SAP upgrade SPAU and SPAU_ENH handling

At the end of each upgrade or support package SPAU and SPAU_ENH handling is required.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to execute SPAU processing?
  • What is SPAU_ENH?
  • Where to find more background information on SPAU?

SPAU processing

General information on SPAU processing can be found in OSS note 1970888 – How To: SPDD/SPAU handling during the Update/Upgrade.

When you start transaction SPAU it will ask for a Protocol Title. Give it a meaningful name (background information on the protocol is in OSS note 2497863 – A protocol has to be created before SPAU/SPDD can be executed):

Now you enter the main SPAU screen. The first action to do is to push the button Prepare Notes:

This will start a batch job to download latest versions of the OSS notes and will check if they are relevant for your support pack or upgrade. You can monitor this job in SM37:

For a support pack this jobs can take up to 30 minutes. For an upgrade of ECC on large system it can easily run for 4 hours or more.

After the notes download is done SPAU has 3 tabs:

Notes, with assistant and without assistant. For each tab make download or screen shots of the items before starting with SPAU handling. For each item record your action for future reference. If anything is wrong with the note or ABAP object, you can refer back to this recorded decision.

OSS notes processing

First start with the OSS notes processing. Complete all OSS notes before proceeding to the next tab.

The processing sequence is top down: older OSS notes first, then work down all the list.

In principle, you want to return as much as possible to standard SAP. But be careful: the older OSS notes might be valid modification notes which need to be re-applied after support pack or upgrade. Check with these ones with the functional team.

Old modification OSS notes can give a warning like this before you Reset them to original:

Some OSS notes might give download issues:

In some cases the note might not even be available any more on Check it there. If not available, check if the content can be ignored.

Some notes might give issues with content delivery event:

Check on if the note is still present. Check if the content can be ignored.

Some notes might be locked:

Most likely root cause: in SPDD processing sometimes you have to process OSS notes as well, and have to repeat in SPAU phase. In this case, release the SPDD transport from client 000 and redo the action in SPAU.

If you re-enter SPAU later (next day), you might encounter this screen:

In this case choose Continue with Current Protocol.

With modification assistant

Proceed with the tab With modification assistant only when the Notes tab has been processed. There might be some note items left due to the issues mentioned above. When agreed to ignore, you can proceed with the With modification assistant tab.

Reminder: download the items and record your decisions.

For each item you need to decide to Reset the object (return to standard SAP), or took fully keep the modification, or to do a manual adjustment. SAP can make guided proposals in this section.

It is an expert job to make the right decisions. Never let junior staff deal with this part. And when you do, you will regret it later on. It can take a huge amount of time to discover the issues and find out it was because of wrong handling in SPAU.

Without modification assistant

After you have completely done the With modification assistant tab, move on the to Without Modification tab.

Here the same processing as With Modification Assistant. SAP will not make any suggestions. Same expert warning as above.

Checking and activation

The other 3 tabs in SPAU (deletions, migrations and translations) are optional. Process as much as you can:

After SPAU has been done, goto SE80 and make sure that all objects are activated. If not activated, process each inactive object.

Never report back to the basis team to finalise SUM upgrade if you have inactive objects left. On older releases, when SUM is finalised and you still have inactive objects, you need to call off object keys.


After SPAU, you are not yet done. You need to start SPAU_ENH transaction and take care of all the enhancements (explicit and implicit):

OSS note 2584912 – How to work with SPAU_ENH contains a word manual with tips and tricks.

With an S4HANA upgrade, you will regret the implicit enhancements. The code were they were applied to might simply have disappeared.

Including usage data

In newer versions of S4HANA SPAU processing, you can include SUSG usage data to make SPAU handling easier. Based on usage you can more comfortably decide to return an item back to standard SAP.

TRDIR and TADIR issues

For TRDIR and TADIR issues during upgrades, support packages, read this dedicated blog.

Finding not adjusted items quickly

Run program RS_FIND_NOT_ADJUSTED_OBJECTS to find out quickly which objects have not yet been adjusted. See also OSS note 2742627 – Display of objects still to be adjusted.

Bug fix and reference OSS notes

Reference OSS notes:

Bug fix notes:

Custom Z code

Custom Z code is not part of SPAU handling. This you do after the upgrade.

For S4HANA you need to do custom code adjustments. Read more in this blog.

Further upgrade post-processing

Pending on your use of functionality more upgrade or support package post processing might be required. Read this dedicated blog for more details.

SAP upgrade SPDD handling

When upgrading any SAP system, the data dictionary objects changes done to standard SAP will have to managed. This is done in the SPDD phase of the upgrade.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to logon to the shadow system?
  • How to process the SPDD items?
  • Why is it important to document the SPDD items?

This blog is followed by special blog on SPAU handling.

Logging on to the upgrade shadow system

Logging on to the upgrade shadow system to perform the SPDD processing can be done in two ways:

  1. Create extra SAP GUI entry based on the data from the SAP basis team
  2. Via SM59 connection SAP_UPGRADE_SHADOW_SYSTEM

In SM59 goto the RFC connection SAP_UPGRADE_SHADOW_SYSTEM. Now press the button Remote Logon:

As processor of SPDD, the basis team will need to create your account in the shadow system and inform you on the password.

SPDD processing

Once logged in to the shadow system, start transaction SPDD:

First start with the With Assistant tab and handle all items, before moving to the Without Assistant tab.

Before starting with any processing, make screen shots/downloads of both tabs. Later when processing the SPDD, write down in any way the decisions you have made. Typically the first upgrade (and SPDD) is done on a sandbox system. Also write SPDD decisions down on the sandbox. If anything appears not ok, you can still do the right thing on the real development system.

The SPDD has to be save in one single transport. This transport will be re-used by basis team from the development system for further on upgrades. This tool (SUM tool) can handle only 1 transport. If there were more transport requests created, merge them to one ( use Include objects functionality) and mark it for transport via Utilities -> Assign Transport in SPDD/SPAU.

SPDD with assistance

On the SPDD with assistance, per item first select the option Compare Versions:

This overview is normally too big to analyse. Press the button Delta display to see the differences:

Based on the content you have to decide to:

  1. Reset (reset back to standard SAP)
  2. Adjust (make you own changes)

This decision is not made in the delta screen, but back in the main SPDD screen. Finalize all the items with assistance, before proceeding to without assistance tab. Record all you decision.

SPDD without assistance

Now proceed on the SPDD tab without assistance:

Red items can only be reset to standard SAP.

For yellow, green and white items there are 3 options:

  1. Reset (back to standard SAP)
  2. Adjust with proposal
  3. Adjust (manually)

A proposal can be accepted or adjusted:

Process each item in the list.

Final checks on SPDD

Before reporting SPDD complete, first check in SE80 that there are no inactive objects left:

If any inactive object is left: activate it. Solve all issues.

Under no circumstance leave issues that DDIC objects cannot be activated. The further on SUM processing will stop due to this inactivation, and you have to redo again till this point, and still have to solve this issue.

Check at the end that all SPDD items are done:

If the list is not empty, discuss with your basis team, before concluding if SPDD is done.

This is reason why you need to create screen shots/download the list in the beginning: it is gone now.

TRDIR and TADIR issues

For TRDIR and TADIR issues during upgrades, support packages, read this dedicated blog.


More information can be found in OSS note 1970888 – How To: SPDD/SPAU handling during the Update/Upgrade.

Interesting is also OSS note 2286852 – SPAU/SPDD: Display report for reset candidates.

Bug fix and explanation notes

Bug fix and explanation notes:

New client copy tools

As of SAP basis version 7.54 (which is ABAP version below S/4HANA 1909) a new set of client copy tools can be used.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • What are the version requirements of the new client copy tools?
  • What are the highlights of the new client copy tools?
  • How do I estimate the size of a client to copy?
  • How to run the new client copy tools?

Highlights of the new client copy tools

The main OSS note for the new client copy tools is 2962811 – New Client Copy Tool: General Information. And 2953662 – Recommendations for remote client copy performance improvements in S/4HANA.

Some highlights:

  • Native HANA support
  • Parallel processing of very large tables
  • SAP* in client 000 no longer needed: but still recommendation to use client 000
  • Option to use client copies with task list transaction STC01

Client size estimation

Transaction SCC_CLIENT_SIZE is a new transaction that can be used to estimate the size of a client:

Pending on your size run online or in batch mode. Result:

Client copy with new tool

In this example we first create the new client number 123 in transaction SCC4:

Now we can start transaction SCCLN for the new client copy tool:

And execute. Wait until done:

Remote client copy

Transaction SCC9N can be used for a remote client copy using the new tools:

Client deletion

Transaction SCC5N can be used for client deletion:

Bug fix OSS notes

Please check and apply following bug fix OSS notes for these new tools:

S4HANA upgrade preparation steps for simplification items

This blog will explain on the S4HANA upgrade preparation steps for the simplification items.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • How to prepare for the S4HANA upgrade?
  • How to get an overview on the S4HANA preparation items that need action?
  • How to re-run a single S4HANA preparation item check?

For more information on other preparation steps:

  1. For S4HANA conversion (start is ECC): read this blog
  2. For S4HANA upgrade (start is lower S4HANA version): read this blog

Upgrade pre-check OSS notes

Before you can start the upgrade install the pre-check OSS notes. First install OSS note 2399707 – Simplification Item Check. This might seem an old note, but it is constantly updated. If you did do the S4HANA readiness check before this note is already installed. But still always download and install the most recent version of this note. The second OSS note is 2502552 – S4TC – SAP S/4HANA Conversion & Upgrade new Simplification Item Checks.

These are TCI notes. During the implementation, you might need to clear all BI queues.

Per S4HANA version there is a third OSS note to apply. This note is different per S4HANA and feature pack version.

The OSS note for S4HANA 2020 is 2910131 – SAP S/4HANA 2020 Initial Shipment Stack Conversion & Upgrade – TCI Note #9. For S4HANA 2021: 3028788 – SAP S/4HANA 2021 Conversion & Upgrade checks – TCI Note #10. For S4HANA 2022: 3143951 – SAP S/4HANA 2022 Conversion & Upgrade checks – TCI Note #11. Also these are TCI notes.

For the functional preparation: 3226469 – SAP S/4HANA 2022 – application specific notes in system conversion / release upgrade preparation phase. And after the upgrade: 3226548 – SAP S/4HANA 2022 – application specific notes in system conversion / release upgrade follow-on phase.

Running the pre-checks

Start program /SDF/RC_START_CHECK. First update the catalog:

And check that the OSS notes are up-to-date:

After updating the OSS notes all lights should be green:

Then select the right Target SAP S/4HANA Version and run the program.

This run might take a while based on the performance of your system and the size of your database.

You now get an overview list of the items:

The top one is the famous CVI (Customer Vendor Integration). Now select all the items and press the button Check Consistency for All, to get all the details (again this might take a while). Per item you get the details on the fixes required:

The red items need to be fixed.

There are some items you can exempt. Judge carefully first before applying the exemption. This exemption function is only available in the first overview screen.

Check single item again

You can use program /SDF/RC_TROUBLE_SHOOT to run a single check again. As input you need to provide the full text of the Simplification ID:

This way, you don’t need to wait for the complete run to finish.

DTV tool

Consider the use of the DTV tool (data transition validation) for the real migration testing and execution.

Client 001 and 066

Some of the checks might return items in clients 001 and 066. For an S4HANA upgrade these need to be deleted. In stead of fixing the issues in these clients, delete them. See more about this deletion in this dedicated blog.

The real S4HANA upgrade

The SUM tool will execute the real S4HANA upgrade. It will call the same /SDF/RC_START_CHECK program. SUM tool will abort if even a single item is not ok.

ACF: Active Component Framework

SAP uses the ACF (Active Component Framework) in some solutions to provide extra functionality between the desktop and the SAP system.

This framework is known to be troublesome. If possible avoid the usage. If you cannot avoid it, use this blog for know fixes.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • Why avoid the use of the ACF framework?
  • Which use cases can already avoid ACF framework?
  • What are know issues of the ACF framework?
  • What are trouble shooting OSS notes for the ACF framework?

Why to avoid the ACF framework?

The ACF framework relies on a separate installation file on the desktop of the end user. In the default scenario, this file is present on the SAP server and will be pushed to the end user when needed. But most of the desktop software settings on the users desktop will block this file for security reasons. This will force you to distribute these files via the desktop team. After a support pack or upgrade, the ACF file gets renewed and again you have to take care. The ACF framework also depends on the JAVA versions installed on the desktop and the browser.

The ACF framework is known to be delivering nasty issues which are hard to tackle and solve. Any software change on the desktop can lead to issues with the ACF framework.

Avoid the use if possible.

Actions to move away from ACF usage

If you use ACF in the contect of PLMWUI, follow these instructions in OSS note 2879616 – Steps to configure ACF Replacement functionality in PLM WebUI to have the same functionality without ACF.

For the ABAP upload/download use case of ACF, follow the instructions in OSS note 2438690 – Moving to a Plugin-Free Web and ACF file Upload/Download/Execute component.

If you use SAP solution manager documentation (SOLDOC), apply OSS note 3009338 – SOLDOC: SAP GUI office Integration to shift from ACF to normal browser support.

ACF version and distribution

You can determine you current ACF version by following the instructions in OSS note 1481194 – Determination of ACF version.

Installation and download instructions of the ACF files are described in OSS note 766191 – Installation of Active Component Framework. Prerequisites for running ACF are listed in OSS note 1150277 – Prerequisites for using ACF.

Automatic download or installation considerations are described in OSS note 1488874 – ACF – automatic download or installation.

If you update your browser, or use Citrix, read this OSS note 1766401 – ACF: Switch to new operating system or Internet Explorer.

Patch history of ACF is listed in OSS note 1878583 – ACF: File upload/download/execute patch history.

ACF troubleshooting

For ACF troubleshooting, check the following OSS notes: