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     As of Enhancement Pack 6, SAP has adopted a newer release strategy. While the older enhancement pack delivery mechanism still exists, SAP will also release what they refer to as "feature packs" (also known as "In-Advance Shipment"). As the name implies, these feature packs contain content specific to a business area to provide new features and functionality supplied "in advance" of the next Enhancement Package(which should be EhP7 at some point soon).

Per Robert Moeller from SAP, "A Feature Pack (FP) in this context  is nothing more than a special kind of Support Package (SP) that includes new functionality (where a SP usually only contains code corrections and legal changes), albeit you still control the activation of that new functionality with a business function switch that you may turn on."

     The intention is that these "feature packs" can be delivered quarterly between enhancement pack upgrades. So where are we now with releases?

HR Renewal Feature Pack LevelAlso known as (SP = Support Pack)
Also known as (SPS=Support Package Stack)
Released @
HR Renewal 1.0HR Renewal 1.0 EA-HR 607 SP00HR renewal 1.0 SPS00 Aug 2012
corrections to initial release HR renewal 1.0 SP01 - SP02
HR Renewal 1.0 FP1HR Renewal 1.0 EA-HR 607 SP03

HR renewal 1.0 SPS03

Oct 2012
corrections to initial FP1 HR renewal 1.0 SP04

HR Renewal 1.0 FP2

HR Renewal 1.0 EA-HR 607 SP05

HR renewal 1.0 SPS04Feb 2013
corrections to initial FP2 HR renewal 1.0 SP06 - SP09

HR Renewal 1.0 FP3

HR Renewal 1.0 EA-HR 607 SP10HR renewal 1.0 SPS06June 2013
corrections to initial FP3 HR renewal 1.0 SP11 - SP13

HR Renewal 1.0 FP4

HR Renewal 1.0 EA-HR 607 SP14

HR renewal 1.0 SPS07

July 2013 (docs show Nov 2013)
corrections to initial FP4 HR renewal 1.0 SP15
HR Renewal 2.0HR Renewal 2.0 EA-HR 608 SP00HR renewal 2.0 SPS00May 2014 (GA June 20,2014)
corrections to initial release HR renewal 2.0 SP01 - SP03

HR Renewal 2.0 FP1

HR Renewal 2.0 EA-HR 608 SP04HR renewal 2.0 SPS 01Sept 2014
corrections to initial FP1 HR renewal 2.0 SP05 - SP06HR renewal 2.0 SPS01 - SPS 03
HR Renewal 2.0 FP2HR Renewal 2.0 EA-HR 608 SP07HR renewal 2.0 SPS 02Dec 2014
corrections to initial FP2HR renewal 2.0 SP08 - SP11
HR Renewal 2.0 FP3HR Renewal 2.0 EA-HR 608 SP12HR renewal 2.0 SPS 03Feb 2015
corrections to initial FP3HR renewal 2.0 SP13 - SP14

EDIT: 02/26/2015 - added/updated table above with correction and HR Renewal 2.0 information

Highlights of each Feature Pack

     Here are the consolidated highlights for each release from SAP (with my occasional opinion in orange text thrown in for good measure! haha):

HR Renewal 1.0 FP0 (baseline)
  • New function in Design Time for Processes and Forms for the creation of forms based on Floor Plan Manager (FPM) application configuration components (VERY cool!)
  • New function for using forms created in an external UI to access the Processes and Forms framework using the Service Layer

          (Do not GLOSS over this one! This means that yes, SAP allows us to use FPM-based forms as a option to Adobe, but they have also left the           framework open not to allow ANY other UI for the "form" that we want!!!!)

  • New sample processes based on the new form type:
    • Change to Working Time (International)
    • Special Payment (International)
HR Renewal 1.0 FP1 (no major change to HCM Processes and Forms)
HR Renewal 1.0 FP2
  • New Start Application to execute processes for HR Administrator role (ASR_PROCESS_START_OVP)
    • Search for different object types (employee, position, organizational unit and job) using a single search screen
    • Start both FPM-based and Adobe-based processes from a single application for a chosen object (you would think this was done when they released the FPM option)
    • Attachments, history, and link lists
  • New Process Browser application to track both FPM based and Adobe based processes
  • Digital Personnel File (DPF) available for both Adobe and FPM form types
  • Integration of StreamWork (StreamWork integration with HCM Processes and Forms enables collaboration/discussion between users who participate in different stages of a process.)
  • New PFCG role for HR Administrator (SAP_ASR_HRADMIN_SR_HCM_CI_4)
  • Further enhancements to the Design Time tool
    • Configure a print/read-only Adobe PDF: The system creates a PDF from the template specified and stores it in the employee's personnel file. If the form template is maintained, it can also be used to print FPM forms (not pulling any punches...this is a CRAP solution! It makes us still rely on setting up ADS and developing an Adobe form in parallel with our FPM forms!...but I guess at least SAP is giving us something. I really hope they release a *real* print solution soon!)
    • Bind the source of UI attributes for form fields (this will add to generic service development!)
    • Designate a text field associated with a form field, so that texts for values chosen in the Object Value Selector (OVS) are populated on the form at runtime (this will save some generic service development!)
  • Sample processes based on the FPM form type:
    • Hiring (Germany)
    • Change Organizational Unit Attributes-WD [FPM]
  • EIC Side Panel Integration in HR Application
    • HCM Process & Forms administrator application (5 Step PA & PD Application) has been enhanced to enable the creation of a service request, directly from the application, through a side panel. This means that context relevant data is included directly in the
      service request, eliminating the need to call or mail the Shared Service Center, to create a service request. It further allows the administrator to see the service request that they have created in the side panel and to view its current status.
HR Renewal 1.0 FP3
  • Integration of the Mass Hiring Web application into the landing page
  • Appealing and intuitive Web user interface, which offers a central workspace for an HR professional to manage data of multiple candidates when hiring employees. With the Excel-like Web UI, an HR professional can complete the whole maintenance process for candidates:
    • Download an empty excel template for mass hiring
    • Import an Excel sheet with records of multiple new hires
    • Export the candidates into an Excel sheet
    • Handle errors
    • Save drafts
    • Mass edit, mass validate, and mass submit candidates' data
    • Both synchronous and asynchronous validation processes are available and can be conducted in parallel to save time, if the function is enabled in the Design Time tool. These checks include:
      • Automatic duplication check during importing and validations (very cool!)
      • Rehire detection (very cool!)
      • Automatic creation of personnel numbers for all new hires after final step of data submission (I would like the option for WHEN this happens. Some clients/customers like to assign/hold the number early in the process.)
  • Processes lane to the landing page for HR professionals. (will be nicer when it is available in the portal and not just the NWBC)
    • A short lane on which they can view the pending processes for a specific period
    • An expanded lane on which they can view all completed and open processes and includes advanced search capabilities
  • new HR Professional composite role

HR Renewal 1.0 FP4
  • Roadmap Form for Employee Processes
    The HCM Processes and Forms framework offers the new form type "Roadmap Form". With this new form type you can reuse the Personnel & Organization screens for single infotypes and offer them in a predefined sequence for display as an easy-to-navigate roadmap. You configure the roadmap form-based processes either as “single-step-processes” or use the workflow capabilities of HCM Processes and Forms to enhance them. Note: Currently, the roadmap form only supports processes for employee master data.

          (Interesting. I want to see it in action. Not really sure what "use case" SAP thinks this addressed since it is for "single infotypes".)

  • Workforce Viewer
        This new application, based on SAPUI5, offers a wide range of features to explore and visualize organizational structures. (not just
         HCM Processes  and Forms specific) (nice! This answers a question I had as to why the other Org Chart Visualization companies had not
        developed an integrated solution like the "free" one that was given away with EhP5 for MSS. I guess they knew SAP had this coming. It will         be interesting to see how/if SAP expands this integration into other applications/usages. Keeping an eye on it.)
  • new HR Professional composite role

Feature Pack 4 was just released at the end of July 2013 as noted, but hints at the directions SAP is moving with a number of things if you read between the lines (some form of "dynamic actions" capabilities, integrated HTML5 based org charting, more robust "landing page" functionality, etc.).

EDIT: HR Renewal 2.0 information added - 02/26/2015

HR Renewal 2.0 initial release
Mostly payroll and country specific updates. Also, for MSS, added Substitution lane and applications based on SAPUI5. For HCM P&F, no major changes.

HR Renewal 2.0 FP1

More payroll and localization updates. New ESS SAPUI5 based applications. For HCM P&F:

  • dynamic processing rules: Available in the HR renewal Web Dynpro ABAP Master Data Application for single infotypes and infotypes in the roadmap forms

So yes, we now have the start of a replacement for "dynamic actions", however, it is only supported for "roadmap" forms.

HR Renewal 2.0 FP2

More payroll and localization features/functions added. For HCM P&F,

  • HR Object delimitation : This feature enables you to ensure that only valid HR objects are displayed for selection in the input value help (F4) See note 1883014
  • Enhancements to Dynamic Processing Rules (DPR): With this enhancement, you can now assign a DPR to a delete operation. (what?!?! this was missing before? haha)
  • Enhancements to Roadmap forms:
    • Add attachments to roadmap form steps (gee, you mean like the rest of HCM P&F has had forever?)
    • Select from multiple valid infotype records in roadmap form operations
    • Delete Operation for Roadmap Forms (you can either configure a "delete" operation or a DPR with a "delete" operation in it). (again...we had to wait for another feature pack just to be able to delete?)

HR Renewal 2.0 FP3

More payroll control center changes. For HCM P&F,

  • Conversion to Dynamic Processing Rules: tool to convert dynamic actions into dynamic processing rules (Nice!)
  • External Personnel Number Assignment: You can use this feature in any processes in which a personnel number is assigned from an external or internal number range in the Roadmap Form. (So we can't use this for custom HCM P&F processes?)

  • Employee Recognition: If a new employee is added to your organization, you can control "how" their personnel number is assigned (ie. new hire, rehire, concurrent employment, or global assignment). (This is NOT mentioned for HCM P&F but I am hoping it will be available.)

        edit: I asked sylvia.strangfeld about the "Employee Recognition" feature and if it could be integrated into HCM P&F. Her response...

         "The EE recognition dialog can be launched by the HCM P&F form types FPM, Adobe and roadmap forms or "stand alone". Means, it can be triggered by a process or be the trigger of a process. But: The data entered into the EE recognition dialog are being transfered ONLY into the corresponding fields of the form type roadmap form. The transfer is out of the box not supported for the other two form types. Technically this should not be such a big deal. We use the class CL_HRASR00_SET_HIRE_DATA to temporary store the data of the EE recognition dialog and then get the data to fill in the corresponding fields o the roadmap form. Acutally I do not see a reason why this should not work at least for FPM forms." ( source: What’s new in HR renewal 2.0 feature pack 3 for professional users?)

I hope this consolidation of information helps others wade through what is truly *NEW AND IMPROVED* in HCM Processes and Forms. As always...till next time....

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