SAP® S/4 HANA: Technical Basics

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JULY 23, 2020


Recently SAP® S/4 HANA, the fourth version of business suite came out as the greatest and most successful innovation of the company after R/3. SAP® Business Suite 4 HANA or SAP® S/4 HANA (in short) is a next-generation business suite that runs with SAP® HANA. This innovation is based on the “In-Memory” database, a creatively designed medium with a user-friendly experience as of SAP® FIORI. It was created firsthand to simplify any business development in its day to day activities including OTC (Order to Cash), P2P (Procure to Pay), Plan to Product, Material Management, etc. with ease. It connects people’s devices and business networks directly without any medium to prevent errors. It has two editions namely On-Premise and Cloud.

  • On-Premise edition is of traditional licensing wherein the company (client) maintains and controls their own servers to run their business. Every year SAP® releases a new version for this platform. SAP® S/4 HANA 1909 is the latest version released in September 2019.
  • Cloud edition is of subscription licensing wherein data is hosted by the company (client) in SAP® servers and SAP® maintains that data. For cloud edition, SAP® releases new versions on a quarterly basis. SAP® S/4 HANA 1908 is the latest version released in August 2019.

SAP® S/4 HANA is deployed either on-premise or cloud or hybrid to best suit the business needs and simplify the present-day issues of business development with its flexibility and functionality.

SAP® S4 HANA Modules:

S/4 HANA modules can be categorized based on specific business purposes and it’s functionality. These business purposes include Finance, Logistics, and Material Management, etc. The most prominent one is Simple Finance/SAP® Finance. It systematizes all the financial concerns of the business. S/4 HANA has dozens of modules to meet the need of every category in business development. Let’s take a look at some of the modules included in S/4 HANA.

Sales and Distribution:

Sales and Distribution deals with business processes related to sales, shipping, and billing of a product.

The main components are Master data, Sales, Shipping, Transportation, Billing, Sales support, Foreign Trade.

  • Sales Support is not available in SAP® S/4 HANA.
  • In S4/HANA, a new output management approach has been implemented and is set as the default for newly created.
  • SD rebate processing is replaced by Settlement Management.
  • VBUK (Header Status and Administrative Data), VBUP (Item Status) status tables are eliminated and moved to VBAK (Header Data), and VBAP (Item Data) for sales documents. Similarly for deliveries LIKP (Delivery Header Data) and LIPS (Delivery Item Data), and billing table VBRK (Header Data).
  • VBFA is the document flow table and it is simplified in S/4 HANA.
  • Elimination of redundancies in the document index tables VAKPA (Orders by Partner Function), VAPMA (Order Items by Material), VLKPA (Deliveries by Partner Functions), VLPMA (Delivery Items by Material), VRKPA (Bills by Partner Functions), VRPMA (Billing Items per Material).
  • The content of KONV (Conditions table) is transferred to PRCD_ELEMENTS in S/4 HANA.
  • In the credit management, Transaction codes such as FCV1 (Create A/R Summary), FCV2 (Delete A/R Summary), FCV3 (Early Warning List), FD24 (Credit Limit Changes), FD32 (Change Customer Credit Management), FDK43 (Credit Management — Master Data List), VKM2 (Released SD Documents), VKM3 (Sales Documents), and VKM5 (Deliveries) are not available.
  • In the credit management, reports namely RFARI020 (extract from credit master data), RFARI030 (import credit master data), and RFDFILZE (Branch/Head office reconciliation) are not available.
  • The credit limit checks A, B, C are not available in S/4 HANA. Only type D is available. (Note: Here A, B, C, D are referred as Indicators).
  • SD Revenue Recognition is not available in SAP® S/4 HANA and is replaced by Revenue Accounting and Revenue functionality.
  • In the Revenue recognition, VF42 (Update Sales Document), VF43 (Posting Doc), VF44 (Worklist), VF45 Revenue Report), VF46 (Cancellation), VF47 (Consistency Check), VF48 (Compare Report) transaction codes are not available.
  • Master data in ECC is replaced by business partner in SAP® S/4 HANA.
  • Document Index table and Rebate Index table are removed from SAP® S/4 HANA.
  • Output management based on NAST (Message Storage) is replaced by Business Rules Framework plus.

Material Management:

MM module deals with procurement handling and it contains master data, system configuration and it runs Procure to pay process. Key components include Source Determination, Vendor Selection, Goods Receipts, and Inventory Management.

  • WebDynpro Applications of SAP® ERP Materials Management are not available with SAP® S/4 HANA.
  • Transactions and BAPIs for the business objects Purchase Order, Purchase Requisition, and Supplier Invoice are replaced in S/4 HANA.
  • Collective Processing of Purchase Requisitions and Single Processing of Purchase Requisitions are not available in S/4 HANA.
  • SAP® ERP shopping cart functionality is moved into S/4 HANA Purchase Requisition.
  • SAP® SRM MDM catalog is not available in S/4 HANA and is replaced by the catalog search function.
  • Output management based on NAST is still supported for new documents in the purchase order.

Finance and Controlling/Simple Finance:

Simple Finance records all financial transactions for an organization and helps in managing all the financial data. SAP® FI mainly deals with overall financial reporting and accounting. SAP® CO covers planning and monitoring costs.

  • Financial Transaction Management and few processes such as price adjustments were adjusted in S/4 HANA.
  • The master data model for the commodity master data is simplified in S/4 HANA.
  • Financial Transaction Management, BAPIs for class data, FUT and LOPT- Class data, Mass cash settlement areas are adjusted.
  • FS01 (Create Master Record), FS02 (Change Master Record), FS03 (Display Master Record) transaction codes are combined into FS00 (G/L acct master record maintenance).
  • Reconciliation postings are no longer necessary with closing operations.
  • Default transaction types for down payments are changed to different tables i.e. from TABWV to TABWD.
  • Universal Journal ACDOCA table replaces the totals and application index tables.
  • SAP® controlling is assigned in the universal journal and material ledger activation is made mandatory requirement in S/4 HANA.
  • Instead of creating the credit controlling area, credit segments are defined and assigned to BP (Business Partner) role.
  • Asset transaction data is posted through ABLDT which in turn escapes the reconciliation issues error.
  • In real-time, planned depreciation values can be updated even if there is no change in the asset master data.
  • LSMW (Legacy System Migration Workbench) is not used for data migration anymore. Instead, SAP® Rapid Data Migration based on SAP® Data Services software (for On-Premise) and SAP® S/4HANA Migration Cockpit and SAP® S/4HANA Migration Object Modeler are offered.

Production Planning:

PP module deals with the production process namely Capacity Planning, Master Production Scheduling and Master Data needed for Bill of materials, etc.

  • Optimizations made- multi-level, make to order planning.
  • S/4 HANA will not support net change planning in the planning horizon.
  • MDAB (Planning file — Set Up BATCH), MDRE (Checking Plnng File In BCKGRND Mode), MSAB (Set Up Plnng Files Entries BATCH), MSAC (Delete Plnng Files Entries BATCH) transaction codes are no longer available.
  • RMDBVM00 (Conversion of planning file entries), RMDBVM10 (Reset planning file entries), RMMDVM10 (Check Consistency of Planning Files), RMMDVM20 (Create Planning File Entries), RMMDVL10 (Delete Planning File Entries for a Scenario), RMMDVL20 (Create File Entries for a Scenario) reports are no longer available in SAP® S/4 HANA.
  • Some original planning files such as MDVM (Entry in MRP File)/MDVL (Planning File Entry for Long Term Planning) and DBVM (Planning File Entry, MRP Area)/DBVL (Planning File Entry, MRP Area, Long — Term Planning) does not exist and were replaced by PPH_DBVM.
  • Custom code reading tables RQIT (Item record for requirements total records in MRP), RQHD (Header record for requirements total records in MRP) or MDRI (Generated Table for View MDRI) will be replaced by RESB (store Reservation/dependent requirements data).
  • MRP live does not perform forecast based planning in HANA.
  • PFSE (Call Process Flow Scheduler), PX01 (Planning Area, External Plan. Tool), PX02 (Planning Tool, Physical System), PX03 (Planning Tool), PX04 (Ext. Planning Tool: StartParam. WinNT), PX05 (External Planning Tool: Lock Table) transaction codes are not available.

Human Resource Management & Success Factors™:

Human Capital Management (HCM) is the module deals with the human resources of an organization which helps in activities namely recruiting, salary information, performance evaluation, etc.

  • SAP® SuccessFactors has the advanced features than SAP® HCM.
  • SAP® Learning Solution is replaced with SuccessFactors Learning.
  • Productized integration is added for customers to connect to these solutions.
  • BIB (Business Integration Builder) is available with the integration add on PA_SE_IN SP18.
  • Business Partners is assigned to every employee which is a new data model in S/4 HANA.
  • Once the transformation is done to S/4 HANA, /SHCM/RH_SUNC_BUPA_FROM_EMPL should be executed, before the use of productive use of the system.
  • Non-future-dated changes to employee data is synchronized to the Business Partner automatically.
  • If the customers are using Java-based ESS and MSS, they need to replace them with WebDynpro ABAP-based ESS and MSS.

Transportation Management:

  1. In S/4 HANA 1709, Transportation Management is available internally.
  2. The mapping requirement for the posting of the freight settlement document in S/4 HANA is changed.
  3. In S/4 HANA 1709, TCM_V_PUR_MAP view has been discontinued.
  4. Customizing table TCM_C_PUR_MAP does not exist in S/4 HANA 1709.
  5. SAP® TM will send the mapping for the Purchase organization unit to MM Purchase organization from TM org data.
  6. The PO type, plant, and material group are maintained at the freight settlement document type level.

Customer Service:

  1. iView option is not available anymore in the S/4 HANA which was previously used by Pharmaceutical Sales Reps.
  2. An alternative solution needs to be developed since business processes using this solution will no longer work.
  3. The transaction code CIC0 is not available in S/4 HANA anymore.

Quality Management:

  • The target architecture was previously QMIS (Quality Management Information System) which is a part of the LIS (Logistics Information System). But it is not available anymore in S/4 HANA.
  • The target architecture is replaced by new applications.
  • Evaluations for quality notifications and inspection lots are also not available and will be replaced.
  • Redundant transactions are removed for SAP® S/4 HANA 1610.
  • SAP® Internet Transaction Server and mySAP Workplace are not available in SAP® S/4 HANA.
  • Transaction codes, for instance, IQS8WP (Call from Workplace/MiniApp), IQS9WP (IQS9 — Call from Workplace/MiniApp), QA32WP (QA32 — Call from Workplace/MiniApp), QE09WP (Call QE09 from Workplace), QPQA32 (QM MiniApp Selection Variant), QPQGC1 (QM MiniApp Selection Variant), QPQM10 (QM MiniApp Selection Variant), QPQM13 (QM MiniApp Selection Variant), QM10WP (QM10 — Call from WorkPlace/MiniApp), and QM13WP (QM13 — Call from Workplace/MiniApp) are not available in SAP® S/4 HANA.

Plant Maintenance:

  • Custom reports reading all these tables S061 (stores Location and Planning Data), S062 (stores Object Class and Manufacturer Data), S063 (Structural Information Data), S064 (store Single Object — damage analysis Data), S065 (store Objects Statistics Data), S070 (store Breakdown Statistics Data), S114 (Vehicle Consumption Analysis), S115 (Cost Analysis), and S116 (Sales Notification Analysis) are not available in S/4 HANA.
  1. All the tables are replaced by CDS (Core Data Services) views which give the same information with different column names and structures.
  2. The new transaction IP30H (Mass Schedule Maintenance Plans) for doing mass scheduling is optimized for HANA which offers parallel processing.
  3. Product Mobile Asset management functionality is not the target architecture with SAP® S/4 HANA.
  4. There is no similar enterprise asset management in SAP® S/4 HANA.
  5. IW37 (Change Operations), IW49 (Display Operations) are not available but IW37n (Change Orders and Operations), IW49n (Display Orders and Operations) can be used alternatively.

SAP® Ariba:

  • Using SAP® Ariba, business can be extended to the suppliers, and optimization of material planning can be done.
  • SAP® Ariba delivers the Cloud Integration programs through SAP® transport files and is fully supported by SAP® Ariba.
  • If any software error happens, Ariba Objects can get deleted during an upgrade.


  1. ABAP platform contains various improvements in code analysis tools like first automatic code adaptations in order to reduce the effort for customers to adapt.
  2. SAP® Fiori Custom code migration app is used to optimize the process for customers.
  3. The extensibility for SAP® S/4 HANA is further optimized in the ABAP platform 1809.

SAP® Extended Warehouse Management:

  1. SAP® EWM in S/4 HANA gives a new deployment alternative which is embedded as an integral part of SAP’s new enterprise resource management suite.
  2. Comprehensive EWM and Quality Management integration is available to support quality management processes in the warehouse.
  3. New changes for setting up labor structures and to support advanced labor tracking are added.
  4. A new solution for pick cart handling, pallet building is added.

SAP® SRM (Supplier Relationship Management):

  1. SAP® SRM is used for the procurement process to work with suppliers particularly while performing forecasting, procurement cycle, and partnership relation.
  2. SRM is mainly used for Contract management, Catalog management and mainly reporting purposes.


With SAP® making a move to advance more with SAP® Business Suite 4 HANA than ECC that will cease by 2025, S/4 HANA calls the best option for growth and advancement. To conclude, SAP® S/4 HANA Suite, the flagship product of SAP® emerged as a successful product with its unique characteristics and stability, alluring this constantly amplifying technological world to re-think boundaries and evolve to its best.

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