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Why Access Controls uses Support Packs and not SAP Notes

by Jayne Gibbon

September 24, 2010

 

I wish I could tell you that at GRC we are perfect and never have issues with our products.  But like any software, SAP GRC Access Control has bugs. 

Unfortunately, the method by which we can fix these bugs is very different from other areas of SAP.  For long time users of SAP, you’re used to SAP Notes which are able to quickly fix your issues. These notes touch only the incorrect code and are very easy to apply in your environment.   By having a targeted fix like this, the risk in applying the fix is limited and your testing can focus on the functionality impacted by the code fix, versus having to regression test the entire application.

If only it were that simple with Access Control.  Access Control 5.3 is both Java and ABAP based.  The Java based side of Access Control is compiled code.  What this means is that any time a code change is made, you have to recompile the entire code like (all of Risk Analysis and Remediation) and to get this change to the code, you have to basically reinstall the application.  The fact is, there is no way to provide a targeted code fix in Java like there is with sap notes in ABAP.

Because of this, GRC Access Controls must issue support packs periodically.  These support packs basically group all of the code fixes together so that they can be applied and tested as one. 

Many customers have expressed frustration with this as it adds time to how long it takes to resolve issues (no 1 day turnaround here).  Also, to install support pa cks entails a lot of planning and testing on the part of the customer.  And the fact that GRC Access Control issues support packs approximately every quarter adds quite a bit of work to the project teams.

While I understand the frustration, this is the only viable way for SAP GRC Access Control to issue solutions for our products.  To try to ease some of the frustration, below are some documents to help in planning and implementing the support packs:

  1.  Support pack schedule:
    1. websmp206.sap-ag.de/ocs-schedules
  2.  Helpful sap notes:
    1. 1128727                Guide to install GRC Access Control Support Packages
    2. 1352498                Support Pack Numbering - GRC Access Control
  3. SAP notes that summarize the issues fixed in each support pack:
    1. 1168120                5.3 Support Packs – RAR
    2. 1168121                5.3 Support Packs – SPM
    3. 1168508                5.3 Support Packs – CUP
    4. 1168183                5.3 Support Packs – ERM

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