So, you’ve installed or upgraded your TaxFactory 10 system and all has been going well, but now the time has come for your first Cyclic update. Perhaps this is driven by a functional requirement, perhaps it’s a mandatory prerequisite for a regulatory update (aka TUB), or perhaps you’re preparing to configure the Payroll Tax Data Synchronization Tool. Whatever the reason, eventually you will have to do this.
Overall, the process is very similar to how it was done in TaxFactory 9, so if you’re already experienced with the procedure in that release, this will look very familiar. The biggest change is the client, of course, as the TF10 client has a fundamentally different infrastructure from prior releases. If you haven’t previously applied a Cyclic update, rest assured, it’s quite easy, but the documentation on the procedure can be a little confusing.
In this blog I’ll demonstrate my own experience updating TF10 from Cyclic D to Cyclic F. TaxFactory is installed on a Windows 2012 R2 / SQL Server 2012 system, with a separate server for each environment (i.e., there are three servers, DEV, QAS, and PRD, but on each one only a TaxFactory ‘PRD’ environment exists).
Release, Cyclic, and Regulatory Bulletins
First, a quick definition of the difference between the three types of “bulletins” (updates) that BSI provides.
Release Bulletins are major upgrades of the TaxFactory software, i.e. from TaxFactory 9.0 to TaxFactory 10.0.
Cyclic Bulletins are minor updates of the software, similar to applying a support package stack to an SAP system. Per BSI’s definition, Cyclic Bulletins “sometimes affect tax calculations, but may involve only interface upgrades or re-coding of program functions.” Cyclic Bulletins are often optional, but occasionally they are mandatory or a prerequisite for a particular Regulatory Bulletin. The reverse is sometimes also true, that a particular Regulatory Bulletin may be a prerequisite for a particular Cyclic Bulletin. Cyclic Bulletins are typically released a few times per year, and they are cumulative, meaning that you only need apply the most recent one.
Regulatory Bulletins, sometimes also known as Tax Update Bulletins or TUBs, “supply changes to the taxes and tax formulas covered in your BSI TaxFactory System. These bulletins are in the form of data that is used to update BSI’s tax file or database.” Regulatory Bulletins are released relatively frequently, and they may include changes to Federal, State, and Local taxes. Not every Regulatory Bulletin includes Federal changes, so if a particular bulletin does not apply to your State or Locality, then you can wait to apply it. However, Regulatory Bulletins are incremental, not cumulative, so when you do apply them, it is necessary to apply all the intervening ones between your current and desired bulletin levels as well.
Occasionally it may be necessary to apply an SAP Note to your ABAP system prior to applying a Cyclic update to your TaxFactory system. This is not always the case, but before applying any Cyclic it is prudent to check. Such Notes are usually announced by SAP at http://service.sap.com/hrusa. If in doubt, you can also search for recent Notes in application area PY-US-BSI.
If you are updating from Cyclic D or lower to Cyclic E or higher, you must first apply Note 2097432. The ABAP changes in the Note are backwards-compatible with earlier Cyclics, so you can apply it to your system in advance (for instance, if you update to a Support Pack that includes the Note, such as HRSP 82 for ERP 6.04, you are still OK if you haven’t yet applied a higher Cyclic to your TaxFactory system).
In our example, we are updating from Cyclic D to Cyclic F, and our ABAP system is still on HRSP 79, so we do apply the Note via SNOTE (incidentally, as part of a group of Notes for the Payroll Tax Data Sync Tool, but that is a topic for a different blog). It is straight-forward.
Obtain the Cyclic
Each new Cyclic requires a new installation password. When BSI releases a Cyclic, they email the password to the support contact for each customer organization. Make sure you have this password handy. If you didn’t receive the email, or have misplaced it, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request it.
- Logon to http://www.mybsi.com/connect.
- Select Product Maintenance.
- Select product BSI TaxFactory.
- Under Maintenance, select Cyclic Bulletins.
- Select the most recent cyclic bulletin (i.e. BSI TaxFactory 10.0f Cyclic Bulletin)
Under Client Package, select TF10 Client Package for Windows. This will download TF10ClientInstall.zip. Save it to a temporary location and extract the files to a new folder, i.e. TF10fClient. Copy the folder to a temporary location on your TaxFactory server.
Under Downloads, locate your server OS and database release, paying careful attention to the OS Bits (64 or 32) and Chipset (Itanium or otherwise). In our example, we are using Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2012, 64-bit, so we select the line for OS Version = 2008 Thru 2012 R2 and Database Version = 2005 Thru 2014 64-bit. When you’ve located the correct line, click the link for Download File. This will download a self-extracting executable file with a name specific to your OS/DBMS. In our example, the file is wx64sql64tf100f_s.exe. Execute the file to extract the contents. You will need to supply the installation password to complete the extraction. Save the extracted files to a new folder, i.e. TF10fServer. Copy the folder, or at least the server subfolder within it, to a temporary location on your TaxFactory server.
Cyclic Data File
Under Documents, select Cyclic Data File. This will download TFU10f.nrq, or similar as appropriate for the Cyclic you have chosen. Please note that in late February 2015 BSI re-issued the data file for Cyclic 10.0.f, so if you downloaded the Cyclic prior to then, you may need to re-download (and reapply) the Cyclic Data File. Only the data file is affected by this, not the client or server packages.
Update the Client
Logon to the console of your TaxFactory server, open the TF10fClient folder you copied up, and execute TF10ClientInstall.exe. On the first screen, confirm that this is for the correct Cyclic, and click Next.
On the next screen, enter the cyclic installation password you received from BSI, click Next, then confirm the license agreement by clicking I Agree.
The next screen is the Configuration Analyzer. The analyzer should detect your currently installed environment(s) and Cyclic level. Click Next.
The next screen is WEB Server Configuration. The installer should automatically detect the correct location for your Apache Tomcat web server software. If not, use the Browse button to correct it. Click Next.
Next is XML Server Configuration. On this screen, the installer suggests a new base folder for the XML Server. It will default to C:\Program Files, so if you have previously installed your TaxFactory environment elsewhere, you will need to change this appropriately. In my case, I originally installed to E:\BSI\TF10d, so I made a new folder at E:\BSI\TF10f. Note that the choice of 32-bit or 64-bit is greyed out, as you cannot change this from your original installation option now. Click Next.
The next screen is Environments Install / Update Configuration. Here you have three options. Select the checkbox for Install / Review / Uninstall / Upgrade Standard (Production through Test 3) Environments and click Next.
On the next screen, select the checkbox for Replace existing TF10D Client with TF10F Client (or as appropriate for your start and end Cyclics). Click Next.
You will get a popup confirming your database authentication method (i.e., Windows Authentication) and the result of a connection test using the service user for your TF10DXMLPRD (or similar) service, and asking you to enter the login information for this user. Click OK. The next screen asks for the password for the service user. Enter it and click Next.
The next screen will bring you back to the Environment Configuration, except instead of Production it will now be Development. If you only have one environment (i.e. PRD) on the server, or if you don’t wish to update the other environments, leave all checkboxes unchecked (or check Review), and click Next. In my case, I use three separate servers for Development, Quality Assurance, and Production, so in TaxFactory terminology each one has only one PRD environment installed. Your configuration may be different.
You will likewise pass through the configuration option screen for QA, Test 1, Test 2, and Test 3. Click Next on each one.
Finally, you will be given the option to Update current Cyclic for PRD Environment(s) with TF10f Cyclic. Select this checkbox and click FINISH.
The next screen will show progress, stopping and starting services, removing obsolete XML folders, and extracting files. If you examine the detail log, you may notice some errors about services failing to start, but this doesn’t appear to matter, as afterwards you can confirm that they have in fact started (i.e., Apache Tomcat 7.0 Tomcat7, Apache Tomcat7 – PRD, and TF10FXMLPRD). When it’s finished, click Close.
Update the Server
The “Server” component is much easier to update, and indeed this process has not changed from TaxFactory 9. It is a simple matter of swapping the older executables with the new ones. These are the interface executables called by SAP via the RFC Destination.
First, identify the location of the executables. If you are not certain, you can look at the program location in your BSI10-US-TAX RFC Destination via transaction SM59 on your ABAP server. If you installed TaxFactory 10 following the directions in my earlier blog, this location will be something like E:\BSI\TaxFactory\server.
Make a backup copy of this folder, then locate the temporary TF10fServer folder you extracted earlier. Drill into the server subfolder and copy all the files within to the working server folder, i.e. E:\BSI\TaxFactory\server, allowing them to overwrite the older files in the destination folder.
Update the Cyclic Data File
Back on your own workstation, launch your web browser and open the client administration page. Note that the page URL is cyclic-specific, so if you saved it as a favorite, you may need to edit the favorite. It will be something similar to http://<taxfactory_host>:8091/eTF10f/PRD. Logon as your TaxFactory administrator user (i.e. TF10).
Connect to the appropriate Data Set (i.e., matching your ABAP client number), and jump to System Tools.
Under Maintenance Tools, select Manual Update.
Browse to the TFU10f.nrq file you downloaded earlier and then click Process.
The update will take approximately a minute. When it is done, check the Maintenance Output log for any error messages, and click View Summary to confirm that Cyclic Update F shows up in the log (cyclic updates appear after regulatory updates, so you may need to scroll to near the bottom of the log). After examining the logs, click Exit. Back on the System Tools page, under Maintenance Tools and “Currently installed:”, confirm that the appropriate Cyclic is displayed.
Test the Result
Logon to your ABAP system and run transaction HRPAYUS_SYNC_TAX_DT (even if you aren’t yet using the Payroll Tax Data Sync Tool). At the bottom of the screen, under Regulatory Bulletin Information, click Display Version and confirm that the correct cyclic data is returned.
You do not need to actually synchronize anything at this time, so this is just a test. If you get a short dump, or the output looks incorrect, you may need to apply Note 2125327 (BSI: Sync Payroll Tax Data generates a short dump when BSI version is not specified) and/or ensure you have correctly configured Payroll: USA -> Tax -> SAP/BSI Interface -> Specify BSI TaxFactory version for customizing settings in the IMG.
Via SA38, run report RPUBTCU0 to confirm correct execution of the TaxFactory system and connection to it from SAP. If you do not get the expected result, consult Note 1910127 (FAQ: TaxFactory 10.0 Inst./Upgrade Troubleshooting). Also, have a look at BSI TaxFactory 10 Installation for SQL Server – Part 4 for more information.
Thanks for following along, and I hope with the above guidance your Cyclic updates go smoothly.