Challenges with SAP system copies
Job logic instead of customizing
One example: In an SAP environment, a system copy must be performed for various reasons - until now manually. Such a copy is always required when the QA system of a multi-level SAP architecture has to be brought up to the status of the current production system: Be it for testing new applications or during a release upgrade, for maintenance purposes or for updating the quality assurance and test system. In principle, the task proves to be simple: All files belonging to the clean configuration and implementation of the SAP environment must be transferred from the productive systems to the quality assurance system in the correct order and in the correct directories.
Suitable tools make it possible to automate and accelerate the necessary creation of true-to-original SAP system copies, for example. This means that you have all production data available on your test system in a short time.
Scope of the SAP system copy
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 Outdated data can affect the validity of change transport tests, which can lead to errors and failures in the production system.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.
Powerful and sophisticated automation tools for the creation of SAP system copies provide a remedy here and demonstrably make it possible, in addition to time and cost savings, to increase the process quality of system copying, for example, or to maintain it at a consistently high level. In effect, they free up SAP Basis.
A solution such as "Shortcut for SAP Systems" offers an automatable solution for many of the activities involved in an SAP system copy.
To do this, you need development, consolidation, and quality assurance (QA) systems that can provide the production system with the appropriate updates as SAP transports.
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).