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Introduction

You can use the Guided Procedure Maintenance to create or edit Guided Procedures for regular administrative tasks or alert processing. The following page explains step by step how to create or edit a guided procedure. 

Prerequisites

  • You are working in Solution Manager 7.1 SP 10 or 11.
  • Role SAP_SM_GP_ADMIN or an equivalent role has been assigned to your user.
  • One transport request has been created for your user for each guided procedure you plan to create or edit or you have the authorization to create new transport requests.
  • If you want to create / edit the guided procedures in a development system and afterwards transport them to quality / production systems:
    • An ABAP development package has been created via transaction SE80 that is assigned to the right transport layer so that the guided procedure content that you create can be transported to the right systems.  The documentation texts you will create will be assigned to the transport package.

How to create a new guided procedure

  1. Open the Technical Administration Work Center.
  2. Select Guided Procedure Management Application. 
  3. Now you should select the system or at least a system with the  right system type (e.g. ABAP or JAVA) for which you want to create a guided procedure. If you select the wrong system type you could experience some problems later when defining manual activities with navigation links to the managed system. Please note :
  4. Open the Guided Procedure Browser and Select "Create".

Create guided procedure wizard 

Now the "Create Guided Procedure" wizard opens. It allows you to define some basic settings  for the guided procedure you want to create before you start editing the content.

  1. First you should define a meaningful name and description for the activities supported by the guided procedure. The title is the name of the tab page of the guided procedure. The description is a tooltip when the user positions the mouse on the tab page.
  2. You can  define an initial number of guided procedure steps or keep the proposed value. The number of steps can be changed later.  
  3. Via the "Copy From" option you can optionally create a copy of an existing guided procedure and adapt it to your needs. The original guided procedure remains untouched.  

Maintain GP Title

  1. On the next step of the roadmap you need to define an ABAP package for the step and activity help texts. If you don't want to transport the guided procedure you can also choose "Temporary Package", otherwise please specify a customer specific ABAP package with the right transport layer.
  2. Set flag "Guided Procedure for Production System if the guided procedure needs to be transported later. If no transportation is required, do not set the flag.
  3. You can choose an existing transport request or create a new one.

 Each transport request can contain only 1 guided procedure, so you need one transport request per guided procedure.

 

 

 

The 3rd step of the roadmap allows you to set search attributes for the guided procedure.

Search attributes

Search attributes allow to find guided procedures that are suitable for a certain managed object (system, database or host)  and for  certain tasks better. The maintenance of search attributes is optional, however if you do not define search attributes for a guided procedure, it will not be shown in guided procedure browser by default and you need to clear the search attributes before it is displayed.

The screenshot below shows the search values for a guided procedure  which is relevant for ABAP systems.

 

Example search attributes

You can leave the search attributes initially empty and define them later if required.

How to define search attributes is described here.

The 4th step summarized all  entries.

Either go back to change some entries or press the create button so that the structure with the initial number of steps is being generated and you can start defining content.

The Guided Procedure Maintenance UI

The Guided Procedure Maintenance looks as follows:

It consists out of

  • the toolbar section on top where you can preview or test the guided procedure, switch between edit and read-only mode, activate the guided procedure, define search values and save it.
  • the step list on the right side where you can add new steps, insert parent steps, sub steps or complete steps, remove steps or change the order of the steps. The step list represents the roadmap when the guided procedure is being executed.
  • the step details on the right side where you can define step description, step type, documentation and add activities. Optionally you can add also step properties.

Define a step

  1.  Select the step you want to define in the step list or add a new step.
  2. Enter the step name and description in the step details and select the desired step type.

 

Step types

The following step types are supported:

  • Manual steps consist out of manual activities. A manual activity is an activity that the user of the guided procedure has to carry out in the managed system or in Solution Manager. It cannot be automated. Nevertheless you can provide user with a navigation link to open the transaction, URL or report which is used to perform the manual activity.Optionally, these activities consist out of a documentation text that describes in detail what needs to be done.  An example for manual activities are the activities in the guided procedure "System Check for BW system" that describe how to analyze problems in BW and provide navigation links to monitoring UIs in Solution Manager and in the managed BW system.
  • Automatic steps consist out of automatic activities. These activities trigger background activities in Solution Manager and update the activity status and logs in the guided procedure as soon as the background activity is completed. Automatic activities are suitable to automatize certain actions where no additional user input is required. Examples for automatic activities are the activities in the guided procedure "System Check for ABAP System" that check whether specific alerts for a system were raised in alert inbox. You can create automatic activities and embed them in your own guided procedures (ABAP OO development knowledge required).
  • Custom steps embed a custom Web Dynpro UI that allows the user to enter data and afterwards triggers actions in Solution Manager System or in the managed system.  Custom steps are suitable to automatize certain actions where  additional user input is required. You can create custom steps and embed them in your own guided procedures. (ABAP OO and Web Dynpro development knowledge required).
  • Plugin steps embed Plugins. Plugins are reusable steps that are delivered by SAP. Plugins consist out of a design time UI and a runtime UI. The design time UI  is shown when you edit the guided procedure and allows configuring the behavior of the plugin when it is being executed. The runtime UI allows entering some data and trigger actions when the guided procedure is being executed. You can get an overview  which plugins are available here.
  • Mixed steps are combinations of some of the step types listed above.

 

Define help text

The step help text provides detailed information to each step, such as what needs to be done and what will happen in the background. It can either be maintained directly in the guided procedure maintenance or in the document maintenance transaction SE61. In transaction SE61, choose document class "General text".

  1. Select the "New" button to create a new help text document or choose an existing help text document.
  2. Enter the help text name.
  3. Select OK
  4. Now you can start editing the help text.
  5. Save the help text when you are done.

As the help text documents are customer specific, the name has to start with "Z". The document name must not exceed 20 characters.

We recommend structuring the help texts similar to the example below.

Please do not use the "Insert Symbol" button as this functionality is not supported in Guided Procedures. (It only works for alert help texts in alert inbox).

Add a manual activity 

Manual Activity

A manual activity is an activity that the user of the guided procedure has to carry out in the managed system. It cannot be automated. Nevertheless you can provide user with a navigation link to open the transaction, URL or report which is used to perform the manual activity.
  • You can add manual activities to steps of type "Manual", "Mixed - Auto & Manual " or "Mixed - Custom & Manual ". Each step can contain multiple manual activities.
  • Select "New" to add a new activity and enter an activity description. Optionally you can also reuse an existing activity.

Two types of manual activities are supported:

  • Simple manual activities consist out of a description and either no navigation link or optionally a navigation link to an UI in the solution manager, in the managed system or an external link. The navigation link can be configured. For almost all simple navigation links like calling a transaction or URL in the SAP Solution Manager or the managed system  you can use the provided simple manual activities. Here you have the possibility to easily build the required jump-ins without any programming. How to easily build navigation links is described here.
  • Expert  manual activities consist out of a description and a navigation link to an UI in the solution manager or in the managed system. The navigation link is calculated by an ABAP class that you need to develop. In most cases simple activities are sufficient, however if you need to put some more logic behind the URL generation (e.g. authorization checks or additional parameters), you need to create an ABAP class for an expert manual activity. How to create an expert manual activity is described here

Add an automatic activity

Automatic activities

Automatic activities are activities that can be carried out in a guided procedure without necessary user interaction or manual steps. They are usually integrated in a guided procedure step of the type automatic, or mixed. You can carry out several automatic activities in one step. 

How to create an automatic activity is described here.

Add activity documentation

You can optionally add activity documentation to manual and automatic activities. If  a step contains only one manual or automatic activity, the step help text is in most cases sufficient and no additional activity documentation is required. However if a step contains many activities, it is advisable to add an activity documentation to each step. In that case the step help text should contain a rough description what needs to be done and refer to the activity documentations while the activity documentation describes all required actions in detail. It also makes more sense to embed screenshots or graphics into the activity documentation rather than the step help text as it opens in the runtime in a popup and has therefore more display space than the step help text.

The maintenance of activity documentations works very similar to the maintenance of step help texts.

How to embed a screenshot or a graphic into the step or activity help text is explained here.

Integrate plugin

Plugin

 Plugins are re-usable configurable activities that help to automate certain tasks. They can easily be customized in design time and used in customer defined guided procedures. You can find an overview over available plugins here.

Perform the following steps to integrate a plugin:

  1. Select Step type Plugin.
  2. Select the desired plugin.
  3. Read the plugin help documentation to understand what the  plugin does, what the prerequisites are and how to customize it.
  4. Customize the plugin.
  5. Create a new step help text.
  6. Save the step. 

 

Integrate custom UI 

Custom UI

Some tasks to be carried out in the step of a guided procedure require specific input values and a more complex logic in the backend. Usually these steps also need an own user interface to collect the input values from the user. These tasks can be modeled using custom steps. A custom step in a guided procedure is a step that contains an own user interface and own logic which is implemented in a backend class.

How to create a custom step is described here.

Add Complete step

Complete Step

The complete step is always the last step in the guided procedure and provides an overview over the execution status of the previous steps so that the processor of the guided procedure can check whether he did all required activities. It also allows generating an html report containing the documentation, status and logs of all activities in the guided procedure. The processor can also add a comment summarizing the overall execution status of the guided procedure. The comment in the complete step will be displayed in the Guided Procedure Log Book.

Adding a  complete step is optional, however highly recommended.

  1. Press button "Add Complete Step".
  2. Provide a new step title and description if required.
  3. Add a step help text summarizing all actions that the person executing the guided procedure has to do to finalize it. For example: "Verify that all activities are rated green, generate the html report and send it to ..".

Activate and transport the  Guided Procedure

  1. If you want to transport the guided procedure, verify that the flag "GP is for  production system" is set in the transport settings.
  2. After you defined all steps and activities in the guided procedure you should test. it. 
  3. If the test was satisfactory and no further changes are required you need to activate the guided procedure using the activate button.
  4. After the guided procedure was activated you can release the corresponding transport request and transport into the production system so that it can be executed by end users.

Activating the guided procedure

Activating the guided procedure means:

  • Activating a GP means changing the branch of its transport request. When you create a GP, it is put into a local transport request. Choosing Activate moves the GP transport request from a Local request to a Modifiable transport branch. The route of the transport depends on the package.
    If you specify in the transport settings that the GP is for a production system, it is put into the workbench branch of the route you specified (the package’s route). Otherwise, a transport of copies is created instead of a workbench request. You can then import it into a target system.
  • The guided procedure can be executed from  alert inbox to analyze and resolve alerts only if it is active.
  • The execution of the guided procedure can be scheduled in advance from  task planning to execute regular operational tasks only if the guided procedure is active. 
IF you want to edit a guided procedure after it was activated, a new version of the guided procedure will be created. Subsequent changes will only apply to the new version. 

Versioning concept 

Guided Procedure Versioning

 As of Solution Manager 7.1 SP10 a guided procedure versioning concept was introduced to ensure that structural changes (new, changed or removed  steps and activities) do not affect the guided procedure instances that are currently being processed.  When you create a new guided procedure it is always created in status inactive and in version 1. All changes to the guided procedure are relevant to version 1 until it is being activated.  If you want to perform changes to an active guided procedure, automatically a new inactive version (current version +1 ) will be generated. All subsequent changes will be applied to this version of the guided procedure until it gets activated.  

The guided procedure browser will always show the latest active version of a guided procedure and if applicable an inactive version which is currently being developed. Previous active versions of guided procedures are hidden.

If you plan the execution of guided procedures in advance using task planning,  the generated task plan will always refer to   the version of the guided procedure which was active at the time of planning. If you create a new active version of the guided procedure later, it will not automatically be referenced in the planned tasks to avoid inconsistencies. If the new version should be executed instead of the old one you need to create a new task plan and delete the old task plan. 

How to modify SAP Standard Guided Procedures

SAP delivers a set of guided procedure templates to perform different administrative tasks or to analyze certain alerts. These guided procedure templates can be used out of the box, but they cannot be changed directly. In many cases however, you will want to use  some of the activities, remove some activities which are not relevant to you and add your own activities. In order to achieve this, you need to copy the guided procedure template into an own guided procedure and modify it.

  1. Open the Technical Administration Work Center.
  2. Select Guided Procedure Management Application.
  3. Now you should select the system or at least a system with the  right system type for which you want to create a guided procedure. If you select the wrong system type you could experience some problems later when defining manual activities with navigation links to the managed system.
  4. Open the Guided Procedure Browser and Select "Create".
  5. Select  "Copy From" and select the original guided procedure template you would like to copy into your guided procedure.
  6. Define a meaningful name and description for the activities supported by the guided procedure.
  7. On the next step of the roadmap you need to define an ABAP package for the step and activity help texts. If you don't want to transport the guided procedure you can also choose "Temporary Package", Otherwise please specify a customer specific ABAP package with the right transport layer.
  8. Set flag "Guided Procedure for Production System if the guided procedure needs to be transported later. If no transportation is required, do not set the flag.
  9. You can choose an existing transport request or create a new one.
  10. Optionally define the search attributes for your guided procedure.
  11. Select "Create"  to create the guided procedure and start modifying its content.

 

The guided procedure maintenance UI opens and shows the steps and activities of the new guided procedure which is a copy of the original guided procedure.

 

You can now add or remove activities and steps.
If you want to change a step help text, the tool will ask you to enter a new document name (starting with Z). The text from the original document will be copied into the new document and you can change it.

After you finished editing and tested the guided procedure you need to activate it as described above.

 

In some cases you might receive an error message "Document contains formatting not supported by this editor" when editing a document in customer namespace which was created as a copy of a standard document. In this case you will need to edit the document using transaction SE61.

 

 

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