This morning I received a question concerning an upgrade from a SAP Netweaver Portal 6.40 to SAP Netweaver Portal 7.0. The person in question wanted to know if SAP Netweaver EHP1 SPS07 was still the recommended version for the upgrade (they had a study done by a consultant some time ago).
This got me to the points where I wanted to check the available product versions on SAP Service Marketplace.
Purpose of this blog
Yesterday my daughter dropped a penguin toy which makes noise when you wiggle it (see picture 1.1) in the kitchen and after the kids (I also have a little son) were to sleep I started writing this blog. For some strange reason the penguin wiggled on its own in the kitchen.
Was it a sign that I should stop writing? I don’t know but my gut feeling forces me to write. I do have to state that this blog and other blogs on confusion are meant to give constructive feedback (to avoid any confusion and to keep the ghosts away). In my opinion feedback is important and certainly valuable.
Checking the latest available SAP Netweaver 7.0 version
What is the best place to quickly view which support package stack (or combination with Enhancement Package release) is available? The sp-stacks quick link of course on SAP Service Marketplace (at least I thought so).
When you scroll down you find the section for SAP Netweaver. I hadn’t progressed far and the first question raised my mind. Notice how the main component version is mentioned next to SAP Netweaver 7.0 (see picture 1.2). Why isn’t it displayed next to the other products such as SAP Netweaver Composition Environment 7.1 and SAP Netweaver Process Integration 7.1?
Next I clicked on SAP Netweaver 7.0 (since the above is the full list of Netweaver products under that header).
The application sp-stacks loads in a new screen. You can find a Start SP Stack and Target SP Stack drop down box in the application which is used to calculate the necessary files (see picture 1.3).
SAP EHP1 for SAP Netweaver 7.0 – SPS08 (12/2010) seems to be the latest available version for SAP Netweaver 7.0 (see picture 1.4) but is it the case? Not really. One of my colleagues was able to start the sp-stacks Application through another path and it does display EHP2 there, you can do the test if you follow the content of this blog if you wish to see for yourself (at least as long as it isn’t changed).
Now we are going to access the application through another path, the swdc quick link (swdc stands for SAP software download center). If you are not really interested in the path, you can scroll down to picture 2.1.
From there I clicked on Support Packages and Patches (see picture 1.5) in the left pane.
Then you have several options, I used the Browse our Download Catalog option (see picture 1.6).
Then I scrolled down on the right pane till I came across SAP Netweaver and complementary products (see picture 1.7).
Here I clicked on SAP Netweaver.
Here I clicked on SAP EHP2 for SAP Netweaver 7.0.
Here I clicked on Link to SP Stack Application.
Here I found SAP EHP2 FOR SAP NETWEAVER 7.0 in the sp-stacks application (see picture 2.1).
The strange thing is that EHP1 is available in the same dropdown box as SAP Netweaver 7.0 (see picture 1.4). Wouldn’t it make sense to also include EHP2 in the same list?
Finding the latest product version
How do you find the latest available product version for an Enterprise Portal? A logical place to look for the versioning is the product availability matrix on SAP Service Marketplace.
The location to check product availability information is the PAM (PAM = Product Availability Matrix).
In Picture 2.2 you can see the tip: Looking for “Portal” in the versions 04 and 7.0x? They are part of SAP Netweaver. Do I need to write that this tip hasn’t been updated? What about Portal in 7.x? No it is not gone, it is still there but the tip wasn’t updated. Let’s ignore this and search SAP Netweaver as indicated by the Tip.
The result returned is 5 pages, now I know exactly of which product Portal is part of but if you are not very familiar with the products, I can understand confusing will rise. For example the Portal ADD-ON SAP NW 7.0 EHP2 (see picture 2.3) could sound like the right product but is it? No it’s not. What is Portal ADD-ON then? You would have to do some searching to find out. I did and I found the information in the download catalog.
The Portal Add-on SAP NW 7.0 EHP2 contains files required to install or upgrade web page composer and forums, as well as Knowledge Management and Collaboration user interface in order to be able to integrate forums in the SAP Netweaver Portal.
Is the list any good to check available version of portal? Not at all, you would have to know the details and if you know the details you will not be looking for the information.
How about a search on SCN then using the keyword portal (see picture 2.4)? The first result returned is shown in picture 2.5 so I took a look at the content.
Now I find enough information on the page to know that SAP Netweaver 7.3 is the latest Netweaver version featuring SAP Portal (see picture 2.6) and enough content to read on the new features and so on. Good points scored here for SCN.
I know the word count on the word confusion is high in some of my blogs but face it, if someone who is nearly addicted to SAP is getting confused by the deprecated and unclear content on SAP Service Marketplace, I suppose I won’t be the only one who finds this confusing.
Apart from the questions which were already raised consider the next one: You can find information about SAP Portal Add-on when you want to download a file but you cannot find the information in the product availability matrix, does that make sense?
I’m glad to have had some feedback that the content in my SAP product naming confusion helped out some people to understand the products better. Why isn’t there simply an additional entry in the tree available to download a kernel for SAP ERP in the SAP software download center? Instead, as an administrator you have to know the correct technology platform and fetch the kernel from a separate location in the SAP software download center.
To avoid at least some confusion, perhaps one of the best ways to fetch kernel files and check available versions is by using the maintenance optimizer in the SAP Solution Manager. Of course, there you have to be sure your product information in your system landscape is correct.
Powering the idea
I still think it’s a good idea to get pages that feature product information history/future and the idea is still up and running on idea place. If you want to help get rid of the confusion then please vote.
I have created a concept page (link is also available on idea place) which shows a simple way of displaying the product history along with some additional information like which technology platform the product resides on. I will refine the concept some more in the future and make the functionality better to further energize the idea.