Weblog- RFID Scenario InstallationPreparation
Hi, friends. I am working in the SAP China Shanghai RFID team. And last year, our team set up a RFID demo center in China Shanghai with SAP R/3. At that time we did not have SAP AII software, so we built our scenario with SAP R/3470, CIP (Cooperation Inventory Process—-a RFID middleware), a picking system (running in Delphi environment) and a supermarket management system with POS machines. And we used JCO, DCOM connector to integrate these systems and make them work as a full RFID supply chain process, from vendor to DC and to supermarket and lastly to the customer. And this year our team was still working hard with RFID technology and the most fortunate thing is that we got SAP AII and other SAP software around a RFID scenario. And we are now setting up a SAP RFID solution to satisfy our customer as the demo center was not enough
I havent been in the SAP field for very long. I first worked as an ABAP and Java developer, and did some integration with SAP and non-SAP systems. From May to June. I worked in Basis and tried to set up the RFID scenario software. For me R/3 is a novelty, and Netweaver and MySAP Suite are also quite new. Well it was my first time trying to run Netweaver and MySAP Suite, and when I installed the components XI, AII and SCM, I got errors every day to my home, I dreamed that the problems fixed themselves, or that someone from SDN would tell me the answers.
SND is a lovely place, you can search for your question; if no answer is available, you just paste your question on the correlative forum and the next day when you wake up you get answers. And RFID is a very exciting technology that provides power in many business fields.
To show my gratitude, I decided to write this Weblog in three parts on SDN to share some experiences in the SAP RFID Scenario Installation. Hopefully, it can help you. My blogs will concern: preparation, installation, and configuration. This first part concerns preparation for an RFID Scenario Installation.
In my blog, I will not mention things that you can find in SAP Installation Documents. And I suggest that each note in these documents should be read at least twice. In my Weblog I will record mistakes that I made and bugs that I found but have no answers in the installation guide. Some bugs I found answers to in SAP notes, some I asked about in SDN to get results. And the blog will give you an overall look at my experiences with SAP RFID software. To begin with there is some terminology I needed to understand:
Netweaver (AII, XI, EP )
There are lots of documents about SAP Netweaver, I read at least 20 of them.
AII (Auto-ID Infrastructure) is the key component for SAP RFID solutions. It manages RFID information e.g. EPC tag, product hierarchy, RFID reader information. And AII can work standalone without other SAP systems, and it can also integrate with non-SAP systems.
XI (Exchange Infrastructure) is the integration platform for data exchange and business integration in SAP and non-SAP solution. Most of the SAP business scenarios need this component.
EP (enterprise portal )
MySAP suite (SCM, CRM )
SCM (Supply Chain Management) is a component from MySAP Suite. The key function areas of SCM are Supply Chain Exchange, Planning, Production, External procumbent, Sale process and logistic execution. With SAP SCM you can provide efficiency and save money in Supply Chain process.
SLD, SDM, CIM
The System Landscape Directory (SLD) is a central repository of information about systems and softwares in the data center. SLD is an information provider for SAP Netweaver system especially for XI (exchange Infrastructure). You define your software and software version, your business system and your technical system in SLD and this information will be use for integration.
Software Delivery Manager (SDM) The Software Deployment Manager (SDM) is a tool with which you can manage and deploy software packages that you receive from SAP.
Common Information Model (CIM). CIM provides a common definition of management information for systems, networks, applications and services, and allows for vendor extensions. CIMs common definitions enable vendors to exchange semantically rich management information between systems throughout the network. CIM is composed of a Specification and a Schema. The Schema provides the actual model descriptions, while the Specification defines the details for integration with other management models.
WAS ABAP, J2EE only, Java Add-in
There are three kinds of SAP web application server. And most SAP softwares are install on these three WAS.
E.g. SAP R/3470 is running of WAS ABAP, AII 2.1 java part is install on Java Add-in while Xi adapter engine should in set on J2EE only.
The SAP WAS can be installed in 3 ways.
WAS ABAP + Java Add-in
WAS J2EE only
WAS620, WAS630, WAS640, Unicode, non-Unicode
620 630 640 is the version of WAS. So read the installation guides carefully, and choose the right kernel files when installing.
Unicode, non-Unicode is another thing you should consider. Do not try to patch a non-Unicode SP to a Unicode kernel.
A slight jumping from Basis to Netweaver
Change Management: Perhaps you are a Basis person, and you easily handle your work. and enjoy it. But the world changes, SAP changes, enter Netweaver, .Luckily after you understand the new architecture and Netweaver is clear, all things go back to easy again.
Some suggestions to make this happen:
1) Go to help.sap.com and find some SAP Documents about Netweaver.
2) If you have any problems in installing Netweaver components, first search the notes, then search in SDN, then ask your questions in SDN.
3) Read some documents about Netweaver WAS tools: jcmon.exe, Visual Admin, SDM.
SAP R3 470 CDs and DVDs (or SAP R34.6, SAP R3 ECC5.0)
XI 3.0 CDs and DVDs
SCM4.0 CDs and DVDs
AII2.1 CDs and DVDs
Warning: JDK 1.4.2_xx, the xx should fix your Software need, some SAP software needs JDK1.4.2_05 or higher but doesnt not support JDK1.5
SCM4.0 needs this JDK, and it will give you installation errors if you do not have it.
2G memory server * 4 (R3, XI, AII, SCM)
Hard disk: 300g is enough for a test server
In our labs installation, we use a HP 560 server with 8G memory and running windows advanced server 2000.
Download the installation document from http://service.sap.com/instguides
Download RFID scenario document form http://service.sap.com/ibc
Download relative note from http://service.sap.com/notes
And some helpful information about SAP is at http://help.sap.com
Follow the installation guide
Of course, you must follow all the preparation described in the SAP installation guide of each component, and read every note mentioned in the guide.
SAP AII2.1 is not a RFID hardware manager, in SAP RFID scenario, AII will connect to another RFID middleware (RFID hardware middleware, like a RFID reader adapter) to get information from tags. So your RFID team must decide which RFID hardware middleware to use. If you only want to support one type of reader, you can just write a simple java program to work as a RFID device connector connecting with AII and RFID reader.
There are many RFID vendors in RFID field now. Some provide Java Jars for RFID application developer, and some provide DLL and some only give you a socket command.
So, as preparation, we must prepare the software for RFID readers. And install the right environment in our server. If the softwares are java programs, we also have to decide if we should deploy it to SAP WAS java or install a tomcat (or other J2EE Application server) instead.
My next blog will take you through 13 steps of an RFID Scenario Installation
Sheng Wang is a developer in SAP RFID solutions.