In upgrade project SPDD and SPAU are the main transactions. In general, a upgrade project are like

  • Technical Upgrade
  • Functional Upgrade

In a typical technical Upgrade project process steps like

  1. System preparation and stack level patch upgrade – Basis Team
  2. SPDD Phase – ABAP and Functional
  3. Up grade of the system – Basis Team
  4. SPAU Phase – ABAP and Functional
  5. DBACOCKPIT for indexing –  (Issue resolution and error tracking) – ABAP TEAM and Functional
  6. Custom programs corrections – obsolete function modules and objects

SPDD Phase

This transaction code SPDD is the core step in an upgrade project. The system compares all the dictionary objects – data elements, database tables and structures of the latest system (say CRM 70. EPH1) with the previous or the old system (e.g CRM 4.0).

These all elements are present under two nodes – with modification assistant and without modification assistant. Objects present under with modification assistant have the modification assistant ‘ON’ and we can see the modification logs.The objects in green color as shown below are the objects processed already and the ones in blue are the ones which still need to be processed. Apart from the nodes – ‘With modification assistant ‘and ‘Without modification assistant ‘, there is one more node sometimes – ‘Deleted objects’. This node contains objects which are deleted in the newer version of SAP and this node is to be left as it is. The objects under ‘With modification assistant’ and ‘Without modification assistant’ are to be processed by the ABAP team.



The ABAP team clicks on the objects one by one – it takes us to the corresponding object – data element, structure or database table in the SE11 transaction code where we need to do the version comparison of the object. Click on Utilities -> Versions ->Version Management. There it shows all the versions of the object. The topmost or the latest version is of the Latest SAP Version and the versions below are the previous or modified versions.

Now, we need to compare the Latest SAP version with the previous versions. Click on the check boxes of the two versions to compare and then click on the ‘compare’ button. We have to choose two and only two versions in order to compare them. In the comparison, it shows the differences in the two versions. We can click the Delta Comparison to see the delta differences between the two versions of the object. Now, after seeing the comparison, the developer has to decide whether he/she wants to keep the Latest SAP version (CRM) of the object. (Reset to Original) or he/she wants to keep the changes made or modifications made (Adapt Modification) in the previous system (4.0).

When we click on it and go to the version comparison, suppose it shows that 2 new fields are added in the Latest SAP version (CRM), when compared to the older version (4.0).The developer has to analyze the pros and corns of this objects – If he/she resets the table to original in SPDD, the 2 new fields would be added in the table MARA. If he Adapts modification, whenever any transaction or any program tries to store or read any value from the two new fields, it might give a short dump. So in this case, it is better to go for ‘Reset to original’.

SPAU Phase

The SPAU transaction contains the objects – Programs, Reports, Screens, Messages, Notes, Function Modules etc. which have difference in the Latest SAP request and the previous ones. This SPAU phase can be done either just after SPDD or after the Upgrade of the system by the Basis team.SPAU_1.png

The same way we need to compare the objects in ‘Version Management’ and decide weather to ‘Reset to Original’ or ‘Adapt Modification’. The ‘Adapt Modification is however slightly different for codes – Function modules, reports etc. In adapt modification, the SPAU gives us the empty space to write our code – by having a reference to thecode in previous request, we can decide and write the code with some corrections when required. This is in the case of objects present in ‘Without Modification Assistant’.

In case of ‘With modification Assistant’, it opens a the program code in grey mode and we can insert or delete or modify code by pressing corresponding buttons in a similar way we do to modify any SAP standard code by using the access key.


The objects present in SPAU do not require any access key for a period of around 15-20 days after which SAP automatically locks those codes and after this locking, if we want to change or delete any code in SPAU objects, we would require an access key. So it is a good practice to finish the SPAU phase in 10-15 days time. In SPAU also, only one transport request is to be made for all objects as a best practice.

For further more details referSPDD & SPAU Handbook


What objects will come in SPAU and SPDD?

All the objects which are modified, after tansporting to the current system, will be listed in SPAU and SPDD. SPDD contains the list of all modified Data Dictionary objects, like tables, dataelements, domains,view…etc. The rest of all the modified repository objects will be listed in SPAU.

What happens to the modifications done in the older version when we upgrade the version? (with Modification assistant and w/o)

After the initial upgrade happens, we have to do adjustments from SPAU/SPDD to maintain or reset the changes. That is, from the list of objects in SPAU/SPDD, you have to either carry forward the changes to the new version, by choosing the option ADOPT CHANGES (available on right click) or RESET TO ORIGINAL (available on right click).

Will they come in these transactions?

Yes, they will be listed in these transactions, after the BASIS updgrade activity.

And what if we apply some patches(Notes) to the system? What is the impact of these patches to the SPAU transaction?
Patches will be supported by the version upgrade. In case of notes, we have to verify whether these notes are supported by the new version.. Also, we have to analyze whther the code in the note is already incorporated in the new version. In this case you can ignore the chanes choosing RESET TO ORIGINAL option

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  1. Arya Biswas

    Hi Arjun,


    This document is very very nicely written and precise. Thank you very much writing such a wonderful note on one of the most critical step of any upgrade.


    Wish you all the success.




  2. Long Le

    Good Morning!  It is a wonderful article.


    May I ask… should we activate the programs after we reapply the modifications in the SPAU phase?


    Thank you.

  3. S Abinath

    Hi, Arjun


    It’s a wonderful document which explains the most important part of up-gradation…. great work…


    Thank you,

    Abinath Siva


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