Install SAP Web Dispatcher on Docker using SWMP

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SAP Web Dispatcher is an important component in a SAP landscape. While have been treated as optional for many years and found mainly in SAP Portal scenarios, with the increase adoption of Fiori, having a reverse proxy in the landscape is becoming pre-requisite. While it’s possible to choose from a wide range of alternatives of servers for a reverse proxy, SAP`s Web Dispatcher is normally always the best fit in a SAP landscape. A question that sometimes arises is how to install Web Dispatcher.

First you settle on what version of Web Dispatcher (WD) to install. SAP Note 908097 states that you should go for the latest version. “Version 7.49 is the recommended SAP Web Dispatcher version for all backend systems.”

The actual installation gives you two options:

  • easy and
  • recommended.

The easy alternative is to simply un-sapcar the WD SAR file downloaded from Service Marketplace into a directory. To run WD, it`s then just to bootstrap it or run it with a given profile file. This installation method gives you a up and running WD in just one minute. The problem is that the files are all in one directory and not in the “official” directory structure of a normal SAP installation. But you get something like a portable WD installation: zip the directory and you can copy it to another server and can run WD from there.

The recommended alternative ensures that the WD is installed like a normal SAP product: all files follow the normal directory structure, etc. Installation is done using SWPM. Important when you are going to do some advanced configuration like PSE encryption, CryptoLib installation, etc. I`ll try to show how to install SAP Web Dispatcher the recommended way.

Download software

Download the needed software. It`s SWPM, Web Dispatcher, SAPCAR and HOSTAGENT.

SWPM

SAP Web Dispatcher 7.49 PL 112

SAPCAR 7.21

SAP Host Agent 7.21

Result

After you have downloaded all software, you have four files, summing up to almost 900 MB.

In a Unix environment, your WD system won`t have a graphical user interface and access to the system is given by SSH. This kind of environment can perfectly be emulated using Docker. Note: the SAR files need to be copied over to the target host.

Docker

There are several Linux images available for Docker. Let`s use Debian for this.

docker pull debian

For the actual image, see my Docker setup for Web Dispatcher: Dockerfile and docker-compose.yml: https://github.com/tobiashofmann/docker_webdispatcher_swpm

After running the Docker image, you have the files on the Linux system up and running, the Web Dispatcher and sapinst files available. Web Dispatcher is not yet installed. This is done by using sapinst. To run the installation, you`ll have to connect to sapinst using a different computer (most cases: your laptop). Let`s call the Docker container the target, and your computer the client.

Logon

I use Kitematic and to log on to my docker container, I just click on the EXEC button.

Logon to Docker container:

The log on from shell, the command is something like this:

bash -c "clear && docker exec -it dockerwebdispatcher_web_1 sh"

Target

To work properly, sapinst must be started as root. You then connect to it and log on. The logon is done by default with the user id running sapinst. Problem is that with the Docker images you do not know the root password. Same for environments where root access is only provided to a few or via sudo. You need to enable sapinst to run as root, but allow a different user (like <sid>adm) to log on. You achieve this by providing a parameter to sapinst informing the OS user allowed to log on remotely. The process is then:

  • Run sapinst as root (or sudo)
  • Connect to it informing a OS user (wddadm)

Sapinst Parameters

The needed parameter can be retrieved by letting sapinst show all available parameters. More information available in SAP Note 1745524 and at SAPinst central note.

./sapinst –p

Run sapinst in Docker

Provide the <sid>adm user as a property to sapinst.

./sapinst --properties SAPINST_REMOTE_ACCESS_USER=wddadm -nogui

Confirm that you know what you are doing.

Client

Start sapinstgui and connect to the target server on port 21212.

./sapinstgui

Inform the host name or IP address. In my case, it is 192.168.0.16. The port is the default sapinst port 21212.

Accept the fingerprint. You can check the fingerprint with the one printed by sapinst on the target server to be extra sure you are connecting to the right server.

Authenticate. You`ll need to provide the user id and password of the user running sapinst on the target host. In my case, the user is wddadm with password whatever. This is defined in the Dockerfile when the user is created.

sapinst output in Docker:

Logon on using wddadm / whatever

After a successful logon, sapinst will start. Current setup is not supported by SAP. For a production case this is a no-go, for my personal use case this is totally acceptable.

Sapinst shows the list of installable software options available. Web Dispatcher can be found at the end of the list.

Selecting SAP Web Dispatcher will start the installation.

Inform the path on the target server where the SAR files for SAP Web Dispatcher and SAP Host Agent can be found.

The files were copied into the container during the execution of the Dockerfile. All files are located at /home/wddadm.

If all packages are found, validated and added as considered valid for the installation.

Debian in Docker for sure won`t pass all the pre-requirements check build into SWMP. You`ll get a warning message, but SWMP won`t stop the installation. Select No. Seems that inside Docker, checking for the available free space is not working correctly.

Web Dispatcher configuration

Bootstrapping

Don’t worry, the system must not be accessible, yet exist. It’s just informing the bootstrap parameters. In my case, I am using a system that is not available, and it worked. Just be aware that in case the backend system changes, or isn’t even a ABAP system, like SMP3, you need to configure the Web Dispatcher profile manually.

Confirmation

Installation

The last step is to start Web Dispatcher. You can follow this on the console log of sapinst on the target server

If all worked, you get a confirmation message and the installation finishes.

SAPinst on the client host ends and so does it on the target host.

Validate installation

This gives you the time to validate the installation and check if all files are correctly installed.

Users

A new user sapadm was created

Folders

Web Dispatcher is installed under /sapmnt and instance is found in folder /usr/sap

This is perfectly aligned with the default locations of a SAP instance, and way better than simply putting all files into the same folder when unzipping the SAR. Especially when you consider that you may have to open a CSS ticket to SAP in your production environment or have new consultants arriving that expect the files to be located at the default location.

SAP Host Agent

The host agent was started and is running.

Start and stop Web Dispatcher

Starting and stopping Web Dispatcher via stopsap and startsap is working

stopsap

startsap

Admin web interface

The admin port of Web Dispatcher is listening by default on port 44300.

To access the service, the URL is

https://localhost:44300/sap/wdisp/admin/public/default.html

Log on to Web Dispatcher using the user webadm and password informed during installation.

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SAPInst error java.net.InetAddress.getHostAddress

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SAPinst is used to install SAP software. You can run the installation with its graphical user interface (GUI) directly on the target host, or use a remote installation. Remote installation is normally used when the target host offers no GUI and all work is done via remote logon, like SSH. In such a setup, on the target host sapinst is started in server mode, and on the admin laptop, sapinst is started in with a GUI. The admin then connects to the target and executes the installation of SAP software remotely.

Error: java.net.InetAddress.getHostAddress

The setup to reproduce the error is to have sapinst running on a target host and listening on the default port 21212 and connecting to this instance using sapinstgui.

Setup target host

Start sapinst on the target host:

./sapinst -nogui

Setup client host

Start sapinst in GUI mode: ./sapinstgui Inform the target host (computername or IP)

Accept the fingerprint.

Error

Sapinstgui hangs and is not advancing to the next screen. The status bar shows that it`s connected:

On the target server, sapinst gives this error message:

java.lang.NullPointerException: while trying to invoke the method java.net.InetAddress.getHostAddress() of a null object loaded from field com.sap.sdt.util.misc.Uid.address of an object loaded from local variable 'this'

Solution

To solve this error, a configuration on the client computer is needed. While not obvious, the error is caused by a misconfiguration of the client DNS resolution. Easiest solution is to manually change the hosts file and to ensure that the client computer name is listed. To find out the computers host name, run hostname.

hostname

In my case, the host name is linux-01sn.

Example: wrong hosts file

The host name is not listed in the hosts file. To correct this, insert the hostname for instance to localhost.

Example: working hosts file

Test

To see if sapinstgui can now connect to the target server without error, restart sapinstgui. After connecting to sapinst server, you`ll get the authentication screen.

sapinst output on target host:

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Personas 3.0 SP4 post-installation tasks

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After installing Personas 3.0 SP4, you have to do some additional tasks in your system to really enjoy the power of Personas 3.0. These steps are outlined in the release note 2376426, as well in the note 2383296 and 2376427. Both SAP Note are going to be uploaded manually to my NetWeaver system, as I do not have a connection to SAP. You can follow the steps my other blog on how to do this.

Required post-installation corrections

First apply note SAP Note 2383295: SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP04: Required post-installation corrections. Download the SAP Note and upload it to your system via SNOTE.

The status of the note: can be implemented. The note will implement four corrections.

Lot of changes going to happen.

After executing this, the SAP Note is implemented.

Update of client source files

Next note to apply is 2376427 – SAP Screen Personas 3.0 SP04: Update of Client Sources Files. Download the SAP Note and upload it to your system via SNOTE.

The status of the note: can be implemented. Confirm the changes the note will apply.

The note was successfully implemented.

Test

Access https://<server>:<port>/sap/bc/personas

Pressing ALT or Option (Mac), I can see now the keyboard shortcuts.

Instant script feature.

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Install Personas 3.0 SP4

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Pre-requisites

Check that Personas 3 add-on and is already installed. SP04 is a support package, therefore SPAM is used to install it. SP4 needs SPAM with patch 63 in NetWeaver 7.5. Ensure to update first your SPAM to the right version. See my other blog on how to update SPAM. Before you can update, check that there are not objects locked in a transport request.

Update

  • Transaction: SPAM
  • Client: 000
  • User: user with right permissions

Check that SPAM status is green and no queue is defined.

Upload SAR file: Support Package -> Load packages -> From Front End

Decompress.

Check the uploaded package. Select new support package under directory and then display.

The status needs to be yellow (not yet imported) and the perquisite set 01 all must be green and ok.

Select the package and click on Queue to define a new queue.

This SP04 is not protected with a password.

Select No. This brings you back to SPAM main screen. The status is now yellow and next action is given as import queue.

Import queue. Go to: Support Package -> Import queue.

You can now go get a coffee or follow the status messages in the status bar.

At the end of the import, a dialog is shown. It should be a nice “success!!” dialog, I got this:

What happened is that I applied a Personas 3 note that changed some standard objects. The dialog is SAP’s polite reminder to check if I want to keep these changes or discard them and let Personas 3 SP03 overwrite them. I want to not keep them and let Personas 3 use its own repository objects, so I selected continue. At the end you’ll see a short walk through what you should do (analyse the stuff, etc), although this isn’t possible in my demo system, as I do not have a SAP Note connection – something needed to run the validation.

Status is now: Confirm queue