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Jocelyn_Dart
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

When you are planning to move or upgrade to the latest SAP S/4HANA release, nothing beats getting hands-on experience in a real system.  It’s the perfect opportunity to put your self-enablement learning into practice to explore new processes, new tools, new concepts, and try out the latest key user extensions, and Clean Core development techniques.

However, setting up your own sandbox can be a significant resources/effort/time hurdle, especially when you still skilling up your team. Just like your productive landscape, for a sandbox system you will need to work through installation, activation, configuration, and then add some sample data for your exploration.

Did you know? There is an easy alternative!

A pre-configured and fully activated SAP S/4HANA trial system from SAP Cloud Appliance Library (CAL). These trial systems even come complete with sample data, test users, and demo guides to get you started! 

Hint: You can alternatively use the SAP Fiori configuration only SAP S/4HANA trial system, if you want to use your own sample data.

SAP offers various SAP Cloud Appliance Library (CAL) templates for different purposes. These templates enable you to create your own trial and sandbox systems easily.  With the CAL templates you have full administrative rights either hosted in the cloud on your preferred Cloud Provider (such as AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform) or even on your own on-premise hardware.

Yes! Trials come with a free trial period, and you can extend your trial if needed.

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In this blog post you will learn:

  • How you can use your SAP S/4HANA trial system
  • What you get with the latest SAP S/4HANA trial systems
  • How to obtain a trial system from SAP Cloud Appliance Library 
  • Tips on how to use your trial system
  • Extending your trial system
  • FAQ

Personal note: In the SAP S/4HANA RIG we rely on these trials and we use them with many of our customers for bootcamp trainings, demonstrations, and even for writing blog posts like this one! In the right context, these trial systems are lifesavers!

 

How you can use your SAP S/4HANA trial system

As part of the SAP S/4HANA Customer Care program and Regional Implementation Group (S/4HANA RIG) I use these trial systems all the time, for:

  • Exploring new business roles, apps, features, and tools
  • Explore the latest best practice tooling for creating and managing custom business roles
  • View SAP delivered context-sensitive help, such as Quick Tours, Tutorials, Terminology explanations, Guided Tours and more
  • Creating GIFs, videos, courses
  • Crafting bootcamp exercises for our 5 Steps to Fiori bootcamp
  • Running customer demonstrations for our Customer Care customers
  • Checking what’s underneath SAP Fiori apps and embedded analytics – such as VDMs and CDS Views
  • Exploring key user extension options – i.e. some of the most popular on-stack Clean Core extensions
  • Trying out more advanced Clean Core development techniques, such creating SAP Fiori launchpad plug-ins using embedded ABAP Cloud
  • And of course.... writing blog posts like this one!

These are some of the ways customers and partners currently use SAP S/4HANA fully activated trial system:

  • Preparing your move to SAP S/4HANA – net new or system conversion.
  • Planning your upgrade to a new release – you can create trials for different SAP S/4HANA release and Feature Pack Stack (FPS) combinations
  • Exploration of roles, apps, features, context-sensitive help, administration tooling, and extension techniques
  • Demonstrating processes, apps, features, and extension techniques
  • Upskilling on new best practice techniques and tools – such as coming to our 5Steps2Fiori bootcamp
  • Proof of concept explorations, e.g. to try out intelligent experiences such as Situation Handling.

From a legal perspective, you may wonder what is allowed and what is not allowed in the appliance.

Simply put, the first 30 days of using an appliance are governed by an online Terms & Conditions form that you must accept during the appliance creation process.

These terms prohibit productive usage (including uploading respective data), service provisioning to 3rd parties (eg. for prototyping or trainings), and other cases that go beyond the pure evaluation and trial purpose.

After these first 30 days, you will need contracts with SAP for SAP S/4HANA and for SAP CAL, is essence allowing you to use the appliance as specified in the SAP S/4HANA contract.

IMPORTANT: Even under a regular SAP S/4HANA contract with SAP, we STRONGLY advise to NOT use the appliance as starting point for a productive installation, eg. by using the system or parts of it as development system.  Why? The appliance contains contents and settings that might create trouble in your customer-specific project eg. cross-client coding and configuration, irreversibly activated business functions, functions with a separate license, etc. More details about the Terms & Conditions when using an appliance can be found FAQ for Trial Offering (Appliance Templates).

 

What you get with the latest SAP S/4HANA trial systems

In the CAL you will find appliance templates, which you use to create your trial system appliance(s). 

The latest CAL appliance templates include:

  • the fully activated version on SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01 and
  • the SAP Fiori configuration only version on SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01.

SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01, Fully Activated Appliance

Link to appliance template: SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01, Fully-Activated Appliance

This appliance template contains SAP S/4HANA 2023 (SP01) with pre-activated SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA core functions, and further scenarios for Service, Master Data Governance (MDG), Portfolio Mgmt. (PPM), Human Capital Management (HCM), Analytics, and more. User access happens via SAP Fiori, SAP GUI, SAP HANA Studio, Windows remote desktop, or the backend operating system for full administrative access.

For more details refer to section What is the content & scope of blog post SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance: Create your... - SAP Community

What you get: A trial system with pre-configured Fiori setup and pre-activated SAP Best Practices, further configurations in other functional areas and various demo guides for immediate exploration.

SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01 (SAP Fiori configuration only)

Link to appliance template: SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01 (Fiori configuration only)

This appliance template contains a pre-configured and activated SAP S/4HANA Fiori UI in client 100, with prerequisite components activated as per SAP note 3411022 - Composite SAP note: Rapid Activation for SAP Fiori in SAP S/4HANA 2023 FPS01. User FIORI_USER is prepared accordingly

This CAL system is prepared (in client 100) with activated admin roles assigned to a user named FIORI_USER, including:

  1. Administrator
  2. Configuration Expert – Business Process Configuration
  3. Analytics Specialist
  4. Business Process Specialist

Benefit to customers and partners: You get a system with pre-configured Fiori setup and FIORI_USER to immediately start exploring. You create your own sample data for exploration, demonstrations, and training.

Timeline / Availability of future CAL trial systems

Usually, the SAP Fiori configuration only release is published shortly after the official Release to Customer (RTC) of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition. Refer to: Planned Appliance Template Updates in 2024 - SAP Community

Usually, the Fully Activated release is published about 8 weeks after the official RTC of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition. Refer to: SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance: Create your... - SAP Community

 

How to obtain a trial system from SAP Cloud Appliance library

Go to the https://cal.sap.com and select Explore Our Library to review the available appliance templates.

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You can review details of which appliance templates are available for your Cloud Provider.  

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Select an appliance template to review their contents and other useful information, for example, by reviewing the linked Getting Started Guide.

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To create your own trial system from an appliance template, you will need to login to the CAL site at https://cal.sap.com.

Creating a new user is easy! Refer to Getting Started with the Cloud Appliance Library.

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You will also need to create a CAL Account using your Cloud Provider subscription details.  

IMPORTANT: You can have different CAL users responsible for the Account - the Account Owner - versus responsible for your trial system(s) - the Appliance Owner.  This can be useful when Cloud Provider subscription details are centrally managed by your organization. Your Account Owner can control which appliance templates can be selected by an appliance owner when creating an appliance.

Then select Create Appliance to start the simple process to create your own trial system from the appliance template. 

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You can refer to the following videos with step-by-step examples of creating your appliance on your Cloud Provider:

Tips on how to use your trial system

These tips come from our experiences with using trial systems ourselves and with customers on customer bootcamps.  

  • Accessing your trial
  • Security requirements for accessing your trial system
  • Preparing for demonstrations
  • Managing Cloud Provider costs

Accessing your trial

You can access your trial via the following options:

  1. The provided Remote Desktop option.
  2. Local Host (option of applying your own domain and host name)

The provided Remote Desktop is useful if only 1 or 2 people will use the trial system.

If you intend to use your trial system with a larger team, use the Local Host option. With the local host approach, multiple people can concurrently access your trial system. For example: 

  • Business users can login to your trial system’s SAP Fiori launchpad directly from their web browser
  • Administrators and functional configuration experts can login to SAP GUI using SAP Logon
  • Developers can login to your trial system from ABAP Developer Tools for Ecliipse

IMPORTANT: If using the local host option, you should consider selecting the Static IP address option when creating your appliance.  This ensures the IP address is the same whenever you suspend/resume your CAL appliance.

If you don't want your users to have to map the local hosts file, then you can optionally apply your own fully-qualified domain name (FQDN). This is the most convenient access for a larger group of business users  however, you will usually need the help of your IT organization.

Security Requirements for accessing your Trial System

Your trial system is available on the internet. 

You can find details of the ports and protocols needed along with other security aspects in the Getting Started guide for your appliance - section Security Aspects in Cloud Appliance Library

Preparing for Demonstrations

There are many demonstration guides provided for the fully activated appliance trials.  Refer to: SAP S/4HANA Fully-Activated Appliance: Demo Guides

Managing Cloud Provider Costs

You can use the Calculate Costs button to estimate the costs based on your Cloud Provider and Region.

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In general, storage costs are minimal, as these are charged per month.

Activation costs are per hour. This means that while they may appear small, if you leave your trial instance constantly active they can quickly add up.

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For example, you can calculate estimated costs for using your trial system for a 4 week (20 business day) bootcamp, assuming access for 8 hours per day, as follows:

Total Costs = Storage Costs (for 1 month) + Activation Costs (for 20 days x 8 hours per day)

To minimize costs, you can either:

  • Activate and suspend by schedule as part of setting up your appliance, or
  • Manually suspend and resume to minimize your activation time to only when you need it

Once you have created your appliance, you can Edit your appliance to change between scheduled and manual suspension at any time. 

With Activate and suspend by schedule you nominate when your trial system will be available.  You can nominate a once-off, daily, weekly, or advanced schedule for your time zone.  For example, you can make your trial system available Mondays to Fridays between 08:00 to 17:00. 

With Manually Suspend and Resume, you assign trusted responsible person as an operator to manually suspend your appliance instance when you are not using it, and resume your instance whenever you need it again. You can resume your instance whenever you need to.

When you resume your instance, you can optionally nominate to automatically suspend it a future time in hours, e.g. 4 hours from activation. You can Edit your active instance to adjust shorten/extend the current timeline.

If your instance is currently active and you need to extend the suspension time, you can Edit your instance to update it.

Select the “?” Help icon for your appliance template or instance for details on what else you can control.

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Extending your trial system

Your free trial period per appliance template starts when you accept the terms and conditions for the appliance template.

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If you need to extend your trial system beyond the 30-day free trial subscription, you can use your own SAP product licences or a SAP CAL subscription.   Refer to:  How to Keep an Expiring Trial Appliance in SAP Cloud Appliance Library

Hint: For bootcamps, if you want to create one appliance template briefly as a connection test, you can subscribe to a similar appliance template for an earlier SAP S/4HANA release. This is useful when you need to check your firewall and port settings will permit your team to access your appliance.  You can then subscribe to your target appliance template just before the bootcamp to make the most of the free trial period. 

 

FAQ

What product versions are included in a trial system?

Your trial system includes the relevant components for the selected SAP S/4HANA release and Feature Pack Stack (FPS), including:

  • SAP Screen Personas – for simplifying GUI transactions
  • SAP S/4HANA
  • SAP S/4HANA Foundation
  • SAP Fiori Front-end Server for SAP S/4HANA – i.e. embedded FES
  • SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA – i.e. installation of the SAP Fiori apps
  • ABAP Platform for SAP S/4HANA

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Becoming a SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA guru

You’ll find much more on our  SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA topic page

Other helpful links:

Brought to you by the SAP S/4HANA RIG and Customer Care team.