What's the difference between SAP enhancement packs and support packs?
SAP delivers updates to its core applications in the form of full versions, enhancement packs and support packs. Full versions are what you might expect -- relatively major upgrades that may require migration from old to new functionality. One example is the upgrade of SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) to version 7.4, which requires (finally) that customers stop using the 3.x-version of BEx queries and begin using the 7.x style of BEx queries.
For more on SAP software
BI expert takes a sharp look at SAP Lumira
What does it cost to run an SAP project in AWS cloud?
Enhancement packs, meanwhile, are updates within versions, but they can be relatively major updates and introduce new features. Usually application of an enhancement pack will include some fairly involved regression testing of affected features, but nothing approaching what is required for a full version upgrade.
Support packages are bundles of fixes to existing functionality and don't usually (but can!) introduce new functionality. They should be even less likely than enhancement packs to introduce regressions, so they require relatively little regressiontesting.
The rule of thumb is that full version updates deliver the most value but come with the highest risk. Risk and value both decrease with enhancement packs, and decrease further with support packs. However, the baseline risk and value of these three types of updates differs among products. For example, support packs for SAP BW tend to deliver more new functionality and therefore come with more risk than support packs for ERP, so you'll need to develop somewhat independent maintenance strategies for different products.
Related Q&A from Ethan Jewett
Concept, design and practical implementation all come together in the Fiori user experience.continue reading
Ethan Jewett explains how the SAP HANA XS Engine is used to run lightweight applications on the SAP in-memory database platform.continue reading
BI expert Ethan Jewett explains how SAP Data Services works, and how it fits into an ever-changing SAP data management landscape.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.