Purdue Today

November 8, 2007

OnePurdue system update entering final days; downtime scheduled tonight through Monday

Starting at 6 p.m. (EST) this evening, all OnePurdue systems will be unavailable until 8 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, while its SAP software, the foundation of the University's new financial and human resource (HR) systems, is brought up to date.

(To check on the status of this update, please see the "Latest Information" section on OnePurdue's home page Monday morning. Any changes to the 8 a.m. goal will be posted there.)

This will be the culmination of a complex process that began Oct. 1, when members of the OnePurdue team began installing (and testing) "support packs" for several primary system components, including:

SAP SRM 5 (Supplier Relationship Management)
The OnePurdue Portal
Business Warehouse (BW)
System Interfaces

Similar to when Microsoft releases service packs to correct problems with its Windows operating system (for example, XP SP2), OnePurdue's system updates are comprised of many specific fixes and changes in the SAP software, such as table updates, new forms and corrections to various software errors.

Year-End Payroll
"There are more than 7,000 of these individual items," said OnePurdue Integration Manager Jim Skiles, "and over 600 of them concern important payroll issues."

In fact, although these support packs will bring OnePurdue's SAP components up to date, the most important reason to install these updates now, Skiles said, is so the University can run year-end payroll work and produce employee W-2 forms in January.

"We can't just update the payroll section. SAP requires us to install the whole package," he said.

OnePurdue is currently using Version 4 of the ERP 6.0 and SRM 5 software, but will be running Version 10 once the support packs have been implemented. (The HR/Payroll modules are part of ERP 6.0.) Likewise, the portal, BW and interface modules -- collectively known as SAP NetWeaver  will be updated from Version 10 to 12.

"Our goal is to have everything back in operation by 8 a.m. (EST) Monday, Nov. 12," Skiles said.

New SAP Browser Support
Another benefit of upgrading the system will be that Internet Explorer 7 (for Windows) and Firefox 2 (for Windows and Macintosh) will now be officially supported by SAP, said Dwight Snethen, ITaP customer service quality director. They were not supported in the older version of SAP that OnePurdue has been running.

Although SAP will be supporting these browsers, OnePurdue teams have not been able to fully test them prior to the support pack updates, Snethen said.

"If anyone discovers that something that worked before the updates, but doesn't afterward, they should contact the OnePurdue Support Center at onephelp@purdue.edu or (765) 49-46000," he said.

Some browsers, such as Apple's Safari (for both Mac and Windows), is still not officially supported by SAP. The new Mac operating system (OS X 10.5, "Leopard") also has not yet been tested.

The new Microsoft Windows Vista OS and Microsoft Office 2007 will not be compatible with SAP until a new version of the SAP GUI (graphical user interface) is ready. Testing of this OnePurdue component is underway, and the team tentatively plans to release it in late November.

As new browsers, operating systems and other applications that interact with SAP become available, information about their compatibility with SAP will be updated on the OnePurdue Web site. Click here to read more specific details about browser, OS and platform compatibility issues with SAP software. This information also has been compiled into a one-page quick-reference card; click here to view or download it.

A Semi-Annual Event
These SAP software updates will be a semi-annual event with OnePurdue.

"We plan to do support pack updates twice a year from now on," Skiles said. "That way, we should be able to move everything into production over a weekend, completing the process in a couple of days instead of the three-and-a-half it will take this time. That will be a lot more efficient, and there will be less chance that the updates will impact regular work days (Monday-Friday)."

Jeff Whitten, associate vice president for ITaP Enterprise Applications and OnePurdue's chief architect, said, "The primary goal of installing these support packs is to get the OnePurdue systems updated to the most current versions of SAP software. There will then be a brief transition period so the Finance and HR teams can monitor the updated systems, but after that we will move back into full production support mode."

If you have any questions about or experience problems after the updates, please contact the OnePurdue Support Center at onephelp@purdue.edu or (765) 49-46000.

You also can check the status of this update on OnePurdue's home page; a notice will be posted in the "Latest Information" section on that page by 8 a.m. Monday.

For updated information, see www.purdue.edu/onepurdue.