Today, businesses want more SAP change than ever before. At the same time, project timelines are tighter than they have ever been. So, a robust, easy-to-use SAP release management process is a must to keep pace with the volume, velocity and quality required without negatively impacting your production systems.
Rev-Trac has provided robust and flexible SAP release management options to its customers for over 15 years.
In the early days, this was achieved by defining parent/child relationships between Rev-Trac requests. Here, one Rev-Trac Request would be configured as the ‘Parent’ and hold all the ‘Child’ requests. This enabled Rev-Trac to provide control over the release as a single body of work, no matter how many children Rev-Trac requests were in the parent release.
Fast forward 10 plus years, and with the continued adoption and maturity of Agile, CI/CD, and DevOps processes for many SAP customers, release management is even more crucial. These new processes are critical in achieving aggressive commercial goals. Even more, they create a need to manage multiple SAP projects simultaneously while requiring an increase in the frequency of release deployment.
Enter the Release Management Workbench
Since the beginning, the Release Management Workbench (RMW) has been a feature of Rev-Trac – our automated SAP change management platform. The RMW was re-engineered with the release of Rev-Trac Platinum in 2018 (check out this video).
The RMW is accessed via the SAP GUI and the Web GUI. Release managers can use the RMW to create new Release requests and manage Release and Change requests of common projects.
There is no limit to the number of Rev-Trac Release Requests you can create, nor the number of children Rev-Trac Requests added to a Release Request. In turn, requests from different SAP landscapes such as ECC, S/4HANA, CRM, BOBJ, PI etc., can be added to the same Release Request.
How it works!
Below is an image of the RMW accessed from the Rev-Trac HTML-5 compatible Web GUI. You can also see a range of other Workbenches and reports available from the same left navigation pane.
Click on the RMW menu option to search all releases across all your SAP environments.
For this blog, let’s search [Project] Support.
In this instance, Releases 1642 – Project Seymour – and 1667 – INEO – are displayed.
You can see a snapshot of the results below.
In the above, Project Seymour’s Release Request is on the left. The middle column displays the requests associated with the release, and on the right are all project change requests not assigned to any release.
The RMW is user-friendly. To assign Rev-Trac Requests to a Release, the user switches the workbench to change mode and then can drag and drop unassigned requests (or candidate Change Requests) onto a Release Request. You can also move Change Requests from one Release Request to another if a change needs to be delayed or brought forward.
Changes made to the Release Request are saved. Transports in the Change Requests, they are automatically synchronized with the Release Request.
From the workbench, the manager can drill down into the details of the parent Release Request, the children Rev-Trac Requests, the SAP transports, and even the SAP components – all from one central screen.
For example, Release 2071 (see above) is a minor release scheduled for deployment in calendar week 23.
The release is currently locked, meaning that no further changes can be added. You can unlock the release; however, it requires approvals from authorized team members. Naturally, you can configure naming conventions and settings to meet your requirements.
Considering Release 2071, there are three Rev-Trac Requests linked with the release. Users can interact with requests and drill down to see the transports associated with each and their complete workflow history.
You can run additional capabilities such as safety checks (OOPS, PODS etc.) on the entire release or individual requests (see below).
The RMW provides a single view of all releases and lets you drag and drop requests into and out of releases.
In the below image, Release 2071 has received CAB Approval for Production. A release gets this status when all the [children] Rev-Trac Requests within the release have the appropriate approvals. The release is automatically updated to reflect this. CAB approval status, and all other statuses, can be easily configured based on requirements.
The RMW provides significant flexibility in managing releases. There are request relationship rules, interface notifications and many other tools to assist with moving large volumes of SAP change safely and efficiently.
With the Release Management Workbench, it is set and forget. Configure the RMW how you want it to work, and then the technology does the rest, delivering your Release on time, on budget and without disrupting daily business operations.
For more information, feel free to contact one of our SAP change management experts.