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SAP BW4/HANA Migration Analysis



  • This document is created to provide basic understanding of what is BW/4 HANA, how is it different from SAP BW.
  • This document covers a case study what changes will be required in customers’ BW Global system where ECC, web-services and flat-file data sources are involved
  • What are the important notes to be applied for beginning further technical analysis and to proceed with migration preparation phase


What is BW/4HANA


  • SAP’s New Data warehouse
    • SAP BW/4HANA is SAP’s next generation data warehouse solution
    • It is a new product and not a successor of any SAP BW
  • Continuing BW functionalities
    • The core functionality of SAP BW is preserved and the transition to SAP BW/4HANA
    • Can be compared with the transition of SAP Business Suite to SAP S/4HANA
  • Reduce Data redundancy
    • BW/4HANA provides a simple set of objects; suited for modelling an agile and flexible layered architecture of a modern data warehouse
  • Reduced Number of Objects
    • SAP BW/4HANA drastically reduces the number of data objects hence less maintenance and storage
  • Future Roadmap
    • All future innovations will take place in SAP BW/4HANA





SAP BW/4HANA only uses state of the art object types, processes, and object types designed for use on a SAP HANA database.

Converting from SAP BW, powered by SAP HANA brings the following functional changes:

  • The SAP Business Explorer tools (SAP BEx tools) are not supported any more.
    • BEx Analyzer will not be available anymore
    • Queries are now defined in SAP BW/4HANA in the BW Modeling Tools
  • Different SAP tools can be used for reporting (additional licensing to be checked)
  • Modeling in the Data Warehousing Workbench (SAPGUI) is replaced by modeling in the BW Modeling Tools in Eclipse
  • Certain object types are not supported any more
    • These are replaced by objects types that are especially primed for use on the SAP HANA database (ex. PSAs are not available anymore)

Paths to SAP BW/4 HANA


  • New implementation or fresh start
    • New implementations are the best choice for customers converting from a legacy system or building a system from scratch with new data model only
  • Landscape transformation
    • Landscape transformation is for customers who want to consolidate and optimize their complex SAP BW landscape (multiple production systems) into a single SAP BW/4HANA system or who want to carve-out selected data models or flows into a global SAP BW/4HANA system
  • System conversion (Relevant to Customer)
    • A system conversion addresses customers who want to change their current SAP BW system into a SAP BW/4HANA system. Using the Transfer Toolbox provided by SAP, the SID of the system can be kept (in-place conversion) or a new SID can be used (remote conversion or shell conversion)


SAP BW/4HANA System Conversion

•      In-Place Conversion


  • Full system conversion of an existing SAP BW installation (keep same SID)
  • Step-by-step in-place transfer of classic objects into their HANA-optimized counterparts
  • Followed by a system conversion to SAP BW/4HANA
  • Minimum start release: SAP BW 7.5 SP 5 powered by SAP HANA


•      Remote Conversion


  • Start with SAP BW/4HANA as green field installation (new SID)
  • Support of carve-out and consolidation scenarios
  • Transport data models and remote data transfer (including Unicode conversion)
  • Risk mitigation due to parallel system
  • Minimum start release: SAP BW 7.0 or higher on Any DB

•      Shell Conversion

  • Similar to Remote Conversion but without data transfer
  • Accelerate greenfield approach by transferring and converting data models and flows
  • Minimum start release: SAP BW 7.0 or higher on Any DB


In-place Conversion (Basic Sequence)

  • Discover / Prepare Phase
    • Check system for BW/4HANA compliance (gather information about objects and code that needs to be transferred or changed), estimate effort for the conversion project
  • Explore / Realization Phase
    • Transfer legacy objects into HANA-optimized counterparts, system conversion, post conversion tasks



•      SAP BW/4HANA Transfer Cockpit

  • The SAP BW/4HANA Transfer Cockpit is the single point of entry for tools required for transitioning SAP BW systems to SAP BW/4HANA
  • Collection and Display Of Statistics Of Transfer Processes
  • Tools for Preparation Phase
    • Pre-Check Tool
    • Sizing Report
    • Code Scan Tool
    • Clean-up Reports
    • Standard Authorization Transfer –Initial Run
  • Tools for Realization Phase
    • Scope Transfer Tool
    • Standard Authorization Transfer –Delta Run
    • Deletion of Technical Content
    • Switching Operation Mode
  • Transfer Cockpit (transaction RSB4HCONV) for In-place Conversion
  • System statistics showing number and size of remaining InfoCubes and classic DataStore objects.
    • Top 10 shows, which have most records.
  • Prepare Phase includes pre-check tool, sizing report, code scan tool, clean-up reports, and initial run of authorization transfer
  • Realization Phase includes scope transfer tool, delta run of authorization transfer, and change of operation mode



•      Pre-check Tool

  • Check your SAP BW system using the pre-check tool (program RS_B4HANA_CONVERSION_CONTROL)
    • Check complete system
    • Check individual transport requests
    • Display logs of previous checks



General Findings after analysis

  • Navigational Attributes are not generated when DSO/Cube are converted to Advanced DSO
    • These are permitted in Composite Providers for Reporting
    • Individual Transformations where used will require adjustments
  • x Objects are not supported any more
  • Extraction from PSA is not supported
    • PSA and Infopackages can be skipped or converted to ADSO and DTP
  • Only HANA, Flat File source and ODP systems are supported
  • Web Service Source System are not supported
  • BEx analyzer, Web Templates are not supported
  • Info Object Catalogs are not supported and to be converted to Info Area
  • Integrated Planning (BW-IP) not supported and to be converted to BPC embedded

Findings on Customer BW System

  • BEx reporting:
    • BW Queries will continue to work where BEx analyzer and Web template will not be supported
    • Adoption of Analysis Office is preferred before BW4/HANA migration
  • BW-IP
    • BW-IP has to migrate to BPC Embedded
  • Source systems
    • ECC source system connections needs to be replaced with Operational Data Provisioning (ODP) Source System
    • Alternate for Web services to be analyzed. Web Service source system not supported (2441826 – BW4SL – Web Service Source Systems)
    • No support for Hierarchy DataSources / Extractors (2480284 – BW4SL – Hierarchy DataSources). Further investigation required Need to find out alternative
    • PSA & info packages are eliminated from BW/4 objects – POC required to confirm flat file data sources are supported through DTP
  • Authorization
    • No impact on authorization as such – but all the roles and profiles have to be checked and replace the existing cube names with newly created ADSOs name if applicable


Recommendation (Customer also thinking S/4 HANA migration for ECC system)

  • SAP BW/4HANA is completely independent of S/4HANA. BW/4 HANA is not a prerequisite for S/4HANA, and vice versa.
  • All the pre-requisite activities can already start as current version of BW 7.5 sps 007 supports it for future readiness.
  • In-general SAP’s initial understanding while designing SAP S/4 HANA (2015 earlier) was that BW not required any more but this ended as not true. S/4 HANA is mainly taking out and replacing Operational Reporting from BW but need of Data Warehouse will continue to be in place
  • BW4/HANA is designed to support Big Data innovations and any future enhancement will be in BW4/HANA. Hence BW4/HANA migration should be considered
  • As S/4HANA provides operational reporting. Scope of BW would revise after S/4HANA migration hence actual BW/4 HANA conversion should be planned after S/4. Preparation can / should be started ahead and in parallel.

Technical Next Steps

  • Reduce the data volumes as much as possible on current system for shorter conversion duration (Regular Housekeeping)
    • Housekeeping to reduce overall system space by deleting system logs
    • Simplify Process chain – indexes, rollup, dbstate, Aggregates
    • Delete unused / test queries, cubes, dsos etc..
  • Following notes to be reviewed and applied for pre-check analysis
    • SAP Note 2591784 to prepare the SAP BW system for the readiness check
    • SAP Note 2296290 to collect the HANA sizing data (/SDF/HANA_BW_SIZING)
    • SAP Note 2399707 to collect the simplification item relevance information
    • SAP Note 2567324 to collect information about object compatibility
    • SAP Note 2575059 for SAP Readiness Check for SAP BW/4HANA
    • SAP Note 1909597 for latest version of BW HANA Migration Cockpit ZBW_HANA_MIGRATION_COCKPIT
    • SAP Note 2577045 for ABAP Code Scan
    • SAP Note 2383530 Conversion from SAP BW to SAP BW/4HANA
      • Important t-code RSB4HCONV & program RS_B4HANA_CONVERSION_CONTROL
    • POC should be done to understand complete impact on system





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  • thanks for this blog ! - it is really a good help to the many sap-notes (e.g. technical next steps)

    (are sap developers really paid for every new created sap note ? 😉 - or why are there so many to one topic ? )

    but this chaos of sap-notes, hints, todos and so on is a clear sign that it (HANA and BW4HANA) is still a big construction site at sap and a big ambiguity for the customers

    • For in place conversion - Minimum start release is SAP BW 7.5 SP 5 powered by SAP HANA. So all above mentioned notes are possible to not have relevant for 7.31 🙂

  • hi this is all about process and pre checks. Great post. Can you share the exact steps to be followed if we want to convert a multiprovider to a composite provider and impact on underlying navigational attributes?