This blog contains experience gained over the years of implementing (and de-implementing) large scale IT applications/software.

When SLES for SAP is not SLES for SAP

I recently downloaded and installed “SUSE Enterprise Linux for SAP 12 SP3” into a local virtual machine.
It seemed to contain everything that I thought it would contain with regards to included SAP Linux packages.

Noteable were the following in my local VM:

# which saptune
# rpm -qa | grep sap
# cat /etc/os-release
PRETTY_NAME=”SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP3″
# uname -a
Linux hana01 4.4.73-7-default #1 SMP Fri Jul 21 13:26:40 UTC 2017 (6beeafd) x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

All looks good to me.

I then created an Azure hosted virtual machine using the image “SLES for SAP 12 SP3 (BYOS)”:


The Azure VM seems to be missing a lot of the packages that I would expect to be in place:

# which saptune
which: no saptune in (/sbin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/sbin:/root/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/lib/mit/bin)
# rpm -qa | grep sap
# cat /etc/os-release
PRETTY_NAME=”SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP3″
# uname -a
Linux hana01 4.4.82-6.3-default #1 SMP Mon Aug 14 14:14:02 UTC 2017 (4c72484) x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Notice also that the Kernel release is slightly newer on the Azure image, plus the version of the sapconf package is slightly newer.
The most important point is that the Azure image is missing the saptune package.
This is important as it is a method presented in numerous SAP notes for automatically applying the recommended O/S settings (that’s right, they don’t all get applied out-of-the-box).

SAP Kernel to EXT or not to EXT…

Scenario: You’re at the point where you are installing a new system and your choice of Kernel is down to the EXT version or the non-EXT version.  Which version should you use?

The difference between the EXT version of a Kernel and the non-EXT version of a Kernel, is simply down to the version of the compiler and compilation Operating System used by SAP to compile the Kernel binaries.

As an example, the 7.21 kernel could be compiled on Windows 2003 Server, using the Visual Studio 2010 compiler.
The 7.20EXT kernel could be compiled on Windows 2003 Server, using the Visual Studio 2012 compiler.

The difference is all about the compilation environment, and nothing to do with functionality.  Or is it…
If you look at SAP note 1926209 – “Questions on subjects of 7.20/7.21 EXT kernel and C/C++ runtime“, this would seem to be the case.
However, read SAP notes 1756204 – “Activate fast polling”  and 1728283 – “SAP Kernel 721: General Information” , you will see that it seems to suggest that SAP can and will change the functionality between an EXT and non-EXT kernel (7.21 is used as the example here).
So, be wary and always read up about the benefits of each Kernel, whether EXT or not.

Finding Your SAP F&R Version

The Forecasting & Replenishment offering from SAP runs on SAP SCM.
SAP originally bought the F&R binary calculation engine from a Swiss company called SAF.  This was integrated to the SCM platform and is called through an RFC connection.

If you’re planning an upgrade you need to easily identify which version you’re running.

There are two areas to check:
– The SAP SCM version.
– The SAF (FRP) binary version.

Check in SPAM (or in SAP GUI, System -> Status -> Component Version) for the SAP SCM Server version.

Note that:
SCM 7.02 (EHP 2) = F&R 5.2.
SCM 7.01 (EHP 1) = F&R 5.1.

Checking the SAF binary must be done at the operating system level.
The usual location is either “/usr/sap/<SID>/SYS/global/frp/bin” or “/usr/sap/<SID>/FRP/bin”.

As the <sid>adm user simply call the “safcnfg” binary with the “-version” command line option:

SAP F&R SAF binary version  

See SAP note 1487615 for details on where to find FRP binary patches.

Finally, you should note that SAP SCM is itself a Business Suite software package like SAP ERP.  Therefore, it is not classed as a HUB or Sidecar landscape pattern, but instead, a source business system.  This means that there is no real dependency link to the SAP ERP version (providing you’re on the same technology platform level e.g. 7.31). 
You do need to consider that the interface from ERP to F&R may need some notes applying, some of which may be better implemented through an SPS upgrade instead of notes upon notes. 

See application component SCM-FRE-ERP.

HowTo: Check SAP SUM Version Without Executing

Scenario: You have extracted, or previously used and subsequently found, a SUM directory on your SAP system.
This is production and you don’t want to start SUM on this system.
You want to know what version of SUM it is.

You can check the file for the SUM version without needing to start SUM:


> more
Manifest-Version: 1.0
keyname: SUM
keylocation: SAP AG
os: NTAMD64
compilation mode: UNICODE
compiled for: 64 BIT
release: 1.0
support package: 7
patch number: 2

native branch: lmt_008
java branch: lmtj_008_REL
assembly time: 2013-05-13 05:10:16
pack version: 22
pack tool version: 1.042

You are interested in the lines:
“release”, “support package” and “patch number”.

The example above is therefore SUM 1.0 SP07 patch 2.