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Decision Matrix to Choose Best Migration Option of ABAP Systems to SAP HANA

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This blog got updated in October 2016 with the latest version of the decision matrix (minor change of entry for DMO of SUM in combination with landscape change).

As outlined on the Migration of SAP Systems to SAP HANA page, several options exist for the migration of ABAP-based SAP systems to SAP HANA. To support you in finding the best option for the individual requirements and boundary conditions you are facing, SAP provides a decision matrix in the End-to-End Implementation Roadmap for SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP, created in a combined effort of several colleagues and teams – and as also already presented at SAP TechEd in the last years.

The matrix is intended to highlight important aspects for your decision on the right migration procedure, including these key considerations:

  • What is the release and Support Package level of your existing SAP system? Is an update mandatory or desired as part of the migration procedure?
  • Is your existing SAP system already Unicode?
  • Do you plan any landscape changes – such as changing the SAPSID of your SAP system or the hardware of your application server – as part of the migration or do you rather prefer an in-place migration?
  • Are your operating system and your database versions supported according to the Product Availability Matrix (PAM) of the target release or are corresponding updates required?
  • Do you expect a significant downtime due to a large database volume?

The following figure shows a screenshot of the matrix – please see the roadmap guide for the latest version:


  • The left column gives an example for the corresponding row (that is, one initial situation for which the technical requirements in this row would apply)
  • The columns with the technical requirements cover the key considerations mentioned above
  • The right part of the matrix lists the corresponding recommendations which migration procedure to use when and what aspects to consider
  • The lower part of the matrix provides the explanation of the symbols
  • To keep the matrix in a usable format, not all combinations of technical requirements are listed – if several technical requirements should apply, try to merge the corresponding recommendations and consider all aspects given there

In  the End-to-End Implementation Roadmap for SAP NetWeaver AS ABAP guide, you can also find a small example how to use the matrix.

Again, use the decision matrix only as starting point for an individual assessment – that is, consider your situation with the support of the matrix and take the relevant aspects and recommendations into the discussion with your cross-functional teams and use them as basis for an individual assessment based on the boundary conditions you are facing.

We hope that the matrix is a step into the right direction to make the selection of the best migration procedure for you easier and more transparent!

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  • @Boris Zarske

    Thanks for the nice blog. But I have a question, as per matrix shown, it states that it is possible to do upgrade, unicode migration in one step for ERP 6.0 EHP4 system.

    But as per SAP note 1875197, it states that Unicode conversion has to do before hand. Could you please clarify this point?



    • Hello Sunny,

      thank you for pointing this out - sharp eyes 🙂

      Indeed the unicode conversion is not yet general available, it may be part of SUM SP10 (usual disclaimer: maybe not).

      But for now, we can offer the unicode conversion "on project base":

      that means that customers have to register, and they have either to be MaxAttention customer, or have an SAP consultant as part of the project. It will only work with participation of SAP colleagues, no exception.

      Registration requires a ticket on BC-UPG-OCS-ZDM with details like OS/DB, db size, time frame, releases, .... Registration acceptance depends on internal support situation as well, so no guarantee or promise possible.

      Kind regards, Boris

  • HI Boris,

    We would like to migrate our current SAP ERP on MS SQL 2005 to SPA HANA using DMO option.

    Current source system:

    OS version:  Windows 2003

    Database version:     MS-SQL 2005

    Step 1: We will upgrade source system to SAP ERP 6.0 EHP5

    Step 2: Using DMO we will migrate SAP ERP 6.0 EHP5 to SAP HANA database

    Could you please tell me if this is supported?


    Veerendra Kumar A

    • Hello Veerendra,

      If you should have an SAP system running on a lower release, upgrading it first to SAP ERP 6.0x and then using DMO (to upgrade the system to a release supported by SAP HANA + to migrate the database to SAP HANA) would be a valid option. Also, SAP ERP 6.0 EHP5 does support MS SQL 2005 running on Microsoft Windows 2003, so you would be fine from this point of view as well. In the end, you would perform two upgrades (first to SAP ERP 6.05 with classical upgrade procedure, then upgrade to a release supported by SAP HANA by using DMO). Other option would be to directly upgrade to a release supported by SAP HANA (if supported by your current source release) and then use the classical database migration procedure offered by software provisioning manager.

      Best regards,


      • Thanks Boris.

        One more question, can we move the PAS from Windows to Linux while migrating the DB to HANA using DMO option? If not, what would be the procedure to change PAS to Linux after migrating the DB to HANA database using DMO.

        • Hello Veerendra,

          DMO is an inplace procedure, keeping the PAS host, so this is not possible. You would have to install the PAS on the new host after the DMO run.

          Regards, Boris R.

          • hi Boris,

            can you please explain how we can move the PAS 'AFTER' running the DMO ? I beleiving considering the HANA appliance which come with linux, moving app servers to a linux box would become the norm going forward to save license costs - just a thought

            how can someone change the PAS alone after a DMO is finished. It would require some sort of a system cop again?

          • Hi Boris,

            Thanks for the sharing. I could understand what you mean about installing a new PAS on Linux after the DMO run, but how about the ASCS instance which is still on the Windows server?
            And what does the "One step upgrade and migration with hardware move" mean in the Matrix? Is there any standard way to move the ASCS and PAS instance to other host or even other type of OS when we use DMO?

            Thanks and best regards,


          • Hi Candy,

            concerning the entry in the matrix

            "One step upgrade and migration with hardware move"

            this shall not indicate that an automated hardware move is possible with plain DMO - this will have to be done manually, e.g. afterwards.

            Best regards,

            Boris R.

          • Hi Candy,

            As a consequence, we adapted now the entry to "one step upgrade and migration with optional manual hardware move" to make this clearer.

            Thanks for your input!

            Best regards,


  • Boris,

    My system is EHP7 non-Unicode on UDB.  From what I am reading everywhere, I believe that:

    1. I CANNOT use DMO to migrate to EHP8 on Hana in one step - I have to do a 'Unicode only' conversion first
    2. I CANNOT use DMO to migrate to S/4 on Hana in one step - I have to do a 'Unicode only' conversion first
    3. I CAN use SWPM to migrate to EHP7 on HANA in one step - Classic Migration

    Could you please tell me if all three above are correct, or which are incorrect?

    I'd sure appreciate it!  Thanks!


    • Hi Matt,

      I can confirm that all three assumptions above are correct - issue with DMO in that scenarios is that we don't have a non-Unicode kernel for ABAP 7.5, so the whole one-step DMO approach does not apply for these scenarios.

      Best regards,