Whether as a team supporting your customer’s SAP ERP system or adapting with the latest SAP innovations to roll out your own innovative solution; you may have used the prefix “Z” for your ABAP code. Extending the same practice but with a few rules and prerequisites, you can very well make your innovation a great product and prepare to achieve a successful integration certification from SAP Integration and Certification Center( SAP ICC ).
Here I would like to share a few best practices that I generally advise SAP’s prospective partners to follow in their certification journey. The sequence below corresponds to various phases of the process and relates to certifications for ABAP Add Ons for SAP Applications on NetWeaver, SAP applications on HANA and S/4HANA On-Premise 1511.
What’s in the name?
It is always a good idea to begin your development in your registered namespace. Your development work using a registered namespace is the first major requirement to qualify for the ABAP Add On certification program. As an organization you may already have a Developer User License from SAP. So as a next step you can apply and register your unique namespace with SAP.
This certification requirement is new to many prospective SAP partners and it is also common that the plan for certification is not a part of the product road map initially. Your custom code with the registered namespace would be helpful in better management and maintenance during your support for the customer. Additionally, it also allows you to deploy your solution in any system without the name conflicts.
However, if you decide to certify your product at a later time, it will require additional time and effort in moving your custom objects to the registered namespace and therefore you should reserve some time for this activity during the certification process.
A stitch in time saves nine!
Enhancements to the SAP standard is another topic which can delay the certification process. You have realized that your innovation can bridge the gap between SAP standard and the customer’s requirement. Therefore it is expected that your innovation would enhance the standard solution to meet the demand. But to qualify for the certification, there are certain do’s and dont’s about enhancements and the certification test plan is a must have resource during your development and preparation for the certification. These guidelines about enhancements must be strictly adhered to, which will save you from unexpected surprises later.
Adapting with the new Software Delivery Method
It is expected that you deliver your solution as an installation file to your customer and not as a sequence of transports. To qualify for this certification, SAP has made it mandatory to use a tool called Add on Assembly Kit( AAK ) to package all your transports to create a delivery component. This delivery component is then available as an easily installable ABAP Add On in your customer systems. This prerequisite has also come as a surprise to many partners in their certification journey, as it is a different way of delivering the solutions to the customers. Having the certification in mind, it is always a good idea to learn about this expected delivery method of your software.
AAK subscription is fee based and is available only upon sign up for certification. To enroll in the certification program you can get in touch with SAP ICC team by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing your application here Certify My Solution.
Defining a comprehensive Software Delivery Strategy
Not only does AAK make the software delivery process very convenient and lowers the risk for errors, it also helps you define your Add On delivery strategy, which is the next important step in the certification process. Defining the Delivery Strategy is a must have asset for support and maintenance of your Add On. The significance of having this strategy is that it will help you meet the various customer requirement like supporting them during SAP system upgrade etc. An early sign up for the certification gives you a unique opportunity to discuss the delivery strategy and also the consulting around the usage of the AAK tool. The prospective certification applicants are encouraged to contact us.
Making use of the latest innovations
It is recommended to know and use most of the features of the latest AAK 500 tool. Many features that were not possible previously have now been made available to better support your Add On Delivery Strategy as well as for the maintenance and support of the Add On. New features like Add On Deletion, Attribute Change Package and so on are now possible with the latest tool which partners have found very convenient for customer support.
Connecting with SAP ICC
An early and active interaction with SAP ICC is a recommended step because your solutions are unique and only an early and effective communication can help you in adopting the new software delivery method as well as completing the certification successfully.
To support this cause, SAP ICC has a popular service named ABAP Service Package which is available with the certification sign up. Most importantly it consists of AAK subscription but in addition you get a dedicated consultant for your queries and regular updates about the tool. SAP ICC is also responsible for support to all valid subscribers, be it while supporting your customer requests or during issues in dealing with the tool. Besides the usual support, SAP ICC also organizes webinars, shares tutorials and latest features about the tool on a regular basis.
References and important links:
SAP Integration and Certification Center http://scn.sap.com/community/icc
ABAP Add On Certification Program: http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-24912
Add On Assembly Kit, AAK: http://help.sap.com/aak
Apply/register for a unique namespace: https://support.sap.com/namespaces
Apply for Certification http://go.sap.com/partner/certify-my-solution.html