SAP S/4HANA stands for simplification of the worlds leading Business Suite. Since the announcement we have received good feedback and the market is reacting positive and adopting fast, and of course the need for clarification of a key question: “What will change?”

To make one thing clear upfront, we want every client to use the opportunity to simplify, to reduce complexity, to give up on things that create complexity – to be able to re-think what really is needed. AND we do simplify also some of our own historical debt as we needed to build the systems for traditional relational databases in the past. Now we can fully leverage the power of a truth in-memory platform. And we are frequently updating the SAP S/4HANA cookbook with details needed here SAP S/4HANA Cookbook: What is SAP S/4HANA

Why a simplification database?

Very simple, we are changing and developing new functionality, we are re-architecting for SAP HANA and keeping what still makes sense – of course with compatibility in mind – but we are changing the solution. This said, we clearly want to make sure you do not think we are throwing things away that you need to run your business, but we want you to run in a simpler way. So here is the plan:

  • For the items with a technical impact, even on custom code additional information is provided
  • These Items are stored in a dedicated so called “Simplification Item Database”.
  • The content of the database is considered within the Custom Code Check Tool
  • We will publish this information with the launch and keep it up to date

As a result of using the Custom Code Check Tool or a comparable service the customer does get an overview where his current solution scope and also the custom code of his current SAP Business Suite release does not match to the scope and data structure of SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition.

Simplification-DB overview

A dedicated simplification item database (short: S-DB) is then available in SAP NetWeaver (7.50) . The simplification items in the S-DB are used in the context of the Custom Code Management tools. The content of the S-DB is based on the application specific lists about changed entities which development will constantly maintain and update.

The Simplification Database and custom code

To support the customer to detect custom code which needs to be adapted when moving to SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition – a customer can verify his current custom code based on the offered custom code analysis tools. With this he can verify if his current custom code complies with the SAP S/4HANA data structures and scope.

In the context of custom code management a central component is a data store called “Simplification Item Database” that will contain all information about the changes that have taken place between the classical Business Suite and SAP S/4HANA. The following figure describes basically the supporting custom code management approach related to SAP S/4HANA.

A simplification item contains different detailed information about simplifications, impact and related services:

  • Basic Information
    The Simplification-Items are edition/release dependent. In the first collection round we are focusing on SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition 1511. 
  • Simplification Category
    e have the following categories of simplifications:
    • Change of existing functionality
      Functionality which is adapted in detail (e.g. data model changes removal of aggregates or the Material Master Field length extension) / required primarily technical migration. From a business process and end user point of view, basically stays the same as before – but might come with custom code adaption effort on customer side
    • Consolidation of existing functionality 

Simplification items

  • Impact
    In the impact section the technical and the business impact will be described with the following categories
    • Technical Impact
      • Custom Code Impact
        Here we mentioned if we have custom code impact. In this case the objects which are adapted are listed and additionally included in the Simplification Database as basis for the custom code check tools (executed on customer’s
        on-premise installation). These changed entities are maintained in appropriate item lists (transaction SE01)
      • System Conversion Pre-Checks
        Here application specific checks are listed which will be provided to check the “readiness” of the appropriate start release.
      • XPRA
        Here automated program logic is listed, which need to be executed within the system conversion steps (Software Update Manager, Maintenance Planer)
    • Business Impact
      Here the business impact on business processes and user interfaces are described.

  • Related Services
    Here the adaption effort (in T-Shirt sizes) are listed and related service offerings will be mentioned.

Note: In the current phase the customer need a NW 7.50 installation to execute the custom code check. In future cloud based code analysis are planned.

Simplification list – example

How to use the Simplification Database

The development entities adapted in SAP S/4HNA, on-premise edition 1511 offered as file for download on SAP Service Marketplace. The customer can import the file with the relevant SAP entities into the so-called Simplification Database Custom Code Management Tools.

The customer can extract his customer code from source system and create a similar file with this information (see SAP note 2185390 for further details). This custom code extractor file can be imported in the NW7.50 custom code check tool. 

With executing the Custom Code Analysis Tools on customer side the information about the current custom code base are checked against the content of the Simplification Item Database. This custom code information includes modifications and enhancements to SAP code as well as customer-owned main objects, respective where-used list information and possibly available usage information (UPL).

As results of this Custom Code analysis an appropriate analysis results is provided in an ALV-like list (including XLS download opportunities). Besides the pure listing of customers code entities which do not comply with the SAP S/4HANA data structure and scope, additional information is provided based on SAP notes.

Recommendations will be included in the resulting list, so customers will be able to navigate from a dedicated custom code analysis results to a corresponding SAP Note. The dedicated SAP Notes then will give the explanation about the technical change and how the related custom code needs to be adapted. Based on the results the individual custom code analysis results and the provided adaption recommendations the customer can plan and adapt his custom code to comply with the SAP S/4HANA data structures and scope.

Simplification list – details/overview

See update in my colleagues blog here: The System Conversion to SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition 1511 – Technical procedure and semantic adaption tasks

Further improvements we are working on in time for the next update with SAP S/4HANA 1511, let us know what you think.

Looking forward to see you @Teched (a sample of my favorites here S/4HANA @ Teched 2015 #S4HANA )and follow me via @SDenecken for frequent updates.

New NetWeaver Information at

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