The two tools for Java system administration that come to the mind of every administrator who has the task of managing a SAP standalone Java system or the Java part of a dual stack system (having both ABAP and Java) are the Visual Administrator (also referred to as VA) and the Config Tool. While the config tool is ideal for offline configuration of the Java Application Server (such as adding additional server processes to a Java instance, viewing and reconfiguring system properties, and so on), the Visual Administrator is primarily used for changing system parameters at runtime. Of late, the SAP NetWeaver Administrator (also referred to as NWA) has also evolved in a big way as a cockpit essential for every administrator to manage an installed SAP NetWeaver system.
However, SAP landscapes are typically large and complex. The tools which are used for Java System administration (Visual Administrator, Config tool, SAP NetWeaver Administrator etc.) are not quite appropriate for addressing the task of landscape wide administration. SAP has positioned Solution Manager (through its Work Centers) as the central tool for landscape wide administration. The central flavor of the SAP NetWeaver Administrator is integrated into the Solution Manager Work Centers ‘Administration’ and ‘Monitoring’ and will be available to customers as of SP15 of Solution Manager 4.0. SAP is constantly working to enrich these work centers with more features to help administrators in landscape wide administration. The local flavor of the SAP NetWeaver Administrator will continue to be used for system administration i.e. the administration and monitoring of individual SAP systems in the landscape. The functionalities of the Visual Administrator are being gradually moved to the local flavor of NetWeaver Administrator in SAP NetWeaver 7.0. The migration has been completed in the NetWeaver Administrator of SAP NetWeaver 7.1 and Visual Administrator will no longer be available in SAP NetWeaver 7.1.
The message from SAP is loud and clear: use the Solution Manager Work centers for landscape wide administration and the SAP NetWeaver Administrator for administration of individual systems in the landscape. The message also highlights SAP’s efforts to centralize the functionalities of different and disparate administration tools, yet differentiates clearly between landscape-wide and system administration.
In the remainder of this blog, I will take you through some of the most commonly used Visual Administrator services and how they have been made available in the NetWeaver Administrator of SAP NetWeaver 7.0 and SAP NetWeaver 7.1 (today the latter is available with Composition Environment and Process Integration 7.1)
Important Visual Administrator services in SAP NetWeaver Administrator 7.0 and 7.1
One of the most commonly used Visual Administrator services is the “Deploy” service. It is used to both start existing Java applications and to deploy new Java applications.
The service is now also available in the SAP NetWeaver Administrator under System Management -> Administration -> Applications (as shown in the snapshot below). The SAP NetWeaver Administrator UI allows you to filter based on type of application and also allows you to sort or group the results based on name of the application or vendor.
Also used a lot is the “Log Configurator” service in the Visual Administrator. Administrators use this service to check detailed logging for affected applications (like BI, PI, TREX) at different trace levels or different levels of granularity.
This too is accessible, with a much better UI and navigation facility in SAP NetWeaver Administrator 7.0. It can be found under System Management -> Configuration -> Log Configuration. It is possible to view the logs based on the severity level which can be chosen from a dropdown list (as shown in the snapshot below). For actually viewing the logs, the “Log Viewer” service in Visual Administrator has been moved to SAP NetWeaver Administrator under System Management -> Monitoring -> Logs and Traces.
The “Monitoring” service in the Visual Administrator has been richly enhanced in the SAP NetWeaver Administrator (as shown in the snapshot below). It is accessible from System Management -> Monitoring -> Java System Reports. There is the added advantage of aggregating the monitoring data and presenting it into graphical reports through which trends can be easily identified. It is also possible to create graphical reports based on different system parameters like Capacity Planning, Resource Allocation etc (as depicted in the snapshot below)
Many other services such as “Configuration Adapter”, “Connection Container”, “JDBC Connector”, “UME Provider” and “Web Container” that are found in the Visual Administrator have been moved to SAP NetWeaver Administrator 7.0.
Other Important Visual Administrator services in SAP NetWeaver Administrator 7.1 only (not in 7.0)
Visual Administrator has been completely phased out from the system administration of SAP NetWeaver 7.1. All the services that were available in the Visual Administrator will be now available in the SAP NetWeaver Administrator 7.1. Currently the CE and PI 7.1 are under general availability and administration of these solutions is done primarily using the SAP NetWeaver Administrator 7.1. Below are two very commonly used services in Visual Administrator that have been moved to SAP NetWeaver Administrator 7.1 but not to SAP NetWeaver Administrator 7.0 The service “Destinations” in Visual Administrator allows administrators to configure HTTP, RFC and Web Service destinations for various applications.
This configuration should now be done in the SAP NetWeaver Administrator by going to Configuration Management -> Infrastructure -> Destinations
The “SLD Data Supplier” service in Visual Administrator enables administrators to configure their client systems in a way so that they can connect to the System Landscape Directory. The snapshot below shows this in Visual Administrator.
The same functionality can be found in the SAP NetWeaver Administrator by visiting Configuration Management -> Infrastructure -> SLD Data Supplier Configuration
The services in Visual Administrator and corresponding navigation paths in SAP NetWeaver Administrator mentioned in this blog are by no means exhaustive. The intention here was to give the reader a sneak peak at the look and feel of the SAP NetWeaver Administrator and illustrate how all the services of Visual Administrator have been moved to it in SAP NetWeaver 7.1 and where they could be found. I would encourage all readers to explore the services available as of now in the SAP NetWeaver Administrator 7.0/7.1 and familiarize oneself with administration using the SAP NetWeaver Administrator rather than the Visual Administrator which has much less functionalities and a less intuitive user interface. In my next blog, I will focus on the Administration and Monitoring work centers in Solution Manager for landscape wide administration.