How is SAP S/4HANA different from SAP ECC?
Let’s cover the key differences between SAP ECC ERP and SAP S/4HANA ERP across different parameters.
The Universal Journal – The Single Source of Truth
SAP S/4HANA combines the data structures of FI, AA, CO, CO-PA, and ML into a single line item table called ACDOCA. This ACDOCA is also referred to as the Universal Journal and it eliminates many aggregate tables and index tables. In addition, the data footprint is significantly reduced since data needs to be inserted into only a single table instead of several tables.
MATDOC – A New Line Item for Inventory Management
MATDOC is new line item in SAP S/4HANA for inventory management and it eliminates more than 26 tables which were previously present in SAP ECC. In SAP S/4HANA, material documents are stored in MATDOC but not in MKPF or MSEG tables.
The New and Innovative HANA Database
SAP ECC can run on third-party databases such as Oracle, IBM DB2, etc. However, SAP S/4HANA can run only on the SAP HANA Database. SAP S/4HANA is designed with SAP HANA and its in-memory computing capabilities in mind and provides multiple benefits.
- HANA enables in-memory computing. This enables the data to be read directly from the memory. This means that data always resides in the main memory RAM even through write operations happen in the hard disk. Therefore, SAP S/4HANA reads data much faster than traditional ERPs since the HANA database reads data much faster than traditional databases.
- SAP S/4HANA can access column-based tables faster since only affected columns are read in a query.
- SAP S/4HANA enables better compression since there only few distinct values compared to rows.
- SAP S/4HANA enables parallel processing since different columns can be processed parallelly.
- With SAP S/4HANA powered by SAP HANA, Online Transactional Processing (OLTP) and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) can happen in the same system. This enables real-time reporting and predictive analysis.
- SAP S/4HANA will not have aggregates, index, or history tables. This is because aggregates are created dynamically based on line item tables instantaneously.
CO & FI Merger
In SAP ECC, the FI general ledger (GL) accounts are mapped to CO primary cost elements. In SAP S/4HANA, the GL accounts and the cost elements are stored in one field of the Universal Journal, the ACDOCA. Primary and Secondary cost elements are now general ledger (GL) accounts and are created and maintained in FS00 with the relevant cost element category. Reconciliation as in the case of CO to FI is no longer needed and period end closings are now faster thanks to the changes in SAP S/4HANA.
A New General Ledger
Due to the data structure, the new general ledger in SAP S/4HANA is technically like the general ledger in SAP ECC. However, customers using the classic general ledger will have to adopt the new general ledger and its Parallel Ledger Functionality for new Asset Accounting.
Change in CO Profitability Analysis (CO-PA)
Unlike SAP ECC, Account Based CO-PA is the default option in SAP S/4HANA while costing-based CO-PA is now available as an option. In addition, SAP S/4HANA also permits both the options to be run simultaneously.
Change in Custom Code
Custom Code read operations will be redirected to compatibility views through a special setting at the database interface level so that the custom code can work without disruption. This means that it will be invisible to the source code. Example: V_COEP for the CO line item table COEP.
Business Partners are now mandatory
In SAP ECC, Business Partners were optional. However, in SAP S/4HANA, the Business Partners concept is mandatory. All customer and vendor master must be migrated or integrated as business partners in SAP S/4HANA. Therefore, Custom Vendor Integration is a mandatory step in SAP S/4HANA.
Material Number Extension
In SAP ECC, the material number had a character count of 18. In SAP S/4HANA, the character count has been extended to 40 characters. However, this is an optional feature. It is also worth noting that the impact of this extension on custom code, interfaces, and other SAP applications must be evaluated before using the 40-character extension by switching it on.
SAP ECC had FI-AR-CR for credit management. In SAP S/4HANA, this is replaced by credit management of FSCM (Financial Supply Chain Management). The credit management of FSCM (FSCM-CR) has a distributed architecture which allows interfacing with external credit rating agencies. The traditional FI-AR-CR credit control setting requires a lot of manual work. In SAP S/4HANA, FSCM-CR removes this effort with the help advanced features such as
- Credit Rule Engine automated risk scoring and credit limit calculations
- Automated Master Data Update on approval of credit limit
- Workflows for credit events
SAP ECC provides an option for availability check at individual requirements or for summarized requirements which are aggregated at daily or weekly levels. In SAP S/4HANA, it is only possible to perform an availability check at individual requirements with no VBBS table since SAP S/4HANA does not have aggregate tables due to simplified data models
Pricing in SD
There are changes in the data models of pricing and conditioning techniques. For example – The existing Table KONV is replaced by new table PRCD_ELEMENTS with extended fields. There are more changes as well
Real Time MRP (Material Requirement Planning) and more
SAP ECC requires batch jobs to be run during non-peak hours to process material requirement planning (MRP). The game changes in SAP S/4HANA. There is no need for batch jobs since MRP can be executed in real-time. In addition, MRP with subcontracting has also been simplified in SAP S/4HANA.
It is important to note that MRP can be executed at the plant and MRP area level only. It cannot be run on the storage level. In SAP ECC, MRP at the storage locations can be excluded or can be planned separately. SAP usually suggests using the MRP area along with the MRP type for the scenarios at the storage location level.
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