We use a three-tier architecture with three tenants (separate IBP instances) for Development, QA - User Acceptance Testing, and Production IBP. Each tenant carries a separate Planning Area for an individual division of our company, and we use Export from Dev, then Import and Forward through QA to Production to move configuration changes.
Problem: we have difficulty synchronizing the data (Master, Transactional, and "live user entries") between our three tenants to allow our developers and Power Users in the Non-Prod tenants to easily validate solutions or enhancements.
We cannot simply request SAP to perform a full data refresh from our Production tenant to a Non-Production tenant because:
We have tried leveraging CI-DS (aka CPI-DS or HCI) to manually load the same data files that have been loaded to Production. Unfortunately this is an incomplete solution since we don't have anyway to capture the manual inputs and changes made by our PLMs, Planners, and Power Users each week and we don't currently have the same cycle of application jobs running in our Non-Prod tenants. So what happens is that we lose data generated by the business cycles occurring in Production; and without being sure of the underlying data relationships, random loads of specific attributes or bits of KF data without also keeping related attributes and KFs in sync eventually breaks the Planning Area. For example we want to test an IO Planning job - but we don't have the manually entered input data required to run the job in Development. This forces us to move un-tested changes to Production hoping we haven't missed anything in order to validate in Production.
Can anyone share their insights and solutions? Thank you, in advance!
The best practice approach is to maintain the data in each tenant combination of planning area.
Planning areas are subset of the divisions and different planning phases (ongoing projects), so it is business and implementation partner to evaluate the business requirements and project scope to define the harmonized data models across tenants.
We do have challenges to maintain the master/transactional data to support all business operations across the planning areas in all the tenants.
The ideal situation is built master/transactional data interfaces and application templates in development and rollout those to subsequent tenants, however it is manual activity.
I hope these notes will help you.