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Author's profile photo Sumit Patel

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Foundational Knowledge

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Foundational Knowledge

Hi Friends,

In this blog I would like share the foundation knowledge on SAP S/4 Hana,you can also consider it as a crash course.

What is SAP S/4 HANA?

  • SAP S/4 HANA = SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA
  • Business suite of applications to run your day-to-day operations
  • Offered in on-premise, Cloud, or hybrid deployments
  • S/4 HANA is compatible exclusively with the SAP HANA database
  • Native integrations with SAP’s portfolio of Cloud applications (i.e. easy to install, seamless data transmission between apps)
    • SAP Success Factors (Human Capital Management)
    • SAP Ariba (Procurement)
    • SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (Marketing, customer management & engagement)
    • SAP Fieldglass (Contingent workforce)
    • SAP Concur (Travel and expense)
    • SAP HANA Cloud Platform (Assets & Internet of Things)

Link For Reference – SAP S/4 Hana Digital Core

What is SAP HANA?

  • SAP HANA is short for “High Performance Analytic Appliance”
  • In-memory, column-oriented database that powers SAP S/4HANA business suite
    • In-memory: database management system (DBMS) that relies on main memory for computer data storage, as opposed to disk storage). A main memory DBMS is faster than disk because accessing data in-memory, rather than retrieving from a disk, requires fewer CPU instructions to be executed, and eliminates seek time when querying data.
    • Column-oriented: DBMS that stores data in columns, as opposed to rows. Example: You search for all employees in location XYZ. User data is stored in spreadsheet-format (e.g. Name, Manager, Location listed as columns A, B, C). A row-oriented DBMS retrieves information in each “row”, meaning an entire record of information (i.e. all columns) would be retrieved for every single employee. To allow filtering by “column”, indexes must be built to segregate data into groups. A column-oriented DBMS retrieves information in each “column”, meaning it efficiently filters all employees by the “location” column and quickly retrieves only employees in that location.
  • Performs advanced analytics including predictive, spatial data processing, text analytics, text search, streaming analytics, and graph data processing.
  •  Research from SAP identified SAP HANA Platform can potentially save an organization 37% across hardware, software, and labor costs.

Links For Reference – SAP Hana in-Memory

SAP HANA Transforming Business Systems

Why Cloud?

  • Data is stored in virtual datacenters (DCs) to enable quick implementation, real-time analytics, allow system to be accessed from any location, and maintain optimum system functionality through quarterly enhancement releases.
  • Quarterly Releases:
    • SAP pushes universal system enhancements to all SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers 4x per year (February, May, August, November)
    • Public webinars and content is provided for consultants and customers to learn about new features prior to release

Link For Reference – SAP Cloud Strategy

What is SAP Fiori?

  • The user experience (UX), or “look & feel” of the system when you log-in and navigate S/4HANA applications
  • The home page is referred to as the “Fiori Launchpad”, or just “Launchpad”
  • Applications display as square “tiles” and are referred to as “tiles” or “apps”
  • The applications available to individual users is determined by the “roles” assigned to each user, and the apps supported for the different editions of SAP S/4HANA Cloud (i.e. Enterprise, Professional Services, Marketing, Finance, Manufacturing)

Link For Reference – User Experience for S/4 HANA Cloud with SAP Fiori

How can We Transition to SAP S/4 HANA Cloud?

1. New Installation

  • Subscribe to SAP S/4 HANA Cloud solution of your choice, then move data from legacy applications with built-in migration tools. S/4 HANA Cloud solutions include:
    • SAP S/4 HANA Enterprise Management Cloud (end-to-end ERP)
    • SAP S/4 HANA Marketing Cloud (LoB-specific)
    • SAP S/4 HANA Finance Cloud (LoB-specific)
    • SAP S/4 HANA Professional Services Cloud (LoB-specific)
    • SAP S/4 HANA Manufacturing Cloud (LoB-specific)

2. System Conversion

  • ERP 6 with non-HANA database: move database and install new code with SAP Software Update Manager
  • ERP 6 with SAP HANA database: install new code to convert system

3. Landscape Transformation

  • System consolidation – e.g. install SAP S/4 HANA Finance Cloud to consolidate financial transactions across the enterprise and have a single source of truth.
Link For Reference – SAP S/4 HANA Journey Overview

What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?

  • Chips and sensors embedded in the physical objects (devices) around us transmit data
  • Devices securely communicate with an IoT platform (e.g. SAP HANA Cloud Platform)
  • IoT platform integrates data from many devices and applies analytics to share the most valuable data with applications that address industry-specific needs

Link For Reference – What is the Internet of Things (IoT)


What is SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP)?

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Build, extend, and run applications on SAP HANA in the cloud, or extend an  on-premise software deployment to the cloud
  • HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) is an integration service that runs on HCP
  • Target audiences:
    • Customers intending to build custom applications to use with their existing business suite applications
    • Customers intending to extend existing applications to meet growing business needs
    • Independent software vendors, startups, and developers intending to create and test cloud applications with the goal of getting the app certified and selling in the SAP App Center
    • Customer App Example: Matrix Booking by Keytree Ltd

Old way: To customize an application, go into the Netweaver layer and write ABAP code

S/4 HANA way: No Netweaver. Build, extend, and run applications via HCP

Link For Reference – SAP HANA Cloud Platform – SAP’s In-Memory Cloud Platform for Rapid Development in the Cloud


What is SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC)?

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
  • Managed, private cloud hosting service
  • SAP provides the infrastructure and services needed to host a Business Suite deployment on a single instance of HANA DB platform (e.g. HANA + out-of-the-box applications + SAP NetWeaver Business Information Warehouse)
  • Provides organizations with an easier, more comprehensive way to deploy HANA compared to on-premise HANA deployment
  • Target audience: Large corporate ERP deployments

Link For Reference – SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is the bridge to SAP’s newest innovations

What’s the difference between SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS?

Three ways to cloud compute, all allow users to run applications and store data online, but each offers a different level of user flexibility and control.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

  • Users run existing online applications
  • Out-of-the-box applications are accessed via internet
  • Paid via subscription
  • Accessible from any computer connected to internet
  • Facilitates collaborative working
  • Example: SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, etc.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

  • Users can create their own cloud applications using supplier-specific tools and languages
  • Rapid development at low cost
  • Develop custom applications to use privately or make publicly available
  • Example: HANA Cloud Platform, Windows Azure, Amazon Web Services, etc.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

  • Allows users to run any applications they want on cloud hardware of their choice
  • Allows existing applications to run on a cloud supplier’s hardware
  • Existing apps can be migrated from company datacenter to 3rd-party hosted DC to reduce IT costs
  • Example: SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC)

Link For Reference – Three Ways to Cloud Compute


Where can I find resources and support?

*Video refers only to documentation in SAP Help Portal

Link For Reference – SAP S/4 HANA: User Assistance Quick Overview

You can also find Best practices for all the cloud editions here


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      Author's profile photo Sai Nagu Putti
      Sai Nagu Putti

      Thanks for sharing the blog. Its really useful for my work.