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.
Dig Deeper on SAP implementation
Related Q&A from Ethan Jewett
The design rule of thumb is to keep the Launchpad tile count under 20. But what about power users who need to launch more applications? Here are ... Continue Reading
The way Launchpad versions relate to each other and to SAPUI5 versions isn't intuitive, and both affect app compatibility and access to newer ... Continue Reading
If you want to get more serious about developing UI5 apps, you need to know how the libraries fit into the broader architecture, as well as their ... 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.