Instigating Change of Thinking for SAP System Data Refresh for Capita

Incentives to Change

There were a number of incentives driving the need and willingness to change. The introduction of GDPR legislation in May 2018 and the potential fines for noncompliance meant copying production data into test systems had to be approached carefully.

With the impending move of the SAP estate to the Microsoft Azure public cloud platform, there was a need to reduce the storage and backup footprint to avoid unnecessary costs.


Challenges Found

The current strategy for performing system refreshes involved taking a complete copy of the source system using traditional SAP methods, e.g. Backup (dump) and restore (load) of the ASE database or R3load export / import. This had various drawbacks including:

  • Basis resource intensive
  • Lengthy process
  • No data masking post copy
  • Non-GDPR compliant approach
  • 5 production sized databases needed to support strategy
  • “All or nothing” approach


Solution Found

System refresh strategy would involve refreshing only data:

  • Master data (all)
  • Customizing (all)
  • Transactional data (all or partial)

Full system copies only performed to provision new systems:

  • Temporary project systems
  • Temporary support systems
  • SAP Post-Copy Automation to speed-up


Benefits Gained

Benefits of alternative strategy:

  • Limited Basis resource required
  • Data can be masked and anonymised
  • Less production sized databases needed to support strategy
  • Potential for reduction in infrastructure footprint
  • Partial copies of data into multiple clients

Refresh data in the target system using an SAP TDMS or third-party tool such as EPI-USE Data Sync Manager (DSM) and SNP Test Data Organizer (TDO).