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Software Logistics

SAP ERP 6.0 Upgrade

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Technical Upgrade Procedure

IT Infrastructure

Application and Modification Adjustment

General

Why upgrade to SAP ERP? What are the business drivers to upgrade to SAP ERP?

Each organization has different and highly specific reasons for considering an upgrade. For a well-oriented justification process, your organization should create a detailed summary of what benefits you expect or would like to derive from an upgrade. Some of the most common reasons and associated drivers for an upgrade are the following:

Operational Excellence - Business challenges and business user demand for new functionality to improve operational excellence, enable innovation, and support new business models

  • SAP ERP 6.0 provides more than 300 functional enhancements that can improve process efficiency 
  • SAP ERP 6.0 integrates the functions of most SAP industry solutions so that these solutions no longer need to be installed and set up separately

Business Strategy - Flexibility for future innovations (without disruption)

  • SAP ERP 6.0 uses enhancement packages as a new methodology to quickly and easily deliver functional enhancements, business and industry-specific functionality, and end-to-end process improvements. Find out more in the Enhancement Package Info Center
  • With the service-enabled SAP ERP 6.0 application, your organization has the required foundation for enabling enterprise SOA and future business innovation. Companies that upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 can put enterprise services to work immediately to solve business problems. Using enterprise SOA, your company can implement business innovation more quickly and with minimal effort. Because enterprise SOA brings simplicity and transparency to your ERP software, you can readily adapt SAP ERP 6.0 to meet the business needs of your organization.


Sustainability
- Stay in compliance with regulations and ensure business and system stability  

  • SAP provides updates for legal changes as part of the mainstream or extended maintenance agreement for SAP ERP. However, with previous releases of SAP R/3, the outdated underlying software technology may impede the implementation of effective solutions for meeting current compliance standards. With its integrated solutions for governance, risk, and compliance, SAP ERP 6.0 facilitates a unified, cross-company framework that correlates and aligns all activities. 
  • By upgrading to SAP ERP 6.0, you can stay up-to-date with the underlying technology and ensure business continuity and system stability. 
  • SAP ERP 6.0 is the "go-to" release until at least 2012 providing mainstream maintenance until March 2013 and extended maintenance until 2016.

Total Cost of Ownership - Cost optimization

  • Combine your upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 with other IT initiatives, such as returning SAP software modifications and custom developments to SAP standard functions. This can reduce TCO, mainly in terms of operations costs.

  Refer to Getting Started with an Upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 (PDF 375 KB) to learn how to begin the process of upgrading.

What is new about SAP ERP 6.0?

SAP ERP 6.0 provides more than 300 functional enhancements that can improve process efficiency. In addition, it integrates the functions of most SAP industry solutions so that these solutions no longer need to be installed and set up separately. The new software also simplifies daily business tasks through more appealing and integrated user-interface concepts that increase user productivity and satisfaction - for example, by enabling the use of Duet software for integrating Microsoft applications. Go to the solution browser tool for SAP ERP to find out more. This tool allows you to identify new features and functions and their business benefits in a given release of SAP ERP and enhancement packages.

After you upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0, you can enhance the functionality of your application without performing a further upgrade thanks to a new deployment technology - the SAP enhancement packages for SAP ERP. The enhancement packages simplify the way you manage and deploy new software functions for SAP ERP. They enable you to take advantage of the latest software innovations while minimizing disruption to ongoing operations.

You can implement selected components and then activate selected business functions and enhancements on demand to meet your business requirements. This unique delivery and deployment method for enterprise software, enabled by the flexibility of enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA), lets you access new ERP functions while holding on to your core functions. As a result, you can isolate the impact of software updates and quickly bring new functions online through shortened testing cycles without impeding core business processes.

Is there a way to do a cost/benefit analysis for an upgrade?

The quick upgrade analysis service for SAP ERP helps you quantify the potential gain from and estimate employee effort involved in upgrading to SAP ERP 6.0. The high-level assessment includes a breakeven analysis and a discussion of potential IT benefits, including the functional areas that stand to receive greatest improvement.

Find out more at http://service.sap.com/upgradeservices or download the solution brief (PDF 90 KB) for the quick upgrade analysis for SAP ERP.

Is there a minimal support package customers must be on on before upgrading to SAP ERP 6.0?

No, an upgrade does not require a minimum support package of the start release. Exception: The component ST-PI must be on support package 8.

An upgrade from SAP R/3 3.1I to SAP ERP 6.0 is possible in one step using the SAP upgrade tools. This means that it is possible to upgrade a comparatively "old" software version to the latest release. The same is true for support packages. However, it is important to consider what has to be included in an upgrade in order to not "downgrade" the existing functions. In this regard, support packages have a so-called equivalence attribute that tells you to which SPs from lower or higher releases these SPs are equivalent.

Example:

A customer uses SAP R/3 4.6C with an up-to-date HR support package level D9 (dated 13 August 2008). The upgrade DVDs that the customer is using for the upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 are dated 1 May 2008. This means that not all SPs that are needed are included to cover all legal requirements until 13 August 2008. So that the customer does not lose these "functions" during the upgrade, the so-called queue calculator is started during the upgrade process. It checks the equivalence attributes of all imported SPs. Afterwards, the customer is requested to add the necessary SPs (from 1 May to 13 August 2008) to the upgrade.

What are the SAP upgrade options available and what are the recommendations to the present customers?

The general SAP recommendation is to always upgrade to the latest SAP ERP release to be able to use the latest functionality SAP offers. SAP ERP 6.0 is the "go-to release" and the foundation for any future innovations.

Use the Product Availability Matrix at http://service.sap.com/pam to find out about all SAP upgrade options. The Product Availability Matrix bundles technical and release planning information on SAP components for quick reference. You will find information on the availability of SAP component releases (product versions), maintenance end dates and upgrade paths, as well as technical release information (DB platforms, JSE platforms, operating systems, languages, countries, and so on).

Does SAP offer direct upgrades to and from SAP releases in extended maintenance? What is the oldest SAP R/3 release allowing a direct upgrade to SAP ERP?

SAP supports upgrades to releases in mainstream maintenance. Upgrades from releases in extended maintenance to higher releases in mainstream maintenance are also supported. Therefore, a direct upgrade from SAP R/3 3.1 to SAP ERP 6.0 is supported, as long as no technical restrictions apply.

How do SAP and its partners support existing customers in upgrading?

A dedicated range of SAP tools and services can assist you with the upgrade project across its entire life cycle - from discovery, to evaluation, to implementation. SAP launched a global upgrade service portfolio, dedicated to SAP ERP, that will support customers'upgrade projects by minimizing costs and risks and maximizing the value. Find out more at www.service.sap.com/upgradeservices.

Your organization can tailor these offerings to your specific needs according to your experience, current landscape, and the scope of the upgrade project. The appropriate engagement level ensures an effective planning and cost-effective execution of your project(s). SAP and selected partners are aligning dedicated offerings and upgrade packages for customers who need assistance in their upgrade situation.

You can find all relevant upgrade information on SAP Service Marketplace at www.service.sap.com/upgrade. Refer to Getting Started with an Upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 (PDF 375 KB) to learn how to begin the process of upgrading. Once you have decided to start an upgrade project, the SAP Upgrade Road Map serves as the central guidance for all functional and technical upgrade aspects.

How can SAP Solution Manager support me in an upgrade project?

SAP Solution Manager serves as a central platform for the implementation and continuous improvement of an SAP solution. It contains specific upgrade features that provide direct access to the latest available SAP Upgrade Road Map version. The SAP Upgrade Road Map is part of SAP Solution Manager and provides SAP's standard methodology to plan and execute an SAP upgrade project. It contains best practices and templates for project management, as well as functional and technical aspects facilitating key tasks of the entire project team. In order to use the SAP Upgrade Road Map with SAP Solution Manager, access transaction RMMAIN. The tool facilitates key project activities such as application adjustments (upgrade/delta customizing), testing and end-user training. Read the SAP Solution Manager - Usage Guide in upgrade projects for more details or visit: http://service.sap.com/solutionmanager.

Note: SAP Solution Manager is technically required to perform an upgrade or installation of an SAP system. Read SAP Note 805390 for more information.

What do I need to consider when upgrading an SAP component, for example, SAP ECC, within an SAP solution or multiple SAP components of an SAP solution?

When upgrading one or multiple SAP components, you need to ensure that existing business processes are still running properly from a functional and technical perspective. The SAP R/3 plug-in guarantees the technical compatibility and needs to be verified before starting an SAP upgrade project. Functional compatibility issues may require increasing the support package level or even upgrading additional SAP components. The Software Lifecycle Manager (SLM tool) available with SAP NetWeaver 2004s provides you here with automated compatibility checks. Further sources of information for compatibility questions are the Master Guides (available under the Quick Link http://service.sap.com/instguides) and the Scenario & Process Component List.

Where can I find detailed information on SAP's release and maintenance strategy?

Release strategy information is centrally available on SAP Service Marketplace at the quick link /releasestrategy (SMP login required). Information on SAP's maintenance strategy, for example, details on extended maintenance periods for specific SAP components, are located in the SAP Maintenance information center.

Does an upgrade to the current release of SAP ERP require additional training for end users?

The training requirement is mainly dependent on the functional scope of the project and the SAP R/3 source release:

  • In the case of a technical upgrade from SAP R/3 4.6C or SAP R/3 Enterprise 47x200 at constant functional perimeter (without additional functionality and minor user-interface changes), minimum training should be required. But if you consider a major redesign with functional enrichments during the upgrade, then more training will of course be required for the new functions implemented. 
  • If your source release is lower than SAP R/3 4.6C, then more training might be required depending on the scope of the upgrade.

SAP offers e-learning tools allowing users to improve or maintain their skills by building online course work into their schedules. You can determine what, where, and when to learn. You can repeat learning units as often as required and control the duration of the sessions.

Please note that quite a bit of the new functionality, such as work centers, employee self-service, manager self-service, and Duet software, have gone through extensive design work and have been developed to facilitate user adoption with minimal end-user training. In all cases, you should consider consulting with the SAP Education organization to evaluate the training effort.

To find further information on training offers, please visit www.sap.com/services/education/index.epx or SAP Service Marketplace at www.service.sap.com/education.

Do customers need to convert to a Unicode-compliant environment?

Customers who want to upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 and are running SAP R/3 software with MDMP technology or blended code pages must combine their upgrade with a Unicode conversion. The previous SAP technologies have become obsolete for a variety of reasons - for example, they do not enable proper communication with Java-based applications. (See SAP Note 79991.)

A Unicode conversion is only necessary for those using MDMP or blended code pages. However, some organizations may want to perform a Unicode conversion to provide future support for languages with different code pages - for example, for users in Asian or eastern European countries.

Read the SAP Upgrades: When Should my Organization Convert to Unicode? about the Unicode conversion strategy to find out more. You will get general information about Unicode and SAP ERP 6.0 at http://www.service.sap.com/globalization (SMP login required).

Is there a way to reduce downtime when I perform an upgrade and a Unicode conversion?

You can apply the "Combined Upgrade and Unicode Conversion" procedure, when you are upgrading from SAP R/3 4.6C to SAP ERP 6.0. This procedure allows you to perform preparatory steps already in the source release or in the shadow system. For more information, see the document Unicode Conversion SAP R/3 4.6C -> SAP ERP Central Component 6.0 ABAP.

What production downtime should we expect during the technical upgrade?

The production downtime is the period during the technical upgrade when the production system is out of service. The downtime period depends on various factors, primarily on hardware power, and is therefore contingent on each individual situation. SAP upgrade technology provides you with two strategy options: downtime-minimized strategy and resource-minimized strategy.

Characteristics of the downtime-minimized strategy include:

  • Shorter production downtime 
  • Parallel operation of production system and shadow system that enables the execution of as many upgrade tasks as possible during the uptime of the production system 
  • Higher demand on system resources

 
Characteristics of the resource-minimized strategy include:  

  • No parallel operation of production system and shadow system 
  • Lower demand on system resources 
  • Increased production downtime

SAP recommends that you perform the upgrade using the downtime-minimized strategy if a short production downtime is required.

What should we consider when upgrading the new general ledger in SAP ERP?

Customers wishing to migrate to the new general ledger will be required to purchase a license for a service package, which includes migration tools. This service will ensure that historical data remains intact. 

To find further information, please read SAP Note 812919 on SAP Service Marketplace at www.service.sap.com.

How should we organize an upgrade project?

Refer to Getting Started with an Upgrade to SAP ERP 6.0 to get an overview of the project management requirements for an upgrade project. Here are some important hints:

  • Take upgrades seriously - Plan and manage upgrades to SAP ERP 6.0 as carefully as you do other SAP projects, for example, by establishing comprehensive project standards and procedures. SAP Solution Manager can help you plan and manage the upgrade.
  • Prepare your system(s) - Cleaning up modifications and performing selective archiving can reduce the effort of an upgrade considerably.
  • Test the upgrade - Get prepared by doing at least one test upgrade in the early planning phase to identify potential risks, technical challenges and limitations, and cost drivers.
  • Take a multistep approach - Perform a technical upgrade first, and then implement new functions or business innovations in subsequent projects.
  • Leverage improved upgrade technology - Upgrading from SAP R/3 4.6C (or higher releases of ERP software) to SAP ERP 6.0 involves significantly lower impact, less effort, and shorter downtime than upgrades to previous releases of SAP R/3 software.
  • Reduce downtime - Average downtime during an upgrade has decreased significantly, such that the vast majority of SAP customers go live on a normal weekend.
  • Plan comprehensive testing - Do not underestimate the effort involved in testing. Testing effort will be determined mainly by the need for application adjustment and the functional scope of the upgrade.
  • Train users - The need for user training depends on how much new functionality is implemented. Training effort is generally lower than for upgrades to previous releases of SAP R/3. Consider using alternative training concepts such as eLearning or a train-the-trainer approach.
  • Ask for expert help as needed - Consider using external assistance (including offerings from SAP) to complement your internal resources in specific areas (for example, for a Unicode conversion) rather than endanger the project.

What constitutes an SAP upgrade project team?

An upgrade project team usually consists of the following stakeholders at the customer:

  • Project lead 
  • Developers who are usually specialized in one or several SAP R/3 modules / functional areas 
  • Key users / business process experts who  
    • Have a wide business process knowledge 
    • Act as a representatiove for the departments to address the business needs to the developers 
    • Roll out the SAP knowledge to their community 
    • Are responsible for integration testing and coordination of user acceptance tests in their functional areas
  • SAP Basis / technology team that sets up and maintains the SAP landscape including operating system, database, SAP system, frontends, servers, and so on
  • End users who perform the acceptance tests 
  • Experts for the interfaces between SAP and legacy systems 
  • External project members, for example, consultants, third-party software vendors, project sponsor, and other members of the customer's management team

The following stakeholders do not belong to the core team but are usually also involved: 

Technical Upgrade Procedure

Where can I get more information on what the upgrade does in the various upgrade phases (ABAP)?

An overview of all upgrade phases is available in the htdoc subdirectory of the upgrade directory. You can also create the phase lists yourself by using the htmlphl option to call SAPup. The files are then saved in the current directory, or - if you are calling SAPup from the Upgrade Assistant - in the tmp directory.

Upgrade phases that require user actions are described in detail in the Component Upgrade Guides for the different components.

The upgrade guides are available as pdf-files in SAP Service Marketplace (Quick Link instguides).

How can I upgrade ABAP + Java double-stack systems?

To upgrade a double-stack system, you have to upgrade the ABAP and the Java part in parallel. This is done with the upgrade programs SAPup for ABAP and SAPJup for Java. Both programs check the system at the beginning and if they find out that it is a double-stack system they prompt you to start the other program as well, if you have not already done so. The upgrade programs SAPup and SAPJup are synchronized to achieve a minimum downtime and a smooth upgrade.

Can I upgrade from a pure ABAP system to an ABAP + Java system?

It is not possible to switch to an ABAP+Java system during an upgrade, but you can install a Java Add-In to your upgraded ABAP system. The installation is described in the installation guide for your application.

Can I install additional usage types during a Java system upgrade?

During a Java system upgrade, you cannot install additional usage types. However, after the upgrade you can add usage types by using the Java Support Package Manager (JSPM). For more information, see SAP Note 883948.

How can I save time for post-upgrade imports, such as release customizing, adjustments to customer-specific applications, interfaces and forms, and ABAP code modifications?

To avoid downtime when you import additional post-upgrade transports, you can include transports in the upgrade process. Use the option 'single change request' in the 'BIND_PATCH' phase of PREPARE to specify your repository-based post-upgrade transports. They are merged in the exchange repository and imported during the technical upgrade process. Customizing transports are not suitable for linking to the upgrade, since for security reasons the upgrade tools import client-dependent data into SAP's reference client 000 only. You still need to import the transports after the upgrade directly into the target client. If you bundle a large number of single Customizing transports into one large transport, this increases the performance significantly.

IT Infrastructure

What impact does an upgrade to SAP ERP have on the hardware?

In general, the impact on existing IT infrastructure depends on the following criteria:

  • Short or long transition path (the difference between the current and target release)
  • Scope of functional enhancements in the target release
  • Extent of utilization of existing IT infrastructure (such as number of users)


With the help of SAP standard application benchmarks (results at www.sap.com/benchmark), you can get a good estimate of CPU and memory consumption of particular SAP ERP components. In all cases, you should plan to conduct a hardware requirements analysis. You should also contact your hardware vendor to verify if your current hardware will support the upgrade. 

To facilitate estimation of the sizing adjustment, SAP also offers the SAP GoingLive Functional Upgrade Check service that prepares your system to operate with optimum efficiency in the upgraded environment. This service usually consists of two phases:

  • In the early phase of the upgrade, the service estimates the need of IT infrastructure adjustments and provides a service plan with recommendations. 
  • After the upgrade, you benefit from optimal use of your system resources.

Furthermore, the SAP Safeguarding for Upgrade portfolio of services includes additional services to review your IT situation and provide tailored support for risk mitigation and possible optimization potential. (For example, there might be an option to reduce the existing database size and postpone required hardware investments.) For more information, please visit SAP Service Marketplace at http://service.sap.com/goinglive-fu and http://service.sap.com/safeguardingupgrade, and please read the SAP Note 901070. The impact on the front-end PCs and network load that primarily depend on the latest SAP GUI version is summarized in the SAP Front End Installation Guide and the document on network sizing, Frontend Network Requirements for SAP Solutions.

What does SAP offer to support the sizing of the future IT infrastructure?

When you perform an upgrade, you must first distinguish between SAP release upgrades without changes in the business processes (a so-called technical upgrade), additional or extended business cases set live together with the upgrade and unicode conversion.

With the SAP GoingLive Functional Upgrade Check basic sizing and hardware requirements are verified. Furthermore, the SAP Safeguarding for Upgrade program includes additional services, for example, to reduce the existing database size and to postpone required hardware investements.

The Quick Sizer is meant for initial sizings only and can not be used for upgrade sizing. You may only use it in case of an upgrade project where you include new business functions. Then the Quick Sizer can be used to size these additional functionalities and calculate the supplemental load you have to consider. For a technical upgrade you should directly contact your hardware vendor to verify if your current hardware will stand the requirements given after the upgrade.

How does Unicode affect the hardware sizing?

Using unicode has an impact on the sizing of your hardware components and the network load. Especially the growth of the database depends on the individual customer scenario, for example, the languages in use. Further details are summarized on the Unicode site on SAP Service Marketplace.

How does the database size influence or relate to the downtime and runtime of a technical upgrade in general?

Project statistics have proven that there is no link between the pure database size and the downtime. Only for certain database objects that have to be touched in an upgrade, the size of it correlates with the runtime needed for its processing. The impact of certain objects on the runtime/downtime can not be truly estimated in advance without the simulation of an upgrade based on a copy of a productive system because it depends on several criteria, such as the start and target release, the number of support packages and installed add-ons and the degree of customer modifications.

What are the resource requirements when upgrading to SAP ERP 6.0?

Prior to upgrading, you have to plan your hardware expenditures. Read SAP note 778774 to find out about initial sizing observations for SAP ERP 6.0, including information about CPU, memory and disk space needed.

Application and Modification Adjustment

How should we manage modifications of the previous software during the upgrade?

The first step is to check the modifications in your SAP R/3 software and compare them with the new functionalities offered by SAP ERP. SAP recommends using the SAP Modification Assistant for any kind of modification to SAP objects. SAP notes may also modify existing SAP objects and should be applied with the SAP Note Assistant. Using these two tools in your current system will simplify the comparison of SAP standard and modified objects during an upgrade. For SAP systems where the number of modifications has reached a certain level of complexity, SAP provides with the SAP Modification Clearing service a dedicated service offering to handle modification issues during the upgrade.

What do I need to consider when working with the SAP Modification Assistant?

The SAP Modification Assistant is a tool simplifies the upgrade process. To modify objects in the SAP standard system, you use a special modification mode. This protects the original object by allowing changes only with additional actions. The Modification Assistant logs changes, thus providing a fast and detailed overview of the modifications and reducing the load during upgrade.

The alignment of modified objects with the SAP standard is performed using transaction SPAU. For more information, refer to the relevant FAQs.

Does SAP recommend considering functional enhancements during an upgrade project?

SAP recommends completing the technical upgrade first, then focusing on the implementation of additional functionality.

How do I handle problems if - after the technical upgrade - in certain areas, the application does not work properly anymore?

SAP recommends using the SAP Application Specific Upgrade (ASU) Toolbox that provides solutions on known application-specific problems after a technical upgrade. For more information, see SAP Note 623723.

Where do I get details on the relevant customizing changes for the target release?

For details, refer to the SAP Implementation Guide (IMG). It provides two specific views to illustrate upgrade-relevant customizing:

  • The Upgrade IMG outlines the customizing settings to be adjusted to keep the existing solution running. 
  • The Delta IMG summarizes all new customizing objects that may be considered to leverage new functionality in the target release
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