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What impact will scaling up my BlueWorx user numbers have?

Wondering about what impact scaling up the number of BlueWorx users will have? The answer is it depends. Here's why:

Firstly, more users will make no difference to the BlueWorx mobile application when it's in normal use. That's because, except for a few online interactions with SAP or when you're syncing, BlueWorx is running separately from the SAP system. So the application performance is based on your device performance, the data volumes you have, etc, and not on the number of other BlueWorx users.

The move to BlueWorx may shift users away from SAP GUI, if they previously had access, or it might increase SAP access for BlueWorx net new users. If you're shifting users from SAP GUI then that will decrease the SAP dialog sessions used, and in its place there will be more intensive but far shorter bursts of stateless connectivity coming from the sync between the application and SAP. 

Moving from desktop SAP GUI to BlueWorx mobility could also spread the connectivity load, because users sync when they need to based on the completion of a task. Conversely if connectivity is restricted to WiFi in certain areas, accessed periodically and with regularity, like rest breaks, then it might concentrate the load.

In any roll out out here' a few ideas that may help:

  • Optimize your profiles. Ensure that you give the users only the data they need for the tasks that they regularly perform. Don't, for example, give them open work orders with an end date of 1 month ago, instead give them past work orders for a more restricted period, to allow work closure, and emphasis the responsibility you planners to shift overdue work into the present.
  • Test new BlueWorx User profiles, in production or near productive, before deployment. That not so much about increased SAP load as it is about sync performance. Always test on the device that will be used and where possible from the locale where your deploying and not back in ' IT HQ'. That ensures that your testing the WiFi/ Cell > Network > SAP Web Dispatcher > SAP Gateway (optional) > SAP that the users will using...
  • For any deployment (new or a major user increase) consider:
    • Look to do some performance testing (using a test tool). This can be done using the browser version of BlueWorx and running simultaneous syncs against a spread of real profiles. You don't have to test the max number of users, just a figure that is in the high band for the expected number of users that might sync at the same time. And that number will be based on your business processes, work practices, time zones, etc. So for 500 users in a single locale that might be 50; for 500 users over two shifts that might be 35; and for 500 out in the field, that might be 15. At the lower end of the scale you can manually do this very effectively with a spread of desktop and mobile users all pressing the sync at the same time. And do that at a realistic time in which normal systems load is being experienced, and not, for example, after hours. Be mindful that as useful as a sync test might be, its not processing transactional updates in SAP which can induce a greater load and longer sync duration than 'clean syncing
    • Ask your SAP Basis experts what they think and get them on board. Are you already at capacity in your system; will the move change that (positively or negatively); what do they currently see for existing BlueWorx users; are they able to monitor any larger deployments.   
    • Consider for all large deployments, phasing the roll out. The advantage of that is even greater in terms of change management (to ensure a positive uptake in a managed and progressive way) as it is about any systems load.
  • Use the BlueWorx admin user sync logs to analyse the sync times. What you're looking for is any increase in sync times in an existing group (i.e. the same profile/ locale/ processes). After taking full versus delta syncs into account any differences between an existing group of BlueWorx users, and a new group, doesn't necessarily indicate it's system performance related, it could just be that the new groups profile/s is bigger/ more complex. 
  • Be aware that on deployment that there will be higher numbers of full syncs to begin with, which take the longest time and the heaviest load, and that in that initial period, as users get used to their new 'tool' they may sync more often. So from a peak, you might expect a fall in time.
  • Recognize that if you have different business units using BlueWorx for different processes (maintenance vs inspections; factory versus field; etc) then their pattern of usage and corresponding load, will differ

In conclusion there's are magic numbers around scaling BlueWorx users. The answers depend on too many variables. There are however things you can do to understand and mitigate the risk. If you have any questions on this topic then please come back with them on the forum, raise a support ticket or contact me.


Craig Bennett

Product Development Manager

Zag Ltd.

+64 27 230 2678

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