SAP S/4HANA Best Practices Tour: Content Often Missed
Last updated: March 22 2023 (Tip 19 added)
When I work with customers and consultants, they sometimes do not know where to find all the SAP Best Practice content for S/4HANA. Some content is not understood and some is not found or just missed. This is particularly true for on-premise projects that could use some of the S/4HANA Cloud content to accelerate the project. Read on to make sure you are not missing anything. I provide 19 tips as I go along. All the SAP Best Practice content is accessed online free of charge.
If you are completely new to SAP, start with my colleagues Andrew Saunders’ blog for beginners: What is an SAP Best Practice anyway? For more detail including how SAP Best Practices are different to a Model Company, read my blog: What is the difference between SAP Best Practices and an SAP Model Company? This blog focuses on SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA and does not cover Best Practices for other SAP products.
Many SAP Best Practice scope items are the same for S/4HANA Cloud and On-Premise. However, there is some Cloud content that is not published for On-Premise. Conversely, there are some SAP Best Practices that are only relevant for Cloud and some that are only-relevant for On-Premise.
If you are looking at S/4HANA on-premise or S/4HANA private cloud, you should consider SAP’s Enterprise Management Layer (EML) service to set up get a system quickly with 40+ countries and extra scope not available in SAP Best Practices. It works out at a lower cost than activating the Best Practice content yourself.
S/4HANA Solution Packages in SAP Best Practice Explorer
As ever, your first destination is the SAP Best Practice Explorer (BPX) at https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#/browse/categories/sap_s%254hana. Tip 1: Make sure you login to see all the accelerators. BPX is organized into solution packages and I describe the main ones here.
Most SAP Best Practice scope items are in the two main packages below:
- SAP Best Practices for S/4HANA Cloud (for public cloud)
- SAP Best Practices for S/4HANA (on-premise, Cloud Private Edition)
Tip 2: the Cloud package contains more scope items than the on-premise package. Many of the scope items are common to both but many are different. It is best to use the appropriate scope items for your deployment option. Some of the Cloud documentation may be valuable for on-premise projects for example Business Driven Configuration Questionnaires (see tip 10).
Other Packages relevant for S/4HANA
These additional two packages are relevant for Cloud and On-Premise. They may be of interest.
- SAP Best Practices for analytics with SAP S/4HANA: covers embedded analytics and content for SAP Analytics Cloud.
- SAP Best Practices for SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation integration: covers software, tools and content to automate processes.
Tip 3: go to the accelerators section in BPX and check out the scope presentations for a good summary of each Best Practice. Click here for a presentation that provides a super overview of SAP Analytics Cloud content for SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
The package Rapid Data Migration to SAP S/4HANA is only relevant for on-premise and uses the software called SAP Data Services that is not used in Cloud projects. The package provides predefined SAP Data Services content for many SAP data objects.
3 Categories of Best Practice for S/4HANA Cloud
In the SAP Best Practices for S/4HANA Cloud solution package, there are 3 categories of SAP Best Practice:
- Line of Business: End to End business processes enabled by configuration organized into building blocks. These are the most widely understood scope items.
- S/4HANA Cloud Integration: integration with other SAP Cloud solutions (e.g. Ariba), SAP on-premise solutions (e.g. Global Trade Services) and third-party solutions (e.g. OpenText).
- S/4HANA Cloud for Hybrid Deployment (2-Tier ERP): Line of Business and integration scope items for end-to-end hybrid scenarios where SAP Cloud S/4HANA integrates with SAP On-Premise. For example: a scope item for Subsidiary Integration of SAP S/4HANA Cloud to Central Finance (1W4).
Tip 4: types 2 and 3 are easily missed because they are not shown in the Best Practice Explorer (BPX) by default. (This used to be the case in the past). You must use the selector as shown in the screenshot below.
Like Line of Business scope items, Integration Best Practice scope items contain a factsheet, process flow and a test script. Line of Business scope items are enabled by configuration contained in building blocks. Instead, integration scope items provide “set-up instructions” telling the customer how to implement the integration. Tip 5: the integration set-up instructions are also useful for on-premise projects.
Many integration scope items also contain a Cloud Integration Automation Service (CIAS). This is only available in S/4HANA Cloud. It is a workflow that semi-automates the integration set up by leading the customer through the set-up step by step. Tip 6: To see a list of integration scenarios first click on the accelerator: SAP Best Practices content library. Then select SAP S/4HANA Cloud Integration as shown below.
2-Tier ERP scenarios are where SAP Cloud S/4HANA integrates with SAP On-Premise to provide end-to-end processes. On-premise is used for headquarters or shared service processes whilst cloud is used for subsidiaries, affiliates or partners in an eco-system. 2-Tier ERP scenarios consist of regular Line of Business Scope Items and Integration Scope Items. Tip 7: this presentation provides an overview.
Tip 8: In the accelerators section of BPX there are some useful links that can be overlooked.
These are particularly good:
- SAP Best Practices content library: a fast way of seeing a catalog of scope items with all the most useful links in one place.
- Create your own Master Data: all your master data in one place with master data scripts that step you through the process of creating master data.
- Task tutorials: step through recordings of the execution of Line of Business scope items. There are some available for SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 and S/4HANA 2021 on-premise that are not in BPX: https://education.hana.ondemand.com/education/pub/s4/index.html
- Process Steps, Business Roles and Apps: comprehensive Excel showing roles required to access apps.
SAP used to publish configuration guide PDFs for all the pre-delivered configuration in SAP Best Practice building blocks. These are no longer in BPX. As of release 1909, configuration guides were deprecated in the SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA package. Tip 9: on-premise customers can generate information about pre-configuration in the system using transaction code /SMB/CONFIG_GUIDE_UI. See the Administration Guide here for instructions. Simply select the scope item ID, or building block ID. The report provides the IMG activity ID and IMG menu path for the configuration. If you are using EML, be sure to download the “documentation library” zip file to understand how to view the configuration (you may need to look in client 050). https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#/browse/packageversions/BP_OP_EML
Business Driven Configuration Questionnaires
Tip 10: The SAP Activate roadmap for SAP S/4HANA Cloud provides useful questionnaires to plan and drive workshops and configuration. A lot of this content can also be used by on-premise projects. The questionnaires are published as Excel spreadsheets at this link in the roadmap. Part of the Finance example is shown below.
Activating SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA On-Premise
SAP sets up the SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers. Many organizations implementing SAP S/4HANA on-premise also get SAP to activate the SAP Best Practices through purchasing a consulting service e.g. SAP Enterprise Management Layer (EML). Or they use an “appliance” to get an activated sandbox quickly. This uses the Cloud Appliance Library (CAL). https://blogs.sap.com/2018/12/12/sap-s4hana-fully-activated-appliance-create-your-sap-s4hana-1809-system-in-a-fraction-of-the-usual-setup-time/
EML provides additional countries and additional scope (e.g. Intercompany processes) that are not available in SAP Best Practices. Buying the services is lower cost that activating the SAP Best Practices yourself.
It is also possible to activate the content yourself using a tool called SAP Solution Builder. You can select what scope items you want and do not want. Activation creates many predefined configuration settings in your system. You can decide whether or not to create sample master data during activation. Tip 11. Many people think SAP Solution Manager is required to activate SAP Best Practices. It is not. Although it can be used alongside SAP Solution Builder, SAP Solution Manager is not mandatory.
SAP Solution Builder is software that runs in the S/4HANA instance. It allows you to import SAP Best Practice Content and selectively activate it into your on-premise development system or sandbox system. Use transaction code/n/SMB/BBI. In a development system, the transport system must be turned on to allow all the configuration to be captured in transports. Tip 12. Refer to the Best Practices administration guide for all the latest detailed instructions: https://help.sap.com/docs/SAP_S4HANA_ON-PREMISE/4cef93946a0b48ec89533b3c34443b85/17d958a88d244ee293aed687f9bfe37f.html
Tip 13: Also refer to the SAP Activate Roadmap page which provides additional detail here: https://go.support.sap.com/roadmapviewer/#/group//roadmap/S4HANATRANSONPRE/node/001999B7BD851ED68D9533E2290F02CE:
There is also information about using SAP Best Practices with SAP Solution Manager. Tip 14. Check out this presentation
Country Localization Information
One of the huge benefits of SAP Best Practices is the country specific content. SAP provides 40+ countries including many of the legal localization requirements. Many of the assets are available in multiple countries. Be sure to select the country and language in the BPX.
Tip 15: The name of the test script will show you whether the content is “global” and the same for all countries or “localized”. For example, “1GA_S4CLD2208_BPD_EN_ES.docx” is the test script for scope item 1GA in English (EN) language that is localized for Spain (ES).
Tip 16: For a good overview of all localizations included in the SAP Best Practices and EML look at the useful Excel summary called “Localization Overview” in the EML BPX page: https://rapid.sap.com/bp/#/browse/packageversions/BP_OP_EML. If you are using EML, be sure to download the “documentation library” zip file from this same location.
SAP Best Practice Upgrades
In S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, upgrades to SAP Best Practice are published twice a year. Details are visible in BPX which provides guidance on what is new in the accelerators section. Customers can choose whether to activate new scope items or not. Customers regression test the configuration and software changes (master data is not changed). Tip 17: For more details see the SAP Activate Roadmap. Legal software changes are managed through this process.
In S/4HANA on-premise (and Cloud Private Edition), upgrades to SAP Best Practice are published with each new release (moving to once every two years). Again, details are visible in BPX which provides guidance on what is new in the accelerators section. If any changes are applied this is done manually. Trying to do it selectively using SAP Solution Builder is not advised. Tip 18: Because you have made your own changes to configuration using the IMG, the Best Practice changes may break your solution. They should be tested thoroughly in a sandbox before being applied to development.
Pricing Relevant SAP Best Practice Scope Items
Tip 19: Some SAP Best Practice scope items require additional licenses. The test scripts may still work even if you do not have the license. You can see the latest list of pricing relevant scope items at this page:
I hope you found this blog informative.
Amin Hoque, SAP Services UK
Very helpful content, thank you very much for sharing this. Cheers ralph
thank you for your sharing.
I have one question: on rapid.sap.com/bp I can only find SAP best practice by country.
where can I find SAP best practice by industry?
Nearly all SAP Best Practices are not industry specific. SAP Model Company services provide industry specific content. See my related blog:
thanks Amin for this overview and reminders!
Well done Amin! Is it possible to get the Process Steps Library of the Best Practices Processes in German into SolMan? So far only English available. Thanks
SAP Best Practices content for SAP Solution Manager is only available in English,
Very useful information! Thank you!
I see there is a good amount of business processes in both model company and best practice content, where can we find more enterprise wide technical hierarchy such as SICF, SNOTE, SM37 (as examples). The BPR used to have more broad activities that supported Basis and Security. Any feedback or recommendations?
Best Practices do not cover infrastructure topics. Best Practices is my focus, so sorry I cannot answer your question. SAP help will provide details but not recommended technology best practices. You could try the relevant SAP Activate Roadmap and filter on "Technical Architecture and Infrastructure". You may get links that are useful.
Hi Ahim...thanks for the response. I was not clear in my question. We have imported both Best Practice and Model Company into our Solution Manager systems for our S/4 project. This has helped greatly in the Discover phase in terms of accelerating Fit to Standard discussions. The only gap I see in what we've imported are in the more technical, broader areas. In the old world (BPR from SAP) there was a Tools in ERP node that contained areas for Basis. From Best Practice and Model Company, we have a comprehensive structure to enrich for business process, but the more broad technical areas seem to be missing. Is there any source from somewhere that has that content that I can import into my Solution Manager to get us jump started or are we fully on our own to create all from scratch?
Sorry I don't know. Did you already look in this guide? https://help.sap.com/doc/66b93f5193014fa8a14785fa72ed7e17/latest/en-US/ActivationGuide_SolMan72.pdf
Try adding a question to this blog: https://blogs.sap.com/2019/08/16/sap-solution-manager-7.2-installation-upgrade-and-maintenance/
This is a broad question but the general Admin Guide for Best Practices for S4 HANA 1909 is here: S4 HANA Best Practices Admin Guide 1909
For SICF the specific link in the sub-tree is here: Maintaining SICF Node - SAP Help Portal
SM37 and SNOTE would need to be set up independently but there are a lot of Basis/Security steps interspersed within the Admin Guide so the only answer is teamwork! 🙂
Hope this helps . . .
Thanks for the info. What are your thoughts re using the best practice org data. Eg should US01 plant code be used productively if this is supplied in best practice, or are these codes off-limits. I noticed in one of your blogs that you indicate that they should be renamed and used, but it's not very clear.
Thanks for any advice.
This is dependent on exactly how the content is activated and in which system. The answer is project specific. Please talk to your SAP contact in the project.
Where i can find Configuration Documents in Word or PDF as per Best Practice Scope IDs
You cannot get configuration documents in Word or PDF. SAP stopped producing these about 3 years ago. As an alternative, see the section called "Configuration Guides"
I see you that you are continually updating this valuable information.
The section 4 needs update because of 3121106 - Scope items 1K8, 1N9, 1RW got deprecated (sap.com)
Hi Dinu. Done. Amin
Thank you very much Amin for this valuable topic. Could you please help me understand where I can find the Technical Task (the integration set-up instructions ) for bs 4 MT Advanced Payment Management , BestPractices SAP S/4 HANA on-premise 2020, Fiori , for RussiaFed? Thank you very much for your attention and time.
I guess you already found this document on 4MT. It does not include Russia. The test script is also a global document. Sorry I cannot help. There may not be Best Practice content that is Russia specific.
Thank you a lot, Amin for your so quick response. The BS 4MT mentioned the program /BSNAGT/TEST_INBOUND_MSG2 as the simulation of communication between S/4HANA and the SFTP server. Unfortunately, this program doesn't exist in SAP S/4 HANA on-premise BP 2020 system which makes testing 4MT unsuccessful.
Once again , thank you very much for your answer.
Please go to SAP support at https://support.sap.com/en/index.html
thank you for sharing the information and content. I have a question regarding the Best Practices in the Starter System in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public edition:
Is there a possibility to add the master data (material, vendor and customer master data) of the best practices to the respective best practices (e.g. 22Z) of the scope (from SAP CBC)? Is it possible to generate the necessary master data automatically from the scripts or do they have to be created "manually" via the respective options?
Thank you for any advice!
My focus is not on SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud and I cannot answer your question. I suggest you search in this community.
do you have any further information about the future access to the assets in BPX?
BestPractice Explorer - Deprecated
Many thanks - Thomas
SAP Best Practices content will continue to be made available. It is only the SAP Best Practices Explorer website that will be retired. I have no additional information but Holger Steffens will update his blog as soon as an announcement is made.