What Makes a Great Basis Administrator?

Basis Administrators are key to overall project success. Proper system administration provides stable systems and consistent support for your project. One of the key questions that companies face is what makes a great basis administrator? The following items are critical to basis administration success:

  • Technical expertise with NetWeaver platform
  • Understanding of technical operations for datacenter activities (OS, DB, SAN, network)
  • Ability to adapt to changing technology
  • Ability to problem solve and learn on the job

A great basis administrator must understand the different NetWeaver platforms, integration points, and how to support the multiple systems in a SAP landscape. The SAP landscape is becoming complex with multiple SAP systems, hybrid models for infrastructure components (e.g. Linux and Windows OS), and multiple Database technologies based on application dependency. The increased use and deployment of technologies like mobility, analytics, cloud computing, and in-memory-computing force a basis administrator to have a breadth of technical knowledge. The rapidly changing landscape also means basis administrators must be flexible and adapt to the changing infrastructure requirements. A great basis administrator has to support current technology while learning new technology. The ability to utilize core technical knowledge and apply that knowledge to emerging technologies is key to long-term success. Adapting to the shifting technical landscape and problem solving within this environment is critical to success.

DataXstream basis administrators understand the multiple aspects of system administration. We understand the technical details and ability to adapt to emerging technology. DataXstream basis administrators have real experience, with proven results.

Virtual Machines and Snapshots

Service packs. Kernel patches. New module releases. What do all of these have in common? Restore points and backups. Before we, as BASIS administrators, do any of these we have to make sure we have a recovery point so if anything should go haywire, we have a point of recovery. Usually it involves communicating with the database administrators, operating system administrators, and backup teams to leverage  the current backup technology.

If you are already a virtualization house, or are thinking about converting to be one, then you know about some of the new solutions available to you. The most basic, and most easily leveraged is that of the “snapshot”.

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Integrating NetWeaver Java stack with Microsoft Active Directory for User Authentication

Using this form of user authentication will alleviate headaches for you, the security team, and the end-user by reducing the number of user credentials and providing a central source of user names.

Basis and Security:  They are typically treated as opposite sides of the same coin. A lot of companies will put the two of them together under one technical lead. As Basis Administrators, we can’t help but pick up some security knowledge, even if we don’t want to. Part of the Basis/Security symbiotic relationship comes from Basis having to configure things for Security purposes. Centralized User Administration (CUA) is a great example of this. Basis configures the connections and the main CUA server, so that Security can have a single point of user and role administration for the ABAP stack.

What about Java? Java requires the same level of user administration, and, with Enterprise Portal using Employee Self Services/Manager Self Services (ESS/MSS), could possibly have the largest user base of any SAP instance in a company’s landscape. Should the security team be forced to manage users and groups on each individual instance? A perfectly good question to which we Basis administrators have an answer. In short, no.
The Java stack has the ability to tie directly into Active Directory (AD). We can set it as the source database for the User Management Engine and allow the Security team to assign roles based on AD groups. This will also alleviate some stress on the end-users by removing another set of credentials they have to remember.

The Java stack has the ability to tie directly into Active Directory (AD).  We can set it as the source database for the User Management Engine and allow the Security team to assign roles based on AD groups.  This will also alleviate some stress on the end-users by removing another set of credentials they have to remember.

The steps illustrated below assume a working understanding of structures in Active Directory and the options under “User Management” of the SAP Java Stack.

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SAP Tip Quick Hit: Location of saplogon.ini in Windows 7

Ugh.  I spent the last 10 minutes searching for saplogon.ini!!

I need to copy it to a Virtual Machine so I don’t have to type in all of the SAP system information.  As many of you know, SAP saves SAP Logon Pad entries in a file called saplogon.ini.  For many releases, this file resided in the C:\Windows directory.  Since Microsoft has began enforcing their improved security model, SAP has adapted and, therefore, moved the location of saplogon.ini to a directory that I can never seem to remember.  I have SAPGUI 7.20 running on Windows 7 (x64) and I find myself scouring my hard drive in search of saplogon.ini!  I have 38 versions of the file, but which is the right version? Don’t worry, I finally found the right one. But I have performed this search at least three times in the past year! I seem to never make a point to note the location of saplogon.ini.  I can’t be alone in this search.

So for future me and you, dear internet community, here is the location of saplogon.ini file in Windows 7 for SAPGUI 720:

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Web Dynpro Basics: Context and Binding

This is for those who are new to Web Dynpro programming. Here is an explanation of how to set up a Web Dynpro application using the context and binding the context to User Interface (UI) elements of the application. This is only a basic explanation to help set a foundation for understanding Web Dynpro programming. The 3 basic elements of a Web Dynpro application are windows, views and the context. The window is simply a container for a view. To assign a view to a window expand the views and windows under the section labeled ‘Object Name.’ Double click on a window and then drag and drop the view into the window. [Read more...]

SAP Data Migration – The Data Migration Plan (Part 2)

If you are responsible for the success of data migration, you will want to build a detailed plan that will walk you through all of the three phases of data migration: pre-data migration preparation, the data migration itself, and post-data migration cleanup.  I like my data migration plan to contain detailed steps that ensure that I don’t forget anything.  Each step lists a specific named responsible person along with their area of responsibility and contact information.  Unless I am responsible for executing the task myself, I prefer the named person to be a client employee (i.e. the business owner of the process) rather than a project consultant.    This is where the responsibility should be, and it requires that the business process owners actually participate in the activity rather than sit on the sidelines and watch.

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Coming Soon: SAP .NET Connector (NCo) 3.0

SAP is announcing a new version of SAP Connector for Microsoft .NET 3.0 (now called “NCo 3.0″). A beta program for selected customers and partners is currently underway (Q3, 2010) with the general release of the software coming soon thereafter.  I will highlight some of the major differences between the SAP Connector for Microsoft .NET 2.0 and NCo 3.0 (besides the obvious, and much-needed name-shortening).

EDITOR’S NOTE: NCo 3.0 has now been released.  Read more details here.

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Taxes and TemSe

Recently while supporting my current client, I was tasked with solving a rather puzzling issue an end user was experiencing. While using T-Code PU19, the user would receive:

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Command Line Driven Transporting Using the ‘tp’ Command

STMS is a very powerful transaction in the BASIS world.  The whole transport system in SAP is paramount to it’s functionality.  99% of the time, you will use STMS for your transport needs.  What of that last 1%?  Sometimes it becomes more efficient, or just safer, to have a little more manual control.

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Excel Returns Blank Workbooks in SAPGUI

Don’t you hate it when you’re trying to view a report as a spreadsheet in SAPGui and it returns a blank workbook?  The problem could be due a security settings inside of Excel that is preventing the data from being displayed.  It is real easy to fix.  Use the following instructions for your version Microsoft Office.

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