Have you just installed the trial of SAP Crystal Server 2020 and instantly found the web-based admin portal (Central Management Console) presents you with an unhelpful HTTP 500 error?

I did. I contacted SAP for some help as the articles on their site that offer some insight into this issue were presented as being “unavailable as they are being updated”. The help call started off with trying to ascertain why I could see the help articles rather thanĀ  what the cause of the HTTP 500 error was. I attempted to steer the conversation towards the more pressing issue, but they insisted on sorting the issue of seeing the help documents.

“Ahhah”, the support person ‘Liam’ exclaimed, “you don’t have a current maintenance contract”. “No, I don’t. This is a trial version” was my reply. “You need a maintenance contract to access help articles”, he explained, “I’ll get the name of your account executive so you can sort out your maintenance”. An angry red warning light started flashing in my head. I asked him: “Are you suggesting I need to pay for a maintenance contract to get help with your **trial** product that isn’t working?”. The reply was a blank “you need maintenance contract to access support articles”. ‘Liam’ then promptly and unilaterally ended the WebChat session.

After much searching I did, however, find a solution. The issue seems to stem from an incomplete Tomcat configuration. First I stopped the “Apache Tomcat for BI 4” service within the Central Configuration Manager. Next I renamed a directory within the Tomcat folders. On my system the path was:

C:\Program Files (x86)\SAP BusinessObjects\tomcat\work\Catalina

Within that directory, I renamed the directory “localhost” to “localhost.bak“. Then restart theĀ  “Apache Tomcat for BI 4” service within the Central Configuration Manager. Be prepared to wait around 15 minutes or more for Tomcat to rebuild the “localhost” directory. Once complete, you should now be able to log in to the Central Management Console. At this point it is safe to delete the old renamed “localhost.bak” directory as it is no longer required.