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SAP Screen Personas on the ABAP developer edition system

[If you are not an SAP customer or partner, and don’t have access to the download section of the SAP Support Launchpad, you might want to stop reading now to avoid disappointment! ]

I’ve installed several previous versions of the ABAP developer/trial systems over the years, but the hardware I’ve installed them on has always been marginal, or worse, and so I’ve never really managed to make a lot of use of the systems. The VM has always just sat there for a while mostly unused, and then finally been deleted because I needed the space.

Then this year’s edition came along, ABAP Platform 1909, Developer edition, and with even higher system requirements than before. But also this year I’m working at home and I happen to have in my home office the PC that I use to run Microsoft Flight Simulator. As an aside, I’m finding MSFS a really nice way to get out and explore the world at the moment, when doing that for real isn’t possible. For the last month or so I’ve been hopping from airport to airport up the West coast of the UK, from the Scilly Ilses in the South to Shetland in the North, and am now working my way back down the East coast.

Anyway, during the day that PC is sat idle, and because MSFS is pretty resource hungry itself it is a powerful enough machine to run the 1909 dev edition and be able to do useful things with it. So, when it became available I dutifully ran “docker pull…” to get the image and, a little while later started it up and I had a working system. The whole process was pretty painless. I then proceeded to rummage around, play with the Fiori Launchpad, connect up the Cloud Connector, build a Fiori Elements app in the Business Application Studio and even push that app to the dev system so that it ran locally. All good fun, but there was something missing. Those of you that know me will immediately know what that was (if the title of this blog post wasn’t a big enough clue:-) SAP Screen Personas. The 1909 dev system is basically the platform underneath S/4HANA 1909, and Personas runs happily in S/4 so surely it’ll run in the 1909 dev system too?

The short answer is, of course it does! If you happen to have access to the downloads section of the SAP Support Launchpad (you are a customer or partner) you can download the Personas installer and all the support packs (go to the “Downloads” section and search for “personas” to find everything you need), feed them into transaction SAINT, and off you go. Don’t forget the attribute change package or the install will fail the prerequisite checks. Run the usual Personas heath check function in the admin transaction to make sure everything is configured properly and all the ICF services are activated, and then off you go. To keep up to date with Personas client updates and other fixes you’ll need to configure SNOTE properly, which again you can do if you are a customer or partner. Then the note checker in the Personas admin transaction works too. That really is all there is to it. Installing Personas in the 1909 dev system is just the same as installing it in an ERP or S/4 system. For me, once I properly installed the attribute change package (which I didn’t get right the first time) everything went smoothly.

The ABAP developer edition is only the NetWeaver platform, obviously, so most of the ERP and S/4 business transactions you’d normally use Personas for are not there, but there are plenty of Basis and other transactions you can experiment on to learn the technology, which is what the developer edition system is for after all.

I also need to say there’s no support from SAP for running Personas this way in the 1909 developer system. If you can make it work, great. If you can’t, please don’t expect support from SAP for this. By all means if you have questions ask here and I’ll help if I can, and maybe others will too. But be prepared to be entirely self supported…

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