SAP Solution Manager 7.1: What's all the fuss about?

1 December 2011

Richard Labib

Richard Labib

Consultant

So all the ALM and SolMan Guru's have been watching with baited breath whilst SAP develop 7.1, move through the ramp-up process, and release it to the world. Well it's here now and since August when it was taken off ramp-up, the industry has been lapping it up.

I've personally been waiting for years and getting frustrated whilst the release date was delayed, but was it worth the wait.

At Bluefin Solutions we've taken the plunge and implemented SAP Solution Manager 7.1 and whilst the implementation and configuration process can only be described as "FUN", it has been worth the wait. So whilst Bluefin moves through its SAP Solution Manager journey I thought I'd blog about our findings and experiences.

My first experience has been around the new Business Process Blueprint Tool, so in this blog I'll cover the installation process and some tips for all to follow.

What is the Business Process Blueprint tool?

Simply put, the BPB tool enables you to model a business process in SAP Solution Manager in the same way you'd model a business process with a flow charting tool. BPB uses Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN) and is therefore very simple to use.

In SOLAR01 we can create our process structure using the Business Process Repository, and in the BPB Tool we can model a business process.  For example in Figure 1 we have a business process in SOLAR01, and in figure 2 we have the same business process visualised in the BPB Tool.

Figure 1

SAPSolutionManager7.1 - Image 1

Figure 2

SAPSolutionManager7.1 - Image 2


This is a new tool from SAP, and as with all new tools, it will go through a process of refinement. For some early adopters the installation process is a little frustrating. So what are the things to watch out for?

The install process

When I first tried to install the BPB tool I followed the administration guide on the Service Marketplace, and like many others struggled with some errors.

Tip 1 - Make sure you activate HTTPS!  This was a confusing issue because you can define if the communication method between Solution Manager and the Solution Composer Add-on is HTTP or HTTPS, so even if you do not use HTTPS the system will still check that it is active. If HTTPS is not active you will see an error when you try to open the SetUp URL for the Business Process Blueprint Server Administration page.  The error simply identifies that there is "NO_ACTIVE_PLUGIN". So to avoid this error just active HTTPS before you start the install process.

Next you should be able to follow the guide. I am not going to retype the guide, but on a high level you will need to:

  • Create end points in Solution Manager for...
    • a. BsiProjectDirectoryInterface
    • b. BsiSmsyInterface
  • Create external aliases in Solution Manager for...
    • /ebb
    • /solmanbprinterface
  • Create a HTTP RFC destination from Solution Manager to the Solution Composer (give the interface user the correct authorisations)
  • 4. Create logical ports in Solution Manager for...
    • /SOCO/CO_BSI_PROJECT_DIRECTORYINTERFACE
    • /SOCO/CO_BSI_SMSY_INTERFACE

Once you're through this you get to the point where you will see if you get the dreaded "NO_ACTIVE_PLUGIN" error. So next you need to prepare for installing the BPB Tool.

Open the URL for the Business Process Blueprint server administration page and create a workspace.  When you create a workspace you need to download a configuration file.  This file tells the local BPB tool what the connection details are for the Solution Manager system you want to connect to.

SAPSolutionManager7.1 - Image 3


Once you have the file save it to your desktop and go to the Service Marketplace to download the BPB Tool interface. 

Tip 2 - In the service marketplace you need to download the BPB Tool, but it can be a little difficult to find.  Go to the search for installation sections and search for BPB*, as shown below:

SAPSolutionManager7.1 - Image 4


In the search results there are two hyperlinks. One hyperlink will allow you to download a SAR file and the other will download a ZIP file.  To make life easier download the ZIP file by clicking the correct link.

SAPSolutionManager7.1 - Image 5


Once you have downloaded the BPB Tool ZIP file follow the installation wizard. You can find this by navigating through the ZIP to the BPBTOOL00_0.EXE file.

SAPSolutionManager7.1 - Image 6


Once the application is installed the rest is plain sailing.  So if you remember to active HTTPS in SolMan before you start the install process, and you make sure you download the correct BPB file you should be able to have a fast install process.

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