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3 Reasons it’s Crucial to Adapt Custom ABAP Code for SAP HANA

PeaceupAtown.jpgWe’ve talked a lot about the benefits of migrating to SAP HANA and covered what ABAP code is. However, you could be forgiven for wondering why adapting custom code is so crucial to a successful HANA migration project. With that in mind, here are 3 key reasons for cleaning up your custom ABAP code.

1. It’s Vital if You Want to Continue Using SAP

All of SAP’s clients will eventually have to migrate their systems, and therefore their code, to SAP HANA, with the company setting 2025 as the cut-off date for legacy database support. So, if you want to continue working with SAP products in the long-term, you'll need to get HANA-ready sooner or later.

An inevitable by-product of SAP HANA’s shiny new functionality is that any custom code written specifically to interact with legacy databases will be rendered obsolete and won’t work with the new system. In fact, it may even interfere with how well SAP HANA works.

To give an example, often older systems have a need for code that aggregates data. SAP HANA does this automatically as it works, using its in-memory and column-based architecture—negating the need for ABAP code that fulfils that function.

For your custom code to work with SAP HANA, your systems must be completely database independent. This means identifying any ABAP code that relies on the behaviour of a specific database and either ditching it or adapting it to fit into HANA's simplified data models.

While not all your custom code will need adapting—we estimate around 10% for optimum performance—failing to attend to the code that does will result in deficiencies in performance, and, in some cases, cause fatal system crashes.

This is hardly the auspicious start you’d expect from a move to more powerful software and may even cancel out many of the benefits of using SAP HANA.

2. It’ll Improve the Performance of Your Current Systems

Cleaning up your ABAP code can have pre-migratory benefits for your current systems.

With so many adjustments made by developers in the life cycle of a system, it’s likely that much of your code is obsolete or has little practical use. In fact, 60% of all custom ABAP code isn’t used in the productive environment at all.

Having so much superfluous code is messy and can cause your existing systems to run sub-optimally—using heavy database calls for commands that could have been achieved more efficiently.

So why keep it at all?

Very few businesses realize that beginning the process of analyzing and fixing code before you’re ready to make the leap to SAP HANA, not only ensures you're HANA-ready, it also dramatically improves the performance of existing SAP releases.  

3. It’s Cheaper to Clean it in Good time

The bottom line is never far away in business, and cleaning your code up in good time can help deliver real savings, both in terms of staff time and consulting hours.

Businesses often wait until they’re ready to migrate to SAP HANA before even thinking about identifying and fixing problematic ABAP code. This only serves to push the delivery date of optimum SAP HANA performance further back­, as developers will still have to identify and fix incompatible code before this is possible.

It also places added pressure on your staff, which is likely to lead to human errors in both project planning and manual fixes to code. This means dedicating more time to putting things right and spending yet more time consulting.

Instead, using an ABAP code tool such as Gekkobrain to analyze and fix most of the code as the first step in your migration process, can reduce the risk of human error from under-pressure staff and save you hours of consultancy time. What’s more, getting your code HANA-ready before you begin the migration process can cut the lead time of the project dramatically, often from months to weeks.

Alongside this, once you’ve got Gekkobrain up and running it, tracks and fixes any new instances of incompatible code—so you remain HANA-ready regardless of any changes you make to your existing code.

 

Cleaning up your custom code is vital for both a successful HANA-readiness project and for the optimal performance of your current SAP system. To find out how to find, prioritize and fix your ABAP issues, register below to watch our webinar

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Mogens Enevoldsen

Mogens Enevoldsen

I have worked with SAP since 1994, primarily within ABAP custom development and Integration. I have had several different roles eg. technical director, manager, technical project lead, specialist and developer.