Bos what is software maintenance


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Bos what is software maintenance

  1. 1. © 2012 Blue Ocean Systems LLC 866-355-5989 Delaware Corporate Center II Two Righter Parkway, Suite 310 Wilmington, DE 19803 –1 – What is Software Maintenance? A common misperception of software maintenance (and maintenance fees) is that it merely involves fixing defects. However the majority, over 80%, of the maintenance effort is used for non-corrective actions. This perception is perpetuated by users submitting problem reports that in reality are functionality enhancements to the system. Software maintenance consists of four parts. Corrective maintenance deals with fixing bugs in the code. Adaptive maintenance deals with adapting the software to new environments. Perfective maintenance deals with updating the software according to changes in user requirements. Finally, preventive maintenance deals with updating documentation and making the software more maintainable. So perhaps it is the word maintenance that causes the misconception. When we talk about maintenance in our vehicles we think of either fixing something that is wrong (replacing a burnt out taillight bulb) or doing preventative maintenance (changing the oil). But what if your vehicle had a maintenance plan similar to a software maintenance plan? What if, for a small annual fee, your vehicle manufacturer made the latest and greatest mechanical and technical enhancements available to you for your existing vehicle? This would mean that your existing vehicle could potentially last you a lifetime! That would be an incredible value! When a new and advanced transmission was developed for your vehicle it could potentially show up at your doorstep ready to be installed into your vehicle and as technology progressed your 30 year old vehicle could have touch screen/voice controlled GPS simply by having it installed and in a few years be upgraded to completely touch free driving. What is covered by Software Maintenance? By simply keeping your maintenance plan current you receive the benefits of hundreds and millions of worth of R&D and enhancements by SAP. Your software maintenance fee gives you access to every new SAP patch level from the simplest hot fix to the full release level updates. Along with the increased functionality of the new release levels (as if that weren’t enough) you also receive access to the SAP customer portal which allows you access to the latest training materials and allows you to keep up to date on the direction of the software and also the SDN to acquire various tips and tricks and other helpful hints. The biggest benefit of paying for the maintenance plan is that you receive all the new software releases and updates. Companies stuck with old versions risk losing support from the SAP or having compatibility issues with newer technology. Plus, each release is packed with useful new features. The most significant of these is the changing dynamic of your customer base. Because, in today's ever changing business world, even keeping your existing customers requires you to change and adapt to their needs - regardless of whether
  2. 2. © 2012 Blue Ocean Systems LLC 866-355-5989 Delaware Corporate Center II Two Righter Parkway, Suite 310 Wilmington, DE 19803 –2 – they have been with you 20 years or 20 minutes. How will you keep up year-after- year when your core technology infrastructure does not keep pace? How will you implement new technologies when they don't mesh with your existing outdated systems? The answer is that you will eventually fall farther and farther behind the curve against your competitors - who are keeping current with their technology - and this will then require you to eventually take one of two actions: start from scratch with a brand new ERP system or upgrade your existing system (and depending on how far behind you are it may seem like a new system anyway!). Either option is likely to be more costly than having continued on maintenance in the first place. What is not covered by Software Maintenance? Per your SAP License agreement software maintenance does not provide for any services relating to the Software. Any such services shall be subject either to (i) a separate agreement between Licensee and the provider of such services (including without limitation an SAP Reseller), and SAP shall not have any liability for the provision of such services hereunder; or (ii) a separate agreement or rider to this Agreement between Licensee and SAP. So it is really no different than when you purchased the original licenses, the license fees entitled you to the software and there were separate services as part of your overall implementation, in this case there are separate services as part of the installation, testing and roll out of your patches and upgrades. If we go back to the analogy of your vehicle then when the new transmission showed up at your doorstep it would still have to be installed into your vehicle right? For this you would take the new transmission to your mechanic and have it installed and your mechanic would charge a fee based on the labor for the installation but you would not be charged for the parts because they were covered under your maintenance agreement. What is the maintenance life cycle? As the versions and patch levels of your SAP software age they progress through various service levels in their life cycle. These various stages can be called many things but break down into three (3) basic life cycle stages. Once it reaches full release it starts out in a current release level state, at this state it is fully maintained and supported by SAP, all bug fixes, enhancement and changes are added as patches to the current release level. As a new release level (may be a “dot” release or a full release) is released the older releases move out of the maintained level, this means that they are still supported by SAP but they no longer receive bug fixes, enhancements and changes as patch levels and you must upgrade to a newer release to receive the latest enhancements. The final stage is not maintained and not supported, this means that the release is no longer supported and you must upgrade to a newer release in order to receive support from SAP. All implementations should be maintained in one of the first two levels and should never be allowed to lapse into a not maintained, not supported release level.
  3. 3. © 2012 Blue Ocean Systems LLC 866-355-5989 Delaware Corporate Center II Two Righter Parkway, Suite 310 Wilmington, DE 19803 –3 – The following is information provided by SAP regarding Release Families: Release Family: Maintenance Following rules apply regarding the maintenance period of a release family: Every release family is supported by an overall maintenance period of five years. The start of the maintenance period begins with the general availability of the major release and is followed by the maintenance period for all subsequent minor releases within the release family. When a new minor release enters unrestricted shipment, maintenance of the preceding release is discontinued. Example: o No further patches, corrections or new functionality will be provided for SAP Business One 8.8 once the successor release SAP Business One 8.81 has entered its unrestricted shipment phase. o No further patches, corrections or new functionality will be provided for SAP Business One 8.81 once the successor release SAP Business One 8.82 has entered its unrestricted shipment phase. Upgrade Process within a Release Family Major and minor releases of a release family have a single code line, which is the reason why with the general availability of a subsequent minor release version, the development of the preceding release version (major or minor) will be discontinued. Note however, that the upgrade to a next minor release within a release family is similar to a patch upgrade. SAP Business One is sold and supported via Blue Ocean Systems. Blue Ocean Systems is responsible for ensuring high-quality “level 1” and “level 2” support forcustomers. SAP will provide “level 3” support to Blue Ocean Systems in cases where code information is required to solve a potential issue.