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Migrating custom code to SAP S/4HANA

Key pit stops on your roadmap to HANA

  • David Pierre
    David Pierre

SAP S/4HANA is all about simplification. Yet many companies are hesitant about moving their current SAP Business Suite to SAP S/4HANA. A good preparation is a great start. Let’s zoom in on a key topic to address in a transition process: migrating your custom code to the new SAP S/4HANA data model. 

Fewer tables means better performance

Let’s start with the why. What makes SAP S/4HANA the platform of choice? Simplicity is the name of the game! Thanks to the power of the SAP HANA in-memory platform, SAP has been able to simplify the SAP Business Suite data model dramatically. Performance gains at the database level have enabled SAP to completely remove intermediate result and aggregation tables from the data model. In many modules – FI/CO, SD/MM and more – the number of tables containing master data has been drastically minimized! Not only does this speed up overall performance, it also greatly reduces the memory footprint of your database.

Pave the way for quick and easy code adaptation

SAP has adapted all standard code in the SAP S/4HANA system to comply with the new data model. However, when it comes to your own customer-specific coding (“Z-code”) such as custom transactions or user exits, you are responsible for making sure that your code is adapted.
What are key steps to consider when preparing for your SAP S/4HANA conversion project, and, more specifically, your custom code migration?

  • Make your work as predictable as possible. Make sure you’re prepared ahead of time by inventorying your custom code and planning the code migration work.
  • Avoid unnecessary work. Clean up your custom code beforehand – you can start on this today! Did you know that, in most cases, 65% of customer code objects haven’t been used in the last 4 weeks, and 50% of custom code goes completely unused? Avoid unnecessary costs and system resource consumption. 

3 main types of code modifications

Now that you’ve carefully plotted out what needs to be done and have stripped away all unnecessary data, start adapting your custom code. Keep reading to learn more about the 3 major types of modifications you’ll need to implement:

  • Make sure your code complies to the new SAP S/4HANA data model. These changes are typically mandatory. Examples include the extended MATNR field and the use of old/new database tables in the simplified data model. Work through the custom code migration worklist, which includes references to SAP notes and documentation that will help you resolve these inconsistencies. By the way, SAP also provides a lot of compatibility features such as stable BAPI interfaces and CDS compatibility views for removed database tables.
  • Remove technical incompatibilities from your code that will now be running on a HANA database. Examples are implicit database sorting, native SQL code and database hints. Luckily, there are tools available to support you, such as the ABAP Test Cockpit.
  • Take advantage of the opportunity to identify and resolve performance bottlenecks, such as reports or batch jobs that run for a very long time. If you have to go through your custom code anyway, why not leverage the power of HANA to benefit your business with ultra-fast online transactions and reports?

Choose the scope of your project

Keep in mind that only some of these activities are mandatory, while many are optional functional/performance optimizations. After all, when it comes to the scope of your project, you’re in the driver’s seat. Looking for somebody to help you navigate the road to migration success? Flexso can help – find out how below.

The Flexso approach to SAP S/4HANA migration

We can help you optimize your migration by helping you with the following steps during your preparation phase (no SAP S/4HANA system is required at this point in your project):

  • Analyze, inventory and document the impact of your custom code on your SAP S/4HANA project
  • Document your custom code objects, including their actual use in production
  • Define the scope of your migration and determine which objects should be kept and discarded
  • Prioritize (using MoSCoW principles) custom code migration actions: mandatory modifications, optional optimizations, functional innovations
  • Estimate the budget for the final list of custom code migration actions

Contact us for more information!

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