The mainstream maintenance period or the extended maintenance period of an SAP application release has expired.
This note describes the maintenance strategy for SAP applications.
SAP provides mainstream maintenance (formerly: standard maintenance) as part of the maintenance strategy. At the end of the mainstream maintenance period for a release of an SAP component, the following scenarios are possible:
After mainstream maintenance has ended, SAP provides extended maintenance for an additional maintenance fee. Extended maintenance has the same scope of service as mainstream maintenance.
The customer accepts the offer and concludes a supplementary agreement for extended maintenance (for extended maintenance of SAP R/3 and SAP R/3 Enterprise, see Notes 505060 and 303751). After the validity period of the supplementary agreement has expired, the release automatically enters customer-specific maintenance.
The customer does not accept the offer of extended maintenance. After mainstream maintenance has expired, the release automatically enters customer-specific maintenance.
SAP does not provide extended maintenance after mainstream maintenance has expired. After mainstream maintenance has expired, the release automatically enters customer-specific maintenance.
The expiry dates of mainstream maintenance (and extended maintenance, if provided) are published in SAP Service Marketplace under http://service.sap.com/releasestrategy and in the Product Availability Matrix under http://service.sap.com/pam.
Note that individual, downward-compatible software components within a release of an SAP application (for example, SAP GUI or SAP Kernel) can have a shorter maintenance period and must be exchanged with a newer version during the mainstream or extended maintenance.
Scope of service of the customer-specific maintenance
As of a certain time in the life cycle of a release, there no longer is an adjustment of this release to requirements that arise from outside. Such requirements are, for example, implementing legal changes or supporting new technologies. The time in question is marked by the end of the extended maintenance or the end of the mainstream maintenance if no extended maintenance is provided. As of this time, the customer-specific maintenance begins.
Customer-specific maintenance applies to all SAP applications and does not have an expiry date. During customer-specific maintenance, the customer pays the same maintenance fee as for mainstream maintenance (SAP Standard Support fee or SAP Premium Support fee. The customer-specific maintenance does not have to be ordered explicitly.
In customer-specific maintenance, customers receive similar maintenance services as in mainstream maintenance, however, there are some restrictions in the scope of service, because the release is no longer adjusted to new requirements, as described above.
Customers continue to receive the following services of SAP Standard Support during the customer-specific maintenance:
New releases of licensed software
Problem processing (for problems known to SAP)
Tools for the management and automation of testing
Tools for monitoring the system and the most important business processes
Proactive Remote Services
Implementation tools and methods
Access to SAP Best Practices
Available ABAP source code
Tools and methods for Software Change Management
During customer-specific maintenance the following restrictions in the scope of service of SAP Standard Support apply:
No delivery of legal changes
No delivery of Support Packages
No guarantee for technological upgrades, for example:
No new kernel versions for the support of new database versions and operating system versions.
In some cases no direct upgrade to a current release. In this case, the upgrade to a current release must be performed in several steps.
For a start release in customer-specific maintenance, we do not usually provide new or additional upgrade paths. Upgrade paths that are provided during the mainstream maintenance or during the period in which we provide extended maintenance, continue to be available during customer-specific maintenance. You can use available upgrade paths whether or not you make use of the extended maintenance.
No support of new interfaces.
Processing of problems is customer-specific. This means that for known problems, the solution of problems is still covered by the maintenance. However, the customer may have to pay for the expense of solving new problems not yet known to SAP. This applies to customer-specific enhancements in particular.
During the customer-specific maintenance, customers continue to receive the following services of SAP Premium Support.
Annual valuation of the systems and action plan
During the customer-specific maintenance, the following restrictions apply to the scope of service of SAP Premium Support:
The service level agreements for initial response times and corrective measures are no longer delivered.
Note the following restriction: SAP cannot support software from third-party providers (for example, operating systems, databases or components), which is no longer maintained by the manufacturer. Therefore, you may have to carry out an upgrade to more current versions of this software. These more current versions may not be supported for releases that are in customer-specific maintenance. In this case, it is your responsibility to decide whether you want to carry out an upgrade or continue using the old, no longer supported version of the software. In particular during customer-specific maintenance it may cause problems if your system has an obsolete Support Package level. You may encounter problems that have been solved with a more recent Support Package. In addition, it may be more difficult or even impossible to create individual corrections.
Detailed information on customer-specific problem processing:
For releases in the customer-specific maintenance, problems
are processed according to the following rules:
Customers can still create messages as before. The normal service and support tools (for example, SAP Service Marketplace and SAP Solution Manager) and the SAP Customer Interaction Center continue to be fully available.
Primary Support and downstream institutions accept and process problem messages during the regular message processing. This includes, among others, the 7x24h Support for messages with priority "Very High" (for more information about the priority of messages, see Note 67739).
The reported error is analyzed.
If the software error is already known, a note that has been released for customers and that documents the problem exists for the relevant release. An existing solution is made available to the customer.
If the error is not known yet, no note documenting the problem has been released for customers for the relevant release. The error is regarded as a new, as yet unknown error. In this case, the processing is a consulting service subject to charge.
There are several options to correct the error:
Standard correction using an SAP note: The error is documented in an SAP note, which is then available to all SAP customers. The correction is delivered with an SAP note.
Customer-specific correction: The error is documented in the problem message for this installation. The problem correction is documented in the problem message.
SAP specifies how the corrections are made available to the customers.
SAP cannot guarantee that every problem canor will be solved within customer-specific maintenance. For example, SAP cannot provide corrections in cases such as those specified below:
Problems that are caused by third-party software. This is the case especially if the software is no longer supported by the third party.
Problems that are caused by software components whose source code is not available to the customer.
One of the reasons for restrictions is that SAP removes the internal system landscapes for a release at the start of the customer-specific maintenance of that release. As a result, it may only be possible to analyze the error directly in the customer system. For the analysis, the customer has to make a remote access available.
It may only be possible to correct as yet unknown errors in individual corrections in the customer system. In the customer system, SAP acts as a developer of the customer and has no further rights. Therefore, SAP cannot provide corrections for software components whose source code is not available to the customer. SAP cannot provide corrections for as yet unknown errors with third-party products that are no longer supported by the manufacturer.
You can find more information concerning message processing and the cost of message prosessing subject to charge in the country-specific remote consulting notes under XX-RC and XX-SER-GEN.
Detailed information about individual support services
Support Packages, Support Package Stacks and Kernel Patches
The archive of the Software Download Center contains available Support Packages for Releases that are now in customer-specific maintenance (here we use SAPR/3 4.6B as an example):
-> Support Packages and Patches
-> Archive for Support Packages and Patches
-> My Company's Application Components
-> SAP R/3
-> SAP R/3 4.6B
When a release is in customer-specific maintenance, the Support Package Stacks that were available during normal maintenance are no longer visible in the Software Download Center. You can still access the available Support Packages using the Software Download Center archive.
Kernel patches for kernel versions in mainstream or extended maintenance are available from the following path:
-> Support Packages and Patches
-> Entry by Application Group
-> Additional Components
-> SAP Kernel
Support Packages for country-specific add-ons for SAP R/3 4.6C and extended maintenance for SAP R/3 4.6C.
SAP provides various add-ons with country-specific functions for SAP HR and SAPFI/LO. The Support Packages for most of these add-ons are available from the Software Download Center.
Support Packages for a small number of country-specific add-ons are provided using a special structure in SAP Service Marketplace (for example: HR add-ons are available at http://service.sap.com/erp-hcm -> Country Information, Core add-ons are available from http://service.sap.com/erp-financials -> Country Information). When you conclude a contract for extended maintenance for SAP R/3 4.6C, you automatically receive access to the Support Packages that are available from the Software Download Center. However, access to Support Packages for country-specific add-ons using the special structure in SAP Service Marketplace is not automatically released. If you require access to Support Packages for such a country-specific add-on, contact the contracts department for the relevant country.
Installations and Upgrades
We do not support insstallations or upgrades to target releases that are in customer-specific maintenance. If you require the installation software - for example, when you upgrade a database or operating system - write a customer message to component XX-SER-SWFL-SHIP.
Information Sources: PAM and Support Package schedules:
Releases that are in customer-specific maintenance are not displayed in the Product Availability Matrix. If you require information about these releases, it is available at http://service.sap.com/pam -> Box "Quick Search for Product Versions" -> Product Versions in Customer-Specific Maintenance since Jan 07.
Information about availability of Support Packages is available at http://service.sap.com/hrsp (for SAP HR Support Packages) and http://service.sap.com/ocs-schedules (for Support Packages for other software components).
Additional information about maintenance is available on Service Marketplace at: www.service.sap.com/maintenance. For more detailed information contact your Account Team.