One of the problems we have been asked to review, is the use of RAP in a SAP multi tier environment. The question came about because we identified sometime ago the lack of support within the APYJRNCHG(X) commands for the creation of Data Area’s and Data Queues. The fact that IBM would automatically journal a Data Area or Data Queue on the source system led us to believe that they would correspondingly create the new objects on the target system. This is not true, IBM does not process any create messages for these objects, infact it gets worse because you could have a Data Area that exists, you delete it and recreate it and while IBM will delete the Data Area it will not do the recreate! Something I think is a major exposure for anyone rebuilding a system after a system loss.
One question that came to mind was if this is a restriction for RAP it is also going to be a restriction for anyone who needs to recover at a recovery site. If you have been fortunate enough to have saved copies of journal receivers as well as the system save, you would expect the recovery using the APYJRNCHG(X) commands to allow you to rebuild up to the latest receiver? If this turns out to be a long term problem then SAP multi tier environments are going to be particularly prone to not being able to be recovered much beyond the initial save!
For RAP there is a fix, we can simply write an additional module that if required can be run against the journal receiver entries to create the data areas etc on the target system and add the data etc as necessary. Once we create them however they cannot be updated by the APYJRNCHG commands because the JID is going to be wrong between the systems. Another option would be to copy the objects between the systems when required, but how do you do that with the technology used by the product? The latest copy may have data already in it which should be removed prior to the APYJRNCHG command being run or it may even have too much data in it! All of this adds up to a lot of problems when trying to work around something which by rights should be part of the APYJRNCHG(X) commands. Another option will be to run a scanner on the source which automatically copies the object to the target as its created on the source and it would be deleted as necessary. This obviously is not as easy at it seems but with the new version 2.0 technology it will be within reach.
Using one of the Vision products (I know MiMiX had an option that was specifically designed for SAP multi tier) will give you the results you need, however the cost of that is going to be a lot more than a recovery solution or one which implements the technology RAP does.
We have written to IBM but so far just had the confidential agreement barrier thrown up, they cant provide us with future directions without one in place! On the other hand if I do have one and they give me an idea of when it will be fixed I cant tell you about it? I think this is worth a number of those SAP multi tier customers or indeed any customer running software with this kind of trait to ask their recovery solution provider, to in turn ask IBM for advice. BCRS I am sure has many SAP customers in its fold and they need to understand how they can recover, they are paying IBM to do it with them after all!
We will offer an interim solution. Its only a problem for those applications which create and delete Data Areas on the fly so not a show stopper for a lot of companies, the lack of knowledge about the shortcoming is.