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Ever wanted to script the next installation of SAP systems or include system rename into an overall procedure? For this, Software Provisioning Manager offers already for over a decade an unattended mode using the file inifile.xml, historically described in SAP Note 950619.

But the handling of this XML file proved to be rather cumbersome and error-prone:

  • Reading and editing an XML file is not very comfortable to handle
  • Single parameters were listed several times in the XML file, making parameter adaptations in the file bulky and shaky
  • XML file heavily bound to initial use case, as it requires the same version of Software Provisioning Manager + exactly the same option of Software Provisioning Manager

New unattended execution mode

Therefore, to get an easier + more reliable procedure for executing Software Provisioning Manager without UI (in dark mode), we introduced a new unattended execution mode for systems based on SAP NetWeaver 7.0x and higher.

The new procedure uses a plain-text parameter file called inifile.params (default name) and created automatically by Software Provisioning Manager in the installation directory, when you go through a dialog phase of the tool. With this new format, we moved away from the bulky XML format, making the file easier to understand, to use and to maintain, as it offers commented name-value pairs that resemble corresponding dialogs in the dialog mode of Software Provisioning Manager.

Flexible reuse

In addition, the new mode enables a more flexible reuse of one parameter file for several use cases. You can reuse a single parameter file:

  • For different options of Software Provisioning Manager (such as installation, system copy, system rename, dual-stack split),
  • For different systems with different product versions,
  • For different versions of Software Provisioning Manager,
  • For different host,
  • As long as the same technology stack (ABAP, Java, or dual-stack) is used, and
  • As long as the affected systems run on the same database platform (such as SAP HANA).

Covered parameters + option to request missing ones

The parameter file contains the parameters that we considered to be important – that is, to keep the interface as consistent and maintainable as possible, not all parameters prompted or displayed in the dialog phase are contained in the parameter file, only the important ones.
However, you can request that missing parameters shall be added to the parameter file by SAP development – for this, please open a corresponding incident in component BC-INS-SWPM.
In a created parameter file, you can easily adapt single parameters in the file according to your needs and hand it over to Software Provisioning by using the SAPINST_INPUT_PARAMETERS_URL parameter, so that it can run unattended.

Summary + how to get it

Overall, you gain a much easier overall handling and a higher flexibility with the new unattended mode. Therefore, if you want to execute Software Provisioning Manager in dark mode, we recommend to use the new unattended execution.

Due to the benefits the new procedure offers, SAP maintenance for the former procedure using the XML file inifile.xml will be finally restricted to the end of 2017.

The new mode is provided as of Software Provisioning Manager 1.0 SP18, delivered as part of Software Logistics Toolset 1.0 SPS18 (for download, see SAP Support Portal at http://support.sap.com/sltoolset → System Provisioning).

For more information about the unattended execution mode, see SAP Note 2230669.

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18 Comments

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  1. Boris Zarske Post author

    Hi all,
    I just added the information that due to the benefits we see with the new mode, SAP maintenance for the former procedure using the XML file inifile.xml will be finally restricted to the end of 2017.

    Best regards,
    Boris

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  2. Ambarish Satarkar

    Hi Boris,

     

    Thank you for informative blog. Will be trying this new method of unattended installation using param file. This adds more flexibility to automate software provisioning. Thanks again 🙂

     

    Best Regards,

    Ambarish

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  3. Arne Knöller

    Hi Boris,

    the note #2230669 states that only complete DVDs are supported for the media package reference.

    Are there more variable available than the listed ones in the note?

    SAPINST.CD.PACKAGE.KERNEL =
    SAPINST.CD.PACKAGE.LOAD =
    SAPINST.CD.PACKAGE.RDBMS =

    SAPINST.CD.PACKAGE.JMIG =
    SAPINST.CD.PACKAGE.MIGRATION1 =

     

    I’m wondering, why my installation (SWPM SP20) still asks for SAPEXE and SAPEXEDB:

    The following archives are also required, otherwise you cannot continue: “SAPEXE.SAR (any version supporting your release)” and “SAPEXEDB.SAR (matching SAPEXE Version and Patch)”

    Despite the fact that SAPINST.CD.PACKAGE.LOAD and SAPINST.CD.PACKAGE.KERNEL are set in the inifile.params

    Regards Arne

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  4. Stefan Jakobi

    Hello Arne,

    it seems that the problem occurs if the release version of sapexedb.sar and sapexe.sar do not match.

    Please make sure that the release version of sapexedb.sar and sapexe.sar are the same and that the patchlevel of sapexedb is equal or higher as the patchlevel of sapexe.

    Best Regards

    Stefan Jakobi

    Product Management CLM

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    1. Arne Knöller

      Hi Stefan,

      thanks for your hint. Appreciate your fast teply. It was indeed the wrong SAPEXE and SAPEXEDB. The replacement of the files with newer versions solved the issue.

       

      Another question to the “Secure Storage Key Generation”:

      Is it possible to generate an individual key without prompting it on the GUI and waiting for the OK by a user? Is it possible to write the key to a local file?

      Regards Arne

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      1. Arne Knöller

        You can generate a key using ‘rsecssfx’. Leave empty if you want to use the default key.
        NW_ABAP_SSFS_CustomKey.ssfsKeyInputFile =

        Even with the empty parameter, the installer stops and is waiting for confirmation.

        Any ideas?

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  5. Stefan Jakobi

    Hello Arne,

    for my understanding:

    You want to run the Software Provisioning Manager in GUI mode but skip the question on the “Secure Storage Key Generation” in the dialog and instead Software Provisioning Manager shall take a previously self generated key from an “ini-File” with the parameter “NW_ABAP_SSFS_CustomKey.ssfsKeyInputFile =” ?

    Best regards

    Stefan Jakobi

    Product Management CLM

     

     

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    1. Arne Knöller

      Hello Stefan,

      no, I want to run the installer in silent mode w/o GUI.

      In the inifile.params I tried to set the parameter “NW_ABAP_SSFS_CustomKey.ssfsKeyInputFile = <path_to_file_with_self_generated_SSFS_key>” to create an idividual SSFS Key.
      The SWPM in silent mode stops and is waiting for confirmation of the SSFS Key anyhow. An user interaction is required although no interaction is wanted during the silent installation.

      That’s why I tried to leve the parameter “NW_ABAP_SSFS_CustomKey.ssfsKeyInputFile” empty to use the default key. Nevertheless the SWPM in silent mode stops and is waiting for SSFS Key confirmation.

       

      Regards Arne

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  6. Stefan Jakobi

    Hello Arne,

    the described behavior of the Software Provisioning Manager is not as it should be.

    If started in silent mode, the Software Provisioning Manager should either run through or abort if a necessary parameter is missing or wrong. In no case should it stop and ask for further input.

    Please check SAP note 2230669 – System Provisioning Using a Parameter Input File

    If you start Software Provisioning Manager in the right manner and the problem persists, please open an SAP support message and give me a call.

    Best Regards

    Stefan Jakobi

    Product Management CLM

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    1. Arne Knöller

      Hello Stefan,

      after several tests with different SWPM versions (also SP19) and different parameter options for SSFS Key, I found the solution:

      Current SWPM versions 1.0 SP20 PL 5 and 6 with the enabled SL Common GUI is not working in silent mode according SAP note 2230669 (version 15). For my understanding this is not as designed and a bug of new web based SL Common GUI.

      In fact the automated installation is working with SAPINST_SLP_MODE=false unlike the SAP note 2230669, which describes to set the parameter to ‘true’.

      Hope this feedback helps to update the documentation or leads to SLP improvements.

      Best regards,

      Arne Knöller

       

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  7. Stefan Jakobi

    Hello Arne,

    in fact this behavior seems to be a problem inside the Software Provisioning Manager.

    We are working on a fix. Please open a message so you will get direct feedback on the solution.

    Best regards

    Stefan Jakobi

    Product Management CLM

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  8. Michele Donna

    hello

     

    Am trying to prepare an unattended ABAP/Oracle database refresh using the saphostctrl option (in SWPM the screen which asks which method to use – db already recovered, saphostctrl and CONTROL.SQL) but realized that those options are not recorded and  when running unattended the default *database already recovered” option is performed ending obviously in an error.

    Is there any option to add these settings to the file or should I request to development team?

     

    thanks and best regards

    Michele

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  9. Stefan Jakobi

    Hello Michele,

    thanks for the feedback.

    We need to address this to the colleagues from the porting team. For that reason, please open a message and attach the sapinst_dev.log and inifile.params.

    Thanks and best regards

    Stefan Jakobi

    Product Management

    Cloud and Lifecycle Management

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  10. Thomas Beyer

    Hello Stefan,

     

    now we have the same Problem as Arne. We used SWPM 1.0 SP21 P3.

    The silent install stopped and ask for a key.

    Is the Problem with SSFS Key solved?

     

    Best regards Thomas

     

    (0) 

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