On February 4, 2020, SAP announced a new maintenance commitment for SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Suite 7 (see press release). SAP has committed support for SAP S/4HANA until end of 2040 enabling customers to invest into their future and build the intelligent enterprise.
In addition, SAP helps the installed customer base for a safe transition from existing deployments of SAP Business Suite 7 towards SAP S/4HANA, both Cloud and on-premise. Customers need the full flexibility to plan their digital transformation. Therefore, SAP has added an additional maintenance timeframe for SAP Business Suite 7. Mainstream maintenance will be provided until end of 2027, followed by an optional period of extended maintenance lasting until end of 2030.
As laid out in the press release, the extended maintenance comes with a premium of two percentage points on the existing maintenance basis for the core applications of SAP Business Suite 7 for all support offerings. SAP’s Support portal includes further details on these announcements.
Product and Maintenance Strategy Update for SAP BW/4HANA and SAP NetWeaver
SAP has thoroughly discussed together with its customers and partners the need for aligning the other products of the SAP portfolio that are closely related to SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Suite 7. As a next step to the February announcement, SAP is giving a follow-up product and maintenance strategy update, especially for SAP NetWeaver and SAP BW/4HANA. SAP has decided to align the maintenance strategy of SAP NetWeaver 7.5 with SAP Business Suite 7 for a safe transition to SAP S/4HANA. This means that SAP NetWeaver 7.5 will be supported in mainstream maintenance until end of 2027.
Extended maintenance for SAP NetWeaver 7.5 will be offered until end of 2030 at the same price and conditions like with SAP Business Suite 7. In addition, SAP has decided to fully align the product and innovation strategy for SAP BW/4HANA with SAP S/4HANA. Like SAP S/4HANA, SAP BW/4HANA will be maintained until end of 2040 through a sequence of releases.
SAP NetWeaver as Foundation and Integration Platform for SAP Business Suite 7
SAP Business Suite 7 is based on SAP NetWeaver components such as the Application Server ABAP, Application Server Java and embedded components of the SAP Business Warehouse. SAP NetWeaver therefore serves as a foundation and integration platform for SAP Business Suite 7.
The various SAP NetWeaver usage types (often called the SAP NetWeaver hubs) such as the SAP Enterprise Portal, SAP Business Warehouse and SAP Process Orchestration provide the required integration and interoperability capabilities in terms of people, data and process integration.
SAP Business Suite 7 in turn has delivered content for the SAP NetWeaver hubs: content for the SAP Enterprise Portal, content for SAP Business Warehouse and content for SAP Process Orchestration.
Maintenance Strategy for Existing On-Premise Solution Landscapes Based on SAP Business Suite and SAP NetWeaver
The existing on-premise solution landscapes of the installed SAP customer base contain both SAP Business Suite systems and SAP NetWeaver systems that interoperate with each other based on well-defined interoperability rules. The additional maintenance timeframe for SAP Business Suite 7 covers the latest three enhancement packages (EhP 6, 7 and 8 for SAP ERP 6.0 and EhP2, 3 and 4 for SAP CRM 7.0, SAP SRM 7.0 and SAP SCM 7.0).
To provide the most up-to-date SAP NetWeaver release in conjunction with best interoperability to SAP Business Suite 7 SAP fully aligns the maintenance strategy for SAP NetWeaver 7.5 with SAP Business Suite 7. SAP NetWeaver 7.5 is based on the AS ABAP and the AS Java based on the SAP JVM 8 which conforms to the Java 8 standard.
Previous releases of SAP NetWeaver such as 7.4, 7.3, 7.31 and 7.1x will run out of mainstream maintenance end of 2020. These versions are based on Java 6 and therefore are not suited for interoperability with SAP Business Suite 7 within the next decade.
Extended maintenance will not be offered for these versions. SAP will, however, support the Application Server ABAP 7.4 and 7.31 (which is identical to 7.03) to fulfill the maintenance commitment for the ABAP-based parts of SAP Business Suite 7 in addition to Application Server ABAP 7.5.
The SAP NetWeaver stack builds on the foundation of operating systems and databases. Database platforms for SAP NetWeaver and SAP Business Suite 7 run on database platforms of SAP such as SAP HANA, SAP ASE or SAP MaxDB, and on database platforms offered by third party vendors. The valid platform combinations are documented in the Platform Availability Matrix (PAM).
SAP will provide platform support for its own databases such as SAP HANA, SAP ASE, and SAP MaxDB. The maintenance timeframe for SAP solutions such as SAP Business Suite 7 and SAP NetWeaver in general are much longer than the maintenance intervals of the underlying database platforms and operating systems. To overcome these limitations, SAP’s platform engineering team works closely together with the database and operating system partners and qualifies new valid combinations for SAP Business Suite 7 and SAP NetWeaver.
Backward releasing of new operating system and database versions is common business practice between SAP and its platform partners, and SAP intends to continue this cooperation for the benefit of our mutual customers. The result of SAP’s joint efforts with the platform partners will be documented in the PAM successively over the maintenance period.
The additional maintenance time frame provides the valuable resource time to the SAP customer base. The time should carefully be used to develop a transition strategy.
Customers are in a transition from existing SAP NetWeaver and SAP Business Suite landscapes towards the intelligent enterprise powered by SAP S/4HANA, SAP BW/4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform. The existing SAP NetWeaver deployments are centered around the following usage type of SAP NetWeaver: AS ABAP, AS Java, Enterprise Portal, Process Orchestration, Business Warehouse.
In the following, basic considerations are presented that help to build a sustainable transition strategy. SAP recommends implementing a transition strategy as soon as time and other resources allow for a successful transition. SAP offers options both for cloud and on-premise target solutions depending on the customer’s preference.
Business Warehouse and SAP BW/4HANA
In alignment with the announced maintenance extensions of the SAP Business Suite 7 and SAP S/4HANA, SAP will extend the maintenance for SAP BW/4HANA and SAP BW 7.5:
- The maintenance for SAP BW 7.5 will continue to the end of 2027 with extended maintenance to 2030.
- SAP BW/4HANA will be aligned with the SAP S/4HANA maintenance extension and be maintained until at least 2040.
Since 2016, SAP BW 7.5 has been in maintenance mode and all feature investments are being made exclusively in SAP BW/4HANA. Please refer to the SAP BW/4HANA roadmap for details.
The end of mainstream maintenance dates for BW versions 7.4 and older remain unchanged and maintenance for these products will end this year (31.12.2020). Maintenance extensions for embedded BW and stand-alone NetWeaver have also been updated in SAP Note 1648480.
Existing SAP BW 7.5 and SAP BW/4HANA add-ons will provide their own maintenance strategy to be documented in the Product Availability Matrix (PAM). The corresponding communication to SAP customers will be rolled out through the PAM and corresponding SAP notes for each SAP BW 7.5 and SAP BW/4HANA add-on.
Additional conversion and upgrade assets to SAP BW/4HANA can be found on the SAP Help Portal.
In alignment with the announced maintenance extensions above SAP also extends the maintenance of SAP Enterprise Portal: mainstream maintenance for SAP Enterprise Portal 7.5 will continue to the end of 2027, with extended maintenance to 2030.
Note that no functional enhancements are planned anymore for SAP Enterprise Portal on SAP NetWeaver 7.5 (only bug fixes will be available). This is also the case for Knowledge Management as part of SAP Enterprise Portal 7.5. The mainstream maintenance for SAP EP versions 7.4 and older already ended on December 30, 2020.
As a general strategic approach, we recommend planning a transition of your SAP Enterprise Portal use cases to SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP), multi-cloud environment. As SAP puts major investments in SAP Business Technology Platform and customers automatically get the latest innovations.
Note that moving from SAP NetWeaver Platform to SAP Business Technology Platform requires a comprehensive analysis of your current use cases. SAP Business Technology Platform offers various micro services to help you implementing your scenario with more flexibility, it is not like the monolithic-like EP usage type.
Going forward we recommend SAP Enterprise Portal customers considering a transition to SAP BTP multi-cloud environment, in particular to SAP Build Work Zone (standard or advanced edition, depending on the scenario and use case).
SAP Build Work Zone is part of the SAP Build portfolio and brings together SAP Build Apps (formerly SAP AppGyver), SAP Build Process Automation (formerly SAP Process Automation), and SAP Build Work Zone (formerly SAP Work Zone and SAP Launchpad service) into a unified experience with new innovations to rapidly build apps, automate processes, and create business sites. SAP Build Work Zone unifies SAP Launchpad service and SAP Work Zone into a single offering, empowering business users to build & publish business sites. It is offered in two editions: standard edition (formerly known as SAP Launchpad service) and advanced edition (formerly known as SAP Work Zone).
SAP recommends adopting SAP Build Work Zone (standard or advanced edition) for new projects, and a gradual transition of existing SAP EP based scenarios to SAP BTP. The transition of portal scenarios to SAP BTP is also supported by providing the scenario “Enterprise Portal as a Content Provider”. For more information, see this section in the SAP Help Portal.
A transition to SAP Build Work Zone is a very customer-specific project
The maintenance of SAP Process Integration and SAP Process Orchestration of release 7.5 will be extended in accordance with SAP NetWeaver 7.5, i.e., mainstream maintenance until end of 2027 with option of extended maintenance until end of 2030 under the same conditions as described above. SAP Note 1648480 will be updated accordingly. End of maintenance for release 7.4 and older remain unchanged, i.e., mainstream maintenance will end by end of 2020 with no option for extended maintenance.
The maintenance of the add-on products SAP Process Integration business-to-business add-on, SAP Process Integration connectivity add-on and SAP Process Integration secure connectivity add-on will be extended accordingly. The compatibility matrix of the supported releases will be updated accordingly:
- See SAP note 2709410 for SAP Process Integration business-to-business add-on 2.0
- See SAP note 1695522 for SAP Process Integration business-to-business add-on 1.0
- See SAP note 1961175 for SAP Process Integration connectivity add-on 1.0
- See SAP note 1695563 for SAP Process Integration secure connectivity add-on 1.0
When upgrading / migrating from an older release to release 7.5, the customers have different options. For existing dual-stack SAP Process Integration deployments, SAP recommends to migrate to the Java-based Advanced Adapter Engine Extended or SAP Process Orchestration installation options, depending on the customer specific requirements and license entitlements. However, the dual-usage SAP Process Integration architecture is available in release 7.5 as well. For a detailed description of all options including license aspects and upgrade / migration paths, see the following blog: SAP Process Orchestration – What options do I have when upgrading or migrating to release 7.5.
With release 7.5 SP14, SAP has shipped a test tool that allows to set up and run automated integration scenario tests after a migration. For more details, see Process Integration test tool shipped with SAP Process Orchestration.
On the long term, SAP follows a transition strategy towards a hybrid integration platform architecture as part of SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite. SAP will soon publish an article on SAPinsider outlining this transition strategy.
Application Server ABAP
The Application Server ABAP is the foundation for SAP Business Suite 7, the SAP NetWeaver hubs, SAP NetWeaver add-ons and custom code. AS ABAP runs on anyDB including SAP HANA as documented in the PAM. SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP 7.5x is now fully in maintenance mode. All innovations go into ABAP Platform which is the foundation for SAP S/4HANA (Cloud and on-premise) and SAP Cloud Platform ABAP Environment, see figure below.
All innovations are delivered to these stakeholders out of one single common innovation codeline. ABAP Platform builds on SAP HANA only. Therefore, ABAP Platform can fully benefit of the unique capabilities of the underlying SAP HANA data platform. These capabilities are exposed on the convenient ABAP abstraction layer.
The transition from the classical SAP NetWeaver ABAP stack towards ABAP Platform is facilitated with specialized analysis and custom code adaptation tools, most notably the ABAP Test Cockpit, - see the ABAP Testing and Analysis page. The ABAP Test Cockpit provides both check variants for the adaptation to SAP S/4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform.
ABAP Platform provides a new program model (both cloud and on-premise meaning deployment agnostic) called the ABAP RESTful Application Programming Model (RAP). Read more about RAP in this blog.
Customers and partners can decouple their extensions and add-on solution with SAP Cloud Platform ABAP Environment - see the topic page for more details.
Application Server Java
The Application Server Java (AS Java) of SAP NetWeaver 7.5 is based on the Java 8 and is compatible with the JEE 5 standard. SAP mandates using SAP JVM 8 as underlying Java engine. SAP NetWeaver AS Java is positioned as the development and runtime environment for the Java-based NetWeaver hubs such as the Portal or Process Orchestration. The focus is clearly on maintaining the execution environment, optimizing operational aspects and securing the installed assets.
For innovative Java development adhering to latest standards SAP recommends building Java applications on SAP Cloud Platform. With the Cloud Application Programming (CAP) model SAP offers a model and tool set to take advantage of latest technology innovations in the area of SAP HANA using core data services. Java developers can build a compelling user experience following the SAP Fiori design.
Customers who prefer on-premise deployment options can use SAP HANA extended services, advanced model (XSA for short).
SAP NetWeaver Add-ons
Existing SAP NetWeaver add-ons will provide their own maintenance strategy to be documented in the PAM. SAP will work on an alignment strategy for the SAP NetWeaver add-ons in subsequent waves. In case of third party dependencies SAP will carefully weigh the possible alignment options. The corresponding communication to SAP customers will be rolled out through the PAM and corresponding SAP notes for each SAP NetWeaver add-on.