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So this is the first time I’m writing a blog (and yes: I’m really excited!).
Today I would like to give you some insight into SAP’s new release strategy and explain the differences between full-blown releases and SAP enhancement packages for SAP ERP. Let’s start with this picture which shows the evolution of the architecture of SAP ERP:

Evolution of SAP ERP architecture
With SAP R/3 4.6 and 4.7 (“Enterprise”) the SAP Web Application Server (or “Basis”) based on ABAP was the foundation of the ERP application. There was no SAP Netweaver, also the SAP industry solutions were at that time Add-Ons on top of the application. SAP started to support Unicode with SAP R/3 4.7.
With SAP ERP (version 6.0 is the latest edition)  – SAP provides a solution which is built on top of SAP Netweaver, e.g the SAP Enterprise Portal can be leveraged as a unified UI for all applications, also the SAP Business Intelligence and SAP Process Integration are integral parts of SAP’s ERP solution. The application was also enhanced tremendously, with SAP ERP nearly all industry solutions became part of the application core plus tons of new functionality is ready to use. You can explore the new functionality easily with the SAP Solution Browser.
With SAP ERP 6.0 (which is the “Go-To” release), SAP stopped delivering new ERP releases – and started to provide new functionality to customers with an innovative approach: SAP enhancement packages.

SAP enhancement packages for SAP ERP include functional enhancements, industry-specific enhancements and enterprise services (ES) bundles. Right now SAP enhancement package 2 is generally available, number three is in the Ramp-Up phase.
Good to know: SAP enhancement packages have the same maintenance duration as the underlying core application, SAP ERP 6.0. As before, all legal changes and corrections will be available via Support Packages. SAP provides Support Packages for SAP ERP 6.0 on a regular basis during the defined maintenance period and, in parallel, in the equivalent Support Packages for SAP enhancement packages for SAP ERP.

Two major characteristics comprise the key difference between SAP enhancement packages for SAP ERP and other, older technologies:

1.
      Selective installation of software components
a)    Each SAP enhancement package contains new versions of existing software components, which does not constitute an innovation on its own. But with SAP enhancement packages, you only update software components that are related to the functionality you want to use.
b)    After the installation, no UI or process changes take place.

2.
      Selective activation of new functionality
a)    New functionality must be explicitly switched on to become active in the system.
b)    Changes are predictable, with changes only in the activated areas – no side effects.

Ok – that’s enough for today, more parts of this series will follow:Next time I will introduce new and important entities: “technical usage” and “business function”. Also I will write about customer experiences and how you can leverage this new concept in the most beneficial way. The technical details about the installation with the maintenance optimizer and the Installation Tools and the Switch Framework will follow, as well.

Concept small

You find my second weblog here: What you must know about implementing SAP enhancement packages for SAP ERPWhat you must know about implementing SAP enhancement packages for SAP ERP.

EHP Book

http://www.sap-press.de/katalog/buecher/titel/gp/titelID-2180

http://www.sap-press.com/H3147

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16 Comments

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  1. Erik Nagler
    Hi,
    Great blog so far. I am still fighting through the jungle of SAP’s licensing/product naming and this blog helps me to understand how the whole product how it is  built up.
    I really wish you could more into detail, e.g. ERP 6.0 has its basis on Netweaver and on top of it there are ECC Core 6.0 and so on. And then go into detail on whats excactly inside those components, e.g. Netweaver contains the Web Application Server, ECC contains Enhancement Packeges…
    I hope you understand what I’m talking about 😀
    Keep up this great blog, very appreciated.
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    1. Christian Oehler Post author
      ERP 6.0 (previously known as: 2005) is built on the platform SAP Netweaver 7.0 (previously known as: 2004s). However the main component, the SAP ECC 6.0 (the technical successor of the R/3) is based on Netweaver Application Server 7.0 (ABAP).
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  2. Jim Weir
    Hello,
    I would like some clarification regarding the state of the source code components post-EHP install and pre-Activation.
    I understand from your comments that the runtime is unaffected after install because the programs have not been compiled.
    My question is if those programs are inadvertently compiled through some other means could we then have untested programs surface in the production runtime environment?
    (0) 
  3. Julius Krahtz
    HI Christian

    This is my 1st attempt at blogging, and I am not too sure if this is the right place to post my question, but here goes.

    I have what seems like an important question regarding the application of Enhancement Packs.

    Our SAP Basis consultant installed EHP3 on our SAP landscape without reading some of the technical material which I have now read.
    He did not do a selective installation of individual software components. He applied EHP 3 to all possible modules in the system whether we are using it or not.

    The questions I have is this:

    Is there any negative impact to the modules we are actually using?
    Will we have to apply all future EHP’s to all modules within the system, and what is the impact?
    If we are only using EA-FINSERV and SAP_APPL, and he installed it for about 60 modules, what is the difference in time for getting these tasks done?
    Is it not a requirement for EHP4 to install all of the modules?

    Should I have him tied to a tree and flogged for doing the wrong thing, is there no major impact?

    Regards
    Julius

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  4. Dominic Thompson
    We only update once a year and we are at erp 6.0 sp13.  This year we want to go to erp enhp 4 stack 4 when it comes out.  My basis team is asking are we suppose to put the enhancement pack on all of the components or do we pick and choose which ones to enhance when installing. Like do we just put it n sap_appl or sap_hr.  Or my understanding we would install in on the entire erp and turn on what we decide to turn on.  We wouldn’t want all the components at different levels, would we. Even your blog states to install only what we need. What does that mean exactly.
    please advise.  Thanks
    (0) 
    1. Anonymous
      Hi Dominic,

      it’s SAPs recommendation to install the enhancement packages selectively, i.e. only the components that you require. You can always install more later on but once you have installed components you cannot uninstall them any more.

      Also check the presentation “Technology Facts” from Service Marketplace (Media Library of Quicklink /erp-ehp). The presentation explains the two strategy “Selective installation” and “Broad installation”. None of it suggests you to completely install all of the components.

      When you do the Selective Installation, you select the technical usages based on the business functions that you want to activate later on in the system.

      On the other hand, when you do the Broad Installation, you select the technical usages that fit best for the company and for the use of the system (HCM for an HR system for example). You choose the Broad installation if you do not know which business functions you are going to activate later on. But still with the Broad installation strategy you select only a limited number of technical usages.

      Best regards,
      Joachim

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  5. Eduardo Gironas
    hello:
    I need to upgrade 4.6C to the last version of SAP “only because” 4.6C is reaching the end of regular maintenace.
    Before receiving the services of a consultant I need to write some terms of reference. Between other documents I read the yours, but I have terrible confusions in new upgrade terminologies and technologies, for example: (1) upgrade using SAP NetWeaver 7.0, (2) upgrade to ECC6.0 (or ERP6.0, what is the real difference)? (3) upgrade using ABAP/Java?, (4) upgrade to EHP4 Release 1?
    I only would like to know the best upgrade strategy for my company.

    Thanks!!!!

    (0) 
    1. Christian Oehler Post author
      Hi Eduardo,

      in case you have an R/3 4.6C you should Upgrade to the latest main release ECC 6.0. You can choose if you want to include EHP4 or not – that’s optional (however we recommend to do so as it includes the very latest functionality).
      ECC 6.0 is based on NetWeaver AS ABAP 7.0 – so you don’t have to worry about your four mentioned options – as this is the basis which comes automatically with the new application.
      More information can be found in the helpful upgrade cookbook: http://service.sap.com/~sapidb/011000358700000801772009E

      Best regards,
      Christian.

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  6. Roberto Mariani
    Dears,
    I’m installing the product “SAP ERP 6.0 – EHP4 Ready ABAP on Windows”.
    The installation is ended successfully and acccording the installation guide to complete the process I have to install at least 1 technical usage of Enhp4.
    Into a ppt on SND I found also that is not supported to use the ERP 600 over NTW 701 without to activate at least 1 technical usage.

    As the solution manager is in progress, I need to know if I can release the system as it is, so without EHP4 installed a do it later.
    Which are the controindications using the ERP 600 over NTW 701 ? It will generate data inconsinstency ?

    regards

    (0) 
  7. Roberto Mariani
    Thanks Christian for the previous feedback.

    Please another question about EHP4 for Erp60:
    In a fresh installation I’m used to load first the languages , and then to apply the latest Support Packages.

    Since I have to install the EHP4 I’m asking if it is still true, so the languages should be installed first or maybe the EHP4 installation manage them differently .

    That is not specified into the indtallation guide.

    Best Regards

    (0) 

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