SAP NetWeaver Mobile 7.30 – Support for Smooth Upgrade
What if an application upgrade renders a SAP system inconsistent? How costly is downtime of a production system? More so, what is the impact if the downtime is going to adversely affect critical business functions like field sales, service, customer delivery, etc?
For an increasingly mobile workforce, mobile devices become the tools-of-the-trade. Up to date data on the mobile device and proper functioning of their mobile application is absolutely essential for them to perform their day to day work. In this context, every mobile platform should allow both platform and application upgrade without breaking the productivity of mobile workers. Also, upgrading a mobile application should not require any changes irrelevant to the application (however temporary they are) in the corresponding backend systems. For example, configuring the backend system to stop pushing data to the mobile platform (during upgrades).
In the latest release, NetWeaver Mobile 7.30, the above problem is handled via a new feature called ‘Pause and Resume DOE’. Using this tool, DOE can be paused during upgrades and resumed after the upgrades are complete. This tool can be found on the home page of NetWeaver Mobile Administration and Monitoring portal (as shown below). The primary use-cases when this tool should be used are mobile application upgrades (DOE data models), applying NOTEs on the DOE system, system upgrades, any other business reasons to pause DOE. During the time when the DOE is paused, runtime activities such as data staging, flow, distribution, message processing, extract, etc are not allowed. This ensures that there are no data inconsistencies due to the asynchronous processes that execute when applications are being upgraded. Also, once the upgrade is complete and DOE is resumed, the new application version (if applicable) takes effect seamlessly.
Some key features of this tool are:
- no backend changes are necessary
When DOE is in paused, the backend can continue to push data to DOE. All such data is cached. Once the DOE is resumed after the upgrades are complete, such cached data is automatically processed as usual. So, there is no temporary change to be done on the backend – unless they are required for an upgraded application.
- mobile devices are not affected
All mobile devices can continue to synchronize with DOE even when the DOE is in paused state. All data for the device that had been previously calculated will be sent to the device as usual. The device can also upload the local changes to DOE. All such changes are cached. Uploaded data is processed once DOE is resumed. The sequential integrity of messages is also guaranteed.
- multi-client support
The administrator can choose which (or all) clients (mandt) to pause / resume. This control helps the administrator to ensure that only the client(s) affected by the upgrade are stopped. Further, DOE can be paused forcibly or graciously – depending on the urgency of the fix / upgrade. In either case, there will be no data loss.
- notification to mobile devices
During the time the DOE is paused, DOE does not perform any runtime operations such as data staging, distribution, processing of uploaded messages, etc. This implies that, to receive confirmation/rejection for the uploaded messages, the devices have to wait until the DOE is resumed. However, since the entire process is transparent to the user, the tool provides a way to inform the user that DOE is paused. Any such information can be passed to all devices via the ‘System Message’ option (integrated within this tool). For ex. the administrator can specify the expected time when the system will be fully functional and include any special instructions to be followed meanwhile.
- governed access via authorizations
All operations of this tool are governed via special authorizations. Only administrators with these additional authorizations can pause / resume DOE. Further, there is separate authorization level to be able to pause / resume all clients (mandt).
Hope this gives an idea on what the new feature offers and why it is useful. To know more such SAP NetWeaver Mobile 7.30 features at a high-level, you can read A Preview to SAP NetWeaver Mobile 7.30 – Part 1 & A Preview to SAP NetWeaver Mobile 7.30 – Part 2 blog.