SAP Customizations Increase Risk,
Cost, and Complexity
As a core component of the information
system for many organization...
www.castsoftware.com
Europe 3 rue Marcel Allégot 92190 Meudon - France Phone: +33 1 46 90 21 00
North America 373 Park Ave...
www.castsoftware.com
Europe 3 rue Marcel Allégot 92190 Meudon - France Phone: +33 1 46 90 21 00
North America 373 Park Ave...
www.castsoftware.com
Europe 3 rue Marcel Allégot 92190 Meudon - France Phone: +33 1 46 90 21 00
North America 373 Park Ave...
www.castsoftware.com
Europe 3 rue Marcel Allégot 92190 Meudon - France Phone: +33 1 46 90 21 00
North America 373 Park Ave...
www.castsoftware.com
Europe 3 rue Marcel Allégot 92190 Meudon - France Phone: +33 1 46 90 21 00
North America 373 Park Ave...
CAST for SAP Applications
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CAST for SAP Applications

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Many organizations manage huge portfolios of custom applications on top of SAP. A number of them are mission-critical so it is vital to preserve or enhance the quality, robustness, maintainability and performance of these applications, whether developed in ABAP, Java or other languages, to reduce application maintenance costs and better manage outsourced development and maintenance.

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CAST for SAP Applications

  1. 1. SAP Customizations Increase Risk, Cost, and Complexity As a core component of the information system for many organizations, SAP eventu- ally finds its way into detailed company- specific processes supporting the very heart of the business. Despite the desire to minimize customizations of SAP imple- mentations, ultimately the unique aspects of the business win out and the software is customized to support the “as is” business processes. The result is most SAP custom- ers have to manage significant volumes of SAP customization - a trend that seems to increase exponentially as time goes by and the business continues to grow. An effective solution for managing SAP customization size, quality, and complexity is critical to har- ness the maintenance cost, improve system performance, and reduce the risks that lead to outages. Improve SAP Performance, Reduce Maintenance Costs, and Increase Delivery Transparency When SAP suffers performance and stability issues, the business becomes frustrated, there is a potential for lost business, and support costs are increased. The mainte- nance costs of customizations can represent up to half of the overall SAP maintenance expenditure. It is thus critical to improve the governance of SAP customization develop- ment and the quality of delivery from internal teams and outsourcers alike. Likewise, the upgrade to ECC 6.0 creates another incen- tive to immediately assess SAP customiza- tion, to measure upgrade risks and impact mitigation costs, and to ultimately optimize the upgrade process itself. CAST Application Intelligence Platform Helps Control and Improve the Quantity and Quality of SAP Delivery The CAST Application Intelligence Platform automatically analyzes the source code of SAP customizations and provides the metrics and technical information that IT management needs to control, monitor and improve SAP development activities and production performance and stability. Using the CAST Dashboard, IT Managers can assess and monitor key Application Health Factors, SAP Application owners can determine the root cause of quality drifts, verify compliance of application delivery against development rules and best prac- tices, and provide teams with prioritized lists of corrective actions. Through the Discovery Portal, development teams have access to automatically-generated technical documen- tation representing the customizations and their interaction with the SAP Core-System. CAST Application Intelligence Platform for SAP CAST application intelligence is based on automated analysis of SAP custom ap- plications and core system’s source code - whether that be ABAP, ABAP Objects, Java or any other major development language used to customize or extend the baseline SAP functionality. CAST solution benefits for SAP include: • Immediate improvements in stability • Improved transaction performance • Maintenance cost reduction • Significantly improved outsourcing transparency • Reduce upgrade risk Lower your costs and reduce time to market by getting control of your SAP customizations. www.castsoftware.com Europe 3 rue Marcel Allégot 92190 Meudon - France Phone: +33 1 46 90 21 00 North America 373 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10016 Phone:+1 212-871-8330 Copyright © 2013 CAST All Rights Reserved Questions? Email us at contact@castsoftware.com 1
  2. 2. www.castsoftware.com Europe 3 rue Marcel Allégot 92190 Meudon - France Phone: +33 1 46 90 21 00 North America 373 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10016 Phone:+1 212-871-8330 Copyright © 2013 CAST All Rights Reserved Questions? Email us at contact@castsoftware.com 2 CAST Application Intelligence Platform for SAP With Application Intelligence generated by CAST, managers can: • Preserve and enhance the quality of their application assets for immediate gains in stability and performance with reduced maintenance cost over time. • Better manage the delivery of internal and outsourced development teams by measuring the quality of their output, benchmarking the quantity of work deliv- ered and by verifying the justification for workloads and costs. • Benefit from the enhanced productivity and security resulting from the empower- ment of internal and external teams with technical documentation and application structure exploration capabilities. Key Functions of the CAST Applica- tion Intelligence Platform Monitor Key Application Health Factors and Compliance with Development and Architecture Rules Using the CAST Dashboard, IT managers can assess the application portfolio with high-level metrics. They can monitor key Application Health Factors as well as ensure compliance with development and architecture best prac- tices. When the scorecard-based interface highlights a metric that does not meet expec- tations, technical managers can drill down to more detailed analysis that helps identify the root cause of the deviation. In doing so AIP will produce lists of application objects deviat- ing from a development or architecture rule. Key metrics in the AD Governance Dashboard include: • Application size, technical and functional. (Functional size being measured by the Number of Functions Points automati- cally estimated several ways including an IFPUG compliant method.) • Maintainability and changeability • Robustness • Performance (through the identification of programming practices that are known to put performance at risk) • Security Compliance with development rules and best practices encompassing: • Programming practices • Architectural Design • Documentation Measure the technical quality of ap- plication delivery Beyond the measurement of key Applica- tion Health Factors, SAP customers can use the Dashboard upon delivery of a new customizations for in-depth technical accep- tance reviews. These reviews can assess the technical quality of the customizations and their compliance with predefined development and architecture rules. CAST provides over 1000 of these predefined rules and validates based on a combination of ISO 9126, CMM, and Carnegie-Mellon’s SEI recommendations. Some of these validations are generic while others are language specific. This library of validations and controls is constantly enriched and customers can easily define their own rules to be automatically checked by CAST. Verify if the costs of SAP deliverables are justified SAP customers can use CAST to verify if the workload and costs associated with the set of changes in a given version is fully justified. This helps benchmark the performance of de- velopment and maintenance teams while also creating objective evidence for discussions about maintenance costs or change requests between customers and outsourcers. How does this work? CAST detects changes between two versions of an application and generates a multi-criteria measure of com- plexity and maintainability for each object. This measure is compared to those of elemental objects in each language for which the maintenance workload is well-known, and from there automatically estimates the workload and costs the changes should have represented. Figure 1
  3. 3. www.castsoftware.com Europe 3 rue Marcel Allégot 92190 Meudon - France Phone: +33 1 46 90 21 00 North America 373 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10016 Phone:+1 212-871-8330 Copyright © 2013 CAST All Rights Reserved Questions? Email us at contact@castsoftware.com 3 CAST Application Intelligence Platform for SAP Enable development teams with tech- nical documentation of SAP custom- izations. CAST Application Intelligence Platform em- powers and accelerates onboarding of new resources and team knowledge transfer for both internal and outsourced development teams. The detailed documentation produced in online reports allows developers to acquire low-level insight of SAP customizations, and as a result make changes that result in fewer defects and better debugging. CAST generated technical documentation provides clear insight into the technical struc- ture of SAP customizations. The documen- tation is displayed in a web portal for easy access and information sharing by the entire development team. Beyond this, power users can use the CAST AIP application discovery tools to generate graphical structure views of specific application domains or transactions in just minutes. They can identify the interactions between customization objects and SAP core- system objects. They can also run impact analyses that better facilitate code changes or upgrade activities. In Figure 2, the structure of a multi-tier web application is shown. It comprises JSP, Java, and ABAP tiers interacting with a core-system object. Immediately Improve Custom Appli- cations’ Performance and Stability Performance and stability issues are usually the result of poor programming practices and inexperienced ABAP and SQL develop- ers - often the case in outsourced environ- ments where there is a significant turnover of staff. Custom applications in ABAP tend to be heavily data-oriented and make extensive use of SQL, which when poorly written may have significant effects on performance due to high-volume tables. CAST performs a number of developer- independent performance and stability checks on ABAP and SQL. With CAST, managers can rate delivery for performance and stability risks and provide teams with an extensive list of application objects at risk. Commonly used SAP IDE code checking tools, while of value, are not enough. They are always optional, only address coding errors at a unit/program level, and only perform a limited number of checks that are insufficient in modern and complex architectures. CAST goes beyond these, providing a deeper analysis and the impact of the new or changed code on the rest of the application. An example of CAST performance check is: “Avoid nested SELECT ... ENDSELECT statements”. These ABAP statements are not considered bad in nature by SAP as they are routinely used to query parameter tables. Unfortunately, developers also use them extensively on high volume data tables; these statements are automatically converted in searches with SQL cursors that can signifi- cantly slow down database queries and satu- rate the memory. CAST analyses regularly find several inappropriate uses of this syntax per custom program. An example of a CAST stability check is: “Avoid using BREAK or BREAK-POINT state- ment”. This is an example of fairly simple cod- ing implementation that can bring a produc- tion program to a halt. Despite the fact that SAP provides tools to help developers not forget these after they have debugged, CAST finds as many as one to two break points for each 100 programs running in production. Needless to say that the more complex pro- gramming associated with new ABAP Objects and Java programs more common in ECC 6.0 are likely to make the performance and stabil- ity issue an even greater one in the future. Reducing Maintenance Costs Maintenance costs of custom applications tend increase over time. There are many reasons for this, some of the more prevalent being: • Increased volume of custom code • Maintainability drifts resulting from changes that are added to the queue • Growing complexity that is not adequate- ly commented in-line or through other Figure 2
  4. 4. www.castsoftware.com Europe 3 rue Marcel Allégot 92190 Meudon - France Phone: +33 1 46 90 21 00 North America 373 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10016 Phone:+1 212-871-8330 Copyright © 2013 CAST All Rights Reserved Questions? Email us at contact@castsoftware.com 4 CAST Application Intelligence Platform for SAP technical documentation methods • Widespread use of Copy/Paste to create new custom code CAST performs multiple automated checks on custom ABAP, ABAP Objects or Java code to ensure and improve transferability, change- ability and maintainability. Examples or transferability checks are: “Avoid Undocumented Functions” and “Avoid Unreferenced Functions”. To demonstrate the potential significance of this latter rule, at a large energy customer who was about to upgrade to ECC6.0, CAST found close to 70% of a 6,000 program portfolio not being used anymore. Specific checks on factors affecting the timely and efficient maintenance of SAP customizations are critical to maintaining costs. Examples of maintainability checks are: “Copy Paste Ratio”, “Avoid Artifacts with High Fan-Out” and “Avoid Artifacts with High Cyclomatic Complexity”. CAST often finds copy paste ratios of 15% to 35%, making applications hard to maintain. Customers also often have no control on the consequences of Note OSS applications correcting the original programs on these copy pasted programs. Good monitoring of object complexity helps avoid drifts and helps identify candidates for refactoring. Improving Transparency of Outsourc- er and Internal Team Delivery Managers of SAP applications faced with rising maintenance costs and sub-optimal performance often have very little transparen- cy and control over the quantity and quality of delivery from their teams. Without an automat- ed solution for assessing delivery, the amount of SAP custom code clients need to manage makes systematic assessments impossible. CAST addresses this challenge by: • Verifying the technical quality of SAP customizations • Monitoring quality trends across builds • Identifying changes between versions al- lowing more focused test campaigns • Assessing how much these changes should have cost; an effective way to challenge baseline maintenance and change request costs • Benchmarking team performance Usage of CAST by the owner of applications facilitates rapid improvements in the techni- cal quality of delivery and team productivity. It consequently makes discussions on the cost of maintenance or changes much easier and fact-based, usually resulting in significant maintenance cost savings. In addition, the CAST Discovery Portal can help improve application knowledge transfer making both outsourcing and insourcing more efficient while reducing client’s dependency with existing outsourcers or key individuals. Improving Management of SAP Cus- tomization Branches in International Deployments When deploying SAP in multiple locations Corporate IT usually delivers customizations together with core system versions. Local IT groups often have to modify these customiza- tions due to specific business needs or local regulations thus creating new code branches. It is important to facilitate the transferability of custom applications to these groups. When Corporate IT in turn delivers new versions of the custom applications, reconciliation of branches with new corporate applications becomes an issue. Furthermore, the efforts on the part of some SAP clients to create single instance implementations of SAP may result in the need to facilitate modifications and refac- toring of the custom applications to reconcile branches into a common trunk. CAST helps keep transferability of custom ap- plications optimized, automatically documents custom code versions and identifies changes between these custom code versions and Figure 3 Figure 4
  5. 5. www.castsoftware.com Europe 3 rue Marcel Allégot 92190 Meudon - France Phone: +33 1 46 90 21 00 North America 373 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10016 Phone:+1 212-871-8330 Copyright © 2013 CAST All Rights Reserved Questions? Email us at contact@castsoftware.com 5 CAST Application Intelligence Platform for SAP corporate versions in order to facilitate branch management. It also helps identify change impact of new custom versions from corporate on local existing branches. Lastly, when consolidation of multiple custom appli- cation branches is the goal, CAST’s docu- mentation helps corporate groups document each local branch and assess the quality and complexity of the programs covering similar functions in the different branches in order to facilitate choice of programs to retain, refac- tor or consolidate. Reducing Risk and Augmenting ROI on Upgrades to ECC6.0 SAP clients need to mitigate the risk as- sociated with the impacts of the upgrade to ECC6.0 on their many customizations; not just in terms of raw impacts on stability, but also in terms of impact on performance as ECC6.0’s more complex architecture is likely to have detrimental effects on performance. IT groups want to minimize disruption to the business and the duration of the freeze period during the upgrade. Furthermore, the cost justification of the upgrade to the business is often problematic as the techni- cal upgrade is often perceived as a pure IT operation cost with no direct business benefits. Thus it is important to first minimize upgrade efforts on the custom code. If the upgrade becomes an opportunity to clean up custom code, suppress some in favor of new core system functions and reduce future maintenance costs, IT can then demonstrate an ROI on the upgrade that translates to business value. CAST enables all these activities. First during the upgrade scoping phase that is focused on assessing upgrade workload and cost, and then during the upgrade to clean up the custom portfolio, facilitate testing and mitigate impact. Finally after the upgrade to carry out quality improvement and return to core system programs. During the preparation of the upgrade for the scoping study, CAST first identifies the custom code inventory and assesses it along multiple factors, among them: • Identification of unused and dead code • Measurement of custom code coupling with the core system • Measurement of performance risk • Identification of user exits embedded in custom code, BAPI lists with calling objects, programs affected by an OSS Note • Identification of high complexity programs and programs presenting a stability or performance risk CAST helps measure and identify key im- pacts of the upgrade on the custom applica- tions by analyzing the differences between client’s version of core system tables and those of ECC6.0, then the links between custom code and the modified tables. • At the time of the upgrade CAST provides lists of custom objects to take action upon and based on the findings from the scoping study, together with technical documentation of custom ap- plications and their interaction with core system tables. This combination firstly helps minimize upgrade efforts due to the pre-migration clean-up of unneces- sary or overly complex programs and secondly, makes upgrade efforts much more productive and secure. • After the upgrade CAST helps define additional custom applications optimiza- tion programs to further improve main- tainability and may in some instance also help identify some of the custom programs that may be candidate for suppression in favor of core system functions. Supported languages: ABAP 4, 4.6, 4.7, ECC5, ECC6 Objects Retrieved: ABAP File ABAP Project ABAP Program ABAP Include ABAP Function Pool ABAP Type Pool ABAP Form ABAP Function ABAP Event Block ABAP Processing Screen ABAP Macro ABAP Module ABAP Unresolved Object ABAP Dynpro ABAP Objects
  6. 6. www.castsoftware.com Europe 3 rue Marcel Allégot 92190 Meudon - France Phone: +33 1 46 90 21 00 North America 373 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10016 Phone:+1 212-871-8330 Copyright © 2013 CAST All Rights Reserved Questions? Email us at contact@castsoftware.com 6 CAST Application Intelligence Platform for SAP The CAST Technology CAST Application Intelligence Platform relies on unrivaled source code analysis technol- ogy developed over more than 15 years. CAST combines unique depth of analysis, allowing a fine-grained representation of application object structure and relations, with coverage of all major development languages. This is all combined into a unified description of entire applications and sys- tems across multiple tiers and technologies. CAST supports most major programming languages with dedicated analyzers: • Server and client tiers: ABAP, Java, .NET, C/Pro C, C++, Power Builder, Visual Basic, Delphi, Oracle Forms, COBOL/JCL • Database platforms: SQL from Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, IBM UDB DB2 • Specific environments: TIBCO, Business Objects, CICS, IMS • Major Enterprise Software: SAP, Oracle E Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel CAST also features Universal Analyzer, a programmable analyzer that allows rapid coverage of other languages and environ- ments: It has been used by customers on environments like: WebMethods, Uniface, or JDEdwards. About CAST CAST is the pioneer and leader of Software Measurement & Analytics. With more than 15 years of experience in advanced source code analysis and delivery of application intelligence, CAST offers a unique portfolio of comprehensive products and solutions. CAST is listed on Compartment C - Eurolist by Euronext Paris. It serves Fortune 500 customers with a network of 11 fully-staffed offices in the US, Europe, and India. CAST is a recognized as a market leader by major IT analysts and SIs.

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