SAP Migration to HANA: 5 Key TechnologiesEvery SAP Migration to HANA is different. Some cases are relatively straightforward processes of moving from one landscape to another, with minimal changes. Other SAP HANA migration journeys radically transform the landscape, and require multiple rounds of upgrades spread out over years. Choosing the right tools for your migration scenario can help you control costs, accelerate your timeline and minimize downtime and disruption during the process. Here are a few of the most important technologies available.

5 Key Technologies for SAP HANA Migration

  1. SAP Proof of Concept LabOne of the major challenges for a big IT project like SAP HANA migration is demonstrating ROI. It’s wise for companies to be cautious about committing to major transformations — particularly it they’ve been burned by vendors in the past.Because HANA is such a highly-customized system, there’s no demo model you can switch on, but that doesn’t mean you have to commit before you see what you’re getting. An SAP HANA Proof of Concept (PoC) lab lets you test drive your solution, and experience what HANA can do for you. In a PoC landscape, you can experience the performance improvements of HANA, and see new features like realtime reporting in action. It also provides end-to-end benchmarking, to verify your planned SAP HANA implementation, and make any needed adjustments.SAP HANA PoC can also be extremely useful as a way to get organizational buy-in — particularly if your company is change averse. It’s one thing to say, “this solution will decrease load time by 95%,” and another thing to actually see an application that normally takes a full minute load in 3 seconds.
  1. SAP DMOSAP Database Migration Option (DMO) is a feature of the SAP Software Update Manager (SUM) — the tool that handles upgrades, updates, and other changes to your system — designed to facilitate complex upgrades and migrations. SAP migration to HANA often requires NetWeaver upgrades, Enhancement Packs, Unicode conversions and other changes to meet minimum requirements.Traditionally, each upgrade and enhancement would be its own project, with its own downtime where the production environment is taken offline. Businesses schedule these downtimes during times of low demand to minimize disruption, but it’s still extremely costly to take your landscape offline for hours.SAP DMO is designed to simplify HANA migration by combining those separate steps into a single upgrade/migration process. Your team still applies the same changes, but you only have a single downtime to upgrade and migrate the system, and a single go-live. Not only does that make it a lot easier to schedule the migration to minimize disruption, it also significantly reduces the amount of time your production environment is down, reducing the overall cost of the product.
  1. SAP Solution ManagerSAP Solution Manager (SolMan) is often described as a Swiss Army Knife, with a broad range of both business and IT applications in your SAP environment. It’s indispensable for its SAP EarlyWatch tool, which provides deep insights into system health, helping admins analyze trends related to system performance, availability and configuration. It also has applications in a wide range of business processes, from running your help desk to onboarding workers more efficiently.In the context of SAP migration to HANA, Solution Manager helps in a number of ways. For instance, Maintenance Planner (which is now integrated into the SAP Support Portal) allows your team to calculate dependencies and plan upgrades in an intuitive graphical UI, insuring all the pieces of your SAP HANA migration work together properly to support all stakeholders and necessary business processes.SolMan’s insight into system performance is also a big help in planning your migration, because it helps ensure your new SAP HANA landscape will meet your technical and performance needs.
  1. ABAP Test CockpitAdvanced Business Applications Programming (ABAP) is a programming language developed by SAP in the early 80s for business applications. ABAP has been used in SAP ERP development as well as by third party developers in the SAP ecosystem. ABAP has also been used in-house by many companies to create custom applications, or integrate applications into their landscapes on an ad-hoc basis.These ABAP applications lead to highly idiosyncratic landscapes, which create problems for SAP migration to HANA. The landscapes are organized in unexpected ways, and may be poorly documented or organized after years or decades of tweaking and customization.Even when they’re well designed, they can create challenges for engineers, simply because of how different HANA is from the various databases used to run SAP ECC. Applications designed to hook into your old database won’t necessarily run quickly or efficiently in your HANA database. In certain scenarios, such as with applications that use native SQL, your old apps may not be fully compatible with a HANA database until they are adapted.That’s fine for developers with the resources to update their applications or build new versions to serve the HANA market. However, a company that has its own ad hoc code or unsupported legacy applications may struggle to update their landscape to make efficient use of HANA.That’s where ABAP Test Cockpit (ATC) comes in.

    As “SAP’s main internal quality assurance tool for ABAP,” ATC originally served SAP in testing and refining their own applications. SAP provided ATC to help companies inspect their own ABAP programs, which is tremendously helpful for SAP migrations to HANA from landscapes with custom code. ATC helps find custom code, and ensure functional correctness (i.e. that inputs lead to the expected output) in your new HANA landscape.

    Your SAP migration team can also use ATC in concert with other tools like SQL Monitor for performance optimization during your migration to HANA. Programs use Structured Query Language (SQL) statements to talk to the database, performing basic actions like updating, writing and deleting records. Because many of these statements are repeated frequently in applications, inefficient use of SQL statements can have a serious impact on HANA performance. ATC helps organizations ensure old code doesn’t slow down your HANA landscape, even when it is functionally correct. ABAP is compatible with Code Inspector, an older tool also used to check code in SAP landscapes.

  1. The Simplification DatabaseThe Simplification Database is a list of which SAP objects have been changed from Business Suite to S/4HANA. It provides details about the changes, including their purpose, and how to adapt custom code to address the change. During Custom code migration to HANA this database serves as a guide, allowing your term to efficiently transform your system without making mistakes that could delay the project. Your migration team will use it as part of a standardized methodology, scanning custom code in the old landscape, identifying what technical changes are needed, and applying them in the correct order and manner.

SAP Migration to HANA Takes a Team That Knows the Tech

Symmetry is one of the most experienced HANA application hosting provider, with deep knowledge of migration, hosting, SAP Basis, security and compliance issues that affect your SAP landscape. Whatever your migration scenario is, we’ve seen it before, and know the right tools to get the job done as efficiently and effectively as possible.

About Matt Lonstine, Director of Delivery

A Leader and SAP technical veteran, Matt Lonstine oversees the SAP Technologists that make up Symmetry’s Delivery team, while providing strategic guidance to customers. Matt has managed and executed some of Symmetry’s most complex projects with a current focus on HANA, virtualization, disaster recovery, system hardening, and migrations to Symmetry’s SAP Cloud environment.