Leverage the Flexibility of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition on a 3-System Landscape to Open Up Developer Extensibility
As part of the continuous innovations of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, on September 1, 2022, we have made generally available our Software as a Service (SaaS) solution with a 3-system landscape to:strengthen the extensibility options, offer more robustness of the configuration management, reinforce the quality assurance, and improve the lifecycle management. We believe these added innovations will provide our customers with more flexibility to cover the most pressing and constantly changing business needs.
The landscape consists of the following systems:
- The already known starter system to execute the fit-to-standard workshops with the preloaded SAP Best Practices master data and configuration, which has a customizing tenant for configurations and a development tenant for custom developments. This system is decommissioned by SAP 30 calendar days after you request the production system.
- The development system is where the solution is scoped and activated through SAP Central Business Configuration. It includes the customizing tenant for configuration purposes, and the development tenant to build your own custom developments through developer extensibility.
- The test system is where you can test all your developments and configurations before forwarding them to the production system.
- The production system is where you will run your business and where all operational aspects of your business will be transacted productively.
Figure 1: SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition on a 3-System Landscape
As shown in the landscape diagram, the development tenants and starter tenants will be directly connected to SAP Central Business Configuration, while the test and production systems will not. All transports will need to move from the development system to the test system and then forwarded to the production system. This 3-system landscape will improve design, development, and testing processes for our customers to provide an agile ready business platform to adapt to ever-changing business requirements.
The new implementation roadmap can be found here: SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition (3-system landscape)
The content management is more flexible than ever! The project experience of SAP Central Business Configuration and the possibility of grouping configurations and extensions into transports offers a robust distribution of content within the solution.
The ability to export and import transports ensures full control and transparency of the system modifications. SAP provides all of the following tools and apps to move transports within the landscape:
- The ‘Export Customizing Transports’ app is used to manage the business configurations from the customizing tenant, including the content deployed from SAP Central Business Configuration.
- The ‘Transport Organizer in Eclipse’-based ADT is used to manage workbench transports for developer extensibility from the development tenant.
- The ‘Export Software Collection’ app is used to manage key user extensibility from the customizing tenant.
- The ‘Import Collection’ app is used to import all types of transport requests in the test system and production system.
Figure 2: Transport Mechanism of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition
It is important to note that you can use abapGit open source to transfer your code from starter development tenant to the development tenant.
In addition, some settings cannot be transported (e.g., master data activities), and you have to manually maintain them through the ‘Implementation Activities’ app in the test and production systems. The Transport Management system will provide the flexibility for business requirements to be implemented independently and at the right business speed which will improve management and governance effectiveness.
In order to enhance the extensibility options, we incorporated developer extensibility to build cloud-ready and upgrade stable customizations using the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, ABAP environment. This new development model uses ABAP development tools that enable you to couple data, transactions, and apps on the same software stack as SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.
This approach is needed when our customers require a complex scenario that cannot be addressed through a low-code key-user extension and at the same time does not require multitenant applications or non-ABAP code to loosely couple extensions as side-by-side extensibility. It works with released local SAP APIs and released SAP extension points, so the standard objects cannot be modified.
|Developer extensibility includes:
Guidelines for project managers, key users, and ABAP developers: Extend SAP S/4HANA in the cloud and on premise with ABAP based extensions
Figure 3: Developer extensibility
In a nutshell, developer extensibility allows you to use ABAP for cloud development to create extensions inside SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition through released SAP objects that do not require remote access and data replication. There is a clear separation between the extensibility and the customizing with the availability of two different tenants.
Our customers not only can take advantage to create robust extensions, but also to reach a high developer productivity by enriching the already popular in-app extensibility, e.g. creation of a custom field field (key-user extensibility) based on a custom entity created with ABAP development tools (developer extensibility).
If you would like to learn more about our strategy, please refer to the ABAP extensibility strategy. With the new developer extensibility we are providing SAP customers with the ability to address complex business requirements without creating any technical debt as the technology is content lifecycle management compliant (no adaptations are necessary during innovation cycles).
The test system offers a clear separation between configurations/extensions and testing activities. You can validate your scenarios based on the current settings and have the opportunity to adjust them for quality assurance purposes. The sprints and configuration cycles are flexible with this model – you can configure, test, and forward to production (if needed).
In order to automate the testing activities, you can also leverage the test automation tool for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition in the test system to check your business process testing and regression testing using SAP standard preconfigured test scripts. It is highly recommended to use SAP Cloud ALM for the orchestration of tests.
We have decoupled the software and content upgrades with the software upgrade being applied first, and the content upgrade triggered after. Our customers will have improved controls to move the reference content through the landscape as well as the ability to continue to configure during the upgrade window.
The upgrade schedule for the half-yearly upgrades will be as follows: test systems upgraded first with development, production, and starter systems upgraded 3 weeks later. You can see the planned upgrade schedule for 2023 below and read the full schedule here. Continuous delivery for SAP S/4HANA Cloud will be provided as well with the 3-system landscape bringing new innovation with no day one impact.
Figure 4: Upgrade schedule of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition (3-system landscape)
And as you might have expected, the SAP Activate team has introduced a new upgrade specific roadmap for 3-system landscape to support our customers during upgrades and updates.
By launching SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 3-system landscape into the cloud ERP market, SAP is aiming to support the broadest customer base. This product will help to fulfill the expectations our customers have for a typical cloud solution, while fulfilling more complex expectations related to more robust extensibility options, more configuration options, enhanced quality assurance and flexible transport capabilities, as well as customer tailored speed for lifecycle management.
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For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, check out the following links:
- The power of best-in-class and Next Practices business content for a modern ERP blog post
- The Intelligent ERP blog post
- New Product Releases website here
- Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition release blog posts here
- SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation content here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition release info: http://www.sap.com/s4-cloudrelease
- SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
- Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition Community here
- SAP Activate community here
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition here
- Help Portal product page here
- What’s New Viewer here