One of the most important concerns for organizations looking to move from the traditional SAP ECC to S/4HANA is SAP Custom Code Adaptation. But, why is it a concern? Why is custom code remediation such a nightmare for ABAPers and Project Managers? And, why should you adapt your custom code during the system conversion process? You would have invested heavily in your ABAP custom code developments for the past several years of using SAP. Traditionally, in the SAP ERP business suite, you can look into the standard SAP code, modify or enhance it to suit your business needs. But, moving to SAP S/4HANA is a whole different ball game. For years, both SAP and the SAP partners have constantly under-represented the complexity of custom code remediation. As you start planning your move from ECC to S/4HANA, you begin to realize that a very large number of custom objects and programs will need to be adapted. The custom code in ECC may or may not be compatible with S/4HANA. A few custom codes may not perform as expected or may result in errors and dumps. Therefore, the custom ABAP code needs to be remediated/ adapted to S/4HANA.
The SAP custom code migration process
The custom code related process basically consists of two major phases:
Before SAP S/4HANA system conversion
During the assessment and preparation phase of the conversion, you can assess your system and get rid of the unused custom codes and objects. You can also determine the custom codes which should be adapted to S/4HANA in this stage.
During the SAP S/4HANA system conversion
During the realize phase of the system conversion, you must adapt or remediate your custom code to suit the new SAP S/4HANA software. You must also optimize the code performance for the HANA database.
You can use KTern during both the Custom Code Analysis phase and the Custom Code Remediation phase. However, the process of custom code analysis is different than actually performing the code remediation. You can find out more on SAP Custom Code Impact Analysis using KTern in this article. In this article, we will explain how KTern automates the Custom Code Remediation process. You can perform custom code remediation in the Explore and Realize phase of the Activate methodology
In addition, you can have an understanding of the entire Custom Code Management suite of KTern in this article.
KTern’s Custom Code Remediation
KTern is an all-in-one product suite built for SAP Digital Transformations. With decades worth of SAP Tribal knowledge combined with automation, governance and collaboration capabilities, KTern is built to help the existing ECC customers migrate to S/4HANA. KTern covers the entire lifecycle and guides you before, during and after the conversion. Its inbuilt S/4HANAPEDIA rule engine combined with several modules eases the transition from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA.
There are several questions that a Project Manager and an ABAP lead would have with respect to custom code remediation. Some of them being:
- How do I know what changes to make in the code?
- How do I prioritize changes in order of importance?
- How much effort should I plan?
- How do I track the progress?
- How do I know the performance of the code once it is changed for the SAP HANA database?
The answers to all the above questions can be easily measurable using KTern. Hence, KTern is the one single tool that you will require to automate and manage your entire system conversion.
Typically, in a system conversion project, the ABAPERs go through each custom program/ code and identify the incompatible custom code for S/4HANA. After identifying them, they manually do the necessary changes to make the custom code compatible and move the changes to Transport Requests (TR). But, with KTern, you can automate this entire process, thus saving much of your time, effort and resources.
How to perform Custom Code Remediation
It is necessary to analyse all the custom objects and custom programs in the Assessment phase of a system conversion. It is done, primarily, to assess the complexity and the amount of effort and timeline of a S/4HANA transformation project.
KTern stores the results of the Custom Code Impact Analysis from the Assessment phase in the Custom Code Catalog. You can also auto-import the custom objects to perform the initial analysis.
This list contains all the custom codes which should be remediated while moving to S/4HANA. It also contains the corresponding impact score and usage frequency. The AI-powered S/4HANAPEDIA rule engine of KTern calculates this impact score and usage frequency automatically. Once you have this list, you can start the custom code remediation during the Explore phase.
Custom Code Information Wizard
Each custom object object and program has its own Custom Code information wizard. The Information Wizard further has three tabs:
- Custom Code Center
- Custom Code Lab
- AI-powered Remediation Engine
Custom Code Center
KTern provides the basic information on each custom program in the custom code center. It consists of the following basic information:
- Impact and Optimization score
- Security Score
- Usage Frequency and Priority
- Module to which the custom code belongs
- Custom Code type
- References and relevant discussions
In addition, the ABAP lead or the Project Manager can assign these custom codes to relevant ABAPERs (stakeholders) to perform the remediation from the Custom Code Center itself. The stakeholders can also upload files and have discussions. In short, the custom code center provides a 360-degree view on a custom program and provides a platform to collaborate seamlessly with the other project stakeholders.
AI-powered Remediation Engine
KTern’s AI-powered auto-recommendation engine provides the technical consultants with a list of remediation recommendations. Based on their assent, they can auto-remediate the code by just clicking on the auto-remediate button. The code will then be pushed into the SAP system and is recorded as a transport request.
In addition, KTern also provides the option of remediating many custom programs in one go. This can be done using the Bulk Remediation option. You just have to choose the custom programs which you wish to remediate and click on the Bulk Remediation button. As simple as that.
Custom Code Lab
Custom Code Lab provides AI-based insights of the custom code and also a development environment to edit the code manually.
The key features of Custom Code Lab are:
- Code Editor
- Code Diagnostics
- Code Performance
This is the ABAP code editor, where the ABAPERs and technical consultants can manually remediate the code and push the code to the Transport Request. If the technical consultants want to make additional changes, in addition to those by KTern itself, they can do so from the code editor itself.
KTern analyzes the custom code and provides the results and recommendations to optimize the code for SAP HANA in the following categories:
- Adaptation checks
- Performance checks
- SAP HANA optimization checks
- Security Audit checks
Examples of adaptation check include:
- Problematic SELECT * Statement
- SELECT . . . FOR ALL ENTRIES-clauses to be transformed
- SELECT statement with DELETE statement
- SELECTs in loops across modularization units
Examples of performance check include:
- Analysis of the WHERE clause for SELECT, UPDATE and DELETE
- SELECT statements that bypass the table buffer
- Sequential Read Access for a Standard Table
- Table Attributes check
Examples of HANA Optimization check include:
- Use of Nested SELECT loops
- Use of Secondary Indices for Searching
- Data intensive Operations in Application Layer
Examples of Security Audit Check include:
- Secure Programming: Password Security
- Use of Secure Store and Forward Mechanism
- Cross site scripting
- SQL Injection
- Input Validation
- Directory Traversal
KTern also provides the ABAPer with insightful information on the code performance and quality. The information such as the number of steps taken to execute, total response time, average response time, total DB time, DB time (in percentage), total sequential read time, total change time are depicted in the form of statistical widgets.
Custom Code Dashboard
The custom code dashboard then gives an overview of the custom objects present in the connected SAP system. The analytics dashboard depicts the following KPIs.
- Custom code impact level
- Number of custom objects
- Number of impacted custom objects
- Custom objects by remediation types (simplified objects, S/4HANA syntax errors, database operations, critical statements, field length extensions, SELECT without ORDERBY)
- Impact score of each custom object
The Custom Code Dashboard within KTern also provides a Resource Utilization table. It has a list of all the ABAPers and Technical consultants working in the project along with the number of custom programs allocated to them. It also tracks the progress of each stakeholder with respect to custom code remediation.
In other words, it makes a project manager’s job very easy as the dashboard gives an overall view of all the resources and their progress in remediating each custom program.
Custom Code Sign-off Wizard
Custom objects impacted depends on the customization and age of the system. The signoff wizard helps the project manager from the system integrator side to easily decide on the sign-off from the customer. The sign-off wizard helps to find out whether the stream of custom object operations (in modules, business processes) are completed or not.
Benefits of SAP Custom Code Remediation using KTern
As discussed so far, KTern can be used in the entire lifecycle of custom code remediation – starting from custom code analysis, custom code remediation to custom code optimization. Few of the key benefits of using KTern for custom code remediation include:
- Reduction in:
- Development effort for functional (mandatory) adaptations
- Development effort for performance adaptations
- Project cost tied to custom code adaptations
- Number of custom code violations
- Complete ownership of custom ABAP remediation project
- Automated code fixes eliminating the risks of new errors being introduced by manual modifications
- Articulation of impacted application areas using interactive dashboards
- Improved application performance by remediating SQL statements
- Enhanced application stability
- Complete project management and governance
- Reduction in effort and resource utilization
How is KTern’s Custom Code Remediation different from other products in the market?
Custom Code Remediation is the most crucial and the most time-consuming activity in an S/4HANA system conversion project. It can make or break your Digital Transformation project itself. Hence, it is essential to get it right.
There are several products in the market which aid custom code remediation. Two of the most prominent being Gekkobrain and Haneya. Gekkobrain is a custom code adaptation tool, which finds, analyzes, highlights and estimates issues in custom code and modules before generating a project plan with recommended sprints. HANEYA is a Custom code remediation tool that remediates custom code incompatibilities, replaces obsolete transactions and obsolete tables, and updates security roles automatically.
However, the differentiating factor of KTern is the speed with which it performs the custom code remediation. Each custom code can be remediated in a span of few minutes.
Another differentiating factor of KTern is it project management and collaboration features. A Digital Transformation project is not dependent only on data and process flows alone. One of the critical factors for the success of any Digital Transformation project is the active collaboration of the stakeholders. The same holds true for an S/4HANA conversion project, which forms the core of your digital enterprise.
KTern saves the results of custom code analysis so that you don’t have search for them elsewhere. The Project Manager can select the custom programs from the catalogue and assign it to the respective ABAPers to perform the code remediation. The custom program can also be created as a task, an issue or a test case as well. You can upload files, relevant OSS Notes and have discussions on the forum within the application itself. Also, the dashboards give an overall view and helps to keep an eye on the overall progress of the project.
Now that you know how KTern performs custom code remediation, you might want to get a first-hand feel of KTern and its other several other modules which help automate and govern SAP projects from start to finish. You can get started by scheduling a demo at : https://ktern.com/get-started . Alternatively, if you would like a guided demo of the product from one of our product engineers, kindly get in touch with us by submitting a message at https://ktern.com/company/contact .