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Posted by Thomas Hensel in SAP NetWeaver Portal on Jul 25, 2011 3:35:24 PM Finally it’s there – more intuitive and powerful than ever before! SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.3 marks our brand new go-to release and serves as the basis for further upcoming product enhancements. After an exciting ramp-up phase, SAP NetWeaver 7.3 has been made generally available on May 30, 2011. If you plan to start a portal project soon, you should read this blog about the lessons learned from the ramp-up to get valuable tips and tricks. What are the key takeaways from the ramp-up?
Very smooth ramp-up with active participants and relatively small number of reported issues Quality and stability of this mature and enterprise-ready portal release have been rated pretty positive by participants Upgrade projects and in particular the migration of custom applications require special attention and preparation Business Packages are available for release “Business Suite 7” and “Business Suite 7 Innovations 2010” Enterprise Workspaces on top of Portal 7.3 planned to be available with Enterprise Workspaces 1.1 SP1
Let’s have a look at the various topics in detail: 1. SAP’s smoothest portal ramp-up ever! During the six month evaluation period, the back office team supported more than 50 active customer projects with product information, how-to guides and recommendations. In addition partners started to evaluate the product and made their add-on solutions available on the new release. All in all it was a very successful and smooth ramp-up phase with a lot of positive customer feedback on product quality and stability. The first customers went already live and use their portal productively; many further projects will follow with scheduled go-live date in second half of 2011. Do you plan to follow them? 2. Preparing your Portal 7.3 project There have been huge improvements in the java platform and its tools. With SAP NetWeaver 7.3 we consolidated the former products SAP NetWeaver and Composition Environment into one unified major release. As a consequence customer can enjoy the best of both worlds and get more flexibility with new usage types. Please prepare carefully before you start with the project – especially customers coming from Portal 7.0. The new architecture and available business scenarios are documented in the Master Guide and the central SAP notes 1407532, 1407472, 1531306. 3. Checking the Platform Availability In order to take full advantage of modern server platforms SAP NetWeaver 7.3 runs on 64 bit platforms only. Details about supported operating system / database combinations are maintained in the central Platform Availability Matrix (http://service.sap.com/PAM). Please note that some outdated operating system releases have been removed from the list (e.g. Win 2003). On the client side SAP is supports newer browser versions such as Internet Explorer 9, Firefox 4.0 and Safari 4. Check the Browser Support for SAP section on SDN for further details. 4. Planning your portal landscape
Various ramp-up customers took already the chance to consolidate their system landscape based on the latest release. SAP offers you recommendations for designing your landscape, too. You can find the latest portal landscape recommendations for building corporate, application or BI portals on SDN. In addition the enhanced the Application Integrator (AI) tool supports administrators with an better integration of remote content (New iView > from Remote Source) from e.g. ABAP or Java systems. Thus various scenarios can now be implemented without the need for setting up a dedicated Federated Portal Network. Please check Content Sharing Between SAP NetWeaver Portals(presentation, note 1551944) and the blogSAP NetWeaver Portal – Application Integration and Federated Portal Network, when should I use each solution? for details about when to use which integration approach. Make yourself also familiar with the Performance Best Practices Guide for SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.3. 5. Installing your portal system SAP supports you with software logistic tools for managing your landscape: installation via SAPInst, upgrade via SAPJup (JavaUpgrade) and maintenance of your software components via SUM (Software Update Manager). You can find an overview about the various tools on SAP Service Marketplace (http://service.sap.com/alm-tools andhttp://service.sap.com/SLToolset) and SDN Upgrade and Update Management. Before you start with the project you should prepare your Solution Manager. The use of EHP1 for SAP Solution Manager 7.0 (SP 23 or higher) is now mandatory for running your upgrade. You should verify and correct the landscape data with Landscape Verification 1.0 SP1 or higher for SAP Solution Manager. For more information and demo see Landscape Verification @ ALM on SDN. The Maintenance Optimizer creates the stack.xml file and downloads the required files. We recommend that you directly apply the latest Support Package Stack to automatically get the latest improvements based on ramp-up feedback. Customers have two options: installing a clean, new system or upgrading their existing system to SAP NetWeaver 7.3. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages in terms of implementation comfort, resulting system footprint and efforts for potential manual adjustments and configurations. New installation: During the ramp-up customers used this option to quickly build up a new system and gain the benefits of a clean fresh installation. This allowes you to install the system with the leanest possible footprint. In addition you can get rid of old legacy content such as test applications or workarounds (that would be kept during an upgrade). This pure installation procedures are pretty straight forward. For details check the Installation Guides. Upgrade: If you are planning an upgrade of your current portal landscape (incl. portal content and migration of custom applications) you should be aware of the dependencies to other components such as Development Environment or backend release when using Business Packages. SAP offers an Java switch upgrade via SAPJup. During the upgrade procedure various migration controllers also automatically transform standard portal content into the new structure (e.g. Portal Applications, Documents, Web Page Composer, etc.) SAP strongly recommends carefully reading the Java upgrade guide and relevant SAP notes (1528990, 1530174, 1403832, 1390477). Note on Support Packages: In general there is no minimal Support Pack Level required in the source system. It's NOT recommended for updates/upgrades to implement the latest SP Stack in the source release without proper alignment of your upgrade schedule based on equivalent Support Package level matrix. You find details onhttp://service.sap.com/sp-stacks and SAP Note 1528990. Add-ons: During the upgrade you will also be requested to point to the 7.3 versions of add-ons such as Business Packages and Enterprise Workspaces. (SAP note 1532805) Manual content transport: Due to restrictions in the export mechanism of SAP NetWeaver 7.0, you cannot simply export, transport and important certain properties or configurations into a fresh new system. Thus we recommend running a thorough upgrade assessment with your consulting partner in order to make a profound decision. Application Migration: You propably need to adjust your custom applications as described in section 9. 6. What’s new in the Java server? SAP offers now a unified, highly scalable Java application server based on Java EE5 resulting in improved server performance and scalability. Check the recent article from SAP Insider for details. The portal benefits from these improvements and the latest standards offered by the platform such as EJB 3.0, JSP 2.1, SAML 1.1/2.0, JSR 168/286. Customers started to consolidate their landscape as various SAP NetWeaver components are now finally available on joint 7.3 code line including CE and BPM scenarios – enabling real business process portals. One of the major improvements is the consolidation of various administration tools (such as Visual Administrator and various portal support tools) into SAP NetWeaver Administrator. The new system overview dashboard is a great tool to monitor your portal and start investigations if needed (also possible via search or favorites). You can find more details about improvements in the release notes for AS Java Server. For landscape-wide central administration you keep on using of course your SAP Solution Manager. Our UI technology Web Dynpro Java has also been significantly enhanced since SAP NetWeaver 7.0. Those of you who work with Composition Environment might already benefit from various improvements, if not please check therelease notes for Web Dynpro Java to learn more about a more convenient development environment, various new UI controls, Flash Island, Drag&Drop support and lot’s of cool features. The Web Dynpro for Java Gallery for SAP NetWeaver CE 7.20 offers various nice examples. 7. Specific highlights from the new portal capabilities With the latest SAP NetWeaver 7.3 release SAP offers a reliable and mature portal portfolio with various innovations and functional enhancements for end users, administrators and developers. Check out the latest portal overview and roadmap presentation for details: Web Page Composer (WPC): WPC is now an integral part of the portal – no separate add-on component any longer. The functional enhancements were perceived as major improvements for managing and mashing up portal pages. SAP offers various Web Content Management for creating custom forms layouts or adding third party editor. A migration tool supports customers running WPC 7.0 already (see SAP note 1371703). Enhanced administration environment: the streamlined administration environment eases various tasks via intuitive wizards and tools – especially the improved AppIntegrator for easy integration of Business Suite content. Please note that the double click is no longer working. Transport capabilities via CTS+ and supportability have also been improved a lot. Various configuration and troubleshooting tasks have been incorporated directly into SAP NetWeaver Administrator. And KM also provides new reports for monitoring what’s going on and cleaning up your system. Ajax Framework: The new Ajax Framework Page (AFP) comes with the new “SAP Signature Design” and offers lot of services for increasing the people productivity via use of navigation, favorites, powerful (quick) search and tabsets (i.e. grouping of navigation entry points). The portal offers a flexible configuration tool for major AFP settings. SAP does not recommend adjusting the out-of-the-box AFP beyond these
configuration options. For pixel-perfect UI customizations SAP recommends to leverage the powerful set of APIs. Check the collaborativeAFP Wiki for further details, examples and how-to guides. Wikis and Forums: Finally SAP provides predefined roles for the wikis to enable smart collaborative writing in teams. There is no additional license required. You just need to download the add-on solution “Portal Add-on SAP NW 7.3” from Service Marketplace and install it on your portal server. The forums are also part of the release and offer some new features such as rating. For further details see release notes for portal and collaboration. Enterprise Workspaces 1.1: The latest version of our personal productivity and collaboration solution for portal users offers an easy content consumption and “shopping cart” approach. Starting with SP1 of Enterprise Workspaces 1.1 customers can run this add-on solution on top of Portal 7.3. Powerful Web Services and APIs: The portal provides a set of APIs and Web Services (JavaDocs, Developer Guide) to extend the product with your own custom solutions and enable interoperability scenarios. In addition we recommend to review the entire SAP NetWeaver 7.3 release notes as they contain further enhancements from related areas such as Application Server Java, Development Tools, Business Process Management, Search, etc. The latest Support Package Stack 03 delivers further improvements based on ramp-up feedback. Upcoming SPS are listed in the Support Package Schedule. 8. Running Business Packages for SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.3 SAP provides Business Packages for the backend releases Business Suite 7 (e.g. ECC 6.0 EhP4, SRM 7.0, etc.) andBusiness Suite 7 Innovations 2010 (e.g. ECC 6.0 EhP5; SRM 7.0 EhP1, etc.) on SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.3. Customers running an older SAP ERP release (e.g. ECC 6.0 EhP3 or below) may manually integrate their ABAP transactions via AppIntegrator or need to upgrade their backend to the supported release level. Especially Java-based business packages had to be adjusted to the new runtime environment (Java EE5) of the portal server. If you are running an upgrade from SAP NetWeaver 7.0 Portal with installed Business Packages, the upgrade tool will ask you for the successor versions. In Solution Manager you can then choose the relevant Packages. As an alternative you may keep the Business Packages on the separate Portal 7.0 and integrate the remote content into the central Portal 7.3. Furter information is maintained in the following notes and source: Integrating Business Packages SAP Note 1468349 "SAP Business Suite 7 for SAP NetWeaver 7.3 hub systems" SAP Note 1615463 "SAP Business Suite 7i 2010 für SAP NetWeaver 7.3 Hub-Systeme" SAP Note 1532805 "Add-On Compatibility of SAP NetWeaver 7.3". 9. Migrating your custom applications Due to the new Java basis you probably need to adjust your custom applications. SAP Help contains a comprehensive documentation for migrating your Java, Portal and Web Dynpro applications. Read also the in-depth SDN article on "Migrating Web Dynpro Application Projects from SAP NetWeaver 7.0 to Higher Version" and the guideHow To Migrate Custom Portal Applications to SAP NetWeaver 7.3. Please note that portal applications have a slightly different directory structure now. They include additional files and are packaged in WAR format, which are ZIP files with a .war extension. WAR (Web Application Archive) is the standard format for packaging web components for Java EE servers. The portal provides a migration tool for converting PARs into such WARs. In addition we streamlined the existing portal APIs, released few new services and cleaned up deprecated APIs. Thus we recommend to check the latest available JavaDocs and notes for portal (note 1503649) or KM (note 1372388). 10. The most important notes and links you should know The following section contains the main links and notes you should learn by heart: Master Guide: http://service.sap.com/instguidesnw73 Upgrade: https://service.sap.com/upgradenw73 Documentation NW 7.3: http://help.sap.com/content/documentation/netweaver/docu_nw_73.htm Documentation Portal 7.3 Release notes NW 7.3 How to guides: http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/howtoguides SAP NetWeaver 7.3 How-to Guides Product Availability Matrix (PAM): http://service.sap.com/pam -> Search for "SAP NetWeaver 7.3" NW Administrator Application migration on SAP Help and Docupedia Enterprise Portal Perspective in NetWeaver Developer Studio JavaDocs: http://help.sap.com/javadocs/NW73/SPS02/EP/index.html Developer Guide The following notes are available on http://service.sap.com/notes Installation and Upgrade 1407532 - Release Restrictions for SAP NetWeaver 7.3 1407472 - Release Restrictions for SAP NetWeaver 7.3 - Portal 1531306 - Central Note for NetWeaver 7.30 EP / EPC 1528990 - SP Equivalence for update/upgrade to SAP NW 7.30
0954820 - Compatibility of SLD in the system landscape 1530174 - Upgrade to SAP NetWeaver EP/EPC 7.3 1403832 - Central Note: Upgrade Systems on SAP NetWeaver 7.3 1390477 - Additional info for upgrade to SAP NetWeaver 7.3 1371703 - WPC for SAP NetWeaver 7.3 - Upgrade Information (Migration Guide) 1372388 - Upgrade of applications using KMC to SAP NetWeaver 7.3 1295662 - Federated Portal Network - Interoperability between 2 portals 1049553 - SAP Forums - Installation, Upgrade and System Copy 1372623 - SAP Wikis - Installation 1166135 - Central Note for Ajax Framework Page with SAP NW Add-ons and Business Content 1468349 - SAP Business Suite 7 for SAP NetWeaver 7.3 hub systems 1615463 - SAP Business Suite 7i 2010 für SAP NetWeaver 7.3 Hub-Systeme 1532805 - Add-On Compatibility of SAP NetWeaver 7.3 1388258 - Version interoperability between SAP Business Suite and SAP NetWeaver 1448100 - Enhancement package 5 for SAP ERP: Info for portal content 1007341 - SAP ERP 2004/2005 - supported ESS/MSS system landscapes 1004528 - SAP Self Services: Business packages and components 1481766 - HRSP Information of SAP enhancement package 5 1450179 - ESS Based on Web Dynpro ABAP Available as of EHP5 1509139 - ESS EHP5 solution Based on Web Dynpro JAVA Available For Developer 1295662 - Interoperability between 2 portals in FPN 1086644 - Checking database consistency for the PCD (7.0) 1473054 - Checking database consistency for the PCD for CE 7.1 & above 1503649 - SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.30 DCs and References 1504295 - PRT SOAP APIs are no longer public 1504296 - SAP Netweaver Portal 7.30 - Removed APIs 1554013 - API Changes in Search service and Favorites service With this information you should now be equipped for a smooth portal upgrade project. I am looking forward to receiving your feedback.
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