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How the SAP Upgrade Grinch Almost Stole Christmas

Twas the Friday before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse;
(Truth be told she was out earlier than most,
With finals to give and semester grades to post);

I was back home from consulting on the road,
with dread of expenses and timesheets to upload;
Doing the last-minute search for the right gift,
That might delight the special person on my list;

When from my work email there arose such a clatter,
I turned away from Twitter to see what was the matter.
The most urgent email was filled with despair,
“The upgrade, I fear, is damaged beyond repair”.

With many apologies to Clement Moore and poetry fans everywhere, I could not resist having a bit of fun with this latest adventure in SAP upgrades. I could have continued with the poetry, however, I could not find anything to rhyme with MAIN_PROFEND/KX_CHANGE_PUPG!

BACKGROUND: The upgrade was from NW 7.01, SP16 BW to NW 7.31, SP 04 BI — ABAP standalone. The upgrade of the sandbox system had been relatively uneventful, so I was definitely not expecting an issue with the BI development box. The MAIN_PROFEND phase is near the end of the Execution stage for the Software Update Manager — very close to the completion of the entire upgrade.
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The screenshot provides one clue that provides some hope for a solution: “see F:\******\SUM\abap\log\SAPCPE.OUT for details”. As most Basis admins know, SAPCPE is the process that runs during the SAP startup process and is responsible for copying the executable files from the shared executable directory to the local executable directory. My first guess was a file permission problem or an executable running (like sapstartsrv). However, since this is a Windows 2008 server, it seemed somewhat unlikely. And of course, it had nothing to do with permissions. In the details of the log file was the message that 33 files were not found in the source directory. Of course all of the files were there. Comparisons with the sandbox server, the QAS and PRD servers could find not a single file missing from the directories.

All of this consumed around 4 hours of time searching SCN, ServiceMarketplace, Google and several rocks in the landscaping around my house without success. I finally searched ServiceMarketPlace for sapxxcpe.c (presumably a reference to the error line in the source code). This yielded SAP note 1785829 titled “sapcpe failed to copy files”. The issue is the continuing incompatibility of Windows and Unix text files — specifically the Windows CR+LF character mis-interpretation by Unix. sapcpe uses the files are the *.lst files to determine the expected file inventory in the directory. As described by the note, I opened all 7 of these files in SAPpad and saved them with Unix-style LF character.

Fortunately for this SAP Basis consultant, SAP note 1785829 saved his Christmas shopping time (with a few hours to spare!). The upgrade was completed without further problems and the system turned over for testing — after Christmas.

There are a few points that come to mind after this situation:

1) There is not a great volume of knowledge regarding SUM from the SCN community. There are 100s of notes and PDF documents without question. What is not out there are discussions — with resolution or blogs providing insight into some of the problems that can be encountered.
2) Because of point 1, if you hit a problem with your upgrade do NOT limit your focus to only upgrades or installations. As this case proves, an issue that might occur during normal operation can also occur during an upgrade.
3) Windows and Unix have coexisted for over 30 years. Why do we still have this stupid new line incompatibility problem? And for SAP development: why can’t an additional bit of code be written to check for this? Can I make this my first wish for the new year?

So accept this modest addition to the Software Update Manager knowledge store on SCN. And may you 2013 be filled with happiness, prosperity and NO upgrade problems.

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