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What’s New in SAP ASE 16.0 SP04

SAP Adaptive Server Enterprise and SAP Replication Server 16.0 SP04 are now available for download from https://support.sap.com/swdc under ‘Support Package & Patches’.

With this on-premise release of SAP ASE 16.0 SP04, we focused on adding the following capabilities:

  • Extending Always-On (HADR) to support XA transactions during failover
  • Replacing Adobe Flash-based ASE Cockpit with Administration and Management Console (AMC)
  • Workload Analyzer Command Line Utility (WLACLIUtil) added capabilities
  • Extending read-only connection properties
  • JDBC 4.2 driver
  • Replicate session attributes
  • Audit records written to OS syslog vs. sybsecurity/sysaudits

We also worked on a lot of under-the-hood enhancements, etc. which can be found in SAPNote 2985445 and the release notes.

 

Extending Always-On (HADR) to support XA transactions during failover

This is an enhancement of the existing Always-On capability to support XA/Open transactions.  Previously the companion node would have no knowledge of an open XA transaction, if failover occurred while the transaction was open and before it was committed.

When XA transactions are executing within a replicated database in the HADR primary, all the commands including the prepare command will be sent to SRS in CI replication mode.  SRS handles the ‘prepare’ command as a normal command and discards it when the ‘commit’ or ‘rollback’ of the XA transaction is seen during the normal replication.
However, if a failover is happening and there are prepared XA transactions resident in the primary ASE, a drain XA transaction marker now triggers the prepare transactions to be applied to the companion ASE using the XA library with same XID.  This ensures the the same prepare XA transactions are presented to the new primary ASE (former companion) after the failover.

This required changes to the ASE transaction manager, among other components, to ignore the prepared XA transaction during failover while the (now former primary) ASE is being demoted to become the companion of the new primary, which completes the transaction.  This way XA transactions can now be fully replicated in the HADR topology to keep data consistent at both sites.

 

Replacing Adobe Flash-based ASE Cockpit with Administration and Management Console (AMC)

With the demise of Adobe Flash-based Graphical User Interface (GUI) applications, including ASE Cockpit (see SAPNote 2905660), we have developed a new, browser-based management interface – Administration and Management Console (AMC) – to replace the functionality provided by ASE Cockpit.

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AMC Home page

For this release, AMC and ASE Cockpit can be installed side-by-side, but ASE Cockpit now only runs as a server to provide monitoring and alerting, with no GUI (Flash) access.  To manage ASE Cockpit server functionality, please consult the Managing SAP ASE from the Command Line document for details on how to manage the ASE Cockpit server.

AMC is based on SAP’s own technology.  It will evolve to be a complete replacement for ASE Cockpit.

With SP04 GA, AMC is only available for installation on Windows and Linux platforms.  Other platforms will follow in a future release.

Please see the AMC – Administration and Management Console for SAP ASE documentation for more information.

 

Workload Analyzer Command Line Utility (WLACLIUtil) added capabilities

WLACLIUtil (see Workload Analyzer Users Guide) introduced in ASE 16.0 SP03PL07 has been enhanced to provide export of data from the WLA repository to Excel spreadsheets.

In addition, AMC’s WLA GUI capability (found under the ‘Configuration’ section in the picture above) uses the same core libraries as WLACLIUtil.  Once an ASE is licensed to use WLA both AMC or the WLACLIUtil can be used to manage capture and replay of workloads when connected to a repository.

Workload from other ASEs (ASE 15.7 SP137 and higher) captured as PCAP files with the ‘dbcc workload_capture’ command or ASE Cockpit can be imported into the repository using the WLACLIUtil ‘import’ command and then analyzed and played back using WLACLIUtil or AMC.

 

JDBC 4.2 Driver

I have to admit that this is not really new.  We introduced the JDBC 4.2 driver as jconn42.jar with ASE 16.0 SP03PL09, but it I wanted to mention it here.

The URL provided to the connection remains the same – either ‘jdbc:sap:Tds’ or ‘jdbc:sybase:Tds’, but for those wanting to use this driver and call the class directly instead of using the jdbc.sql.DriverManager.getDriver(<URL>), you need to use ‘com.sybase.jdbc42.jdbc.SybDriver’ as the jdbc.sql.Driver class.

For more information, the programming reference can be found at SAP jConnect for JDBC Programmers Reference.

Remember when upgrading any jConnect driver, the sp’s that must be installed in the target ASE as part of the jConnect update are also included in the installmaster for ASE 16.0 SP04 and well as in the $SYBASE/jConnect-16_0/sp folder.  So you can upgrade older ASE versions to use the new driver.

 

Extending read-only connection properties

This feature will allow clients to set a connection as ‘read-only’ at the session level.  When a connection is set as ‘read-only’, only select queries will be allowed, DML and DDL are not allowed.

For example, to set the connection to ‘read-only’ with the jConnect driver, you can do either:

  • set connection property CONNECT_READONLY to ‘true’ (default is ‘false’)

or

  • java.sql.Connection.setReadOnly(true|false)

The first example might be used to establish the initial setting for the connection.  The second example is dynamic and can be used to change the setting without reconnecting.

 

Replicate session attributes

When any of the session attributes ‘clientname’, ‘clientapplname’ and ‘clienthostname’ are set in a session executing a replicated transaction, they are sent to SAP Replication Server (SRS) both in LTL and CI replication modes.

New SRS function string variables allow them to also be used in user-defined function strings.

 

Audit records written to OS syslog vs. sybsecurity/sysaudits

This one is for Linux only, for those who want to deploy ASE 16.0 SP04 into a hyperscaler instead of on-premise.

ASE can be configured to send audit records directly to the OS syslog file instead of sending those records to table in the sybsecurity database.

This allows cloud administrators to see and act on audit issues immediately, without knowing how to use ASE itself.

 

More information and documentation links can be found in the What’s New document that accompanies this release.

This is the penultimate release of ASE before the upcoming release of the HANA Cloud ASE Service in Q1 2021 and confirms the commitment of SAP to both on-premise releases of ASE and a cloud-native ASE service.

 

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