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Author's profile photo Tomas Black

Best Practices for Upgrading SAP Systems


Software Update Manager    /wp-content/uploads/2015/05/3_704590.jpg


   The Software Update Manager (SUM) is a multi-purpose tool that performs release Upgrades, installation of SAP Enhancement Packages, Support Package Stacks updates, database migration, and system conversion to SAP S/4HANA.

    This document contain very important material and information to perform these tasks, from planning to post-update activities.









    Before you start the actual upgrade, you have to plan it carefully so that downtime is reduced to a minimum and the upgrade runs as efficiently as possible. We recommend that you start planning your update at least two weeks before you begin it.


    Software Update Manager (SUM)


The SUM is the tool for system maintenance: release upgrades, EHP implementations, SP stack updates, Database Migration Option (DMO), among others. SUM is delivered with Software Logistics Toolset 1.0 and can be downloaded from the link:


        Software Logistics (SL) Toolset | SAP Support Portal


        New SUM patches are released frequently with the latest features and fixes for know bugs.



    Upgrade Guides

The Master Guide (Upgrade Master Guide) is the main document that contains all the guidelines and necessary information to upgrade your system. It is essential to read the guide and the master guide for your product version before starting the upgrade.

If there area preparation and follow-up activities for the upgrade that are specific to  your product, they are described in a product-specific document. This document is also referenced in the Master Guide (or Upgrade Master Guide).

The required guides can be downloaded from the link:

SAP Help Portal

(search for the product you want to upgrade and click on the “Installation and Upgrade Information” link. Then you’ll find the respective Upgrade Guide link)



SUM guide

Please consider the following picture to decide which SUM version you should go with:


SAP Notes

To prepare and perform the update of your SAP system, it is required to verify additional information, not included in the guides. This information is in a range of SAP Notes in SAP Support Portal, which you have to read before you start the preparations.

We recommend to access the following documentation from SAP Support Portal before you start the update procedure:

      • Software Logistics Toolset (SL Tools)
      • SAP Note for your specific database

      • SAP Notes for DMO (in case you are using the Database Migration Option (DMO)
        (the notes are listed on the SL Toolset landing page)

These SAP Notes are updated regularly, make sure that you always use the newest version.

Additional SAP notes may be required. It can be downloaded using the link:


Hardware Requirements

Before starting the upgrade it is mandatory to check the CPU, main memory, disk space and page file.

Fore more information please refer to the following link:

Free Disk Space Requirements

Disk space in the file system for the SUM directory, the download directory and directory DIR_TRANS. The space required depends on the product you are updating.

The Software Update Manager calculates the space requirements for the database. The free space required for the database is approximately in the range from 50 to 200Gb. Please consider it can be higher, depending on your database size and structure:

SUM Directory: approximately 20GB

Download Directory (temporary space requirement): approximately 20GB

DIR_TRANS: approximately 20GB

Shadow System Approximately the space required for your source release instance, that is, the size of the following directory:

      • UNIX: /usr/sap/<sapsid>
      • Windows: <drive>:\usr\sap\<sapsid>
      • IBM i: /usr/sap/<SID>



Upgrade of the Operating System and Database System

When you upgrade the SAP system, the target release of your upgrade may require you to update the operating system version database version as well.

You can determine if the target release is supported on your current Operating System and Database using the Product Availability Matrix (PAM):

For upgrades including Database Migration Option, the minimum database version can be checked in the relevant Note for Database Migration Option (DMO) of SUM.

If you need to upgrade an operating system or database, or migrate a database, then the timing and the sequence of the individual upgrades is of great importance. The procedure differs according to each database.

Please consider that upgrades from older releases may require to be executed in two (or more) steps. More details are available in the file SUM_xx_paths.pdf attached to the Central Software Update Manager Note. Cross-check your DB/OS information at PAM for such requirement.



Software Requirements

Your  SAP system should have one of the source releases that are available for your upgrade and DB/OS combination. Different SAP Netweaver usage types may have different minimum Support Package levels. If you upgrade a SAP NW – based system containing various usage types, make sure that your source release is on a minimum SP level for all usage types implemented on the system.

Please refer to SAP note #2187353 and its references for Support Package Stack source and update your system if necessary (for version 750). The correct SP level will be then calculated by the Maintenance Planner. Additional patches, such as Java patches, can be obtained from:

Typically, SAP systems like SAP ERP, CRM, SCM or SRM are part of a SAP system landscape that contains vairous interconnected systems. Business processes can run across the various systems. When planning an upgrade please refer to the following link for checking the potential impact on these connected systems:





Stack XML Generation

In order to perform a Support Package Update, EHP installation or Release Upgrade, a stack XML file must be generated in Maintenance Planner . Landscape verification is required to enable the tools to create a proper stack configuration XML file for the correct product constellation.

Also please refer to:

Maintenance Planning Guide for SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SP05 and higher

For Maintenance Planner, please refer to note #2239589 and also refer to the below information:

Maintenance Planner


Manually Prepared Directory

If the maintenance to be performed is a Java patch import or the update of a custom component, you have to use the Manually Prepared Directory option on the beggining of the SUM process.

For more information on this option, please read SAP note #1641062 – Single component update and patch scenarios in SUM

In the SUM Update Guide, the Chapter named “Applying Single Component Updates and Patches Using a Manually Prepared Directory” have the steps to be followed and more information.


Install or Update SAP Host Agent

SAP Host Agent Version 142 or higher is required for the proper execution of the update process.


If it is included in the stack.xml, SAP Host Agent can be automatically installed only in the primary application servert host.


To manually install SAP Host Agent or update it on remote hosts, proceed as described in the SAP Library [page 15]:


SAP Host Agent – SAP Library


Running the Software Update Manager

The Software Update Manager controls the entire procedure, from checking the system requirements and importing the necessary programs through stopping production operation until it is resumed. The procedure is divided up into a number of different roadmap steps. The roadmap steps are in turn divided into individual steps. The successful completion of a step is a precondition for the success of all subsequente steps.

For a complete list of all phases, both executed and upcoming, click on option “Task List” on the right menu of the SUM tool.

In case of any issues please refer to the following troubleshooting guide containing information of all the known issues during upgrades.




Performance Issues

Performance during Upgrades and Enhancement Packages:


Troubleshoting Guides


System Upgrade and Update central page:




SUM for Java:




For other errors or issues, the following SAP Knowledge Base Article can help you finding a solution:

#2081285 – How to get best results from a SAP search?



Follow-Up Activities


Please refer to the section 6 of the SUM guide for detailed information of the follow-up activities which need to be performed in the system before releasing the system for Productive use.


Emergency Procedure

Resetting an Upgrade


Please refer to section 5.x of the SUM guide “Resetting the Software Update Manager”. Additional information is also available on this page.


SAP Note #1790486: SAP_ABA is in an undefined state that is not safe to be upgraded.



Data loss after an Upgrade



Additional Resources

Continuous Quality Check & Improvement Services

You can also use some of the expert SAP Continuous Quality Checks and SAP Improvement Services during the lifecycle of your upgrade. Some of the available services are:

CQC Upgrade

CQC Upgrade Assessment

CQC Downtime Assessment

CQC Going Live Support

These services are available as part of the SAP Support offerings and can also be ordered as single services.

SAP Enterprise Support Academy

Browse through our catalog of videos, documents, live sessions of Quick IQ’s, Meet the Expert sessions, Expert Guided Implementations, Best Practices and much more.

If you have questions or comments, please post them below.


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      Author's profile photo Chris Kernaghan
      Chris Kernaghan


      I  usually don't like blogs which say they are "Best practice", but this one is an exception. Good solid collection of information and links. Will bookmark it for my own knowledgebase.


      Author's profile photo Erick Verbena
      Erick Verbena

      excelent blog

      straight to LinkedIn for sharing...

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very nice way of explaining in details. Thanks

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      very help ful blog .....thanks

      Author's profile photo Christoph Ostrop
      Christoph Ostrop


      good blog and collection of information and links  🙂

      but, there is a broken link:

      SUM for ABAP:


      Author's profile photo Tomas Black
      Tomas Black
      Blog Post Author

      Hey Chris,

      that is fixed now.

      Thank you!


      Author's profile photo Shubham Srivastava
      Shubham Srivastava

      very nice

      Author's profile photo BASIS ACULIFE

      very good information.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      The near-Zero Downtime Maintenance (nZDM) for Java 1.0 SP18 guide link in incorrect

      Author's profile photo Boris Rubarth
      Boris Rubarth

      Thanks for notifying. Correct link is

      Author's profile photo Tomas Black
      Tomas Black
      Blog Post Author

      Dear friends,


      the blog has been updated to reflect SUM Support Package 20 release.

      Best regards,



      Author's profile photo Prof. Yogesh M Desai
      Prof. Yogesh M Desai

      oh good very nice





      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very good ... Useful Information

      Author's profile photo Udaykiran Kandikonda
      Udaykiran Kandikonda

      Very very useful information.

      Thanks Shiva


      Author's profile photo Meghna Yadav
      Meghna Yadav

      It's valuable information and links.

      BR/Manjunath Basappa

      Author's profile photo susmitha sush
      susmitha sush

      Excellent one and useful blog on Best practices for upgrading SAP systems.

      Author's profile photo Andreas Sternagel
      Andreas Sternagel

      Really nice work! Very important informations for upgrading.