CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

An Internet-based Collaborative Prototype for (SAP R/3) Database Administrators

Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Jacques Levin

Abstract

International Business Machines (18M) and IBM Global Services South, that provide informational technology (IT) services for customers, have a strong commitment to deliver world-class customer service and to maintain highly skilled technical administrators. Distributed Database Services, a division of IBM Global Services South, is made up of two teams, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Solutions Delivery and Database Delivery. The ERP Solutions Delivery Team handles Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing, Real-time Version 3 (SAP R/3) support and BASIS (SAP R/3 kernel) support; Database Delivery team handles database support for DB2, Oracle, Sybase, Informix and several smaller relational database environments. The Oracle databases are running in a SAP environment, so database administrators must be technically proficient in SAP as well as Oracle. Training will be a continual, expensive problem for these two teams, especially for the Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions Delivery Team since the DBAs are geographically dispersed. A solution to handle mentoring, collaborating and maintaining skills anytime, anyplace, any pace for SAP R/3 database administrators was a very high priority. Lotus Corporation, a subsidiary of IBM, recently announced its Learning Space was industry's first instructor-led, collaborative distance learning solution with Web access. A Web-based prototype for collaborative learning, mentoring and maintaining skills was a viable solution for geographically dispersed, mobile database administrators. The problem to be solved in this study was the lack of effective collaboration among SAP R/3 database administrators that are located in different geographical areas. Without this collaboration, work on critical tasks was problematic.

Geographically dispersed database administrators must work from a distance that precludes daily face-to-face meetings with other database administrators. Solving this problem was critical to successful implementation and maintenance of SAP databases. The Internet was selected as the way to increase collaboration and overcome the associated dysfunction among geographically dispersed database administrators working on SAP Rl3 projects. The collaboration would include mentoring, maintaining skill levels, sharing documentation, sharing work procedures and techniques, sharing run procedures and policies, and collaborative problem repositories. Expectations were this collaborative prototype would reduce costs and raise productivity of dispersed Systems SAP R/3 database administrators. The prototype would supplement the cost of corporate education and bring IBM Global Services South (IGSS) cost of doing business to lower levels.

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