Recently, I was excited to see the core of the SAP Business One Cloud Control Center (CCC) appear in the main architecture of SAP Business One 9.3. As we kickoff our July focus topics of cloud and e-commerce, here are some lessons learned from my initial experience with Centralized Deployment in SAP Business One.
Personal Experiences with Centralized Deployment
I have been an active user of the Cloud Control Center since its inception in 2012. More recently, I have become a heavy user with my own public cloud business, hosting SAP Business One (both on SAP HANA and SQL) for customers throughout the Asia Pacific region.
With the core components of the CCC incorporated into the main architecture of 9.3, it was with a fairly relaxed approach that we used the centralized deployment components in our two most recent private cloud deployments of SAP Business One. One was a smaller deployment on SAP HANA and the other was a fairly significant 60 user migration on SQL Server to the cloud.
I am pleased to report that we were able to deploy both customers within our planned time-frames. However, it was clear to me that the Centralized Deployment architecture is still in need of some additional work. It is not yet to the point where it is as simple as the CCC (or potentially even simpler), nor is it comparable to the standard process for SAP Business One with an on-premises deployment.
Challenges with a Mixed Environment
Our primary challenges stemmed from a mixed environment with SAP HANA running on Linux and the SLD (System Landscape Directory) also running on Linux. We had some difficulty getting the push-based deployment aspects of the solution to work effectively.
There are a number of scenarios where the Linux machine will need to communicate with the Windows environment to deploy components or to check and edit configuration files. Despite multiple sessions covering the processes with SAP support, we were not quite able to get a predictable and consistent outcome that was free of errors. We spent significant time debugging and working around the errors in order to get us to the result we needed.
In a full Windows-only environment, I am happier to report that the process was less complicated. Although a few error messages popped up, these would generally disappear after hitting the retry button. Once again, these errors dealt mainly with the deployment of the SLD Agent, which is the component that goes on the clients and associated servers, ensuring the main centralized deployment engine (aka SLD) can push out clients and other components.
As a word of advice, expect an initial learning curve for your first few deployments two with Centralized Deployment, particularly if you are running on HANA/Linux/Windows and a Windows environment without a central Domain infrastructure. To be safe, build some extra time into your project plan to address any initial challenges you may face.
Given the successful aspects of our experience, we will continue to use Centralized Deployment. I am sure these issues will get ironed out as more people use it. After working closely with SAP support, they mentioned their intention to develop SAP notes. Stay tuned for an update as I will share those once they are available.