SAP NetWeaver is a popular and robust software solution for CRM, finance, ERP, and more. If you use SAP, you’re probably also familiar with its scheduling component, the Computing Center Management System (CCMS). As convenient as the CCMS seems to be for scheduling your SAP jobs, it might be holding you back.
Pat Cameron and Jan-Erik Lovlie from HelpSystems recently hosted a webinar to help you decide if it’s time to find an alternative to the CCMS.
Why Replace the CCMS?
The SAP CCMS is a reliable tool for doing what it’s made to do—run SAP jobs at a certain time. But it’s not very sophisticated. SAP has expertise in business applications, including HR, finance, sales, and manufacturing solutions, but they don’t choose to spend their resources developing advanced automation functionality for their software. This is typical of many business applications—you get a best-of-breed application with a very basic job scheduling tool.
If you’re using one of these top business solutions, you’ll want to maximize your investment in the software. For that, you need an enterprise job scheduler.
The most important reason to replace the CCMS with an enterprise scheduler is that it can be used for scheduling more than just SAP jobs. If you need to automate other business applications, like Informatica, Oracle, or any other critical software, you’ll be able to coordinate them all from a central location, allowing you to see the big picture of what’s happening in your enterprise.
An enterprise job scheduler also allows event-driven scheduling. The event that triggers the next step in your workflow could be time, but it could also be something like a file arriving. In the webinar, Pat mentioned a recent discussion with a customer who was scheduling Job A at 10:00 and Job B at 10:15 to ensure that Job A had completed before Job B started. There are few problems with that strategy. For one thing, it’s a waste of 15 valuable minutes, and if Job A is late to complete, Job B might fail and cause critical errors. Speaking of which, it’s important to have a tool that will quickly and automatically notify you if anything goes wrong with your job schedule.
The CCMS has the ability to trigger one SAP job when another SAP job completes. An enterprise job scheduler goes beyond the CCMS to offer true cross-system reactivity.
What is Cross-System Reactivity and Do You Need It?
Cross-system reactivity means that your schedule is not only event-driven, those events can take place on completely different systems or applications. For example, an order being placed on your website can trigger simultaneous workflows of sending the order to the distribution center for processing and also entering it into your ERP software to be used in a daily report.
So do you need an enterprise job scheduler with cross-system reactivity? If you are running multiple servers and applications, you probably do. The pace of business is increasing every day, and if you are taking the time to build separate schedules on each system or writing custom scripts to handle cross-platform dependencies, you’ll lose your competitive edge.
You also want flexibility and smart automation options. For example, sometimes it’s valuable to have every step in the process execute immediately. In other cases—say, running that daily report—you might want to wait until after hours when fewer resources are in use.
How Automate Schedule Goes Beyond the CCMS
Jump to 9:30 in the video to see Pat demonstrate Automate Schedule and to 22:57 for Jan-Erik’s demo of Automate’s SAP-specific features.
Automate Schedule uses a browser-based UI, which makes the job schedule easy to access without needing to install anything on your workstation. Learn more about why having a web browser interface matters in this video.
From the Automate Schedule interface, you have a central view into everything happening in your environment. You can see all your enterprise jobs, whether they are SAP jobs or other tasks. Automate Schedule even has a universal connector which allows it to communicate with any third-party web service. Pat didn’t show the Universal Connector in this demo, but you can learn more about it here.
Automate Schedule provides detailed audit logs and reports for job, agent, or event history, forecasting, and monitoring—everything you or an auditor would want or need to know. In addition, using Automate Schedule for your SAP jobs allows you to:
- Save system resources from unexpected SAP batch jobs
- See critical job statuses that SAP doesn't show you
- Use Automate Schedule’s built-in FTP function with your SAP jobs
- Intercept SAP jobs and let Automate Schedule decide when they will run
- Group multiple SAP jobs (ABAP steps) and run them as a single job
- Query ABAP programs, their variants, and output devices in the SAP System
Using this intuitive interface and sophisticated options like cross-system reactivity, event-driven scheduling, automatic notifications, and forecasting, your job schedule is transformed from a patchwork of disparate tasks into centrally orchestrated automation.