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Source: SAP

Chris Vozella, SAP Product Support, gave this webcast March 27 through the Enterprise Support.  I checked this against Getting an Update on BI4 Maintenance Strategy - ASUG Webcast and tried to include unique content.


  • BI4/4.1 Maintenance Strategy
  • Maintenance Focus – quality, getting fixes turned around as soon as possible
  • New Forward Fit Process – changed as of BI4 SP06 – take a fix and move it forward to a new release
  • Critical Patch Requests – urgent patch requests, can’t provide a work around
  • Need to Know Information - SCN Blog

BI4/4.1 Maintenance Strategy

BI4 was first new release under SAP

Some differences include quality and governance – how fixes are integrated, how things are implemented in a support packs – Quality Group Products (QGP) group in SAP

BI4.1 included a “foray” into SAP world QGP

With BI they tried to align terminology with SAP - as an example, LA fixes are inconsistent with SAP

Critical corrections/critical patches get a fix delivered in short period for a production down or go-live situation

This is "an evolution from BusinessObjects world to SAP world:

Figure 2: Source: SAP

On left of Figure 2 is BI4x delivery vehicle and on the right is the XI delivery

Minor release is a larger set of fixes and small point innovations (cannot go in SP/CP).  It is usually to “tell a story” from a product standpoint.  It includes platform support.

Support pack is a roll up of critical patches, minimal testing required items.   A support pack in BI4 is a fix pack in XI.  You consume larger fixes in the support pack.

Critical patch is for urgent, priority 1 show stopper correction.  Critical patch is reserved for most critical item.  It is generally a collection of other critical patches.

You should perform functional testing, load testing with these patches.  Use JMeter or other testing tools before go-live.

Less than 1% requires a critical patch.  It is a small subset of all issues in the stack.

SCN blog is BI4/4.1 Maintenance Demystified!

Frequency is the release schedule for maintenance and correction vehicles KBA  1479533.

Lifetime is how long SAP will support something.  It is a question of patching and may require upgrading.

Cumulative release: BI4 releases are cumulative.  There will be a gap when there is a fix and when it is released in maintenance stream – hence a Forward Fit in a spreadsheet form.

Figure 3: Source: SAP

KBA 1661557 documents requirements for critical patch.  There is no reasonable work around and you cannot wait for a support pack.

Patches are released in 3 to 6 weeks.

Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows the obtuse triangle, with the # of fixes as you go down

Fewest critical patches then support pack fixes, and minor releases with new innovations

As the priority goes up the number of fixes goes down

Maintenance Focus

Simplicity comes into play if you involved in BI4 SP4 – would have seen confusing Forward Fits due to divergent support lines.  Sometimes most recent SP’s didn’t contain the most recent fixes.

There will always be a gap. SAP cut back in number of critical patches in older lines and more aggressive forward fit.  This is now simplified with increased emphasis on the Forward Fit plan.

Regarding quality, BI4 initial standpoint had issues to correct.  In BI4.1 made an effort to improve quality and fix regressions.  Chris is pleased with where BI4.1 is.

With transparency, you learn what SAP is doing to address problems.  Make sure documentation is clear and referenced properly.  As an example, LCM BI4.1 SP2 – documented in SCN wiki, but not in release notes.

BI4.1 SP3 includes changes in calculation engine and contains write-ups.

New Forward Fit Plan

New Forward Fit plan was introduced in BI4 SP06.  If you are a customer moving to the latest SP – it contains the highest number of fixes so gaps are minimized.

The newest line becomes the highest quality line.


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