Handling Technical Systems' Data - System Landscape Directory

The System Landscape Directory (SLD) of SAP NetWeaver is the central source of information on systems in your IT landscape. This information is relevant at runtime for applications like SAP Process Integration and for the application lifecycle management. By based on the information about all software available from SAP for installation and automatically updated data about systems already installed in a landscape, you get the foundation for tool support to plan software life-cycle tasks in your system landscape. For more information, see Solution Brief - System Landscape Directory and the Overview Presentation - System Landscape Directory.

This page provides you with a starting point for the planning of your landscape strategy for the System Landscape Directory of SAP NetWeaver. It helps you to decide how many system landscape directories you require and how and where to run them in your landscape.

SLD with client applications - runtime applications as well as SAP Solution Manager.

In the following, you will find information on the SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory (SLD), often referring to related systems, most proinently, the Landscape Management Database: Best-practice documents, news, blogs, and demos. If you follow these blogs reading from top to the bottom, you will get a sort logical sequence of topics (to be completed over time), from where to install the SLD, how to install it, how to distribute landscape data, and how to use the latest features...

Planning the SLD Topology

You can install and run the SLD in your SAP NetWeaver landscape in many different ways. Each option has different advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, you must plan the installation of the SLD properly according to your landscape requirements.This is related where to run an SLD and how many SLDs should be used in your landscape - this is what we call the "SLD topology". This is also related to higher level landscape data repositories (namely the Landscape Management Database (LMDB) of SAP Solution Manager and the Customer Profile in the SAP Support Portal. Also see the Planning Guide - System Landscape Directory.

In the following blog posts, these questions are discussed.

Any administrator, who is responsible for an IT-landscape, which at least partly consists of SAP systems, will know that many applications rely on data provided by the SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory (SLD). For several reasons, having more than one SLD might be necessary. In this blog I put the recommendations from the SLD Planning Guide on the SLD topology in a (coco-) nutshell - not to replace this document, which is still mandatory, but to give you an easy start when developing a new SLD strategy.

For detailed information, see "SLD Topology: How-To Gather and Distribute SLD-Data in Your IT-Landscape?" and General Recommendations for Set-up and Use of SLD and LMDB.

System data is gathered by the SLD and retrieved by the LMDB as a basis of the landscape descriptions in the SAP Solution Manager. In most cases, more than one SLD is available in the landscape. But can LMDB get data from more than one SLD system? Can one SLD provide data to more than one LMDB? In any case, to ensure data consistency some rules need to be followed – these questions are answered in this blog. For more information on SAP Solution Manager, see Application Lifecycle Management.

For detailed information see "SLD-LMDB Topology – Connections, Valid, and Invalid Data Exchange Between SLD and LMDB of SAP Solution Manager".

Data from SLD and LMDB is since the introduction of the Early Watch Alert made available in the SAP Support Portal. With the Maintenance Planner, this data is now getting mandatory for landscape planning, so you need to be aware of the upload process.

For detailed information see "Topology of SLD, LMDB, and Customer Profile – How to Get Reliable Landscape Data in SAP Support Portal as a Basis for Planning".

With SAP Solution Manager 7.2, the SLD keeps its role as the central point of registering SAP systems of AS ABAP, AS Java and SAP HANA. The SLD being part of SAP Solution Manager is now supporting full automatic sync as a target also, being on a new SAP NetWeaver release.

Note:
In SAP Solution Manager 7.2, the LMDB has specific requirements to the SLD versions - read the detail here: "Required SAP NW Version of the Source SLD for LMDB in SAP Solution Manager 7.2 & Options to Get there".

Changing the Topology

If your landscape is evolving, changes to the SLD topology may be necessary. In the following blog posts, procedures to do this with minimal disruption of your daily business are described for typical scenarios.

It is recommended to use one System Landscape Directory (SLD) system as the source of CIM model, CR Content, and Technical Systems' data for the Landscape Management Database (LMDB). However, the necessity may arise to change this SLD. Here are the points to consider in case of a switch to another SLD.

For detailed information see "SLD and LMDB Topology: Replacing the Source SLD for the LMDB".

In a backup setup, two SLD systems can be connected with a bidirectional full, automatic synchronization of their content. They can also be connected with a unidirectional full automatic content synchronization to a 3rd system (SLD or LMDB). If you need to switch between “main” or “central” and “backup” SLD, you need to follow some rules to avoid data inconsistencies: Either use a very simple setup, which will require only a few steps but interrupts updates of the 3rd system. To keep the 3rd system up-to-date all the time, you can follow another procedure.

For detailed information see "Switching between 2 SLD Systems in Sync with an LMDB or a 3rd SLD".

Building the SLD

Once you have decided on the SLD topology, here is information on how to install and configure SLD systems. This is not meant to replace installation or master guides, but give examples for these procedures. 

This blog "Sizing a System for the System Landscape Directory of SAP NetWeaver" provides information about sizing aspects for a system used for the System Landscape Directory of SAP NetWeaver.

With IT landscapes at least partially made up of SAP systems of more recent releases, gathering landscape data in the SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory (SLD) is mandatory. This blog describes the installation of an SLD system and the initial setup, which both have been automated to a large extent. Both processes are demonstrated using the example of an SAP NetWeaver Process Integration 7.1 EHP1 installation.

For detailed information, read "How-to Install a System Landscape Directory and Manage the Initial Setup?".

As of SAP NetWeaver 7.1 the System Landscape Directory features a new way of fully automated synchronization of separate SLD systems - this will be interesting enough for many of you to install this release as quickly as possible. This blog tells you where you will find this installation option.

For detailed information, read "How to Get an SAP NetWeaver 7.1 System Landscape Directory?".

This document "SAP NetWeaver 7.3 System Landscape Directory - Post-Installation Steps" describes the post-installation steps for an SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory when installed as part of SAP NetWeaver 7.3

This document "SAP NetWeaver 7.3 System Landscape Directory - Configuration Steps" gives an overview of steps needed to configure the SLD in SAP NetWeaver 7.3.

Using the SLD

Once you are aware of the specific needs for SLD systems in your company, here is how to administer SLD systems and the data it provides to other applications. 

User manual for the System Landscape Directory of SAP NetWeaver 7.1 (example EHP1 for SAP NetWeaver Process Integration 7.1) shows steps in Administrating the SLD.

This User Manual - SLD of SAP NetWeaver 7.0 is an extract of the SAP Library of SAP NetWeaver providing a detailed description of the System Landscape Directory of SAP NetWeaver 7.0 and relevant aspects (such as setting up data suppliers and operating the system landscape directory).

The System Landscape Directory (SLD) of SAP NetWeaver is a central provider of information on software and systems. It is used by many client applications, such as SAP NetWeaver Process Integration, SAP Solution Manager, and the Adaptive Computing Controller. SLD data is needed in three areas of the landscape, for development systems, productive systems and systems managing systems. According to the different roles, different types of data are needed in each area. On the other hand, data should be gathered in one place to avoid inconsistencies. Therefore, data is retrieved once and then distributed.

For detailed information see: How-to Handle Data in the SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory.

In this document "Data Handling in the SLD - Step-By-Step" all mechanisms in the SLD of data gathering and distribution are discussed in detail and shown in screen shots in the context of the SLD's role in the landscape.

The full automatic synchronization feature is available with the SLD as of SAP NetWeaver 7.1. This demo shows the unidirectional (one source and one target SLD) and a bidirectional use (both SLD systems are source and target) of the synchronization feature. Using it, you can easily replicate content between SLDs, for example for backup purposes.

You can download the Demo: The Full Automatic Sync Feature in the SLD of SAP NetWeaver 7.1

Best Practices for Using the SLD

Here, you'll learn how to best handle the SLD or SLD data in different scenarios.

Use, topology, and many specific scenarios in SLD and LMDB have been described on three pages containing multiple documents and blogs - but you may be interested in "rules of thumb" plus related blogs and notes regarding specific aspects of handling SLD & LMDB...

For detailed information see "Guidance to Best Practices in SLD and LMDB".

Having consistent and up-to-date software catalog data (aka CR CONTENT) in System Landscape Directory (SLD) and SAP Solution Manager Landscape Management Database (LMDB) is a prerequisite for correct description of the IT landscape – this blog gives an overview of the process and relevant notes.

For detailed information see "Software Catalog Data aka CR CONTENT in SLD and LMDB".

If you're using the system copy function of the software provisioning manager, you need to take care of the changed landscape data in the System Landscape Directory (SLD).

For detailed informations see "How to Deal with Landscape Data Created during System Copy".

Dual-Stack Systems can be split into separate technical systems (with the exception of mandatory dual-stacks such as versions of SAP NetWeaver PI and SAP Solution Manager). After such a split, you need to take care – or do some house-keeping – in the System Landscape Directory (SLD) and also think of the landscape description in SAP Solution Manager LMDB.

For detailed information see "Dual-Stack Split – How to Ensure Correct Technical System Data in SLD and LMDB after the Split"

The SLD is a central provider of information on software and systems and SLD data is critical to many processes, so you need to protect it. In some cases, however, it is necessary that a person can see all SLD data - including those used by the SLD administrator - but need not change them: Often, this is the case when it comes to issues requiring support, so for this use case, a specific support role is available, sparing you the risk to assign an administrator user if read-only access will suffice.

For detailed information see "How to Grant Full Read-Permission Without Change Permission in the System Landscape Directory".

SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory as of SAP NetWeaver AS Java 7.1 features the Full Automatic Content Sync. This function allows connecting SLD systems to automatically update data incrementally when changes occur and provides automatic conflict resolution. Connections can be bidirectional or unidirectional. While in a bidirectional setup conflicts will hardly occur, in a unidirectional setup you need to follow some rules to avoid them.

For detailed information see "SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory: Conflicts and Ranks in Full Automatic Sync".

The SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory (SLD) is the central provider of landscape information in the SAP system landscape. Systems report their data automatically updating their data regularly in the SLD. Nevertheless, records of systems that have been de-installed or moved have to be taken care of to present client applications with up-to-date data. This task is necessary in all releases of the SLD, but support has improved over time.

For detailed information see "How-to Manage House-Cleaning in the System Landscape Directory - Duplicate System Entries".

With SAP NetWeaver 7.0 SP 12 the Change and Transport System (CTS) learned to transport Non-ABAP content also, and is therefore often referred to as "CTS+". It is the preferable transport mechanism for many types of SAP content and more types will follow. As of SAP NetWeaver 7.0 SP 14 transporting content of the SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory (SLD) is fully integrated with CTS+. The operation of system landscapes often requires exchange of data between SLD systems using an export / import procedure. This can be managed both more reliably and comfortably using CTS+ - as shown in a system demo.

For detailed information see "Better Manage SLD Exports and Imports Using CTS+".

With SAP NetWeaver 7.1 "full automatic synchronization" has become available as a new feature of the System Landscape Directory (SLD). It allows setting up SLD systems so that all their content is replicated from the source to the target SLD(s) and also in both directions if required. Up to here things have been announced already. This feature now can also be used to reduce the availability gaps of SLD data during planned downtime to a few seconds. Applied together with a high-availability setup usually focusing on unplanned downtime you can achieve very, very near to continuous availability of SLD data. In a two parts demo I'll show how to make SLD data available independently of planned downtime.

For detailed information see "How to Ensure that SLD Data is Available during SLD Maintenance".

The SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory (SLD) is a central provider of landscape information used by many client applications. Therefore, when using an SLD in your system landscape it might be a good idea to use a virtual IP address to access it. This blog lists reasons and use cases.

For detailed information see "SLD Recommendation - Reasons to Use a Virtual IP Address for SLD Access".

The SAP NetWeaver System Landscape Directory (SLD) is the main source of Technical Systems' information in your landscape. To be able to handle this data correctly, the SLD CIM Model and CR Content need to be up-to-date. In most cases, this manual action is done on each SLD individually, many of which may exist in a landscape. Using the Full Automatic Synchronization mechanism and the SLD Namespace concept, you can update one SLD manually and automate the CIM Model/CR Content update for all other SLD systems.

Note that this procedure should be tested by you in a sandbox and used very carefully – not fulfilling the prerequisites or performing the steps wrong, will cause data inconsistencies.

For detailed information see "How to Reduce Manual Effort in CIM model and CR Content Update of SLD Systems".

Help & Resources

Here, you'll find information on related tasks, like handling 3rd-party systems and find links to related applications.

A complete view of technical systems' data you'll get by Technical System Data Delivered by SLD Data Supplier and Agents connected with SAP Solution Manager LMDB.

This Developers' Guide for SLD/LMDB Data Suppliers describes the instrumentation of third-party systems to register in the System Landscape Directory (SLD). Third-party system registration is required for use cases in SAP Solution Manager and Process Integration (PI). Solution Manager and PI require different parts of the SAP Common Information Model (CIM) extension.

Here, you'll find Data Supplier Development Resources – Coding Examples. (This ZIP file contains example code for the registration of system landscape data of third-party systems or non-specific SAP systems in the System Landscape Directory as described in the developer's guide.)