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Author's profile photo Joerg Wolf

SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance: Create your SAP S/4HANA system in a fraction of the usual setup time

Last updated: December 16th, 2022

Summary

  • The SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance allows customers, partners, and SAP employees to get a first-hand experience of the difference that S/4HANA can bring to an organization.
  • It is a pre-packaged system template that contains an SAP S/4HANA system with pre-configured SAP Best Practices and demo scenarios.
  • It can be rapidly brought up as your personal instance with administrative rights either hosted in the cloud (takes ~ 1-2 hours) or on your own on-premise hardware (takes ~ 2-3 days).
  • Typical use cases are sandboxing, proof-of-concept, scoping, or fit-gap analysis.
  • For the cloud deployment you need a valid account at a supported hosting provider, currently those are AWS, Azure and GCP. The hosting costs will be charged to your account (typically 3-4 USD per system uptime hour)
  • Once you have such an account, the easiest way to start is the SAP S/4HANA trial (SAP licenses are waived for 30 days; only the cloud provider hosting fees apply). An extensive demo guide walks you through sample scenarios with pre-defined users and data sets.

Latest update (December 16th, 2022):
The SAP S/4HANA 2022 (SP00) Fully-Activated Appliance is available:
Direct link to appliance template in SAP CAL / Demo Guides

General concepts

What is an appliance ?

An appliance is a compressed system image that can be rapidly extracted into a regular system instance by preserving everything that has been configured in the appliance during the development phase of it.
This makes it an ideal medium for pre-configured systems e.g. for sandboxing, proof-of-concept or scoping/fit-gap purposes.

In the SAP S/4HANA fully-activated appliances, you will find the SAP S/4HANA software (along with some other components, see further below), the fully-activated SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA (incl. technical configuration e.g. for the Fiori launchpad), and prepared demo scenarios with sample master and transactional data.

The delivery infrastructure for appliances is the SAP Cloud Appliance Library (SAP CAL, https://cal.sap.com), and if you browse this site you will see many more appliances besides the SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated appliances.

[Fig 1]: The concept of the SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance

How to use an appliance

An appliance can be consumed in two ways:

  1. Within 1-2 hours in a hosted environment, using a cloud provider infrastructure such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  2. Within typically ~ 2-3 days on your own on-premise hardware that has a supported Linux release installed (everything else will come with the appliance).
Details for option 1 (hosted):As prerequisite, you need to obtain an account at one of the supported cloud providers, and can afterwards bring up your system using the SAP Cloud Appliance Library (SAP CAL, https://cal.sap.com).The registration in SAP CAL and one of the supported hosting providers takes ~15 minutes. The start-up of your personal trial instance (no shared system !) will take ~1-2 hours.An easy entrance into SAP CAL is the SAP S/4HANA 30-day trial with the following characteristics:

  • Built-in 30-day test license for SAP S/4HANA and SAP CAL (i.e. no fees to be paid to SAP)
  • Hosting provider fees are charged to your hosting provider account (~ 3-4 $ USD per uptime hour, depending on provider and data center region).
  • Support via asking a question in the SAP CAL community
  • Possibility to extend the 30-day trial phase by acquiring an SAP CAL subscription license (requires a valid SAP S/4HANA license as well), see here for more details

If you are new to the SAP Cloud Appliance Library, there’s a detailed ‘Quick Start Guide’ on the SAP S/4HANA trial page to get started. This video playlist for SAP CAL will also help to get into the topic.

Details for option 2 (on-premise installation):If you prefer to install the appliance on your own hardware, you can also receive it via download or Blu-Ray disks.

The shipment is free of charge, however, corresponding SAP licenses need to be in place (trial licenses are sufficient for delivery). The installation of an appliance differs from a “regular” SAP installation, we therefore recommend to have this done by SAP Consulting or an experienced SAP partner, however, customers can also do it on their own and will receive support from SAP.

Ordering by a partner on behalf of a customer and deploying it on the customer hardware afterwards is not allowed.

The following SAP note contains more information on the ordering process (it is valid for customers and partners):
Ordering process for on-premise installation of SAP software appliances (2041140)

[Fig 2]: SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance – Consumption Methods

SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance

What is the content & scope ?

The scope of the appliance centers around the SAP Best Practices content for SAP S/4HANA and is enhanced by further scenarios, also depending on the exact release version of the appliance.

The below walk-through scenarios (taken from the 2021 SP00 release) have been described in detail (see here) but of course you’re free to explore and adapt the system as needed since you have full administrative rights and even access to the Linux operating system.

  • Overview Pages
  • Sell from stock / outbound delivery processing
  • Accounting & Financial Close
  • Lease-in accounting
  • Investments
  • Universal Allocation
  • Treasury and bank account management
  • Overdue receivables
  • Group Reporting
  • Plan-to-produce & Demand-driven replenishment
  • Predictive Material & Resource Planning
  • Advanced Variant Configuration
  • Warehouse Inbound From Supplier
  • Plant Maintenance / Quality Mgmt.
  • Advanced ATP
  • Advanced Intercompany Sales
  • Service
  • Portolio & Project Management
  • SAP Master Data Governance
  • Human Capital Management
  • Application Interface Framework
  • Analytics (Smart Business, BI, SAC)
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Data Migration
  • SAP Fiori Rapid Activation
  • Fiori Situation Handling
  • Extensibility
  • Custom Print Forms
  • SAP Screen Personas

[Fig. 3] Pre-configured walkthrough scenarios in the appliance (2022 SP00)

What is technically contained in the appliance ?

The appliance consists of four virtual machines that are automatically bundled into one solution instance:

  1. SAP S/4HANA (the core ABAP backend incl. the SAP HANA database)
  2. SAP NW JAVA with Adobe Document Services (for forms and output management)
  3. An SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform
  4. MS Windows remote desktop for easy access to the solution

The BI platform and the remote desktop are optional components in SAP CAL (you can opt in/out of the deployment in the advanced mode of the SAP CAL instance creation) and are also not shipped to customers for the on-premise installation.

[Fig. 4] Technical components of the SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance

More information & known issues

These blogs (2022 / 2021 / 2020) summarize the known issues and provide fixing hints where available. They will be continuously updated.

One important note at the end:
Once you have created an appliance instance (be it hosted or on-premise), it behaves like a regular on-premise system. And this means that SAP cannot access or patch your appliance instance, thus any system tasks (be it basis or functional) need to be done by you.

Best and have fun with the SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance,

Joerg

Appendix: Link collection

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      126 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Amaury VAN ESPEN
      Amaury VAN ESPEN

      Hello,

      is there a simple way to deploy Appliance on top of OpenStack or via Docker ?

      https://www.slideshare.net/snoopy1710/strategic-choices-in-sap-s4-hana-deployment (for example, slide 18 of this slide deck, based on SUSE architecture).

      I'm still struggling with setting up a local sandbox based on SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance for a limited time.

      Any help/support | feedbacks would be great =)

      Thank you

      Amaury

      Author's profile photo Joerg Wolf
      Joerg Wolf
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Amaury,

      this is not possible (at least not "out of the box").

      The options are CAL (using a VM on a hyperscaler) or the deployment on your own infrastructure.

      If you have problems with deploying an instance on CAL, please ask a question in the CAL forum and share some more information there.

      Best, Joerg

      Author's profile photo Pascal Martin
      Pascal Martin

      Hi Joerg,

      I plan to order a fully activated appliance in order to test the following scope items, all related to recipe management :

      1QA, 1QC, 1QG and 22R

      My question : are these scope items included in the fully activated appliance ?

      Otherwise what shall I order to get them in the appliance ?

      Many thanks for support

      PAscal

      Author's profile photo Joerg Wolf
      Joerg Wolf
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Pascal,

      see https://answers.sap.com/questions/13787798/recipe-management-in-a-cal-system.html

      Best,

      Joerg