Do you still remember the day when you had to create your first domain in the SAP NetWeaver Development Infrastructure (NWDI)? And do you still remember that first and fatal popup informing you that you are about to create a customer domain (with a 3-character domain ID) or a partner domain (with a 4-character domain ID that you had to register with SAP)?
Who of you wondered what to do next and turned either to a consultant or to SAP’s support organization for help and information?
Who of you dared to simply confirm the message and boldly pressed “Save”?
With NetWeaver 2004s this will be in the past because SAP has eased the installation process of NWDI considerably. Using the template installer, all the post installation steps will be done for you automatically. NWDI will be preconfigured right down to the first track so that you can start developing right away.
In this context the template installer uses the system ID (SID) of your Web AS Java to set up the domain in NWDI, creating a 3-character domain ID by default.
However, even though this eases the installation and configuration of NWDI considerably, one might ask about the validity of the naming convention for NWDI domains given in the SAP Library (see Naming Conventions).
This naming convention was originally established to ensure the uniqueness of software component archives (SCAs) that are produced by the NWDI assembly process.
The assembly function of NWDI provides a packaging function that allows customers and partners to ship software development in the standard SAP format. The SCA always contains a complete version of one software component. Typically it only contains the deployables, but it can also hold the source code and build archives.
By restricting the shipment of sources to customers to registered 4-character domains only, the uniqueness of SCAs was ensured worldwide, provided that the domain ID was registered with SAP!
The technical reason for this is as follows: The domain ID, together with the track ID, comprises the keylocation property of an SCA which – together with keyname, keyvendor and keycounter – make the version of a software component globally unique.
In NW 2004s and the template installer process, the configuration of 3-digit domain IDs becomes the default setting. This introduces the possibility that a delivered SCA of a partner conflicts with an SCA of the same name if – and only if – the domain ID and track ID are the same in both NWDI environments.
The possibility of such a conflict, however, is very theoretical. The partner company needs to ship its SCAs with source code content and the customer of this partner must modify this source code within their own NWDI using the same domain ID and track ID as the partner. Such a scenario can easily be avoided if the partner company tells its customers not to use the same domain ID.
Since the possibility of SCA conflicts between partners and their customers is very small and the post installation with the template installer is very easy, we recommend that you use the template installer to setup NWDI and that you tell customers which domain IDs not to use.
The conflicts described here have nothing to do with conflicts on the development object level. These conflicts can also occur if you only deliver deployables and must in any case be avoided by useing a nameserver and a registered namespace.