SAP S/4HANA System Conversion – At a glance
This blog is a follow-on to Frank Wagner’s S/4 SCN Blog (“System Conversion – Technical – Semantical”: https://archive.sap.com/documents/docs/DOC-68976), which was not available some weeks (now the archived version is accessible again). As it is not possible to make updates or comments to the old blog any longer, please use this Blog for your reference.
Like the initial blog – this blog gives a short overview about the SAP S/4HANA transition scenario “System Conversion”. At the end there are related Information which are recommended to be read.
At the moment this blog refers to S/4HANA releases 1511 FSP02, 1610 initial shipment, 1610 FSP01, 1610 FSP02 and 1709.
SAP S/4HANA System Conversion
The SAP S/4HANA is one of the transition scenarios to move to SAP S/4HANA. The following figures displays the three transition scenarios:
- System Conversion: It is a complete technical in-place conversion of an existing SAP Business Suite ERP system to SAP S/4HANA. This is the preferred option for Customers which want to bring their business processes to the new platform and want to adopt new innovations at their speed, then.
- New Implementation: New installation of SAP S/4HANA e.g. for customers migrating a legacy system or a highly customized SAP System. This is the preferred option for customers which want to put their focus on reengineering and process simplification based on latest innovations. They can implement innovative business processes with best-practice content on a new platform, perform an initial data load from their old system and then retire their old landscape
- Landscape Transformation: It is a value driven data migration to the new platform, e.g. consolidation of current SAP Business Suite landscape into one global SAP S/4HANA system or selective data migration based on legal entities.
The SAP S/4HANA System Conversion is the scenario to be chosen if a customer wants to change their current SAP ERP system into a SAP S/4HANA system. Based on the offered tooling technical the SAP S/4HANA software is installed, the database is migrated to SAP HANA database (if not already done) and transfers data from old data structure into new S/4HANA data structure (e.g. migrate data into the new MATDOC table) in one-step.
Things are different in SAP S/4HANA
Even if a technical approach to convert an existing system to SAP S/4HANA the customer need to be aware that things are different compared to SAP ERP. As part of the application innovation data structure has been adapted to leverage the capabilities of the SAP HANA database. In SAP S/4HANA we are following the principle of one more consequently.
To enable our customers to better plan and estimate their path to SAP S/4HANA, we have provide different tools and we created the “Simplification List for SAP S/4HANA”. In this Simplification List we describe in detail, on a functional level, what happens to individual transactions and solution capabilities in SAP S/4HANA.
The following figure displays the system conversion sequence at a glance:
The sequence and the related tooling is described in the SAP S/4HNA Conversion Guide
For more information see Conversion Guide for SAP S/4HANA within the SAP Help.
System Requirements – the System Conversion Paths
The following figure display at a glance how a customer can move to SAP S/4HANA within the “System Conversion” Transition Scenario in a so called “One-step-Procedure”.
System Conversion paths basically:
- From SAP Business Suite (ERP6.0, EHP xx, AnyDB or SAP HANA DB) to SAP S/4HANA
- From SAP Business Suite (ERP6.0, EHP xx, AnyDB or SAP HANA DB) to SAP S/4HANA Finance
- From SAP S/4HANA Finance to SAP S/4HANA
One Step-procedure to SAP S/4HANA On-Premise Edition product family supported for SAP ERP 6.0 EHPxx systems (Unicode Only and AS ABAP-only system [no AS ABAP / AS Java dual-stack system])
Note: The figure (at the point where the figure was created) contains as well SAP S/4HANA releases which are planned to be available in future. This cannot be considered as binding information, it displays more the logic of the transition paths.
Some Remarks (some questions which often come up in customer meetings):
- The transition to SAP S/4HANA does not require the source system to be already on SAP HANA DB
- SAP S/4HANA Finance was the first offering under the SAP S/4HANA product family. The decision to go for SAP S/4HANA Finance should be based on the business benefits, but is not a mandatory prerequisite for any system conversion. A customer can move from SAP ERP6.0 (any EHP) to SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management directly in one-step.
- For older SAP Business Suite releases or systems on Non-Unicode an additional step to SAP ERP 6.0 EHPxx is required.
Simplification List for SAP S/4HANA
To allow our customers a better planning and estimation of their way to SAP S/4HANA, we have created the “Simplification List for SAP S/4HANA”. In this list we are describing in detail on a functional level what happens in S/4HANA to individual transactions and solution capabilities. In some cases, we have merged certain functionality with other elements or reflected it within a new solution / architecture compared to the SAP Business Suite products.
For more information see Simplification List for SAP S/4HANA within the SAP Help.
The Maintenance Planner is a sSolution hosted in SAP Support Portal at: http://apps.support.sap.com/sap/support/mp
It simplifies landscape maintenance process to update, upgrade and install systems with ease and efficiency by checking the system with regards to business functions, industry solutions, and add-ons. If there is no valid path for the conversion (for example, the add-on is not released yet), the Maintenance Planner prevents the conversion. The Maintenance Planner is a pre-requisite for the system conversion to SAP S/4HANA. The Maintenance Optimizer (MOPZ) is not used.
Entry via the ‘Plan for SAP S/4HANA’ entry tile:
- Offered to ease transition to new product line
- Automatically integrates all building blocks (such as SAP Fiori)
The procedure to follow is:
- Define changes (based on your landscape data in customer profile)
- Select files (like you did in Maintenance Optimizer)
- Push all required tools, archives and stack.xml to your download basket
For more information regarding Maintenance Planner see:
SCN BLOG: Maintenance Planner – Release Highlights
Pre-checks are shipped as SAP Notes to customers that want to convert to SAP S/4HANA. Customers can use these pre-checks to find out what mandatory steps they have to carry out before converting to S/4HANA.
The Pre-checks are executed on the (SAP Business Suite) start system (preparation phase) to determine relevant Simplification Items. The results list the Simplification Items that need addressing before attempting the conversion process.
Pre-Checks are executed again as step in the Software Update Manager (SUM). In case dedicated Simplification Items require mandatory preparation steps the conversion procedure can stop to ensure a consistent system conversion. The conversion is stopped if errors persist.
Implement SAP Note 2182725, and all the related notes attached to it. Make sure to use latest version of this note and regularly check for updates of all attached notes. Implement and run these reports on every system in your system landscape (sandbox, development, quality assurance, productive) that you want to convert to S/4HANA
For more details see the following dedicated Pre-Check Blog: Link
With the S/4HANA release 1709 a new, improved pre-check framework is available:
In order to run the Simplification Item ckeck for SAP S/4HANA release 1709 in an optimal way read the BLOG ‘SAP S/4HANA Simplification Item Check – How to do it right‘.
Custom Code Checks
These checks are based on the Simplification list concept. Before converting to SAP S/4HANA you need to check your custom code against the SAP S/4HANA simplifications. These simplifications are loaded into the Custom Code Analyzer tool (transaction SYCM), where you get the overview, search for simplifications related to certain objects/object types and navigate to the relevant SAP Notes.
The tool of choice for SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA checks is the ABAP Test Cockpit (ATC) with Remote Code Analysis. After you run the ATC, you obtain a list of findings where your custom code does not comply with the scope and data structure of SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition.
Motivation & Categories of Custom Code Adaption
1. Housekeeping tasks
(can be done before / independently of a SAP S/4HANA conversion)
• Get transparency about existing Custom Code. Remove waste and obsolete custom code. Go back to standard, remove modifications
• Apply custom code best practices which were valid even before SAP S/4HANA. Example: use SAP domains instead of own Z domains copied from SAP domains
• Supported based on Custom Code Lifecycle Management Tool-Set (CCLM) and SCMON (recommended) and Procedure Logging (UPL)
ABAP Testing and Analysis Community: Link
ABAP Call Monitor (SCMON): Link
Usage Procedure Logging (UPL): Link
Best Practices Custom Code Lifecycle Management (CCLM): Link
2. SAP HANA database related
(can be mostly done before / independently of a SAP S/4HANA conversion)
• Apply SQL “golden rules”. Example: it’s bad practice to assume that a DB returns results sorted if not explicitly requested (ORDER BY).
• Performance optimizations (optional)
ABAP custom code migration and recommendations for SAP HANA:
• SAP Note: 1912445
• SAP Community: Link
3. SAP S/4HANA related
(can be partly done before / independently of a SAP S/4HANA conversion)
• Adapt custom code which does not comply to simplified SAP S/4HANA data model and scope. E.g.:
– New aggregate and indices-free material inventory table MATDOC in SAP S/4HANA
|Further information see
More information in the blog series about the Remote code analysis with ABAP Test Cockpit and on SAP Help Portal Link
Software Update Manager
Software Update Manager (SUM) is the technical tool for system conversion to SAP S/4HANA.
- You must run the Maintenance Planner before the SUM.
- Ensure that the latest version of SUM 2.0 is used:
see blog on SUM 2.0: https://blogs.sap.com/2017/08/10/sum-in-the-family-way/
- For all information about using the SUM, please see the document
Conversion of SAP Systems to SAP S/4HANA using Software Update Manager
available at: support.sap.com/sltoolset in section System Maintenance
Basically spoken there are three steps which are executed within the Software Update Manager in one step:
- Software Update
Update of your system with the S/4HANA software
- Database Migration
If it is required to migrate the database to SAP HANA database –
the so called Database Migration Option (DMO) of SUM.
- Data Conversion
Conversion of data from the old data structure to new S/4HANA data structure
New SAP Readiness Check
The Readiness Check has been a part of the available SAP S/4HANA Value Assurance Service Packages helps you to analyses your system with regards to the SAP S/4HANA System Conversion. For more information regarding the corresponding SAP Service offering see http://sapsupport.info/support-offerings/s4hana-service-packages/
By end of may 2017 a new self-service SAP Readiness Check has been released, which customers can run themselves within their SAP Solution Manager infrastructure:
- This holistic system analysis can be used as the foundation for further planning steps toward a successful and smooth SAP S/4HANA system transition.
- The SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA summarizes the most important aspects of the conversion in an easily consumable way.
For more information about the SAP Readiness Check, see SAP Help Portal: Link
Here you will find the User Guide and the link to SAP Note 2290622, which describes the setup of the SAP Readiness Check for S/4HANA.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find in the following SCN Blog questions which might come up to you related to the SAP S/4HANA System Conversion. Link
They are taken from the general S4 FAQ where you find the link here.
SAP S/4HANA 1511
SAP S/4HANA 1610
SAP S/4HANA 1610
SAP S/4HANA 1610
SAP S/4HANA 1709
|SAP S/4HANA On-Premise documentation||
(select the appropriate
release dependent information)
|Getting Started With SAP S/4HANA|
|Conversion Guide for SAP S/4HANA|
|Simplification Item Catalog||URL|
|Simplification List for SAP S/4HANA (S/4HANA SCN)||Link||n/a|
|Simplification List for SAP S/4HANA|
|Simplification List for SAP S/4HANA(as XLS)||2313884|
|SAP S/4HANA Cookbook||Link|
|SAP S/4HANA Feature Scope Description|
|SAP S/4HANA Release Information Note||2189824||2346431||2482453|
|SAP Fiori for S/4HANA Release Information Note||2214245||2356208||2482461|
|SAP S/4HANA Finance 1605: Release Information Note||2233539|
|SAP S/4HANA Restriction Note||2214213||2333141||2491467|
|SAP S/4HANA supported industry solutions (see restriction note)||2214213||2333141|
|SAP S/4HANA Country Versions: Release Information & Restriction Note||2228890||2349004|
|SAP S/4HANA Compatibility Packages||2269324|
|Blacklist Monitor in SAP S/4HANA on premise||2249880|
|Process integration with other SAP on-premise systems||2241931||2376061|
|System Conversion Paths(S/4HANA SCN)||
Link or see attachment to SUM note 2277083
|SAP S/4HANA sizing report||1872170|
|Unicode Conversion Overview Guide(S/4HANA SCN)||Link|
|SAP S/4HANA @SAP Learning Hub||Link|
|SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition||Link|
|FIORI App Library||Link|
|Elements for Designing a Transition Roadmap to SAP S/4HANA||Link|
|Solution and Product Road Maps||Link|
Information in Conversion Sequence Steps
|SAP S/4HANA 1511
|SAP S/4HANA 1610
|Maintenance Planner (SAP Help)||Link|
|Maintenance Planner – SCN Blog||Link or Link|
|SAP S/4HANA and Business Functions(S/4HANA SCN)||Link|
|SAP S/4HANA: ALWAYS_OFF Business Functions||2240359|
|SAP S/4HANA: ALWAYS_ON Business Functions||2240360|
|SAP S/4HANA Compatible Add-ons||2214409|
|SAP S/4HANA Compatible partner products||2244450||2392527|
|Add-on Product Versions released on SAP NETWEAVER 7.5||2156130||tbd|
|Uninstalling ABAP add-ons||2011192|
|Conversions to SAP S/4HANA On-Premise with 3rd Party / non-SAP Add-ons||2308014|
Pre-Check related information
|SAP S/4HANA 1511 (FPS2)||SAP S/4HANA 1610 (initial shipment)||SAP S/4HANA 1709 (initial shipment)|
|Delivery of the S/4H System Conversion Pre-Checks||2182725|
|Pre-Checks related to FIN||2332030 and 2333236 and 1939592|
|S/4SCN Blog regarding Pre-Checks||Link|
|Application specific notes in preparation phase||n.a.||2389794||2495992|
|SAP S/4HANA 1511 (FPS2)||SAP S/4HANA 1610||
SAP S/4HANA 1709
|Custom Code Migration||
SAP Help Portal: https://help.sap.com/viewer/product/SAP_S4HANA_ON-PREMISE/1709
–> SAP NetWeaver for SAP S/4HANA –> Function-Oriented View –> Application Server –> Application Server ABAP –> Application Development on AS ABAP –> Customer-specific ABAP Development –> Custom Code Migration
|What can you do today to prepare your custom code for SAP S/4HANA|
|Simplification database content for SAP S/4HANA|
|Recommended SAP Notes for using ATC checks “S/4HANA Readiness”|
|SAP S/4HANA System Conversion – Custom code adaptation process|
Software Update Manager (SUM)
|SAP S/4HANA 1511
|SAP S/4HANA 1610
|Software Update Manager (SUM)
Software Logistics Toolset –> System Maintenance
|Add. info. on converting to SAP S/4HANA using SUM 1.0 SP 20
|S/4HANA System Conversion / Upgrade: Measures to reduce technical downtime||2351294|
|Software Update Manager (SUM) – SCN Blog with more information||Link|
|DMO Database Migration Option – SCN Blog with more information||Link|
|SAP S/4HANA 1511 (FPS2)||SAP S/4HANA 1610 (initial shipment)||SAP S/4HANA 1709 (initial shipment)|
|Follow-On activities related to FIN||2332030|
|Application specific notes in Follow-On Phase||n.a.||2389807||2495932|
SAP Learning Hub
A great way to learn more about the transition to SAP S/4HANA is the Accelerated Innovation Enablement Session “The road to SAP S/4HANA” which you can find at: AIE Session TEC-EAR-007 – ‘The road to S/4 HANA’
(Please note that your S-user needs to be registered at the SAP Learning Hub in order to access the link above.)
I would like to put your attanetion to the following PPt from Outbound Product Management related to the S/4HANA 1610 Transition Scenarios: PPT
Its great to have all the information on one page. Keep up the great work Frank. We are always looking forward to your posts.
Hi Frank, as usual your posts are great and really helpful for the ones working with /learning S/4HANA.
With 1503 and 1511, it was easy for me to build an implementation plan as both conversion guides were listing the steps to be performed. 1610 is a more complex document as it points to many OSS notes and makes difficult to build a step by step plan. The questions that maybe you can provide some overall guidance are:
1.Is 1511 Conversion plan a good starting point to build a 1610 plan, or the conversion process has suffered substantial changes?
2.I see that in the figure above, data conversion is under SUM. Has this changed and migration of balances and line items happen within SUM? I could not get that clearly from the documentation.
(if you have proposals to make things more clear let me know - I still have issuse with new SCN approach to maintain my pages properly).
1. Regarding the System Conversion the system conversion sequence (the plan how you call it) did basically not change from 1511.
2. The activities related to FIN are basically unchanged compared to 1511 aswell in 1610. SAP Note 2332030 and the PDF linked there should describe the FIN steps
If you could specify what you think is unclear/not transparent enough in the 1610 docu let me know. I can try to explain - In any case it would be a helpful input to make things better.
Hi Frank, thank you for responding. Just to be clear, your posts are always very easy to understand. I was referring to the official Conversion Guide for 1610. The points not easy to understand for me were:
1.I could not easily identify if there were important changes from 1511 conversion to 1610 or if the steps were almost the same.
2.Also, the Conv. Guide points to note 2332030 that leads you to an attachment, that also does not give a list of steps but points to IMG section “Migration to S/4HANA Finance”. I preferred the way that 1511 Conv. Guide was built, that had a list of steps per section.
A couple of colleagues shared that they had some difficulties too. With your response and after reading it a couple of more times, I am more comfortable now.
Thank you for taking the time to respond messages and being open to suggestions. Your posts are great help for us.
S/4HANA readiness check vs Pre-Checks? What is the technical difference?
the "Readiness check" is a SAP service offering as part of the SAP Value Assurance Service Packages (http://sapsupport.info/support-offerings/s4hana-service-packages/).
The Pre-Checks are a step in the S/4HANA System conversion sequence. The Pre-Check do:
(a) identify the relevance of a Simplificaition Item (it is planned to increase the coverage of Pre-checks in the near future)
(b) ensure that tasks which need to be executed before S4 conversion are triggered. In case these tasks are not executed the conversion procedure will stop in SUM (application example: The actvation of the Customer / Vendor integration - the Business Partner Approach)
Within the Readiness Check as servcie offering the servcice colleagues are supporting the customer with the task to identify those tasks which need to be triggered as part of the S4 system conversion. As part of this readiness check service offering the colleagues are triggering the Pre-Checks as one step. Another step which is triggered in the readiness check is the csutom code analysis. In this sense the offered standard tooling (like the pre-checks or the custom code check) is used by our service colleagues.
I hope that explains the difference.
Thank you very much for these information.
I have a question if you have any pdf of customer stories that did conversion to S/4HANA?
I have access to such reference material, but I could not find out where this is available as external link. I`m just aware about these links:
Hi Frank, I am reaching you again to see if you could share some light on a topic that I am not clear: Archived data.
Any information that you can give or article you recommend to read, would be helpful.
Thank you!! as usual
sorry I´m not an expert here. Possibly you can find the requried information here
--> section SAP Support (How to guides). Here the document:
Thank you Frank. Best regards.
thank your for this very detailed blog (thank you also to Frank)! However, I still have some questions:
I looking forward to read your answer.
1: Latest you have to do the custom code adaption in the first system you convert to SAP S/4HANA (Sandbox or DEV) and from there transport to the follow on systems as they are converted.
Though many (but not all) of the changes can already be done in pre-projects on the ERP system. This can help to spread the efforts over a longer period of time. Actually quite a few of the changes now required in SAP S/4HANA were alredy considered best practice - though not mandatory - in SAP ERP.
Example: extension of the material number (MATNR) from CHAR18 to CHAR40.
Already in ERP it was recommended to refer to the SAP delivered MATNR domain/data element when handling material numbers in custom code.
Customers who have done this already in ERP have less code adaption effort in this area than customers who did non-uniformly hardcode to CHAR18. As MATNR Domain will be automatically extended.
Though such an adaption to using the SAP delivered MATNR data element/domain can be easily done as a pre project in ERP, independently from the actual SAP S/4HANA conversion project.
2: The custom code adoption methodology is primarily intended to be used for doing a system conversion from SAP ERP 600 (any Enhancement Package) to SAP S/4HANA. No matter if the ERP system is already on SAP HANA or still on another DB. So for custom code it doesn't matter if the DMO option is used or not. Of course if the ERP system was already on SAP HANA before, the SAP HANA specific adaptions usually have already been done and only the SAP S/4HANA specific adaptions remain to be done.
If you are using a two-step approach because your system is still non-unicode, you have to be aware that the first step - the unicode check/adaption - is not included in the SAP S/4HANA custom code checks but has to be done with the specific unicode check tools (UCCHECK).
If you are using a two step approach because your system is still on a release < ECC 600 (e.g. 4.6c) you have to be aware that the (remote) ATC code checks only run on NW 7.00 or higher. So you need to bring first at least one sandbox system to ECC 600 in order to be able to run the code checks at all. Also you have to be aware that the content of the code checks focuses on differences between ECC 600 and SAP S/4HANA. So differences which did happen already e.g. between 4.6c and ECC600 will not be found.
Other than that the SAP S/4HANA custom code checks can also be used for a two step approach.
The SAP S/4HANA custom code checks can also be used for greenfield/brownfield scenarios where no system conversion is done. The check results you get when checking the code in your original ERP system are equally valid in this case. Though the difference is, that while in a system conversion all you code will automatically be kept (after all it's the same system), in a greenfield/brownfield scenario with a new SAP S/4HANA installation you have to take care of transporting the custom code which you want to take over into the SAP S/4HANA world, over to the new system.
3: Here the same recommendations and change management processes apply as for ERP release updgrades in the past, with soft freeze, hard freeze and deep freeze steps. As you convert or build your DEV, QAS, PRD systems one by one on SAP S/4HANA, you will have a split landscape for some time, at least with two sets of DEV and QAS systems. And any changes done in your ERP landscape you have to upport to the SAP S/4HANA landscape. Though the changes in the ERP landscape need to be strictly controlled and kept to the absolutely neccessary minimum.
Anything you upport from your ERP landscape during this time needs to go through the same custom code checks (and where required adaptions) as your original set of custom code on converting the DEV system. Latest after your final test signoff you should go in deep freeze until go-live and not do any changes anymore.
Hope this did answer you questions.
Thanks Roland. really very nice blog for starters in SAP S/4 HANA Like me. Simply Awesome. your blog helps us in knowing the key difference between new implementation, system conversion and Landscape Transformation.
Keep on posting blog like this.. it would be more useful to all.
Thanks for such a informative post, My client is on SFIN 1503, and i am not able to find the real conversion path for the same as you have explicitly specified the version from 1511 onwards
there is no clear cut demarcation available from 1503 to 1709 to prepare the business case of Conversion
Requesting your help on this
I have a question on after conversion from SAP ECC (EHP4) to SAP S/4HANA, say Go Live in 1/1/2019. Can I still post my GL Special Period 13-16 into the previous system? My understanding is everything should remain status quo but thinking there is a change in table during the activation of SAP S/4HANA. Cannot visualize what will happen if there is an audit adjustments need to be done for previous year (say 31/12/2018).
(FAGLFLEXA tables vs ACDOCA tables)
Thanks in advance.
generally, you can continue using your GL special periods in SAP S/4HANA as before. Of course, your postings will update the new table structures, e.g. ACDOCA, but from user point of view there is no difference.
However, there some prerequisites that you have to meet in accounting before the conversion and which impact your Go-Live date decision.
The required activities for the conversion of your accounting to SAP S/4HANA are described in SAP note 2332030. One prerequisite for the conversion mentioned there is that you shall have a certified financial statement for the previous fiscal year. Particularly, for Asset Accounting it is required that all previous fiscal years are closed. Postings to previous years are not allowed. This means, you have to run the year-end closing for the previous year and prepare a financial statement certified by an auditor as you will not be able to reopen the fiscal year preceding the conversion.
Therefore, I doubt that a go-live date at the 1st of January is feasible - unless you have a shifted fiscal year. Anyway, you should discuss your conversion plans also with your auditors and get their approval, independently of the target date of the go-live. They also need to approve the procedures for checking consistency of your finance data and financial statements.
Thank you for your help. Appreciate it very much.
Yes, I am aware of the Asset Accounting closing especially on the new changes in SAP S/4HANA.