ESS/MSS Business Packages. Portal 7.3 Upgrade / Migration ---------- (2)

We had the above challenge when we upgraded to 7.3 and EHP5 at the same time. I have also seen a few post on SCN on this subject so hopefully this blog can help someone in the same situation. The information below is based on my own findings so I can't guarantee its correctness - so please write a comment to the blog if you have any corrections or clarifications
Let’s get to the point! If you are upgrading to SAP NW Portal 7.3 and currently using Web Dynpro Java (WDJ) based ESS/MSS (XSS from now on), you need to consider what to do. There are different options available depending on which EHP your ECC 6.0 HR system is on (EA-HR component):
  1. Keep using the “old” WDJ XSS services by upgrading them. If you are on EHP4 this is your only option but you can also use this approach if you are on
    EHP5 or above.
  2. Use the new Web Dynpro ABAP (WDA) XSS services. This is an option from EHP5.
  3. Use a combination of the old WDJ and the new WDA XSS services. This is an option from EHP5.
  4. If you are on EHP3 or below your options are a bit more complex. I'll try to explain them in the bottom of this post.
I will now explain the 4 options above in a bit more detail.

Option 1

If you are on (or upgrading to) EHP4 or above and currently using the EHP4 compatible XSS version you can chose to upgrade the Java packages. The
EHP4 7.0x compatible XSS Java components are SAP ESS 603, SAP MSS 600, PCUI_GP 603 and EHP4 compatible Portal Business Packages (BP) are
ESS/MSS version 1.41. This and other component combinations are described in detail here
The upgrade of the Java packages is necessary because 7.3 runs on a newer Java engine (Java 6) compared to older portal installations that ran on Java 1.4 or below. This need for upgrading is also described in note 1681538. Basically SAP has taken the old XSS Java components and re-compiled them with Java 6 without introducing new functionality.
The new re-compiled Java packages for NW 7.3 are called ESS 633, MSS 630, PCUI_GP 633. These will work with the before mentioned XSS BP version 1.41 probably already available on your Portal installation. Do not upgrade your BP - you have to use BP 1.41 even if you are on EHP 5. This is described in the section “Upgrade to EHP5 and/or NW7.3” in this wiki
The upgrade can be carried out using NWDI and NWDS as described in:
Of course if you haven’t made significant modifications to the old Java packages it is always an option to install the new Java packages from scratch to avoid the upgrade procedure. But I guess you already know the pros and cons of these options.

Option 2

In EHP5 SAP introduced WDA XSS services as a successor to WDJ. So if you are on EHP5 or above you have the option to substitute your WDJ services with WDA. But as mentioned in 1) this is not something you have to do and you should expect some investment in this substitution process. On the up-side you will of course also get the latest XSS version and functionality. If you are a new of XSS and on EHP5 or above of course WDA would be the go-to version. The Portal BPs needed for the WDA services to run are BPERPESSWDA 1.50, BP_ERP5COM 1.51, and BP_ERP5MSS 1.51 (Update: actually if you are only going to use WDA services then for MSS you only need MSS Add On 1.0 Business Package for MSS Add-On 1.0 - SAP Documentation instead of the MSS 1.51 which also contains WDJ iviews - thanks @Martin S√łgaard for pointing that out ).
Input for the setup procedure can be found in these excellent documents and blogs written by Virag Shinde and Sagar Joshi respectively:

Option 3  

From EHP5 you can also chose to use a combination of WDJ and WDA. These can co-exist on the portal. You simply have to install the new BPs mentioned in 2) and then you can either:
  • pick and chose the new services you want and integrate them into your current role structure
  • use the new structure provided and integrate the old services into this structure (this is also discussed in Customizing ESS in EHP5 ( Step by Step Guide))
So it could be an incremental process instead of a reimplementation project. This is the approach we have chosen and will implement the new version
on a case by case basis based on business need.
An architectural decision on which of the above approaches to use is also discussed in this blog @Bernhard Escherich EhP 5 ESS: The architect's view and also note 1450179 gives a good overview of the options.

Option 4

If you upgrade to 7.3 and are on EHP3 or below (and plan to stay there) the options are not as clear and my knowledge also more limited. But this is
what I have been able to gather. First of all EHP3 and EHP4 Java packages were based on the same version as stated in note 1359937. As a result if you are on EHP3 I guess it should be possible to upgrade to the new Java packages and get them running on the 7.3 portal. If you run into problems the webinar listed in 1) could be of use. Again a clean installation could also be an option.
Since the Java packages are based on the same version I also guess that the combination of the new 7.3 Java packages and EHP3 will work but this I’m not so sure about. In section 8 of this brilliant blog written by Thomas Hensel SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.3 – Top 10 lessons learned from ramp-up you should know before getting started! it is also mentioned that problems could occur if on EHP3 or below. Thomas Hensel also mentions the workaround to
keep the Business Packages on the separate Portal 7.0 and integrate the remote content into the central Portal 7.3
The pdf file attached to note 1468349 also only mentions EHP4 in combination with the new 7.3 Java packages so I can not conclude on support for EHP3 or below in combination with 7.3 and XSS. Can anyone clarify this?
Please feel free to drop me a comment or correct any of my conclusions if I’m mistaken
Other relevant links:

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