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Recently I attended SAP expert call webinar on Upgrade/Migration strategy for custom developments to NW portal 7.30. It was one of the best webinars I have attended this year. I am not sure if the presentation is made available publically but I'd like to share some of the points from the discussion.

To upgrade or to migrate, what is available?

As far as web application server is concerned, for version 6.40 and 7.0 there was no upgrade available for CE 7.1, 7.1 EhP & 7.2. You had to migrate your developments specifically. However, from NW 7.30 server upgrade is available along with project migration. For CE 7.1, 7.1 EhP & 7.2, server upgrade is available anyway.

How is upgrade performed?

There is a std. tool provided by SAP called as SAP-JUP (SAP Java Upgrade Tool). It takes care of entire upgrade process of its own. Some of the steps involved in upgrade are as follows:

Initialization, Extraction, Configuration, Checks, Pre-process, Downtime, Post-processing & Finalize. Here the process starts with initialization of upgrade followed by extraction of required software components and necessary system level checks. During the pre-process a tool called as Migration Controller creates a shadow system which is a replica of your existing production system. It performs all upgrade related operations on shadow system while your production system continues to serve. This mean there is nearly zero downtime when you're upgrading to 7.3. Once all operations related to upgrade such as upgrade of software components, new installations etc. are done, it performs a schema switch. During this time, your production server is taken down and shadow system is pushed over the production and later shadow system is removed. And you're done :)  

Following is upgrade/migrate availability table for NW 7.30

Version ↓

WebDynpro Java

CAF

Visual Composer

Guided Procedure

J2EE

Business Process Management

6.40

    Migrate

X

           X

             X

Y

                      X

7.0

    Migrate

Migrate

           Y

             Y

Y

                      X

7.1

         Y

Y

           Y

             Y

Y

                      X

7.1 EhP

         Y

Y

           Y

             Y

Y

                      Y

7.2

         Y

Y

           Y

             Y

Y

                      Y

Legend:

Migrate - No upgrade available, you have to migrate

X - Not available

Y - Upgrade is available

As you can see, if you've webDynpro Java developments are on any of the 6.40 or 7.0 versions, you have to migrate them to 7.30 manually. The procedure is as follows: Beore you read any further, this process only support DC components. If you've a local development then you've to convert it to DC. 

  • Copy the content (WDJ DCs) from 6.40 or 7.0 workspace to new 7.3 workspace
  • Sync. the configuration in NWDS and then create a project from your newly available 6.40 or 7.0 DC.
  • While creating the project, NWDS detects that development is not from 7.3 platform and asks you if it should migrate the contents.
  • Select Yes

It is worth mentioning here that the source code compatibility is available for WDJ. However, there is no binary compatibility. That's why we have to re-compile and re-deploy the project. Also, if you have noticed, we are using the same NWDI for the above mentioned process. That means we don't really have to upgrade NWDI server to support 7.3 developments. However, while creating track, we have to make sure that we are using required dependencies and used SDK is J2EE 1.4 as NW 7.3 supports both J2EE 1.4 and Java EE 5.

 Note: It was also mentioned during the discussion that SAP does not recommend WDJ migration by default. Unless you want to have to perform project maintenance or make use of new features, you should not migrate to 7.3. As there is runtime compatibility available, your projects will continue to run smoothly on 7.3