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Posted October 6 2020
Written by Sébastien Castonguay

How to Successfully Transition to SAP S/4HANA

Many tools are available to get familiar with the technical requisites for a transition to S/4HANA from another ERP. They will prove useful in the preparation and will help you avoid unpleasant surprises at the beginning of the transition.

SAP S/4HANA = Unicode

SAP S/4HANA only supports Unicode systems. You can check if the encoding of your system is in fact Unicode by clicking on “System” in the upper navigation bar, and then on “Status...”.

Unicode_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_CreatechMake sure the “Unicode System” field indicates “Yes.” If it displays “No,” then a Unicode conversion must first be performed.

Unicode System_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_CreatechYou might view it as an opportunity to conduct a Unicode conversion, an EHP or SPS upgrade, or a transition toward the HANA 2.0 database. Everything is possible using the DMO of SUM.

As you can see in the diagram below, an S/4HANA conversion requires a few technical requisites.

Recommended Migration Scenarios_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch

What About Non-Unicode Systems?

Code Page

To make sure the system contains only one code page, go to transaction SE16 and verify the content in the TCPDB table. If it contains more than one entry, it means the system is in Multi Display Multiple Processing mode (MDMP), which is not supported since ERP Central Component (ECC) 6.0.

Code Page_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch


This transaction lets you ascertain all corrections that should be made to the different programs, to make sure these programs are compatible with Unicode, and to activate the Unicode flag.

UCCHECK_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch


This transaction helps you confirm that the database uses the right code page.

SPUMG 1_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch


SPUMG 2_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch


Source System

The version of the source system has to be compatible with the target version. Several methods are available to ensure the technical requisites are met when the project starts.

Making sure the source operating system is indeed supported by the target version is very important. For instance, S/4HANA 1909 runs on Windows 2016 and later versions. If the source version runs on Windows 2008 or 2012, an upgrade to the operating system will be required.

The Product Availability Matrix (PAM) lets you check version compatibility.

Another way to do so is to execute the DMO of SUM on the source system and see if any upgrade is needed.

New call-to-actionCross-System Compatibility (SAP and Non-SAP)

It is important to validate all SAP (Business Warehouse, Process Orchestration, etc.) and non-SAP systems (electronic data interchange, interface, etc.) that will communicate with the software environment. Make sure that the S/4HANA conversion will go without a hitch and verify whether changes or adjustments need to be made.

Cross-System Compatibility_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch

SAP Components

The Maintenance Planner tool lets you know if third-party SAP components will cause problems during conversion. Some of these components are not compatible with S/4HANA and will have to be uninstalled or upgraded prior to starting the conversion.

Should there be incompatibility with a third-party component, it is important to contact the supplier to see if a new, compatible version is available, or if it’s possible to remove the non-compatible version.

SAP Components_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch

Remote Code Analysis in ABAP Test Cockpit (ATC)

Remote Code Analysis lets you validate the custom ABAP code, and helps you make sure said code will actually work after the S/4HANA conversion. This tool has to connect remotely to an SAP instance via Basic Component version 7.52.

Size of the HANA Database

This section refers to note 1872170 from the Online Service System (OSS). It contains the /SDF/HDB_SIZING program, which has to be downloaded via the development system, and then transported to the QA and Production servers. This program should be run in the background, and should take a few hours to execute.

It informs you of the size of the HANA database whether for Business Suite on HANA or S/4HANA.

Sizing for Suite on HANA_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch

Sizing for Suite on HANA_Business Suite on HANA_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch

Sizing for Suite on HANA_S4HANA_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch

Reducing the Size of the Database

Since the database uses memory, and since memory is expensive, it is more desirable to analyze what can be done to reduce overall size.

As demonstrated by the Sizing Report, it’s always possible to reduce the size of the database. The EWA Report offers recommendations to that end.

Deletion and Data Archiving_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_CreatechMany options are available to reduce the size of tables. For that matter, several tasks executed on a regular basis allow to hold a certain amount of data, thus reducing the size of tables.

It’s also possible to archive the data relating to business processes. Many other options are made available to you such as data suppression, data transport to a content server or via third-party software, etc.

Certified Material

To ensure the effectiveness of the database, the hardware used to support it must be certified by SAP. The certified hardware directory is continuously updated. Without that certification, SAP cannot ensure technical support and system effectiveness.

SAP Readiness Check

SAP Readiness Check is a set of online tools that lets you analyze several aspects around the S/4HANA transition.

A step-by-step documentation is available to help you implement different steps and notes of the OSS such as the execution of reports in the Production instance and the upload of files to the SAP online platform, allowing the generation of custom reports.

SAP Readiness Check Demo_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch

New Generation SAP Business Scenario Recommendations

This recommendation module lets you discover the best scenarios to improve your business processes. These recommendations require analyses and can generally be implemented prior to the S/4HANA conversion.

New Generation SAP Business Scenario Recommendations_SAP BSR_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch

Simplification Item Check

This ABAP program, which must be executed, analyzed and adjusted several weeks before an S/4HANA conversion, is mandatory in the framework of such project. It lets you validate several elements that will be affected during conversion. Besides, if this program has not been run during the execution of the technical portion (SUM), the conversion will not go beyond the technical requisites validation stage.

Simplification Item Check_SAP S4HANA_Conversion_Createch

As you can see, several requirements may delay the project and call for considerable effort.

That is why careful preparation will always allow for a better conversion!

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