SAP Solution Manager: Functions, Structure and Challenges

For many organizations, SAP Solution Manager (SolMan) remains the primary solution for the administration of their SAP enterprise applications. Here you will find out what SolMan does, what functions it offers, but also what challenges come up when using the Solution Manager. And most importantly, how you can prepare for the end of maintenance in 2027.

SAP Solution Manager End of Life

At the SAP ALM Summit 2022, SAP announced that the lifecycle of SAP Solution Manager will be aligned with that of SAP ECC. The platform will be maintained until the end of 2027, with a possible maintenance extension until the end of 2030. SAP also announces that there will be no further releases for the current 7.2 release of SolMan. The upcoming end of maintenance for SAP Solution Manager is a challenge for many SAP customers. But instead of dealing with the hassle of implementing SAP Cloud ALM, use the the opportunity to look for a better alternative.

What is SAP Solution Manager (SolMan)?

SAP Solution Manager, also called SAP SolMan or just SolMan, is an intelligent platform for application lifecycle management software (ALM). ALM, in turn, consists of tools and processes that help manage the lifecycle of a software product – from development to product design to product retirement.

Basically, SolMan is a collection of tools and services that help manage and monitor SAP environments. Solution Manager is already integrated as a toolset in all SAP systems and is free of charge for license holders.

The platform is used as a central management tool that supports companies in the digitization and automation of business processes.

SAP Solution Manager is an important tool, especially when it comes to automating processes. But that’s not all: As a “single source of the truth,” Solution Manager helps to create transparency and reduce administrative effort by mapping the applications in an SAP infrastructure in a centralized manner. This possibility always exists, regardless of whether the IT solution is in the data center, hybrid or in the cloud.

SAP Solution Manager

The latest version of SAP Solution Manager is version 7.2, which can be used to implement, maintain, operate and take over all, even non-SAP, IT solutions of a company. Version 7.2 provides functions to extend and improve system landscape management, such as the following:

  • A new as well as intuitive user interface that supports web-based interfaces and management dashboards. It enables platform-independent operation of Solution Manager with role-based access to functional areas.
  • A revision of the solution documentation that fully integrates the system to SAP test management.
  • In the IT Service Management (ITSM) section, there is a completely updated interface.
  • The Maintenance Optimizer (MOPZ) was also completely revised in the process of the changeover and replaced by its successor, Maintenance Planner, in order to optimize change management.
  • ensures increased productivity through the availability of IT tools and resources.
  • The latest version of the SolMan supports the use of the SAP HANA database and can be used under SAP S/4HANA via SAP Cloud Platform: The integration of cloud-based and classic on-premise solutions thus enables the seamless management of hybrid software environments.

From 2020, SAP additionally introduced SAP Cloud ALM as SaaS. It has been completely redeveloped with a focus on cloud products and implementation methods. SAP Cloud ALM relies much more on standardization than on individuality like SAP Solution Manager. Whether it makes sense to switch to SAP Cloud ALM depends on your system landscape. It is not absolutely necessary.

Structure and functions of the SAP Solution Manager

Solution Manager is modular, so you can flexibly adapt it to the individual needs of your company. This way, the Solution Manager has access to all important technical information in order to to ensure smooth operation of the systems and guarantee agile lifecycle management.

SAP Solution Manager thus provides everything needed to ensure efficient management of the system. Below are the most important modules and their functions:

Application Operations

Application Operations includes functions that simplify system, integration and user monitoring for the control, analysis and management of SAP solutions.

Business Process Operations

With the help of the Business Process Operations module, companies can always keep track of all aspects of the core business process, such as costs In addition, this allows you to ensure that all processes are in line with internal priorities.

Data Volume Management (DVM)

Data Volume Management checks and controls the data volume of the entire SAP system landscape.

Custom Code Management

Custom Code Management provides a central component for all functions to monitor and manage the entire development cycle of code generation.

Change and Request Management

SAP Solution Manager enables companies to customize changes in their SAP landscape using “Change and Request Management”.

Changes in the SAP landscape can be made very easily with REALTECH SmartChange. SmartChange is a flexible tool that can be operated without much effort, is cost-effective and can be integrated into various systems.

IT Service Management (ITSM)

IT Service Management (ITSM for short) is the provision of IT as a service – for employees and customers. This includes all processes and activities related to the planning, compilation, delivery and support of IT services.

An excellent alternative is SmartITSM, which covers all functions from ticketing and IT operations to CMDB. SmartChange also offers the option of integrating SAP transports directly into your ITSM tool. This enables transparent end-to-end processes and saves you the detour via Solution Manager.

Landscape Management

Landscape Management describes processes in the IT landscape that run across multiple tools and enables efficient planning of all changes within an SAP system landscape that are necessary for smooth operations.

Optimize your landscape management with CMDB integration for Solution Manager. The CMDB collects scattered data in a central location, including data that is not usually stored in SAP. Information about the entire infrastructure (SAP and non-SAP) is made easily accessible.

Project Management

Solution Manager is integrated with the project management functions of SAP Portfolio and Project Management (SAP PPM). This allows you, for example, to easily manage project times, resources and the status of processes and developments .

Test Management

The “Test Management” module supports you in performing tests of new developments and checks their environments and conditions. The function covers all test phases, from planning and execution to the creation of test reports.

Cross Topics

Here you will find information on overarching topics in Solution Manager such as Content Activation, SAP Solution Manager Setup, SAP Engagement and Service Delivery, Analytics and more.

Diagnostics & Monitoring

SAP Solution Manager Diagnostics is part of SAP’s own “Standards for Solution Operations” and is the central analysis and monitoring tool for identifying problems and performing cross-system analyses in the SAP landscape.

SAP Solution Manager: Challenges

Due to its extensive range of functions, SolMan is very complex and not so easy to manage. The introduction alone is time-consuming and cost-intensive. Furthermore, the operation requires high personnel costs and corresponding expertise, which is difficult to obtain in the current times.

Due to the proprietary architecture and the lack of standardized interfaces, complete integration is difficult and involves additional effort.

The End of Maintenance of SAP Solution Manager

The upcoming end of maintenance is another considerable challenge. Companies need to find alternatives to compensate for the loss of the current solution. The SolMan successor SAP Cloud ALM does not offer an ideal replacement, as it does not have the same range of functions as Solution Manager.

No more SolMan, no more ChaRM

SAP teams that rely on ChaRM in particular face major challenges. Cloud ALM is not an adequate alternative for change management. So how can you manage your SAP transports without ChaRM? Discover third-party solutions that can be even better than SAP SolMan.

Migrate ChaRM Change Documents

Finding an alternative is the first step. However, the transition itself is not trivial as well. Discover SmartChange, which is not only a reliable successor to ChaRM, but also an automated migration solution. This way you don’t have to worry about your important change documents.

Conclusion: SAP Solution Manager and REALTECH Software

The functions and application areas of SAP Solution Manager are diverse, but also very complex. The complexity requires thorough training and knowledge of the tool to use it effectively. However, many companies do not need all the functions included in SolMan. To keep efforts low, they use specialized third-party tools that focus on single disciplines.

REALTECH also offers solutions that replace individual Solution Manager features. Our product portfolio includes lean and easy-to-administer change management software (SmartChange) and the ITSM solution SmartITSM, which covers all your IT service management needs, including SAP integration.

FAQs: SAP Solution Manager

Solution Manager is a central software for the administration of SAP enterprise applications. As an application management solution, SolMan provides functional support to the IT infrastructure and helps optimize the effective management of the software environment throughout the application lifecycle.

SAP Solution Manager ensures that the system landscape is continuously monitored and its smooth functioning is guaranteed. It provides all the necessary content, tools and services that are used within the framework of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to maintain system functionalities and the optimal use of applications.

2027 puts an end to SolMan

Find out how to deal with it and what alternatives are available.