SAP has been offering products on the basis of JavaEE technology already for a couple of years. There are applications that require both ABAP and Java, so that in many cases an Application Server with both an ABAP and a Java engine is required. This setup is often referred to as a dual-stack installation. SAP NetWeaver XI/PI is a prominent example of such dual-stack applications. With the ramp-up start of SAP NetWeaver PI 7.10, customers of previous releases are thinking about a release upgrade.
For SAP NetWeaver release 7.10 and higher, as well as for all solutions on top of it, SAP provides a new upgrade tool which differs significantly from the previous release upgrade procedures. Let me introduce you the most substantial changes and improvements:
First of all, the well-proven system switch upgrade is now also available for Java upgrades. The system switch upgrade technology was initially invented for ABAP-based systems which essentially reduces the downtime required during the upgrade. From now on, the upgrade tool implements the same concept for Java-based systems. During the upgrade, a shadow system of the target release is established correspondingly to the original Java system. In the shadow system, the majority of the upgrade tasks, for example data migration, can be done, while the source system is remaining in productive operation.
Later, when all tasks that can be performed during the uptime have been finished, a system switch can take place. During the system switch the productive source system will naturally be stopped. The systems change their roles. The shadow system becomes the active system and the original system will be destroyed afterwards. After the system switch, the remaining upgrade tasks (which make up a small portion of the entire upgrade) have to be performed during the downtime in order to complete the upgrade.
The other significant change worth a mention is the integrated graphical user interface. In the past, ABAP and Java upgrades are conducted by two separate tools. In case of a dual-stack upgrade, one has to run both programs in parallel. Besides, although a great portion of parameters to be set during the upgrade are common to both procedures, one has to enter them separately.
With the integrated GUI, one has only to start a unified upgrade program. The program automatically figures out the setup of the underlying system to be upgraded and start the procedures for ABAP and Java appropriately. In case of a dual-stack system, the upgrade procedures will be started in the background. The user has to enter the parameters that are common to both upgrade procedures only once. The upgrade GUI only prompts you to enter the Java-specific parameters when necessary.
During the entire preparation and upgrade, both procedures perform the relevant tasks simultaneously. At certain points of the entire upgrade, a synchronization of both procedures is necessary. The integrated upgrade tool coordinates the synchronization silently. There is no human intervention needed at all.
For you to get a better insight of the new upgrade tool, I prepared a demo video. Although the demo is conducted with the example of an SAP NetWeaver PI system, please note, the upgrade tool will be available for release upgrades of all SAP products based on SAP NetWeaver 7.10 and higher.