August 28, 2013

If you followed the steps outlined in my last post, you should now have an SAP Installation Server configured. With that out of the way, you can now create your own custom SAPGUI package to deploy to users in your environment.

By creating your own custom SAPGUI packages, you will be able to include ONLY the features that are relevant to your SAP environment. Doing this can significantly reduce the size of the SAPGUI installation file, along with the time it takes to install the application. If you were to pair a "slimmed-down" SAPGUI installer with something like a logon script, you could deploy the latest version of SAPGUI across your network in a much shorter time span.

In order to create a custom package, you will first need to open up the SAP Installation Server Administration application. If you have forgotten where this is located, you can navigate to the shared directory used during the installation and then to Setup -> NwSapSetupAdmin.exe. I would recommend creating a shortcut to the application for future use.

After launching the administration tool, click on New Package from the top menu.

Click New Package in order to launch the package creation process.

From the initial splash screen, click Next to begin.

You should now see a list of available features which you can add to your package.

Available features to be added to your custom package.

For my example, I have selected only the features that would make up a somewhat "bare-bones" SAPGUI install.

This selection should provide only the basic features necessary for end users.

On the following screen, you will be required to provide a name for your package.
Your package name should reflect the configuration you have provided.

Now you will need to provide a command line name for your package. This is what will be used during the installation of the package.
For easiest installation in a Windows environment, it is recommended to refrain from adding spaces to your command line name.

You should now be finished with your custom package! You can now deploy the package using the Silent Installation Command Line parameters provided under the package's properties, or insert some VBScript into it for even more customization.

August 23, 2013

In the event that you need to install the SAPGUI client on numerous computers, SAP has provided the SAP Installation Server. This system allows you to perform new installations of the SAPGUI client, upgrade current users to a latest version, apply patches, and much more. The SAP Installation Server was designed to make centralized administration of SAPGUI clients not only possible, but easy.

Installation of the SAP Installation Server is fairly straightforward, and can be accomplished through the following outlined steps.

I. Download the Necessary Files
1. Log into the SAP Portal Download Center. This will require that you have an SAP S-ID.
2. Navigate to the Download Catalog -> SAP Frontend Components -> SAP GUI for windows -> SAP GUI FOR WINDOWS 7.30 CORE -> Installation -> Downloads
3. Download and extract both zip files using the Download Basket.

II. Beginning the Installation
1. After the zip files have been successfully downloaded, and their contents extracted, open up the first of the two files (typically ends with "_6").
2. Navigate to NW_7.0_Presentation_ -> PRES1 -> GUI -> WINDOWS -> WIN32 -> Setup
3. Run the file, NwCreateInstServer.exe. You may need to right-click the file, and select Run as administrator in order to ensure a proper installation.

III. Installing the SAP Installation Server
1. On the installation's initial splash page, click Next.
2. On this screen, you will need to select a shared network folder from which you will deploy SAPGUI installations from. If you need assistance with creating a shared folder, Microsoft has a simple walkthrough on it.

Browsing for a shared folder.

3. Click Next once your shared folder has been verified.
4. On this next screen, click Next again to begin the installation of the SAP Installation Server.

Installation of the SAP Installation Server.

5. After the installation is complete, click Close. This should launch the SAP Installation Administration Tool.

Initial launch of the SAP Installation Administration Tool.

In order for users to be able to install SAPGUI from the installation server without needing administrative privileges, you will need to configure Local Security Handling. This can be accomplished by performing the following tasks.

1. Click Services, and select Configure Local Security Handling.

Configuring Local Security Handling.

2. Click Next on the initial splash screen.
3. You will need to provide a domain account that will have administrative privileges on the workstations that will be installing SAPGUI. If you need assistance, Microsoft has provided documentation on how to add a domain account as a local administrator for all domain workstations.

Creating the Distribution Service Account.

4. Click Next, and then provide the domain account that will function as the Installation Service account. To make things easier, you can use the same domain account as you did in the previous step.
5. Once this has been completed, you can continue to the next step. If everything was successful you should see the following screen.

LSH has been successfully configured.

Now that you have successfully installation the SAP Installation Server, you can begin deploying the SAPGUI client to your remote workstations. Tune in for Part 2, where I will go over package configuration.
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