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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Using Remote Service Connections on SAP Support Portal

How does it work?

If you want to use SAP's remote services (SAP EarlyWatch or Remote Consulting, for example), or if you want to allow an SAP Support Consultant to work directly in the system to diagnose problems more exactly, you have to open a remote service connection.
Before opening such a connection a remote network connection to SAP must be established and the Service Connector tool has to be installed on your PC. Once the network connection has been set up and the Service Connector has been installed, you can maintain various service connection types that enable SAP employees to have remote access to your system (R/3 connection, HTTP-CONNECT, and so on).
After setting up the required connection types you can open the corresponding service connections. A service connection has to be set up for each system.
  • If the network connection is already open (SAProuter status is 'connected'), you and all users with the authorization to open service connections can immediately open a service connection from any PC with Internet access.
  • If the network connection has not been opened yet (SAProuter status is 'not connected' or 'canceled'), you have to start the Service Connector (by executing the generated stfk.oez file) to open the physical network connection to SAP. Afterwards you can open the selected service connection.

By using Semi Automatic Opening, you can also allow SAP to open and to use service connections to your systems without interaction of a contact person at customer side. For details on how to set up Semi Automatic Opening please refer to the documentation!

Technical prerequisites (required once)

A prerequisite for opening service connections is that a physical network connection (ISDN, VPN, SNC, X.25, and so on) to SAP (between your SAProuter and SAP's Support Backend) is established. All service connections between SAP and your system are established by your SAProuter. The network connection must be initiated on the customer side by means of the SAProuter to prevent any unauthorized access to your system.
In addition, the Service Connector has to be installed locally on your PC for opening network connections from SAP Support Portal. The Service Connector can only be installed on a Microsoft Windows operating system. If your company is permanently connected to SAP's Support Backend, the Service Connector might not be required. For more information, see SAP Note 35010.
  1. How to set Up a Remote Network Connection to SAP
  2. How to Install the Service Connector on Your Local PC
If you encounter problems with the network, service connections, or Service Connector, create a customer message and assign it to the XX-SER-NET-NEW component.

Opening a Service Connection

There are four steps involved in opening a service connection:
  1. Select a system.
  2. Set up the required service connection types (only once for each system).
  3. Select the required service connection type and specify the timeframe for allowing SAP access to the system.
  4. Start the Service Connector (by opening the executable stfk.oez file) to open the existing network connection (if it is not already open).
These steps are described in detail in the next section.

1. Select a System


On this screen, you select the system for which you want to open a service connection. You can either use the recently used systems option or the system search to find a system. In the system search you can enter a system ID or select a customer number to search for a system. You also have the option of displaying all systems for which you are authorized to open a service connection and then find your system. A wildcard (*) search is also supported in the customer and installation field. The data for the selected system appears.


The search result list provides you with an overview about your selection. The first line in the result list includes a sort/filter function. You see the available systems, the system types, the status of the network connection, and the installation. The Connection State column has one of the following status levels:
  • Green - at least one service connection and the network connection are open
  • Red- no service connection is open, and the network connection is closed
  • Yellow - the host did not responded
  • Grey - at least one service connection is open, but the network connection has been canceled
(The Grey status is set if the service connection is open, but your SAProuter host does not react to nine consecutive ping signals, so it can be assumed that the remote connection is currently not active).

System overview


On this screen, you see an overview about the current status of all connection data for the selected system:
  • The Network status tray shows the current network connection status of your SAProuter.
  • The Open/close connections tray lists all connection types that have been set up, and indicates whether there are any open service connections.
  • The Reserve connections tray lists all reserved service connections to release a connection for any future timeframe. To reserve a connection, you maybe have to import the release depended SAP Note 170102 into the system that you want to release.
  • The Server tray lists the servers used for that system. Changes can only be made in the system data application.
  • The URLs tray lists the URLs used for access to HTML-based services such as HTTP-CONNECT or URL access.
  • The Set up Connections types tray lists all available connection types for that system and shows which ones have been activated for the service connection.

2. Set up a Connection type


The system lists the available services that you can open for SAP service employees. First, you have to set up and maintain the required connection types before you can open a corresponding service connection. To set up a connection type, select one and enter the relevant data.
In the Names field, select the first and second contact person responsible for this connection type.
In the Port selection field (if displayed), you can select Use standard port or, if your application does not run on the application default port, Use individual port.
Theicon appears in front of connection type that is already activated; to deactivate this type, click the icon. No icon appears for connection types that have not been set up yet.

3. Select a Service Connection and Specify the Timeframe


The system activates the connection type, and the service connection for that connection type appears in the Open/close connections tray. In the selected service connection you have to specify the time when the connection closes. If necessary, you can select another contact person.

4. Start Service Connector (if network connection is not yet opened)


When you open a service connection you have to check the proposed route string, which describes the path between your PC and your SAProuter. By default, the route string contains the parameters maintained in the system data, which can be adjusted if necessary.What is a route string?
Example: /H/<LAN IP-address or hostname of your SAProuter>/S/3299
The SAProuter tray with the Start Service Connector button is only displayed if the network connection has not been opened yet (or canceled). To start the Service Connector (which must be installed on your PC), choose Start Service Connector.


The executable stfk.oez file is generated, which contains the connection parameters for the Service Connector to open the network connection. To execute the configuration file immediately, choose Open , or Save to install the program on your PC (and execute it by double-clicking it in a second step).If you cannot execute the configuration file, first install the Service Connector on your PC.

The Service Connector immediately displays a success or error message. If an error message is displayed, choose Troubleshooting. If this does not solve the problem, create a message and assign it to the XX-SER-NET-NEW component.

Confirm that the Service Connector started successfully by choosing 'Yes' in case the Service Connector displays the following success message: "The service connection has been opened successfully".

If the Service Connector displays an error message, choose 'No' and then check the specified route string. The dev_rfc.trc file on your PC contains a detailed error report.

Caution: If you choose 'Yes' even though an error message is displayed, the system starts multiple attempts to create the network connection (status = "Connecting..."). After about 20 minutes, the system cancels the attempts and resets the status to "not connected".



The network connection is opened and the SAProuter tries to connect to SAP's Support Backend. To update the SAProuter (network connection) status, choose Refresh.

The connection is now open (SAProuter status is changed from Connecting... to Connected ), and SAP service employees can use this connection to log on to your system.
Caution: In case your SAProuter could not be reached you will get the message displayed: "Host did not respond x-times". After about 20 minutes the status changes to "Cancelled".



The connection to SAP remains open for the time that you specified. To minimize costs, do not enter a longer timeframe than is necessary (if you are using an ISDN line, for example). The timeframe of the open connection can easily be changed by entering a new time. To automatically refresh the timeframe and the connection, choose Back.
To close a service connection manually, click the icon. The network connection is closed automatically if the service connections are no longer used. This can take a few minutes.
To track the changes to the service connections for the current system, choose Logbook. For each operation, the system displays the following
  • User (user ID) who made the changes
  • When the changes were made
  • Which changes were made
If the network connection has already been set up, the process is similar. The only difference is that you do not need to start the Service Connector.





Semi Automatic Opening

Using Semi Automatic Opening (SAO), SAP can open and use service connections to your systems without interaction of a contact person at customer side. After the installation of the Line Opener Program (LOP) you can configure Semi Automatic Opening per system.
For details on how to set up Semi Automatic Opening please refer to the documentation!


Select a system for which you want to allow SAO and choose Semi Automatic Opening:
Choose the registered Line Opener Program (LOP) and configure Semi Automatic Opening Data:
  • define the duration how long the connection will be opened and is valid
  • enter the contact person for the system. This person will get the e-mail confirmation when the system is opened by the Semi Automatic Opening
  • enter a router string to reach the SAProuter.



To open the network connection to SAP, the LOP needs to know the route (in the internal network) from the PC / Server via your SAProuter to the SAProuter to SAP (sapservX).
The syntax of the route string is: "/H/<SAProuter>/S/<port_SAProuter>.
Example: "/H/10.11.12.13/S/3299"


Enter Local Route String and save data:


Choose Allow SAO:



Configuration is done.
Now you can use Semi Automatic Opening.