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Mobile SAP PM/CS Configured your way

SAM Mobile 3.0 offers a lot of features for different plant maintenance and customer service business processes. Everything that SAP Plant Maintenance and Customer Service offers and that is required on a mobile device is available.

While it is important to offer these features as a standard product, it can be too much and overwhelming for the user. Features like create and edit technical objects might not be relevant, maybe some user should be able to create work/service orders, others might not.

Removing features from the SAM client is pretty easy – a client developer with UI5 skills can do this in a matter of minutes. So no big deal one might think. But what if the business wants to enable features in the future? They either need to go to their IT department or implementation partner and ask for the changes.

This is changing in the latest release of SAM. While we had many different configuration possibilities already in the past, we added an additional layer to allow our customers to fully configure our client application for different user groups. For most of the changes, there is no need to reach out to the IT department, the vendor or the external implementation partner anymore.
This blog will describe all layers of customizing and configuration that we support in SAM.

Layers of SAM customizing and configuration

On a high level, we have 3 layers:

Layers of Customizing and Configuration
  1. SAP Customizing – SAM is taking the SAP customizing into consideration. This is important so that we do not need to create a parallel world of configuration. Things like order types, notification types, PM activity types, status profiles, catalog profiles and many other customizing information is automatically available in the mobile world. If you want to change them for your mobile scenario, you can do this in SPRO, just like you do it for backend users.
  2. SAM Configuration – SAM has a number of possibilities to change and influence the mobile application on the user´s device. We will highlight them in detail below.
  3. Enhancements/Development – Finally, if there are things that you can not change via SAP customizing or the SAM configuration, the behaviour of the application can be changed via enhancements. For instance, this could be the case if a z-field/table needs to be available on the mobile client, or if custom business logic needs to be implemented.
    Enhancements can be done on all layers – SAP (via ABAP OO), middleware (SQL) and client (SAP UI5, JavaScript). As SAM is built on open standards, the development of enhancements can be done by the customer or the implementation partner.

The Layers of SAM Configuration

SAM offers a number of possibilities to change the behaviour of the mobile application.

The 5 layers of SAM Configuration

SAP/Middleware Interface

Not all data stored in your SAP PM/CS module is relevant for the mobile world. For example, you might have specific order/notification types which are are only used by the back office. Maybe mobile is rolled out only to 3 of your 4 plants, so data for the 4th one does not need to be made available on mobile devices.

We call the process of transferring data from SAP to our middleware the replication. It is possible via the SAM Cockpit to limit the data that is replicated to our mobile middleware. This is reducing the size of the middleware database and is leading to a better performance of the replication, but also of the synchronization to the mobile client.

SAM Scenarios

SAM supports the use of the mobile application for different user groups. If you rollout the solution in multiple plants, multiple countries or for multiple business processes, the client might need to look different. The requirements for the dialogs, the functionality and the data in the application can be different for these different groups.

The scenario concept within SAM allows you to easily define multiple groups and assign users to them. Each scenario is then linked to a synchronisation model, a client configuration and an application file. This gives larger organisations the freedom to easily rollout SAM to different groups.

Overview about the scenarios in the SAM Cockpit

Synchronization Model

One of the core concepts within SAM is the synchronisation model (or short sync model). It describes which data should be delivered to which user. It is like a filter between the middleware and the mobile device. SAM is coming with a number of pre-configured Sync Models, that can be used out of the box. But if organisations have specific requirements, the Synchronisation Model can be adjusted to their needs.

Examples for questions you need to ask when defining your filters are:

  • How are orders distributed? Via Work Center of the user? Via Personal number?
  • Orders with which user/system status should go to the mobile device?
  • When should orders be removed from the mobile device (e.g. when technically completed)?
  • Which technical objects should go to the mobile device? Only reference objects of orders/notifications or everything in the user´s plant?

Within the Sync Model, it is also defined which tables and fields are transferred to the mobile device. For example, if you do not use measurement readings, the tables for Measurement Points and Measurement Documents can be removed. If you do not need all the 150 fields of the Equipment header (who does need them all anyway?), you can remove the ones not required.

Synchronization Model in the SAM Cockpit

Client Configuration

With the client configuration, it is possible to change the screens and available functionality on the mobile client. You can show/hide dialogs and functionality from within the SAM Cockpit.

It is possible to configure different order type/pm activity type combinations in different ways. This is a powerful tool to quickly configure and create the client that is suitable for your organisation. The Client configuration can be changed with an expert mode and within a wizard that is simple and easy to use.

Here some use cases for our client configuration:

  • Hide the complete functionality for Business Partner Management when you run a plant maintenance scenario
  • Hide the functionality to create orders on the mobile device in case there is no business need for that feature
  • Define if time reporting should be done via time confirmations onto the order (like transaction IW41) or via SAP CATS
  • Define how documents should be saved in SAP (e.g. Global Object Services, DMS or Archive Link)
  • And much more
The Client Configuration in Expert Mode
The Client Configuration in the Config-Wizard

Client Updates

Even with all the configuration possibilities, it can happen that the client user interface and business logic can change. This can be the rollout of bug fixes, new features, or client-specific enhancements. If this is the case, a re-installation of the mobile application is not required. The changed application can be uploaded to the middleware and be deployed to the user with the next synchronization.

Summary

The combination of these customizing, configuration and enhancement possibilities lead to a very powerful and easy degree of customization. Thanks to that approach, implementations are quicker than in the past and especially the rollout to multiple user groups is becoming much easier.

If you want to learn more about SAM and our configuration features, please get in touch with us!

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Alexander Ilg