Updated on 09 May 2016


During the activation of Downgrade Protection in Solution Manager ChaRM 7.1 many of you may have faced errors or at least warnings related to missing CTS Plug-in in managed systems.  If CTS Plug-in is not installed in Solution Manager and distributed to the managed systems, the Downgrade Protection functionality can’t work properly.

In this blog there is some information about this plug-in, why we need it and how to proceed.

We will hear a lot about CTS Plug-in when the next Support Package stack is released, because of the Central CTS functionality that will be delivered. CTS Plug-in is also necessary for CTS+.


What is CTS Plug-in

CTS Plug-in is an add-on containing enhancements to CTS (Change and Transport System). CTS_PLUG 2.0, software component CTS_PLUG 200, is delivered with SL Toolset and installed using Add-On Installation Tool.

cts plug-in.jpg

According to the Online Help,the CTS plug-in is available for the following releases:

  • For SAP Solution Manager releases as of 7.01 SPS25.

As of SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SPS05, CTS plug-in is an obligatory component. This means it is automatically installed with SPS05 of SAP Solution Manager 7.1.

  • For SAP NetWeaver releases as of SAP NetWeaver 7.3 Enhancement Package 1.

The functions of the CTS plug-in may vary for different releases and SP versions.

The current version of CTS plug-in available for download in the SAP Marketplace is 2.0 SP08 and is delivered with SL Toolset 1.0 SP08. Check note 1787683 for more information about SL Toolset 1.0 SP08. But from what I understood, SP08 has only fixes and SP07 has patches for functions in Change Request Management for SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SP9, which is not yet available. Maybe that’s the reason why the Online Help and the SAP Note related to CTS Plug-in still consider that the current version of the CTS plug-in is SP06, delivered with SL Toolset 1.0 SP07.

CTS plug-in is available for the following releases:

  • SAP Solution Manager 7.01 as of SP 25
  • SAP Solution Manager 7.1 as of SP 01
  • SAP NetWeaver 7.3 Enhancement Package 1

For more information on SL Toolset, refer to http://service.sap.com/sltoolset.

The CTS plug-in is integrated into the existing Change and Transport System. It enhances the functions of the existing CTS.

Below there is some info from the SAP Note 1665940:

  • CTS_PLUG 200 consists of the following parts:
    • CTS server plug-in, release-dependent

               This plug-in installs the included functions in the current system.

               This is either an SAP Solution Manager system which acts as the CTS server, or

              an SAP Netweaver system.


    • CTS Bootstrapper plug-in, release-independent

                This is required to activate the CTS server plug-in on the corresponding system.


    • CTS Services plug-ins, release-dependent
      These are required to update CTS functions in the managed systems, if you are using functions of the CTS plug-in that use managed systems.
      Available for the following releases:
      SAP NetWeaver 7.40 SAP_BASIS SP02
      SAP NetWeaver 7.31 SAP_BASIS SP01 to SP06
      SAP NetWeaver 7.30 SAP_BASIS SP01 to SP09
      SAP NetWeaver 7.02 SAP_BASIS SP06 to SP13
      SAP NetWeaver 7.01 SAP_BASIS SP07 to SP13
      SAP NetWeaver 7.00 SAP_BASIS SP14 to SP28


Why we need the CTS Plug-In in ChaRM

With SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SP05, Downgrade Protection (DGP) was delivered to reduce the downgrade risk in the managed systems. The DGP checks are performed when you release, import, decouple, assign a transport request or reassign a change document.


When Downgrade Protection is activated in Solution Manager, the system checks if the CTS Plug-in is activated when we perform the Downgrade Protection analysis. The CTS Service plug-ins contain analysis functions for downgrading and overtaker requests based on object overlaps.

Features


According to the OnLine Help, the following functions are available for CTS plug-in on SAP Solution Manager 7.1 and SAP NetWeaver 7.31/7.40:


  • Connecting further applications with the Change and Transport System:

The Change and Transport System allows you to manage transports of ABAP objects in your system landscape. Using the enhanced Change and Transport System (CTS+) you can transport non-ABAP objects using the CTS. In addition to this, you can connect further non-ABAP and non-SAP applications with the CTS to transport these objects using CTS. CTS plug-in contains the required functions to integrate these applications in CTS.

  • Managing transports of non-ABAP objects:

The new version of Transport Organizer Web UI is an improved browser-based WebDynpro ABAP application to manage transports of non-ABAP objects. You can use this UI to create transport requests, and get an overview of all transports in a system, for example.

  • Importing non-ABAP transports using the Import Queue Web UI including import checks:

To import transports of non-ABAP objects, the Import Queue Web UI is available. It is also a browser-based WebDynpro ABAP application that allows you to perform imports into target systems. Integrated import checks allow you to check for predecessor transports in the import queue or for potential downgrading transports.

  • Distributing CTS service plug-ins using the Plug-In Management Web UI:


If you are using Change Request Management on SAP Solution Manager you may be asked to distribute the so-called CTS Service plug-ins, which are part of the CTS plug-in, to the managed systems. Plug-In Management Web UI allows you to check the prerequisites for the distribution and finally distribute the CTS Service plug-ins to the managed systems where required.

As this blog is related to ChaRM, I will focus on the Distribution of the CTS Plug-in to the managed systems.

Note: To be able to use the functions contained in the CTS plug-in, the system on which you install the CTS plug-in must be configured as the domain controller and it must also be the communication system for your non-ABAP systems.

Installing the CTS Plug-In   


First thing you need is to install the CTS plug-in. You can update plug-in by installing the current Support Packages. As of SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SP 05, the CTS plug-in is contained in the SAP Solution Manager Support Package stack. You obtain the plug-in automatically by importing the Support Package stack.


Prerequisites:

    1. You must first implement SAP Note 1691028 in your SAP Solution Manager as a prerequisite.


    1. Before you install CTS_PLUG 200, keep in mind that it is not possible to uninstall ABAP add-ons.


    1. Make sure that you have installed the latest SPAM/SAINT update on your system. If a new version is available on SAP Service Marketplace, import the new SPAM/SAINT update.
        • In order to install CTS_PLUG 200 SP06, at least version 47 of the SPAM/SAINT update is required. In order to use all functions of the CTS Plug-In on SAP NetWeaver 7.31 and 7.40, version 49 is required.


    1. Ensure that at least the following versions of tp and R3trans are installed on your SAP Solution Manager/SAP NetWeaver system  AND on any managed ABAP system or communication system, if you are using CTS plug-in functions on managed systems:
        • tp version 380.05.18 or higher (720 kernel)
        • R3trans with a release date of 06.03.12 or later (720 kernel)


    1. Obtain the following notes before you begin the installation:
        • Add-ons: Conditions: 70228
        • Problems with transaction SAINT: 822380


    1. Check that your system meets the following prerequisites: If you have not yet installed these component Support Packages, you can include them in the installation of CTS_PLUG 200. For more information, see Note 83458.
  1. Required Components and Support Packages:

Component

Release

Support Package

SAP_BASIS

740

SAPKB74002

SAP_BASIS

731

SAPKB731001 to SAPKB73106

SAP_BASIS

702

SAPKB70206 to SAPKB70213

SAP_BASIS

701

SAPKB70107 to SAPKB70113

Note: You can install CTS_PLUG 200 on any SAP NetWeaver system with the above releases, but the functions only work on SAP Solution Manager systems and on SAP NetWeaver systems as of 7.31 SP01. SAP recommends that you install the CTS plug-in only on SAP Solution Manager systems and SAP NetWeaver systems as of 7.31 SP01.

Next steps will be:

  1. Install the CTS plug-in according to SAP Note 1665940. Be sure to have the latest version of this note.
  2. Activate the Services for Plug-In Management Web UI.
      • Activate Service /sap/bc/webdynpro/sap/cts_configuration_plugin_mgnt
      • You can easily find it from the SICF main screen entering SERVICE in field Hierarchy and CTS_CONFIGURATION_PLUGIN_MGNT in field Service Name, and executing the report.

Distributing the CTS Plug-in

There is a Web UI called Plug-In Management that you can use to distribute the plug-ins to the managed systems. For non-ABAP systems, the plug-ins are distributed to the ABAP communication system of the non-ABAP system.

To start the UI, you need the authorization object S_TRANSPRT with field ACTVT and value 03.

  1. Logon to Solution Manager (which is your CTS Server) and run transaction SZENPLUGIN. The CTS Plug-in Management Web UI will start in the browser.

cts plugin screen.jpg

  1. Select the systems to which you want to distribute the plug-in and validate their status.

Validate the system before distributing the plug-in. The system will verify whether all prerequisites are met. Depending on the result, the system displays a red or a green traffic light icon in the Status column. If the status is red, you can display more information using the link in the Status column.

You can use the Filter button to help you filter the systems you want to see. You can also personalize the list view and add/hide fields

To perform a validation: Your user also needs to exist in the managed systems.

validation complete.jpg

Press See Details:

details validation.jpg

If the system informs you that the import destination is missing, you need to configure the RFC Import destination between the CTS server and the managed system. Depending on the configuration of the CTS server, this connection may be re-used from an existing SAP Solution Manager destination. You only need to create this RFC if the systems asks you to do it during the validation.

  • In SM59, create the RFC according to the following naming convention: TMSIMP@<SID><CLIENT>.<DOMAIN_NAME>
  • For non-ABAP systems: Use the communication system of the import target as the Target Host for the destination.
  • For ABAP systems: Use the actual target system as the Target Host for the destination.
  • SAP Recommends to use Trusted system. In exceptional cases, you may also use a specific user and password. SAP also recommends to encrypt communication data using Secure Network Connection (SNC) for RFC communication with managed target systems.

Validate the system again after you configure the Import Destination.

  1. Distribute the plug-in.

Distributing the plug-ins means importing transport requests into the managed systems.

For non-ABAP systems this means importing the transport requests in the ABAP communication system of the non-ABAP system.

To distribute CTS plug-in on the managed systems, your user needs to be assigned the authorization object S_TRANSPRT with field ACTVT and value 03 as well as authorization object S_CTS_ADMI with field CTS_ADMFC and value IMPA.

    • Select the managed system and choose Distribute Plug-In.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/distribute_293580.jpg

    • In the dialog box, confirm that you want to import the transport request.

import plugin.jpgplugin has been distributed.jpg

You can click More Information in order to read additional information about Distribution of CTS Service Plug-Ins.

The CTS Service plug-in and the CTS Bootstrapper plug-in are distributed to the managed system. If the managed system is a non-ABAP system the plug-ins are distributed to the ABAP communication system of the non-ABAP system.

Transports imported into the managed system:

transports cts plug-in.jpg

Example of the object list:

transport bootstrap.jpg

Distributing CTS plug-ins using RFC destination and program

If you cannot update your SAP Solution Manager to at least SL Toolset 1.0 SP07 (CTS Plug-in 2.0 SP06) and don’t have the Plug-in Management Web UI, you can install or update the CTS plug-ins on the managed systems executing program CTS_DISTRIBUTE_PLUGINS on SAP Solution Manager which distributes the plug-ins to the managed systems. You may need to configure the Import destination in this case too.

  1. Run program CTS_DISTRIBUTE_PLUGINS and enter in the selection-screen the System ID and Domain to which you want to distribute plug-ins. Execute it. The execution will take some minutes.

/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/cts_distribute_plugin_293588.jpg

  1. If the program displays a message that the installation of plug-ins was successful the updated plug-in functions are available in the system and you can skip the next sections.
    Repeat these steps for every system which requires updating.
  2. If the program displays a message that an import destination has to be configured, create the RFC destination as described above in topic Validating. After you have created and tested this destination you can execute program CTS_DISTRIBUTE_PLUGINS again.


Update:


The delivery of the CTS Plug-In is discontinued. It’s no longer delivered via SL Toolset.

As of SAP NetWeaver 7.4 SP 10, the enhancements to CTS, CTS+ and central CTS functions are delivered with SAP NetWeaver support packages, and fixes are delivered via SAP Notes. For releases prior to SAP NetWeaver 7.4 SP 10, you can still install and use CTS Plug-In.

For SAP Solution Manager 7.1 and 7.2, CTS Plug-In is still a required component and will be installed automatically. Even though SAP Solution Manager 7.2 is based on SAP NetWeaver 7.40 and the CTS plug-in functions are already part of SAP NetWeaver, the CTS plug-in is still required to provide the CTS Service plug-ins that are distributed to the managed systems.

For information about using central CTS with SAP Solution Manager 7.2, check SAP note 2231041


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13 Comments

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  1. Billy Warring

    I would also like to add for those that switched to a 7.21 Kernel having a patch level of 100 for the kernel (even though its newer then the min 7.20 tp/r3trans requirement) is not sufficient for CTS_plugin.

    7.21 Kernel requirements for CTS SP08:

    tp = 128

    r3trans = 132

    (0) 
  2. Tom Cenens

    Hi Raquel

    Great blog post, thanks for sharing.

    At this moment, RFC only based communication is not available for Downgrade Protection so there is a requirement to have either the managed SAP systems in the same TMS domain or to link the TMS domain of SAP Solution Manager to the TMS domain of the managed SAP system if it resides in another TMS domain.

    RFC only based communication should be available soon though.

    Best regards

    Tom

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    1. Raquel Pereira da Cunha Post author

      Hi Tom,

      yes, we need to have systems in the same domain or have a link. In the example used in this blog there was a link (in fact I only had managed systems and SolMan in the same domain when I implemented ChaRM to control changes of an R/3 4.6C, because it was required in order to make ChaRM work properly).

      Thank you for the comment.

      Cheers,

      Raquel

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    2. Tom Cenens

      <update> Apparently RFC communication should be available as from SolMan 7.1 SP8 with CTS Plug SP8. </update>

      I’ll keep you posted

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  3. Akshay Gupta

    Hola Raquel,

    I am currently working on CTS+ for Transporting non-ABAP objects in SAP Netweaver Portal Landscape.

    I have done one implementation of CTS+, and never noticed about the CTS Plug-In before.

    Right now I am working for another customer for CTS+ Configuration for Transporting non-ABAP objects in Portal Landscape. Environment is same for the clienteles i.e. Solution Manager 7.1 SPS08

    As mentioned, I just noticed about the CTS Plug-In and gone through the details.

    Please help me understand, what exactly does CTS Plug-in offers.

    1) Is it required for CHARM?

    2) I learn that, onwards SOLMAN 7.1 SPS05, CTS Plug-In becomes mandatory, and I have been working on SPS08 for CTS+, so subconciously CTS Plug-In was still in the system. But does CTS Plug-In plays any role to configure CTS+? Because I have already done CTS+ configuration for one customer in same environment i.e. SOLMAN 7.1 SPS08 and never came across CTS Plug-In as mandatory requirement for CTS+. Please let me know what CTS Plug-in exactly serves?

    Best Regards,

    Akshay

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    1. Billy Warring

      @Akshay, I believe its only required for Downgrade protection within Charm.

      As for the CTS Plug-In residing on SolMan or a 7.3 system, I believe is for the cCTS technology that SAP has been keeping under wraps for a couple of years, the bootstrap being the other half is what is pushed into your remote systems.  Having both pieces in place I believe will allow for cross system transport dependency checking, which in most cases is a coordinated effort in a company’s change approval processes.

      cCTS I have read should be announced at TechEd next week and will be coming down in SP10 of Solution Manager.

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      1. Akshay Gupta

        Hey Billy,

        Thanks, I equally felt so that CTS Plug-in is an offering for CHARM but not CTS+.

        Just needed to confirm.

        Will look out more on CTS Plug-In.

        Thanks,

        Akshay

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        1. Billy Warring

          While it may not be designed for CTS+, it may have tie-ins with cCTS (the next version of CTS+); with TechEd around the corner and SP10 being announced for Solution Manager, everyone will have a better idea of things tie to one another.

          Also if you review your sicf services with the current CTS+ SP, you will noticed “cts_zenui” in the system; most appear broke or mis-configured and don’t allow you to do much, but interesting to review!  ℹ

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  4. sweetha shankaravelu

    Hi  ,

    This was a very  useful post.

    I have an assignment to  have the Downgrade protection   activated for my  customer through our recently migrated  Solution manager 7.1 system(as of now no one is using it ) . It would  be helpfull if i could  get the steps of how we need to  perform this task. With the blog i  found that  CTS plugin’s are necesary to  be pushed to  managed systems as well . So if they  is any  document or link  available ,could  you  help  .

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  5. Dmitry Udot

    Hi Raquel, thank you for the post.

    I have a question. We have add new ChaRM landscape but we have not made domain link between this landscape and our solution domain.

    In this case I don’t see any system from this new landscape in SZENPLUGIN

    How should act in this case?

    Dmitry

    (0) 

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