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SAP Netweaver BW 7.0x Dual Stack split using SAPinst export/import method


For performance reasons SAP recommends not to use dual stack SAP systems anymore, especially for SAP Netweaver BW. Now there are still customers out there running SAP Netweaver BW who have a dual stack installation requesting a split of their current environment into two single stack SAP systems (BI ABAP + DATABASE and BI JAVA + DATABASE).

Splitting a SAP Netweaver BW 7.0x Dual Stack using SAPinst export/import is not supported but not impossible either.

Caution advised

It’s not the intention to go and get everyone on board to go do unsupported work. I have written in some of my blogs that I interpret “impossible or not supported” as “not been done yet” and this sometimes pops up while I’m at work and as a consequence I won’t hesitate to try something out. Writing it without given any example is not really clean so this blog can serve as an example.

If in the past no one started cutting open a corpse to learn more about the human body, they would not know as much as they know today but someone had to start doing it.


  1. export the java stack out of the dual stack SAP system (source SAP system)
  2. install of the Java only SAP system using the export that was done (one of the target SAP systems)
  3. remove the java stack from the source SAP system (thus creating the second target SAP system by doing so)
  4. perform the switch operation (configuration settings) to couple both single stacks (BI Java <-> BI ABAP) together
  5. drink a coffee when it’s done

Exporting the java stack


picture 1.1

Exporting the java stack is done by using the regular procedure (you can follow the SAP guide available).

After starting SAPinst you choose product -> additional software life-cycle tasks -> system copy -> <database> -> source system -> central system -> based on AS ABAP and AS Java -> Database and Central Instance (see picture 1.1).


picture 1.2

On the screen with header SAP System > Database Export you only select the Java Schema (see picture 1.2).

Continue and let SAPinst export it and finish

Result is that after this procedure you have an export directory with your Java stack.

Importing the java stack into a Java only SAP system (BI Java)


picture 1.3

In SAPinst you choose product -> additional software life-cycle tasks -> system copy -> <database> -> target system -> central system -> Based on AS Java -> Central System Installation (see picture 1.3).

Once you are in the first screen, stop sapinst (don’t clean up). Pick to option so you can continue sapinst later.

SAPinst XML files

A short interruption and some information on SAPinst XML files.

In the directory from which you run SAPinst you also have the XML files which SAPinst uses:

  • dialog.xml
    • used to build up the screen (labels, text, input fields, radio buttons and so on)
  • control.xml
    • controls the SAPinst process (java coding to perform checks and make changes accordingly)
  • messages.xml
    • contains the possible (error) messages shown in SAPinst
  • keydb.xml
    • in this file all the information SAPinst provides is written (some automatic like checking which SAP systems already reside on the server, some after you have filled in input fields and clicked next)

It’s possible to modify one or more of these xml files and start SAPinst up again. When SAPinst starts up again it will read those xml files (to know where you left off and what parameter values are set etc) and continue the installation. This can serve for many different purposes:

  • automating an installation is possible by having a completed keydb.xml, analyzing it and auto filling it by altering values for another installation, given it is the same product that needs to be installed.
  • making an input field available that was grayed out like the database host field when you wanted to perform a MCOD (multiple components one database) installation. According to official documentation it’s only possible through high availability installation, I have done it in the past using the regular central system installation option by modifying the dialog.xml and control.xml and it worked (there were additional other manual actions to be performed after installation finished).
  • inserting additional default parameters before your SAP system is installed. For example you want to already include the default transport directory parameter DIR_TRANS, it is possible by inserting the relevant line on the correct position in keydb.xml.

The modifications

The question is where does it go wrong? SAPinst will notice that the export you have and place available is from a dual stack SAP source system (due to the labels, files and folders that are part of the export). Because of this, the SAPinst installer will know and will throw an error that it’s not possible to import an export taking from a dual stack (although you only selected java stack) into a single stack Java.

“Importing the Java dump from a double stack system into a Java Only system is not supported.”

This is checked by the control.xml file using some java coding:

if (!hasABAP && hasJava) {
ASSERT(arguments.callee, sourceInstanceIsJavaOnly, “Importing the Java dump from a double stack system into a Java Only system is not supported.”);

Throwing out these lines from control.xml (perhaps I threw out or changed more lines but it’s not my intention that everyone will start doing unsupported work), saving control.xml and starting up SAPinst again and the import of a Java dump from a double stack system into a Java Only system can begin.

Alternative procedure (supported)

  1. Place everything you have of custom development on your source Java stack in transport requests (using CTS+ for example).
  2. Capture as many things from your source Java stack you cannot place in transport requests (certain settings etc for which there is no possibility to transport).
  3. Install a java only SAP system.
  4. Remove the java stack of your dual stack SAP system.
  5. Perform the configuration as you would normally do with a new installation of two single stack SAP systems that are to be connected for BW scenario.
  6. Import your custom development (CTS+ again for example).
  7. Put your settings (which couldn’t be transported) in place again.
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  • Tom,

    Thanks for taking time to explain the process.
    Newer version(7.30/7.03) of sapinst supports dual stack split.

    We’re in older version. I used a different approach(supported by SAP and executed it without disruption) to split the stack. I installed new Java instance as MCOD on existing BW dual stack database and then configured:

       1) Connected single stack to ABAP
       2) Exported the content from dual stack
       2) Imported into single stack
       3) Confitgured CTS+ on single stack for ABAP
       4) Configured Broadcasting in ABAP to work on
          single stack.
       5) developers tested single stack while users were using dual stack Java
       6) Brought down Dual stack Java
       7) Users tested single stack Java
       8) Uninstalled dual stack Java.
    As SAP explains it, split work is project based. In my client’s site, this procedure worked.


    • Hello Bala

      Thanks for the comment and valuable information.
      There are many alternative which are supported but it seems most or all of them require much more effort.

      Using sapinst export/import (unsupported) worked out fine for my customer.

      To me it looks like SAP never tested the method while in version 7.00 / 7.01.

      Kind regards


  • Hi Tom,
    A couple of questions;
    I’ve done some judicious editing of control.xml in the past.  I use Notepad++ on Windows, because it has ‘syntax higlighting (for what it is worth with XML) and lets me expand / collapse tags which lets me minimise the amount of XML I have to page through. What editor do you use ?

    Many of the variables and functions are self explanatory (though the sheer size of control.xml and keydb.xml can make it hard to find exactly where / how they’re used).  However, some SAP Notes provide replacement copies of control.xml and keydb.xml, and some (i.e. – System Copy SAP NetWeaver 7.0 (2004s) SR2) even provide instructions on how to edit control.xml.  Because of this, I was curious about what documentation exists for these files and their contents ?


    • Hello Martin

      Most adjustments I have done are in Unix so the vi editor was used.

      I think Notepad++ is one of the best tools on a windows environment to perform adjustments (since it has rich set of features). I couldn’t recommend another tool that is better.

      I figured out the adjustments and the use of the XML files myself, I can’t recall any documentation source which explains each XML file and how they are connected through the SAPinst process.

      Most are indeed self explanatory, if you have some programming understanding you can get the right locations using logical thinking and from deriving the actions in the coding.

      I also used adjusted XML files in the past to install virtualized MCOD SAP systems (combination ERP – CRM) without having to use the high-availability installation procedure.

      I performed it by using a central SAP system installation twice (once for ERP, once for CRM) which is not supported, not documented but it’s possible and it worked.

      The reason for a lack of documentation is most likely because SAP doesn’t want to encourage customers to change the content of the XML files to perform all kind of operations which they do not support.

      Kind regards


  • Hello

    This blog is very interesting…

    I have a question though: I can’t see any abap/java schema selection on Netweaver 700 SR3 / EHP1 sapinst options…which one did you use in the screenshot ?

    Thanks and regards

    • Hello Michele

      Sorry for the late reply, lost track of the comment.

      I don’t have a log which states the exact DVD number. I always use the latest available DVD of the Netweaver release version that needs to be exported to avoid as much known issues as possible.

      The DVD’s can make a difference which options are available.

      But there are other ways to work around the fact that you would not be able to select Java only. You can skip certain steps in the export process by adjusting the XML file. Which of course calls for careful handling and know how on the XML file structure.

      Kind regards