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Disclaimer: the following described method is an expert tooling option that is normally used by SAP support. If you mess up your system by using this method, it is not supported as such. Check the comments for more information.

While I was working on a Suite on HANA installation on Amazon AWS, I accidently overlooked the fact that my installer was going to put my Central Instance on the Z: drive. After the installation was done, my Suite on HANA was functioning fine but the next morning, all of a sudden my Central Instance was gone . Apparently I had installed the CI on the temporary “work” drive on my Amazon instance which is cleaned out once you stop the instance … oops.

So I had to reinstall the CI but I didn’t want to go through the database load again (it was an installation based on a export). Years ago I would change the xml files to achieve the wanted effect to skip some steps but somewhere along the road I learned about the step state editor option that exists for SAPinst. While I knew it exists I didn’t remember what the correct parameter was again or how it functions even. A result of spending a lot of time on SAP Solution Manager? Most likely .

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Where do you search for something where you only vaguely know what you are searching for? The most important sources you’ve got available to you of course. I did expect that this option would be described in SAP course TADM70 so I logged into SAP Learning Hub and tried to find relevant information in this SAP course.

The course provided me the correct information so I was able to find back the parameter and use it. To my surprise I couldn’t easily find more information nor was I able to track down a screenshot of the step state editor.

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The step state editor is included when you run SAPinst with parameter SAPINST_SET_STEPSTATE=true. The editor itself pops up after the SAPinst summary screen and allows you to edit the steps that will run in a graphical way . In the above example, I skipped all the steps that belong to “Create and load database” as you can see in the screenshot (the small “skip” icon is visible there) to avoid the data load which I didn’t want to run anymore.

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The actual run then just skips the steps marked for “skipping” and continues with the steps that come after these skipped steps. By using this solution I was able to skip the data load after accidently erasing my CI and reinstalling my CI in a fast way.

I did have to select some options like “remove schema from HANA db” to be able to go through the input screens first, knowing this step would not happen since I would leave it out.

Relevant information:

SAP Learning Hub

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13 Comments

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  1. Boris Zarske

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for sharing 🙂 !

    Reason for not having documented it officially is that the step state editor is intended for experts resp. the support case only, it is not supported generally according to my knowledge! So, use it at your own risk (if not advised by SAP support to use it)!

    Especially, do not skip any steps that can lead to an inconsistent system (for example: dipgntab) – there is no guidance provided in the editor about which steps could be critical to skip, that’s why you should only use it if you know what you are doing (as you are an expert or as SAP support told you to skip a specific step with the editor).

    But if you are advised to skip a step, this description will help for sure 🙂 !

    Thanks again,

    Boris

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author

      Hi Boris

      Thanks for commenting and adding value to the document 😉 .

      Yes, you’re absolutely right, it is expert tooling. I noticed there are entries in the SCN forum which explain the usage of the parameter and then stopped there. I found that this could potentially create more confusion than anything else so I decided to create this document to have a bit more information available to the community when they look for this option.

      Best regards

      Tom

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      1. Boris Zarske

        Hi Tom,

        No worries, your document is helpful for sure, just wanted to make sure the boundary conditions are clear for everyone intending to use it 🙂 .

        Thanks again,

        Boris

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  2. Henricus Bouten

    Hi Tom,

    As what was already told by Boris. Don’t use it!! In the TADM70 in that section were you found the “Step Browser” being mentioned on the next line it reads

    Please be aware, the “Step Browser” functionality is not supported officially, so the usage is done on own risk!

    If you were already thinking of repairing the installation, why didn’t you do a separate Primary Application Server installation found in the Distributed System Installation? Should work and is more elegant.

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author

      Hi Hay

      It’s a internal demo system which is already one thing, the next thing is that I did wanted to install a separate primary application server but it came asking for another piece of media which I didn’t have. My system was based on a system copy option. So in the end I didn’t want to bother to fetch that piece of media and decided to “skip” the steps that were obsolete for me by rerunning the system copy option in SAPinst for which I did have all of the media.

      I don’t see the harm anyway though 🙂 . Yes it might be tooling that SAP support normally uses and yes if it messes up the system it’s unsupported but I’ve done other operations in the past (BW split before split tool was available by adjusting the XML files for example) and they all worked out fine, I know what I’m doing 😉 . To meet you guys half way trough, I’ve put a disclaimer on the document at the start ℹ . Like I mentioned before to Boris, the SCN forum has entries of this parameter so I thought sharing a little bit more information would be fine. The second reason is showcasing Learning Hub and why it can be interesting.

      If SAP puts a banner like that in a course, I’m definitely going to try it out 😆 .

      Best regards

      Tom

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  3. Nicolas VANDER AUWERA

    Hi Tom,

    I am currently learning the lecture you mention in your blog and it is definitely very useful to have a good example on how to use this tool. Of course, I am aware that this functionality is not supported 🙂 .

    Thanks !

    Regards,

    Nicolas

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  4. Martin English

    Tom,

      I find myself working on a variety of platforms and releases, installing and copying systems. Despite the caveats expressed above, there are occasions where I find it necessary to modify the XML files, due to bugs in the installation process, the installation kit itself, or even ‘special requirements’ enforced by the OS specialists.

    I always check to see if the state editor is available, as I much prefer using it to modify the XML files rather than manual editing it via or notepad++ or a specialist XML editor.

    hth

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    1. Tom Cenens Post author

      Hi Martin

      Thanks for commenting.

      Yes, you’re right and I’ve also done that from time to time 🙂 .

      Best regards

      Tom

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  5. Yves KERVADEC

    Hello Tom,

    Thanks a lot for the information on that almost hidden parameter.

    I’ve heard about it in that thread (CDATA[ERROR] gone with SWPM) where we did discussed rougher XML based techniques to change sapinst behavior. I’ve updated it with a reference to your post .

    Best regards

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