While supporting S/4HANA customers, I have received lots of queries on how to successfully execute a Maintenance Planner (MP) step to get a valid Stack.xml file so that the customer can proceed with the system conversion tasks. As the Maintenance Planner (MP) execution is a mandatory step for a system conversion, i will try to describe in this blog in detail the role Maintenance Planner plays in system conversion for different system conversion scenarios.
Generally, Maintenance Planner can be run multiple time to verify if the system is ready for S/4HANA conversion. SAP recommends to start this process as early as possible and preferably on a Sandbox/Test system which has been created with the latest production copy. This will deliver overall system readiness information for S/4HANA conversion and this information can be used to plan the overall productive landscape conversion project.
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 Prepare Phase of the system conversion project and is used to support the source system readiness check.
In the system conversion scenario Maintenance Planner is used to check:
If the source SAP ERP solution can be converted to S4HANA system or not.
If the SAP ERP solution cannot be converted, then the Maintenance Planner provides the details information of why the system cannot be converted.
If the SAP ERP solution can be converted, then the Maintenance Planner generates the Stack File which is needed by Software Update Manager 2.0 (SUM) tool to carry out the actual system conversion.
Pre-requisite of Source SAP ERP system:
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)
- Solution Manager 7.1 SPS12 or higher; Or Solution Manager 7.2 SPS3 or higher
- Complete Solution Manager Configuration
- Register Systems (SLD)
- Synchronize SLD and Solution Manager (LMDB)
- Synchronize LMDB with SAP Support Portal
- Up-to-date system information should be uploaded into SAP Support Portal
With the above prerequisites fulfilled 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:
Verify and Synchronize the 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 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.
Plan for the Conversion:
After you have verified and synchronized your system you can plan for system conversion. Click the Plan (as shown below), a wizard will take the user through the different steps and user needs to choose source system and the latest S4HANA software as the target solution that they want to convert the system to.
The downloaded Stack XML file needs to be copied to the software download directory, so that SUM process can read it. Further solutions, for example Frontend Server, Java Adapter, etc. systems can be planned using Maintenance Planner.
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 S4HANA or not
- Active Business Functions in current source system and if the same are supported in the S4HANA or not
- Industry Business Functions active in current source system and if the same are supported in S4HANA or not
The Maintenance Planner does the prechecks for add-ons that are not supported and provides option to uninstall or retrofit to the target system, if it is possible. If the unsupported add-on cannot be uninstalled, customer cannot continue the conversion planning process.
Incompatibility during the Checks in Maintenance Planner:
If any of the above checks reports an incompatibility between source solution (SAP ERP) and target solution (SAP S4HANA) then the Maintenance Planner stops and provides a detailed report of the incompatibility and does not create the Stack (XML), which is required for the conversion. This stops the customer from going ahead on the System conversion activities.
Un-installation of Add-ons:
When the Maintenance Planner provides the detailed report of incompatibility with Add-on details, it provides an option to uninstall or retrofit to the target system, if it is possible. If the unsupported add-on cannot be uninstalled, customer cannot continue the conversion planning process.
The customer has a choice of un-installing some unsupported add-ons in the source solution (SAP ERP) then running the Maintenance Planner again to generate a Stack file, or let the SUM to uninstall during conversion process.
The decision of un-installing add-ons is based on the usage and dependency of the add-on in the organization and is completely owned by the customer. Customer can also check to upgrade the add-ons to the latest version if available and re-run the Maintenance Planner for the source system.
S/4HANA compatible add-ons Note 2214409 details the SAP compatible add-ons, compatible partner add-ons, and uninstalling ABAP add-on information.
Deactivation of Business Functions (Always-Off)
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. Customer needs to check SAP notes for Always-Off (2240359), Always-On (2240360) and Customer Switchable Business Functions in S/4HANA.
Note: Only the Business Functions of type reversible can be switched off/deactivated.
Hope this document sheds some light into the workings of the Maintenance Planner and helps to resolve issues. You can download the document here
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comments section.