I just came back this week from a customer who is in the ramp-up phase of SAP Web AS 6.30 which means basically he is a beta tester. I went there with some mixed emotions. The software is in beta stage and if I was unlucky we would just run into problems the whole week without getting any visible results. Here is my short summary of the week there.
First day: Install SAP Netweaver Studio on the customer’s PC. I want to set up a datasource with DB2 residing on a host. Somehow I cannot manage to deploy the jdbc driver correctly so the server will find the native parts of the driver.
Second day: Trying and trying to get connected. Finally, looking at the deployment archive of SAP JCO puts me on the right track. I have to deploy the db2java.zip with the 2 dlls: db2jdbc.dll and db2jdbc_g.dll. Put it together with jarSAP (a custom ANT task available in the IDE), deploy it and it works!
Third day: Back at the customer and very eager to start. Start the server, deploy the driver, create the datasource. Suddenly the server is gone! What happened? A look in the log file tells me: License expired, shutting down! Oh yeah, should have installed the license right at the beginning. Anyway, take the license file and install it. But hey, nothing happens! Order a new license from http://service.sap.com and get one after 30 min. At least a good response time. It installs successfully! I am extremely happy and continue to work. Suddenly the server shuts down again. Same message in the logfile: Invalid license. I start cursing, what is happening? I open up a Support message via OSS. At the same time, I continue working on a web application, some framework classes and some Session Bean. Actually the IDE behaves quite well. I right-click on my session bean and have it as a web service. This is really neat! I just restart the server every 30 minutes because of the license check.
Fourth day: The new license file arrives from SAP Support. I install it, successful! But you cannot fool me. I wait. 1 hour , 2 hours, and the server is still up. OK, I start to believe that this time it worked. Finish up the business logic and expose it with a single click as a web service which gives me the opportunity to test the logic very easily. The customer is impressed and I am too. This web service test page is pretty neat. We do some remote debug sessions and step through the business logic. This remote debugging still fascinates me. A remotely running program that I can debug on my client is still magic to me.
Fifth day: It’s Friday and the customer wants to leave early. Well, I speed up and start the Web dynpro application that gives us the UI to the business logic. By 5 pm I am done. The application works. At the end it was actually quite impressive! We programmed a pretty nice looking user interface in less than a day that accesses a complex business logic and displays it in a nice diagram view. The customer is happy. His boss is called and he is also impressed. Did we experience any problems during that week? I can’t remember any.