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Currently Suncor is in the process of upgrading from Ep5 (Sp6) to Ep6 (Sp9). After we’d migrated the content into our Ep6 environments (at Stack 4 for the migration), most content seemed to come across properly. We ugraded to Stack 9, not long after that, and that’s when we really started noticing some peculiarities.

For example, we found issues with iViews that contain apostrophes in their name. I’m sure most organizations have an iView called or containing the text:

KPI’s

Well, unfortunately when the import is executed, a series of wonderful errors appear. Now, although the iView does infact get imported into EP6, other issues crop up. For one, any pages containing that iView will now generate an error message when their page layout is accessed (something to the effect that a specific JSP file could not be processed). Ofcourse, extremists like me would take this error message and declare that we should no longer migrate content from EP5 to EP6. But, patience will help you realize there is a way out, although quite convoluted.

Basically, you need to fix the iView. If you try and edit the iView object, you’ll notice there will be no property available for you to edit that text containing the apostrophe. So, at this point, if you’ve not received any training in the art of dissecting a transport package in EP6, the following would be a quick crash course (although not recommended by SAP, but the method I used to get me out of this little situation):

1. To begin, you must have the necessary role(s) assigned to you such that you can see the System Administration tab.

2. There, access the Export page.

3. Here, you will need to create a new Transport Package. Then, add the iView(s) in question to that transport package.

4. Export the package to your local PC. You’ll have a file with the extension .EPA which is just another wonderful extension brought to you by your friendly neighborhood software giant, SAP – although, it is nothing more than a .ZIP file. Shocking, isn’t it?

5. I usually rename the .EPA file and replace it with a .ZIP extension. Then, I unzip the file to a folder of choice (I usually use the WinZip feature of extracting to a folder with the name of the original .ZIP file as the new folder’s name).

6. In that folder you will have three subfolders called (in no particular order):

EPT
META-INF
PACKAGE-INF

7. At this point, you’re not done extracting the content. You’ll need to go into the EPT folder and unpack all the files in it to corresponding folders (as we did with the original transport package file). These files will all have the .EPT extension, so you may also want to rename the extension to .ZIP before unpacking the files.

You should at this point have a folder structure similar to the following:

{transport-package-file} folder
  EPT folder
   {Object1 EPT} folder
    -contents
   etc…
  META-INF folder
  PACKAGE-INF folder

You’re now ready to begin modifying the content.

8. Now, you could go into every file and try and locate the piece of text that contains the apostrophes and manually replace them with similar text that doesn’t have apostrophes. I chose a different method, although highly unsafe. I used a tool called Actual Search & Replace – a shareware program you can get off the Internet. It allowed me to select a folder (like the one created by WinZip for the transport package file) and search and replace all text within that folder and any subsequent subfolders with different text. So, I did that. There are many tools like this all over the Internet, so this program isn’t exactly unique.

9. You’ll now have to repackage the content. First, you’ll need to ZIP the contents of each EPT object you created in the EPT folder. Before you do that, delete the original .ZIP / .EPT files you extracted in that folder. Make sure each newly generated .ZIP file contains a directory structure similar to the following:

  META-INF folder
  TRANSPORT-INF folder
  -content- (Texts.info, XmlStructure, etc.)

Once you’ve created all the new .ZIP files in the EPT folder, delete the EPT object subfolders. Now, rename the .ZIP files to have a .EPT extension.

NOTE: Make sure that the name of the new .EPT files match exactly with the original .EPT files you replaced.

10. Next, you’ll need to repackage the entire transport file. Create a .ZIP file containing the entire contents of the transport folder. Make sure the new .ZIP file contains the exact directory/file structure as the original transport package file.

11. You’re now ready to import the transport package. Perform the import, then clear your browser cache (just in case). You should now see that the iView’s name is now visible without any apostrophe’s (again you may not see this when editing the iView object itself, but when you view the iView on a page (in its title bar). You will also be able to access the page layout of any page containing the erroneous iView.

12. Congratulations, you’ve now mangaged to work around another one of the quirky features/bugs of Ep6.

There are other issues I’ve found that force you to resort to doing the package dissection.

For one, if you need to make a copy of an iView but need to specify the technical name yourself, you can’t do that through the existing method of Copy/Paste through the Portal Content browser. Ep6 automatically specifies the technical name (if you paste it an another folder, it uses the same technical name but if you paste it within the same folder, it adds a _0 or _1, etc. to the new copy’s technical name).

Okay, now why would I want to specify the technical name. Many organizations, Suncor included, are implementing standards as they move to EP6, including naming conventions. One of these is the naming conventions for technical names of objects. This way, it is easier to separate custom content from out-of-the-box content, or even categorize content based on function, or location, or whatever is necessary. I think SAP should seriously consider modifying their Copy/Paste feature, such that administrators can infact specify a technical name, wouldn’t you agree?

More wishful thinking – it would be nice if there was a search and replace tool for content within .ZIP files, or better yet, a tool that did all what the above process could do in a few clicks. Any suggestions?

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4 Comments

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  1. Gaurav Gandhi
    I think whatevr is explained in the Weblog can also be done using the Portal Content Translation workset under the Content Administration..

    This was the same way which i used to do before the Portal Content Translation workset..

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    1. Viswanath Naidu Post author
      Hi Gaurav,

      I spoke with our resident KM expert, Graham Hoggard, and he and I agreed that the business package you recommended would work, but only about 80% of what I require.  It is good to make textual changes for names, descriptions and so forth – pretty much any property that is changeable, as long as you have the appropriate master/default language assigned to you as you are using the tool.  But, for specifying technical names, it can’t help – as the portal does not allow you to modify or specify the technical name when creating copies of existing content or modifying the technical name of an existing object.  Thanks for the suggestion.  We might try this in the future for such changes.  I shall suggest this to the rest of the development team.  Thank you very much.

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      1. Gaurav Gandhi
        Hi Viswanath

        Very correct. The Technical Name can never be modified or rather should i say, should never be modifiable, be it SAP or any other Technology. Its just a common practice. Because with the Technical Name, many things are associated with it.

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