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.
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, either list your request as comment to this blog or open a corresponding incident in component BC-INS (please add “Please forward directly to development” as a short remark into the incident to accelerate the processing).
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.