Consolidate Your IDoc Monitoring with SAP Solution Manager

  • by Michal Krawczyk, SAP Integration Consultant, BCC, Poland
  • Michal Kowalczewski, Project manager and e-business team leader, BCC, Poland
  • June 12, 2009
Manager
SAP Solution Manager can act as a consolidation system for business process monitoring. In this excerpt from the authors’ SAP PRESS book Mastering IDoc Business Scenarios with SAP NetWeaver PI, learn the steps you’ll need to use to create and link business processes to multiple systems for monitoring.
Key Concept

Use SAP Solution Manager to monitor not only all SAP application systems in one place, but also to monitor business processes that are happening across these systems. This accelerates the resolution of issues related to any of the interfaces and shows you which business processes are directly affected so that your organization can react appropriately.

If there is more than one SAP application system (e.g., SAP ERP, SAP Customer Relationship Management [SAP CRM], or SAP Supplier Relationship Management [SAP SRM]) in a company, monitoring IDocs on each of them can be a very difficult task for two reasons:

  • If you monitor the IDocs on each of the SAP application systems, you need to log on to them each time you receive an alert and want to check the reason for the alert.
  • If you monitor the IDocs on each of the systems, you may not know the business processes affected by the interfaces.

The first reason should be clear; that is why we will concentrate only on the second one for now. Many companies use a variety of systems in their landscape and all of those systems perform different roles. Imagine that you need to send out sales orders from an SAP ERP system to another planning system that checks material availability before delivery creation. If the planning system does not receive any messages, the people responsible for managing the system may not know why this is happening. There could be many reasons: there may not be any sales orders inside SAP ERP that need to be checked, some sales orders may not be in a status that requires sending the message to the planning system yet, or the sales orders may already be distributed to the planning system but have not reached the system for some reason. If, in addition, these sales orders arrive from several ERP systems, checking what went wrong by calling the responsible persons would be a very long and cumbersome task.

Michal Krawczyk

Michal Krawczyk is an SAP consultant for BCC Poland. He works with SAP XI/PI, ALE/EDI, CRM middleware, and other SAP interface-related technologies. He was presented the Top Contributor award in the XI/PI area on SDN in 2005, 2006, and 2007, and the SAP Mentor award in 2007. He has published more than 60 articles about SAP XI and MDM on SDN and has written a book about PI published by SAP PRESS. He is also an SAP Professional Journal author.

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Michal Kowalczewski

If there is more than one SAP application system (e.g., SAP ERP, SAP Customer Relationship Management [SAP CRM], or SAP Supplier Relationship Management [SAP SRM]) in a company, monitoring IDocs on each of them can be a very difficult task for two reasons:

  • If you monitor the IDocs on each of the SAP application systems, you need to log on to them each time you receive an alert and want to check the reason for the alert.

  • If you monitor the IDocs on each of the systems, you may not know the business processes affected by the interfaces.

The first reason should be clear; that is why we will concentrate only on the second one for now. Many companies use a variety of systems in their landscape and all of those systems perform different roles. Imagine that you need to send out sales orders from an SAP ERP system to another planning system that checks material availability before delivery creation. If the planning system does not receive any messages, the people responsible for managing the system may not know why this is happening. There could be many reasons: there may not be any sales orders inside SAP ERP that need to be checked, some sales orders may not be in a status that requires sending the message to the planning system yet, or the sales orders may already be distributed to the planning system but have not reached the system for some reason. If, in addition, these sales orders arrive from several ERP systems, checking what went wrong by calling the responsible persons would be a very long and cumbersome task.

On the other hand, imagine that you have one system in which you can create a business process for sales order distribution and link this process to all application systems that take part in it. This way, if you want to check errors for the entire business process, you only have to look at one system.

We’ll describe how to configure a sample business process with one IDoc interface and how monitoring of interfaces in this business process can be done afterwards. Several steps and prerequisites need to be fulfilled to configure SAP Solution Manager for business process monitoring, including the following:

  • All SAP application systems (such as SAP ERP, SAP CRM, and SAP SRM) must have the ST-PI and ST-A/PI plug-ins installed

  • SAP Solution Manager must have all of your SAP application systems configured, with Remote Function Call (RFC) connectivity to those systems

  • A solution needs to be created in which you will configure business processes

Because these items are usually maintained by the Basis team, we will not describe them in detail here. You also need to carry out a number of steps in SAP Solution Manager to set up business process monitoring functionality:

Step 1. Create a business process that will represent the sample process: sending sales order IDocs

Step 2. Create an interface scenario you will append to the business process created in the first step

Step 3. Configure the interface scenario monitoring to check only for errors that occur in the monitoring object, sales order inbound

In this article, we will show you how to perform each of these steps. After you complete them, you will be ready to perform a sample monitoring of the business process.

Note
You can find more information on IDocs in the authors’ upcoming SAP PRESS book Mastering IDoc Business Scenarios with SAP NetWeaver PI, available in July at www.sap-press.com.

Step 1. Create a Business Process

First, you need to create a business process you will be monitoring to see if there are any IDocs with an error status. One of the prerequisites for this is a new solution (i.e., a basic element in which you can create your objects) inside SAP Solution Manager. In our example, the name of the solution is demo krawczyk, as you can see in the Solution Structure on the left in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Business process creation

Step 1. When you open the solution, you first need to create a business scenario. You do this in the Business Scenarios node. Select the node, enter the name DEMO BOOK into the Scenario field, and save it.

Step 2. After you save the scenario, several nodes appear. One of them is the Business Processes node. After you open this node, you can enter a sample business process such as DEMOPROCESS, as shown in Figure 1.

Step 3. After you have saved the new business process, you should see it in the Solution Structure area of the screen. Expand the process to be able to add steps to it.

Step 4. As shown in Figure 2, you add just two steps — IDOC send and IDOC receive. Both use the same logical component (i.e., the same SAP application systems), which is SAP R/3 in this example. Because this is a demo, you only configured one SAP application system (the second prerequisite mentioned earlier in this article). This system will be used as both sender and receiver of the messages.

Figure 2 Step creation with logical system assignment

After you save the solution, the demo business process is ready to be used. Next, you need to add an interface between the two steps. You can only do this after a new interface scenario is available.

Step 2. Create the Interface Scenario

After the business scenario has been created, you need to create an interface scenario object that tells the system which components take part in the process. Proceed as follows:

Step 1. As shown in Figure 3, select the Interface Scenarios node and enter IDOC as the interface scenario’s description.

Figure 3 Create the interface scenario

Step 2. After you have saved the new interface scenario, you should see it in the Solution Structure area of the screen. Expand it to be able to add interfaces to it. As shown in Figure 4, you will add one interface — IDOC send. You need to fill out the fields for Sending logical system and Receiving logical system (which in this example will be the same system, as explained earlier). You also need to add the Technology, which should be ALE (for IDocs), and the Type, which should be 2 Asynchronous because IDocs are always asynchronous messages.

Figure 4 Interface creation with logical systems, technology, and type assignments

Step 3. After you have created an interface, you can add steps for the interface by selecting the IDOC send scenario in the Solution Structure. Enter an interface step, SENDIDOC, together with a logical component (the same one used for the interface definition) as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5 Define the interface step

Step 4. When the interface is ready, go back to the business process you created and select the Graphical view tab. This view shows the graphical definition of the business process with both of the steps you configured. From this view, you need to append an interface between the two steps. You can do so by right-clicking both interfaces and selecting Create Line (Asynchronously) from the context menu, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 Add an interface between two business process steps

Step 5. After the line connects the two business process steps, right-click this new line and select Assign Interface from the context menu, as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7 Select Assign Interface

Step 6. A new pop-up window appears where you will be able to select the IDOC send interface (Figure 8).

Figure 8 Select an interface for the interface to business process assignment

This portion of the configuration is complete and you now have a business process with an interface defined. The only thing left to do is to assign the monitoring applications (e.g., ALE monitoring objects) that will be used for business process monitoring.

Step 3. Configuring Interface Scenario Monitoring

To add the new ALE monitoring object, you need to use the Back button on the main solution screen and select Operations > Business Process Monitoring > Setup Business Process Monitoring.

Step 1. This opens the Business Process Monitoring screen. Here, under the Business Processes node, you select the check box in the Select column, as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9 Select a scenario for monitoring

Step 2. After you have saved the selection, the node will be created with the same name as your business process. You then select the Interface Monitoring node and again select the check box in the Select column next to the Interface name, as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10 Selecting the Interface for Monitoring

Step 3. When you save the new selection again, a new node appears (Figure 11). From there, you select the check box next to the Interface Monitoring (CCMS) row because you will be using the custom monitoring object created in transaction BDMO.

Note
The custom monitoring object used in Step 3 was created in transaction BDMO. This is covered in a separate chapter in our book, and is beyond the scope of this article.

Figure 11 CCMS monitoring selection

Step 4. After you have saved the entry, a new node appears under the node with your interface’s name called Interface Monitoring (CCMS). When you open this node by clicking it, you can then click the Reload CCMS: ALE Mon Objects button shown in Figure 12.

Step 5. When you press (F4) on the SID column, a new search help box appears with the same custom monitoring objects from the SAP application system created in transaction BDMO (Figure 12).

Figure 12 Select a Monitoring Object

Step 6. Select any of the monitoring objects (you can see two objects because you are using the same system for the sender and the receiver) and save the entry.

Step 7. Again, after you have saved the entry, a new node called Alert Monitors appears. When you open this node, you perform a sequence of steps. All of them are shown in Figure 13:

  • Click the Reload CCMS: Thresholds button to get the threshold values from the ERP system on which you configured transaction BDMO.

  • Click the Copy all button to copy the thresholds.

  • Select the ALE monitoring alerts you want to use. We suggest that you select at least the following alert: BCZ:Sales Orders – inbound/Inbound: Error in application.
Figure 13 Alert selection for Monitoring Objects

Step 8. You now need to go to the Generate Monitoring node and click the Generate+Activate Monitoring button, as shown in Figure 14.

Figure 14 Activating monitoring

Step 9. If the activation was successful and there are no errors in the log on the activation screen, you can proceed to the next steps. If there are errors, we suggest checking whether all of the steps were performed as shown. If the error persists, you may need to check SAP Notes because the issue may not be related to Customizing.

Step 10. After you are done with the monitoring customization, you can check whether errors are visible in SAP Solution Manager. To do so, you need to go back (press F3) from the business process monitoring setup and click the Operations link.

Step 11. You should then see a screen, as shown in Figure 15, with the DEMOPROCESS scenario object. You can click this to check its details.

Figure 15 Screen with process overview

Step 12. When you are in the details view for the process, you can see the interface represented as a line from one process step (send) to another (receive), with a Display Alerts icon (appears as a lightning bolt), as shown in Figure 16.

Step 13. When you click the Display Alerts icon, you see all alerts generated by the custom ALE monitoring object created with transaction BDMO, as shown in Figure 17.

Figure 16 Process details screen
Figure 17 ALE alerts for a custom monitoring object

Step 14. When you double-click an alert, it takes you to a screen where you can use all standard transactions for IDoc monitoring, such as transaction BD87 (for IDoc reprocessing) or transaction WE05 (for IDoc monitoring).

Step 15. When you open any of these transactions, they redirect you to the monitored system, which was the goal of this exercise.

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