Support Package 9 of Focused Build for SAP Solution Manager released – we listen to our customers!

How could a year start better? Directly at the beginning Focused Build SP9 is released where SAP spent a lot of time in developing functions and features which have been requested by our customers in the Customer Connection Program 2021. We asked for Improvement Requests in the areas of Process Management, Test Suite and Change and Release Management. A complete summary of all provided requests can be found here where you can also find information about the planned availability of features in later SPs like SP10 or 11 of Focused Build.

Again this blog cannot cover all new functionalities, to get the full list join our What’s New Call on February, 9th 2:30pm to 3:30pm CET.

Enhancements in Requirements Management – customer specific fields and extended approval workflow

It was requested for a long time that customers can enhance the Requirement Process with self-defined fields which are highly required to make a good decision about approval or rejection. With the new framework customers can customize text or numeric fields as well as flags.

My%20Requirements%20Application%20with%20custom%20fields

My Requirements Application with custom fields

The extended approval workflow allows customers to define approvals with different steps, sequences or email-notifications. This is especially required if Requirements cannot be approved by one person but several persons, sometimes even from different departments and allows a faster reaction to approval demands.

Refactored Dashboard for Release Management and Change Request Management

Provided feedback by customers often showed a lack of performance in the Release Management dashboard especially for larger implementation projects as well as a lack of functionality. Therefore it was decided to completely rebuild the dashboard based on a new architecture and leveraging latest UI5 functionalities with Fiori Design Guidelines. The improved user experience helps Release Managers, Development Team Managers or System Architects to get quickly an overview about ongoing changes in the affected landscapes. Predefined queries allow a quick filtering on required information and the automatically calculated ratings (based on predefined KPIs or customer-specific KPIs) provide a fast but also detailed information about missing deliverables in documents like Work Packages, Work Items or Urgent Changes.

New%20and%20redesigned%20Release%20Dashboard

New and redesigned Release Dashboard

Improvements in Process Management – highly beneficial also for SAP S/4HANA Conversion Projects

With SP9 the integration of Test Steps into the dropDocs functionality has been enhanced. It is now possible to directly create Test Step test cases from the Work Package or Work Item where they should belong to. This speeds up the creation process. Also the test step status is now taken into consideration for the KPI calculation. So far the KPI for an assigned test case was already fulfilled if a test step test case was assigned, independent whether this one was released or not. Now also the status is checked allowing a more granular reporting.

Another new capability is the Where-Used function. For already assigned business process content (for example a transaction) you can determine which business process or business process step is using this transaction. This allows also a deeper integration into the conversion project support use case. Every Conversion Activity coming from the SAP Readiness Check is assigned to an SAP Note. During the creation of a follow-up document (Requirement or Work Package) to such a Conversion Activity, we read now with SP9 the application component information of the SAP Note. Based on that application component information, the system triggers a search in the Executable Library and provides executables like transactions or reports that have this application component. The affected executable(s) can be selected and assigned to the follow-up document, and with the Where-Used functionality the gap between an affected executable by the planned system conversion and the affected business process step can be easily bridged.

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Easy assignment of affected business process steps

Usability improvements

Besides the already mentioned bigger new functions there are as usual also smaller improvements which we have implemented based on the customer connection program, but also based on regular exchange with partners and customers. Also here only a subset can be mentioned.

In the Project Management area we offer now a report to adjust the synchronization between existing projects. In addition the Project Management application allows an easy creation of new tasks, for example organizational work that needs to be done.

A new UI5 application is introduced to view scheduled import jobs. That will help developers to easily find out when their transport is going to be imported in the target system.

In the Defect Management process, when the processor of a defect is changed, the new processor will be automatically notified via email to speed up the processing time.

In the transport tab of the Work Item it is now possible to collapse the landscape view to the current relevant system(s), for example on the development system(s) if the Work Item is in status “in Development”. That avoids unnecessary scrolling especially for customers with a high number of system landscapes controlled via Focused Build.

In Test Suite the business partner search is harmonized among all fields. This search help will be rolled out step by step also to other applications in future. In the Test Suite Dashboard a new tile was added showing the total number of defects.

Hopefully this (small) introduction into the new functionalities released with the new Focused Build Support Package 9 are beneficial for you. Please feel free to provide feedback either directly here in the comment section or, in case of questions, you can submit them here.