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Although this blog is aimed primarily at Basis consultants interested in performing the BW/4HANA Starter Add-On installation activities, it is also intended to appeal to a range of SAP consultants and customers interesting in getting a better understanding of the steps and effort involved in undertaking such activities.
Having said that, this is a more technically focused blog but I do not give step by step explanations on basic tasks such as unpacking SAR files and loading them into SAP.  Instead I try to offer some insight into unexpected issues and challenges that came up during the installation of the Add-On, so that you might avoid some of these pitfalls or at least be prepared for them when you come to perform your own installation of the BW/4HANA Starter Add-On.

Setting the Scene

Our BW system has undergone several significant changes prior to this migration project, including...

  • Migration from Sybase ASE to HANA.

  • Migration from on premise IBM Power hardware into the cloud onto an AWS instance.

  • Additional scale out nodes installed and configured.

This blog is the second of a three part series documenting the steps from BW 7.4 to BW/4HANA which includes

Installation of the BW/4HANA Starter Add-on (Blog Part 2)

I will cover the following areas in part 2 of this blog series...

  • About the BW/4HANA Starter Add-On

  • Before installing the BW/4HANA Starter Add-On

  • Downloading the Add-On

  • Generating the stack xml file

  • Installing the BW/4HANA Starter Add-On

About the BW/4HANA Starter Add-On

Applying the BW/4HANA Starter Add-on is just one route to a BW/4HANA system. Several blogs have been written detailing the paths to BW/4HANA. Rather than simply repeating this  information I have instead provided a couple of links that may be of interest to those looking into taking this next step...

There is also a very good (and free!) “BW/4HANA in a nutshell” course available from Open SAP which covers the migration options in a good level of detail...

We decided to go for the add-on installation option, primarily because we felt a good number of our customers would be likely to take this approach and we wanted to be able to offer experience and insight that would help them with their migration journey.

Some useful OSS Notes relating to the BW/4HANA Starter Add-on...
Note 2246699 - SAP BW/4HANA Starter Add-On pre-Requisites/Installation/De-Installation/Update
Note 2373204 - SAP BW/4HANA Starter Add-On: Various problems
Note 2189708 - SAP BW/4HANA Add-On Handling and Usage
Note 2347382 - SAP BW/4HANA – General Information (Installation, SAP HANA, …)

Before installing the BW/4HANA Starter Add-On

Before installing the BW/4HANA Starter Add-On, it is recommend you run the program RS_B4HANA_CHECK_ENABLE in SE38.  This checks the readiness of your system for a BW/4HANA conversion. In our case, a number of non-compatible objects were highlighted.
We decided to leave these objects as we wanted to see what happened to them after the add-on was installed.

Downloading the Add-on

Your first job is to find the software package to download.  The easiest way to find it is to use the search function in the SAP software download area…
If navigating the software download area, the package can also be found under Netweaver 7.5 and also SAP BW/4HANA.  This download contains the base add on and also a support pack. Remember you will only see software you are licensed for in the software download area.

Generating the stack xml file

The add-on is installed using transaction SAINT in your BW system and a stack xml file is required to proceed with the installation.
However when I went to generate a new stack xml file in the maintenance planner, I discovered the BW/4HANA Starter Add-On was not listed under the "Install or Maintain an Add-on" option...I raised a query with our Early Adopter support contact and I was directed to look elsewhere for the Add-On. Instead of selecting "Install or Maintain an Add-On" I was advised to select "Update SAP Netweaver", then 'SAP Netweaver 7.5' and the latest SP stack (which I already had installed), then 'SAP BW/4HANA Starter' was available for selection at the bottom of the list.

On the first run through of these steps I selected the "Plan a Conversion to SAP BW/4HANA" option on the following screen.   

However when loading the xml file into SAINT I got a message about a missing component.
So I went back and generated a new xml file without selecting any further options and this was accepted by SAINT with no issues.  My reasoning for this was that I didn't want to be introducing additional add-on's and potential conflicts at this point in the migration process. Keep it simple...
So in summary I generated a stack xml file in the maintenance planner tool with only the BW/4HANA starter add-on selected and SAINT was happy with this.

Installing the Add-On

The add-on is installed using transaction SAINT in your BW system.  You have to upload the stack xml file previously generated in the maintenance planner tool in order to continue with the installation.
You also have to upload the add-on into SAINT and the support pack into SPAM before the correct queue can be defined in SAINT.
Installation of the Add-On took only a few minutes to complete successfully.

Installation of the BW/4HANA Starter Add-on puts the system into 'compatibility mode'. What this actually means in reality and how we move on from there to a full BW/4HANA system is the subject of the final part of this blog series “Running the conversion process to deliver a BW/4HANA system (Blog Part 3)” which will be coming up soon, so watch this space…
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