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Author's profile photo Rajarajeswari Kaliyaperumal

Difference between SAP S/4HANA :Public Vs Private edition : RISE with SAP

In this blog I wish to bring out the difference involved with implementing RISE with SAP S/4HANA,private edition against RISE with SAP S/4HANA cloud(essential edition)

This blog is intended for those who have basic understanding of RISE and wish to understand a detailed difference between the public and private edition while using SAP Activate methodology.

NOTE: The images present in this blog are taken from public source =>

With the Roadmap Viewer , SAP helps us to easy navigate across the SAP Activate methodology that is available for various implementation =>

From the link above (can be used by anonymous user or registered user), click on “Explore all roadmaps” and choose the required road map. For us, the first 2 below is of our interest.


SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Private edition Vs SAP S/4HANA Cloud(essential)

# SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition SAP S/4HANA Cloud(Public edition / Essential edition) 
Cloud basics

With the private cloud, services are maintained on a private network protected by a firewall

We can build a private cloud within our own data center or use one of the Iaas – AWS,Azure,GCP,Alibaba Cloud.Private clouds offer the most security and control.

Private editions are single tenant environment where the provider runs our services in a dedicated environment

RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud,Private Edition and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, extended edition is offered as private cloud solution.

NOTE:SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Extended Edition provides additional capabilities for customers that require specific functionality, broader extensions, and deeper configuration capabilities in a dedicated cloud environment

With the public cloud, services are delivered to customers over a network that is open for public usage.

Public clouds offer efficiency and affordability, and are often multi-tenant – meaning the provider runs your service in a shared environment.
RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud is offered as a public cloud solution

How to decide between public and private cloud edition under RISE program of SAP

Existing SAP ERP customers who has the desire to move to the cloud , does not want a complete process redesign and who wants to retain their current investment made to their existing SAP ERP system.

New customers who wants a full, extensive, ERP functionality including partner add-ons with the ability to extend and enhance as required can opt for private edition

This is designed to provide innovation and cloud value while allowing the customers to retain their investments by converting their existing systems

Existing or new customers who has the desire to move to the cloud , who is ready to start fresh with a clean system by giving up on any existing investment made on any ERP solution and is open for a process redesign

This is a choice for companies who are ready to embrace the future of ERP with a new implementation and predefined process

SaaS – Software as a Service This is not a SaaS product from SAP SAP S/4HANA Cloud  is a complete modern SaaS ERP solution. Other example of SAP Saas solutions are :SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Fieldglass,SAP Concur,SAP Ariba

RISE with SAP some Core components:

a.BPI(Business Process Intelligence)


c.SAP Business Network Starter pack


BPI: SAP Best practices Explorer and Digital Discovery Assessment,SAP Process insights Discovery Report(needs data from customer’s existing ERP system),Signavio Process Manager and Collaboration hub

Tools and services: SAP Learning hub and SAP Cloud ALM, SAP Launchpad service and mobile start app, SAP Readiness Check and Custom Code Migration, SAP Enable Now

SAP Business Network Starter pack: Ariba Network,Asset Intelligence Network,Logistics Business Network

BPI:SAP Best practices Explorer and Digital Discovery Assessment

Tools and services:SAP Learning hub,SAP Enable Now and SAP Cloud ALM

SAP Business Network Starter pack:Ariba Network,Asset Intelligence Network

Type of implementation Brown field, Selective Data transition  and Green field Green field only.Could be a component of selective data transition
LoB (Line Of Business) coverage This covers all 25 industries like SAP S/4HANA on-premise Highly standardized business processes covering selected LoB and industry scenarios,
and a comprehensive ERP scope.In-depth coverage for professional services and component manufacturing; more
industries on road map

Customers has the ability to customize(including structural changes) and also modify the SAP source code.

Customers has full visibility and control with access to the backend of the system through the SAP GUI

Customers have full access to the on premise extensibility framework, supporting in-app and side-by-side extensions in addition to code enhancement and modifications. Expert configuration is possible with full IMG access, and the operating expense model is subscription-based.

With the public cloud solution, customizations are made through SAP Fiori apps designed to facilitate the changes like Custom Fields and Logic, Custom Business Objects.

No access to backend GUI.

Can not modify SAP source code.

For complex customizations that cannot be done through the existing Fiori apps, the SAP Business Technology Platform extension suites are readily available and easily integrated to SAP S/4HANA Cloud.


No IMG access

Lifecycle stability It depends on the level and type of modification that has been deviated from standard best practices Stable
TCO and ROI Comparatively higher TCO Lowest TCO and highest ROI
Infrastructure provider S/4HANA is deployed on the infrastructure provider of customer’s choice SAP is the default infrastructure provider for SaaS solution : SAP S/4HANA Cloud

SAP Best Practices Explorer(This has clearly defined business processes with documentation based on SAP’s many years of experience with business software and our customers)

(The Digital Discovery Assessment is used in the sales cycle to assess a customer’s requirements and match them with the best SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution to fit their needs. This occurs in the Discover phase of the SAP Activate Methodology.)

To access Digital discovery assessment, navigate to Discovery phase of SAP Road map viewer and click on related links to subscribe for the same)

SAP Best Practices explorer processes are a valuable input to help customers design their new system and are optional to activate.

SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA, private edition:(Note: The Best Practices for both on-premise is same as private edition )

Customers can choose when to install the latest enhancements to SAP Best practices content, provided they stay within mainstream maintenance (5 years).

The business processes selected on the Digital Discovery Assessment in discover phase are the processes that will be delivered in the new SAP S/4HANA Cloud system.

SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud

SAP Best Practices enhancements are automatically pushed out to customers that have the relevant processes already active in their quality and production systems.

Release Cycle


SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition follows the annual base release of SAP S/4HANA On Premise, however there is a requirement to install at least one upgrade every five years to stay within mainstream maintenance.

After an yearly base release Feature Pack Stacks (FPS) are released quarterly with new non-disruptive features until the next base release is launched. After a new release, the previous release version will receive Support Pack Stacks (SPS) each quarter with only corrections (no new functionality) until the end of mainstream maintenance.


    • Two major releases per year
    • Provides enhancements to existing functionality.
    • Enhancements to a customer’s existing scope are automatically installed by SAP. Substantial developments that are not relevant for a customer’s existing scope are not installed by SAP. For example, if a new business process is released, a customer can choose whether or not to activate the process in their systems.
  • Continuous Feature Delivery (CFD) Update
    • Delivered monthly
    • Provides pre-deliveries of new features that SAP makes available in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system, but does not install. This gives customers flexibility to decide if they want to switch any of these features on.
    • If a feature is not switched on when delivered, it will be automatically installed by SAP at the next release.

The release reference consists of the last two digits of the year and the numerical month. For example, the first release of the year 2022 in February is release 2202. A continuous feature delivery is indicated by a suffix following the release. For example, the first continuous feature delivery after release 2202 is 2202.1, then 2202.2, etc

Tools to configure and manage  S/4HANA deployments

SAP Solution Builder is used for deploying SAP Best Practices in the private cloud. (A solution contains a set of SAP Best Practices scenarios, which are predefined process flows for a particular line of business.)

Tools to Manage the Business Processes :

1.Signavio Process Manager and SAP Process Collaboration Hub by Signavio

2.SAP Solution Manager(Customer-specific content and supporting documentation is  created and maintained in Solution Documentation)

Different methods of Configuring SAP S/4HANA:

1.Use SAP Activate Methodology and SAP Best Practices content.

2.Use SAP Activate Methodology and SAP Best Practices content as templates for your system configuration, then make changes using the Implementation Guide (IMG).

3.Use only the Implementation Guide (IMG) to configure your system.


SAP Central Business Configuration  supports the system provisioning and configuration of RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud (formerly SAP S/4HANA Cloud, essentials edition).
Tools to transport configuration and extension till production


To assign extension items to software packages and transport requests:

“SAP Fiori Register Extensions for Transport app”:

To create software packages:

Configure Software Packages app”, or in the backend in transactionObject Navigator (SE80) or in transaction Package Builder (SE21).

To create Transport requests and tasks:Configure Software Packages app, or in the backend with transaction Transport Organizer (SE09). ”

Note:Content activation and/or customizing takes place in the development system, then transports are released to the quality system. After thorough testing in the quality system, transports are released to the production system.

To deploy configuration to QA and PROD: SAP Central Business Configuration

To transport extensions , business objects and business logic:Export and Import Software Collection apps”.

To transport extensions:

Add the extensions to be transported to a package in the “Export Software Collection app”. The transport will run on a scheduled job that night by default, or can be pushed immediately.

In the production system, the “Import Software Collection app” is used to apply the extensions to the system.

SAP PO integration

SAP Process Orchestration integrations are defined with the Advanced Adapter Engine Extended (AEX) in SAP NetWeaver. AEX provides the connectivity capabilities of the Advanced Adapter Engine (AAE) in addition to design and configuration tools (ES Repository and the Integration Directory) to set up integration scenarios.

Not available because AEX is accessed via the SAP GUI.With public cloud we do not get access to GUI


Data Migration options for new implementation using “Migrate Your Data-Migration Cockpit”:

S/4HANA Migration cockpit supports customers in migrating their data to SAP S/4HANA.

-New Implementation: This tool is used to migrate all data from legacy system(s) to the target SAP S/4HANA system

-System conversion: SUM tool is used to migrate SAP ERP to S/4HANA. However there may be data in other legacy system(s) that needs to be migrated to the target SAP S/4HANA system. The Migration Cockpit is relevant in this scenario

Below are the ways to migrate legacy data to S/4HANA Cloud, private edition  using migration cockpit

1.Migrate data using staging tables (divided into two approaches)

a.Transfer data using template files (Local SAP S/4HANA Database Schema connection)

b.Transfer data using separate HANA staging database (Remote SAP HANA Database Schema connection)

2.Migrate data directly from SAP system

  • Transfer data from SAP ERP source system to target SAP S/4HANA system. Access source (legacy) SAP system via RFC connection.

Below are the ways to migrate legacy data to S/4HANA Cloud using migration cockpit
1.Transfer data using template files (Local SAP S/4HANA Database Schema connection)2.Transfer data using separate HANA staging database (Remote SAP HANA Database Schema connection


  • To use the remote connection with public cloud, we must first activate the scope item Data Migration to SAP S/4HANA from Staging (2Q2) and set up the integration between SAP S/4HANA and the staging database.
  • A staging database option is SAP HANA Express Edition, free up to 32 GB of RAM.
Available system landscapes for S/4HANA Deployment

Trial systems are critical systems in Discovery phase as they give the customers a first-touch user experience along with the look and feel of SAP S/4HANA deployment. This helps the customers to make the purchase decisions.

Implementation landscapes consists of 2 system or 3 system landscape

Trial systems deployment using CAL:

1..EML(Enterprise management layer)

2.SAP S/4HANA Fully Activated Appliance

Implementation landscape:



Trail system:(Temporary system)

Implementation landscape on S/4HANA Cloud: :

1.SAP Cloud Identity Services: Runs on BTP and consists of 2 separate tenants:1.Identity authentication 2.Identity Provisioning

2.SAP Central Business Configuration: Separate tenant that runs on BTP and hels with provisioning Starter , QA and PROD system

3.Starter system: This has preconfigured business processes and master data and is useful for delivering “Fit-to-Standard” workshop to the customers. After consultants move onto configuring the Quality and Production systems, the Starter system can be decommissioned.

4.Quality:The Quality system provisioned and configured via CBC(Central business configuration) based on the data and requirements gathered during the Fit-to-Standard workshops. The implementation team should transport configurations to the quality system in weekly or bi-weekly sprints, followed by thorough testing of configured processes.

5.Production:The Production system is provisioned via CBC and kept in sync with the Quality system via weekly or bi-weekly transports. After configurations have been made in CBC, transported to quality and tested thoroughly, the configurations can be released to the production system via CBC.

Responsibility and Governance

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      Author's profile photo Zafer Tosun
      Zafer Tosun

      Excellent article!

      Author's profile photo KONDETI HARI SHANKAR

      Great information as usual by you


      Author's profile photo Harish Gannavarapu
      Harish Gannavarapu

      Great article. Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing.

      Author's profile photo Sanjaya Kumar Bihari
      Sanjaya Kumar Bihari

      Nice article

      Author's profile photo Sekhardatta Kalva
      Sekhardatta Kalva

      Nice Article and clarifies all doubts.

      Author's profile photo yanfen li
      yanfen li

      Very helpful grateful for your wonderful job and sharing.


      Author's profile photo Claudio Alberto Fernando Maureira Soto
      Claudio Alberto Fernando Maureira Soto

      Great article, helpful information. Thanks.

      Author's profile photo Prem Sukh Bishnoi
      Prem Sukh Bishnoi

      Very good article and well explained for beginners.

      Author's profile photo Subhankar Pattanayak
      Subhankar Pattanayak

      Nice article. Kudos.

      Author's profile photo Jerome Vijayakumar
      Jerome Vijayakumar

      I am concerned with the topic [SaaS – Software as a Service]

      Please let me know If I am wrong according to my knowledge SAP is providing this product SAP S/4 HANA Cloud Private edition as SaaS model, Currently I am working on this model.

      Author's profile photo Chung-Yi Hung
      Chung-Yi Hung

      Hi Rajarajeswari,

      Cloud you give me the orignal picture or PPT? such as below

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi, thank you for this complete post. In the Private cloud, is there any SAP audit over the customizations or add-ons, to ensure security or performance?

      Author's profile photo Ravine Lala
      Ravine Lala

      Great article and clarifies a lot of questions.

      Author's profile photo Felipe Sousa de Paula
      Felipe Sousa de Paula

      Very good article. Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Dheen AJ
      Dheen AJ



      One of my customer went to SAP HEC for ECC to S4HANA conversion. If goto S4HANA system status. I can see version as S4HANA 1909 on-premise.


      So My query is how to choose whether S4HANA on-premise or S4HANA cloud ERP is required for our conversion process?



      Author's profile photo Kanti Kumar
      Kanti Kumar

      Excellent Article. Thank you for sharing the details.

      Author's profile photo Srinivasan Ramakrishnan
      Srinivasan Ramakrishnan

      Excellent Article. Very Informative

      Author's profile photo Rafael Veloso
      Rafael Veloso

      Hi Raja,

      When you mention PO integration cannot be achieved on public cloud due to SAP GUI, what do you mean? Process Orchestration is a Netweaver Java system. AEX is not accessed by SAP GUI.

      There should be no reason preventing PO integration with S4H Public Cloud

      Author's profile photo Rajarajeswari Kaliyaperumal
      Rajarajeswari Kaliyaperumal
      Blog Post Author

      Please refer S4CP01 in LH for more details. My statement is valid. When I meant GUI access, I meant PO access for configuration from S/4HANA

      Author's profile photo Dileep Goldsmith
      Dileep Goldsmith

      Can you hare this document to <email removed by moderator>

      Author's profile photo Tikeer Guo
      Tikeer Guo

      Excellent blog, know lots of difference between S/4 publick cloud and private cloud.

      Author's profile photo Sebastian Sav
      Sebastian Sav

      Great Article, which depicts the differences between the two worlds!

      In addition, I would like to mention that there are also Best-Practices available in the SAP Signavio Process Explorer and can be accessed directly from SAP Signavio.

      Best Regards,

      Sebastian Sav, SAP Cloud Architect

      Author's profile photo Megha Jain
      Megha Jain

      Wonderfully captured all the critical points.

      Author's profile photo Carlos Weffer
      Carlos Weffer

      Excellent Post, Hi Rajarajeswari, !!!

      Is there any considerations / differences to keep in mind from a DWH perspective.

      How Data from Cloud Editions (Private and Public) is extracted so it can be combined with data from other applications of the company.


      Is SLT still an option in both cases?




      Author's profile photo Dileep Goldsmith
      Dileep Goldsmith

      Hi Rajarajeswari, : Can you please send me this document to

      Author's profile photo Tomasz Ratay
      Tomasz Ratay

      realy good article.

      Author's profile photo Johnson Jos
      Johnson Jos

      Excellent post. Answered most of the questions which I had in mind for years.

      Thank you.

      Author's profile photo Worawat Naklor
      Worawat Naklor

      Very good article. Thanks.

      Author's profile photo Chung-Yi Hung
      Chung-Yi Hung

      Hi Hi Rajarajeswari,

      In your blog you mentioned that customers can modify the source code? Is it true?

      Author's profile photo Mehrab Ebadi
      Mehrab Ebadi

      @Hi Rajarajeswari,

      This is great. Is it worth updating this blog as it's a year old now, and S/4 Public have evolved significantly? Any newer blogs covering the same?

      Author's profile photo Thorgen Seelenhorst
      Thorgen Seelenhorst

      Definitely! But it needs to be updated, e.g. the release cycle for Private Edition has changed to 2 years and 3 FPS every 6 months in between.

      Author's profile photo Sonal Chandarana
      Sonal Chandarana

      Thanks for the great blog @Hi Rajarajeswari,

      SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud is SaaS

      You say- SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud is not SaaS. Then what is it? Or Can we define any specific operating model for Private Cloud?



      Author's profile photo Sergio Ferrari
      Sergio Ferrari

      From an architectural point-of-view, I believe SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud could be considered an IaaS that includes Technical Managed Services.

      From the license standpoint instead it is a kind of SaaS.

      Author's profile photo Eirikur Eyvindsson
      Eirikur Eyvindsson



      Author's profile photo Frank Li
      Frank Li

      Excellent blog, it is clear for the difference between SAP S4HANA private cloud and public cloud.

      How about the difference between S4HANA private cloud and S4HANA On-Premise? It seems there is no difference between them, only difference is the who provides IT infrastructure management and system management, right? Besides this we can think they are the same.

      Author's profile photo Abhijit Shinde
      Abhijit Shinde

      Very helpful!