Applicability of Systemcopy as a Service
SAP recommends that you always update enterprise software in your production system using the SAP transport system and never make changes directly in the production system. In addition, SAP suggests that you validate change transports through a QA system that is approximately identical to the production system and has up-to-date transaction data. Outdated data can affect the validity of change transport tests, which can lead to errors and failures in the production system. However, end-user transaction data is received only from the production system. Such data must therefore be passed regularly throughout the SAP transport chain to ensure that your non-production systems have up-to-date and valid transaction data. This can usually be accomplished by passing a system copy of the production system, created for updates, to the QA system. To reduce the number of test cycles, it is also advisable to update your development system occasionally.
With the entry into force of the GDPR, the topic of system copies has been expanded to include the aspect of anonymization: In many cases, personal or other sensitive data is operated on non-productive systems that usually have lower security levels and also allow access for those persons who are not normally allowed to work with GDPR-relevant data (eg developers or external consultants). For this reason, when defining the processes around system copy and, if necessary, also when selecting tools for automation, care must be taken to ensure that these also map data anonymization in accordance with the GDPR.
Checklist for preliminary work: Comparison of database sizes (target system must be the same or larger), comparison of database versions, kernel, host agent (ideally the same software version), dump of kernel files (export via SAPINST), saves download via SWDC, compile RFC connection passwords, inform third-party system administrators, provide memory, hard disk on the system for database and software import. Perform database dump, if necessary with transaction log, if possible with downtime, then without jobs or stop running jobs with report BTCTRNS1. Adminsitration passwords (DDIC, DB-Admin, Winadmin), create system snapshots (recovery), perform database import.
For companies, however, professional test data management is not only interesting for optimizing existing systems and processes particularly securely and quickly. With such a solution, they are also able to simulate the effects of serious changes even before the actual transformation. This can be extremely profitable, for example, for the conversion of existing ERP systems to the new SAP Business Suite S/4HANA. Decision-makers are thus able to successfully circumvent any transformation risks and define a roadmap for a smooth process.
For some time now, SAP customers have been supported in system copying by very powerful automation tools that can be used as needed, such as "Shortcut for SAP Systems". Nothing has to be installed in your SAP systems for this - no transport requests, no AddOns!
However, the disadvantages of this procedure are the high memory requirements, the lack of anonymization of the data and the long runtime of the copy process.
Outdated data can affect the validity of change transport tests, which can lead to errors and failures in the production system.