It’s Day Three here in Amsterdam and I just wrapped up another session with Dr. Bjarne Berg. He shifted gears a bit from his two earlier dashboarding sessions, and focused entirely on the new release of SAP NetWeaver BW, version 7.3.
The session, titled “SAP NetWeaver BW 7.3: If, when, and how to upgrade,” packed the room. Berg kicked off the session by providing an overview of the new functionality available with the 7.3 release, including the new Administrative Cockpit capabilities, new Semantic Partition Object options, the HybridProvider and real-time data, faster data loads, and enhanced design capabilities.
Dr. Berg also spent some time discussing the new in-memory computing (probably the most popular topic throughout the week) functionality possible with 7.3, and also provided an overview of SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator, version 7.2. He explained how in-memory and the 7.2 release, when used side by side, can be leveraged for faster-than-ever data management and performance.
After exploring the functional side of things, Berg took a deeper dive into the best practices and technical considerations surrounding an upgrade to SAP NetWeaver BW 7.3. First things first, though, according to Berg: make sure all your resources are aligned before jumping into an upgrade unprepared. A solid upgrade team should consist of a technical team lead, a dedicated Basis resource, and a full-time technical reviewer/tester.
Here are a few of the more technical tips provided during the session:
Step 1: Planning the Upgrade and Getting Started
- Stop all Deamon Process - RSRDA
- Remove all temporary database objects - SAP_DROP_TMPTABLES
- Run the upgrade check – RSUPGRCHECK
- If you copied your system from Prod, check the storage – SECSTORE
- Make sure all objects and programs has a library entry – TLIBG
- Create an XML file for the new stack in Solution Manager
Step 2: Getting the Files Key You Need
- Select the update option for your system
- Select the stack you want to update (make sure you are connected)
- Select the target system you want to upgrade to (NW 7.3)
- Select all files for the operating system and database you have
- Select the files for the stack (all)
Step 3: Downloading the Files
- This may sound like a simple step, but some organizations may experience slow networks, internal network timeouts, or long waits depending on peak loads on their network
Step 4: The Lock Down and Preprocessing
- While technically you have not yet locked the system, configuration changes to process chains, InfoPackages, and queries are no longer possible after this step.
- The real lock-down of SAP NetWeaver BW takes place when the pre-processing step is complete. After this, the system is unavailable for users.
- There are many steps between these options. The best timing may be to complete all tasks from step 1 through 5 before Friday at 5 PM when you may be able to bring the system down. Make sure you do a system backup before you proceed to step 6!
As the talk continued, the conversation grew progressively more technical and detailed. One item though, at least for me, was made very clear throughout: SAP NetWeaver BW 7.3 offers a ton of new enhancements and optimized performance. Like all upgrades, though, you have to carefully plan and execute each and every step, and ensure you have a solid team to support your efforts. This theme was echoed in many sessions here at BI 2011 and, through content like Berg’s and the many networking opportunities SAPinsider offered here at the Rai, conference-goers shared real-world lessons that've helped this stick in the forefront of our upgrade-eager minds.