Strategy of Version Interoperability for SAP Business Suite and SAP NetWeaver
Support of different innovation speeds within a solution landscape is required by most customers. Software updates (e.g. implementing of SAP Business Suite Enhancement Packages) or release upgrades (e.g. upgrade to SAP NetWeaver PI 7.3 or SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.3) should be possible for individual systems in a landscape without the need of updating or upgrading other connected systems simultaneously within a certain range of supported combinations of different product versions.
To support new applications and new functionality with adoption of technology innovation SAP introduced in 2008 the so called version interoperability rules.
Version Interoperability in general means that different versions of technology and/or applications which have dependencies inside one stack or across system boundaries are interoperable to avoid the need of simultaneously updates or upgrades in system landscapes.
The rules are designed in a way to allow customers to adopt new versions of SAP NetWeaver hubs and new versions of the SAP Business Suite independently within a defined range to better manage the evolution of their solution landscapes based on their current business needs rather than being forced to upgrade the complete landscape in a big bang approach.
- Version Interoperability capabilities that allow customers to apply only their preferred product version
Within a well defined range customers can apply their preferred SAP NetWeaver product version for hubs like SAP NetWeaver EP, SAP NetWeaver PI or SAP NetWeaver BW as well as their preferred SAP Business Suite core application systems (e.g. ERP, CRM, SCM & SRM). Hence the SAP Business Suite 7, SAP Business Suite 7i2010 and SAP Business 7i2011 core applications are supported to run against SAP NetWeaver 7.0x, SAP NetWeaver 7.1x and SAP NetWeaver 7.3x hubs.
- Decoupled software updates across different systems
Customers can implement new enhancement packages of the SAP Business Suite core applications in their backend systems independently from updating their SAP NetWeaver hubs and vice versa within the mentioned range. Hence complex updates of the complete solution landscape at once can be avoided and new innovation can be adopted in manageable steps where it is needed.
- Recommended landscape setups facilitating different innovation speeds of the technology layer (ABAP, JAVA)
Based on SAP’s landscape recommendations ABAP and JAVA stacks shall be deployed separately. This offers the flexibility to adopt JAVA-based technology innovations faster, while keeping the ABAP stack stable.
In general SAP Business Suite core applications and SAP NetWeaver hubs are designed to support the version interoperability paradigm within the defined range - nevertheless deviations from the version interoperability are made transparent in the so called Update/Upgrade Dependency Analyzer (UDA). Since the version interoperability has been established starting with SAP Business Suite 7 this is only true for a limited number of scenarios.
The following SAP notes provide more details about the scope, range and current status of version interoperability within the SAP Business Suite reference landscape:
- General description about version interoperability of SAP Business Suite landscape: SAP Note 1388258
- SAP NetWeaver 7.3 enablement for SAP Business Suite 7: SAP Note 1468349
- SAP NetWeaver 7.3 enablement for SAP Business Suite 7i2010: SAP Note 1615463
Furthermore also the Support Package Stack strategy had to be revised in order to reflect the needs for version interoperability in system landscapes. Hence we enhanced the SP Stack strategy by introducing Minimum SP Stack Level within the process and maintenance tools. Details are desribed in the following article .
Strategy beyond SAP Business Suite 7 Innovations 2011
In order to use the new JAVA EE 5 capabilities and benefit from the improvements of SAP NetWeaver 7.3 the version interoperability range will be moved upwards for SAP Business Suite core applications with Release to Customer (RTC) date from 2013 onwards.