Solution Manager 7.2 has been released, 7.1 ends maintenance next year

As of today, 15th August 2016, Solution Manager 7.2 has been released in general availability.

Maintenance for Solution Manager 7.1 ends at the end of 2017, because it is based on NetWeaver 7.0 AS Java. Maintenance for NetWeaver 7.0 AS Java ends next year. 

All customers need to upgrade to Solution Manager 7.2 before the end of 2017. 

What is Solution Manager?

SAP Solution Manager is a fully featured IT management tool that can store details of your SAP landscape, other applications and solution documentation.  It can be used for project management, ITSM, change management and a range of other activities.

Even if you don’t use any of the functionality in Solution Manager, it is mandatory for supporting and maintaining your SAP landscape.  It is used to download support packages for your other landscapes, and by SAP to deliver remote support services that are part of your SAP maintenance contract.

Solution Manager must be of a supported release for SAP to deliver support and updates to the rest of your landscape, so it is vital that it is kept up to date in all cases.

Upgrade or Re-implement?

You can upgrade to Solution Manager 7.2 with a release upgrade, or by re-implementing.  If you only use the mandatory functionality, it may be quickest and easiest to re-implement rather than upgrading. 

The other benefits of re-implementing are that you can install directly to the latest hardware, operating system and database to reduce the effort required in supporting the system.

With an upgrade, you keep all your configuration, and this is particularly important if you use the system for solution documentation or any other non-mandatory features.  The upgrade can more complex than re-implementing though, particularly if you also need to migrate to a new database or operating system

Get Free HANA!

Solution Manager 7.2 is the first Solution Manager release to support the SAP HANA database.  The SAP HANA database is SAP’s flagship database product that underpins their newest products such as the new ERP product S/4HANA.

Normally you need to pay for a license to use the SAP HANA database, but any customer with a valid support agreement with SAP can use Solution Manager on SAP HANA for free. 

You could use your free access to SAP HANA to start training your team to support HANA, to test-drive it in your own environment and to prove it is an enterprise-ready application for your organisation to start moving towards S/4HANA or Suite on HANA for your core business systems.

If you choose to re-implement Solution Manager 7.2, you can implement directly on HANA.  If you wish to upgrade your existing system you will need to include a migration to the HANA database in the upgrade project. 

Functionality in SAP Solution Manager 7.2

The best source for information on SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is the SAP Product Road Map for SAP Solution Manager (SAP logon required) which includes an overview of strategy and the new functionality offered.

There are new user interfaces with a broad range of supported devices and browsers, improvements to change management and ITSM.  There is, of course, the ability to run Solution Manager on HANA but also a new focus on managing HANA and HANA-based products with Solution Manager. 

There is also full support for the new SAP Activate project management methodology which replaces ASAP for implementing S/4HANA. 

Further Reading

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by Robert MacDonald, Senior SAP Consultant