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Author's profile photo Boris Rubarth

SUM, SPAM/SAINT and the story about Support-Package Levels

You have heard (or read in SAP Note 2084104) that SUM does no longer allow “manually” increasing the Support Package (SP) – level for central components like SAP_BASIS, SAP_ABA, SAP_APPL, SAP_HR and SAP_BW during a SUM run. This blog shall explain the reason for this.


Products with several software components inhere complex dependencies that have to be considered for a maintenance activity (applying SPs, SP Stacks, implementing enhancement packages, or upgrades). The Maintenance Optimizer is the central tool in SAP Solution Manager to plan the maintenance, considering the dependencies, and it offers only valid SP-combinations. The result is the stack.xml as a kind of recipe for the Software Update Manager (SUM) to apply the changes on the system.

Until SUM 1.0 SP12, it was possible to increase the SP-level for software components on a SUM dialog during the BIND_PATCH phase, and thus kind of overruling parts of the stack.xml. Now with SUM 1.0 SP13 (and higher), this option is no longer possible for central components as listed in SAP Note 2084104 (central note for SUM 1.0 SP14).


For applying only few SPs, it was possible to use either SUM or SPAM/SAINT. SAP Note 1803986 provides a tool comparison with hints when to use which tool. With SAP NetWeaver 7.4, there are some dedicated SP-Stacks that only SUM can apply on the system (see note 1803986). This applies to SAP NetWeaver 7.40 Support Package 05 (SR1) und Support Package 08 (SR2). The reason is that these SPs include changes of the DDIC tools (not only DDIC content) that only SUM can consider, but not SPAM/SAINT. This is accompanied by a new kernel version, so some software components are bound to specific kernel versions.

SUM being stricter now

SUM checks the kernel requirement provided by the stack.xml, calculates other dependencies and prepares internal buffers. Later, the SUM offers the dialog to adapt the SP levels for software components. If you would now increase the SP level for the central components, you may end up in a situation that this software component SP-level requires a newer kernel, and several SUM internal calculations are invalidated.

So how do I …

For the planning of the maintenance, creating a Maintenance Transaction in either the Maintenance Planner or the Maintenance Optimizer remains the central point. You will have to plan your maintenance activities with the desired SP-level for the central components from the start.

Good news

SUM 1.0 SP13 patch level 2 (and higher) allows adapting the SP-levels for software component SAP_HR again, as this seams the biggest hurdle. The other central components will not change. Other components than the listed ones are not affected.

Boris Rubarth

Product Management Software Logistics, SAP SE

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      Author's profile photo Sreekumarnaath Muthusamy
      Sreekumarnaath Muthusamy

      Thanks Boris, This is a good write up and informative. Did you had a chance to look at SUM 1.0 SP14. Its completely different from SP13. Much more interactive and friendly.

      Would like to hear more if you had a chance to see around SUM 1.0 SP14

      Thank you,


      Author's profile photo Boris Rubarth
      Boris Rubarth
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Sree,

      thanks for your feedback.

      My recommendation is to check the following blog on the new UI:

      SUM: New SL Common UI available for AS ABAP scenarios

      Regards, Boris