Companies are compiling a larger amount of data at their centres more often, especially in predominantly technology-based industries, with somewhat different aims depending on the sector. This data could contain confidential information, and so handling it requires great caution. The arrival of S/4HANA has significantly altered the data migration process on SAP.

The evolution of data migration and adapting SAP

The trend towards an increase in data volume handled by companies globally is clearly still on the up, as predicted by the UN Economic Commission for Europe. This trend will undoubtedly continue to rise in future years.

Regarding the deployments of our technological solutions, the data migration process between the old client system and the new one is a critical process. Handling the tools provided by SAP correctly is key to processing the data pending migration.

Until the arrival of S4/HANA, the tool that was available for this process on SAP was the Legacy System (LSMW), which the consultant used to configure their own migration file by following these steps:

Generally speaking, the files used for mass data migration were created from scratch, by building a file with all the necessary fields in the objects that would subsequently be migrated to the new system. This was often a repetitive and tedious process until a template was obtained that could successfully migrate all the desired objects.

With the arrival of S4/HANA in 2015, the data migration process changed significantly with the Legacy Transfer Migration Cockpit, which resulted in an improvement.

Advantages of the new migration cockpit

The work flow follows the same structure: there is a data extraction from the old system onto a set of data files and it is migrated to the new system. But now SAP has a much more guided and pre-configured process than could have been hoped for in previous versions.

The migration cockpit is structured by projects which include the migrations objects, that in turn contain the migration files of each of the objects.

The cockpit includes pre-created templates with many of the fields used in the different migration objects. This facilitates and streamlines the consultant’s work, who only has to adapt the template to the pre-existing SAP object. The configuration of the fields is also ready.

The files are easy to configure using the Legacy Transfer Migration Object Modeler, which allows for them to personalised by adding or eliminating fields and even programming rules for each of the fields depending on the client’s needs. The hierarchy of the fields is also defined using this tool, as well as the enforceability of each one.

Processes such as field mapping that are added to the file are now done using Drag & Drop and it is much more visual and user-friendly:

If we want a specific file to be migrated, we just have to drag it from the list.

On the other hand, the transfer of data to SAP involves 4 steps:

  1. During the data validation, it checks that the file’s structure is correct, verifying that the format in which the data has been inputted is suitable.
  2. If necessary, some of the values will be converted into the format required by SAP.
  3. Lastly, before executing the import, there will be a simulation to check that all the data about to be migrated will do so to the SAP environment correctly.
  4. Execution.

Conclusions: The future of data migration on SAP

This tool is expanding SAP’s functionaity with each of its new versions with new templates.

An example are the 16 new templates that are included in the 1909 version, with a total of 85 migration objects, with which it is hoped that this extremely critical and delicate data migration process between different systems can continue to be possible.

Further to this, it should be noted that this tool is valid for both of SAP’s On-Premise and Cloud systems.