Time and again we come across technical issues and post trouble shooting we later identify the fixes in the form of correction notes and apply them. This happens mostly on a ‘reactive’ basis where in we identify fixes only as and when issues happen. There exists a way to identify all the Notes/Corrections relevant for your particular SAP release which when known saves a lot of time/effort or in other words be ‘proactive’. Here we refer to corrections which we are not aware of till now but those that have been identified either by SAP OSS themselves or based on pointers from other SAP end clients.
This is a module/functional area independent document with the following Objectives:
- Learn to identify all relevant SAP notes relevant for an SAP release.
- Ability to read through the SAP note in the manner it is designed to be.
- Improvise trouble shooting capabilities and ensuring one to be more self-reliant.
To follow this document all one needs as a pre-requisite is a valid credential to log on to the SAP service marketplace site: https://service.sap.com/support
- When an end user of SAP finds a technical issue in the SAP product, the same is reported to SAP support/OSS. Support/development teams inspect and develop a correction if required. This correction is known as SNOTE (SAP Note).
- Over the time, multiple end users, report bugs for which SAP releases SNOTE. SAP collects all these corrections in the form of a what is called as a SUPPORT PACKAGE. This support package also includes enhancements to earlier versions of SAP.
What is my current SAP release?
Check for Support Package name following the path from your SAP Easy Access screen:
Click on Component version Under SAP System data.
Against the Software Component SAP_APPL check for the details under ‘Highest Support Package’.
From the screen shot we can read out that we have ERP 6.0 with Enhancement package 5. Support Package implemented is SAPKH60505.
SAP’s Support Package (SP) Stack Schedule plan:
What can we infer from the above snapshot?
Any Support Package (SP) starts always with the number 01.
EhP5 has the running support package level SAPKH60510 and 11 coming up next. (Even though SP 11 is slated for Q4’2013 it is made available now itself).
EhP6 has SP’s SAPKH607/08/09 in its sequence.
For earlier releases ERP 6.0 w/o EhP through ERP 6.0 with EhP 4, please read the information accordingly.
The reference in this document would be based on SAPKH60505 and related corrections. You are expected to translate the same accordingly to your SAP release.
Do-It-Yourself(DIY): Learn more about Application Component SAP_APPL, Support Packages and SP Stacks in detail.
- Downloading the Corrections made available in subsequent Packages:
Our current SP level is SAPKH60505 and the latest SP made available for the 605 release is SAPKH60511. So at this point of time we are interested in corrections across SP’s SAPKH0506 through SAPKH0511.
Follow the link:
(As per the schedule plan as above, if we try to search for anything like 60512 or 60610 in the URL as above, we will get an error stating that the package name is invalid).
If we click on ‘Expanded list’ we get the below pop up message:
(It should be noted that till a few months back we used to get a download of all notes relevant to the support package instantly but looks like the process has changed recently (and valid as of July’13 when writing this document but again may be subjected to change in the future) because of the action being performance intensive. Whenever the number of individual notes exceed more than 500 notes there needs to be an initial request as above and a subsequent download option these days. For packages with correction notes lesser than 500 the download is instant).
We click on Submit and the subsequent message is as follows:
In case if there is no mail notification after a few hours if you try to click on the above link you will be taken to the screen as below:
- Now you can click on ‘Show Entire list’ check box to view all notes by scrolling down in the screen and/or
- You can select notes relevant/specific to your module and click on ‘Download list’ to take it into an excel sheet or
- You can read the details of correction by clicking on the Note number link.
Normally if we are in SAPKH60505, we would be interested in corrections SAPKH60506 through SAPKH60511 (information specified here holds good as of July’13 beginning and would change in near future).
From an excel download as discussed above we get to know the complete list of corrections made available in the package level per application area/Component. Then it is the action required from our end to browse through all notes in the relevant application area and get to know the issues identified and for which we have a fix in place readily available.
Repeat the above process of identifying all corrections by changing the URL pointing to SAPKH60507 through SAPKH60511 and then download them in a consolidated excel sheet across these SP levels.
In general, when we look at the corrections in the list, we get to see minor issues (Note 1859555) which escape our attention as in OPJ9 wherein we try to assign the Production scheduling profile to the Production scheduler and the description of PSP not getting updated to other issues which are more complex.
In short, some issues which we will not get to know otherwise can be fixed up quickly and easily by identifying the right package level and set of notes offered under the same.
Just to reiterate the download process holds good of early July’13 at the time of writing this document and all correction related download processes may change in near future.
B. Reading through the contents of a SAP Note and understanding its relevancy:
For explanation purposes, in an excel download for SAPKH60506 we are interested in seeing corrections specific to Kanban functionality. We see that there are three notes relevant across the sub-components post filtering per our selection.
We check for the same sub-component in the download for SAPKH60511:
The focus now is on Note 1704119.If we look at the SAP Note, we can see the below details:
Note is relevant ONLY for releases 605, 606 and 616.
Let us say that there are 4 different end clients:
Customer 1 with SAPKH60506, Customer 2 with SAPKH60511
Customer 3 with SAPKH60608 and Customer 4 with SAPKH60609.
What is clear in the scenario is customers 1 and 3 will face the technical issue whereas customers 2 and 4 will not.
SAP 605 customers will get the correction rectified by default as of SAPKH60511 and in any SP’s prior to that the application of note is required to correct the issue.
Similarly SAP606 customers will have the correction available as of SAPKH60609 only and earlier SP levels will not have the correction.
This clears the general feeling that all higher release customers will have issues sorted out compared to customers on lower release is not correct as the package for an earlier release may get released after the package for a later/newer release.
Hope it now facilitates how to read the details in a SAP note and to which release it is valid. Also note that clicking on the link as under ‘Package Name’ as in above screen shot will take you to the same URL we had discussed earlier to download all relevant correction notes.
Other decision to be taken into consideration:
I identify 1000’s of notes relevant to me at any point of time. Whether we need to be ‘Reactive’ by applying the relevant individual notes with some effort every time and as and when we experience issues or be ‘Proactive’ by upgrading to the new Support package level and avoid all issues?
Answer depends on your IT strategy related to Support Package upgrades.
If your IT objective is to upgrade every half-year (for discussion sake), it makes sense not to apply the large number of notes unless otherwise
issues get critical and actually wait for the package upgrade to happen. If the policy is to wait and wait till it finally happens, it would be advisable to
apply all the notes.
Again bear in mind that corrections are continuous over time and a new note may be added to Support Package 60506 SP at a later date than your current excel download as in our instance. In a project environment it would be advisable for members across multiple teams to check for corrections on a monthly/rotational basis and update a consolidated list.
Identifying the Side effects of a Correction:
The last related option is in a SAP note we see is the side effect related information appearing towards the end of the note.
In some cases, however, SAP Notes and Support Packages are dependent on each other, and resolving a particular issue with one SAP Note may cause new issues to arise in other areas or situations. To resolve these new issues, SAP publishes new SAP Notes that are related to the original SAP Note.
To allow easier detection of these interdependencies, a reporting tool is available on the SAP Service Marketplace. When importing a Support Package or SAP Note, you can check for known side effects and find relevant SAP Notes to treat these. Using the tool, you can proactively prevent problems that may occur as a result of applying Support Packages or SAP Notes, not only accelerating and improving the quality of issue resolution, but also reducing maintenance effort and costs.
In some cases, for example, an SAP Note may be included in a Support Package, but another dependent SAP Note has been created after the release of this Support Package. When you apply the Support Package containing the first SAP Note, the dependency information may tell you that a new dependent SAP Note exists. By applying this SAP Note, you can guard against unwanted side effects of the first SAP Note. Click on below link:
DIY: Learn how to complete the activity yourself as this gets going on its own long loop again.
A few months back there was a post in the forum related to Automated Notes Search Tool (Tcode: ANST_SEARCH_TOOL) and related information on the same had been referenced in the Knowledge Base Article (KBA) 1818192. The automated way was first introduced as a pilot to handle corrections as and when there were program dumps (look for correction notes directly from ST22 screen) and later got extended, as subsequent pilots, to suggesting corrections for customizing issues and again later to issues arising out of customised codes in programs. The thing to be noted is these automated mechanisms should base their working logic we have seen and discussed as above in this document. Up and until you start using the automated way in your project set-up, the manual methods suggested here should help the consultants.
Other advantages of the manual search method are that it indirectly helps learning. Searching for notes with a relevant key word, for instance,
- Helps you in understanding all relevant issues that have been encountered since old releases and come out with better negative testing in your business scenarios.
- Brings out some details which cannot be inferred in the SAP help/documentation in the form of FAQs against different topics.
Hopefully the objectives set out at the beginning of the document were accomplished. Please do leave your feedback and point out any errors that might have crept in inadvertently along with additional points of interest that can be incorporated to make this document more meaningful.