Copyright 2022 - BV TallVision IT

When a system has been around for a while - SAP is bound to come up with a newer and of course better version... And even when you're company is not really interested in the latest version, after a while SAP stops supporting old versions and hanging on to an old version becomes a dangerous liability.

This issue is about the technical upgrade, focussing on the customer developments...

 An upgrade is really a SAP technical theme - SAP takes care of installation packages that can be executed by the basis team. However... there is little guarantee that the developments that are available on the system before the upgrade will still perform their task as expected. When upgrades are done the system's components are renewed. Especially when the upgrade is done covering a few versions - the differences in SAP functionality could have changed. The following types of changes can be identified:

  • New functionality - e.g. the introduction of Smartforms or Abap Objects, but also functional changes which are regarded as additions to the system -Impact: will have little impact on customer developments as they are added to the system.
  • Improvements (effectively changes) - where existing functionality is improved -Impact is strongly dependant on customer alterations - (assuming standard SAP was not changed)
    1. user exits (little impact)
    2. Batch input shell programs (big impact)
    3. BAPI call changes (little impact)
    4. Reports where standard SAP tables are involved (little impact)
    5. Interfaces (Idocs) (normal impact)
    6. Workflow (normal impact)
    7. Documentation (User manuals, FD's & TD's)
  • Phase outs - Obsolete functions may have been removed, as well as obsolete language elements. Where language elements are concerned, the use of these elements has been "flagged" obsolete well before they are actually removed - hence when developers are a little up to date, obsolete language elements pose little impact. When function modules are removed and they were available for general purpose (thus not internal standard SAP functionality) these modules will heve been "flagged" obsolete as well (the developer will see a warning when the module is implemented via "Pattern". - Impact very limited. A phase-out can also mean certain fields are no longer maintained - which can pose upgrade impact.