Run your own SAP ABAP server on a laptop !
Having just completed my last major BPC client engagement I have spent the last few weeks enjoying the great "British summer" so found myself with quite a few hours inside the house escaping the rain. I know that I probably should have been doing something much more exciting like scuba diving, white water rafting or mountain climbing but I am a computer nerd who loves his work so I opted for a few hours/days in front of my laptop instead.
Sometime back I had discovered that it was possible to set up an SAP system running on a suitably powerful laptop and I had achieved this but the license had expired so it was not working anymore. While searching SAP sites to find out how to renew the license I discovered that SAP have now made it possible to install SAP NetWeaver Application Server ABAP 7.50 SP2 and associated SAP Sybase ASE 16.0.1 database on your own hardware and that they will grant a limited developer license to anyone who is interested, not just registered customers.
The details can be found in this excellent blog post from Julie Plummer of SAP
I had already set up virtual machines using VirtualBox previously and my earlier local version of SAP was running on Windows Server 2012 but this new 7.50 version requires SUSE Linux 42.1 as a platform so I needed to create a new virtual machine. Julie Plummer again to the rescue with all I needed to know to set this up correctly in her blog post
After quite a few hours worth of effort (and waiting for huge files to download and install) I had the basic and familiar SAP system up and running. Be warned though that this does run at snails pace, if you want something more racy then you can set up the same system using a cloud service provider like AWS or Azure etc. The advantage of this own hosted version is that you don't have to remember to switch off the server when you're not using it in order to avoid huge bills.
I am a BPC and BW specialist so I was particularly interested to see if I could install the relevant components onto my server. At client sites the installation and technical set up is normally done by the Basis team so these activities were a new learning for me but I have now managed to get a working BPC environment where I can test out new ideas.