Since last year I have had the opportunity to engage as a Product Expert in SAP S/4HANA Cloud project implementations. It has been an enriching experience which provided me deep insights into the challenges which our customers/partners go through every day. Also, there was a common pattern in some of the questions which I came across from multiple customers. In the end, everything worked out well and all customers that I was involved in are successfully live on SAP S/4HANA Cloud now. Entire journey is very close to me and I want to share these experiences/learning with the broader community via an easy to consume format i.e. conversations. Hence, I want to start this blog series which will focus on implementation learnings spread across various topics like Q to P transports, upgrades, functional topics, localization considerations etc.

In this blog, I want to reflect on my conversations related to Production system request and initial Quality to Production transports. I hope the insights out of these conversations will benefit the current/future projects and help save the most valuable resource of our customers/partners i.e. TIME.

One fine day during the project implementation…

Requesting Production System

Customer – Hello Anshu, we are now done with all the necessary steps required for Q system activation. What next!

Anshu - Hello Sir, Nice to hear that, you may now proceed with requesting the P system. Please find the detailed process on our Roadmap Viewer.

Customer – But why so soon? We are anyways not going to use the P system now neither we plan to transport anything from Q to P yet.

Anshu – Since we are going to have an upgrade soon, I would advise to request P system now to ensure that the base releases and hotfix levels are same for both the systems.  Also, as a best practice I would suggest you follow multiple small sprints for Q to P to mitigate any risk related to transports near to the go- live date and in order to transport as often as possible, e.g. once a week, the P system needs to be available now.

Customer – OK, will get back to you in sometime.

***After some time****

Customer - Hello Anshu, after going through the documentation we also learnt that the moment we receive the P system the clock will start ticking for the starter system and it will not be available to us after 30 days.

Anshu – Yes, that is right! Since we are operating in a SaaS environment, we need to keep our TCO (total cost of operations) low. This is the reason why we offer access to maximum 2 systems (S and Q; Q and P) at any given point of time.

Customer - But you know that we have planned to go live in 2 waves. Where will we conduct the Fit-to-standard for our wave 2?  What if we need to explore more functionalities offered by S/4HANA Cloud? What is the other option?

Anshu – In that case, I would suggest you to kindly request for a test tenant. SAP S/4HANA Cloud test tenant is a standard, non-productive, and stand-alone environment provisioned with SAP sample data which may help you in this regard.

Customer – Thanks, I will request for the P system now.

Things to be considered before triggering the initial transport from Quality to Production (Q to P)

****Inconsistencies due to deletion of org data****

Customer – Hello Anshu, we have initiated the initial configuration transport from quality to Production system, but the transport seems to get stuck. Can you please check?

Anshu – Thanks for the updates, I will have a look with our support team.

Response from SAP - Dear customer, your transport from Q to P system got some foreign key check issues which has blocked the transportation. 

The root cause is that you have deleted two business places XXXX and YYYY under company code ZZZZ. However, there are several configurations which exist for company code ZZZZ for business place XXXX and YYYY. It makes the system inconsistent and hence foreign key check issue is raised. To solve this problem, please add the business places XXXX and YYYY back to company code ZZZZ.

Customer – we don’t need the business place XXXX and YYYY. Kindly delete all the existing dependent entities related to these business places.

Anshu – Hello Sir, as per your confirmation, we are deleting all the dependent entities related to the two business places which were deleted by the user. In future, Kindly advise your project team to avoid deleting any org entry without considering the dependent entities as it creates inconsistencies in the system.

Customer – We will take care of the same. Thanks!

****Inconsistencies due to fine tuning the number range for standard delivered material****

Customer – Hello Anshu, The Q to P is still stuck. We are unable to proceed with our activities. Can you please help us here?

Anshu – Let me check the error.

SAP - We have encountered another issue in initial Q to P transport related to inconsistencies in Material number range for Mat type SERV. The root cause is that customer has fine-tuned the number range of material type SERV and, has changed the intervals of material master.

Anshu – Yes, I have confirmed from the project team, they had a requirement to change the number range and interval for materials type SERV. They have used the Self Service Configuration UI – ‘Define Number Ranges for Each Material Type’.  Are they not supposed to use the same?

SAP – Yes, they can but there is a catch if it is used before initial Q to P.  Let me explain,we deliver material master data as pre-packaged content for our Professional Services scenarios. The material types used for those pre-defined materials are SERV and MAT.

SAP default Material ID

Material Type

P001~P003

SERV

T001~T020

SERV

U001~U010

SERV

T999

SERV

S001

SERV

E001~E040

SERV

H001~H002

MAT

A001~A002

SERV

B001~B007

SERV

L001

SERV

 In case customer changes the number range setup via Self Service Configuration UI in the Q-System in a way, that external numbering for material types SERV and MAT is no longer allowed for IDs like shown above, the activation of those materials will fail in the P-System. Therefore, Customer must never change the number range settings in Q before the correct and entire Prof. Services material activation has successfully been done in the Q- and P-System. 

Anshu- Got it, but now as this had already been triggered and caused issues for the customer, we need to get it fixed. Also, we need a guideline for the same to our customers.

 

Response from SAP – Dear Customer, We have maintained your system by revoking the following:

§  Number Range Interval for “02” back to standard A-ZZZZZZZ

§  External Number Range for SERV back to SAP standard “02

§  Maintenance Status back to “BEKV”

Your Initial Q to P transport is now successful.

 

Anshu – Dear Sir, please never change the Number Range default settings in Q-System via Self Service Configuration UI before the activation of Professional Services materials has been done in Q-System and transported to P-System and activated successfully. Any change would prevent the system from creating SAP pre-defined material IDs. Once the transport process are done successfully, the number range default settings can be fine-tuned as needed.

SAP is also planning to release a note for the same.

Customer – Thanks for the update. Have a nice day. 

 

In summary, below are the 5 key highlights in this blog:

  1. Request P system with Q system to maintain the base releases and hotfix levels same for both Q and P

  2. Follow multiple small sprints for Q to P to mitigate any risk related to transports near to the go- live date

  3. Request for a test tenant to evaluate and test further application configurations and extensions. 

  4. Avoid deleting any org entry without considering the dependent entities as it creates inconsistencies in the system.

  5. Never change the Number Range default settings in Q-System via Self Service Configuration UI before the activation of Professional Services materials has been done in Q-System and transported to P-System

Stay tuned for the next conversation. 

Thanks.