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Author's profile photo Mamta Chauhan

SAP S/4 HANA Conversion – I

The new word in the street is SAP S/4 HANA. In this post we will learn :-

  • What is S/4 Hana in nutshell
  • What are the S/4 Hana installable components
  • In What way and shape SAP ECC differs from SAP S/4 Hana
  • Lastly , we will take a sneak peek in S/4 Hana conversion process

So Lets get started ……

SAP S/4 Hana is SAP suit for SAP HANA DB . So how can we install SAP S/4 HANA? Well…. You cannot install SAP S/4 HANA; it is the product name only. So what you can install? You can install one of the SAP systems such as SAP BW or SAP HANA server.

So, in short SAP S/4 Hana server is the name of SAP system whereas SAP S/4 Hana is the name of the suit.

The SAP Business Suite consists of the solutions SAP ERP, SAP CRM, SAP SCM , SAP SRM, and SAP PLM. SAP ERP includes SAP ECC (ERP Central Component), SAP XSS (Employee/Manager Self Services), SAP XECO (Accelerated Ecommerce), SAP BW (Business Warehouse), SAP Enterprise Portal, SAP PI (Process Integration), and many more. These are installable and upgradeable units. You cannot update or upgrade (to) SAP ERP in general, but you can upgrade (to) SAP ECC (former R/3) or SAP BW and so on.

Now let’s tackle another brain teaser; in what way ECC on Hana is different than SAP S/4 HANA? SAP ECC is not designed to take advantage of the SAP HANA DB. Yes, you can use an SAP HANA DB with an SAP ECC system. But to gain the advantage from the column store, the database procedures, the simplified data model, and so on, you have to use SAP S/4HANA Server, instead.

Another difference between ECC and S/4 Hana server is ECC can run over any sap supported DB such as SAP ASE , MaxDB, Oracle DB , DB2, MSS as well as  HANA DB . However SAP Hana server can run only on HANA DB.


Figure 1

Next difference what is worth highlighting is; ECC is based on SAP Netweaver technology whereas SAP HANA server is based on ABAP Foundation so please don’t call S/4 Hana server instances Netweaver instances.



Figure 2


Another important thing here is to understand the product availability matrix in terms of SAP ECC and SAP S/4 Hana server. Below figure shows the releases of software component SAP_BASIS over time which clarifies where ECC stops and SAP S/4 HANA server takes over.


Figure 3

Yet another difference between ECC and SAP S/4 Hana server is SAP strategy for support and maintenance. SAP will provide support for ECC ABAP EHP 0-5 until 2027, extended support for additional 3 yrs will be provided only for latest 3 EHPs ( 6, 7,8) until 2030. After 2030 no support will be provided for SAP ERP (NetWeaver based systems) and we will walk into S/4 Hana server  for life until next big innovation strikes in SAP Labs. Below shown figure describes this support strategy in detail.


Figure 4

This support strategy is creating a lot of buzz  for ECC migration to SAP S/4 Hana server ,fashionably termed as SAP S/4 Hana conversion. So what is SAP S/4 Hana conversion actually? Well ….From a technical point of view, a conversion to SAP S/4HANA Server works like an SAP upgrade. From a development or project point of view, however, several additional steps are required.

SAP provides a process for the conversion to SAP S/4HANA server. The following figure gives a sneak peek into overall conversion process ,tools and the activities involved. SAP recommends that you carry out activities in the given fashion only to reduce the risk and maximize the conversion success.


Figure 5

With this information i would like to conclude this blog , hope you got valuable information here. Pls share your specific insight and know-how  on the  topic by providing your feedback in  comments section also feel free to revert back for any question and clarifications required in this regard .



Reference 1 :- Conversion Guide for SAP HANA 2020

Reference 2 :- SAP S/4 Hana Upgrade and Conversion ADM328

Reference 3: – SAP Roadmap viewer

Related Blogs – SAP S/4 Hana Conversion – II – Prepare 

Related Blogs – SAP S/4 Hana Conversion – III – Realize

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      Author's profile photo Krishna Prasad R T S R
      Krishna Prasad R T S R

      Hi Mamta,

      Thank you for sharing valuable content and currently the assignment I am supporting running on data center and, please clarify the queries below.

      1. If a source system runs on premises infrastructure/ECC 6.0/oracle  and would like to migrate to the Azure cloud & S4 upgrade, In such a scenario, S4 conversion and OS/DB migration work simultaneously via SUM?

      2. If Yes, Let me know the complications behind such a migration.

      Thanks in advance!!


      Author's profile photo Mamta Chauhan
      Mamta Chauhan
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Krishna

      To answer your first question - Yes SUM 2.0 does allow to Migrate & Convert to S/4 Hana in single process . For your particular upgrade and migration scenario you can either use one step approach or can go for 2 steps if your source release is Basis 740 or above(first only migrate to Hana DB on-prem and then convert to S/4 Hana and move to azure.

      For the first scenario - Use SUM DMO with system move

      • Setup your infrastructure on Azure ( VM for SAP  AS and SAP Hana DB)
      • Install a shell S/4 Hana target DB on Azure with same version as you prepared in  maintenance planner .
      • Then you install a Additional app server on Azure which will connect to your source system/db on Prem .Here you are essentially scaling your on-prem ECC to azure. needless to say that you have to mount your global directories and trans directories on your se
      • Then you start the SUM on the additional app server that you just installed on azure.
      • SUM process here will run usually until at a point where it will detect that no ASCS is running on the host where SUM is running  and it will ask if you would like to move ASCS .When you say yes , SUM will move the ASCS to the azure instance where you are running the SUM and our AI on azure will become PAS .

      For the second scenario you can first run SUM to migrate your oracle to HANA DB or use SWPM for for classical migration .

      Once you have your ERP running on Hana , Install a target Shell DB on Azure same version as your on-prem Hana DB .

      Then you setup the HSR replication to Azure Hana DB. At this point your system is up and running on-prem .

      On cutover weekend you replicate all the delta  stop the replication , install a ASCS and PAS on azure and run sum for conversion on New PAS instance on Azure .



      As far what kind of issues you can get ? Is a tricky question and impossible for me to answer . As every migration and conversion is unique in its own way.  However I would say that preparation is the key here . Invest more time in preparation, build a migration and conversion factory , have different kind of stakeholder alignments (very imp)  and at least do 2 mocks for production if possible . I hope i was able to help here . Good Luck and refer to my other blogs on conversion preparation and realization phase .


      -Thanks & Regards

      Mamta Chauhan