How to create a portal system for use in Visual Composer

This blog post walks through the system requirements, how to create portal systems (including for BAPI/RFC), how to handle load balancing and how to handle BI queries.

In my first SDN blog, I wrote about using the ABAP RFC function modules in SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer and how to solve issues. There was a comment in my first blog that asked how to add a system in the portal system landscape for using ABAP RFCs resp. BAPI in Visual Composer. There were also similar questions in the Visual Composer Forum. I decided to write this blog about creating portal systems.

Table of Contents
System requirements
Creating a Portal System for BAPI/RFC
Creating a SAP system with load balancing for BAPI/RFC
Creating a SAP system using dedicated application server for BAPI/RFC
Creating a portal system for BI Queries

System requirements

SAP NetWeaver 2004s BI SP08 or higher
SAP NetWeaver 2004s EP SP08 or higher
Internet Explorer 6 SP2 with flash plugin
MSXML Parser 4
Adobe SVG Viewer 3

Creating a Portal System for BAPI/RFC

First of all, you have to decide which system you need. Do you need a "SAP system using a dedicated application server" or do you need a "SAP system with load balancing"? If you are not sure which system you need, then ask your Basis administrator. As a rough guide, you can say that you use "SAP system with load balancing" when you have more than one application server. I think in most cases that if you have only one application server for your development, so you usually use "SAP system using a dedicated application server". I will explain the settings for both.

Creating a SAP system with load balancing for BAPI/RFC

I begin with the "SAP system with load balancing". You have to log in to your portal and thus need the credentials for creating a portal system. Then go to the System Administration and choose System Configuration in the second level navigation. Now you can browse through the Portal Content Directory. There should be a folder called Visual Composer. In this folder you must create your system, because we want to use the system in our Visual Composer application. I recommend that to add a subfolder called Systems for all your Visual Composer systems, because then it's better to keep track of the Visual Composer systems. When you have created the subfolder, then you can create your first system into this subfolder. Right-click on the subfolder Systems, then choose New and then System (from template).

Template Selection
Figure 1: Template Selection

Select the template SAP system with load balancing.

In the next step, you have to enter System Name, System ID and if you want, you can enter a description for your system. You also have to choose the master language. In our case, we call our system SDN_BLOG_BAPI.

Enter the General Properties of the system
Figure 2: Enter the General Properties of the system

In the next step, you get a summary of your settings, if they are correct go on by clicking on the Finish button.

Summary of the settings
Figure 3: Summary of the settings

After finishing the basic setting, you have to edit your object setting. Therefore, choose Open the object for editing and confirm your choice by clicking on the OK button.

Editing the object
Figure 4: Editing the object

First you have to enter the settings for the Connector. Therefore you have to navigate to the connector settings via the Property Category dropdown field. Choose the entry Connector in the Property Category.

Navigate via Property Category dropdown field
Figure 5: Navigate via Property Category dropdown field

In the following table, I explain the fields of the Connector Property and how you get the needed information from your backend system.

Property Description
Group Here you have to enter your logon group. The logon groups PUBLIC and SPACE should always be set in your backend system by your Basis administrator. You can maintain the logon groups with the transaction SMLG.
Logical System Name Here you have to enter the logical system name of your central system. SAP recommendw the following notation: <SAP system ID>CLNT<client>
For example you have a central development system called Erinome with the Alias CB0 and the client 100 then you have a logical system name CB0CLNT100.
Message Server Here you have to enter the complete DNS name of your central system, e.g. erinome.ibsolution.local is the message server for the IBSolution development system.
If you are not sure, you can use the transaction SMICM (Goto -> Parameters -> Display) to get your DNS name of your central instance.
Remote-Host Type Here you have to choose 3 for R/3 system.
SAP Client Here you have to enter your client of your system, e.g. for the IBSolution development system Erinome, it's 100.
SAP System ID (SID) Here you have to enter your SAP System ID, e.g. for the IBSolution development system Erinome, it's CB0.
Server Port Here you have to enter the port of your application server. By default this is 80<SAP System ID>. But your Basis administrator can modify this setting; that's why you should check it in the transaction SMICM (Goto -> Parameters -> Display). For example the IBSolution Development System Erinome the port is 8000.
You can also have a look into your services file on your machine. If you have a windows machine then the file exists e.g. here C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\drivers\\etc\\services
In this file, you should search a entry like sapms<SAP System ID>.
SNC Library Path
SNC Mode
SNC Name
SNC Partner Name
SNC QOP (Security Level)
These are settings for the SAP Secure Network Communications. For our example this is not necessary.
System Type Here you have to choose SAP_R3, because BAPI/RFC is typical for R/3.
Trace Mode Choose 0 for disable RFC traces.

After finishing the Connector settings, go to the User Management settings.

User Management
Figure 6: User Management

If your system uses Business Explorer, then you have to choose SAPLOGONTICKET for the Logon Method and SAP Logon Ticket for the Authentication Ticket Type and admin,user for User Mapping Type. If you choose UIDPWD for the Logon Method, then you have to maintain User Mapping for System Access for every user who needs access to the system. In the user profile below the tab user mapping for system access, you have to choose the system and enter a username and a password on the system.

After you have entered the settings for the User Management, you navigate to the settings for the Web Application Server (Web AS).

Web AS settings
Figure 7: Web AS settings

You have to enter a Web AS description for your Web AS, and then you have to enter the Web AS Host Name, which is the complete DNS name with the port, e.g. for the IBSolution development system, it's erinome.ibsolution.local:8000. Then you have to enter the Web AS Path. This path is for Business Explorer /sap/bw/bex and you have to choose the Web AS Protocol, e.g. http protocol.

Now you have to define a System Alias. You have to choose the entry System Aliases in the Display Dropdownfield.

Define a System Alias
Figure 8: Define a System Alias

Then navigate to the

Connection Tests

via the Display dropdownfield.

Connection Tests
Figure 9: Connection Tests

After a successful Connection Test your system is ready for use in Visual Composer.

A successful connection test
Figure 10: A successful connection test

Now log onto Visual Composer and select the system in the task panel toolbar. Then you can use all BAPI/RFC from the system in your Visual Composer Models.

The BAPI/RFC System in Visual Composer
Figure 11: The BAPI/RFC System in Visual Composer

Creating a SAP system using a dedicated application server for BAPI/RFC

Creating a SAP system using a dedicated application server is similar to creating a SAP system with load balancing; that's why I only explain the different steps.

The first different step is, of course, the template selection. You have to select SAP system using dedicated application server as the template.

Template Selection
Figure 12: Template Selection

The next different step is to adjust the Connector settings.

Connector settings
Figure 13: Connector settings

Property Description
Application Host Here you have to enter the complete DNS name of your application host, e.g. for the IBSolution development system, it's erinome.ibsolution.local
Gateway Host Here you have to enter the hostname of your gateway server, e.g. for the IBSolution development system, it's erinome.ibsolution.local
Gateway Service Here you have to enter the service name or the port number of the gateway server. This is by SAP default setting sapgw<SAP System ID>

You can also have a look into your services file on your machine. If you have a windows machine then the file exists e.g. here C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\drivers\\etc\\services There must be an entry like sapgw<SAP System ID>

For the IBSolution development system erinome, it's sapgw00, because there is an entry in the services file sapgw00.
Logical System Name Here you have to enter the logical system name of your central system. SAP recommends the following notation: <SAP system ID>CLNT<client>

For example, you have a central development system called Erinome with the Alias CB0 and the client 100, then you have a logical system name CB0CLNT100.
Remote-Host Type Here you have to choose 3 for R/3 system.
SAP Client Here you have to enter your client of your system, e.g. for the IBSolution development system Erinome, it's 100.
SAP System ID (SID) Here you have to enter your SAP System ID, e.g. for the IBSolution development system Erinome, it's CB0.
SAP System Number Here you have to enter the system number of your system, e.g. for the IBSolution development system erinome, it's 00.
Server Port Here you have to enter the port of your application server. By default this is 80<SAP System ID>. But your Basis administrator can modify this setting; that's why you should check it in the transaction SMICM (Goto -> Parameters -> Display). For example the IBSolution Development System Erinome, the port is 8000.

You can also have a look into your services file on your machine. If you have a Windows machine, then the file exists e.g. here C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\drivers\\etc\\services

In this file, you should search a entry like sapms<SAP System ID>.
SNC Library Path
SNC Mode
SNC Name
SNC Partner Name
SNC QOP (Security Level)
These are settings for the SAP Secure Network Communications. For our example this is not necessary.
System Type Here you have to choose SAP_R3, because BAPI/RFC is typical for R/3.
Trace Mode Choose 0 for disable RFC traces.

Then you can also start a connection test. It should also be successful.

Creating a portal system for BI Queries

Creating a portal system for BI Queries is similar as creating a system for BAPI/RFC. There is only one setting different in the connector settings. That means if you want to create a portal system for BI Queries, you can copy an already existing system for BAPI/RFC and modify this setting. You have to right click on the BAPI/RFC System and choose copy. Then right click on the folder called system and choose paste. Then go to the connection settings and modify the system type to SAP_BW.

Modify System Type
Figure 14: Modify System Type

Then save the modification and execute a connection test. If the connection test is successful, you have access to your queries of the BW System.

Queries in Visual Composer
Figure 15: Queries in Visual Composer

You can download this blog as a PDF file from our External Portal Facing, which is based on the latest SAP NetWeaver Portal here.

Marcel Salein was born in the year 1982 in Immenstadt/Germany. After high school graduation, he studied business informatics and eBusiness at the University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten. Today he works for IBSolution, the innovative SAP Netweaver consulting company. He is a member of the R&D department at the IBSolution Labs in Heilbronn, Germany. His fields of activity are BI and SAP Netweaver Visual Composer.


This content is reposted from the SAP Developer Network.
Copyright 2007, SAP Developer Network

SAP Developer Network (SDN) is an active online community where ABAP, Java, .NET, and other cutting-edge technologies converge to form a resource and collaboration channel for SAP developers, consultants, integrators, and business analysts. SDN hosts a technical library, expert blogs, exclusive downloads and code samples, an extensive eLearning catalog, and active, moderated discussion forums. SDN membership is free.

Want to read more from this author? Click here to read Marcel Salein's Weblog. Click here to read more about SAP xApps on SDN.



This was first published in March 2007

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