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Throughout the SAP world people believe that this winter season combined with SAP Upgrade season will actually be hot. Every customer (running ESS /MSS) planning on ECC and EP upgrade must upgrade ESS / MSS services.


  • The current ESS MSS services are developed in ITS and/or Java on earlier versions of SAP HR. There has been change in the architecture and delivery of ESS MSS services from SAP Backend and the front-end.
  • All the backend programs supporting ESS MSS services has been changed and made available through ABAP classes (Object Oriented ABAP) as compared to the individual RFC in the previous versions.
  • All the user interface services have been provided with Java/ABAP WebDynpro instead of ITS services.
  • The user interface for the navigation on the ESS MSS services is controlled through the home page framework technology which is configured through SAP Backend (SPRO) configuration.
  • All the internationalization of the services (e.g. multilingual, localization etc) is handled by the new programming/architect model. And navigation and assignment of these services is controlled by HR Admin through home page framework.
  • Integrating the current state of ESS MSS to the ECC 6.0 architecture will be difficult or may not be supported in many areas, also it is not possible to use latest NetWeaver based ESS/MSS on earlier versions (ECC upgrade required)
  • Many ITS services are not supported in the current ECC 6.0 environment.


ESS MSS Upgrade Options

  • Maintaining the current application in upgraded environment
  • Implementing the new ESS MSS Business Package.
  • Composite applications based upon HCM Services


Maintaining the current application in upgraded environment

This option involves keeping the current applications developed in ITS and Java environment in the upgraded environment also. The Java applications will require recompilation due to change in the base SAP Java Web Application platform.

Despite this option is not recommended every other customer things about this option. I thought of mentioning this to clarify the pros and cons of this and explain why this is not recommended.

Key tasks:-

  • Upgrade SAP EP to SAP EP 7.0
  • Migrate the ESS MSS service content to SAP EP 7.0
  • Recompile the Java based applications in the new environment.
  • Redeploy the ITS service on ECC 6.0 internal ITS (or implement external ITS if possible for the services not supported by internal ITS)

The followings describe the pros and cons of this approach.


  • Upgrade process doesn’t require new implementation.
  • Cost effective and fastest way to upgrade the platform.
  • No training required for the end users.


  • Not as per the SAP strategy for ESS MSS services.
  • Not a SAP’s Best Practice.
  • Many ITS based services might not work.
  • May require redevelopment of many services in non standard method like BSP or ITS or Java PDK, WDP.
  • Not a future proof solution, SAP may stop supporting ITS in future so have to migrate them anyway.


Implementing the new ESS MSS Business Package

This option involves deploying the SAP ESS MSS Java packages on SAP NetWeaver – Java server and integrating them to SAP Portal using Business Package for ESS MSS. The java content of SAP ESS MSS will be deployed on SAP Portal.

Key tasks:-

  • Upgrade SAP EP to SAP EP 7.0
  • Deploy the ESS MSS packages with Java content on SAP Portal 7.0
  • Reconfigure the ESS MSS packages on the SAP Backend and SAP Portal.
  • Implement SAP NWDI for customization of ESS MSS services.
  • Gap analysis between the current state of SAP ESS MSS services and standard SAP ESS MSS services.
  • Execute the customizations using SAP Java WebDynpro with NWDI or WebDynpro ABAP to realize the gap.

The followings describe the pros and cons of this approach.


  • This is the standard recommended way of deploying ESS MSS services in ECC 6.0 platform from SAP.
  • The new services have better look and feel as compared to ITS based services.
  • Fits well with the backend configuration for home page framework.
  • Hundreds of services and user interface is pre built so less time to market.
  • Customization of service interface and backend is possible.
  • Doesn’t require new development for additional services in future, additional services will provided by SAP.
  • All the services are supported by SAP, so less TCO.
  • The customization of services is standard procedure which is already executed by various customers, so reduces risk in implementation.
  • The standard customization process makes the future enhancement easy.


  • User interface is locked up in SAP design of user interface, can make modification only along with the existing framework.
  • Customization done in SAP provided content in past will require rework
  • Less flexible compared to Enterprise Services approach. 


Composite applications based upon HCM Services

This option involves using the SAP HCM based enterprise services and constructing the user interface in SAP WebDynpro for ABAP/Java. These composite applications will utilize ESOA based architecture of SAP and will provide a future proof solution to ESS MSS requirements.

This option is best suited for customers who were running ESS/MSS business package with tons of customizations and anticiapte same in future.

Key tasks:-

  • Upgrade SAP EP to SAP EP 7.0
  • Redevelop all the ESS MSS services utilizing the HCM enterprise services and SAP WDP for ABAP.
  • Prepare the SAP Portal content and user navigation with connectivity to HCM composite apps.
  • Migrate the non ESS MSS content on EP to SAP EP 7.0

The followings describe the pros and cons of this approach.


  • Ability to leverage future ERP enhancements (enhancement pack updates)
  • Built on SOA – SAP’s strategic architectural approach.
  • Client requirement driven versus pre-packaged driven
  • More flexibility in terms of making any future customizations
  • Easy integration with SAP & Non-SAP application
  • Option of doing development either in JAVA, ABAP, Visual Composer, or combination


  • Higher initial development effort
  • Additional configuration effort at backend
  • High dependency on clarity of requirements
  • Requires development of user interface from scratch, cannot utilize the existing SAP ESS MSS packages provided by SAP.
  • Requires additional expert skills for architecture design and SAP ABAP WebDynpro.
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  1. Kenneth Moore
    Nice artical.  I am very disappointed SAP did not provide any migration tools.  We invested a lot of development, configuration, project dollars in implementing MSS only to find out we would have to do it over again after we upgraded to 6.0.  Very, very disappointing!  Shame on SAP!
    1. Former Member
      This statement is interesting: ‘Redeploy the ITS service on ECC 6.0 internal ITS (or implement external ITS if possible for the services not supported by internal ITS’)
      How do you implement external ITS together with NW04s? NW04s does not support external ITS (no flow logic etc.)
      I am very interested in any tipps and tricks.
      1. Former Member Post author
        Hi Sibylle,
        As I said this whole option is not recommeded.
        I added this to clarify the confusion of those who are still thinking on these lines and think they can save themselves from spending money by not re-doing the customizations.

        Until SAP comes up with some migration tool to save the customization, I would suggest you to follow option 2 or 3.


  2. Kenneth Moore
    Don’t forget to add you may also have to migrate to new HR functionality like the Appraisals functionality.  The ERP MSS supports the new Objective Settings functionality and not the older Appraisals functionality.  Yet, another disappointment from SAP not to provide migration tools for Appraisals.
  3. Former Member
    And the rumor says that the technology will change once more (from java web dynpro to abap web dynpro) with ECC 6.0 EHP5….

    People at SAP don’t seem to understand that their customers need stability.

    My conclusion at the moment is that it would be easier, cheaper and more stable to develop our own specific ESS/MSS…


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