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What is the purpose of the Support Package Stack Guide and why should I use it?
This document contains a step-by-step procedure how to install SAP NetWeaver Support Package Stacks (SP Stacks) in various implementation scenarios. The guide covers topics about all phases involved in updating a NetWeaver system – planning, preparation, actual SP Stack update and post-installation steps. The SP stack guide contains information about tools to be used, references to notes and additional documentation about updates of NetWeaver systems. Using the SP Stack Guide helps speed up the update process which leads to reduced downtime and TCO.
All procedures described in the guide are validated by SAP and following them guarantees consistent system update.

Which scenarios applying SP Stacks does the guide cover?
1. Update of a single-stack system
  – ABAP stack update
  – JAVA stack update
2. Dual-stack system update (ABAP+JAVA)
3. Update scenarios based on usage types installed in the NetWeaver system (AS ABAP; AS Java; BI; DI; EP; EPC; MI; PI), standalone engines and clients (TREX; SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio; BI Accelerator; SAP Web Dispatcher; SAP Gateway Service).

What is a Support Package Stack?
The SP Stacks are sets of Support Packages and patches for the respective product version that must be used in the given combination. An SP Stack contains the optimal combination of Support Package and patch statuses for the individual components at the given time.
 
Why should I use SP Stacks?
– Installing SP Stacks leads to reduced complexity, increased quality, greater transparency and easier execution of planned maintenance.
– SAP test activities are focused more on required combinations (SP Stacks) of components. An SP Stack contains a consistent set of component updates that is validated by SAP to work together.
– To guarantee successful update, install complete SP stack instead of individual component updates.
– Service Marketplace download pages specifically tailored to SP Stacks make it simpler to download the required Support Packages and patches.
– Application instructions specifically created for SP Stacks reduce the time and effort needed to apply the corresponding Support Packages and patches.
– Knowledge of possible restrictions and the transparency of side effects and their resolution is generally better within the context of SP Stacks compared to Support Packages and patches that are combined randomly.
– Potential problems can be pre-empted or solved faster, and operating costs can ultimately be reduced.
– SAP recommends regular application of the delivered SP Stacks.

What tools can I use to apply SP Stacks for ABAP and/or JAVA?
a) ABAP Support Package Manager (SPAM)
  – Provides a restart capability
  – Protects both customer modifications and add-ons
  – Ensures the correct order when implementing several Support Packages at the same time 
  – Contains conflict resolution: A Support Package that causes a conflict with an add-on can only be implemented if you implement the relevant Conflict Resolution Transport (CRT)

b) JAVA Support Package Manager (JSPM)
  – Checks prerequisites of individual Support Packages that are included and dependencies between them
  – Updates SAP kernel and other native parts of Application Server Java.
  – Applies an entire JAVA Support Package Stack to an SAP System.
  – Collaboration with SAP NetWeaver Development Infrastructure (NWDI) for modification adjustment.

Additional information and where can I find it?
Frequently Asked Questions for Software Maintenance (release upgrades, Support Package and SAP Note implementation)
https://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/SL/Software+Maintenance
– SAP NetWeaver 7.0 Support Package Stack Guides: http://service.sap.com/maintenanceNW70
– SAP NetWeaver PI 7.1 Support Package Stack Guides: http://service.sap.com/maintenanceNWPI71
– SAP NetWeaver 7.0 Support Package Stacks – central page: http://service.sap.com/netweaver -> SAP NetWeaver 7.0 – Release-Specific Information -> Support Package Stacks Information
– SAP NetWeaver PI 7.1 Support Package Stacks – central page: http://service.sap.com/netweaver -> SAP NetWeaver Process Integration 7.1 – Release-Specific Inf -> Support Package Stacks Information
– SAP Support Package Stacks – general information page: http://service.sap.com/sp-stacks

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