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Planning and Implementing your SMP Agentry Upgrades

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Upgrade Webinar (April 2015)

Watch the recording of a the Webinar,  Moving from Agentry 6.x to SMP 3.0 by Lisa Haag, that is aimed at developers interested in upgrading their Agentry based applications to the new versions running on SMP 3.0.   The presentation provides a high level technical overview of why to upgrade, what will be different in the new platform, what factors you need to be aware of and what new features you can take advantage of.  It ends by discussing how to plan your upgrade and where to find additional information.

Specific Topics include:

  1. Migration path
  2. Product vs Platform upgrade, and what Product Platform combinations are supported
  3. The Advantages to upgrading
  4. The differences between Agentry 6.x  and SMP
  5. What factors you need to keep in mind
  6. High level steps in both a product and platform upgrade
  7. Planning:  Additional Considerations such as Hardware requirements, resource requirements, landscapes and deployment
  8. Where to find additional information

Platform Vs Product Upgrades

There are 2 upgrade paths that can be taken for an application built on Agentry.  You can:

  1. Upgrade just the platform (I.e.  Move an existing application running on Agentry 6.0 (or a previous version) to the same application running on SMP 3.0)
  2. Upgrade your application from one major release to another such as SAP Work Manager 5.3 for SAP to Work Manager 6.1 for SAP (This typically also includes a platform upgrade).


For upgrades of Products based on Agentry 6.x and prior to SMP 3.0 based products, you will need to upgrade both the platform and the application.

Platform Upgrades

SMP Agentry is the underlying framework that your products are built on.  Previously a standalone platform, it is now integrated completely into, and is a core part of, SMP 2.3 and SMP 3.0.   SMP 3.0 is currently the latest production version of the SAP Mobile Platform and contains the latest version of Agentry.

The migration path of Agentry over the past several years is as follows: 

Agentry 5 -> Agentry 6 -> SMP 2.3 (Agentry 6.1) -> SMP 3 (Agentry 7)

There are compelling reasons to migrate to the new SAP Mobile Platform (SMP 3.0):

    1. Agentry 6.0 end of life is scheduled for 2015 (http://service.sap.com/pam)
    2. Multiple Agentry applications can run on SMP 3.0 Server ( SMP 3.0 SP04)
    3. SMP offers Web sockets protocol for SMP 3.0 Agentry based applications
    4. SMP offers support for Reverse Proxy configurations.
    5. SMP 3.0 provides a unified platform for hosting multiple application types including Metadata (Agentry), Hybrid, and Native applications
    6. SMP 3.0 includes the new Open UI for SMP 3.0 Agentry based application.
    7. SMP 3.0 Agentry based  applications offer a new improved UI

For a video done by the Technology RIG, please see:  SMP 3.0 - Overview of Agentry Integration (Webinar Recording) - YouTube .  This is also available as a PDF.

Note:   There is a tight coupling of platform version and App version, and SAP only supports officially tested combinations.   The Supportability matrix listing the various application versions along with their supported platforms, is available here.



Platform Changes between Agentry stand alone and SMP 3.0

SMP is a lightweight OSGi based application server running on SAP’s Lean Java Server (LJS).  It can be installed on both Windows and Linux operating systems and can use several different third party databases as its data repository, such as ASE, DB2, and Oracle. For exact versions you can check SAP PAM (Platform Availability Matrix).


Upgrading the platform from Agentry Stand Alone to SMP 3.0 does not change your underlying product definitions, but it may cause minor changes to the way the application looks and behaves. There are several things to be aware of:

  1. The installation files, process and configuration have changed.  This is detailed in the following document Installing an Agentry Application in SMP (Differences from Agentry 6.x) .
  2. There is a change to the communication protocol between the Client and the Server. Agentry 6.0 and older used the proprietary Angel Protocol.  SMP 3.0 uses Web sockets.
  3. Client certificates need to be installed on the device.  These are mandatory once applications are migrated to SMP 3.0.
  4. WIN32 screen support is replaced with support for the  WPF client.
  5. SMP 3.0 requires a persistence database running on the server (It is where all the metadata about applications, connections, etc. are kept)
    • For SMP development mode you can use derby database as default whereas for SMP production mode it is recommended that customers use a database supported by SMP platform to support the High Availability and Disaster Recovery capabilities.
  6. Older Agentry applications will  need to import into Eclipse Juno editor before they can be deployed to SMP 3.0
  7. Branding will need to be re-done using latest Agentry client version of SMP 3.0 platform.
  8. In Agentry 5~6.0.2X the iOS screens were developed for iOS 6. Since iOS 6 and iOS 7 vary in screen style, the styles will differ when upgrading a previously designed product (ex: WM 5.2)  to the newer version.  Further details can be found here: Troubleshooting: Agentry Styles for iOS 7 support (iPhone, iPAD, iPAD mini and others)
  9. The monitoring, logging, tracing and debugging are now handled from the SMP console:
    • From the home screen of the SMP admin console you get immediate information on the applications, users, and registrations being used on the SMP 3.0 server.
      • Note: SAP Solution Manager Integration will not be available with SMP 3.0. It will be available with an upcoming release.


For a detailed description of what is new in SMP, please see:



Moving from stand-alone Agentry to SMP 3.0 involves the following steps:

  1. Download Eclipse Juno
  2. Install the SMP 3.0 server and SMP 3.0 SDK 
  3. Import your application definitions into the SMP 3.0 SDK Agentry Editor and publish the definitions to the Agentry Server component of SMP 3.0.
  4. Update the SMP 3.0 Agentry ini files to reflect any settings that were changed in your previous implementation.


For more detailed instructions, please see:


Product Upgrades

When you buy a product, such as SAP Work Manager 6.1 or Work Manager for Maximo 7.5.2, you are buying the SMP Agentry framework with predefined application definitions built using the Agentry Editor. In addition to new application features, a product upgrade will usually be released on the latest version of SMP Agentry.

An upgrade to the application involves moving from one major release to another and is usually done when the customer wants to take advantage of new features or functionality in the application or when they upgrade their enterprise back end system.  All upgrades from Agentry 6.x and prior to SMP 3.0 will be both platform and product upgrades (Please see the above).  The total amount of work required, will depend on the migration path as well as the amount of customization done to the base product. 


Platform Upgrade:

For upgrades from Agentry 6.x and prior to SMP 3.0, you will need to stand up a new SMP server and install the SDK (which includes the editor plug in, test environment, test clients  installers and client installers as well as the open UI SDK),  migrate your application customization to the new base application definitions and then deploy your new definitions to the server.


Refer online help for Agentry development environment set-up:

http://infocenter.sybase.com/help/index.jsp?topic=/com.sybase.infocenter.dc01993.0302/doc/html/vhu1363118271380.html


Application definitions:


To upgrade your Agentry Product application definitions:


  1. Use the Import and Compare feature of the Editor to migrate your existing configurations forward to the new application
  2. Make any changes or enhancements to either take advantage of the new back end or extend your existing functionality using new features
  3. Upgrade the Java backend layer (JAR files) if there is a later version delivered with the product (Note: products with an SAP backend, there will also be a SAP JCo version change)
  4. If you are upgrading a product with a SAP backend, you must also update the Mobile Add-On ERP package, which is in effect upgrading the ABAP Add-on package on the SAP backend system. If you have multiple products, the new add-on is backward compatible with older versions. Both older and SMP 3.0 based applications can co-exist in the /Syclo/config panel.


An excellent FAQ on upgrading applications with an SAP backend can be found by following this link.

A good reference for Upgrading Agentry Standalone Applications to SMP 3.0 Platform can be found here.

Migration Strategy

Since there is no in-place upgrade from Agentry 5.x to SMP 3.0 and the general recommendation is that the customer keep their existing landscape as is and run a parallel SMP 3.0 environment during the migration process.

Additional Considerations

There are several other considerations you must keep in mind when planning an upgrade:

Hardware: 

Evaluate if your current hardware still suits your needs.  This includes:

  1. SMP 3.0 Server  - evaluate the sizing requirements for your specific implementation.  Each of the product releases has its own sizing guide and is part of downloads on http://service.sap.com/instguides->SAP->Mobile. You must ensure that your current hardware will still be sufficient.
  2. Client devices - You must test that your existing devices still work with the current version of SMP 3.0 Agentry Client.  (Note: Win32 support is being replaced with WPF).
    • Keep in mind branding considerations if you are moving to an iOS or Android based device (Please see Agentry Device Client Branding for details)
    • For Apple and Android devices, clients with test data can be downloaded from the respective app stores.

Resources:

Make sure you have the proper resources available when and where they are needed for technical work, security and network planning, deployment of devices, project planning, training on new features and other required tasks.


The skillsets for Agentry developers has not changed:

  • Knowledge of Object Oriented Software
  • Experience in the Agentry Editor is required for UI Design and Modification.
  • Java for recommend for Mobile application using Java system connections.
  • SQL for systems utilizing a SQL backend
  • ABAP for any SAP based Products requiring SAP backend enhancement and configuration.


What has changed is that Agentry UI elements can be extended by a developer (Android/iOS/Windows) so that a new look and feel can be achieved: The the Open UI extensions are typically done by Android, iOS, Windows developers, as it is directly related to those platforms:

  • iOS – Objective C
  • Android - Java
  • WPF – C# & Visual Basic
  • Agentry App development – Java & ABAP

Dev and Test Environment:

Make sure that you have an environment available to perform the upgrade and thoroughly test the changes.  This environment must be as close to production as possible and will include:

  • Test devices
  • Connection methods (GPRS, WiFi etc)
  • Configuration
  • Data – both in quantity and quality
  • Test users configured with the same security privileges that users will
    have in production

User impact and Training:

Plan the timing and strategy for physical roll out and deciding what training will be necessary.