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Where do I find SAP product documentation?  That is the focus question for part 4 of this series.  If you missed part 1, part 2, and part 3, we covered information surrounding accessing the SAP Support Portal, the message creation process, and how to set up your profile, single sign on, and receive notifications.

Recently Robert Briese wrote about the SAP Help Portal’s transformation.  The SAP Help Portal specializes in providing customers and partners information on product documentation such as installation guides, release notes, and user administration guides, but also provides related information, such as SAP Notes, product availability information and links to community content.  You can browse based on product line, or if you don’t know where to go, there is a helpful navigation path that shows the legacy mapping aligned to the new mapping of content.

Now turning our attention back to the SAP Support Portal, we are going to help provide you with quick access paths so you can find the documentation you need.

After accessing the SAP Support Portal, the main bulk of product documentation is found under the Release & Upgrade Info tab.

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Here you will find information on SAP’s release and maintenance strategy, road maps, release notes, upgrade info, installation & upgrade guides, and the product availability matrix.

Each one of these areas can be drilled into based on product or solution line.  The below will provide you with a brief description of what to expect in these areas.

  • SAP Release Strategy – The SAP release strategy determines the availability of new SAP releases, the length and conditions of their maintenance, and the dependencies among individual releases. It provides planning reliability for your implementation and upgrade projects
  • Road Maps
    • Solution Road Maps – Solution road maps cover innovations that focus on business solutions and processes and span several products that are relevant for customer lines of business in their industries.
    • Product Road Maps – Product road maps describe how feature and function capabilities of an SAP product or technology are planned to progress over time.
  • Release Notes – A release note is a brief explanation of new features or changes to the system since the last software release. A release note typically describes a new function or an existing function that has been enhanced or changed.  It may also describe a function that has been deleted or describe user interface changes, terminology changes, late-breaking news and known issues. or changes to the structure of the Implementation Guide (IMG).
  • Upgrade Info – Your single point of access for all upgrade-related information.  This is broken down by phase.
    • Plan – Upgrade discovery and evaluation
    • Build – Upgrade Implementation
    • Run – Operations and Continuous Improvement
  • Installation & Upgrade Guides – Comprehensive technical documentation such as master guides, installation, upgrade guides
  • Product Availability Matrix – The Product Availability Matrix (PAM) bundles technical and release planning information on SAP software product versions for quick reference. You will find detailed information on availability dates, maintenance end dates and upgrade paths, as well as technical release information (DB-platforms, JSE-platforms, operating systems etc.).

There are of course other areas of documentation that you may be interested in finding.

For example, SAP Support stacks, information on stacks, and stack and service pack maintenance schedules can be found under the Software Download Center.  Drill down into Support Packages and Patches, then SAP Support Packages in Detail and SAP Support Package Stacks.

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Perhaps you need to find a list of documentation and help files for SAP Support applications and basic features in the SAP Support Portal?  Follow this link.

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Enterprise Support customer?  There is an entire section in the SAP Support Portal just for you!  For an overview on the program, visit http://service.sap.com/enterprisesupport.

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If you are interested in a guided approach to finding services and knowledge transfer channels relevant to you, visit the Enterprise Support Academy at http://service.sap.com/esacademy

Finally, if you aren’t finding the documentation or information you need, try out SAP Support Knowledge Search.  The SAP Support Knowledge search is an easy to use knowledge base search tool that quickly looks up your search term across several repositories simultaneously. The SAP Support Knowledge search supports the auto-complete feature when entering your search term, and once you have run a search, you can filter the result list by various criteria using the “Narrow down” feature.

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I hope you found this information useful.  Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

As always, you can follow my team on Twitter: @SAPSupportCE.

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