Conversion path to SAP BW/4HANA: A Shell Conversion

Stridely Solutions
4 min readSep 30, 2022



SAP BW/4HANA is SAP`s next generation data warehousing and analytical solutions, built entirely on one of the most advanced in-memory platforms called SAP HANA. BW/4HANA intends to provide real-time insight, across a diverse IT landscape to allow harmonized view on the data. It tends to minimize the data movement across the data warehouse layers and simplifies the connectivity with external sources.

Also read: Your Modern Data warehouse for Elevated Needs — Know about SAP BW/4HANA

In this article, you will get an overview about different conversion paths and detailed understanding of shell conversion approach.

Leading paths to SAP BW/4HANA

Migration to SAP BW/4HANA would be the best options for customers who need real-time/cloud data efficiency and a very high-performance data warehouse with the continuous support of future upgrades/innovations from SAP. Following are various approaches to move to BW/4HANA.

1) Green-field approach

2) In-place conversion approach

3) Remote conversion approach

4) Shell conversion approach

Also Read: A Guide to ADSO Functions in SAP BW4HANA

Following decision tree gives a quick overview of various conversion approaches with possible scenario and help to identify best possible approach to move to BW/4HANA. It can vary as per business requirement.

Source: SAP

Shell conversion is the most flexible approach compared to the other strategies for the customers running SAP BW 7.0 or higher version on any DB.

Shell Conversion:

Source: SAP

Shell conversion approach is similar to Remote conversion approach where we can only bring models and flows to the new BW/4HANA system. This approach is for the customers who like the Remote conversion approach but want more flexibility when it comes to the data that should go into the new SAP BW/4HANA system.

Also Read: SAP BW/4HANA — Data Tiering Optimization (DTO)

It requires fresh installation of SAP BW/4HANA system and bring data models and flows from existing SAP BW system. However, neither master nor transaction data are transferred to the new system. It gives flexibility to optimize existing dataflows once migrated to BW/4HANA as no data is available in the system. One can transfer the data to BW/4HANA system either from original source system or from legacy SAP BW system or completely ignore the data to start from scratch.

Also Read: The Write Interface enabled ADSO Ability for SAP BW/4HANA

Salient features of Shell conversion

  • Customer can build clean BW/4HANA system with the option to cherry pick and carry forward their existing data flows with relevant data sets or even start fresh with the option to leave the legacy data behind. (Accelerated green field).
  • Flexibility to optimize the existing flows and incorporate the BW contents at the same time.
  • Highly flexible to customers in making decision on the data retention policy of the legacy Data.
  • Supports the carve out scenarios more efficiently since there is no requests associated with dataflows. This is unlikely with Remote or In-place conversions
  • Create a historical data flow from existing BW system to target BW/4HANA system and perform the historical data load.
  • Perform the Historical Full Data Load after the Init W/O data transfer. It helps collect the delta during historical data migration to fill the data gaps.
  • Split the Historical data migration parallel based on the Key parameters.
  • Perform the Historical Data Load for Frozen data after they go live.
  • Delta sync-up from the source system is manageable.
  • Easy to handle the Production Cutover and make the smooth execution of Go-Live.

BW/4HANA Shell Conversion: Steps can be considered

Source: SAP

· Migrate Classical Data Model of legacy SAP BW system to BW/4HANA compatible objects through Shell Conversion in the BW/4HANA Sand Box System.

· Remodelling can be performed on newly migrated BW/4HANA data model to LSA++ architecture in the BW/4HANA Sand Box System.

· Collect and transport the new LSA++ Data Models form BW/4HANA Sand Box to the BW/4HANA Project Landscape through standard transports and perform smoke testing.

· Load historical data either from source system or from legacy SAP BW system to respective SAP BW/4HANA system throughout the landscape.

· Perform Unit Testing in BW/4HANA development system.

· Transport dataflows from BW/4HANA development system to BW/4HANA quality system and perform System Integration Testing (SIT) & UAT in Quality BW4HANA system.

· Cutover & Deployment in Production BW4HANA system.

· Parallel run of old & new BW systems.

Also Read: Understanding the Know-How of Statistical Analysis of the SAP BW4HANA Infrastructure

We are happy to help you.

Among the several BW4HANA migration options, Shell Conversion is the best. The reason for this is because it is flexible in both Meta Data and Business Data Migration and delivers a new Modern Data Warehouse Environment to control the demands and challenges of the Digital World.

We, at Stridely Solutions, will be happier to assist you with our significant years of expertise, we can provide custom-fit solutions to organizations and industries throughout the world.

To learn more about our SAP capabilities, contact us or visit SAP Consulting Services.



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