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From source code to torment code

Really, SAP is trying, but the ERP is becoming more and more of a pain for existing customers. Naturally, a specialist can be found for every task in the global SAP community.
Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine
13 July 2022
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

The past DSAG Technology Days 2022 in Düsseldorf proved it impressively: SAP is doing a good job, but seems to be falling victim to its own success. SAP is making an effort, but has let the reins slip for more than a decade. SAP Business Suite 7 with its numerous Abap modifications is present almost everywhere and successfully customized. The bumpy transition to Hana and S/4 has created a heterogeneous conglomerate that is currently hardly mastered by anyone. Partners are rushing to help.

The SAP community remembers: AnyDB should have been replaced by Hana with the introduction of S/4. This did not work in any way because S/4 was more of a marketing term than a finished product at the beginning. Thus, SAP invented a disastrous intermediate step: SoH - Suite on Hana. So that Hana finally arrives in the market and shows noteworthy installation figures. However, SAP Business Suite 7 on the Hana database is counterproductive, because well customized now the SAP existing customers want to work even longer with Suite 7 - after all, ECC 6.0 has a perfect substructure with Hana.

So, once again, why switch to S/4 and is the new ERP still up to date? Obviously, S/4 is a pain for both SAP's existing customers and SAP itself. A lot of effort is invested and yet you are running on the stand. S/4 is a Sisyphean task. The SAP existing customer has to change his Abap-.
modification and SAP must ensure integration between S/4 and all other SAP products. Both are a never-ending story because there are numerous releases.

Chief Technology Officer Jürgen Müller explained it at the DSAG Technology Days: Has the much-demanded integration been completed? Yes, about 95 percent from the perspective of the most recent releases of all SAP products. However, if all SAP products are considered with their almost unmanageable combinations and different release statuses, the situation regarding integration and a one-domain model is very poor.

It is a pain, because the existing source code will not be consolidated and integrated in this lifetime. It is like the race between Achilles, the fastest runner in the world, and the tortoise. Arrogantly and recklessly, Achill gave the slow turtle a head start, then the start occurred. Both of them started to move. Quickly Achill reached the place where the turtle started. In the meantime, however, she had also moved on a bit.

Achill also overcame this section of the path very quickly. Again, the turtle moved a little further. Again Achill reached the place where the turtle was before - and so on. Naturally, the distance between Achill and the turtle became smaller and smaller, but he could never overtake it. Will SAP ever be able to turn the S/4 torment code into a functioning source code again?

The cartoon by Robert Platzgummer (1975 to 2016) was first published in the March 2008 issue of E-3. The subject was and is SAP's spasmodic efforts to keep up with existing customers and the market. In the meantime, the digital transformation is taking place elsewhere.
Peter M. Färbinger, E3 Magazine

Peter M. Färbinger, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief E3 Magazine DE, US and ES (, AG, Freilassing (DE), E-Mail: and Tel. +49(0)8654/77130-21

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Working on the SAP basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. 

This gives the Competence Center strategic importance for existing SAP customers. Regardless of the S/4 Hana operating model, topics such as Automation, Monitoring, Security, Application Lifecycle Management and Data Management the basis for S/4 operations.

For the second time, E3 magazine is organizing a summit for the SAP community in Salzburg to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. All information about the event can be found here:

SAP Competence Center Summit 2024


Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024

Regular ticket:

€ 590 excl. VAT


Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024


Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.