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Author's profile photo Renaud VAN DEN DAELE

SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA, Suite on HANA, SoH, Simple Finance, SAP S/4HANA Finance, let’s have the right wording!

Being part of the SAP S/4HANAEnterprise Support Value Map team, and SAP Communities reader as well, wording accuracy regarding exact product usage is key in my day to day work.

Regularly, I can see people searching for some help, but I am facing difficulties understanding which product they are referring to. With this blog, I am trying to make a summary of the often-used naming around SAP S/4HANA, Suite on Hana, Simple Finance, and to provide a very high level overview (only to “feel” the difference, not diving into technical details) of each Solution or Product so everyone can use the relevant wording.

Historically, first came SAP HANA, followed by Suite on HANA, followed by the SAP Simple Finance add-on and finally to SAP S/4HANA.

Let’s start with Suite on HANA, aka SoH, aka SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA:

SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA (often named “Suite On HANA” or SoH):

Take a product of the SAP Business Suite running on “Any DB” from Business Suite i2013 (For example ECC Ehp7)  or above, and migrate the “Any DB” to an SAP HANA Database, you will get an “powered by SAP HANA system”. Upgrade all the systems of the Suite in the same way, and you will get a Business Suite Powered by SAP HANA.

  • The wording “Powered by SAP HANA” and not “For HANA or 4 HANA” is very important. This means that these Suite products are not redesigned for SAP HANA because DB wise, most of their coding needs to remain agnostic, although specific HANA optimizations were already introduced
  • This wished DB agnosticism of the SAP Business Suite prevents from redesigning to use the full potential of HANA and as such limits innovation possibilities
  • Therefore, a split of the codeline was decided and the S/4HANA concept came, first through the “Simple Finance” driven by the “simplification” principle.

SAP S/4HANA Finance formerly named SAP Simple Finance or sFIN

SAP S/4HANA Finance is the new name for what was formerly named SAP Simple Finance.

  • It is at the same time:
    • An “add-on” which can be installed on a SAP ERP EhP7 or 8 System AND

  • The Finance LoB Solution of the SAP S/4HANA product AND

  • The official naming for the Finance portfolio of Solutions based on SAP S/4HANA Suite

And what about SAP Central Finance. It is a deployment option of SAP S/4HANA Finance, which consists in installing a new “Central” SAP S/4HANA system with the aim to receive financial accounting of SAP and Non-SAP systems, in the least disruptive way.

Then the simplification/redesign was applied to other Line of Businesses and Industries , which led to SAP S/4HANA.

SAP S/4HANA (Also known by its full name “SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA”)

The SAP S/4HANA product can be seen (very very high level and simplistic view) as a redesigned SAP ERP/ECC in order to provide new capabilities which go far beyond only accelerating standard transactions. Major Part of the redesign is also the ongoing re-integration of some industry solutions, and some other products (or “parts” of them  to the core SAP S/4HANA product (this is ongoing/planned and may be changed by SAP at any time without notice, see SAP Roadmaps for more )

SAP S/4HANA name can be used to describe either:

         1. the SAP S/4HANA “product” itself            2. OR the full Solution Suite, which corresponds to

  • SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management (The digital Core) plus
  • SAP S/4HANA products (add-ons shipped with the S/4HANA shipment or on top of it) plus
  • “non SAP S/4HANA” products like digital networks with “out-of-the- box” integration

Key takeaways:

For Finance:

  • Simple Finance (sFIN) is now renamed SAP S/4HANA Finance
  • SAP S/4HANA Finance name can be defining (depending on the context):
    • The new Finance portfolio of SAP
    • The formerly-named SAP Simple Finance add-on
    • The Financials “module” of the SAP S/4HANA product
  • SAP S/4HANA Finance add-on (Simple Finance “add-on”) is an add-on product which can be installed on SAP ECC (from EHP7 sp8) running on SAP HANA , and replace the “ERP financials” (FI-CO) part, providing innovation for this scope only.
  • Central Finance is a deployment option of SAP S/4HANA Finance

SoH (SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA )and SAP S/4HANA are different!

  • SoH (Suite on HANA) is an often used acronym for the “SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA”, and should never be used to refer to SAP S/4HANA, as they are really different products/suites. SoH relies mostly on DB agnostic coding (i.e. no redesigned data model)  and is not “simplified/redesigned”, which strongly hinders its innovation potential compared to SAP S/4HANA.
  • The best way to name an ECC 6.07 or ECC6.08 running on SAP HANA is either ECC on SAP HANA (shortest) or ECC powered by SAP HANA (official naming)
  • SAP S/4HANA follows the principle of ONE, and as such runs only on one DB, SAP HANA, and is progressively redesigned/simplified to take advantage of the SAP HANA DB features. This allows massive possibilities of innovations for the Digital world


Stay tuned for my next blog in which I will do the same with HANA, HEC, HCP, HCI , SAP Cloud platform 


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      Author's profile photo Christophe BERNARD
      Christophe BERNARD

      Thanks for these explanations Renaud! That's simple and efficient, going straight to the points.

      Looking forward to read your next blogs!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Excellent post. Thank you.

      Author's profile photo Christian Gasper
      Christian Gasper

      Dear Renaud, thanks for the overview!

      Is it really "S/4HANA Enterprise Application Management (The digital Core)" and not S/4HANA Enterprise Management (The digital Core)"


      Kind regards,


      Author's profile photo Renaud VAN DEN DAELE
      Renaud VAN DEN DAELE
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Christian,

      Thanks very much for you very accurate eye! You are very right, the right name is SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management, I will update the blog accordingly , together with some other changes, like updating the map to the 1709 release.

      Best regards


      Author's profile photo ARUNKUMAR MADHESWARAN

      Nice Information & Simple solution

      Thanks a lot



      Author's profile photo Renaud VAN DEN DAELE
      Renaud VAN DEN DAELE
      Blog Post Author

      @ M Arunkumar

      Thanks for the nice feedback!


      Author's profile photo Marco Di Leo
      Marco Di Leo


      Hi Renaud,

      Nicely explained. Like the article.

      My customer is considering to move database to HANA but staying on ECC.

      Not something we would recommend these days.

      Do you know of benefits cases where clients only moved the database to HANA (apart from getting rid of Oracle licenses)?

      Best Regards, Marco

      Author's profile photo Renaud VAN DEN DAELE
      Renaud VAN DEN DAELE
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Marco,

      Sorry for late reply I was on vacation. Benefits will depend where they are coming from (which ECC releases), and where they go (only ECC Ehp7 or EhP8 ). Are they doing pure technical  DB migration (Oracle to SAP HANA) or applying as well a new EHP, with or without a desire to check the new transactions.

      There are some transactions which have been optimized for SAP HANA in those Ehps (although not fully rebuilt like in SAP S/4HANA) , and new transactions as well. You may want to have a look at this note 1835008 and related notes (some have attachments)

      Some Fiori apps will be “unlocked” as well, as many of them need SAP HANA to run. This would help the Customer to taste a bit the value of the new UI.

      If they move or are on Ehp8, they may want to take the opportunity to implement the SAP S/4HANA Finance add-on later on as well, although it is not receiving innovation anymore, it will provide value for Finance, and can be used internally to show the value of SAP S/4HANA

      Ordering a free SAP Innovation Pathfinder report should be interesting for the Customer.

      Best regards





      Author's profile photo Karthikeswara Reddy Gowra
      Karthikeswara Reddy Gowra

      Hello Renaud,


      That was very help for me, In fact I was wondering how to make working all from Finance to SAP HANA finance. now it is clear for me.

      Author's profile photo Renaud VAN DEN DAELE
      Renaud VAN DEN DAELE
      Blog Post Author



      Thanks very much for the feedback!!! Glad it helped clarifying.

      Best regards


      Author's profile photo Hugh Davidson
      Hugh Davidson

      A very useful blog for understanding HANA SAPanese.



      Focus Advisor

      Lifecycle Management Value Map.

      Author's profile photo Manuel Robalinho
      Manuel Robalinho

      good work.

      Thanks for sharing

      Author's profile photo Aniruddha Shinde
      Aniruddha Shinde

      Hi Renaud, one quick question ; can we create calculation views on Suite On HANA licensed HANA Database.

      Author's profile photo shriom patel
      shriom patel

      Thank you..nice post

      Author's profile photo Renaud VAN DEN DAELE
      Renaud VAN DEN DAELE
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks very much for your comment. Sorry to see it only now.