Real SAP HANA Project Discussions and Lessons Learnt

SAP ABAP on HANA Projects

There are numerous S/4 HANA Projects which need Consultants viz Functionals, Technicals, Analysts, End Users. But there are not many lucky ones who have had real hands-on SAP HANA Work experience.

Most folks theoretically know, broadly there are below Types of HANA Projects:

i. ECC ABAP Code Optimization to get Ready to move to HANA
ii. HANA as Secondary Database
iii. HANA as Primary Database
iv. HANA Migration
v. HANA Implementation
vi. ABAP in S/4 HANA (full use of CDS/AMDP/SQL/Stored Procedures etc)

There are numerous documents floating on the internet about ABAP on HANA. They teach us how to do the Code to Data Paradigm shift. They also tell us how to make use of the new SQL. CDS, AMDP, Store Procedures are the future. But still until and unless you work in Real Project Scenarios, you do not now the nuisances of the new HANA world. 

Elimination of Aggregate and Index Tables
They say MATDOC table eliminates several aggregate and index tables. Similarly, S4HANA combines the data structures of different components (for FI , AA , CO , CO-PA and ML) into a single line item table ACDOCA, popularly projected as Universal Journal .

Data is inserted only one table instead of numerous tables thus reducing the data footprint exponentially. For example MKPF, MSEG tables are out o the picture. Same with the case of BKPF and BSEG. We heard that MATDOC itself eliminated more than 26 tables in Material Master and Inventory Management Module.

Primary Keys in Database Tables
With Column Store, every field acts like a Key in itself in Database Tables. But if you have not created a table yourself in S/4 HANA, you do not know whether you need to specifically mark all fields of the table as Primary Key or does it automatically takes itself as Primary Keys.

Adjustment of Tons and Tons of Custom Code (Y/Z Programs) in S/4 HANA
On one hand, they say BKPF, BSEG, MKPF, MSEG etc tables are eliminated. So what would happen to those custom reports which were using these tables? Do we need to re-write the custom codes to direct the selects to the new source of truth?

Somewhere we read that the READ OPERATIONs in the custom code (Y/Z Reports) will be redirected to compatibility views which are created in S/4 HANA (like view V_COEP for CO line item table COEP) through an intelligent setting at database interface level (which is invisible to source code) so that the custom reports can work seamlessly without any disruption.

No more Customer Master (XD01) or Vendor Master (XK01) in S/4 HANA. It’s all Business Partners
With S/4 HANA, Business Partner (BP) is the single point of entry to create, edit, and display master data for business partners, customers, and vendors. They call this Business Partner approach CVI (Customer Vendor Integration). Thankfully, the KNA1 (Customer Master) and LFA1 (Vendor Master) table are still available and are not impacted.

If you hit XK01 or XD01 t-codes, it would re-direct you to BP.

SAP documents suggest that to ensure a successful upgrade all customers/vendors and all contacts which relate to customer or vendor must be converted to a Business Partner including customers, vendors and assigned contacts with the deletion flag.

Pricing Table changed in Sales and Distribution
With the goal to simplify, SAP has also changed the data model in pricing and condition techniques. The existing table KONV table is replaced by new table PRCD_ELEMENTS with extended fields etc.

These are just like scratching the tip of the surface. The more we shake, more worms of the new system would crawl up the jar.

Now the above information is obtained from various sources on the internet. You may believe it or choose to ignore it. Seeing is believing. Until and unless you make your hands dirty on the S/4 HANA System or work on some real SAP HANA Projects, you would never know if the above are facts or just hoax. 🙂

This is the pain of the Consultants who have the half-baked theoretical knowledge about HANA and are itching to work in S/4 HANA but with no real experience they cannot bag a S/4 HANA Project.

Friends, on this page, we would like to invite and request all Consultants who have worked on real HANA projects to enlighten the fellow Consultants in this new area of SAP. Please keep the information flowing in. Please help others to understand the mystery of this new kid on town i.e. HANA Projects.

Please write your answers in the comment section for the basic below questions. It would be helpful if you would mention the Question Number for which you are answering. Please be elaborate on explaining the concept with images if needed. Please provide the Practical Tips and Tricks which the Consultants need to know and utilize on real projects.

Open Questions for you to Answer Please.

  1. ECC ABAP Code Optimization to get Ready to move to HANA
    a. What are the Steps in preparing an existing ECC system to make it ready for HANA? b. What are the code optimization changes to be done?
    c. How do you know what is to be Optimized when you are in ECC, even before you move to HANA?
    d. Is there any Standard Tools or T-Code which help identify the Optimization Points?
    e. Is there any configuration to be modified?
    f. Do we need to archive anything or regenerate something?
  2. HANA as Secondary Database or HANA as Primary Database
    Since this is just a change in the database, so it is expected that the business process and functions remain unchanged. Is there anything else ABAPers and Functional folks need to know?
  3. HANA Migration
    a. What exactly are the Migration Steps?
    b. What is done at ECC box?
    c. What is supposed to be done in the future HANA system?
    d. What are the Tools used and How?
  4. HANA Implementation
    a. What are the steps in the Implementation Process?
    b. What are the Tools available?
    c. What do Functional Team do?
    d. What are the responsibilities of the ABAPer?
    e. What are the Dos and the Donts?
  5. ABAP in S/4 HANA (full use of CDS/AMDP/SQL/Stored Procedures etc)
    a. Do we see any difference while creating custom Database Tables?
    b. Are there Primary Keys in the custom Database tables?
    c. Is there any table which does not exist in S/4 HANA?
    d. What are the new tables (most common ones) introduces in S/4 HANA?
    e. Is there anything new which ABAPers need to know while writing custom programs?
    f. Does the old custom Reports work or do all/some of them need change to work in S/4 HANA?
    g. How do you know which custom Report will not work in S/4 HANA?
    h. How do you know which Reports does not work Functionally?
    i. Apart from the usage of new SQL, CDS, AMDP, Stored Procedures, Code to Data shift what else do we need to consider as an ABAPer?
    j. What are the tips for writing ABAP code in ADT/HANA Studio?
    i. Any best practice suggestions for the S/4 HANA Programming?

If you know something, please write something. Please do not pass without leaving your thoughts. What might look insignificant information for you, might be a treasure for others.

If you know something, write something below.


    • Dear Shekar – What we understand as of now is BDC is still possible in S/4 HANA. But old BDC which used t-codes (XK01/XD01 etc) which are not supported in S/4 might need to be modified and corrected.

      Christian says ‘ the goal of SAP is to get rid of batch input. To achieve this it is necessary to to make the external data input via OData (first choice) or SOA services. These two options are available for onPrem and the Cloud deployment. For the onPrem deployment two further options are possible/available namely RFC and BAPI.

      This goal is by far not achieved. So for an onPrem deployment batch input is usually available as not every data input is covered by OData services.’

      Steve says ‘For example, all of the customer and vendor master data transactions (FK01, XK01, XD01, and friends) have gone away, to be replaced with the business partner transaction BP. If you have BDCs driving those, they’ll need re-writing.’

      Jelena says ‘BDC is like the cockroach of the SAP world – it’ll survive even HANA.’.

      Team SAPYard.

  1. Question : Is there anything new which ABAPers need to know while writing custom programs?

    Answer : With the advent of CDS and then smarter UX using Fiori, the programming model has completely changed. So if you are an abaper in a S/4 HANA project and if you get some custom developments/ application to build, please check how you can inculcate BOPF and Virtual data modeling concept using CDS.
    CDS and BOPF are the key to any abaper in future 🙂

  2. On the question of : “”How do you know what is to be Optimized when you are in ECC, even before you move to HANA?””
    — I do not have actual project experience but SAP recommends as follows: – Lets say you are on ECC 6.0 and ABAP version less than 740, then you are expected to have a standalone system which has AS ABAP 7.51 or AS 7.52.This system would be separate and not part of productive track. This system would then act as central system where you will configure ATC variant considering all HANA specific recommendations…Then you build RFC connections to your development system of productive track. now you can run the ATC variant in that development from central system using RFC and extract what and how many issues you have. This way you do not even have to upgrade the system to higher level and still get what needs to be done to move to HANA.

  3. For optimized code, always configure ATC variant and use it religiously for all transport movement to higher systems in stack..If you are on SAP AS ABAP 7.51, please use the basline functionality in ATC result management so that you can exclude all old code issues and concentrate only on issues coming in the changed code….

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