Providing a significant number of new features is an important goal of release upgrades to deliver innovations to our customers and partners. There are four major release upgrades per year following a predefined schedule as described in this blog post.
An upgrade is intended as a “no event” for customers and partners. For example, only compatible changes of released objects (APIs) will be delivered. But we recommend performing a test of the custom-built productive apps in a test environment for the new release. The complexity of the technical dependencies between the custom-built apps and the underlying environment cannot be tested isolated, only including the ABAP environment on SAP side. Therefore, we offer you to upgrade selected systems 15 days in advance to test the applications prior to the planned standard-upgrade.
This option enables a customer or partner to test their already developed applications on top of the new release a couple of days before the standard-upgrade. With SAP BTP ABAP Environment, we follow the approach of keeping released objects stable and provide all enhancements in a compatible fashion. But early testing is an additional measure to ensure appropriate software quality and might be used to detect unforeseen regressions. However, this option is not intended to test new features or to consume new features earlier.
The standard-upgrade of all systems to release 2202 is planned for February 19/20.
A customer or partner can nominate one or more already existing systems for the pre-upgrade. A nominated system will be upgraded on February 4 within a planned downtime from 8:00 to 16:00 CET.
We recommend nominating a non-development system, for example, a test system. The nomination of a development system is technically also possible, but fixes or other changes must not be imported into another system with a lower release. The nomination of a productive system doesn’t make sense because the purpose of the pre-upgrade is the re-test of the existing application before the productive system gets the new release.
According to the explained approach, this offer is only relevant for customers or partners having at least two systems.
There might be situations where a correction of custom-objects needs to be deployed. Such corrections are possible if the development / correction system is on the older release and is imported into the pre-upgraded system with the higher release.
Except potential fixes, the pre-upgrade is based on the same version as the standard-upgrade.
This offering is optional and free of any additional charges.
All the planned new features are published on the What’s New for SAP Business Technology Platform. This list gives you an overview about potential areas for re-testing. But the purpose of the pre-upgrade is not to consume these features before the standard-upgrade, because the documentation on help.sap.com will be delivered later before the standard-upgrade and it would also not be possible to transport code of such an adoption, because subsequent systems are not yet on the new release during the pre-upgrade phase.
Independent of the upgrades of the SAP BTP ABAP Environment, we recommend developing automated tests for the custom-built apps to detect regressions early on and without manual effort for re-testing. Such automated tests are perfectly suited to be executed in the pre-upgrade test phase.
The following figure summarizes the general approach
Milestones for release 2202:
- January 21: Announcement of the pre-upgrade offer and planned new features
- January 31: Pre-upgrade systems are known
- February 4: Pre-upgrade
- February 16: Potential decision to postpone the upgrade
- February 19/20: Standard-upgrade
To nominate a system, please create a customer ticket by January 31 (EOB) at latest by using component BC-CP-ABA, priority low, and specify the nominated system(s).
With such a nomination, the customer agrees to an extraordinary planned maintenance on February 4 (see above).
Issues should be reported as part of the regression test phase by February 11 (EOB) to allow for a sufficient time frame for issue analysis and potential corrections on SAP side.
Please create a customer ticket by using component BC-CP-ABA.
If a detected issue is likely to endanger the productive use after the standard-upgrade, you should use ticket priority very high despite the fact that the pre-upgrade system is not a productive system.
In case of the aligned decision on Wednesday, February 16 (based on unresolved priority very high tickets) to postpone the upgrade, a dedicated mitigation process together with the respective customer or partner needs to be started with following boundary conditions:
- Resolving the open priority very high issues remains the highest priority for both, SAP and the customer or partner, as it is also the prerequisite for the upgrade.
- According to the estimated issue resolution, catching up the upgrade needs to be planned.
- The upgrade leads to a business downtime of 6 – 8 hours.
- The upgrade must be scheduled within 7 calendar days at the latest after fixing all remaining open priority very high issues.
- We will not provide any fixes for the old release after the original date of the standard-upgrade to the new release.
In case business-critical issues are detected after the upgrade:
- Issues need to be reported as priority very high issues and will be processed accordingly by us.
- Going back to the release before upgrade is not an option. Therefore, resolving the issues in the new release with the appropriate priority is the required approach.
We recommend performing regression tests in pre-upgraded test systems to avoid day-1 impacts of productive custom apps after the standard-upgrade.