One of the key benefits of using a cloud solution is that new features are available much sooner than with on-premise solutions. Whereas a new release of an on-premise solution usually take place yearly or even bi-yearly, cloud solution updates take place more frequently, usually every few weeks.
For SAP HANA Cloud, currently, a new version is released every 3 months. This is known as the quarterly release cycle (QRC). The release code format is QRC QQ/YYYY.
Customers can choose to upgrade once the new release is available, or they can delay the upgrade for a maximum of 7 months. After 7 months if a customer did not choose to upgrade then the upgrade is performed automatically. The automatic upgrade moves the customer to the next release after the one they were using, and not to the very latest release available.
SAP continually provide patches that address security and other high priority aspects of SAP HANA Cloud and these do not wait until the next QRC release.
The upgrade of SAP HANA Cloud highlights one of the biggest differences between SAP HANA Cloud and SAP HANA on- premise. Whereas the upgrade of SAP HANA Cloud on-premise requires a significant investment in resources and time, and includes many tasks, an SAP HANA Cloud upgrade is automated, very simple and is started from a single menu option controlled by the customer. All aspects of the upgrade are taken care of by the cloud provider.