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Author's profile photo Petra Kloess

The 5 Golden Rules for Implementing SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition

ERP Cloud solutions like SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition have the advantage of standard processes with multiple updates per year. The customers can innovate continuously in incremental steps, Innovation-as-a-Service.

Many customers choose the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, single tenant edition first with the SAP S/4HANA Cloud on their future implementation roadmap. So the question is, how does that change the implementation of the Extended Edition, when eventually the customer is implementing SAP S/4HANA Cloud in the near future?  We first need to have a look at the SAP S/4HANA Cloud implementation first.

Key characteristics that influence the single tenant edition scenario are:

  • Business Processes are SAP Best Practices published in the Best Practice Explorer
  • Three-tier landscape with a Starter tenant (for scoping), Quality and Productive tenant
  • Highly standardized integration with communication scenarios and arrangements using white listed APIs published in the SAP API Hub.
  • In-app and Side-by-side extensions to extend business processes, no modifications.
  • Automatic testing for regression testing to enable quarterly upgrade.

The implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition should get close to these characteristics and that leads to 5 Golden Rules:


Rule 1. Foster cloud principals

Innovate continuously, use the standard wherever you can. Before extending a business process, ask if you can use the standard as such. Use the software implementation to get more efficient and effective. Use the Fit-to-standard for scoping by evaluating standard processes (SAP Best Practices) first.

Learn continuously. Build a learning organization that is able to adjust quickly.


Rule 2. Usage of SAP Best Practices – how-to Fit-to-Standard

Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition are published in the Best Practice Explorer.

Use the DEV  system to prepare a client that is working like the starter system in SAP S/4HANA Cloud:

  • Use the Business Driven Configuration questionnaire to prepare for the Fit-to-standard
  • Avoid client 000,
  • Use system settings only to prepare new processes (Scope Items),
  • Document all created processes with business process model and test script,
  • One Controlling area only,
  • Document all delta requirements and determine feasibility and efforts on realizing them
  • *new* Use SAP S/4HANA Best Practices and SAP Model Company Version 1809 or higher, Compliant  to cloud content architecture guidelines; no copy of client 000 configuration

The SAP Activate Methodology for SAP S/4HANA Cloud can be found here.

*update July 31* the SAP Activate methodology for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition can be found here.


The following figure describes the Discover to Explore scoping process from value determination to the  q-gate. The Fit-to-standard is focusing on the business processes. The standard is evaluated and requirements are documented. These  are handed over to experts to determine the details. This means also, determine the options on how to fulfill the requirements. Especially in extensions, there might me more than one option to realize.

Rule 3 and 4 are about how to define Integrations and extensions.






Rule 3. Cloud Like Integrations – white listed APs preferred

The two cloud solutions share the code line, but nevertheless there are technical differences. The ‘Integration’ topic is one of them. During the implementation the integrated business processes go through an innovation cycle like the single system processes.  When determining the technical details for realizations, white-listed APIs that are available in both ERP cloud solutions are preferred. If those are not available for your scenario  evaluate the API roadmap and the availability of alternatives (non-white listed interfaces). Document all found interfaces to make visible how many integrations are “cloud-like”, and how many not.


Rule 4. Cloud Like Extensions

The first choice is always to use the system settings to create new processes (aka scope items), avoid extension wherever you can. But this is not always possible so, if this leaves requirements open you have several options in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extension Edition. Since the IMG and SE80 are open, you have a wide range of options to extend. Keep in mind that most of those options are not available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Those which are, are preferred.  For SAP S/4HANA Cloud Extended Edition key-user extensions y and Side-by-side extensions also using white-listed APIs are preferred.

Last, but not least.

Rule 5. Make your choices transparent 

It might not be possible to always stay within the golden rules, you might need to use non-white listed API’s, you might want to extend with your own tables. It is the customers decision on how he wants to implement. With every quality gate we recommend including an analysis with regards to these rules. For Example: how many integrations are using white listed APIs and how many are not.

Also, design documents including process models and test scripts can be reused in the future to understand the choices made at the time. SAP delivers new Best Practices and API’s multiple times per year and for future evaluations on how close the customer is to SAP Best Practice, the documentation on the current single tenant edition implementation is vital for the future move to the multi-tenant public cloud environment.


5 Rules easy to remember

Be cloud, choose standard where you can, cloud like integrations and extensions and be transparent!

*update July 31* the SAP Activate methodology for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition can be found here.


Stay tuned, more blogs are to come on that topic of how to implement SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition.



Helpful links:

SAP Roadmap Viewer -> SAP Activate Methodologies

SAP Jam for Methodology , not a member?  Request access

SAP Best Practice Explorer

SAP API Business Hub

SAP Extensibility Explorer


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      Author's profile photo Chris Mahoney
      Chris Mahoney

      Looking good -

      Author's profile photo Bob Byrne
      Bob Byrne

      Nice work Petra. Looking forward to hearing more on the Five Golden Rules.

      Author's profile photo Rogan Morrison
      Rogan Morrison

      Hi Petra,

      Thank you for sharing the high level detail and content, I would like to ask a few questions on the  concepts as there seems to be some content missing.

      1. You mention a number of Key Characteristics that influence the single tenant edition scenario - I don't see any of the Characteristics being customer focused or related to the planned overall architecture/ roadmap that they might be following. These are all SAP characters. So my questions is what would a customer take a single tenant edition scenario and not a multi tenant scenario? This should not be determined by business process but or best practice but by Enterprise Architecture- do you agree?
      2. The best practice in SAP is very shallow in its overall integration of a companies entire value chain. The best practices are very modular to the SAP Modules of FI, SD, MM etc they do not easily indicate how a level 4 process chain integrates from an initial quote through to the Sale, the storage in the Warehouse the quality check, the delivery and the invoice and the final payment. At each step information is transferred within SAP and sometimes to external systems, this means the overall show and tell is much more detailed. this approach is seldom considered in an implementation. Maybe SAP could build on this in the methodology.
      3. What about reporting, there is no mention of how reporting fits into the show and tell. What goes into a SAP system as data must come out in a meaningful way as information.

      I get a sense that we have reduced the complexity of SAP Implementations so that this looks simple, yet the reality is far from this. Transformation of a business involves so much more details that if not followed can lead to ongoing requirements gathering that continue unabated until just before go live.

      I trust the few elements mentioned above will generate a more architected thought towards implementing SAP.

      Author's profile photo Petra Kloess
      Petra Kloess
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Rogan,

      Being customer focussed is a given in any implementation, this is why I do see any difference in S/4HANA implementations. This includes considering if the customer has aleady a cloud strategy. On the customer scenario: the multi tenant S/4HANA cloud has the highest level of standardization that includes also the implementation. That is reflected in the usage of Scope items as default, the implementation via implementation portal, usage of CIAS and also is reflected in the licensing. (for details on licensingplease contact your Sales representative). SAP S/4HANA Cloud, single tenant edition supports a wider range of industry processes, localizations and languages. SAP has a Brand guardian process in place to analyse the customers processes and match them to SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Only with this analysis you can say for sure which product is the recommended one from a functional aspect.

      Best Practices are for cloud customer the ideal starting point and yes, as you pointed out, they might not cover 100% of the implemenation scope. Customer can extend business process for example  via integration. We recommend to start the scoping with the SAP Best Practices (see also update on Model company) and also the key processes (system config only) and integrations. (link)

      A preconfigured standard client/tenant, available for demo during the workshops enables you to have a deep dive into the processes. In SAP S/4 HANA cloud we provide for this purpose the starter tenant. In the single tenant edition the dev systemneeds to be prepared for this (link). We recommend to use the business process flows to collect delta requirements. E.g. to collect the required integrations. A template is included in the methodology.(link) We will add more blogs and examples in the future.

      We will update the roadmap regulary to expand on existing topics and incorporate more.We are working on a more detailed methodology for Reporting and Analytics already. So bear with us, it will come soon.

      I will open a blog similar to Dan Ciecko's blog for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. I will add it here in this blog with the next release so that you can easily identify the new topics.


      Thank you





      Author's profile photo Keith Johnson
      Keith Johnson

      Hi Rogan and Petra,

      I agree, Rogan, that the “show and tell” needs to be much more detailed. When I was at Optimal Solutions we specialized in best practice implementations, especially in metals and mining. We did not use the term Blueprint or Discovery. We called that phase “best practice adoption.” Petra, your 5 Golden Rules are very good focus points for a best practice implementation. I believe the most elusive rules are 2: Use Best Practice and 5: Transparency on Deviations. In my experience, the keys to increasing adoption of best practice are as follows:

      1) In the Prepare phase obtain executive buy-in to the best practice adoption approach. This is usually straight forward as they typically want and “out of the box” implementation. Where this goes awry is that the subject matter experts (SMEs) on the project have a different perspective; called their legacy system. SMEs are engaged in the Fit to Standard workshops.

      2) Put a design decision governance process in place. This is part of what is discussed during the executive best practice approach review and is reiterated with the SMEs. Alert executives that design decision will surface, and they need to be ready to push back on the SMEs. Educate them on the push back process. Here the general rule of thumb is to not accept a deviation from the best practice unless it is a differentiator for the customer in their marketplace. They also need to understand the varying degrees of changes and the general impact of each level. Each of the items below increase in complexity and effort/cost to implement and maintain.

      3) Establish the following project policies:
      a. all deviations from best practice will be documented and tracked through the decision-making process. This is essential for “transparency on deviations.”
      b. Deviations will require business justification.

      These policies and processes are not meant to bog down the implementation team. In fact, it is the opposite. With these in place the team will be better able to focus on the “real” deviations and facilitate a speedy decision process.

      4) During the Fit to Standard workshops ensure deviations are recorded in a log and that “deep dive” sessions are scheduled immediately. It is helpful for the project managers to have frequent (daily?) debrief sessions with the team to ensure best practice processes are being adopted (denoting the processes which will work out-of-the-box) and deviations are being document. The preparation for deep dive sessions should be discussed and scheduled within a reasonable timeframe to keep the pace of the project moving.

      To have an “out of the box” implementation the team must stay “in the box.” I’ve found the education, policy and processes outlined above increase the probability of a successful best practice implementation.

      Please comment and add your insights.

      Thank you, Keith Johnson

      P.S. Ugh, the graphic uploads in a large scale - sorry.

      Author's profile photo Waldemar Falinski
      Waldemar Falinski

      Dear Keith Johnson very good one. But let me ask one question - you wrote "In the Prepare phase obtain executive buy-in to the best practice adoption approach" and then about SME's.


      But due to my experience and especially looking at recent loud failures I see we need to maintain "buy-in" among the entire process and not only at the beginning.


      SAP Activate gives interesting accelerators but is rather poor at checking it - just a couple of general and optional questions at Quality Gates. So I use external tool-set - what is your way doing it?


      Look forward to hearing from you soon!





      Author's profile photo Junaid ALAM
      Junaid ALAM

      Hi Petra: Very nice blog. Can you please help me with the below queries,

      1- which best practice we will follow for single tenant. There is no best practice for Single tenant. We have S/4 HANA on Prem or S//4HANA Cloud on the explorer.

      2- I assume we will have an access to the IMG and then we can configure similar to on Prem or Private cloud.

      3- If my assumption in number 2 is correct then what is the difference between Private cloud and single tenant? May be a stupid question.




      Author's profile photo Amol Palsodkar
      Amol Palsodkar


      here is my take on your questions based on whatever I understood of single tenant offering so far (may change as detailed and more concrete information is available ? )

      • for Q1 : it would be on-premise BP package adopted to customers business process scope requirement (ultimately it is on-premise application version in back end, isn’t it ?)
      • with above analogy, configuration possibilities should be similar to on-premise app. But it is still difficult to understand if single tenant edition is ‘projected’ as a step before adoption of S/4HANA cloud public edition, how can this be really controlled ? With this approach, at the end of it, if customer wants to move to S/4HANA cloud-public, technically it may turn out to be new implementation
      • For Q3 – it will primarily be licensing difference between private cloud v/s single tenant. While private cloud is BYOL for S/4 application whereas, single tenant is SaaS like offering with on-premise application which is ‘assembled’ as per customer’s requirements e.g. availability of industry solutions offering with single tenant. Also recommended approach to custom developments  based on Extensibility framework , no source code changes allowed as well as mandatory application upgrade in case of single tenant edition are few other differences compared to private cloud deployment option.

      look forward to hear any corrections or confirmation to this understanding

      Author's profile photo Jan Kretschmer
      Jan Kretschmer

      Petra: Great to see you keep this post updated (e.g. 2019/Model Company change) since I share your guidance a lot with customers! Thanks 🙂

      Author's profile photo Rodolfo Pérez Kuzma
      Rodolfo Pérez Kuzma

      Hello Petra Kloess , really nice article. Maybe you've received this question before but 'til now I can not find the answer.

      How can I verify the white listed API for S/4 STE specifically, my understanding is that  those on, are the one for S/4 MTE.

      So how can I validate and make some test of these white listed API in my S/4 STE instance.

      I am pretty sure you guys have a guide on this.
      Author's profile photo Adil Zafar
      Adil Zafar

      Hi Petra Kloess great blog.

      I wanted some clarification on whether Client 000 is actually part of the install for S/4HANA Cloud Single Tenant Edition.

      You mention in your blog - 'Avoid Client 000' and then in another point you mention 'no copy of Client 000 configuration.

      Is Client 000 delivered as part of S/4HANA Cloud Single Tenant Edition?

      Many thanks


      Author's profile photo Ganesh Hegde
      Ganesh Hegde

      Hi Petra, nice blog. I have a question. S/4HANA STE is used for innovation. What I understand is S/4HANA MTE innovation cycle is much faster than STE. If a customer wants to use STE for building innovation, how these innovations can be deployed into MTE system which is already ahead of STE system?

      Author's profile photo virendar kaushal
      virendar kaushal

      Hi Petra, Great Blog


      Please help me to understand the following;


      1. In case of SAP S/4HANA Cloud STE, I understand IMG and SE80 are open. So does that mean we get SAP GUI access for the STE instance and can execute all the transactions as we can in case of On-Premise instance. Specifically interested to confirm if Classic developments options are available in STE

      2.   Where is the best practices references for STE. In the Best Practice Explorer we can only see best practices for On-Premise and Cloud (MTE). Is the best practice reference for on-premise applicable to STE as well ?


      Many thanks


      Virendar Kaushal

      Author's profile photo Arwel Owen
      Arwel Owen

      Hi Petra,

      Thank you for your comprehensive blog.

      I'm searching for an answer on whether SAP automatically updates S/4 Cloud Extended Edition, and if so, how often? Also, what involvement does the customer have in the update process?



      Author's profile photo Bhavya Garg
      Bhavya Garg

      Hi Rogan/Petra,

      Can you please help me with the mandatory/minimum components that need to be purchased/are required for S/4HANA Cloud Extened Edition installations of DEV And QA?