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Author's profile photo Fernando Martin

How to load customers (business partners) with SAP S/4HANA data migration cockpit


This blog explains the different approach for the load of customers, suppliers (vendors), contact persons in S/4HANA, that makes the use of business partners for these objects mandatory and old transactions like XD01, XK01, … have been deprecated and are no longer available. I will explain how the data migration cockpit can be used for customer load and what is the logic to fill the file template for customers with its different sheets (general data, sales view, finance view, contact persons,…).


How customers were loaded with ECC 6.0

With SAP ECC6.0 and previous versions it was common to create LSMW objects linked to different recordings created ad-hoc with transactions XD01 or VD01 or use program RFBIDEK0. File structure had to be defined within LSMW.



Why approach with ECC 6.0 is no longer possible. Business Partner concept.

S/4HANA requires the use of business partner, instead of using previous methods of creating separate objects for customers, suppliers and contacts. Transactions like XD01, VD01 are outdated and SAP will redirect to new transaction BP, which will be the single point of entry to mantain these objects.

With the business partner approach, one BP can be a customer, vendor (now supplier), contact person, payer, etc. all at once, so there is no need for separate master data objects. The business partner role will define the role they have in the company.

These roles can be defined in customizing.


With the new business partner concept, the tables starting with BUT* are the central repository for all BP created. Older tables like KNA1, KNVV, KNB1 are still filled in S/4HANA, but it is necessary to do the necessary customizing settings in Customer-Vendor-Integration (CVI). CVI is used to synchronize customer and vendor master data objects with SAP business partner objects within SAP. With CVI in place, all the customers and vendors are assigned a BP number.

Besides this, with S/4 HANA it is not recommended to use LSMW, as there is a new data migration tool called Data Migration Cockpit, which provides file templates that we will fill to perform the data migration.



Load customers with Data Migration Cockpit. Fill the file template

The Migration Cockpit (transaction LTMC) provides structured migration templates as it is the case for Customer Master and Customer Master Extension.


To get the file you can click the corresponding option in the migration object. This will download an xml file that can be edited in Excel.


The Customer Master template contains a number of sheets, each sheet has mandatory fields marked with (*) which must be filled.


The person responsible of loading customers needs to fill the load template. I start with the general data that covers name, account group, ….  Although it is possible to use internal numbering for customer creation, customer number is mandatory on the template as it serves as the unique identifier to link data in all sheets to the general data in the first sheet.

If for some customer accounts types you need to use external numbering, it is necessary to enter those in the sheet and use them in all sheets. In this example I use sequencial numbers.


Address data also available in this sheet.


With S/4HANA Business Partner concept it is necessary to specify the business partner role. In this case I have to choose FLCU01 for customers.


The sales views need to be specified in the sheet Sales Data.It is necessary to use the customer number key entered in General Data sheet to link this and other sheets, otherwise there will be an error in the import.


Company code view filled in sheet Company Data. Here is where I set the payment terms, reconciliation account, …


Contact person data: I assign the contact persons to each customers, using consecutive numbers as ID as numbering will be internal.


Sales partner: The customer numbers are repeated four times to assign each partner role to that customer.


There are other views that can be filled for sales texts, company texts, … but not included in this exercise. It is necessary to link all possible entries in the file to to the customer numbers specified in the general data view.



Load customers with Data Migration Cockpit. Run LTMC

Inside of the migration object first it is necessary to upload the filled file.


Once uploaded, the file needs to be activated.


Now it is possible to start the transfer.


Next step is the data validation. Depending on the file size, this will take some time.


Once finished, the migration cockpit will show all file validation messages like wrong format, missing mandatory fields, ….


Next step is the conversion for the field values.


The template contains an external number for the customer; however, we need internal number assignment so the mapping is maintained as below;


Remember the number ranges have to be set up in customizing.


Click on save and the internal numbers will be generated in sequence.

For other fields I had to add the conversion values from the file to the S/4HANA instance.


Next step is to simulate the import in SAP, where different errors might appear.


Any errors will appear in the notification screen.


Once done, it is time to import the data in SAP. Executing the import loads the data in SAP.


data loaded appears in the log. If there are some errors, a Delta file would be created to be processed at a later stage.


Once loaded, I check in transaction BP that the customers are loaded. It is also possible to use transaction SE16N with tables BUT000 and KNA1, KNVV, …



As summary, a business partner can be a vendor, customer, contact person all at once and there is no need of separate objects. As this is the new approach in S/4HANA. this makes the use of LSMW not recommendable.

The data migration cockpit is then the best approach in a low complexity scenario, with data being migrated from a single legacy system to a new SAP S/4HANA environment with minimal data transformation requirements.

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      Author's profile photo Muhammad Hasan Mufid
      Muhammad Hasan Mufid

      Thanks for the explanation about migration tools Fernando, Good Explanation..



      Muhammad Hasan Mufid

      Author's profile photo venu gopal
      venu gopal

      Thanks a lot sir for your updates , keep it up

      Author's profile photo Basanth Swain
      Basanth Swain

      Hi Fernando,

      Thanks for the detailed screenshots and explanation. It really provides a good understanding.

      One quick question - Could you specify the version of SAP S/4 HANA?



      Author's profile photo Fernando Martin
      Fernando Martin
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Basanth,

      thanks for your comments.

      The version I am using is 1909. Sorry I did not specify in the post.



      Author's profile photo Gyongyi Meszlenyi
      Gyongyi Meszlenyi

      Hi Fernando,

      A very useful and easy to follow post, thanks for it.

      My case is, however, a bit different: we are using Migration cockpit with Direct transfer approach, and the client decided that they would create the Business partners without contact person data, and we should create Customers.

      Could you advise for this case?

      I have migrated some customers already, but they are created in BUT000 only, not in KNA1. And they are also not visible in the business transactions, even in BP only these BUT000 data are filled, no roles have been added.


      Kind regards


      Author's profile photo Harisrinivasa Yakkanti
      Harisrinivasa Yakkanti


      I am facing issue while migrating customer general data to S/4 using Data Migration Cockpit Staging tables.


      Error: "Either Org or Personal Data can be entered at sheet/<<Staging table not both"

      I have mapped data only for organization fields (ie; NAMEORG1, NAMEORG2 etc) and all Person level data are set to empty.

      Not sure why this error comes, tried multiple ways but could not process it.

      We came to know is S/4 there field “/GSINS/SR_STKZN” or *STKZN  which tells whether is record is org or person customer

      But could not able to find this above filed in staging tables.

      Please help.



      Author's profile photo Alexander Walch
      Alexander Walch

      Had the same issue, thought the same.

      Came to find out there are two different fields for the language, and the one I filled was for personal data, not org data.

      I guess without the sheet it is difficult to find out which line is compromised.

      Author's profile photo Avinash Menon
      Avinash Menon

      Is there a way we can get the same customer and vendor number loaded into S/4 so customer number and vendor number will remain the same even after converting to S4 HANA ?

      Author's profile photo Abdullah Galal
      Abdullah Galal

      Amazing post Fernando thanks a lot.

      Still valid for S4HANA 2022 although the screens are different as now we have to use the FIORI app "Migrate your Data" but still the same concept