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Author's profile photo Anil Kumar Suryavansi

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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      Author's profile photo Christoph Ostrop
      Christoph Ostrop

      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

      Author's profile photo Christoph Ostrop
      Christoph Ostrop

      SAP Note 2577045 + 2585743 could not be installed because of missing package RS_B4HANA  (in BW-7.31)

      Author's profile photo Anil Kumar Suryavansi
      Anil Kumar Suryavansi
      Blog Post Author

      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 🙂

      Author's profile photo Ravi Kiran
      Ravi Kiran

      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?