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Using ArchiMate for Enterprise Architecture of complex SAP landscapes

Blog: BPM-Xchange team blog

Enterprise Architecture (EA) methodology covers in general many disciplines such as Business Process Management (BPM), Enterprise Application Management (EAM), Application Portfolio Management (APM) or Service oriented Architecture (SoA).

In a short description, EA describes the interaction between business and the supporting IT and manages and govern the change based on the organization’s business and IT strategies.

A leading EA methodology is the TOGAF framework developed by the Open Group organization. Because TOGAF is basically a framework of methods, the ArchiMate standard is developed by the Open Group as the modeling language and notation to describe business, application and IT architectures by means of TOGAF. Also SAP is committed to TOGAF. Back in 2007 SAP presented at the SAPPHIRE event in Orlando the first version of the SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework based on TOGAF. This approach is designed to support adoption of SoA concepts for SAP landscapes.

TransWare AG, a SAP Services Partner and BiZZdesign as a leading EA tool vendor developed an adaption of EA to SAP, driven by TOGAF’s ArchiMate to document, analyze and plan the change of SAP landscapes. One of main objectives of SoA is to enable business agility supported by a more flexible, coupled IT service infrastructure. But not only SoA is in the focus: also basic SAP operations, upgrade or project challenges are target with this solution approach. This solution loads from SAP systems the architecture data into the ArchiMate model.

A very imported first step to start the journey of EA is to gain a good understanding of the currently deployed processes, applications and IT components in the SAP and non-SAP landscape. Here the ArchiMate meta-model offers a good and easy to understand structure to fit in all available objects. The team of TransWare and BiZZdesign developed a mapping of the SAP objects into the namespace and coherent meta-model of ArchiMate.

SAP Masterdata used by an application
SAP Masterdata used by an application

On the technical layer the SAP system landscape directory (SLD) can be used for describe the technical components of the SAP landscape such as host systems, servers or databases. If available, this information can be extended with data from a configuration management database (CMDB).

On the application layer the SAP systems, modules and applications, transactions  and reports are described, RFC calls made from 3rd party applications or portal applications, customizing of Transactions and reports (so called Z-transactions), SAP technical components, various interfaces such as IDOCS, BAPI, web services via RFC and SOAP, customized and used document types, database meta-data with custom extensions, used master data and organizational data, optionally HR data and more than 50 types of modifications such as custom changes to all kind of SAP standard objects.

The business layer describes the business process architecture by capability maps and business services. As to that, the process repository managed with SAP Solution Manager fits ideally. If a blueprint project or solution directory is available, it can be loaded into the business layer. Otherwise this information can be generated by the use of SAP reference models made available by the SAP Solution Manager called Business Process Repository (BPR). When using BPR content, the SAP standard can be automatically pre-scoped by the current usage of SAP and fine tuned in SAP Solution Manager.

SAP business processes and transactions used
SAP business processes and transactions used

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