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Upgrading to / Implementing Portal 7.3 – what to do with ESS/MSS?

We had the above challenge when we upgraded to 7.3 and EHP5 at the same time. I have also seen a few post on SCN on this subject so hopefully this blog can help someone in the same situation. The blog should also help you identify the go-to version of ESS/MSS depending on the EHP version of your ECC system.
The information below is based on my own findings so I can’t guarantee its correctness – so please write a comment to the blog if you have any corrections or clarifications 😉
Let’s get to the point! If you are upgrading to SAP NW Portal 7.3 and currently using Web Dynpro Java (WDJ) based ESS/MSS (XSS from now on), you need to consider what to do. There are different options available depending on which EHP your ECC 6.0 HR system is on (EA-HR component):
  1. Keep using the “old” WDJ XSS services by upgrading them. If you are on EHP4 this is your only option but you can also use this approach if you are on
    EHP5 or above.
  2. Use the new Web Dynpro ABAP (WDA) XSS services. This is an option from EHP5 and onwards and would be the go-to option if you are on EHP5 or above.
  3. Use a combination of the old WDJ and the new WDA XSS services. This is an option from EHP5.
  4. If you are on EHP3 or below your options are a bit more complex. I’ll try to explain them in the bottom of this post.
I will now explain the 4 options above in a bit more detail.

Option 1

If you are on (or upgrading to) EHP4 or above and currently using the EHP4 compatible XSS version you can chose to upgrade the Java packages. The
EHP4 7.0x compatible XSS Java components are SAP ESS 603, SAP MSS 600, PCUI_GP 603 and EHP4 compatible Portal Business Packages (BP) are
ESS/MSS version 1.41. This and other component combinations are described in detail here
The upgrade of the Java packages is necessary because 7.3 runs on a newer Java engine (Java 6) compared to older portal installations that ran on Java 1.4 or below. This need for upgrading is also described in note 1681538. Basically SAP has taken the old XSS Java components and re-compiled them with Java 6 without introducing new functionality.
The new re-compiled Java packages for NW 7.3 are called ESS 633, MSS 630, PCUI_GP 633. These will work with the before mentioned XSS BP version 1.41 probably already available on your Portal installation. Do not upgrade your BP – you have to use BP 1.41 even if you are on EHP 5. This is described in the section “Upgrade to EHP5 and/or NW7.3” in this wiki
The upgrade can be carried out using NWDI and NWDS as described in:
Of course if you haven’t made significant modifications to the old Java packages it is always an option to install the new Java packages from scratch to avoid the upgrade procedure. But I guess you already know the pros and cons of these options.

Option 2

In EHP5 SAP introduced WDA XSS services as a successor to WDJ. So if you are on EHP5 or above you have the option to substitute your WDJ services with WDA. But as mentioned in 1) this is not something you have to do and you should expect some investment in this substitution process. On the up-side you will of course also get the latest XSS version and functionality. If you are a new user of XSS and on EHP5 or above of course WDA would be the go-to version.
The Portal BPs needed for the WDA services to run are BPERPESSWDA 1.50, BP_ERP5COM 1.51, and BP_ERP5MSS 1.51 (Update: actually if you are only going to use WDA services then for MSS you only need MSS Add On 1.0 Business Package for MSS Add-On 1.0 – SAP Documentation instead of the MSS 1.51 which also contains WDJ iviews – thanks @martin_søgaard for pointing that out ).
Depending on your choice, needs and versions you also need to look into activating business functions HCM_ESS_WDA_1, HCM_ESS_WDA_2 and HCM_MSS_WDA_2 as indicated by MIthun k in this post Latest Business Package and Support Package for... | SCN
Input for the setup procedure can be found in these excellent documents and blogs written by Virag Shinde and Sagar Joshi respectively:

Option 3  

From EHP5 you can also chose to use a combination of WDJ and WDA. These can co-exist on the portal. You simply have to install the new BPs mentioned in 2) and then you can either:
  • pick and chose the new services you want and integrate them into your current role structure
  • use the new structure provided and integrate the old services into this structure (this is also discussed in Customizing ESS in EHP5 ( Step by Step Guide))
So it could be an incremental process instead of a reimplementation project. This is the approach we have chosen and will implement the new version
on a case by case basis based on business need.
An architectural decision on which of the above approaches to use is also discussed in this blog @Bernhard Escherich EhP 5 ESS: The architect’s view and also note 1450179 gives a good overview of the options.

Option 4

If you upgrade to 7.3 and are on EHP3 or below (and plan to stay there) the options are not as clear and my knowledge also more limited. But this is
what I have been able to gather. First of all EHP3 and EHP4 Java packages were based on the same version as stated in note 1359937. As a result if you are on EHP3 I guess it should be possible to upgrade to the new Java packages and get them running on the 7.3 portal. If you run into problems the webinar listed in 1) could be of use. Again a clean installation could also be an option.
Since the Java packages are based on the same version I also guess that the combination of the new 7.3 Java packages and EHP3 will work but this I’m not so sure about. In section 8 of this brilliant blog written by Thomas Hensel SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.3 – Top 10 lessons learned from ramp-up you should know before getting started! it is also mentioned that problems could occur if on EHP3 or below. Thomas Hensel also mentions the workaround to

keep the Business Packages on the separate Portal 7.0 and integrate the remote content into the central Portal 7.3

The pdf file attached to note 1468349 also only mentions EHP4 in combination with the new 7.3 Java packages so I can not conclude on support for EHP3 or below in combination with 7.3 and XSS. Can anyone clarify this?

Please feel free to drop me a comment or correct any of my conclusions if I’m mistaken 🙂
Other relevant links:
Best regards

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      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Hi Jan,

      that's a nice blog describing the possibilities.

      We've just replaced the entry point Portal 7.02 with 7.31 and HR is remaining on that Portal.

      We took the Option #3 described in your blog.

      For readers who are contemplating moving their XSS Portal to 7.3x the following OSS Notes are also useful giving a matrix of what versions of Business Packages to install on 7.3x:

      1698276 - SAP Business Suite for SAP NetWeaver 7.31 hub systems

      1681538 - BP MSS 60.1.XX on EHP5+ and or NW7.3 - Caution

      1468349 - SAP Business Suite 7 for SAP NetWeaver 7.3 hub systems

      On top of this, there is more information in the Portal section of the SAP NetWeaver Basis Administrator's Toolbox...

      All the best,


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for the words Andy and thank you for the input. So we both went with option 3 then - in our case that was also based on the investment that had gone into the current solution.

      I remember finding it a bit confusing navigating around compatibilities between ECC<>Portal<>XSS Java<>XSS BPs<>XSS WDA so just hope this will give a nice overview of all these dependencies and possibilities.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Jan,

      Awesome  Blog,  I have couple of question, we are in ECC 6.0 ehp4 andportal 7.02 and ess

      ESS 603 SP06

      MSS 600 SP17

      PCUI_GP 603 SP06

      BP ERP05 ESS 1.41 SP07

      BP ERP05 MSS 1.41 SP07

      BP ERP05 COMMON PARTS 1.41 SP07

      Now backend is upgraded to ehp6, portal to 7.3, ESS we will upgrade to ESS 633 , PCUI_GP 633 and portal content BP we can use same as previous doesnt have newone for 633 so it will be BP ERP05 ESS 1.41 ,BP ERP05 COMMON PARTS 1.41. IS this the right combination of BP, As we didnt have new BP ERP05 ESS 1.41 for upgrade does our personlization will be intact after the upgrade or we have to redo the personalizations.

      For MSS we want to use WDA, is this hybrid approach possible( ESS WDJ using 633 and MSS WDA BP_ERP5MSS 1.51), please explain.

      Appreciate your efforts on the blog

      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey


      Business Packages can co-exist in harmony and it is possible to use some Java WebDynPro and some ABAPWebDynPro.

      Based upon your underlying versions of the Portal and ECC-HR backend the first thing I would do would be to read this OSS Note:

      Note 1496212 - EHP6 for SAP ERP 6.0 SP stacks - Release & Information Note

      and this one

      For more information about Business Packages for SAP ERP 6.0 Enhancement Package 6, see SAP Note 1522495


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Inah,

      Yes I think your combination sounds fine and your administrator personalization will remain intact as the iViews doesn't change because you will stay on the same BP.

      And yes like Andy says the hybrid approach should be fine. I think you need BP_ERP5COM 1.51 as well for the new MSS BP to work properly.

      Br Jan

      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Hi Jan and Inah,

      the only advice I can give is, SAP Basis is a science.

      Anything we do as Basis Administrators must be scientific, must be exact.

      When we are involved in an upgrade project of Portal or a Portal-Backend system eg ECC-HR, or both, there is no substitute for hard work, and it is our jobs to ensure beyond any reasonable doubt that we have done our best to confirm version dependencies between systems being upgraded.

      We're not on EHP6 yet, but I am curious about this subject as it will come my way soon and I too will be asking these questions.

      I've done a quick search and what I find is documented evidence from SAP that:

      a, ESS

      The Business Package for Employee Self-Service (WDA) 1.50
      SAP ECC 6.0, SAP enhancement package 6 for SAP ERP 6.0
      SAP NetWeaver 7.0

      so, yes, we can see concretely supported by documented evidence from SAP that ESS 1.5 is the  recommended BP version for EHP6

      b, Business Package Content for EP for EHP6 in general

      Nice OSS Note:
      Note 1592495 - Enhancement package 6 for SAP ERP: Info for portal content

      My main point is, if we get this task wrong, then we will implement the wrong Business Package  versions, and in the worst case, this might get through testing and might even go live, and later problems may be exposed and it will then cost a lot of money in people's time and effort to redo the Portal Business packages with the correct versions, re-test everything and do a new CutOver to move the Business Packages to Production.

      When I am given a task to check Portal Backend Content version dependencies between Portal and the Backends, I document my conclusions and refer to documented supporting evidence from SAP documentation and OSS Notes to support the decision I came to. This way, if there is any question or doubt later, it is clear to see how the decision was made and why.

      All the best and hopefully these tips help to give you a

      peaceful life 🙂   I've learn't these strategies

      the hard way 😉


      p.s. don't forget, you should also be using MOPZ for the calculation of Business Packages and system

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Andy,

      I just remembered this note as well 1566412. I think it is useful as well and if you look at the pdf  "Mapping-Inst-TU-SWC_EHP6_V2" attached to this note don't you agree that Inah's setup (with the "old" ESS java packages + 1.41 ESS BP) will still be supported in EHP6?

      From this link it also seems that it is the same BP that SAP recommends for EHP5 as well as EHP6

      namely 1.50

      Br Jan

      Author's profile photo Andy Silvey
      Andy Silvey

      Hi Jan,

      the Business Packages to some extent should have some backwards compatibility, so if you have EHP6 it should be possible to use some Iviews from the BP 1.41, but this is by no means a guarantee and this would have to be tested on an Iview by Iview basis probably in the Sandbox before confirming to the Project Team that it is possible for all required scenarios.

      Yes agreed, and that's what I also confirmed in my post, the SAP Doco is saying EHP6 uses ESS 1.5 BP.

      As Inah has pointed out he is upgrading Portal he should also read this OSS Note:

      SAP Note 1468349 - SAP Business Suite 7 for SAP NetWeaver

      7.3 hub systems

      and pay attention to the attachment.

      All the best,


      Author's profile photo Lukas Weigelt
      Lukas Weigelt

      Hey Jan,

      great blog, thanks for sharing your experience and consolidating the respective SAP information sources, very informative and compact, that's how I like it 😀

      We will upgrade to EHP6 in about 4 Months and I have already tried to do some helpful research to unburden our basis team (emphasis on 'tried'). Bottom line I got a vast pool of theoretical information reciting over and over that SolMan's MOPZ is supposed to be used. Not much to say against that, but in case you really want to understand which components/basis/BPs etc harmonize with each others, information retrieval is not as trivial as I hoped it would be with this topic 😛

      Cheers + Keep it up!


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      I agree - a lot of the information and notes available are very specific and does not provide a "birds view" approach. Still, if you know exactly what you are looking for you will find it the challenge being the "knowing exactly" part 😉

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you for the likes, ratings and nice words. I posted this as my first blog today and your response motivates me to do more in the future 🙂

      Author's profile photo Nicholas Chang
      Nicholas Chang

      Nice blog! How i wish this blog was created a year back where i was struggling to upgrade ECC6 to EHP5 and EP7 to EHP2. kidding 😉

      It definitely poses a great help to others. Nice effort.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello Jan Thomas,

      Nice blog. We are following option1 for migrating ESS/MSS business packages from 7.0 to 7.31. My question is how do we  migrate customizations done standard  ESS business package(ESS 603) as 7.31 requires ESS 633. Also cookbook attached in the note#872892 seems to be applicable for SAP_ESS 6 and migrating changes for new service pack on the same ESS release.

      How can we migrate customizations from ESS603 to ESS633 without manually completing it?



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Balaram,

      When you are talking about ESS603 and ESS633 that is the ESS Java packages. You mention business package in the same context but the BP you have to keep as version 1.41.

      Regarding your customizations is that then code based Java customizations done on the ESS603 or is it Portal based customizations done on the ESS business package 1.41?

      Java based changes will be in-corporated in ESS633 if you follow the upgrade path but you will have to resolved code conficts etc.

      Customizations done on the BP should remain (as long as they have been done in customer namespace) as BP level remains unchanged.

      Br Jan

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello Jan Thomas,

      Thanks for your quick response.Customizations in ESS603 are based on Web Dynpro Java,there are no portal based customizations. Can you please elaborate little bit about following upgrade path for incorporating customizations in ESS633? Any information on this will be helpful.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Then you need to upgrade your ESS603 to ESS633. The guide for this is in note 872892. If you use NWDI there are certains steps to be made. Once it is upgraded you then need to resolve conflicts in the Java code using NWDS etc. This can be a bit time consuming....  For that part refer to the guide also given in the blog

      Make sure to take a back up before you start the upgrade 🙂

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Jan Thomas,

      Nicely penned. ?

      We are in SAP portal 7.4 with S4 Hana 1610 as the ERP, we have deployed the following BPs.


      BP ESS 1.41
      BP MSS 1.41 (minimum depends on EA_HR version)
      SAP_ESS 633
      SAP PCUI_GP 633
      SAP_MSS 630

      Now we are confused with the BP version for common parts as none of the blogs refer to the combination of Portal 7.4 and S4Hana. We re able to find BP only till EHP6 in the marketplace. Please suggest.

      Thanks in advance.