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SAP ONE Support Launchpad Availability Issues

Mar 25, 2017 at 05:19 PM

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The pop-up message today about service interruptions and slow application performance in the SAP ONE Support Launchpad implies that the issues only occurred in late February and early March. Well, performance and stability have been pretty bad all this past week, in late March, and today (a Saturday) the site is essentially down entirely. The only part that works is the pop-up apologizing to us all that I mentioned. The feedback doesn't work either -- nothing does.

So, it's currently not possible to get to SAP Notes, or Software Downloads, or.... well, pretty much everything that isn't the SAP Community or the general marketing pages.

This is more than an inconvenience. It's a serious and continuing outage, and it's causing a real risk of project and GoLive delays, for me, and likely for many other customers. I'm working on a Saturday because I'm on a tight deadline and trying to resolve problems, and it doesn't help when the primary resource for support isn't available.

Frankly, since support switched to the Fiori Launchpad, its usability and reliability have, in general, gone sharply downhill from the old support.sap.com site, and more so from service.sap.com. We used to be able to get around these issues (because they really aren't new) by still using service.sap.com/notes, but now that redirects to the launchpad, which isn't working.

Since the problems appear to lie with either the Fiori Launchpad or Identity Management... or SAP Cloud Platform?... this isn't fueling great warm and fuzzies among customers to adopt these technologies when the vendor can't keep them running themselves.

The pop-up statement does at least let us know that SAP is aware of the issue and working on it, but it's not reassuring when it implies that the issues are not occurring currently and won't be fixed until April or May. The site is down right now, and we need it, right now. Can something be done to at least provide a workaround?

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Just as an FYI: My team (SAP Community) can't help directly here, but we did make the Support team aware of this discussion. I hope someone from that team can chime in and offer assistance.

Best regards,

--Jerry

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Jerry, a bit off-topic but I believe there is a lot of confusion regarding the use of "Using SAP.com" tag in general. We were told to post about the SCN issues there, so is it a replacement for "About SCN" and "SCN Support" spaces? I've seen questions posted there about other sap.com websites but hardly anyone answers. If this is not meant for the whole SAP universe (see Matt's comment below) then perhaps it should be renamed. Or more SAP people from other sites should monitor the questions.

Thank you.

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Hi, Jelena:

Yes, you're correct -- "Using SAP.com" was meant for reporting bugs with the new platform. (Why that tag? I have no idea.)

For the most part, I do think it is used appropriately -- although there are certainly occasions when people use it for more general support-related questions. And coincidentally (and to your point) I just had a discussion about how SAP Support can get more involved in responding to questions here that are more appropriate to them.

But that doesn't address the problem with its usage when people are trying to report something about other SAP.com properties. And I agree that a tag more specific to SAP Community would make things clearer. The downside, again, would be that so many members are conditioned to using SAP.com now -- and they do use it as we had intended.

Anyway, let me take it back to the team for further discussion -- as there is an overall tag analysis going on right now, I believe. (It seems that 2,000 tags can be a bit confusing. Go figure.) In the meantime, we're still monitoring new "using SAP.com" posts, so when something a little off-topic (such as Matt's question) comes up, we can notify the right people.

Best regards,

--Jerry

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That's me, off topic as usual! ;)

How about "Using SAP Community"?

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Hi, Matt:

That makes sense to me (and was one of my suggestions internally here too), but I'm getting feedback that "using SAP.com" was indeed meant to be about all SAP Web properties. (When SCN became SAP Community and part of SAP.com, the unification meant "using SAP.com" applied to us and the other related sites.)

Of course, this idea only works if we can get the teams for those other sites more involved. So my quest continues...

Best regards,

--Jerry

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3 Answers

Jelena Perfiljeva
Mar 28, 2017 at 05:20 PM
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Matt, add 'Support Services' tag, that's where all the support / Launchpad stuff is now.

I have not experienced major issues with Launchpad but my usage level is probably nowhere near yours and we don't have any projects at the moment. But similar concerns were expressed by some folks I met at a local ASUG meeting. And in some cases Launchpad was extremely slow for me too. It'd just open a blank page with no tiles and I'd have no clue what's going on (not even a spinning flower picture or any sign of activity). It'd come around eventually but this is hardly acceptable. I have 200 Mbps Internet at home. VPN kills the speed though, so in some cases I get off VPN to use the SAP websites.

It's kind of catch-22 that Launchpad is down but the channel for any technical assistance is Launchpad. But if you could still access the support portal maybe the new chat feature there could be used? Or even Twitter?

As a side note - if there are some recurring performance issues (I hear about this on SCN every other month) then perhaps SAP should make someone available to monitor this 24/7 and provide a designated channel for the customers to reach technical personnel when they can't even open Launchpad. In this case someone could take an action immediately or at least document what happened.

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Steve Rumsby and I had a discussion about the proper tag for this, and he also suggested "Support Services." However, my impression was that tag is for, well, support services, not the support website, and that "Using SAP.com" was for issues around using anything in the sap.com domain, which would include support.sap.com and Launchpad.sap.com, etc. As this was entirely about the website, and not about the service, I felt this was a better tag for it. But, I could definitely be wrong -- I make guesses about the best tag to use as much as the next person!

With regard to using chat, or other channels for technical assistance -- that was really not acceptable. That might be fine if what I want is to have tech support help me with a problem. What I wanted was to read SAP Notes and download software patches. I knew which Note I wanted to read and which software I wanted to download. Starting a chat session each time I needed to search for different Notes would not exactly be efficient: "Hi, it's me again, this time, I'd like to see Notes 813078, 2012242, and 2320678..." (note numbers are made up for illustration, I have no idea what those Notes might really be).

SAP did put up a pop-up banner that appeared Saturday morning indicating they were aware of issues and were working on it. What was disconcerting was that the language in the pop-up implied they thought the issues had happened a month earlier, and that the fix would be available in about another month; there was no indication that this issue had been intermittent for all the past week.

Intermittent is a key word here; the issue went away approximately an hour after I posted this, and the site seems to be working fine today.

To be fair, the old service.sap.com had issues too. Frequently a particular server (websmp102.sap-ag.de, etc) would go down. But, since the whole thing load-balanced among a dozen or more different servers, and since the individual URLs were not hidden for those servers, it was possible to get around such things by substituting a different direct server access in the URL. That old workaround is gone today, I think. If Launchpad goes down, there's nothing to do but wait for it come back.

200 Mbps home Internet? Really? What does that cost you? And how do you obtain that? Are you on one of those experimental Google fibre rollouts or something?

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Matt, when I suggested chat or other channels it was just to alert someone there is an issue with Launchpad availability at the moment. Something like "hey, are you aware Launchpad is down right now?" I know from experience that intermittent issues can be difficult to analyze, so catching them in progress or at least shortly after would seem valuable and helpful to me. But then I care about solving problems as soon as possible, not next month.

200 Mbps for me is $55 per month, just have to call TWC every year and threaten to leave to get a discount. MSRP is $70, I think, but I doubt anyone actually pays that. Google fiber is coming here with like 1 Gb, so TWC and AT&T have to step up their game, I guess.

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In Moscow I have true 100/100 Mbps Internet for less then $8 per month :) Can get better speed but have no reason...

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You are more than welcome to start "my Internet is bigger than your Internet" discussion in the Coffee Corner. :)

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I've gone ahead and added "Support Services" as a secondary tag. However, I think I'll also "close" the question, since the problem is no longer occurring presently, so I don't really need someone to run out and immediately solve it. But, I wouldn't mind some ongoing discussion about the longer-term issue.

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Jürgen L Mar 28, 2017 at 05:47 PM
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I had the same issues just a day earlier, and I tried the chat, but it asked me to fill quite many mandatory fields most by selecting an entry from a drop down list, and finally there was one field that did not have any content to select from, probably for the same reason why the whole launchpad did not work, so I had no option to chat about the problem.

I had captured a bunch of screenshots but had to go to a meeting, later I cleared the cookies and the problem vanished, so I decided to not post it, as I do not even know whether it was related to the cookies or the the time healed the case.

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Theresa Boehme
Mar 30, 2017 at 02:07 PM
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Hi everybody,
We are sorry that you were having difficulties with the SAP ONE Support Launchpad. We appreciate your feedback here very much and I will forward to the team for consideration. Your feedback is very valuable to us and I would like to encourage you to use the feedback button to submit comments about your Launchpad experience directly to the team. We are working very hard to avoid circumstances like these in the future.

Best,

Theresa

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When site is not responding at all there is no "feedback" button to use.

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Hi Jelena, that’s of course true. When an issue like this occurs, in order to get immediate help, please contact the Customer Interaction Center. They are happy to assist. All contact info for their phone numbers, email address, and more can be found here: https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/560499/E (SAP Note 560499).

Once the site has resumed, we’d like to encourage you to submit your general suggestions and feedback (like Matt’s proposal to have a time frame in the pop-up window) through this feedback button. In this case, I have forwarded to the team already. Best, Theresa

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Hi Theresa,

Thank you for your response. I appreciate that the job of keeping a very busy support website, with many integrated applications and functions, operating 24/7 is quite a job.

As Jelena noted, when the site is down there is no access to the feedback button. As I wasn't looking for immediate assistance with my SAP application, but rather access to SAP Notes (and the search tool) and to the Software Downloads, it didn't seem to me that calling and speaking to anyone on the phone on a weekend was going to be a useful activity for me. So, that is why I saw raising a post here about site availability (and the vagueness of the pop-up message) as more appropriate (though apparently I chose the wrong tag).

I have used the feedback button in the past, on a few occasions. I have even later noted my suggestions appearing as changes in the site, which was very encouraging. What is not encouraging about the button is that there is no way to know if the feedback was sent, received, read, discarded, or if it simply evaporated into the ether. We used to have access to a support "inbox" in which we could see past feedback messages, and indeed the pop-up included a link to that inbox, if I recall correctly. However, that inbox isn't accessible anymore -- selecting the link starts to load it, and then one is immediately rerouted to the SAP Support Launchpad (when it's working!), where there is no inbox of this nature. Indeed, a great many tools from the "old" Support Marketplace do not yet exist on the Support Launchpad, and this is one of them.

For the moment, however, as the Support Marketplace/Launchpad appears to be working fine, I will go ahead and close out this question (since it's no longer a question, it's more of a discussion).

Again, thank you for responding.

Cheers,
Matt

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When SAP ONE Launchpad was new, I tried it out a lot and also provided some feedback.

Because of the missing "backchannel" of the feedback-button, I often posted that question on SCN (yes, it was still SCN those days!) first, then used the feedback-button with a link to that question.

That way I could be sure the even if the feedback button would not work (sometimes it didn't back then ) my thoughts where not lost but (semi-)publicly documented.

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Hi Theresa,

Today I am unable to connect to SAP support due to not responding https://accounts.sap.com/saml2/idp/sso/accounts.sap.com

What's going on?

Vadim

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After chat with support something was restarted and I was able to logon!

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Not working again!

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After 2 hours chat with support it's working again...

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