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Good Evening Everybody,

welcome to the Basis Technician and Basis Architect’s world in 2017.

There is so much happening in the technical SAP world, and so little time, just when we thought
things couldn’t be more turned upside because of all of the database migrations to SAP HANA, then suddenly, we’ve S/4 HANA coming on stream and the different ways to get there, greenfield, transformation and consolidation, we’ve got SAP Suite Products moving to the SAP HANA Cloud, eg IBP Integrated Business Planning the next generation of SAP APO/SCM which is a pure Software as a Service, we got BW/4HANA, more HANA migrations, more mobile integration,
SAP Mobile Platform has moved with version 6.4 to the SAP HANA Cloud and lots lots more, Tax Declaration Framework and others.

This year, I’ll be blogging a lot of the subjects which are coming across my desk, including a lot of those mentioned and more, TDI is now with us, HANA on Power with Little Endian (support from HANA 2.0 onwards) is supported.

We’ve executed so many HANA migrations (and many more to go) that these days we’re treating HANA Migrations with the same confidence as we treat Support Pack and Enhancement Pack upgrades, and we’ve got the approach as polished too.

Lots of subjects to blog and starting from today with S/4HANA, Fiori for S/4HANA and the Fiori applications for  Basis Technicians.

Back in December 2013 I challenged SAP as to why they were so slow in mobile device enabling their suite of products. I think we can now say, in January 2017 that Fiori has really come of age, and finally we Basis Technicians and Architects have Fiori Applications for our field of work and interest. Don’t they look great:

 

 

How did we get there, how did we get to running a PoC of S/4HANA 1610 and Fiori for S/4HANA 1610 ?

You might remember in this blog about SAP HANA Tenant Mobility I mentioned that the Business were seeking to have a PoC S/4HANA system installed so that they could evaluate it and come to the decision as to how to make the move to S/4HANA, greenfield, transformation, or consolidation.

Taking a step back, if you want a comprehensive overview of the paths to S/4HANA then find some time and walk though this blog.

The Business demanded an S/4HANA PoC system. Thankfully we are running SAP HANA MultiTenancy and this mean’t we had all of the infrastructure in place, pick a SAP HANA Sandbox which has enough capacity and add another Tenant.

S/4HANA version 1610 (1610 means Year 2016 and Month10 October) requires Fiori ABAP Front End Server for S/4HANA 1610. With Fiori ABAP Front End Server 1610 there is another pre-requisite, only SAP’s Databases are supported, that’s SAPdb, Sybase and SAP HANA. Ok, this mean’t we had to create another SAP HANA MDC Tenant for the Fiori db.

All ready to go, or so we thought, We waited patiently and finally the S/4HANA 1610 installation binaries were made available by SAP. Around the same time, SAP published the Release Note for S/4HANA 1610, OSS Note 2346431

The Release Note for S/4HANA 1610, OSS Note 2346431 bought us a nice surprise, S/4HANA 1610 is only support on SAP HANA Revision 121.00 (HANA 1.0 SPS12) or higher. Our SAP HANA Sandbox which had been chosen and prepared with the new MDC Tenant DB’s was running SAP HANA 1.0 SPS10 !

So we quickly got the Sandbox SAP HANA system upgraded to SPS12. We learn’t a very important lesson during that upgrade, something which hadn’t happened in previous versions, when you Drop a HANA Tenant in SPS12, the HANA System cleans up the Tenant’s FileSystem. We Drop and Recreate Tenants to enable our HANA Port customisations as a pre-requisite for our HANA Tenant Mobility. We got over that problem, had the SPS12 running and the HANA Tenants with the correct Ports.

Then the S/4HANA 1610 and Fiori for S/4HANA 1610 installations were completed. The installations went very smoothly.

Finally we gave the systems over to the Business for them to use in the S/4HANA familiarization. In parallel, Basis, Security and Operations are all taking the opportunity to familiarize themselves with these latest versions from SAP.

Something I am very pleased with, and back to the main subject of this blog, something I have wanted from SAP for many years, access to Basis functionality from mobile devices. And finally as shown in the screenshots above, Basis now have their own suite of Fiori Applications and hopefully the more the better.

The biggest message I want to send with this blog is, we all need to be preparing for the journey to S/4HANA. S/4HANA is the next generation of the SAP ERP software, and has totally different internals than the previous R/3. I know others especially Owen Pettiford have really explained this nicely and I reiterate it here, all of us need to be pushing our companies into preparing for S/4HANA and running PoC S/4HANA systems so that together the Business, the Functional, the Basis, the Security, the Operations, the Integration, can all familiarize themselves from their perspectives with the new technology, and TOGETHER they can all decide which approach to implementing S/4HANA would be the best for their company, greenfield new installation, transformation or consolidation.

For Basis readers, I cannot recommend enough to at least have SAP HANA MultiTenancy in one of your Sandbox HANA Appliances, this way, you have the agility to install SAP Products which require SAP HANA db without having to implement a new HANA System/Appliance.

Reminder, if you want to understand in SAP HANA MultiTenancy, which SAP Components can be clubbed together on the same HANA System, then checkout the OSS Note (and especially the attached pdf) 2121768 – Considerations with SAP HANA multitenant database containers and SAP BW. The note is great and the attached pdf really explains nicely how in Scale-Out and Scale-Up how you can mix and match Tenants with different SAP Products. For example, there’s a nice explanation of running HANA MultiTenancy in a Scale-Out 5 Node HANA System with BW Scaled-Out on 4 of the Nodes and ERP having it’s own Dedicated Node for its Tenant DB in the same Scaled-Out HANA System. Therefore in that scenario, although it’s a Scale-Out HANA System, because the ERP Tenant has it’s own dedicated Node for all intents and purposes the ERP Tenant is in a Scale-Up HANA. It looks like this:

That’s all for today, there are many more blogs to come, with fascinating subjects, some of which were mentioned in the introduction.

All the best,

Andy.

 

 

 

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  1. Joachim Rees

    Thanks for Sharing, Andy!

    While it is a bit to heavy on “basis” for me (when you say “Finally we gave the systems over” that would be me on the receiving end! 🙂 ) I take away that:

    1. a migration to HANA DB is business as usual for you now
    2. you are happy about the Fiori-Apps for basis.
    3. S/4HANA is important

    On the 2nd one I’d like to get you view/experience: when I talk to long-time-SAPers (Consultants and ABAP-Developers) in my professional surroundings, I often get opinions like “this FIORI is nice for Managers/…, but power-users/… will always stick to what they are used to”.

     

    So I take you DO use the Basis-Apps allready and like the fact that they’re mobile-enabled, but how about your more “conservative” colleagues (if you have any)? Have you been able to transfer your excitement to them, and do they, too, see benefits for their work in those FIORIs?

     

    best

    Joachim

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    1. Andy Silvey Post author

       

      Hi Joachim,

      thanks for the feedback, here are the answers…

      Question – a migration to HANA DB is business as usual for you now

      Yes, as I wrote in this Blog, we are as comfortable and confident doing HANA migrations these days as we are doing Support Pack Upgrades. We’ve put a lot of effort into documenting the whole process and we’ve developed Project and CutOver Plans for HANA migrations which contain all of the steps for all of the involved parties, and with every new migration we learn our lessons and evolve the procedure. We knew and we know we have a lot of HANA migrations ahead of us, and from the beginning we wanted to get to the point where we could run HANA migrations with a factory approach, proven procedures, like McDonalds with the BigMac, do it over and over again, transfer the knowledge, document the knowledge, make it so that new people can come in and very quickly run with it by following the procedures and plans and of course tweak it here and there depending on system specifics. I am very pleased with where we have got to regarding HANA migration

      Question – you are happy about the Fiori-Apps for basis

      I’ve wanted SAP Basis and SAP Functional/Business applications/screens/functionality to be on the Mobile Devices for years. I first setup SAP Portal “On Device” (or SAP Mobile Portal) in January 2013 and was disappointed that out of the box SAP weren’t mobile device enabling all of the screens https://blogs.sap.com/2013/01/15/andy-silvey-how-to-set-up-portal-on-device/

      Then later I baited SAP into why, they are not mobile enabling everything… https://blogs.sap.com/2013/12/19/why-is-it-ebay-and-amazon-can-and-sap-cannot-andysilvey/

      So yes, I am committed that in the year 2017 and onwards, we should all be able to move away from our pc’s and with these smart phones and tablets we should be able to do our jobs across the spectrum of Roles without having to go to a PC at a desk

      To tell the truth I wasn’t impressed with Fiori in the beginning, I believed that SAP should have pushed the SAP Portal as the single point of entry and mobile device enabled all of the SAP Portal functionality

      But, this is how it is and SAP have their strategy and we can see that ever since 2009 when the xSS Business Packages started moving away from the Portal and into ABAP WebDynPro that the future of Web / Mobile interfaces to SAP is more likely to be through the ABAP WebDynPro and hence Fiori

      Fiori now has 7000+ Applications, and this is growing, this shows SAP’s commitment to the approach. The good thing with Fiori on Premise is it is built on the proven ABAP Platform, a platform which has been around since at least 1992 when R/3 came out.

      The Fiori User Interface is not going away, and if your colleagues say, they will always do it the old way then good for them. But speaking for myself, let’s put it into perspective, if I am called out with a problem at the weekend or during the night, and I need to check something on a SAP system,  if there is a Fiori App which enables me immediately to do what I need to do on my phone or tablet, then why would I wait 20 minutes to boot up my pc and logon to the VPN and connect to the SAP system the old way ? People should work with whatever tools they are comfortable with for completing the task, they should also keep an awareness of the new approaches because one day the older tools might not be available , and also, they might actually start to like and appreciate the new interfaces.

      Question – S/4HANA is important

      S/4HANA is more than important, it’s the next generation of “SAP”.

      There’s no getting away from it.

      And the SAP world is changing very fast at the moment, we got HANA db, now we have S/4HANA which is a re-write of R/3 and therefore, you cannot “just upgrade to S/4HANA” you need to either start from scratch – New Implementation or, do a Transformation of an existing ECC. And S/4HANA is not the end of the story it’s just the beginning, look at SCM/APO, the latest version of SCM/APO is called IBP Integrated Business Planning and _runs_only_ in the SAP Cloud as a Software as a Service ! And many more examples, the SAP world is changing we need to keep up with it so that we can pilot and navigate the best way through it for our companies for today, tomorrow  and into the future.

       

      Best regards,

      Andy.

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      1. Joachim Rees

        Hey Andy,

        thanks for your detailed (and very fast) answer!

        I do agree an all the points you make!

         

        I still would like to get one small detail out of you, if you’ll allow me:
        Are you actually already using the Fiori Basis Apps?

         

        “if I am called out with a problem at the weekend or during the night, and I need to check something on a SAP system,  if there is a Fiori App which enables me immediately to do what I need to do on my phone or tablet, then why would I wait 20 minutes to boot up my pc and logon to the VPN and connect to the SAP system the old way ?”

        Is that something that already happens, or more of an outlook to (near) future usage?

         

        I’m always a little afraid that I might miss opportunities to actually use Fiori-Apps in my daily work (I’m a developer), so I’m not talking about sandbox/playing around but actually completing a task I have to do with a Fiori-App.

        I was exited about the SAP ONE Support launchpad, because it gave me a chance to do just that (creating Incidents is one of my tasks). I wrote a few blogs on that, https://blogs.sap.com/2016/04/20/sap-one-support-launchpad-today-is-the-day/ is a good entry in case you’re interested.

         

        But today I think SAP ONE Launchpad is not a good example, as it doesn’t let me benefit from the flexibility Fiori/Launchpad could give me, like creating my own tile, based on a certain selection (see https://answers.sap.com/questions/101419/index.html ).

         

        Hope I could give an Idea why I try dig on the line between “future possible usage / usage for roles other than mine” and “actual (=if not ‘productive’ than at least non-sandbox’ usage”).

         

        best

        Joachim

        (1) 
        1. Jocelyn Dart

          Hi Andy and Joachim,

          If you are interested in Fiori Apps to help you monitor your systems can I encourage you to take a look at Solution Manager 7.2 which does provide some nice apps explicitly for that purpose.

          Note: These apps are not yet listed in the Fiori Apps Library.

          Also just to set expectations correctly please understand that the Fiori Apps Library is really now the Fiori Launchpad Reference Content Library as is explained in this blog by Maricel Cabahug.

          Many of the apps listed are coherent with the Fiori theming but are not themselves SAPUI5 apps.  You can filter on App Type to check.  We cannot give a blanket guarantee that Web Dynpro ABAP or SAPGUI for HTML will operate correctly on devices.  They make work, they may not, you have to try them… it’s all rather complicated and depends a lot on exactly how the developer wrote the app.

          That said, there are some very helpful apps in S/4HANA 1610 listed in the Fiori Apps Library under the Administrator and Analytics Expert roles that are definitely worth a look.

          Rgds,

          Jocelyn

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  2. Suckbinder Gill

    Hi Guys

     

    We are in the process of creating a S4Hana Sandbox for consultants to use as a play and learn area and setting up some demo’s for prospective clients .

    We need to know if there is an equivalent role to the old SAP ALL type of user role which consultants used in the past with ECC.6.0 . This old role was all encompassing from a transactional access and control basis so we need to restrict consultants to their functional areas of  Record to Report , Purchase to Pay, Order to Cash and Plan to Manufacture . Also , are there a range of roles for functional consultants that will  prevent them from accessing the basis area or the IMG. Any information on available roles or your experience would be most useful.

    Thanks

    Bill Gill

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