Rutger Heijmerikx

SAP System refresh made simple

Having the best refresh strategy?
There are several ways of performing a refresh from SAP production to your test environments. One of the most commonly used is snapshot technology to rapidly spin up a new environment. 
All of these technologies have a few disadvantages however, to name a few:

  • BDLS runs for a long time to convert all logical system names to their non-production variant.  

  • Target systems are created with the entire dataset, including all transaction history that is being kept in the system.

What if there are other ways of performing a refresh that do not have these disadvantages?
EPI-USE Labs created such a product called Data Sync Manager (DSM). It consists of 4 modules, 2 of which are used to build a new system. 

  • System Builder to create the initial shell (including custom tables and programs);  

  • Client Sync to fill a client with data from the production system.

Data Sync Manager differs from other solutions: 

  • During the extract of the transactional data, you can decide which time slice you wish to use, for example only transactional data of the past 3 months. Using the option ‘Resolve incomplete document flows’ it ensures that a consistent environment is being setup even if some of the related documents officially are not part of the time slice chosen.  

  • Only need a test system with a single company code? Transactional data can be sliced on Company code level as well. Simply mark the list of company codes that are required.  

  • Conversions of logical system names do no longer require BDLS to run as this is done on the fly during the import.  

  • When the repository is already in good shape because of correct transport management, there is no need to use System Builder to create a new system. In these cases, only Client Sync has be used to refresh the client-specific data, saving even more time and processing steps.

Data on demand
In case of production issues or training systems there is often a high need for actual production test data on demand. Waiting for a refresh is then not option as this needs to be planned and executed, manually recreating this data is very time consuming. 
One of the other modules in the DSM suite is Object Sync. Object Sync is a very powerful module that is capable of very selectively retrieving data from production towards a non-production system, for example a Billing Document for which an issue was reported.
Object Sync enables you to download this Billing Document including all related documents (like Delivery note, Sales Order, etc) and master data that is used. This will give any user the capability of performing fast- and production like testing.
Do you have a need for training system? Object Sync can also replicate this data as many times as required to ensure that every person can work with the same test set without blocking each other or running out of possible example scenario’s.

Refresh planning
Even though Client Sync is a powerful module to refresh clients in a fast way, many customers struggle to find a proper window because there are many projects running at the same time, each in their own timeframe. Performing a refresh right in the middle of a project phase might cause the projects to get disrupted. Consequence? The refresh is not performed at all.
Object Sync can be of great help in these cases. 

  • If the quality system already contains master data that is not yet available on production (in case of a running project), it will not be available anymore after a refresh. Make use of the capability of Object Sync to download this master data to an encrypted file on the filesystem. Once the refresh is performed, these files can be uploaded again to reinstate the created master data. Are number ranges overlapping? No problem at all, Object Sync has the option to either overwrite existing data or create new objects following the standard number range settings. 

  • If a project needs to use fresh production data but a refresh cannot be planned, Object Sync can be used to selectively refresh your target system. For each object type (materials, customers, sales orders, etc) select the range you require and upload it into the target system. It’s as easy as that.

Would you like to get more out of your investment of Data Sync Manager?
Feel free to contact us.