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The Importance of the OSS Note

There are a lot of questions about how SAP IDM works

One of the things I've been hearing (and experiencing) lately is that there are a lot of questions about how SAP IDM works.  Sometimes it's a functionality question, sometimes it's an enhancement request, other times it's a bug report.

Taking a look on the SAP IDM SDN forum, one can see several instances of all of these issues. However, some feel that the actual issues are never recognized by SAP. This leads to feelings of frustration and that IDM is too complicated.

There's actually a pretty simple resolution to this.  When you have a problem, log an OSS note, that's what they are there for.  Too often, we bolt right to the forums to get answers, and that's not a bad idea at all, however if the issue is significant enough, we need to inform SAP formally.


There's a few long term benefits to this as well:

  1. OSS Notes gives SAP Support the opportunity to learn what we are doing in the field and what they should expect to see.
  2. SAP Product management gets some metrics to see what needs to be improved in the product.
  3. The "institutional" knowledge grows which has results in the production better wiki entries, SAP Notes and overall documentation.
  4. It is much easier to escalate an issue with your SAP account manager if you have an OSS number.

Of course, this also raises some responsibilties on SAP's part:

  1. Support responses must be timely! I've heard of some significant delays in getting even preliminary answers.
  2. Speaking of preliminary answers, first level support needs to be able to do more than simply take error codes and logs.  We need some level of support.
  3. There must not be an automatic response of "we cannot support you, you have made customizations" For Pity's sake, the system was designed to be configurable and everyone knows the Provisioning framework will get some word done for it, that's why it's called a framework!

With a little bit of patience, understanding and work I think the system will work just fine. So please, take the time to document your issues and submit those OSS notes!

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More Stories By Matthew Pollicove

Matt Pollicove is an Identity Management architect, engineer, trainer, project manager, author and blogger with experience in user account provisioning, data synchronization, virtual directory and password management solutions. As a MaXware Technical Consultant and later as a System Engineer, he worked extensively with MaXware (now SAP) software products in large customer environments. In the past Matt has worked with several leading national and international consulting firms and is currently a Sr. Principal Consultant for Commercium Technologies. He is currently the Practice Lead for SAP NetWeaver Identity Management and SailPoint IIQ.