SAP Cloud Platform Integration : how we do software updates
Update on 07-Jan-2021:
- added planned delivery dates 2021
- added reference to preview tenant capability as part of the optional customer test service
On-premise the planning and execution of support package updates or release upgrades is an important task for administrators and business users. No wonder that many questions are raised how this process works in cloud. In this blog I share corresponding context info w.r.t. SAP Cloud Platform Integration for process services.
Let’s start with a high level view at our development process. Our program delivers increments every 4 weeks. We call such cycles “takts” and label them internally from 01 to 13 per calendar year.
Every development takt finishes with an assessment of all done criteria (quality KPI’s), including e.g. test results. We call this important internal mile stone “development close”. It results in a release build version which is assessed as “ready for productive use” by all involved development teams. The first customer of this new version is our dedicated acceptance test team which challenges the development close assessment in the subsequent takt. This in-depths acceptance test includes e.g. automated regression tests for SAP’s prepackaged content, performance regression tests, manual exploratory tests on new features, software update & rollback tests… and many more. The acceptance takt ends with the mile stone “release decision” in which the acceptance test team confirms (or rejects) the “ready for productive use” assessment based on their findings. Only if we get confirmation we start planning and execution of the software update.
The takt increments of 2021 are scheduled (if all quality checks are passed timely) to reach your customer systems latest at the following dates:
We invest significantly to deliver regression free increments. Our main ingredients to ensure the same are
- Mandatory architecture guidelines, e.g. incompatible DB schema changes are forbidden
- Semantic versioning of adapters and flow-steps
- new features which e.g. require configuration are delivered via new versions
- new component versions are used upon new Integration Flow model creation only
- existing Integration Flows remain unchanged and continue to run without interaction
- Regression tests on unit, component, system and scenario level during development and in our dedicated acceptance test
Based on our quality confidence we push every new software version globally to all systems. Customers receive an upfront mail notification if such an event is scheduled for the weekend. Due to our strict compatibility rules and rolling software update procedure there is neither impact on runtime scenarios nor are customer actions required. We document the functional increments in our release notes. Our product documentation is complemented by community blogs.
Customers may have the need for customer specific regression tests in addition to our invests. This might be necessary for trust building, risk mitigation and/or for compliance reasons. In this case we offer a customer specific regression test service focused on your Integration Flows. The service includes test automation and regular execution of your scenarios in the context of our acceptance takt, executed by SAP on SAP internal systems. We add the test success of your scenarios to our mandatory release criteria and don’t update any system as long as your tests didn’t pass. You receive a corresponding test report prior your system update. If you are interested in more details and/or a commercial offer for this optional and complementary service please don’t hesitate to reach out to SAP CPI Test Automation. In 2020 we extended the corresponding service scope by the preview tenant capability. Upon subscription to the customer test service you are entitled to receive software updated on non-productive tenants with a lead time of one week.
If you read our SLA carefully you might ask why we have a weekly maintenance window scheduled while we push takt increments monthly. The answer is twofold. Despite all our efforts also we need to push a patch once in a while, e.g. for new functions which received urgent customer feedback. In addition we use the regular maintenance window also for scheduled maintenance activities which require downtimes, e.g. customer initiated tenant movements or data base migrations. The SLA enables SAP Cloud Platform also to schedule up to 4 major maintenance windows per calendar year. This option is required for infrastructure changes, e.g. on the network components.
Our committed, monthly, productive system availability is 99,9% as defined in the SAP Cloud Platform supplement for SAP’s Service Level Agreement for Cloud Services . Please check this KBA if you are interested in the metric details.
SAP Cloud Platform exposes it’s global status at https://sapcp.statuspage.io/ based on selected core service status. Not all of them are relevant for SAP Cloud Platform Integration, e.g. there is neither a dependency to the Web IDE nor to the Portal Service. However, you may subscribe at this page for generic mail notifications on the global status of all SAP Cloud Platform data centers.
The general status for SAP Cloud Platform Integration is reported in SAP Cloud Trust Center. Given your S-user is assigned to the corresponding installation you may check your customer specific tenant status and communication history in SAP Cloud Availability Center. We expose the monthly availability data for your tenants in SAP Cloud Availability Center, too.
The mail contacts for our customer communication (e.g. update notification, scheduled maintenance notification, call for action, unplanned downtime/resolution notification,…) are taken from your urchase order at SAP and might require a review/update. We just released a self-service for this task.