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SAP S/4HANA — Choosing the RIGHT “END Release” —> 1503/1605 vs 1511/1610

Update :

1) The latest version of SAP S/4HANA Finance is 1605 released in May 2016.

2) The latest version of SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management Edition is 1511 Feature Pack Stack 02 [ FPS02] – released in May 2016. The next MAJOR release of SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Edition is 1610 (expected end of  Oct 2016).

* Whether we will have quarterly release  FPS03 in Aug-End is yet to be known.

Suggestions :

1) If for some reason (mentioned below), one decides to implement SAP S/4HANA Finance, it is advised to compare S/4HANA Finance 1605 over 1503.

2) For clients looking for logistics innovations – the latest release to refer to is SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Edition 1511 FPS02 .

————————— Original BLOG ——————–

Why understanding the “END-RELEASE” is important!!

•     Name SAP S/4HANA is associated (loosely used) with both release SAP S/4HANA 1511 & SAP S/4HANA 1503

•     Optimizations in Finance Area can be realized  using any of TWO ways  :

o     Simple Finance – S/4HANA 1503  aka sFIN 2.0  ( Suite on HANA + sFIN)

o     Finance in S/4HANA 1511 RELEASE  (S/4HANA 1511)

•     Finance related optimizations are available in both releases. Hence, it is important to understand what is the difference in Finance as well as other areas in both these versions.

•     with release of 1511, for work-in-Progress RFPs, Proposals & Projects in preparation phase – it is worth to REVISIT the “Proposed Solution” If the  solutioning was done with base as SoH+sFIN 2.0 (aka 1503), then it’s suggested to revisit the decision – with respect to “End-Release” (i.e. 1503 or 1511…), project plan, efforts, functionalities and so on….

Comparing SAP S/4HANA 1503 vs SAP S/4HANA 1511 !!

Frankly speaking, actually comparing these two release is like comparing a horse to an Elephant …  (I like both animals btw  so no offence)… however since the name SAP S/4HANA continues to be associated with both releases – 1503 & 1511, it becomes a necessity to compare these two versions – especially in the interest of clients & Projects

•     Planning to adopt / migrate to SAP S/4HANA

•     In-Flight Projects who are in Project-Preparation phase

•     Want to know the functionality and technical difference between the two.

Who may prefer to OPT for 1511 (or future release) over 1503 !!

•     Business where Sales, Manufacturing, Procurement processes are critical and important  – e.g. Manufacturing Companies

•     Business wanting benefits from Simplification and innovations in Logistics Area

•     S&MB looking for adopting SAP S/4HANA and DIMP Processes

Who may prefer to OPT for 1503 over 1511 !!

•     Business where Finance is a critical area and company looking for innovations and optimizations ONLY in Finance area!!

•     Financial Reporting is a Key pain area and companies looking for a “Consolidated and Central” Financial reporting!!

Parameters to consider ??


So, What are the KEY Differences!!

(A)   Finance Innovations in SAP S/4HANA 1511 (Over 1503)


(B)   Other Difference between SAP S/4HANA 1503 & SAP S/4HANA 1511



(C)   Logistics Innovations in SAP S/4HANA 1511 & “Expected” Innovations in 1610.



(D)   Finally THE Release Management ROADMAP…...


& now some feedback / questions which I would like to receive :

(a) Have you come across such a situation / query ?

(b) Should I have incorporated any other dimension ?

(c) Is the information for comparison element at required level or should I have compared it differently ?

I would be glad to know your views and suggestions….

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  • One fear I see with going for 1503 now is, that you will end up with to "migration-like" projects:

    1. now from your old system to 1503

    2. some time later (at some point you'll want to move on) from 1503 to 1511 (or 1611, or 1711 ...).

    -> so my guess would be, that if you want to start a project now, most of the times you'll go for 1511!

    just my 2 cents


    • Agree.... I second the thought.... 1511+  or 1611 would be a preferred choice over 1503, 

      Especially for existing clients interested in "Logistics" Innovations & optimizations, wait would be till release stabilizes and the limitations reduced......  (Ref. DOC-68846 and the Key Principles...)

    • I agree, but some people fear that with 1511 initial release and even with FPS 01 sLog is still a "1.0" version and therefore not stable enough.

      But chances seem high that with FPS 02 (expected May 2016) problems and bugs are reduced to a minimum.

      • Hi Daniel

        there are Productive customers using 1511 - so the product is stable and fit for productive use.

        All of the current customers have done new installs which overcomes some of the issues around system conversions. I would expect the 1511 system conversion customers to go live in the coming months.

        • Thanks for your reply and inputs.

          Interested to know --

          a) where these Global Clients ? Having Operations in multi-countries ?

          b) Did they implement via ACTIVATE & 1511 FPS1 RDS ?

          c) Was Blu-ray disk used for implementation

          d) what was End-to-End implementation time & what was the process-scope ?

          e) any Cloud integration ?  or all ON-Premise solution ?

          Yes looking forward to hear about a "System-conversion" experience  too..



  • Hi Monika

    I would say - if you are a net new SAP customer - moving to SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management today would be the sensible choice.

    For current SAP ECC customers - moving to S/4HANA Finance is not just about what you can get in Finance - but what you keep/ don't change from old ECC.

    As mentioned elsewhere - there is a new S/4HANA release coming out next month (final scope not confirmed) and anyone on 1503 would NEED to upgrade to it.

    A new S/4HANA Enterprise Management version will be released in October 1610 - scope not confirmed - but expectations are around additional simplifications, and some of the cloud developments from the Cloud editions. Moving from 1511 to 1610 will be an upgrade. From 1503 to 1511 a conversion, and 1503 to 1610 - a conversion and upgrade.

    Expect to see some content from SAP with some good visuals to explain this more.

    • Hi Mark,

      so if 1511 to 1610 will be "only" an upgrade, do you still expect additional simplifications? Up to date my expectation is: system conversion needed with every new innovation package (a.k.a. simplification).

      Why is there a NEED to upgrade to S4/HANA Finance 1503 SPS 1605?

      Is a system conversion possible if you are on NW 7.50 with ERP 6.0 EHP 8 to S4/HANA Finance 1503 SPS 1602? Release notes say that the target release is based on NW 7.4 and EHP 7.

      • Hi Daniel

        1 - the upgrade from 1511 to 1610 will include additional simplifications, functionality and feature pack stacks. It is deemed an upgrade as 1610 will be the latest release of the 1511 product. Some data conversions may be required. The scope for 1610 is unknown - so all that can be shared is the "upgrade" approach and not the detail.

        2 - The move to S/4HANA Finance 1605 is required as new functionality will be released in this version, it will include Enhancement Pack 8. Again 1605 Finance will be the latest release of the 1503 Finance product.

        3 - Interesting last question. So your ECC is Suite on HANA Enhancement Pack 8 - I would move to S/4HANA Finance 1605 - which would be the same Enhancement Pack and based on the latest ABAP stack.

        • 3 - Thanks, we should definitely go for that version. Hopefully it covers NW 7.50.

          But I am interested in the technical possibility: is a system conversion still possible if you are on a higher Netweaver / EHP version as the target S4/HANA product?

          I think 'no'.

          Frank Wagner maybe you could give me an answer? Thanks.

    • Thx for reply and inputs.

      Look forward to ---> A new S/4HANA Enterprise Management version will be released in October 1610 - scope confirmations and especially which current limitations of  1511 release are addressed / resolved.

    • there is a new S/4HANA release coming out next month (final scope not confirmed) and anyone on 1503 would NEED to upgrade to it.  >> Request if you can please share the reasons and NEED. Thx

      @Mark Chalfen

  • HI Colleagues,

    Our customer is planning to upgrade EHP7 to EHP8 and NW 7.4 to 7.5  and also SFINANCE FROM 1503 TO 1605 ( SAP_FIN 720 SP4  TO  SAP_SFIN 730 SP3.

    If we upgrade EHP7 to EHP8 and NW 7.4 to 7.5. SFINANCE 1605 will comeup with this upgrade ?? Can you please suggest me.



    • So, basically, you are wanting to confirm --> if there is any FUNCTIONAL difference / Innovation - functionality available in  SFINANCE OP 1605, that is not covered in EHP8 in Finance??

    • As per  attached diagram, post upgrade to 7.5 & EHP8, sFIN upgrade to 1605 is compatible.

      The sFIN upgrade  from SAP_FIN 720SP4 to SAP_SFIN 730 SP3 will be post 7.5 & EHP8 activity.

      @Finance Gurus - request to please clarify this understanding


      • Hi Monika,

        just some remarks in regards to Product- and Version-Names in that graphic:

        I think the product name in the top stream should be "SAP S/4HANA" (dropping the word "core")


        the current product version of the SAP S/4HANA Finance product (middle stream) is "SAP S/4HANA Finance on premise Edition 1605" (-> ading S/4HANA).

        As for the question regarding the functional scope:

        It has been stressed that there are 3 different products: S/4HANA, S/4HANA Finance, and Business Suite (on HANA/any DB)   -> so they all might have different functional scopes.

        Hope this helps


        • RE: might have different functional scopes

          Business Suite on Hana doesn't have 'Simple Finance' add on and has additional functionality based on the Enhancement Packs (EhP7 vs 8 etc). So your traditional upgrade with improvements but now using HANA and still with Classic Finance.

          S/4 Hana Finance Add-on involves a migration of Classic Finance to Simple Finance. The difference between 1503 and 1605 is not major. Improvements in Cash Management mainly, Country specific requirements, GRIR reconciliation improvement, use FSCM Credit Management not classic credit management. 1605 requires EhP8.

          SAP S/4 Hana 1511 has the S/4 Hana Finance Add-on (but it is no longer an add on) functionality above with Simple Logistics. The difference for Finance in this case is mainly to cater for the Simple Logistics changes (e.g. Business Partner instead of Vendor/Customer/Person/etc). Simple Logistics uses new tables e.g MATDOC (replace MSEG). The 1610 version goes further with consolidation of the underlying SAP tables (e.g. the aim for FICO was to use header table BKPF instead of COBK etc etc). 1611 also adds a lot of the excluded functionality that were stipulated in 1511.

          Note: I use Simple Finance and Simple Logistics to try and avoid confusion with Clients. SAP has moved away from these terms. The above diagram is the easiest way to explain the versions and is great.

    • Tansu Aksu

      For Net-New Clients, the investment for Enterprise Management should be in 1511 / 1610.

      Depending on the objective of adopting SAP & Roadmap of retiring existing Legacy-system  one can discuss "Landscape Transformation" and adopting S/4HANA.

      If the focus is on quick-wins and low-hanging fruits and /or only Consolidation of Financial reporting then one should check available functionalities of S/4HANA Finance 1605 release & Central Finance.



  • Hi Monica,

    This is Atish. I am SAP CO Certified recently. I wanted to have another certfication in SImple Finance. But I think in India we have 1503 through Learning Hub.

    My question is Should I go fot it ? Will be added advantage to me ?

    • Learning hub should now have the 1511 Finance track and courses linked to it. I would recommend doing

      S4F01  - Financial Accounting in SAP S/4HANA. 

      S4F02 -  Management Accounting in SAP S/4HANA. 

      S4F03 - Migration.

      All experienced FI consultants looking for S/4 HANA Finance training  should go for S4F01, S4F02, S4F03. This could be  followed by professional level certification.

      S4F10, S4F12, S4F13, S4F15, and S4F17 will form the new Finance Academy and will be followed by a new Finance Application consultant certification for consultants new to SAP FI domain.

      S4F22 covers Cost Center and Internal Order Accounting.

      Also checkout TS4F01 course.

      Hope this helps.

    • Hi Robert,

      Yes we all are eagerly awaiting 1610 Simplification Listing 🙂

      Meanwhile, may this help...

      Let me know if this was useful & you found what you were looking for.


      • It helps a little bit. Thank you very much. But at the end you know we need all facts. Do you know when 1610 will be released? Within the next weeks? Or 2017?

        • Definitely not in 2017...
          The release NAME 1610 means it is expected to be released real soon.. I was not able to attend TechEd Bangalore , however documents from that event state the expected scope of 1610...
          so the wait is almost over...

          • 1605 is S/4HANA Finance (add-on on SOH) - & the analytics VDM is in Database-layer, based on physical tables. Further for sFIN & SoH, SAP suggests HANA-LIVE Analytics - content based on SoH+sFIN data models.


            1610 is S/4HANA Enterprise Management - in S4HANA Embedded Analytics, the VDM is in ABAP layer, based on ABAP CDS views  - that further  acts as SQL Run Time Views on Physical Tables. Enterprise Management has currently limited SAP content as compared to HANA-Live, but they are based on New-Data Models of S/4HANA Logistics & Finance.


            A comparison between HANA-LIVE & S/4HANA Embedded Analytics is as below :



            • No latency
            • No data duplication
            • Ready-to-use content for SOH & sFIN
            • Integration scenarios with SAP BW
            • Integration scenarios with SAP Business Objects BI
            • HANA based Analytics authorizations

            S4HANA Embbeded Analytics

              • No latency & No data duplication
              • Ready-to-use content for S/4HANA
              • ABAP Life Cycle Integration
              • Integration scenarios with SAP BW
              • Integration scenarios with SAP Business Objects BI
              • Support for ERP Authorizations
              • Supporting ERP Hierarchies
              • Supporting Business UseCases : Fact-sheet, Planning, search
  • Hi Monika,

    We had Done SAP S 4 HANA Migration From SAP ECC 6.0 EHP 7 on SAP HANA DB  .SAP S4 HANA 1511 FPS 02. We are facing problem in Financial Module relating Asset Accounting, and We found out the solution with SNOTE but the Software component must be SAP_FIN 720 . After Migration we did not find this Component in our system , So We want to know do we need to Implement SAP_FIN Component after Migration.

    Sunil Roy

  • Hi Monica,

    I have a question, if for a customer Finance is the only key area and is interested only in 1503. How do we handle or work around with other module. Customer wants to have only Finance module on HANA DB, is it possible?


    • @Nikhil - few questions -
      1) Is this Net-New Implementation or existing SAP Client?

      2) If Clients wants ONLY 1503  - then technically one is deploying SOH+Simple Finance i.e  --> Innovations in Finance with Classical Logistics.   We have seen sFIN+Classical Logistics working, however there will be few limitations & requirement of various SAP NOTEs.

      3) The latest version of sFIN is -- S/4HANA Finance 1605. Is there any specific reason for not choosing 1605 & wanting 1503 ? It would be interesting to know the specifics.


  • HI Monika,


    Our client is using 1503 simple finance and want to upgrade to 1610, can we upgrade directly from 1503 to 1610 or do we need to upgrade to 1511\1605 in the first instance then upgrade to 1610? please suggest.

    Furthermore, if any client using ECC and want to upgrade and migrate (system conversion)to S4 HANA can they directly use 1610 for migration?




    • From ECC to S4HANA 1610 via System Conversion route is possible, based on preconditions  (UniCode, SingleStack, minimum EHP7 & SPS  etc)


      1511 is not mendatory. From 1503 to 1610 is possible.


      More than technical, Business changes, mendatory changes in Logistics and Finance processess, master data, that will require consideration.



  • Hi Monika,

    Do you know what is the SAP's release strategy for customers already on S4HANA Finance 1605 on-premise ? What's the next version they should be upgrading to ?




    • S/4HANA Enterprise Management On-Premise (contains both Finance and Logistics Innovations) Current version is 1610, the soon-to-be-released version is 1709 On-Premise.

      Companies who have adopted Finance-First approach will require to adopt Enterprise Management version - either thry System Conversion, or Landscape Transformation or New Implementation path.

      The path choosen will depend on Digital Transformation strategy and objective of Journey.

      As far as 1605 release is concerned, the support continues till 2021 or as per PAM updates


  • I am a Case Owner for a customer that opted to Go-Live with S/4HANA 1610 as opposed to 1503. Are there any differences between in 1503 and 1610 or are the differences to similar with 1503 vs 1511? Thank you so much for your response.

    • Yes there are differences between 1503 and 1610.


      Question : Which modules and functionalities of 1610 are proposed to be used in your implementation ?

      Reason to ask :

      One can TECHNICALLY Deploy 1610 (i.e. S/4HANA Enterprise version (which contains both logistics and finance) and use only Central Finance & Finance functions .

      If you are looking for differences ONLY in FINANCE,  then nearest equivalent of S/4HANA Finance was 1605 functionality which were all taken to S/4HANA Enterprise Management 1610 and some additions in 1610 as compared to 1605 Finance.


      Best Regards