S4HANA conversion DTV tool (data transition validation)

When you are running S4HANA conversion, this will include financial data conversion. For compliancy reasons the FICO business will demand you run reports before and after the conversion to show that the data is converted ok.

To structure these checks the DTV tool (data transition validation tool) was developed by SAP.

How to install the DTV tool

Master note for the DTV tool is 3117879 – DTV Tool – Central Note.

DTV tool can be used for S4HANA 2021 and higher as target system. There is no installation needed there.

For the source system you need to be on the right support package or install via TCI delivery note 3103342 – DTV Tool Initial Delivery.

Technical reference blog from SAP: link.

How to run the DTV tool

Start of the tool is transaction code DVF:

The detailed steps are described high level in this SAP blog.

All detailed steps (including how to setup connections to source system) are explained in the SAP help file for the DTV tool.

SAP Activate methodology for S4HANA implementations

In the past there was the RunSAP implementation methodology. This is now succeeded with the SAP Activate methodology. The most important one is the S4HANA implementation.

You can go to the methodology using this link.

The roadmap now opens:

The methodology is split into several phases:

  • Discover
  • Prepare
  • Explore
  • Realize
  • Deploy
  • Run

The method is focusing more on using out-of-the-box SAP software and focused on Agile/Scrum way of implementing S4HANA.

On the tab content you can find useful content per phase:

And accelerators per phase:

Keep in mind the method is focusing on green field implementation. Nevertheless you can still use the content and accelerators in your own projects.

SAP Process discovery

SAP offers new tool called Process discovery.

This tool can help you to prepare for an S4HANA conversion.

Preparation

Apply OSS notes 2758146 and 2745851  and move them to your productive system.

Then run program RC_VALUE_DISCOVERY_COLL_DATA in productive system with the business scenario recommendation option.

The first option is for the pathfinder tool. You can read more on this option in this blog.

Let the batch job collect the data. Run the program again and use button Download Analysis Data to download the data.

The analysis

Now you can upload this file to the SAP site. Wait about 5 working days for SAP the process the data.

You can look at a sample report on this link:

And you can see the demo results:

Background

Background on SAP process discovery can be read in this SAP blog.

In case of issues you can read the troubleshooting guide: 2977422 – Process Discovery (evolution of SAP Business Scenario Recommendations) & SAP Pathfinder report – troubleshooting guide.

Read more in OSS note 2918818 – Usage and Performance Data Collection for Process Discovery (evolution of SAP Business Scenario Recommendations) and SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder on Spotlight on the inclusion of usage and performance data.

SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA upgrades

The SAP readiness check is normally used to asses the impact of an ECC to an S4HANA system upgrade or conversion (read this blog).

It can also be used to asses the impact of an upgrade of a lower S4HANA version to a newer S4HANA version.

Preparation for the S4HANA readiness check

First apply the notes listed in master note 3059197 – SAP Readiness Check for SAP S/4HANA upgrades. If you have a short dump after start of program RC_COLLECT_ANALYSIS_DATA, follow the instructions in OSS note 3093810 – Executing report RC_VALUE_DISCOVERY_COLL_DATA immediately results in an ABAP Dump CX_SY_DYN_CALL_ILLEGAL_FUNC.

Also apply the notes mentioned in OSS note 3061414 – Enabling extended integration impact analysis for SAP Readiness Check, if you want to include ALE scenario’s in your analysis.

If you have to upgrade to a newer version, apply the latest version of the 305197 note and afterwards use the “Update latest version form SAP catalog”, as explained in OSS note 3213713 – SAP S/4HANA Readiness check report do not show latest S/4HANA target releases.

Running the check

Start program RC_COLLECT_ANALYSIS_DATA:

Start the batch job and wait until it is done.

Start program RC_COLLECT_ANALYSIS_DATA again and push button Download Analysis Data.

This file you need to upload on the SAP Readiness check site.

Result

After you have uploaded the results SAP needs about 1 hour to process the results. Then you can look at the items you need to consider for your S4HANA release upgrade:

Remark: the amount of items will be far less than the ECC to S4HANA conversion readiness check.

Bug fix notes

Bug fix notes:

Reducing S4HANA upgrade downtime: ZDO, zero downtime option

Next to nZDTM (near zero downtime) there is now a new option called ZDO (Zero Downtime Option). This new option even further reduces the downtime of an upgrade to a newer version.

The ZDO option is primarily available for S4HANA upgrades (for example upgrade from S4HANA 2020 to S4HANA 20201), but is also available for products based on the same ABAP version, like SAP Focused Run.

How does the ZDO work?

ZDO is the next evolution of the shadow system. Now not only the code is duplicated, but also the data and settings. This is done in a so called bridge system. Postings are duplicated in the main and in the bridge system.

In this way the business downtime is further reduced:

A ramp down, restart and ramp up is still required.

Technical background

All the technical background and restrictions are listed in OSS note 2707731 – Prerequisites and restrictions of Zero Downtime Option of SUM for SAP S/4HANA and training ADM330e.

The note states as well that the basis person must have followed the training ADM330e before the customer is allowed to perform the ZDO option. The option is released for customer, after training. Why is training required? The option is technically very nice, but also complex (updates are done in both the old and new release). The restrictions and execution must be done correctly and in high quality fashion. This cannot be done without proper training.

You should also do a full dress rehearsal of the ZDO upgrade including people posting data in the system during the bridge phase.

Execution of ZDO issues

During execution of ZDO, you will get far more issues and errors as compared to the downtime optimized scenarios. For this reason, the first ZDO upgrade you execute should be on a sandbox system. Preferably as a copy of your productive system. You will learn a lot of things on the sandbox upgrade, to make the real upgrade later on go smooth.

Addons

Some addons might block the upgrade. Some can still be allowed in the upgrade, but cannot be upgraded along with the upgrade and have to remain at the same version. At the bottom of note 2707731 there is an always up to date excel file containing the Allow List for addons.

OSS notes in ZDO checks phase

During the prechecks and later even in shadow system build up, SUM will come with list of OSS notes that need to be applied in main system or in shadow.

For the real upgrade: already apply all the notes on the development system before the upgrade and transport these to production.

Database inconsistencies

All database inconsistencies must be resolved. Repair via SE14, see blog.

BI system settings

ZDO is currently only supported for embedded BI scenario. This might mean you need to get help from your BI team on de-activating some BI content.

To find out what is blocking: go to transaction SE24 and enter class CL_RS_UTILITIES. Start the test tool and launch method GET_SYSTEM_SCOPE. If the answer is DATA_WAREHOUSE, this will block the upgrade. Use your debug skills (or ask ABAP developer) to see which items are throwing roadblocks. Then de-activate or delete that content (with help of your BI team).

Old HANA transport containers

Some old HANA content might block the ZDO upgrade. Read more on this in OSS note 2982320 – HTA for HDI: Error in execution of HDI call: insufficient privilege. Steps to solve: repair privileges on the ABAP HANA user. Run program SCTS_HTA_ADMIN in repair mode.

Background

Background blog from SAP: read here.

S4HANA security parameter baseline changes

If you convert your ECC system to S4HANA or upgrade a S4HANA system to a higher version, you should check the security parameters. A lot of parameters have a different recommendation in S4HANA.

Questions that are answered in this blog are:

  • Where can I find information on security parameter changes after S4HANA conversion or upgrade?
  • How can I check if the changed security parameter are properly implemented in my S4HANA system?

Security parameter changes S4HANA

OSS note 2926224 – Collection Note: New security settings for SAP S/4HANA and SAP BW/4HANA using SL Toolset and SUM is the master note. This note contains an important excel attachment that is listing all the changes and recommendations per S4HANA target version.

This note is also referring to OSS note 2926224 – Collection Note: New security settings for SAP S/4HANA and SAP BW/4HANA using SL Toolset and SUM, in which more details are explained on the background.

Checking implementation of security parameter changes in the system itself

After your upgrade to S4HANA, you can run program RSPFRECOMMENDED to check how well the security parameters are implemented:

Set up parallel landscape for upgrades and conversions

When doing a conversion from SAP ECC towards S4HANA you will face a long period where the system is frozen for changes. In most cases business changes still need to continue. For this situation setting up a parallel landscape is a good solution. A parallel landscape might be required for other major upgrades or large data conversions.

How does a parallel landscape work?

How does the parallel landscape work? Initially we have a DEV, UAT and PRD system landscape where transports move from DEV to UAT to PRD system.

With a parallel landscape we install a second development and UAT environment of the same version as the production system. Let’s call them DE2 and UA2.

Now we can start to convert and upgrade the DEV and UAT system to the new target version.

Now 3 development moves are happening:

  1. From DE2 to UA2 to PRD the changes that business is needing (automated support via STMS).
  2. From DE2 to DEV system there is manual synchronization required (dual or double maintenance): all code changes and settings need to be redone (or in some cases even redeveloped).
  3. Transport from DEV to UAT (automated support via STMS): here is where you make your future fixes and developments and move these from DEV to UAT system for testing.

Conflicts between points 2 and 3 often need manual resolution.

At the go-live moment, all transports are imported into PRD from the UAT environment. After live the DE2 and UA2 system can be decommissioned.

Costs of a parallel landscape

Don’t underestimate the costs of a parallel landscape:

  • Your infrastructure for Development and UAT system will double.
  • If you are unlucky you also need parallel landscape for connected systems like BI and SCM.
  • You need basis resources to install, setup, monitor and update the extra systems.
  • More transports to monitor and to keep track of.
  • The double maintenance is a lot of work to be done manually. You need also extra person to keep track of administration that the double maintenance is done properly.

Tooling might exist to help, but in practice it cannot cover too many use cases. So don’t get your hopes too high on them.

Alternatives for parallel landscape

There are alternatives for a parallel landscape:

  • Accept the freeze period
  • Set up an emergency repair box: copy productive system to a special system for emergency repairs only

These alternatives can be an option for smaller landscapes and organizations.

S4HANA conversion preparations

You are going for S4HANA conversion if your start release is ECC6.0. Then you are not only upgrading your system, but actually a large part of your data (financial data, stock data, customer data, vendor data, etc) is converted from the ECC 6.0 to the S4HANA data model.

A great amount of preparations are required for a conversion to S4HANA. If you are on a S4HANA start release and want to upgrade to a higher version, the steps are far less. In that case read the blog on upgrading in stead of the blog below, which focuses on the conversion.

Summary of preparations to consider:

Readiness check and pathfinder

A good first step is to run the S4HANA Readiness Check 2.0. This tool will give you a first insight into the use of your current system and potential blocks and work for the S4HANA conversion. How to run the check is explained in this blog.

The readiness check is more based on existing functionality. The pathfinder tool is a tool that can help you more into new and innovative scenarios. Read more about pathfinder in this blog.

Sizing

You need to switch your system from your current database to a HANA database. This has impact on both your database size and your system sizing. Read more about in this blog on S4HANA system sizing, based on your current system usage.

A database migration can be done before the S4HANA conversion, but in most cases the database migration and S4HANA conversion are combined in one step.

Data archiving

To speed up the data migration, data archiving and data deletion is required to execute in many cases. The archiving and deletion can already be done before your S4HANA conversion project starts. For information on deletion of technical data read this blog. For data archiving, you first start with the business discussions on retention times (read this blog). After the discussions are done, you execute the technical execution according to this blog.

Remove unused clients

Unused clients must be removed. Removal of clients 001 and 066 are mandatory and to be removed before the conversion starts. Read more in this blog.

Add-ons

Add-ons can be the worst nightmare in a S4HANA conversion. If an add on is no longer required, first check if it can be uninstalled.

See OSS note 2011192 – Uninstallation of ABAP add-ons for SAP delivered add-ons, and OSS note 2911053 – Uninstallation configuration for 3rd party delivered add-ons.

If you do need to convert your system to S4HANA including the add-ons, please read OSS note 2214409 – SAP S/4HANA: Compatible Add-Ons. This note refers to the list of compatible SAP and 3rd party add-ons for each S4HANA version.

The SAP add-ons will normally be ready within few months after release of new S4HANA version. 3rd party add-ons differ per supplier. Some are really fast and can deliver you the needed ACP file within a week. Some take months or longer than 1 year. If you have such a poor add-on supplier, your complete conversion will block until the supplier has done its work. Best to impose pressure via management (best is via CIO or head of IT procurement) on the supplier to speed up.

Custom code adjustments

During the S4HANA conversion process all custom code must be validated and adjusted in these cases:

  • Changes due to HANA database change
  • Changes due to S4HANA data model changes

You can already change in the existing ECC 6.0 system parts of the code before the actual conversion. To see what you need to change, you need to set up an extra ABAP netweaver stack and run remote ATC checks for S4HANA readiness of the custom code. Read the details in this blog.

Next to S4HANA readiness, you can also scan your custom code for use of unsupported SAP objects. Read the details in this blog.

Custom code performance

You can use the SQLM and SWLT tools on your current productive system to determine your code points that already eat up most of your system performance now. These points are an opportunity to improve in the S4HANA conversion.

Data transition validation tool

During the S4HANA conversion FICO data and other data will be migrated to new data structures. The business needs to validate if the conversion was done correctly and proof this. Consider the use of the DTV tool (data transition validation) for this purpose.

Use of Eclipse for custom code

On S4HANA many new developments are possible in custom code, like CDS views. For these tools the ABAP developers need on their front end the ABAP Eclipse tool. Read these blogs: installation of ABAP Eclipse and backend activation.

S4HANA simplification items

The S4HANA simplification items must be dealt with. Already before starting the conversion, you can run the simplification items checks and assess their impact. Read this blog on how to run the S4HANA simplification items check.

CVI integration / BP integration

The CVI (customer vendor integration), also known as BP (Business Partner) integration can be a very time consuming piece of the S4HANA conversion preparation. More on this topic can be learned on the OpenSAP training dedicated to the Business Partner conversion in S4HANA.

FICO changes

In S4HANA new general ledger and new asset management are mandatory to be used. If your current system does not yet use new general ledger and/or new asset management, you need to plan a lot of time for the FICO consultants and FICO business for the FICO data conversion.

SLT triggers

If you are using SLT triggers, also check this OSS note carefully: 2755741 – Potential Impact of SLT During SAP S/4HANA System Conversion / Upgrade of S/4HANA System. In some cases it is better to drop the triggers and recreate after the upgrade.

Set up of parallel landscape

Most likely your ECC system has a lot of topics to be dealt with. This also means that the conversion project will take between 6 and 12 months in duration. During this time more or less changes must continue to be implemented for diverse business and legal reasons.

For most support packages and upgrades a parallel landscape might be over the top. But for a S4HANA conversion it is definitely not a luxury item.

Best to start your planning and implementation directly with a parallel landscape in mind.

More about parallel landscape in this blog.

Security parameter changes

After the conversion to S4HANA you need to consider new and updated security parameter recommendations from SAP. You can prepare yourself already for this step. Read more in this blog.

Downtime reduction

An S4HANA conversion can take a long time to implement, but also a long time to run in productive system. It can take a complete day, weekend or even extended weekend (including Friday and Monday) to execute the conversion on production.

During your S4HANA conversion you should really spend time on downtime minimization.

First step is to determine the maximum downtime you are allowed to have by the business. If you have this timing, use the first sandbox and development system conversions to measure the expected downtime as first estimate. You can use the downtime recording from the SUM tool. But you have to add time for many more elements:

  • Graceful shutdown
  • Data checks after the migration
  • Transport imports after the migration
  • System validation after the imports
  • Graceful startup

Test the actual downtime on your acceptance system. If required, you can also create extra copy of production to a special conversion upgrade dress rehearsal system to practice the downtime and your optimizations.

Tips for downtime reduction:

  1. Check the SUM options for downtime reduction
  2. Check the downtime optimization app from SAP: see this blog
  3. Consider to include customer transports in SUM: see this blog
  4. Consider to contact SAP if your system is very large and you outage window requirements are not met by the actual times. SAP can offer tailored services to further reduce your downtime. These services are expensive, but can be worth the money to help your project meet the business maximum downtime requirements

Transaction codes that are changed

S4HANA conversion comes with changes to transaction codes. Old ones are replaced by new ones. New transactions are present. FIORI tiles replacing transaction codes. And many more. Unfortunately there is no central list. OSS note 3118651 – How to identify, which Apps/Transaction codes are obsolete or replaced in SAP S/4 HANA? provides hints on assembling a list for your use case.

FIORI app recommendations

The FIORI app recommendations tool can already be used before the start of your S4HANA conversion project. You can use the current ST03N data in your ECC system and upload it to the FIORI app recommendation tool. This can give you insights into parts where you can support the user better with FIORI apps. More information on the FIORI app recommendations tool can be found in this blog.

Use of embedded LiveCache

In case your ECC system is connected to SCM APO system, you might consider to start using the embedded LiveCache in S4HANA as a replacement of the SCM APO system livecache.

This can only be done if:

  • SCM is not used by other ECC systems as well
  • You validated you can replace all functions
  • You have sufficient time in your project for the replacement

If yes, it will save you a complete SCM landscape.

More background on embedded LiveCache setup is in this blog.

SAP best practices

SAP has an excellent best practice document “Upgrading SAP S/4HANA: Why, How, and Best Practices”.

S4HANA upgrade preparations

When you are already using S4HANA, you will still want to regularly upgrade to the newest version. This blog will explain the preparation steps for a next upgrade.

If you are looking for information about S4HANA conversion (from ECC to S4HANA): read this dedicated blog on S4HANA conversion preparations.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • What do I need to check as part of an S4HANA upgrade?
  • Where do I find information on the HANA database revision upgrade?
  • Do I need to run the simplifications check again?
  • Do I need to check my addons again?
  • How can I check for differences in SAP FIORI apps?
  • How can I reduce downtime for my S4HANA upgrade?
  • How can I know about changes to security parameters after the S4HANA upgrade?
  • If I am upgrading an existing S4HANA system to a higher version, do I still need to do the simplification items?

HANA database revision

For each S4HANA upgrade, first you must apply the minimum revision published by SAP before you can start the upgrade.

You can apply this revision already in your running system as well.

HANA DB revision usage for S4HANA can be found in this OSS note: 2655761 – SAP S/4HANA – restrictions and recommendations regarding specific revisions of SAP HANA database for use in SAP S/4HANA.

Add ons

For each upgrade, you need to validate that the addons you use are already released for your target upgrade version.

Generic OSS note is 2214409 – SAP S/4HANA: Compatible Add-Ons. This will refer to version specific OSS note you must read.

Simplification items

For each upgrade, you must update the TCI note for the simplifications items and run the checks. See blog. So you still need to do simplification items between the versions!

For an ECC to S4HANA conversion this list is long to very long (can contain over 100 items). For an upgrade from S4HANA lower to higher version, the list is typically only 10 or less items.

FIORI apps impacted by the upgrade

FIORI apps can change between versions. Older apps are replaced by new ones. You might need to act on this if the apps are used by the business. To get a list of SAP FIORI app differences, follow the instructions from this SAP blog.

Readiness check

Also for S4HANA upgrades from older to newer S4HANA version, you can run the readiness check. Read more about it in this blog.

SLT triggers

If you are using SLT triggers, also check this OSS note carefully: 2755741 – Potential Impact of SLT During SAP S/4HANA System Conversion / Upgrade of S/4HANA System. In some cases it is better to drop the triggers and recreate after the upgrade.

Custom code checks

A quick check on the use of unreleased SAP objects in custom code can help to avoid upgrade issues. To execute the run, check this blog.

Downtime reduction

An S4HANA upgrade can take a long time to run in productive system. It can take a complete day to execute the upgrade on production.

During your S4HANA upgrade you should really spend time on downtime minimization.

First step is to determine the maximum downtime you are allowed to have by the business. If you have this timing, use the first sandbox and development system conversions to measure the expected downtime as first estimate. You can use the downtime recording from the SUM tool. But you have to add time for many more elements:

  • Graceful shutdown
  • Transport imports after the upgrade
  • System validation before startup
  • Graceful startup

Test the actual downtime on your acceptance system. If required, you can also create extra copy of production to a special conversion upgrade dress rehearsal system to practice the downtime and your optimizations.

Tips for downtime reduction:

  1. Check the SUM options for downtime reduction
  2. Check the downtime optimization app from SAP: see this blog
  3. Consider to include customer transports in SUM: see this blog
  4. Consider to contact SAP if your system is very large and you outage window requirements are not met by the actual times. SAP can offer tailored services to further reduce your downtime. These services are expensive, but can be worth the money to help your project meet the business maximum downtime requirements

Security parameter changes

After S4HANA upgrade, there are new and updated security parameters. Read more on this topic in this blog.

SAP best practices

SAP has an excellent best practice document “Upgrading SAP S/4HANA: Why, How, and Best Practices”.

SAP road map explorer

What are new features SAP will deliver in the future for my technology or business product?

This is where the SAP road map explorer helps.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How to use the SAP road map explorer?

SAP road map explorer

You can start the SAP road map explorer with the URL https://roadmaps.sap.com/:

Clik on the most viewed road maps, for example SAP S4HANA:

On top you can select a different product like HANA Cloud, ABAP, business technology platform, etc.

Next to the product you can use filters for your process, industry and specific topics to narrow down the list.

By clicking on the innovation you get more details. There is a tab called capability view. This is a very interesting feature, since is shows related innovations for this feature and that will save you a lot of searching time: