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Back in 2007,I took an SAP course called “SAP System Monitoring Using CCMS II”.  From what I can see in the online catalog, the course is still being offered by SAP (example: AU).  It’s been a “background” project for me trying to implement things I learned in the class, and afterward, as more important deadlines interfered, the systems did not behave as expected, and one obstacle after another got in the way.  But like an old dog worrying a nemesis, I kept coming back and working the problem. I have good news and bad news to share.

In the beginning of this saga, I wrote on my two-day courses (1/2);then an addendum in Feb 2008 and a second in June 2008. In the meantime, we had installed a fresh copy of Solution Manager 7.0, then Enhancement Package 1, split the system into two nodes for high availability, and finally built a sandbox system.  The sandbox was a copyback from production.

The “left to the student” exercise was the Business Warehouse part of Central Performance history.  As it turns out, that part was left out because it seems to me that it not only requires much more work than a typical instructor can handle in a two day class, there are pieces that are highly fragile.  Not to mention that this is a moving target, as BW morphs from 3 to 7 to 7 dot whatever, BusinessObjects appears over the horizon, products get renamed (and more).  Changing the backend for what should be a simple performance data repository every so often is not a good use of time, as can be seen by my progress line.

I picked at the BI component in mid-2010, posting two more blogs (1/2), once the sandbox installation was stable to the point of my being able to configure things without interference.   At the end of the former post was a screenshot that looked a lot like shot 1.1 below.  It shows a BW-style “Info Provider”, along with a bunvh of other icons that just barely … don’t work.   The clue, now that I can look back again with more experienced eyes, is in the the messages at the bottom of the screen “Info: Cannot process Query ‘Availability: Daily Overview’ with 3.x Query Designer” and “Local query check: Query ‘Availability: Daily Overview’ is correct.”

In even one more blog, in November 2010, I looked in dismay at the basic data collection and found most of what I had set up no longer working, either because the remote systems had changed, or more surprising, the internal collection mechanism had simply ceased.   In February and early March 2011, as I once again picked up the hammer to make this train move one more mile down the track, I found several more dead monitoring tree elements (screenshot 2.1).

I worked on trying to figure out why I could not see the web query templates described in the Appendix to ADM 107.  Some were there, but nothing that I or others could see inside the BW administration components (like RSA1) in the Solution Manager system.  The process chains from the last phase of CCMSBISETUP looked like they were running, whether or not any data was being found by the collectors. I decided it was time to open a ticket, and prepared myself to run the gauntlet of opening the service connection and passing through the seven pillars of service.  Anyone who’s been around the track knows the drill: back and forth as system names, accounts, passwords, etc. are worked on.  I opened the ticket in February 15th; by March 1st I had an answer from someone in the right department (BW-BCT-CMS – silly me, I opened it in SV-SMG-DIA).

 

0TPL_CPH_ALL_PERF_REPORTS is a bex web template which was created with the 3.x version of the web application designer. Maybe you’ve tried to open the template with the 7.x version of the web application designer? This is not possible because there is no compatibility. The 3.x web application designer is still part of the SAP GUI delivery.

 

There was more to the answer, but let’s parse these 4 sentences first.  The template in the course guide refers to an entity that was built when BW 3 tools ruled the earth. While I and others who went through a BW 3 to 7 upgrade know about this, the difference was not apparent to any of us a few years later, in the context of Solution Manager.  Funny how some wounds heal over so thoroughly.  In hindsight, it should have been obvious, and as noted above, I even had a very very very tiny clue.  Missed it, though, by trying to open the “old” template with the new template application. “No compatibility.”  You can’t see the old world from the new train platform. At all. The last sentence is a guidepost back to the old world, but to get there, we need to think through our journey.

Screen shots 1.2 and 1.3 indicate the 2 available web query building sets. As noted in the ticket, both are distributed in the SAP GUI programs, only the older set is hidden deeper in the menus and casual users (n00bs like me) would only use the newer set unless told otherwise.  Shots 1.4, 1.5, and 1.6 show the older tools, with an attempt to query on the CPH BI cubes and discover if any data are there.  The queries found with the date of 23-Feb-2011 are a few generated when I followed one blind alley set of instructions to “run the CCCMSBISETUP” pieces again manually (a waste of time, except being able to see what that affected).

What is not shown after screen shot 1.6 is the error message that appeared, saying:

Error   Error reading the data of InfoProvider 0CPH_ONLN
Error   There is still no data source assigned to VirtualProvider 0CPH_ONLN
Error   Errors occurred during parallel processing of query 35, RC: 3
Error   Error while reading data; navigation is possible

 

I was very close to moving ahead with the Appendix exercises “for the student” but hit another wall.

The next day, I talked to my colleagues about the 3.x versus the 7.x tools.  In our BW production system, we went through the entire catalog of queries built over the span of years, moving them to the 7.x format. It caused many side effects, and here we are again: if I could get the 3.x Solution Manager CPH queries to work, I’d have to face converting them to 7.x before long, especially if I wanted to tap in-house expertise, which is exclusively 7.x. But it sounded like the examples are 3.x.  I decided the examples might be valuable, but I’d want to blaze my own path soon enough, so I’d try to build and run a “new” query. 

I kicked off several of the queries I found with the 7.x query builder, only to see a 404 error, with a URL that looked like this:

http:///irj/servlet/prt/portal/prtroot/pcd!3aportal_content!2fcom.sap.pct!

2fplatform_add_ons!2fcom.sap.ip.bi!2fiViews!2fcom.sap.ip.bi.bex?

QUERY=0CCMSWORKLOADDAILY&VARIABLE_SCREEN=X&DUMMY=1

 

It dawned on me that there was no host name or port, so of course no way to run this query. After asking around the BW architecture teams, and the Basis team, I found out that in order to run “7.x” queries from Solution Manager to get to Central Performance History data, we need to have an SAP Portal running.  I thought we did, but, oh no, we just have the Java stack.  The Portal requires installing another database, more application programs, more configuration, more space, more memory, and no doubt, a lot more time waiting to see data.  That’s a topic for another day.

With that roadblock, it was back to the 3.x (deprecated) tools.  Why were the queries returning nothing?  I looked in SDN, and found the No rows to 0CPH_* cubes from another user back in 2007.  Unfortunately, it was asked and not answered, though the thread is marked as answered, probably because that question was tacked onto another question.  The earlier answer looked messy and unhelpful, and there were no other useful search hits for “0CPH_ONLN”.  Back to the BW administrator help (Thanks, Peggy!). Spinning through the RSA1 screens at dizzying speeds, she looked at the architecture up, down, and sideways.  The screenshot 2.3 shows as much of the window as I can cram into 700 by 500 pixels and maintain readability.  This one is a “virtual infoprovider”, which we apparently stay away from, and seems to be some kind of view or combination of other sources. Once the right buttons were pushed (probably “Activate Direct Access”, but don’t quote me), she ran a query wide open.  Long pause.  Ooops, another n00b mistake; let’s restrict the results to one system over a day.  Finally, data! (screenshot 2.4).  After 4 years of on and off work.

 

Now what

 

  • I need a Portal.  Two of them, in fact.  It’s going to be a while, I’d guess.
  • The queries display commas and decimals in European style.  I’m an American, and expect commas are between thousand, and decimals are between units and fractions.
  • One suggestion from SAP support was to not use the CCMSBISETUP, but a new and completely different architecture – notes and links listed below.  After all this time, throw out the baby, the bath water, and all the collection train sets and start over?  Need to think that through, in deep depth.
  • We’re still in the sandbox. Development, quality and production are incomplete. I’ll need to convince everyone to let me run the BI tool building process in production Solution Manager.  What could go wrong?
  • Agents aren’t working, and data aren’t being rolled in consistently.  This is a pain in the neck, and I don’t see an easy way out of this, from my experience with monitoring tools.  There are always ready to fall asleep when you least expect, and need them the most, unless they are simple, robust, and elegant.  There aren’t.

 

 

Links and such.

 

The last link above looks like about where I am now, though it was written in 2008, yet has more recent comments.  “New Multicubes”?  Urm. Hah.

Day 1

 

Screenshot 1.1

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Screenshot 1.2

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Screenshot 1.3

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Screenshot 1.4

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Screenshot 1.5

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Screenshot 1.6

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Day 2

 

 

 

Screenshot 2.1

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Screenshot 2.2

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Screenshot 2.3

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Screenshot 2.4

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3 Comments

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  1. Tom Cenens
    Hello Jim

    I heard rumors that the diagnostics agents (SMD Agents) would possibly be used in the future to replace CCMS Agents but I wasn’t yet able to get confirmation on it.

    For me all the different agents that exist are a real hassle, way too many types exist, it’s not user friendly and so on.

    Why doesn’t SAP just put one agent in place that can handle all the tasks that are now handled by a multitude of agents.

    Another serious enhancement would be a proper dashboard that gives an overview of all the SAP systems in your monitoring infrastructure and provide dynamically refreshed content on errors or events.

    There are third party vendors that can provide such dashboard for SAP Solution Manager. I’ve seen a good one in place which can then be placed on a large LCD screen and support can instantly pick up issues.

    There is definitely room for improvement on monitoring applications.

    Kind regards

    Tom

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  2. Douglas Quattrochi
    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the blog.  The link for “SDN: Performance Reporting in BW” is broken, it’s just missing the ‘htt’ in front of it.

    Regards,

    Doug

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