As an IT architect, you need to set up an SAP HANA maintenance strategy that aligns with the customer’s data center maintenance strategy.
SAP HANA Revision Strategy Terminology
In the context of the SAP HANA platform, there are several terms used to describe parts of the SAP HANA revision strategy, including the following:
SAP HANA standard revisions
SAP HANA maintenance revisions
Support package stack (SPS)
Support packages (SP)
SAP HANA Standard Revisions
The term standard revision or revision refers to a maintenance package of an SAP HANA core component (SAP HANA database, studio, clients, application function libraries).
The SAP HANA standard revisions are shipments after release to customer (RTC) of the initial revision for a certain support package stack (SPS). For example 000, 001, or 011.
The standard revisions are shipped until the RTC of the next support package stack. The standard revisions provide incremental fixes based on the initial support package stack feature set.
SAP HANA Maintenance Revisions
The SAP HANA maintenance revisions are minor shipments after the last SAP HANA standard revision for certain support package stacks. For example 2.00.048.06, 2.00.059.06, or 2.00.059.07. Maintenance revisions are shipped after RTC of the next version until the end of maintenance of the respective support package stacks.
Maintenance revisions provide fixes for the following:
Major bugs concerning critical functions in key SAP HANA scenarios (SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA, SAP BW on SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA, SAP BW/4HANA, SAP HANA Data Marts)
Bugs without known workarounds
By upward compatibility it is understood that when changing from software version n of a product to a product version n+1, existing functions of version n continue to be supported or replaced by equivalent functions, in case a function was deprecated and is finally removed.
Data from version n can be transformed to, and used with version n+1 without major changes. Interfaces of version n (APIs, interfaces for other systems/products) remain unchanged.
Support Package Stack
A support package stack (SPS) refers to the SAP HANA platform release, which bundles new features and functions through a set of component revisions and support packages (SPs). These are entirely validated and are provided as a single medium for consumption.
New functions are introduced once a year, every time a new SAP HANA support package stack (SPS) is released.
For easier handling, the numbering of SAP HANA SPS and revisions have been aligned. For example, revision 070 refers to the first SAP HANA revisions, which contains SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 07 capabilities.
A support package refers to all other parts of the SAP HANA platform that are non-core components for the SAP HANA database. That is, the SAP Host Agent or SAP HANA smart data access. These components are visible on SAP Support Portal support packages (SP).
Revisions and support packages have their own release cycle, and can be installed or upgraded separately.
SAP HANA Maintenance Strategy
The SAP HANA maintenance strategy is based on incremental, non-disruptive innovation updates.
New functions are introduced once a year, every time a new SAP HANA SPS is released. This normally happens at the beginning of April.
As of SAP HANA 2.0 SPS02, SAP provides bug fixes and security patches for every SPS for two years after RTC. The last SPS of a major product version is in maintenance for five years after RTC.
Because updates shipped for the SAP HANA platform are strictly downward compatible, earlier revisions can be removed from SAP Support Portal when a newer SAP HANA revision of the same SPS becomes available. Incompatible changes are considered for legal or security reasons, but are subject to a strict exception approval process.
The SAP HANA platform product remains in maintenance as long as any SAP business application releases built on top of SAP HANA are in mainstream maintenance, extended maintenance, or priority-one support.
SAP HANA 2.0 SPS06 has a two-year maintenance window time frame after release to customer.
In parallel, SAP HANA 2.0 SPS05 got a long-term maintenance extending for five years after release to customer.
It is not to be interpreted as the last SPS release for SAP HANA 2.0.
SAP still plans to continue to invest in and provide innovation for SAP HANA on premise.
SAP HANA 2.0 SPS 05 aligns with the recently announced plans for longer maintenance time-lines for applications based on SAP HANA.
Providing a five-year maintenance term for SAP HANA 2.0 SPS05 gives a clear path for customers using SAP HANA 1.0 SPS12 to plan and execute their upgrade.
Extended Maintenance using Maintenance Revisions
SAP provides SAP HANA standard revisions until the release to customer of the next SPS is declared. These standard revisions contain only incremental fixes.
SAP provides SAP HANA maintenance revisions between the RTC of the following and the over-next SPS. These maintenance revisions contain only major bug fixes, which are identified as relevant for production environments.
The implementation of the highest SAP HANA revision available on SAP Support Portal benefits from incremental, but non-disruptive, improvements.