EHP: Keeping SAP Up to Date

Geht schneller: Software auf den neuesten Stand bringen (Grafik: grasundsterne)
ERP 6.0: Faster up to scratch with EHPs (graphics: grasundsterne)

Nearly 95,000 customers all over the world rely on SAP software. And it has never been easier to keep software up-to-date. Since 2006, customers have had the opportunity to update their existing software applications to the latest version via enhancement packages (EHPs). And they did. More than 5,300 customers have already installed the enhancement packages for ERP 6.0 to benefit from the newest capabilities available. In addition to EHP5 for the ERP application, SAP plans to release EHP1 for CRM 7.0, SRM 7.0, SCM 7.0 and PLM 7.0.

Enhancement packages represent a new software delivery strategy which allows customers to modernize and innovate their business processes without the need of  traditional upgrades. Enhancement packages for ERP include functional enhancements, industry-specific enhancements, UI simplifications, and enterprise service bundles. The first four generations of enhancement packages for ERP 6.0 have been delivered and successfully adopted in the market.

Enhancement Package vs Support Packages

SAP enhancement packages are optional packages that deliver new or improved business functions which can be selectively deployed. Support Packages on the other hand, contain corrections like bug fixes and legal or tax changes and are therefore mandatory. SAP recommends installing enhancement packages when applying a regular support package as a maintenance activity. This combined approach reduces the downtime and manual effort for the whole installation procedure and for the testing efforts.

About SAP Business Suite 7

In 2009 SAP introduced Business Suite 7, a set of modular but integrated applications, designed as a long-term, sustainable platform. As shown in the figure Business Suite consists of the go-to releases of five core applications, the most recent industry and supplementary applications available since November 21, 2008 and the components of the SAP NetWeaver technology platform that support the above applications.

Business Suite 7 with ERP 6.0
Business Suite 7 with ERP 6.0

Upgrade Paths: what’s possible, what’s not

Kostenlose Updates gibt für ERP 6.0 - SAP R/3 bedeutet mehr Aufwand
Free updates for ERP 6.0 - with SAP R/3 it's more difficult

Customers already running ERP 6.0 can directly install enhancement package 4, the latest available enhancement package for SAP ERP 6.0.  Customers on older releases – SAP R/4.0B and SAP PLM 4.0 and above can perform a direct upgrade to ERP 6.0 and include enhancement package 4 as part of the overall upgrade process. . The direct upgrade paths for the other Business Suite components, CRM, SRM and SCM is shown in the figure (SAP PLM is an integrated part of SAP ERP 6.0).

Older installations can still be upgraded to ERP 6.0. SAP recommends users carry out the upgrade and install as they update their IT systems and replace their old hardware and software.

Functional Enhancements

The solution browser tool for SAP ERP can help you discover new functionality across different SAP ERP releases and  enhancement packages for SAP ERP. You can also use this tool to assess the value of upgrading by comparing functional enhancements between your existing SAP R/3 release and SAP ERP 6.0. Access the solution browser tool .

Einfache Updates mit dem ERP Browser Tool
Einfache Updates mit dem ERP Browser Tool

Simplified installation: Maintenance Optimizer (MOPZ)

The Solution Manager 7.0 plays a central role in the enhancement package 4 installation process.  The Maintenance Optimizer of Solution Manager is used to calculate a system-dependant stack of software components to be installed in the target system. Therefore, Solution Manager must be up to date, must be set up correctly, and needs to have up-to-date information about the system landscape.

EHP installer

Erwartungen der Kunden an Software-Updates
Expactations of customers regarding software updates

The enhancement package installer (SAPEHPi) installs the enhancement packages in an ABAP system using a system cloning and switch procedure. This tool has dramatically reduced downtime compared to earlier installation methods. Test Templates are available to facilitate the overall testing effort and they can be accessed from
the enhancement package information center.

In 2010, SAP is planning to introduce enhancement packages for all Business Suite applications:  Enhancement package 5 for the ERP 6.0 application, enhancement package 2 for SAP NetWeaver and enhancement package 1 for each of the core applications, Customer Relationship Management (SAP CRM 7.0), Supplier Relationship Management (SAP SRM 7.0), Supply Chain Management (SAP SCM 7.0), and Product Lifecycle Management (SAP PLM 7.0). The release to customer ramp-up is planned for the second quarter of 2010.

Getting started

To discover and evaluate which innovations are shipped in which SAP enhancement packages, visit the Service Marketplace. Here you will also find key documents you should leverage, such as, “What IT Professionals Must Know about enhancement packages for SAP ERP.