MIT plans to move to a new release of SAP, probably on January 29. The upgrade is a necessary step to accommodate both the Human Resources/Payroll and Lincoln Laboratory SAP projects.
People who use the SAP GUI (graphical user interface) will see significant changes in the new release, but there won't be any differences for those who do their work in SAPweb.
"We are sensitive to the host of issues around when and how to do software upgrades," Executive Vice President John R. Curry said. "But we also must remain current with the SAP product line in order to make the best use of its capabilities."
The final decision on the timing for the next upgrade will be made and communicated to users later this month after additional testing is completed. However, GUI users need to begin preparing because the new release includes more changes than the last upgrade, which was done in November 1999.
Beginning next week and continuing in January, Financial Systems Services (FSS) will offer one-hour "delta" demonstrations to show users the differences between the current and new releases of SAP. These demos are designed to help users decide whether they want to participate in training sessions.
The demos, which are platform-specific, will be presented as follows:
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ December 12 at 10am -- Mac platform, Wong Auditorium (Building E51)
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ December 13 at 10am -- PC platform, Wong Auditorium, E51
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ January 9 at 10am -- PC platform, Rm 1-190
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ January 17 at 10am -- Mac platform, Rm 1-190
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ January 23 at 10am -- Mac platform, Rm 1-190
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ January 25 at 10am -- PC platform, Rm 1-190
Support to users
Hands-on training for those who want it is scheduled to begin the week of January 8. The courses will be self-paced tutorials, and users can do the exercises either at the Learning Center (with an instructor present) or in their own offices. The exercises will be available on the web and as printed documents distributed at the January demos.
The School and Area Business Consultants (formerly known as School and Area Coordinators) in FSS and the Business Liaison Team in Information Systems will assist users throughout the upgrade process and as they begin to use the new GUI in their work.
The new 4.6 GUI will work with MIT's current version of SAP, so users can download it at their convenience, even before the large server computers are upgraded. The SAP GUI installer for Windows 4.6 is available now from
More than 40 SAP users from departments, labs, centers and administrative areas are participating in the upgrade process by previewing the new release, evaluating the training plans and assisting with integration testing.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 6, 2000.