So you are planning to do an upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 and you are not really sure how to treat SAP enhancement packages?
In this blog I will shed light on it. As you might already know a direct upgrade path is available from previous SAP R/3 releases to SAP ERP 6.0 including SAP enhancement package 3 for ERP 6.0. SAP recommends binding in the latest SAP enhancement package for SAP ERP into the Upgrade. However the mantra of SAP enhancement packages is to start evaluating the new functionality, by looking at the available “Business Functions”. After the installation of SAP enhancement packages you can then activate Business Functions via the Switch Framework (transaction code: SFW5).
Normally you would map the Business Function to a Technical Usage (e.g. via SAP Note 1083576 for EHP3), which you can then select in the Maintenance Optimizer (Solution Manager) to download the required parts of the SAP enhancement package and generate the stack XML. This is the recommended approach by SAP as it minimizes the implementation effort. Please note that the latest version (SAP Solution Manager 7.0, a.k.a. 4.0) on the highest available Support Package is recommended.
However this is at least partially not that easy in case you plan to upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 (technically from R/3 to ECC 6.0). If the upgrade of your system is “maintenance” driven you might not get the required information (=selected Business Functions) from your business counterpart. So in case your Business Expert can’t provide a list of required Business Functions you could try a different approach: By selecting the “relevant” functionality from a technical perspective.
The main advantage of putting all relevant” parts of the latest SAP enhancement package into the upgrade is that the additional effort is only minor and by that you gather the latest ERP functionality. Of course the drawbacks of this strategy are that you more or less follow the 80/20 rule. Chances are high that you will provide all required functionality to the business, but be aware that there is also a small chance that you might miss some. Another aspect is that every time you will install an EHP in the future all installed EHP Components have to be updated with every future SAP enhancement package installation. This is due to the fact that an application system can only consist of one EHP level (e.g. EhP3 or EhP4). All subsets of an EHP installed in the system must belong to the same EHP level. Furthermore customers who have activated an industry business function set have to include the corresponding industry software component version into the EHP installation. So what it comes down to is that some additional adjustment effort and run-/ downtime must be considered.
Here are the three steps which should help you to technically narrow down and select the relevant Technical Usages:
1. Select the technical usages that reflect topics that you use in your system.
a. Select the required Core Functionality:
Technical Usage(s): Central Applications, Human Capital Management
b. Plus optionally select the extended functionality:
Technical Usage(s): ERecruiting on ECC Server, HCM – Learning Solution , Global Trade, Financial Supply Chain Mgmt, ESA ECC-SE, EAM Config Control
c. Plus optionally select one or more industry related Technical Usage(s):
Financials – Contr. Acc. & Leasing, Oil&Gas with Utilities, Catch Weight Management, Discrete Ind. & Mill Products, Oil&Gas, Insurance, Retail, Hospital, Media, Defense, Public Sector Accounting, Utilities/Waste&Recycl./Telco, Defense Forces & Public Sec.
2. For the remaining technical usages, briefly verify if these include interesting capabilities for your end-users. To find out which Business Functions are part of a Technical Usage read Note 1165438 – there you will find the respective mapping.
3. Check if any add-on’s are installed and if these are released for the respective EHP.
4. For those technical usages that fulfill this prerequisite, install them along with the Support Package stack.
5. For customers with an activate industry business function set: The corresponding industry component must be included into the EHP installation.
So in case you upgrade your system you should (at least) include the required Core Functionality – Technical Usages depending on the Fact that you are upgrading e.g. an HR and/or Financials/Logistics (..) system. I hope this helps you to leverage SAP enhancement packages more easily as part of your upgrade project.
A presentation about this topic can be found in the media library (EHP Technical) of the EHP information center.