A SAP release upgrade is a serious project, a project that will require time and organizational resources and might also require external consulting help. Therefore time, resources, and budget must be allocated for the project. From a very general point of view, upgrading is either necessary because companies want to get the advantages of the newer release or they want to solve the issues implied by having an old release, from outdated maintenance to technical shortcomings. Either of the two general factors, and whether they are operational, economic, or strategic, must be recognized by customers to determine if an upgrade is needed. Let's review in more detail some of the reasons influencing a customer's need for a SAP upgrade:
In any case, there will be a recognition process for upgrading, followed by a justification process, which can be based in one or several of the aforementioned reasons. Justifying an upgrade project will also involve closely analyzing objectives, planning, risks, return on investment, and expected benefits. When too many risks and too little gain are identified, and if the reasons are mainly based on functionality gain, the customer might look at alternatives before proceeding with the upgrade project. There is, however, a theory in the SAP world that the longer a customer makes a decision for an upgrade, the harder and more costly it becomes.
Considerations for an Upgrade Project
Customers will have to deal with a project that will be time consuming and costly, not only for the internal or external resources required, but also because it might involve the acquisition and procurement of new hardware. A SAP upgrade is not just a question of running a program; there are other issues to be considered:
Upgrading to SAP R/3 Enterprise: What Is New?
Depending on what release you come from, you will find many or few changes in your systems. The new architecture, based on the Web Application Server, as well as the option of running the Java engine, J2EE, was discussed in detail in Chapter. If you have overlooked that chapter because it might have seemed too technical, this section introduces some of the new items you can find in the SAP R/3 Enterprise.
This is a brief list of what you will find with the SAP Enterprise release 4.7:
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Sap Basis Tutorial
Sap: From Sap R/3 To Sap Netweaver
The Architecture Of The Sap Web Application Server
Sap Netweaver: An Overview
Using Sap Systems
Upgrading To Sap R/3 Enterprise: The First Step Into Sap Netweaver
The Change And Transport System
Development Options With Sap Solutions: Abap Engine
User Management And Security In Sap Environments
Web Application Server System Management
Performance And Troubleshooting With Sap Solutions
Sap For It Managers: Implementation, Planning, Operation, And Support Of Sap Systems
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