Duet Enterprise Project Tips and Tricks
Having worked on multiple Duet Enterprise projects in a support capacity, I would like to share some guidelines on how to get started and highlight critical considerations that could speed up implementations. Some of these recommendations may be common sense but I would like to emphasize their importance. This blog relates to Feature Pack 1 for Duet Enterprise 1.0 for Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Duet Enterprise 2.0 for Microsoft SharePoint 2013.
1. Which version of Duet Enterprise will you be implementing?
The required software is based on what version of Microsoft SharePoint you are running.
Microsoft SharePoint 2010 will require Feature Pack 1 for Duet Enterprise 1.0.
Microsoft SharePoint 2013 will require Duet Enterprise 2.0.
2. Staffing a Project
As with the other roles, this role is critical for a successful implementation but sometimes overlooked during the planning phase. Security factors such as firewalls, FQDN issues, missing SAP Authorizations & Microsoft SharePoint authorizations etc. can delay projects especially during integration testing. Security considerations should be identified and staffed during the planning phase. Security Experts may not be full time on a project but should be available to resolve any security issues during all phases.
This expert is especially critical for projects with custom developed and workflow applications.
Duet Enterprise Expert
Expert for planning, installing and landscape testing including integration testing. For Feature Pack 1 for Duet Enterprise 1.0 custom development projects, this expert will be required during the development phase (see point 6).
SAP NetWeaver Gateway Expert
This resource is only required for projects with custom developed OData services using SAP NetWeaver Gateway.
Microsoft SharePoint Expert
Main expert for planning, installation and landscape testing and Microsoft SharePoint custom development.
3. Accessing Official Documentation
Start with the official guides from SAP and Microsoft. The Master Guide is a good start as it points you to all official documentation, including links to official Microsoft documentation.
SAP Guides: http://service.sap.com/instguides -> SAP Business Suite Application -> Duet Enterprise
SAP Product Availability Matrix (PAM): http://service.sap.com/pam Search for Duet Enterprise and choose the appropriate version. Consider all prerequisites during the planning phase and apply them early in the project to avoid issues during the next phases.
SAP Release Notes: Determine if your landscapes need additional OSS notes applied. The majority of notes would be applicable to the SAP NetWeaver Gateway components and the Duet Enterprise component. Apply notes before starting configuration and development.
4. SAP NetWeaver Gateway as a prerequisite
Though the Duet Enterprise documentation shows a minimum level of SAP NetWeaver Gateway, it is recommended to always install the latest version available from the SAP service marketplace. This will give companies the latest tools for development and supportability.
SAP Guides: http://service.sap.com/instguides-> SAP NetWeaver -> SAP NetWeaver Gateway
5. Step by Step Training Videos and SCN Forum
If you are new to Duet Enterprise, planning for a project or if you run into issues during any phase during the project, I would highly recommend checking out the Duet Enterprise Self-Paced learning as a resource. This free training is made up of a combination of YouTube videos and how-to guides, with 35+ topics covering all aspects of a Duet Enterprise project. Use the links below for related topics.
The Duet Enterprise SCN forum is available to post questions and search for solutions.
To avoid delays in support, plan for system access by SAP and Microsoft Support Groups in case it is required. For example, ensure an SAP OSS connection can be opened.
6. Developing Custom Solutions using Duet Enterprise
The main difference with developing custom solutions for Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint 2013 with Duet Enterprise is that Microsoft SharePoint 2010 BCS does not support direct OData consumption whereas Microsoft SharePoint 2013 can consume SAP NetWeaver Gateway OData services.
Therefore, Feature Pack 1 for Duet Enterprise 1.0 has an additional tool called the BDC Browser which takes an SAP NetWeaver Gateway OData Service and generates SOAP services that can be consumed by Microsoft SharePoint 2010. BDC Models are generated as a zip file that can be passed on to the Microsoft SharePoint expert for consumption.
Very Important: A pre-requisite for the BDC Browser is to have an SAP ESR system available as part of the landscape. For minimum requirements, refer to the Feature Pack 1 for Duet Enterprise 1.0 PAM at http://service.sap.com/pam. It is not required during runtime. So an ESR is only required to communicate with the BDC Browser on the SAP NetWeaver Gateway server in the development environment during design time. Development can them be transported to QA and PROD. Again, an ESR is only required if you are doing custom development using Feature Pack 1 for Duet Enterprise 1.0. You DO NOT need an ESR for Feature Pack 1 for Duet Enterprise 1.0 out-of-the-box functionality such as Reporting or Workflow. You also DO NOT need an ESR for Duet Enterprise 2.0.
For detailed examples of developing with Feature Pack 1 for Duet Enterprise 1.0 and Duet Enterprise 2.0, review the Duet Enterprise self-paced learning Development Track: Development
7. Setting Project Scope
Choose specific business processes that will have the biggest impact in helping target users. Recreating entire SAP processes using Duet Enterprise may not be the best approach.
8. Collaboration between the SAP Experts and Microsoft SharePoint Experts is critical
Companies may have different departments for SAP and Microsoft groups. They may have different timelines for transports. Though the majority of tasks for Duet Enterprise can be done in parallel, there is overlap and dependencies during the various phases of a project. It is good practice to plan for close collaboration of these groups.
There are worksheets available in the official SAP Configuration Guides for Duet Enterprise (http://service.sap.com/instguides) that SAP and Microsoft teams can use to record dependent information during the installation and configuration phase.
Hope these tips help in getting you started with a successful Duet Enterprise Project.