Wednesday, February 21, 2007

This is good one :-)

Hi, this is totally out off topic post. I've found very good blog. If you need to switch off your brain for a minute try check this out:

Have fun.

Friday, February 16, 2007

SAP GUI for Windows 7.10

On 5th of February 2007 new version of SAP GUI for WINDOWS has been introduced. As I mentioned in my article called Short history of SAP GUI you need this version of SAP GUI to access SAP systems based on “SAP Web Application Server 7.10 / NW Application Server 7.10”.

A list of SAP GUI for WIN versions as a prerequisite for accessing SAP functionality in systems based on SAP WAS:

  • SAP GUI Win 6.20 with all SAP systems up to and including systems based on WAS 7.00 (with the exceptions being BI 7.0 and SCM 5.0 systems).
  • SAP GUI for Win 6.40 with all SAP systems up to and including systems based on WAS 7.00.
  • SAP GUI for Win 7.10 with all SAP systems up to and including systems based on WAS 7.10.
  • You can not use SAP GUI for Win 6.20 or 6.40 SAP systems based on WAS 7.10.

You can obtain this version of SAP GUI via SAP service support portal. Then navigate yourself to downloads area->Installations and Upgrades->SAP Frontend Components->SAP GUI FOR WINDOWS-> SAP GUI FOR WINDOWS 7.10 CORE. Put two following components put to your download basket:

50083078_4 NW 2004s Presentation - 7.10 Compilation 1 Present. 1/2 379566 kB – contains main executable files

50083078_5 NW 2004s Presentation - 7.10 Compilation 1 Present. 2/2 210375 kB – contains SAP GUI for the Java Environment Release 7.00 rev 2

Right after that you can start with the downloading it via SAP Download Manager:

Version 7.10 of SAP GUI comes with following new components:

  • SAP web dynpro Active Component Framework (ACF) - framework to integrate Active Components (ActiveX / Java Applets) into the Web dynpro. It is not a generic framework that allows integrating any component available into web dynpro. Instead, for every component that should be integrated into Web Dynpro there must be a specific adapter which in turn uses the ACF services. At the present there are two supported Components:
    • Office Integration
    • Adobe Integration

In the case of windows the adapters are written as ActiveXs. These ActiveXs can be installed onto the end user PC via an installation program "xACF.exe" provided by SAP.

  • BI pre calculation service for MS Excel – you can install BI frontend as a standalone.
  • SAPSprint – server-based printing on Windows (formerly SAPLPD)
  • SAP GUI Screen Reader Extension – an interface allows a screen reader to access the SAP GUI object model at runtime and select the required information for speech and Braille output. It is based on SAP GUI Scripting API.

I selected a standard installation of GUI therefore I started:

X:\NW_2004s_Presentation\PRES1\GUI\WINDOWS\WIN32\SapGuiSetup.exe from first file 50083078_4. Here’s a selection of GUI components:

If you have used older version of GUI installed on your computer already you don’t need to de-install it first. Setup program will do this automatically.

Some of new features:

· In case GUI was installed from an installation server users have the possibility to enable automatic update from this server.

· System tabstrip of SAP Logon pad has a new popup window with tabstrips:

As well as a wizard for new shortcut to SAP system creation.

New frontend editor for ABAP programming. Is integrated to ABAP workbench (TA: SE*), SE38, SE37, SE24). Its new user interfaces and is completely customizable. Frontend editor integrates all modern code editing features like: code hints, code completion, . It is a universal programming tool and works with most programming languages with defined syntax schema, such as ABAP, eCATT, BSP and so on. It is fast, flexible and easy to use. Is available with SAP GUI for Windows 6.40 Patch level 10 or higher however, you need SAP system using NetWeaver 2004s since basis version 700 - SAP Application Server 7.0.

  • New debugger – has a high volume of new and known functions that can be called using menus or icons. It requires an additional external session where it runs. By usage of this session has certain handling advantages as well as advantages with regard to resource consumption. It is possible to process an unlimited number of data objects simultaneously and their visibility depends only on size of screen.

Have fun with new SAP GUI :-)

Friday, February 2, 2007

SAP Active Global Support (AGS)

Have you ever created SAP OSS message and wondering how it has been processed? Have you been surprised when your message has been marked as “Send to SAP” then answered from somebody from Germany then set back to “Customer action” after you replied message was transferred to some other SAP support site at different continent because in Germany was nigh time?

So let’s image. It is Friday’s afternoon and you can’t wait for weekend to begin. Some SAP function people raised an issue, it looks like that it requires immediate attention of SAP. You raise “Very high” priority message on OSS. Message comes to AGS center which belongs to your region. Within the SAP AG group Active Global Support centers are organized in Global Support Centers (GSC). Most likely your customer message comes to GSC Ireland, in Dublin. This centre handles following regions: northern and central Europe and North America. Dublin’s GSC is a part of Primary Support this includes: GSC Austria for the German speaking countries, GSC Spain for southern Europe and Latin America, as well other units in Asia and Australia as well. Particular person in GSC responsible for the SAP module/component to which is your message related starts to process your message proceeding. As a first task this person controls completeness of your message like: component, priority, etc. Once very high message is received person makes phone call to customer and inform him about receiving and starting processing of message. As a part of message solving person analyze an issue, looks for relevant SAP notes which solves this issue if it is already known, search in knowledge base where similar problems are tracked, connects to customer SAP system via remote connection (you as a customer must enable this connection on SAP service portal) in order to reproduce the issue live in the system, seek up error in program via debugger, trying to adjust SAP standard coding to fix problem. If person is unable to resolve the problem because it as very application specific related to some sub module of SAP software message just will be rerouted to relevant support group which pays an attention to specific sub module to some Centers of Expertise (CoE) e.g. at Walldorf in Germany, Philadelphia USA. CoEs are involved in deep problem analyzing of very high customer messages. Application specialist in Walldorf analysis an issue and consider to change of coding. He needs to discus this issue with development specialist who directly developing particular functionality of SAP sub module. They contact each other through CoE chat room. Because of time – remember it is lately Friday’s afternoon they just agree on resolution – there must be change of coding. Physically change will be done by another colleague from India’s support centre. SAP is accompanying “follow the sun” principle.

The principle is based on exploiting the time difference between the GSC sites to extend services during times when a local site is closed. It takes place 3 times a day:

  • afternoon: Walldorf -> Philadelphia
  • night: from Philadelphia to India
  • next morning: India -> Walldorf

By usage of this principle SAP can assure that new messages processed/received 24x7 without interruption regardless of where the customer is located.

Colleague from Dublin and Philadelphia are gone home for weekend. India processor of message is implementing the change. He issues new SAP note with the solution of this particular problem. Customer is informed about this solution immediately via service support portal. This is only one particular example of customer message solving. A lot of different scenarios may happen in all kinds of computer problems. In such a cases SAP is suppose to cooperating with all involved/affected parties (hardware, operating system and database vendors) very closely in order to solve the issue.

SAP AGS organization is taking care of around 20.000 SAP customers with 64.500 SAP software installations across six continents. There are over 2.000 employees involved, over 40 countries and 6.000 developers serve as a backend. Their workload consists of solving more then: 800.000 customer messages per year, 34.000 service sessions (GoingLive Check, EarlyWatch Check), 1.500 onsite services (Safeguarding and Optimalization Services).

I think SAP support came a long way and the procedures and processes within are quite matured. A lot of SAP application management companies may take an insight to SAP AG’s AGS and take lessons learned.

There’s a nice blog related to SAP support topic at Homepage of SAP AGS is here.

In addition, here’s SAP’s classification of customer messages:

  • Very high - This priority is reserved exclusively for situations in which you production system is down or you intend to go live very soon and this issue will prevent your production system from going live.
  • High - Used for situations where there is a severe functionality loss but the system remains operational and processing can continue.
  • Medium - A program or functionality error has occurred but processing can still continue, or a non-business critical function is not performing properly.
  • Low - Request for service or information or a problem has been identified. Minor impact.