Duet Enterprise – Thoughts on Starter Services (how to use without EhP4)
In the past I was involved in quite a lot of Proof Of Concepts (POCs). Most of the times the Starter Service configuration was one of the reasons why complications occured. So why not skip the Starter Service configuration all together for a POC? Well, they are there and it is nice to see Customer or product information in SharePoint out of the box. However, it does not have to be so complicated.
Looking back, the Starter Services were originally named “Sample Services” (acutally you can still see this name in some places, for example when you activate the BC Set for Starter Services). These Sample Services are supposed to show you the capabilities of Duet Enterprise.
For this we did not only show how you can connect and retrieve data from the backend system via RFCs, but also via Web Service calls. And to be honest these Web Service calls (with their required configuration in SOAMANANGER both on the Gateway and the backend system) causes quite a lot of problems. If you know exactly what you are doing and have all the required service packs and add-ons installed, it is pretty simple and straight forward.
But in a lot of first POCs you do not know exactly what has to be done, or your backend system is not on the right Service Pack, or some add-ons are missing, or you have never used SOAMANAGER and then — something that was supposed to be very simple — can get quite complicated.
Having all this in mind I want to quickly explain how you can still see Customer and Product data in SharePoint, but without having to go through all the Web Service configuration. You do not even have to go to the backend system to release web service — we will just use available RFC to make it happen.
Like I said Duet Enterprise is quite flexible and allows you to connect to the backend system via different channels. By default the Starter Service configuration is using Web Services.
If you look at a fully configured Duet Enterprise system and check the “Manage SAP System Aliases” table. (in SAP NetWeaver Gateway 2.0 SP01 you can find this here:
in on Gateway 2.0 SP04 here:
Manage SAP System Alias:
You can see a SAP System Alias with the name SPI_SERV. SPI is for SharePoint Integration and SERV are the Starter / Sample Services. On the right hand you can see the Software Version — which is currently set to ECC_604. Simplified this means that for all calls that go to the system with the SPI_SERV alias web service calls should happen.
Note: if you quickly want to check what objects we are talking about here, go to “Manage GSDO Groups”. Select the SPI_SERVICE_SD and first select “Assign SAP System Aliases”. Here you can already see the SAP System alias SPI_SERV that we just saw before in the System alias setting.
In addition to that in the “Assign GSDOs” you can see the Customer object or Inquiries which we will see in SharePoint later on.
So if you have already configured Starter Service, just change the system alias from ECC_604 to DEFAULT. If you had issues before with Starter Service and the Web Service configuration try again now. Hopefully it will work now in SharePoint.
But lets say you are just starting with your Duet Enterprise configuration and you do not want to go through the SOAMAGER configruation or you do not want to / cannot update your backend system. This is what you have to do in the Starter Service Configuration Wizard screen:
You only have to select/maintain the fields
- RFC Destination from Gateway System to SAP System
- Activate the BC set
Obviously you have to click on the “Activate BC Set” button and go through the activation of the BC set. Here you only have to maintain the RFC destination to the backend system and assign a valid role to your services.
That is it in the wizard.
One step is left — and that is to change the Software Version as mentioned above to DEFAULT.
Now you can log on to SharePoint. If all the Single Sign On settings are correct, than you should see both Customer information and Products (if not, I would recommend to take a look at SRTUTIL on the Gateway system as mentioned in the Troubleshooting Guide.)
You can also open a workspace and get additional information or take a look at Inquiries
What will not work is to Edit a new Customer (and obviously some other functions). For this only Web Service calls were implemented and since we told the Gateway system not to use Web Service calls you will get an error message (“UPDATE is not supported for Customer Entity below ECC 6.0 EHP4 release”)
But like I said: in all the projects I have been involved in so far, the Starter Service were always only meant as a way to see if the basic Duet Enterprise configuration is working — and that can also be achieved with RFC instead of Web Service calls.