EHP Just a Few Clicks Away

Feature Article | February 8, 2011 by Christiane Stagge

SAP’s enhancement packages have already brought over 300 new functions to its software (image: Fotolia)

SAP’s EHPs have brought over 300 new functions to its software (image: Fotolia)

To help its customers keep their software on the cutting edge, SAP has turned its focus from expensive upgrades to cost-effective enhancement packages. Rapid implementation, tailored functionality, and minimal downtime are just of the few resulting advantages.

Meanwhile, admins can look forward to a simple installation process – often without major interruptions to ongoing operations. In this way, SAP plans to provide its customers with constant benefits in the form of updates and added functions.

Each individual company and IT department can determine how many business functions it wants to implement and when. With the Switch Framework, it’s also possible to select specific features of each enhancement package for installation while leaving your core SAP system untouched.

Requirements

Installing an enhancement package requires a full SAP release – such as SAP ERP 6.0 – and the corresponding support package stack. It’s also crucial that your release run on SAP NetWeaver 7.0; if you don’t have this version of the technology platform, you’ll have to upgrade by conventional means.

Be sure to bear two other things in mind, as well: The activation of individual business functions can’t be undone, and the new features provided only apply to SAP applications in their standard form. Enhancement packages don’t account for special customizations users have made themselves – only the core software.

Next page: Enhancement packages in practice

SAP Service Marketplace contains an information service center dedicated to enhancement packages (screenshot: SAP AG)

Service Marketplace contains an information service center dedicated to EHPs (screenshot: SAP AG)

Enhancement packages in practice

Enhancement packages offer additional functionality without forcing you to replace your current software. SAP has since designated this its primary approach, making release upgrades a thing of the past.

Enhancement package 4 for SAP ERP has been available since May 2009, and the next version entered the ramp-up phase in late 2010. A select group of customers is currently testing enhancement package 5, which is expected to hit the market in 2011.

Meanwhile, it’s important to remember that enhancement packages are not the same as support packages, which contain minor corrections. However, support packages do have to be installed along with enhancement packages.

The following enhancement packages are currently available:

  • Enhancement packages 3, 4, and 5 for SAP Product Lifecycle Management 7.0
  • Enhancement package 1 for SAP Customer Relationship Management 7.0
  • Enhancement package 1 for SAP Supply Chain Management 7.0
  • Enhancement package 1 for SAP Supplier Relationship Management 7.0

Along with simplified user-interface elements, enhancement packages include a number of functional improvements – up to 300 of them in enhancement package 4 for SAP ERP, for example. The packages are also cumulative, meaning that enhancement package 4 contains all of the features provided in enhancement package 3.

The new versions and functions each enhancement package offers apply to existing software components, and admins can choose the specific components they wish to update. Following installation, the changes made are not visible until the business functions are activated in ABAP. All of the updates in the enhancement package and corresponding support packages are then verified once more in a test run, for which each business function includes a test template.

Next page: How to install enhancement packages

Installing an enhancement package (screenshot: SAP AG)

Installing an enhancement package (screenshot: SAP AG)

How to install enhancement packages

Only one enhancement package level can be installed per system; similarly, an application can consist of just one such level. In the case of SAP ERP, this means you have to choose between enhancement package 3 and 4. After installing an enhancement package, however, you must also implement the components of each subsequent version number. Customers who use an industry-specific business function will have to install the corresponding industry software components of the enhancement package in question.

To help you plan and prepare your enhancement package installation, SAP provides the Enhancement Package Info Center and the Solution Browser Tool. The center gives you access to all of the important information related to your implementation, such as the concept, method, new functions, documentation, release notes, and a test catalog. Admins are also required to register through the info center prior to implementation.

Meanwhile, Maintenance Optimizer and the implementation content serve as a suitable blueprint, and SAP Enhancement Package Installer and Switch Framework aid in carrying out the installation itself.

Preparations

SAP recommends combining an enhancement package installation with the latest support package stack. If you make use of Java software components, it’s a good idea to first read through the Enhancement Package 4 Master Guide and identify the differences between enhancement package 4 for SAP ERP 6.0 and for SAP ERP 6.0 on SAP NetWeaver 7.01. If you plan to install only certain parts of an enhancement package, be sure to study the chapters “Selective Installation” and “Broad Installation.”

Before getting started, don’t forget to check the following:

  • Is SAP Solution Manager properly prepared?
  • Have you applied the last support package level for SAP Solution Manager 7.0?
  • Is Maintenance Optimizer running?
  • Is setup working?

Next page: Downloading enhancement packages

Download the enhancement package of your choice (screenshot: SAP AG)

Download the enhancement package of your choice (screenshot: SAP AG)

Downloading enhancement packages

Finally, you’re ready to download the enhancement package you need and generate a stack configuration file (in XML). Select the applicable release and system, such as SAP ERP 6.0, from the menu displayed and click “continue.” Then you can proceed with the enhancement package installation. Under “Find Download Files,” you can choose the proper package version: enhancement package 4 for SAP ERP 6.0 or for SAP ERP 6.0/ SAP NetWeaver 7.01. This step will require between 10 and 30GB of disk space.

Now it’s time to select your databases:

  • DB2 IBM DB2 for z/OS
  • DB4 IBM DB2 for i5/OS
  • DB6 IBM DB2 UDB for Linux, Unix, and Windows

After confirming the desired package and clicking “continue,” you can obtain the software using the download manager.

SAP Enhancement Package Installer is the standard tool for implementing your package. Based on the system switch procedure, this technology is available on 64-bit platforms for ABAP, Java and dual-stack, enhancement package 4 for SAP ERP 6.0, enhancement package 1 for SAP NetWeaver 7.0, and SAP NetWeaver Process Integration 7.1.

To start SAP Enhancement Package Installer, admins must first download the executable file from SAP Service Marketplace before proceeding with extraction and execution in SAPCAR.

The duration of your implementation and overall system downtime will depend on the following factors:

  • Hardware
  • Database
  • Service packages
  • Productive applications and add-ons
  • Number of users
  • Languages
  • Configuration mode in SAP Enhancement Package Installer

Finally, remember to allocate the following storage capacity:

  • SAPehpi: 25GB
  • Enhancement package 4 and SPS: 10GB
  • Shadow system: 60-80 GB

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2 comments

  1. Yvonne Tse

    Great article.

    SAP is putting a lot of emphasis on innovations this year. EhP is really a great way to add value onto your existing SAP investments while being the most innovative in your industry.
    We have this initiative called innovations 2010 introducing these EhPs. Find out what is new for your LoB, industry or the solution that you’re looking at. There are some excellent and easy to understand 3 min videos here on Service MarketPlace too: https://websmp208.sap-ag.de/innovations2010

    These new EhPs are in ramp up phrase now till end June. If you are interested in joining the Innovations 2010 ramp up program and get our experts’ special care to help you implement, contact us. There is a link for regional contacts on the top right hand side of the link I mentioned above.

  2. Anonymous

    Very useful! It would be great to have step by step printscreens of the whole process.

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