This blog is the third in a sequence of blogs. It starts with Licensing, Sizing and Architecting BW on HANA and moves onto 10 Golden Rules for SAP HANA Project Managers. In this piece, I’m going to discuss some tips for making a migration a success from a technical perspective.

1) Create benchmarks

Always benchmark before and after. Make sure they are business-relevant, and are run in a place that excludes network and PC problems – the same place each time. Get the query variants and teach the technical team how to run and time the queries. Create an Excel workbook which has queries on the rows and query runs on the columns and run it every day after the migration. Now you can track project success.

2) Exclude unnecessary risks

I’ve seen so many projects that include unnecessary risks. Here are some examples

– Not doing full backups that allow proper restore points

– Putting installation files on network shares

– Having application servers on different networks to database servers

Find ways to remove these risks, you don’t need them in your project.

3) Get your landscape in sync

Your landscape needs to be synchronized. Check your BW versions are part of a proper Support Package Stack and they aren’t on wrong revisions.

On the HANA side, make sure you are on the latest revision of HANA. Yes, that means database and client and DBSL. A landscape that is not in sync is a landscape which is likely to fail.

4) Run an independent check of your HANA system

Unfortunately, hardware vendors sometimes mess up HANA installation and configuration. SAP have Note 1943937 which has details and there is an IBM-specific tool which checks for GPFS issues too.

Whilst you’re there, check the trace folder of your HANA system. If it has a lot of logs, crashes or dumps then you have a problem. Get someone to resolve it before continuing.

5) Get the latest table sizing and table redistribution notes

There are SAP notes that apply fixes for table sizing and redistribution and these need applying prior to the export process. Search for the latest version and then implement them before exporting.

Specifically, check SAP Note 1921023 for SMIGR_CREATE_DDL and 1908075 for Landscape Redistribution. Also make sure you download the latest row store list from SAP Note 1659383 .

6) Get everything completely up to date

This is the #1 reason why I see problems in HANA migrations. You have to get everything up to date, especially SWPM, kernel, disp+work and r3load software. It requires manual work and you have to repackage the SWPM kernel files at times so you get the latest version. If you skip this or cut corners, you will pay for it later in the upgrade project.

7) Include the latest patches and notes

There is a common wisdom on SAP projects where people go to patch level N-1. This isn’t the case with HANA, and you need to make sure you are on the latest patch during your project lifecycle. In addition, you need to search OSS for notes which need applying. One useful tip here is to use the SAP Note Search “Restrict by Product Components” –> SAP_BW –> Release 740 to 740 -> SAPKW74005 (for BW 7.40 SP05). You will now only see notes that relate to BW 7.40 SP05, which is neat.

Make sure you check SAP Note 1908075.

It’s well worth spending time doing this analysis when you have some spare moments and noting the SAP Notes that you need to apply after the migration. If you don’t do this then you will need to do it when you are tired, immediately after the migraiton.

8) Check the Important Notes list

The master note for BW 7.4 is SAP Note 1949273 and for BW 7.3.1 it is 1846493. You need to check and apply the corrections (and connected corrections) in these notes.

9) Follow post-processing steps

There are a number of post-processing steps detailed in the master upgrade guide. Amongst those, you should ensure you run ABAP Report RSDU_TABLE_CONSISTENCY to check for any problems, and refer to SAP Note 1695112 for more details.

10) Don’t cut corners

You can’t cut corners in a migration – you need to spend the time to get it right. I’ve been thinking lately, and SAP could really help make migration projects more successful by automating the above process. In the meantime, you need to be methodical and read all the available information and pay attention to the details. If you want your project to be a success then don’t cut corners.

Final Words

The migration to SAP HANA can be a very smooth and simple process, if the technical team pay attention to the details. Every BW on HANA project I have seen in trouble has been either because of governance problems mentioned in my blog 10 Golden Rules for SAP HANA Project Managers, because of poorly architected hardware as per my blog Licensing, Sizing and Architecting BW on HANA or because of a technical team that didn’t pay attention to the detail.

Sometimes you can get away with skipping some of the detail, but usually, you cannot.

A quick thank you to Sara Hollister, Scott Shepard and Glen Leslie  who provided some of these tips in an email to me, and to Lloyd Palfrey, who provided much of the rest.

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  1. Ali S Qahtani

    Thanks John for the usual insights. It’s also important to perform a clean-up to reduce the BW database size to minimize the downtime. I guess SAP offers a service for this called Volume Management but customers can still do it by applying BW housekeeping activities.

    Applying SAP Note 1909597 which is an ABAP program that will create BW Migration Cockpit for SAP HANA will streamline a lot of the migration steps.

    Also, I recommend Applying SAP Note 1729988 which is an ABAP program “ZBW_HANA_CHECKLIST” that runs various Pre-HANA Check Sets

  2. Susanne Knopp

    Good blog, thanks John!

    For those customers that are looking for a smooth migration at a predictable timeframe and costs there is a rapid-deployment solution available, delivering best practises content for a quick migration. This solution “rapid database migration of SAP NetWeaver BW to SAP HANA” is offered from SAP and partners. Those offerings can be found on

    A new version of this rapid deployment solution was released last week. All detailed information on this rapid-deployment solution can be found on service marketplace.

    There´s also a recent blog from Kim Mathaess on this new release of the rapid-deployment solution.

    Best regards,



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