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Where to put the in-house developments under SAP?

When should in-house developments be implemented in the core ERP system and when is it better to implement them on the cloud platform? Basic criteria help with the decision.
Sascha Boll, Business Solutions Direkt
April 8, 2020
[ 379587700, Brian A Jackson]
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

Many SAP managers are currently asking themselves where and in what form in-house developments and individual enhancements should be implemented.

In the past, before the advent of cloud applications, adaptations and additions were always programmed in the core system (Z namespace with Abap modifications), and the high effort involved in upgrading and often performance losses were accepted. For some years now, however, the Walldorf-based software company's maxim has been: keep the core clean.

The core application, S/4, should remain free of custom code. In-house developments should be implemented in side-by-side scenarios. Platforms such as the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP), which allow fast and agile programming as well as the integration of apps and microservices, are ideal for this.

Upgrades to the core systems, which are now far more frequent, therefore run quickly and smoothly. But should all adaptations and additions really be developed outside the core system?

If, for example, only the number of displayed form fields is to be reduced for a specific user group - do you need an extension from the cloud?

In fact, programming outside the core system is not always the best solution. The fundamental questions relate to the user group, the data to be integrated, application scenarios and duration of use.

If employees need to be trained in SAP for the first time, the effort involved must be weighed up. If external user groups such as partners or interested parties are addressed, who may only use some functions on mobile devices, the use of a simple, intuitive user interface has priority. This speaks in favor of development on the cloud platform.

If there is constant data synchronization and access to the data of the core application, it is advisable to make adjustments directly in the core system. This also applies in cases where it is very important to have your own control over the data.

In-house developments on the platform, on the other hand, are the method of choice if data from the core system is predominantly only used in read access via interfaces or if the data is available redundantly and if occasional data synchronization is sufficient.

Closely linked to the integration requirements is the question of the function and the respective application scenario: If the enhancement is used exclusively - and with the same intensity - in the SAP system on-premises, without additional, external services being integrated, the enhancements should also be made directly in the system.

Finally, the duration of use also plays a role: If the application or extension to be created is only needed temporarily, for example for seasonal promotions in retail or for test purposes, then the system should not be burdened with it.

Especially for testing and prototyping, the cloud platform with tools and apps offers the ideal environment for flexible and agile development. On the other hand, a mature in-house development that is intended to run stable and long-term together with the core system is better off on-premises.

Sascha Boll, Business Solutions Direkt

Sascha Boll is a Senior SAP Consultant at Business Solutions Direkt.

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.