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On May 20, Mario Herger and I presented a Webcast titled SAP NetWeaver 7.0 Installation: From Confused to Confident. I recounted my experience installing my SDN Subscription System. The SDN Software Subscription includes all the same non-Application components major partners and big companies get so I had a mountain of functionality to choose from. Tech Target hosted theSDN Subscription Program-sponsored Webinar and collected questions from the audience. Then we split up the most relevant of them and rather than just sending replies to the individual questioners, we are presenting them here in this blog. I hope you don’t mind that I edited some of the questions for clarity.

You should also look at the SDN Subscription Programs Wiki on SDN. It includes a copy of the cheat sheetI created for my installation and other tips and tricks. The following questions and answer will also move into the Subscription WIKI. Feel free to add your own content.

A recording of the Webcast is available at: http://searchsap.techtarget.com/

A Podcast and a transcription in the form of a White Paper are available at: http://SearchSAP.bitpipe.com/detail/RES/1210011787_144.html?src=wc_ssap_SAP_05_20_08_c&li=117808http://SearchSAP.bitpipe.com/

 

The following questions are answered by me from my experience as an SDN Subscriber and SAP Customer:

 

Q:         How much are you “all in for”? That would be total approx. cost – hardware and software.

A:         The first server I built for my SDN Subscription was mostly from parts I already had so it was cheap. When I wanted to upgrade to 64-bit I bought a dual Xeon motherboard, two 1.6 ghz processors, 8gb RAM and five SATA2 320gb disks for about $1500. The motherboard was open-box from NewEgg. The processors were OEMs I found on e-bay. The disks were from MicroCenter. I used Suse Linux so that didn’t cost me anything. You could probably get an early version of Windows 2003 Server for $500. on e-bay. If you didn’t already have any of the parts, the cheapest 64-bit SDN Subscription setup you could build would be $4500., about half for hardware and half for the license. If you bought a factory configured server with Windows 2003, say from Dell, you could easily spend $7000. altogether.

 

Q:         From the Basis perspective, how different is the installation of NW 7.0 from 6.40?

A:         The installation changes somewhat in each release just like the Application functionality. You recognize it but you have to relearn the details. SAP adds installation features to make the process easier but adds new functionality to the product that requires extra work to install. You have to follow the Installation Guide for combination of ingredients you are installing (OS, ABAP vs. Java, Database). 

 

Q:         What do you mean by the term “Class”?

A:         An ABAP Objects Class is the successor to a Function group. It has Methods you can instantiate instead of Functions which you can’t. It has lots of new features to make it more robust and a new editor to keep track of everything. Unfortunately, a Class cannot have Dynpro screens and there’s no such thing as a remote Method call. You have to work around the limitations.

 

Q:         Did you notice any performance issues with this installation?

A:         Running out of memory which causes reading from disk in the middle of a Transaction is the only performance problem that has bothered me. I have installed ABAP-only Test Drives and Sneak Previews. The recent ones run well in 2gb of RAM on a 32-bit server. Java is a memory hog so you need at least 5gb for ABAP+Java if you don’t want it hitting the disks constantly. I have not tried to use BI, PI or MDM so I don’t know how much more memory they use. I doubt you will need much more memory to run ECC6 or IDES well. You must have a regular (not SDN Subscription) license to install Applications.   

 

Q:         You mentioned that post installation procedures take longer than the actual installation. Can you provide details on that?

A:         Post-Installation Steps are a whole chapter in the standard Installation Guide which you download from service.sap.com before you start your installation The two day elapsed time I estimated includes doing the Post-installation steps. The longest single step is running Transaction “SGEN” which takes many hours to generate all the ABAP. Run it overnight. The installation took me more than two days because I was taking notes for the Cheat Sheet.

 

Q:         I only need ABAP right now. In the future there is a chance I will need Java. Do you recommend installing ABAP now and Java later when needed or installing ABAP+Java now?

A:         Even though I won’t be using Java right away either, I installed ABAP+Java anyway. You can add Java to an ABAP-only system but it is another complicated procedure and would probably take almost as long as the original install over again. You could save money by buying less memory to start with and add more when you begin to use Java later on.

 

Q:         Are the Rapid Installers worth bothering with?

A:         I couldn’t find one that supported my combination of components – ABAP+Java, Windows 2003 or Linux, MaxDB.

 

Q:         SAPGUI will run on Vista but it copies the saplogon.ini file into a different directory than “WINDOWS”.

A:         I am sticking with XP for my SAPGUI now. You could choose where to put your saplogon.ini back at least as far as Release 3.0. I remember seeing a listing of the supported locations in the Frontend installation documentation.

 

The following questions are answered by Mario who is an SAP employee and knows SAP’s policies and procedures:

 

     

Q:         Are you familiar with the SAP Discovery System for Service-Oriented Architecture – Additional Services and do you feel it is a good option compared to an SDN Subscription or to Trials and/or Sneak Previews?

A:         SAP Discovery Server is server hardware that comes with a preinstalled version of SAP Software, including demo data. Here is an excerpt from the DS quick guide about the licensing:
The SAP Discovery System is licensed for non-production use only. It can be used for evaluation, test, demonstration, proof of concept, and other similar purposes only. Prior to purchasing the Discovery System, please consult with your SAP Account Executive or local SAP subsidiary to determine your specific licensing options.
As any other SAP system the Discovery system requires a license key to be fully operational. Customer and Partners who have licensed all the software on the Discovery system previously can use their existing licenses (see complete list of components on SDN). The necessary license key can then be downloaded from SAP Services Marketplace.
If you do not yet have licensed all the software on the Discovery system but are a customer with either SAP Business Suite or SAP ERP license you can receive a 180-day evaluation license. The same is valid for SAP partners with an existing SAP Test and Demo License. This evaluation license will be granted during your SDN registration process (see step 2.1). You can then proceed to download the license from SAP Services Marketplace.
After 180 days customer and partners should contact their Sales Representative (customers) or local Alliance Network (partners) for additional licensing information or use only the software components they are licensed for.

 

Q:         Will I be able to install on Windows Vista business OS?

 

A:         Please consult the Product Availability Matrix (PAM). Remember that NetWeaver itself is intended to be run on a server operating system with SAPGUI run separately on a client OS.

 

Q:         What is the difference between R/3 and NetWeaver?

A:         R/3 is the name of the former release of SAP ERP; NetWeaver is the platform with a Development environment that all SAP business applications run on.

 

Q:         Will we get access to your cheat sheets without having to subscribe to SDN Developer Subscription?

A:         You can access the cheat sheet without being an SDN subscriber. The Cheat Sheet can be found here:https://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/subscription/Installation+Cheat+Sheet+for+Windows+-+MaxDB

 

Q:         how does the namespace work for clients on versions prior to NetWeaver (4.7 down)? Or is this all only relevant for NetWeaver customers?

A:         The namespace concept did not change and is the same for versions below 4.7.

 

Q:         I’m new to SAP. Does SAP create the DB or is that a separate installation?

You can select which database to install. Please consult the Product Availability Matrix (PAM)

 

Q:         Did you have any issues installing on a VM client (vmware esx server)? Was anything different from the bare metal install?

A:         No difference.

 

Q:         Do I need to install anything else than just a system with usage type “AS ABAP” and the SAP GUI and Bex GUI to be able to create BI Reports? Or is this sufficient?

A:         Please post your question in the BI forum on SDN:https://forums.sdn.sap.com/index.jspa#4

 

Q:         Do we need to have Solution Manager installed to get the packages and key? Or can we get it from SAP directly through a procedure?

A:         SAP hosts a Solution Manager instance for SDN Subscribers. You can then get your license keys online through the SDN Subscription pages.

 

Q:         Is SDN subscription is a paid subscription?

 

A:         Yes it is. To find out more about SDN Subscriptions, please visithttp://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/subscriptions

 

Q:         Does the NetWeaver Test Drive license permit ABAP development for commercial purposes?

A:         No. You need a separate development license or an SDN Subscription.

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