5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 1, 2008 5:03 PM by Craig Welch

    Frequency and Tools used to Manage Transports Release into Production

    James Apicello

      I would like some feedback on best practices in two areas below.  We are looking at changes to how often we move SAP transports into production (both code and config) as well as a transport tool.

      I know Solution Manager is the SAP tool going forward to manage transports but I would like some honest feedback from folks if they use Solution manager or another tool to manage their transports into their landscape.

      We are looking to benchmark best practices among other SAP customers

      1. How often do you release transports into production?

      2. Based on your answer to question 1, what quality process do you follow to allow changes into production?  

      (e.g. We follow a Quality Review process from functional specs to unit testing and then review changes at a review board prior to allowing any changes into production)

      3. What tool do you use to manage transports in your landscape (Dev, Quality and Production)?

      4. Based on your experience, what transport tool would you recommend using?

        • 1. RE: Frequency and Tools used to Manage Transports Release into Production
          David Stanton

          These answers refer to our ABAP systems, not Java.

          1) Weekly, with exceptions for critical fixes or other urgent changes. (Lack of planning doesn't make something urgent.) The production import follows the offline backup.

          2) We use an Outlook form to request (detailed functional specs) and track development efforts, include quality/test approvals. Within SAP, we use the TMS QA process (transaction STMS_QA): both team managers (department) and the QA team (sys admin) must approve a transport to move from QA to PRD.

          3) STMS, with periodic jobs to import to QA (15 min), TRN (weekly), & SBX (weekly), and manually scheduled to PRD.

          4) Our current system is an improvement over a third-party tool we used to use. We haven't explored using SolMan to manage transports yet.

          • 2. RE: Frequency and Tools used to Manage Transports Release into Production
            Jason Schweitzer

            My current employer is implementing SAP, so I'll chime in on my previous one, a large global company.

            1) manually move transports to PRD daily with STMS.  If there was a long list or special sequencing, a script was used at the OS level.

            2) once released in DEV, transports moved automatically to QA every 30 mins.  Regarding approvals, a change request was submitted in the change software (Service Desk) prior to the start of development.  Once "approved to build", changes automatically moved to QA for test.  The developer or change requestor would then submit a ticket for approval to move to PRD.  Once approved, transports moved to PRD daily.  There was also a weekly review meeting to discuss any new and approved transports.

            Tell you what, in terms of recommedning a tool.  Years ago at a different employer we used RealTech's Transport Manager.  The software was very easy to use, and what I liked from a Basis guy's perspective was that it could flag certain types of transports based on the objects they contained.  For instance, if it contained an index creation then I could schedule its movement to PRD at an approriate time.  Just checked their website and they now have OTO support and say they can integrate with SolMan Change Mgmnt.  I'm going to call them for a demo actually, sounds interesting!! 

            Hope more people respond to this thread.  it's a good question, Jim!!

            • 3. RE: Frequency and Tools used to Manage Transports Release into Production
              Jason Schweitzer

              hey David....  how do you manage large lists and special transport sequencing with TMS workflow?   I have always wondered about that!!

              • 4. RE: Frequency and Tools used to Manage Transports Release into Production
                David Stanton

                Jason: Our last really large list was in May 2007, and now I can't remember if we went through the approval steps. We must have, unless we suspended approvals temporarily. I didn't have to worry about the approvals though, just the import. But like you, I've used scripts at the OS to process large lists.

                • 5. RE: Frequency and Tools used to Manage Transports Release into Production
                  Craig Welch

                  We use a tool called QTMS that handles the workflow. It has built in workflow and the reporting seems to make our SOX Auditor's happy. Transports are imported in the order that they are approved (as opposed to the order they went into QAS). Transports get attached in groups to a specific change being made. We run a  batch job to PRD daily for customary transports (low risk) and weekly on Sunday for all others. We do all the attach and approvals in one system and it handles the imports. 

                  If you want more info on where to get QTMS I'll answer separately. I don't think we are supposed to mention vendors directly in these threads.

                  Craig