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SAP Discovery System: A Quicker Quick-Start Guide

SAP Discovery System: A Quicker Quick-Start Guide

The SAP Discovery system is simple to set up and get started on, that’s the whole point of it. But there are some ways to streamline the process before you even download the Quick Guide, which can be found on the Getting Started with the SAP Discovery System – setup page in the SAP Discovery System page on SDN. In this blog, I’m going to give you a preview of the time you should expect to spend on installation, how the licensing works, and who to contact in case you run into any trouble.


The installation and set up process for SAP Discovery System will take about one work day total. The best recommendation is to make sure you have both the license key and the migration key in advance, otherwise be prepared to pause until these requests are processed. 

Backup, backup and backup

It is always the safest bet to backup the drives of the Discovery System before starting any work so you can restore it to its original condition. I would also advise to backup the system in the future before you make any major changes or upgrades.


Having the right license is a pre-requisite to even starting the installation. So, what is the right license? You must have either a Business Suite license or an SAP ERP 2005 license. SAP licenses are usually associated with a database. Please verify that your license is for Microsoft SQL Server. I would strongly recommend to consult with your account representative prior to making the purchase of a Discovery System. They are usually very knowledgeable about SAP’s licensing procedures and could save a lot of grief that I have seen customers stumble upon when not sufficiently equipped with the correct license at hand during installation. You can also always ask us via a CSN message on component CA-SOA-DS if you are not sure.  

Database Setup

Now it’s time to install the trial version of the Microsoft SQL server and attach some databases. This is all automated. However, if you have your own enterprise licensed Microsoft SQL server already in place, you could install your own server and then run the script in the Quick Start Guide. You must be using the correct version of the server: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition.   The benefit of using your own databases is that you will not need to use the 180 day eval license that is supplied with the SQL server on the Discovery System. The downside is that if you run into problems with this setup then we probably won’t be able to support you with it. 

Third-Party Software

All the third-party software in the SAP Discovery System is downloaded from the Web. It includes:

  • J2SE v 1.4.2_12 SDK from Sun
  • Adobe Reader version 7.0.9
  • the latest Adobe Flash Player
  • the latest Adobe SVG Viewer
  • The only thing to watch out for in this step is to make sure that you install into the correct directory. You must install it in the D: folder and use exactly the naming convention printed in the Quick Start Guide.


    The main hurdle you’ll encounter while setting up SAP Discovery System is the license and migration key request and receipt process. In order to request a license key you will need to know the hardware key. If you’ve done SAP installations in the past you should already know how to get a hardware key. And it’s also explained briefly in step 12 of the Quick Start Guide.   Otherwise, visit the SAP Service Marketplace and download the document that describes everything you need to know about licensing. 

    Hurry Up and Wait

    After receiving your license key, save it somewhere that is accessible from the Discovery System. You’ll then need to install the license according to the steps in the Quick Guide.

    Applying the Migration Key

    One of the first steps you need to do is to request a migration key from us by opening a CSS message. This process is well documented in the beginning steps of the Quick Start Guide. Just be aware that it takes between 24 and 72 hours to process the Migration Key request. So it is advised to take care of it before starting to go through the installation steps.  Next apply the migration key. Logon to the ERP client 001, User ID: PISUPER Password:sapides123, and apply the migration key to the secure store according to the instructions in the quick guide. Please note that the entries will remain red and only change to green after you apply the license key.

    Adobe Document Services

    The Adobe Document Services require access to a credential in SAP Web AS to assign usage rights to PDF documents. This is typically the Adobe Reader Rights credential. There are two options: Test License or Productive License. 

    Get Started

    Time to start playing around. The Service-Enabled Procurement Scenario is a very good way to test your installation. It runs through all the major components on the SAP Discovery System – MDM, XI, the Web Application Server, ERP, and lots of different tools. If one of these components isn’t working properly, you’ll find out by running this scenario.  Most of the users and passwords that are required to run the scenario and to access different applications on the Discovery System can be found in the summary document in the demonstration access area.  Remember, the complete Quick Start Guide can be found on the SAP Discovery System page on SDN. And if you have any questions, drop by the SAP Discovery System pod in the eSOA village in SAPPHIRE Vienna.

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    • Hello Itai,

      Very good information for the Discovery system installation.  If we end of buying Discovery system offered by HP or Fujitsu, seems like we need only license key and migration key steps from your blog.  Is that right ?  What is your opinion on the Discovery systems offered by HP and Fujitsu.

      Thank you.

    • Hi, Itai,

      I like your pointers. By the way, if I want to
      be able to build a discovery system, all from scratch, especially for self learning, am I out of luck ? Or is there a place to download all
      components and set up pieces one by one ?



      • Hi Hans,

        All software components that were used to build the Discovery System can be found in the SAP Service Marketplace. However, the demo scenarios and post installation configuration were done by several different development groups in SAP. Thus to create an exact replicate of the system would be very difficult.


        • Hi Itai,

          I am interested in getting the SOA system from SAP but I need to know if the ERP instance is already populated with data similar to an IDES system (ie, cutomers, materials, sales order, etc.) Also, is this system a 64 bit or 32 bit system? Finally, will an SAP license suffice (on a regular system it does) or will I need to get a license for Microsoft SQL as well?

          • Hi Adrian,

            The Discovery System is based on an IDES system, so you will find prepopulated data inside it. We have also added the Best Practices US Baseline configuration to it, so that should add even more data. The DS is a 32bit system. Regarding licensing, if you have an ERP or Business Suite license, it should be good enough. I highly recommend to contact your account executive in order to make sure you SAP license is sufficient. The DS comes with 180 eval version of MS SQL.


    • I have the Procurement Scenario up and running but have issues with some of the other scenarios.  How should I convey the issues that I am running into for some of the other scenarios like Quotation Approval, Strategic Investment Buy and Production Order Rescheduling?


    • Hi Itai,

      My company has the SAP Buisness Suite, including all components, DB’s, and OS’s.

      Do I have to buy “SAP® Discovery System for Enterprise SOA” or can I download it or order it from the SAP software distribution center?

      Thank you in advance


      • Hi Yechezkel,

        The Discovery System is an appliance, bundled hardware and software solution. Hence, it can’t be downloaded and has to be bought from one of the two vendors: HP or Fujitsu-Siemens.



    • My company has purchased SAP Discovery Systems.  The system comes with the best Practice.  How can we find out what version of Best Practice is installed ?  We are looking for SAP Best Practice for Baseline US V.260 – Solution Scope.

      Owens Corning

    • Hi Itai,

      You say: However, if you have your own enterprise licensed Microsoft SQL server already in place, you could install your own server and then run the script in the Quick Start Guide………

      The benefit of using your own databases is that you will not need to use the 180 day eval license that is supplied with the SQL server on the Discovery System. The downside is that if you run into problems with this setup then we probably won’t be able to support you with it.

      My Questions:
      1. Can I install the 180 day eval license and then after the 180 days install my own license??
      2. What is the difference between “your own enterprise licensed Microsoft SQL server already in place” and  “the 180 day eval license “, it should be the same MSSQL ???

      Thank you in advance


      • Hi,

        In response to your questions:

        1. Yes and No. Yes you can start with the 180 day eval, but when you decide to switch to the official fully licensed SQL server, you will need to uninstall the eval version and install the official fully licensed version. Make sure you detach the databases before uninstalling. It is not just to replace a license key, it is a full re-installation and re-attaching the databases.

        2. It is not the same MS SQL. The eval and the fully licensed are different. I guess MS had there reasons for making this differentiation.(see MS documentation for further details)

        Overall it is a few more steps, but it could be achieved in a matter of hours.



    • Hi,
      I am in the process of de-installing MS SQL enand re-install before the 180 days in order to have a full license.
      Did anyone found a guide about it ? or is it just  :
      – stop all SAP services
      – detach db’s
      – uninstall old MS SQL
      – install new MS SQL
      – re-attach the db’ using the script

      Thanks for your help


    • does the discovery system come with pre-installed and pre-configured business packages for Portal? if so, which ones? I need in particular the ESS/MSS content configured to run with the ERP system.


      • Hi Tiberiu,

        Unfortunately ESS/MSS Business Package is not installed on the Discovery System. Perhaps you can ask on the Discovery System Forum if anyone has tried installing it.