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Mastering your SAP PI/PO passwords with KeePass and SAPNW WindowRenamer

During daily work with SAP PI systems, a lot of passwords quickly accumulate. Especially as a consultant you have more SAP PI systems at the end of the day than you can remember passwords. Nevertheless, in order to be able to use a secure and complex password for each system, the use of a password manager is indispensable. I myself, but also many customers, use KeePass as a tool of choice.

Once the passwords have been maintained, you can conveniently enter your passwords using the autotype feature. (Once you are on a website, just press: Ctrl + Alt + A and KeePass will automatically type-in your passwords).

The problem

The whole thing works wonderfully, until you come across the login page of SAP NetWeaver systems, because they do not have a clear window title that KeePass could use to assign the right password.

As you can see, the title is static and does not correspond to the specific SAP system. Thus when adding more and more SAP NetWeaver systems to your KeePass, you end up with a selection screen when using the Auto-Type feature as shown below.

The more SAP NetWeaver passwords you add the more time you will need to pickup the right entry. Since I am an IT person at heart, I do not like inefficient systems and have considered a possible solution to the problem…

The solution

So that KeePass can assign the respective SAP Logon page to a KeePass entry, the page title must contain a characteristic which is also stored in the KeePass entry. What’s better here than the hostname? Nothing. Because the hostname is both known – to the browser and usually stored in the KeePass entry, too.

So to get the hostname in the page title now, I’ve written a little extension for the Chrome browser that essentially does the following:

  • When a web page is finished loading, the plugin checks if it is an SAP NetWeaver login page.
  • If it is a login page, it will pick the host name from the address bar and the host name to the page header.

Subsequently, KeePass is able to automatically match the login page with the matching KeePass entry without further configuration. (The title of your KeePass entry should contain the hostname or at least unique parts of it anywhere in between.)

How to use the extension?

There are will be two ways to use the “SAPNW WindowRenamer” Chrome extension.

  1. Download it from the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Download the plugin’s source code from Github. You can find the Github repository over here. Then load it as “unpacked extension” as described in the first sentences of this Google developer manual.

Conclusion

Sometimes it’s the little things that make life a lot easier. I hope the plugin is as useful to you as it is to me.

Since passwords as well as browser extensions are a sensitive topic, I decided to make the source code available on Github (as I did before with the RealCore SAP CPI Dashboard), so you can be sure that the plugin really only does what it claims to do.

I’m looking forward to your suggestions for improvements and your feedback. Stay productive!

4 Comments
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  • Nice work, Raffael! And shall be indeed very demanded – not only to allow more productive usage of password managers, but also to make navigation through tabs of different systems more comfortable and less confusing. Thank you for sharing it – and making it open source!

    I use a combination of Google Chrome and Vivaldi browsers primarily, where an alternative based on analysis of the URL, can be utilized to rename tabs. It is based on an extension named ‘Tab Modifier’ (GitHub | Chrome Web Store). The idea behind it is that you can compose how tab’s title shall look like, based on rules analyzing parts of the URL that is accessed. For example, all tabs for URLs that access the same host (such as, Web Dispatcher of a specific PI/PO system, or tenant ID of a specific CPI tenant), can be renamed by appending PI/PO SID or more distinct CPI tenant name to an original title, or replacing that title completely. Might be that some similar extension exists for other browsers, too. And I’m pretty sure there can be alternatives to this extension for Chrome, as well. This extension was actually discovered and shared by Piotr Radzki, when he shared ideas with Daniel Graversen on how tab titles can be made more friendly and correlate to a particular CPI tenant, rather than contain the same title for all CPI tenants.

    Regards,

    Vadim

    • Hi Vadim,

      thanks for your feedback. I checked the “Tab Modifier” out and it seems like I “reinvented the wheel”. 😉 If I had known it before, I hadn’t written the plugin described in the post above. (On the other hand – it was an interesting challenge to write a Chrome extension…)

      By the way I have written a similiar portable tool to rename SAP PI/PO Swing GUI window titles (and any other Windows application window titles, too). Do you think this could be interesting or do you already have a tool for this use case, too? If so, let me know its name.

      • I would see it differently, not “reinvention of the wheel”: you have introduced and shared an alternative technical solution to a common problem – and that effort shall be appreciated by community. Plus you have show cased how this can be used in conjunction with some other tools like password manager. So this kind of input is indeed valuable.

        As for Java Web Start client / Swing GUI – no, I haven’t seen tools to rename ESR / Integration Directory tool’s titles. I shall admit, I haven’t looked for them yet, as SID and instance name used to be present in the title – though not at the first place, but after longer generic name of the tool. So, if you have already developed a tool or technique that is capable of tweaking this, it shall be great to give a try to it.

        Looking forward to seeing your new developments and making use of them!

        Regards,

        Vadim

        •  I haven’t looked for them yet, as SID and instance name used to be present in the title […]

          That’s correct, but if you look at the screenshot in my last comment, you can see the problem. At least at my computer the generic name is that long, that it won’t be shown in the preview. So when having multiple windows open, I have to click through each to find the correct one, because it is impossible to get it at first sight from the previews. The right-side of the screenshot shows how it looks like, when the tool is used.

          Glad to hear, that you’re interested. So I’ll put it on my list for upcoming blog articles.

          Regards,
          Raffael