Intelligent and innovative custom code management for SAP S/4HANA Transformations
- Why Custom Code Management is an important topic within SAP S/4HANA Transformations
Custom Code Management is an important topic within SAP S/4HANA Transformations. Customers want to be as close as possible to standard and keep the core clean. At the same time, customers want to unlock the full potential and value of the digital core. In this article, we show you approaches and tools to achieve both goals: keep the core clean, lower the TCO, and unlock the full value of the digital core also by leveraging the new intelligent technologies.
In order to achieve these goals, it is necessary to consider all options of a holistic custom code management (pls. see picture below).
Drive transparency and categorization to optimize custom code objects and identify potential for:
- reducing total cost of ownership
- leveraging edge technologies to simplify and optimize
- increasing process quality for business-critical processes
- identifying existing custom code which required re-design to cover latest expectations resulting from changed business process needs
- preparing for SAP S/4HANA transformation
- laying foundation for Extensibility Framework and Governance
2. What categories we consider in the SAP Custom Code Transformation Advice Framework
a) Obsolete Custom Code: Essential Usage analysis and reduction of the number of Objects
Do you know that on average more than 50 % of your custom code is not used and the custom code footprint usually contains more than 12.000 objects? Therefore, there is a huge potential to reduce the quantity of your custom objects already today.
Reducing the number of obsolete objects can significantly lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) and optimize the SAP S/4 HANA Transformation, as retired objects do not need to be remediated and the system is clean and efficient already before the transformation.
b) Quick Fixes: How to do efficient remediation in a semi-automated way; quick Fixes in ADT and ensure up to date quality
SAP S/4HANA is a new product. If you convert your system from ECC to SAP S/4HANA your custom code will be impacted. In order to minimize your adaptation efforts, you can use the semi-automatic code adaptations using the Quick Fixes (a feature of ABAP Development Tools in Eclipse (ADT)).
If you start with a green field approach you can use the ABAP test cockpit (ATC) to ensure, based on your updated development guidelines, that all your new custom code is SAP S/4HANA compliant. This can also be done as a regular quality assurance measure.
c) Re-platforming to SAP Cloud Platform
By doing re-platforming, customers can decouple their custom extensions from the back-end lifecycle, availability, and load. The applications’ release cycles then become independent of the back-end release cycles as the application is deployed side by side to SAP S/4HANA. The aim is to keep the core clean and allow customers to extend their SAP S/4HANA software while ultimately making the software changes non-events. By deploying custom specific software on SAP Cloud Platform, a sustainable reduction of maintenance and total costs of ownership is achieved.
d) Rethink and Redesign with co- innovation and optimization
In every SAP S/4HANA Transformation, we as SAP recommend ideally to use SAP standard functionality wherever possible. Our experience though from many projects that the need for customer-specific functionality remains. Customers want to differentiate from their competitors or have industry-specific requirements. That’s why we see a lot of very complex custom code, in a highly modified process, developed over a long time, which is still needed with SAP S/4HANA. In this case, there is a big potential for process reengineering, rethinking, and rebuilding. We support you in identifying complex custom code and redesigning it, and in attaching new intelligent technologies to streamline and automate processes. With this customer-specific development, that is “made by SAP”, or with a Co-Innovation project, we help our customers to improve their process, remove their complex custom code, and lower the TCO.
3. How it works
The SAP Custom Code Transformation Advice Framework is a combined approach with a very detailed analysis of the current custom code along with joint assessment workshops on customer side. We start with a kickoff workshop, to get a common understanding of the current system and process landscape, and the current customer extensibility framework (if available). Based on the SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA, we run the new Custom Code Health Check which provides an additional perspective to validate innovation readiness with regards to software transparency, usage, extensibility, code impact, and code quality. To achieve a very detailed level of transparency we evaluate the custom code transport history to identify the development effort drivers and put them in order according to complexity.
Based on this analysis we can categorize all custom code objects in the described options a-d.
Expected outcome and benefits of this approach are:
- Transparency and categorization to optimize custom code objects
- Advisory and guidance on how to handle custom code objects in the respective categories
- Custom Code Transformation Roadmap and next steps in your SAP S/4HANA Transformation
- Extension Advisory to keep the core clean on the SAP S/4HANA side
Authors: Jürgen Mahler Head of Custom Code Management SAP Intelligent Delivery Group,
Jens Dirnberger, SAP S/4HANA Innovation Officer SAP Innovative Services and Solutions