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Software Provisioning Manager Survial Guide

Another very good collection of documents about troubleshooting the software provisioning manager can be found here: -Troubleshooting documents for SWPM


The following tries to answer the most burning questions about software provisioning manager 1.0 in case you are not so familar with the tool.


What is it ?
Software provisioning manager is part of the SL Toolset. It uses the sapinst framework to offer all kinds of software logistic procedures like installation, uninstallation, system copy, system rename, etc. for SAP products. The chosen procedure is executed by the sapinst framework. The steering logic is stored in so-called Control files. The control file itself is divided into so-called Steps . Each Step contains an atomic action which can be redone as often as necessary. In addtion to this the installer keeps a log of all processed steps. Due to this it is possible to restart the software provisioning manager after an error without starting the whole procedure from scratch.



After a procedure from the product Catalog was chosen the installation directory is created and the control files are copied into it. Even if the installer is aborted during the procedure it is possible to continue the procedure as long as the installation is using the content from the installation directory. For that the installer uses the last step which was executed.


Where can I download it ?
It is not delivered directly with a product. Instead you can download it from

Where will it be executed ?
In case you are using a SAP HANA database as backend, the software provisioning manager is always executed where the SAP system is to be installed.

In special cases like a migration towards SAP HANA you might run the installer on a special host like HANA standby node (refer to, page 13) but for standard scenarios like installation, uninstallation, system copy and system rename you start the software provisioning manager on an SAP application server.


What are the prerequisites to start it ?
After extracting the SAR archive you have to logon as a root user on Unix/linux or a user which is in the local Administrator group on Windows.

On Unix/linux you must be able to start an X Window from the shell you want to use. If the command xclock is working you should be fine.

Due to this you need to logon directly with user root as a userswitch in the shell might disable the possibility to start an X Window.

In case you have problems setting up the X Window you can use the remote gui of the software provisioning manager instead.

For this you have to download the software provisioning manager for your Windows platform.

After extracting it you can start the executable sapinstgui.exe. You then have to start the procedure on the server with the option -nogui. For example:


IM_LINUX_X86_64/sapinst -nogui

guiengine: No GUI server connected; waiting for a connection on host plx101, port 21212 to continue with the installation

You can use the host plx101 and port 21212 to set it in the local gui.




Where do the logfiles go ?


In case you are starting a new installation there are two possibilities.

  1. Start the executable sapinst directly in the folder you have extracted by executing ./sapinst or via doubleclick on Windows.
    Choose the procedure you want to execute. The installer will then create a folder structure which refelcts the product you have chosen.
    In case of a restart you always have to specify the product again. Otherwise the software provisioning manager will not find the installation directory.
  2. Create your own directory and start the software provisioning manager from the directory.
    When you are using a specified path the directory structure can be much simpler. In case of a restart you don’t have to specify the installation procedure again. The installer will recognize the current installation and continues right away. In case you want to know where the location of the installer is you can refer to file


What logfiles should I check ?
Inside of the installation directory there are several types of files and directories:

  • Control files like control.xml, control.dtd, keydb.xml. These files steer the installation (what to do, what files to create, etc…),
  • Executables like migmon.jar, folder sapjvm which contains a Java virtual machine,
  • Logfiles, these files traces the installation procedures. Sorting them by date should get you a good starting point.
    The main file to check is sapinst_dev.log . In case of SAP HANA the second file to check is HdbCmdOut.log


What kind of errors can occur  ?


Problems with the software provisioning manager can be divided in categories:

  • Coding errors like syntax errors.
  • Procedure errors. For example, an executable is called before it is even installed.
  • And tool errors. For example an executable like R3trans fails with an error.


The first two error categories are the most critical because it will be hard to fix them without the responsible developer on hand.

Analyzing a tool error is not so difficult. For this you have to keep in mind that the software provisioning manager calls external executables like you would call them from the commandline. That means in most cases you will be able to reproduce the error by executing the executable (e.g. R3trans) the same way the software provisiong manager does. The first step for executing the tool is to know how it is called. For this in most cases the tool gets it own logfile. In addition the file sapinst_dev.log contains the complete call. Most of the SAP executables are executed as user sidadm. For this the installer executes a userswitch. So in in this case you want to execute the tool the same way, as user sidadm. The installer uses the same environment as you get when you logon as user sidadm.


How can I skip or repeat a step ?


In case an error occurs in a step during a procedure the software provisioning will always try to continue with this step. In case there is a special occasion where you want to skip a step you can refer to oss-note: 1805234 Keep in mind that skipping s step might cause trouble in further steps as steps rely on further steps and expect them as proceeded succesfully.


Problems during import or export phase


The export and import phase is the most critical phase during an installation or a system copy as it is one of the most complex phases.

A detailed description about the architecture of an export and import can be found here: Migration to SAP HANA, analyzing problems.

1 Comment
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  • Hi Stefan,

    a few remarks.
    “Where do the log files go” It should be mentioned that a directory called sapinst_instdir is being created. Either in the temp directory that is set in the installation users environment (for Unix
    operating systems) or under C:\Program Files in Windows.
    This sapinst_instdir contains all relevant log files.

    “How can Is kip or repeat a step?” It’s highly critical to skip a step without understanding why
    it’s failing or what implications it can have to not execute it. I would emphasize that this should
    only be done after previous consultation with SAP Product Support and maybe not supported
    by us.

    Link to SAP Note still is set to not or Launchpad.