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Author's profile photo Martin Herrmann

nZDM Java: minimize the business downtime of your SAP Process Orchestration maintenance activity

With SL Toolset 1.0 SP11 or higher the nZDM 1.0 for SAP NetWeaver Java is available for download. We support the SAP Process Orchestration, SAP Business Process Management (SAP BPM), SAP Enterprise Portal, SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (SAP MII) and ensure a very low downtime for the required maintenance activities.  In case your SAP PO is downtime critical, the nZDM for Java will support your regular maintenance activities in the best way. When you need to implement the newest SP and your inbound messages are mandatory for your e-commerce business or the messages are internally mandatory for your production and you can only stop this for minutes you will be the one we address with nZDM Java.


Which maintenance activities are supported?

The SAP maintenance activities that we support with nZDM Java to have almost no business downtime anymore are:

Support Packages Stack (SPS)

  • Patches
  • Enhancement Packages (EHP)
  • Release updates (7.3x => 7.4 => 7.5)
  • Applying single component updates and patches, including kernel and JVM patches
  • Performing updates to the database or operating system
  • Database updates and patches
  • OS updates and patches
  • Even Hardware scale up


How does it work?


The nZDM Java supports the following approaches for SAP PO:

  • system switch
  • database (DB) switch

Both approaches rely on the copy or clone of your productive SAP PO system/ DB. All maintenance activities should be performed on the copied system (clone system) while the production system is still running on the production version. The nZDM Java is independent from the clone software which is used. However, the SAP Landscape Management (LaMa) Enterprise Edition or the Software Provisioning Manager (SWPM) 1.0 supports the procedure step. LaMa even works with nZDM for Java in a closer, process integrated way.

In the system switch scenario, the clone system will become the new productive system. The advantage of the system switch scenario is that in addition to the update it is possible to implement JVM or database patches or implement updates on your OS during this time as well. The business downtime experience we have is 30 minutes for the system switch scenario for SAP Process Orchestration. This time is needed to restart the clone, remove the isolation and finally restart the application server.

The alternative approach is the database switch. This approach uses the empty database of an existing system landscape. The data is cloned on the existing database server or on a shared storage. This approach is very useful when the existing productive environment has a large scale and therefore it might be the cheapest way to use the already existing environment.

The graphic below illustrates the process and both approaches, system switch or database switch, of nZDM Java:

nZDM_Java overview_2.JPG

For both approaches you have basic steps to enable business downtime minimization during planned maintenance activities in the SAP PO system.


1. preparation

  • Download and execute the nZDM for Java, that gives you possibility to configure, control and monitor the progress of the nZDM Java¬† recording and replication
  • Connect to the production system and start the recording for database changes
  • Setup a system clone / database clone, that makes it possible to run the maintenance activities without stopping the production use of your productive portal system
  • Isolate the clone system

2. Maintain

  • Perform the maintenance activities as usual with the Software Update Manager (SUM)
  • As an option, you can test your updated target system
  • Connect to the Target system and starting the replication

3. Switch

  • The downtime is needed to finally replicate the last changes and restart the updated system.
  • Business downtime for switch activities: mainly needed for stopping the source, system and for switching the system or the database. The overall business downtime depends on the chosen scenario.


4. post-process


How is the consistency between the productive SAP PO system and the updated clone system ensured?


The record and replicate functionality of the tool ensures consistency and reliability:

  • Table classification methods are used to assign tables to different behavior models for consistency
  • Replication triggers are created in the Database directly

A classification selects the tables which are relevant for the record and replication. These tables are supplied by the DB trigger and so changes are automatically recorded. The SAP Process Orchestration runs the usual business. Restrictions are mainly around development activities, repository changes or SLD updates.

For the SAP PO use case the recording of the DB changes are created in the Database directly. This ensures a high performance. With the record and replication technology which is used for the PO the memory footprint, performance and scalability is tested intensively. A slightly reduced to normal business can be assured so far.
So the process / user can nearly work as usual while the clone system is updated. The status and workload is reliable, visibility on a control monitor of the nZDM Java is part of the functionality:


nZDM_Java monitor.png


When the update is completed you can test the functionality. With help of a backup and restore system tests are supported.
After the maintenance activities have been finalized, the nZDM Java transfers all data changes from the production system and replicates them to the updated cloned system. When the replication has finished, the production system is stopped and the cloned system serves as the new production system. The downtime occurs during the system switch between the production and the cloned system



Regarding the updates of HA systems a separate I refer to the SCN article Near-Zero Downtime Maintenance for High Availability SAP Java Systems


Which SAP PO releases are supported?


Supported Releases are:

  • SAP NetWeaver 7.0 including EHP 2, SP11 or higher
  • SAP NetWeaver 7.3, SP7 or higher
  • SAP NetWeaver 7.3 including EHP 1, SP2 or higher
  • SAP NetWeaver 7.4, SP00 or higher
  • SAP NetWeaver 7.5, SP00 or higher


Currently, the nZDM java supports the SAP PO on the most common databases:

  • MS SQL Server
  • Oracle
  • IBM DB2 for Linux, Unix and Windows



Customer Experiences

nZDM Java was used for updates of BPM, PO, EP and AEX landscapes. Our customers used it for testing purposes and also for productive updates. A productive update for a AEX when using the system switch approached could be managed in ca. 15 minutes. The procedure was supported by SAP LaMa.

The DB switch approached could be managed in a productive update within 90 minutes. The update was managed in an HA scenario.



What is needed to download and use nZDM for SAP NetWeaver Java?


The nZDM for SAP NetWeaver Java is part of the SL Toolset 1.0 and can be downloaded from the SAP Service Market Place at

SAP nZDM Java is general available and no additional license fee is needed.

Also check the central SAP note 2422937 for further details.

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