1       Introduction

This document provides an understanding of how Maintenance planner as a tool can be used specifically during the System Conversion process by the user. The document mentions how the Maintenance Planner can be used during the system conversion, highlights details of prerequisites of the source system, the capabilities and functionalities of the Maintenance planner tool and the output that the tool provide.

 

2      Maintenance Planner

SAP Solution Manager’s cloud-based Maintenance Planner enables easy and efficient planning of all changes in your SAP system landscape. Maintenance Planner is available for SAP Solution Manager 7.1 and mandatory for SAP Solution Manager 7.2 as well as for planning SAP S/4HANA and SAP NetWeaver 7.5+ based systems. Maintenance Planner is the successor of Maintenance Optimizer, Landscape Planner, and LMDB Product System Editor combining their functionalities. Maintenance Planner consolidates critical tasks such as definition of product maintenance dependencies, generation of a stack configuration file, and selection of archives in a single tool.

 

With S/4HANA implementation Maintenance Planner become a mandatory solution to start any activity in a S/4HANA project to download the software or check the SAP ERP solution readiness to be converted S/4HANA and building the stack file for system conversion.

 

Maintenance Planner has/is

  • Graphical UI for planning of…
    • New technical system installation
    • System maintenance, update, and upgrade
    • Product implementation across technical
      systems (e.g. for SAP Fiori)
  • All aspects of maintenance in one tool
    • Maintenance dependency definition
    • Maintenance track definition
    • Landscape Verification
  • Integration of other tools
    • Integration with other tools (UDA, Innovation
      Discovery Service, System Information Correction)
    • Installation analytics
  • Up to date: hosted solution
    • Maintenance planning without patching first
  • Hosted Solution, General Available (GA) since 2015

 

 

Note: Maintenance Optimizer cannot be used for S/4HANA solutions

 

2.1      Role of the Maintenance Planner in System Conversion Scenario

 

System conversion follows a clearly defined sequence of steps that needs to be followed. The sequence of activity in the system conversion is not only logical but also technically important to be followed. System Conversion: Basic Sequence is shown in the below figure

From the above figure we see that the Maintenance Planner tool is used in the Discovery / Prepare Phase of the system conversion project and is a tool to support the source system readiness check.

 

In the system conversion scenario Maintenance Planner the first tool that is used to know:

  • If the SAP ERP Solution can be converted to S/4HANA system or not

If the SAP ERP solution can be converted then Maintenance Planner generates the Stack (XML) File which is needed by Software Update Manager (SUM) tool to carry out the actual system conversion

If the SAP ERP solution cannot be converted then the Maintenance Planner provides the details information of why the system cannot be converted

 

2.1      Prerequisite of source SAP ERP system before using Maintenance Planner

 

In the system conversion approach there are prerequisite that the source SAP ERP system must fulfill before the Maintenance Planner can be used to carry out system conversion.

The following are the prerequisites that the SAP ERP system must fulfill for system conversion activity to begin:

  • Source system should be on a minimum version of ERP6.0 EhP0-8
  • Source system should be on Unicode.
  • Source system should be on Single Stack (ABAP)

SAP recommends that the system conversion should be first approached, as far as possible, on a Sandbox/ PoC system which is current copy of the Production system.

 

If the above pre-requisites are fulfilled the customer can use Maintenance Planner today to analyze and carry out checks to arrive at the impact of converting their Source system to SAP S/4HANA solution.

If the Customer plans to approach the system conversion of their source SAP ERP system, they can use the Maintenance Planner to carry out the initial pre-checks without any hurdle of license requirement. However, the customer should have SAP S/4HANA license to use the Maintenance Planner to create the Stack XML file that is created as an output of the Maintenance Planner used for doing the actual system conversion.

3       Maintenance Planner – Access and Steps

 

With the above prerequisites fulfilled and the Sandbox system created the customer can use the Maintenance Planner solution on the web and login with their S-users. Below is the link to the Maintenance Planner solution:
https://apps.support.sap.com/sap/support/mp

 

Maintenance Planner Wizard and Choices

On logging into the Maintenance Planner with the customer S-user the customer will land on the page as shown below. The web page has different tiles that are available to the user.

The Customer user can choose the highlighted tile “Explore Systems” which leads the user to the list of his systems. In the list he can see the SID of all his SAP systems.

 

3.1      Verify and Synchronize the system

 

As a prerequisite for running the Maintenance planner for any system the customer has to verify and synchronize the system before approaching the system conversion steps

By ticking in the Box and choosing the SID of the system (Sandbox system) that the customer is planning to convert, the customer needs to double click on the SID. This will lead the customer to the screen as shown below:

 

3.1.1                Verify your system

 

To perform any kind of update or upgrade the system needs to be in a Verified state indicating that the system description complies with SAP product modelling. A verified system status is green

For a system that is not in a Verified state, the verification status is red in the maintenance cycle for the system and this needs to be corrected before you can proceed

In order to perform the step for system verification please refer the Maintenance planner user guide on the link: http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/download/attachments/187337812/Maintenance_Planner_User_Guide.pdf

Or download the same from service market place

 

3.1.2                Synchronize your system

 

In the system cycle, the Sync button is green if there is only one solution manager which is chosen by default. If the Sync button is yellow, there are multiple solution managers

In order to perform the step for system synchronization and other step please refer the Maintenance planner user guide on the link: http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/download/attachments/187337812/Maintenance_Planner_User_Guide.pdf

Or download the same from service market place

 

4       Plan for system conversion

 

After you have verified and synchronized your system you can plan for system conversion. Choosing the “Plan for SAP S/4HANA – Installation/Conversion” tile in the Maintenance Planner (as shown below), a wizard will take the user through the different steps and user needs to choose source system and the latest S/4HANA software as the target solution that they want to convert the system to. The Maintenance Planner will only provide the option of the latest version of the S/4HANA solution.

 

Here if the Maintenance Planner Checks are triggered and if the system encounters any failure then you are directed to the Summary page with the failure reasons.

 

If the Maintenance Planner Checks pass through then you can choose in next screen (Select Additional systems) :

Front end server – User can choose to Front end server from the following options:

  • Existing system – Allows to apply SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA add-on on existing SAP NetWeaver system
  • Install a New System – Allows to plan a new system ID for Sap Fiori front end server for SAP S/4HANA
  • Co-Deploy with Backend – Allows to co-deploy the SAP Fiori on the back system

 

Please refer “Landscape Deployment of SAP Fiori Front-End Server (FES)” page in the Enterprise Architecture Explorer –https://eaexplorer.hana.ondemand.com/_item.html?id=11115#!/overview

Java Adapter – user can choose to apply Java adapter only if needed from the following options:

  • Update the support package stack of existing SAP S/4HANA Java Adapter
  • Install new SAP S/4HANA Java Adapter.

 

4.1      Checks in Maintenance Planner

 

The series of the checks are based on:

  • Add-ons ( SAP and Non-SAP) in current source system and if the same supported in the S/4HANA or not
  • Active Business Functions in current source system and if the same are supported in the S/4HANA or not
  • Industry Business Functions active in current source system and if the same are supported in S/4HANA or not

The Maintenance Planner carries out additional system checks listed below which is the part of the report as shown in the below figure:

  • RFC Destination pre-check
  • Check for dependent JAVA system

 

4.2      Maintenance Planner Checks – Flow

The series of checks that the Maintenance Planner carries out are depicted as below:

4.3      Incompatibility during the checks in Maintenance Planner

If any of the checks run into incompatibility between source solution (SAP ERP) and target solution (SAP S/4HANA) then the Maintenance Planner stops and provides a detailed report of the incompatibility along with detail notes and does not create the Stack (XML) File required / needed for the conversion. This stops the customer from going ahead on the System conversion activity.

 

4.4      Sample report of the incompatibility

4.5      Re-Run Maintenance Planner Check

 

Customer can re- run the Maintenance Planner as many time as we want for a system. If the Conversion was stooped due to incompatibility then customer has following choices:

  • Un-installation/Upgrade of Add-Ons prior to the system conversion
  • Un-installation/Upgrade of Add-Ons during the system conversion
  • Deactivation of Business Functions (Reversible)

Note: Not all Add-ons can be un-installed or upgraded

 

4.5.1                Un-installation of Add-Ons prior SAP S/4HANA Conversion

 

When the Maintenance Planner checks for the Add-On compatibility, it provides a detailed report of incompatibility with Add-ons details.
The customer has a choice of uninstalling some unsupported Add-Ons in the source solution (SAP ERP) and running the Maintenance Planner again to generate the Stack file.
Refer the SAP Note: 2011192 – Uninstalling ABAP add-ons while working with Add-Ons that come up as not supported in Maintenance planner run. For 3rd party Add-Ons Customer has to coordinate with the Vendor to get a un-installation package
This decision of uninstalling of Add-Ons is based on the usage and dependency of the Add-on in the customer’s solution. The decision of uninstalling any Add-ons are completely owned by the customer.

Customer can also check to upgrade the Add-ons to the latest S/4HANA compatible version if available ( with SAP and 3rd party vendor depending on the Add-On)and re- run the Maintenance Planner for the source system.

 

Note: Maintenance Planner is designed to highlight the Add-ons that are not supported in the target S/4HANA solution. The Add-ons that are highlighted by the maintenance planner are not supported in any kind off S/4HANA implementation scenario weather it is a New Implementation Approach, a system conversion approach or a Landscape transformation Approach.

 

4.5.2                Un-install Add-Ons Not Supported during SAP S/4HANA Conversion

During SAP S/4HANA conversions from SAP ERP systems During the Realize Phase, there can be scenarios wherein some of the add-ons are not supported and the conversion planning process cannot continue.

Maintenance Planner does the following prechecks:

  • Checks for any add-ons that are not supported in the target system
  • Checks if the add-ons that are not supported can be uninstalled.

Note:

  • If the unsupported add-ons can be uninstalled, the system prompts the end user to continue with the conversion planning process. It also prompts the end user that these add-ons will be uninstalled by the Software Update Manager.
  • If the unsupported add-ons cannot be uninstalled, the end user cannot continue with the conversion planning process.
  • The add-on uninstallation is supported from SUM support package 17 onwards.

The decision of un-installing/de-installing any Add-ons are completely owned by the customer.

 

Refer the SAP Note: 2214409- SAP S/4HANA: Compatible Add-ons while working with Add-Ons

 

4.6      Deactivation of Business Function (Reversible)

 

When the Maintenance Planner provides the detailed report of incompatibility with Business Functions, the customer has a choice of deactivation of only reversible Business Function in the source solution (SAP ERP) and running the Maintenance Planner again to generate the Stack file. This decision of switching–off/deactivation of only Business Function of type reversible in the source solution (SAP ERP) is based on the usage and dependency of the Business Function in the organization. The customer has to understand/study the impact of such Business Function switching–off/deactivation before they approach this step. The decision of switching–off/deactivation of Business Function of type reversible in the source solution (SAP ERP) are completely owned by the customer.

Refer the SAP Note: 2240359 – SAP S/4HANA: Always-Off Business Functions and 2240360 – SAP S/4HANA: Always-On Business Functions while working with Business Functions

Note: Only the Business Functions of type reversible can be switched off/deactivated

 

4.7      Prerequisite before re-running the Maintenance Planner

 

When the customer carries out any activity like Business Function switching–off/deactivation, Add-on uninstall/upgrade, SP patching etc. in the source system and want to re-run the Maintenance Planner then, the customer should ensure that after such activities the source system are properly synced with Solution Manger system before re-running the Maintenance Planner.

 

4.8      Stack File Report Creation

 

The Maintenance Planner in the background runs a series of checks and finally generates a Stack (XML) file for the conversion process that would be needed by the Software Update Manager (SUM) tool that actually converts the source SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA system. This is Stack File is available to be downloaded in Maintenance Planner.

 

Always only a single Stack (XML) File is created from a system conversion perspective, even when you choose different possible option in Front ends server as a user. Different parts of the file are read accordingly by different tools during the process of system conversion to create and SAP S/4HANA system with Fiori front end server

 

The Stack (XML) File needs to be copied to your ABAP System for example to /usr/sap/<SID>/Download.

  • The file copy is recommended (not mandatory) for the next step in system conversion sequence in the prepare phase, which is the “Pre-checks” step. Copying the file and running the “Pre-checks” provides a precise output from a system conversion perspective
  • This file copy is mandatory for the System Update Manager tool to perform the system conversion in the realize phase.

Maintenance Planner generates Success Message if the Maintenance planner checks are successful. With the Download Result button you can generate and download a pdf document that provide details of Source solution and Target solution and information of successful check.

 

If the customer plans to install additional Add-ons for their system conversion, they need to choose Install or Maintain Add-on button (Explore – Plan – Choose the target version of SAP S/4HANA solution and then) they can choose right SAP Add-On along with right version. This Add-On will be a part of the XML stack file that is used for System conversion.

 

If you plan to migrate from a different Database to HANA data base and also convert your source system in SAP S/4HANA solution then in Maintenance planner you need to choose Kernels of source database and the application.

In the download directory all Solution package, the Add-on package and all the Kernel packages should be available and can be verified.

 

With all the above details the Software Update Manager Tool read and handles the system conversion smoothly.

 

Stack file will not be created if Maintenance Planner identifies objects in the source system that are not supported/ incompatible in the target software versions.

 

4.9      Select and Download Installation Media

  1. Download the installation plan by clicking Download Stack XML, and click Push to Download Basket to download the archives from SAP Service Marketplace.
  2. Click Next to go to the last stage of the installation process.
  3. You can download the Maintenance Plan as a PDF by clicking Download PDF
  4. A link to the initial installation media is towards the end of the PDF

 

5       Maintenance Planner in Upgrade Scenario

Maintenance Planner execution would be a mandatory step during the scenario of an Upgrade of the solution from one SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management product version to the next version (example: SAP S/4HANA 1511 FPS02 Enterprise Management to SAP S/4HANA 1610 FPS02 Enterprise Management). The Maintenance Planner in upgrade scenario is used to highlight and identify any incompatibility of Add-ons, business functions industry solution and any technical inconsistency between the source product versions to the target product version.

 

6       SAP S/4HANA Finance (1503/1605)Add-on Installation on the source SAP ERP system using Maintenance Planner

 

Maintenance Planner can be used in case the customer is planning to only get SAP S/4HANA Finance 1503/1605(aka. SAP Simple Finance1503/1605) Add-On solution on their source system (SAP ERP Solution). The Maintenance Planner will create only Stack File for the SAP S/4HANA Finance 1503/1605 Add-on solution but Maintencence Planner is not setup to carry out any checks in this case. To implement SAP S/4HANA Finance 1503/1605 add-on with their ECC solution the customer should choose the Explore System tile, click on the Plan link( in the next screen) and choose Install or Maintain Add-on button ( in the next screen) and choose right SAP S/4HANA Finance version and create the stack XML.

 

7       SAP Notes

 

SAP Notes that can be used during the system conversion

2214409- SAP S/4HANA:Compatible Add-ons
2240359 – SAP S/4HANA : Always-Off Business Functions
2240360 – SAP S/4HANA : Always-On Business Functions
2214213 – SAP S/4HANA, on premise edition 1511: Restriction Note
2333141 – S/4HANA 1610: Restriction Note
2011192 – Uninstalling ABAP add-ons

8       References

Further details on the topic can be found in the below references:

 

Initial setup:

https://blogs.sap.com/2015/07/10/maintenance-planner-prerequisites-and-initial-setup/

User Guide:

http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/download/attachments/187337812/Maintenance_Planner_User_Guide.pdf

Maintenance Planner – Release Highlights:

https://blogs.sap.com/2016/05/26/maintenance-planner-release-highlights/

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