, functional, end-to-end software tests across all layers of your enterprise architecture.

To use these integrations in your project, you need to configure a service and an endpoint in the Landscape Management app in SAP Cloud ALM. For more information please check:

https://help.sap.com/docs/cloud-alm/setup-administration/integrating-test-automation-providers?locale=en-US

Test Planning

In larger implementation projects you might want to run your test activities in iterations and therefore need to setup multiple test cycles re-using the same or a similar set of test cases.​

You can do this using the test plans. In the test plans application, you can create your test plans, describe them, plan the start, and end date and maintain a person responsible. Test plans also have a separate status. Then you can assign test cases from the test preparation application to your test plan. You can combine manual and automated test cases. The test cases can be assigned to multiple test plans and therefore can be executed multiple times.

For more information on test plans, please read: https://blogs.sap.com/2023/08/09/advanced-test-orchestration-using-test-plans-in-sap-cloud-alm/

Test Execution & Defect Management​

Once the test cases are prepared, the change and deployment manager can release the feature with its transports to the testing environment. To know if the feature can be released, the change and deployment manager needs to check in the feature traceability analytics, if test cases are prepared, and all tasks and user stories are completed as well as the transports are assigned. Then the change and deployment manager can handover the feature to test:​

Now the testers can execute the test cases. In the Test Execution application, they can select the test case and start the test run. Both, manual and automated test cases, can be executed here. For the automated test cases the execution is triggered and results are coming back from the test automation tool. For the manual test cases, the tester can set the status of each test activity.

Depending on the observed behavior during testing, the tester can assign the test status of the action. In case of unsuccessful execution, the tester is requested to add a description or screenshot. The test results can be saved, to execute the test later, or the test run can be finished.​

In case of an error, a defect process can be started by creating a defect directly from the test execution app. In case the defect is already created in the defect application, it can be assigned to the test case and a responsible can be defined.​

The defect can be handled in the Defects application. The defect has its own status and application as well as analytics to fully manage the defect process.​

Testing Analytics

In the project dashboard there are various testing KPIs. The test manager can quickly see how many test cases are in status "prepared" vs. still "in preparation", see execution status, number of failed test runs and defects. More detailed analytics are provided in the Analytics application such as executed test cases and actions by status, defect reporting, etc.

Deploy to Production

The change and deployment manager can check the testing status in the requirement traceability application. Once testing is done successful, the change and deployment manager can release the feature to production. Now the requirement status can be set to 'confirmed'.

SAP Cloud ALM for Operations​

In addition to the implementation features, SAP Cloud ALM offers many features, functions and processes for operating your cloud centric solution landscapes.

For more information, refer to the link https://support.sap.com/en/alm/sap-cloud-alm/operations.html?anchorId=section

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