until now, SAP GUI for Windows is only available as a 32bit version with the exception being the 64bit versions of the automation controls (Logon Control, Table Factory Control, BAPI Control and Function Control) that we introduced in SAP GUI for Windows 7.70.
The 32bit version works well on 64bit operating systems and runs in the so-called "emulation" (see also https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/winprog64/running-32-bit-applications). However, this has a couple of drawbacks when it comes to memory utilization and integration with other 64bit processes. The most important limitation in this area was overcome when we started supporting 64bit Microsoft Office versions in SAP Desktop Office Integration.
Regardless of this, we keep getting requests for full 64bit support in SAP GUI for Windows and thus decided to implement, deliver and support such a version. For us this comes with a very high effort, because SAP GUI is huge in terms of codebase, but also when it comes to integrating third party content (which also needs adjustments).
When we started the project about a year ago we were uncertain whether we would be successful, but now I am running a 64bit version on my device since months without major issues and I can watch the functional scope keeping to grow and grow.
At this point of time in the project lifetime we have reached a level of certainty that allows me to tell you that we are very likely going to have a 64bit version in SAP GUI for Windows 8.00 (scheduled delivery Q1/2023).
And this is how it looks:
64bit version of SAP GUI for Windows 8.00
Yes, it of course is our intention to make it look and behave like the 32bit version as far as possible.
Some pieces of information which are important for you to know:
- We will deliver both a 32bit and a 64bit version with general support
- The 32bit and 64bit version cannot be installed in parallel. We tried this, but we were facing severe issues. Additionally, who except the development and the support team wants to run two SAP GUI versions which both need to be patched on a client?
- The delivery media will contain both components and the various SAP GUI Add-Ons
- There will be individual patches for the 32bit and the 64bit version, but their shipment is aligned
- The 64bit version may not include some features. If so, we will publish a list of these features in advance. Presently we are confident the number of such missing features will be low. Our clear goal is to come as close as possible to the functional scope of the 32bit version
- We consciously decided not to support SAP systems with SAP_BASIS releases older than 7.00 with the 64bit version to allow us some future improvements that the 32bit version will never be able to offer. However, the 32bit version will of course continue to support older systems
This is also an important information for vendors which contribute to the SAP GUI world by providing Add-Ons or controls to SAP GUI: If you are developing or supporting such a piece of software, you should start thinking about a 64bit version (if you haven't already done so).
In our project still a lot remains to be done, but we have already achieved a lot and the present version is very promising. Therefore, we decided once more to offer a Beta Program for SAP GUI for Windows 8.00 with the main focus area being the 64bit version. We will run this program in July 2022 and likely call for participation in April or May 2022. Therefore, stay tuned!
Please notice that whatever I said above reflects the current state of our planning and that some details may be subject to change.
Product Owner SAP GUI for Windows
on behalf of the SAP GUI for Windows Team