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In this blog, we will provide a guide with tips on how to use SAP Activate Methodology to help you with your implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, 3-system landscape. To start with, we will talk about what is new with this offering, and then review helpful deliverables, tasks, and accelerators by phase from the SAP Activate for S/4HANA Cloud, 3-system landscape roadmap.

The authors of this blog post are the people listed below with a short outline of their current role and organization:

  • lisa.kouch – Senior Product Manager, SAP Activate methodology for SAP S/4HANA Cloud

  • aanchal.chopra– Product Expert, SAP S/4HANA Cloud

As of September 1, 2022, SAP has made generally available SAP S/4HANA Cloud, 3-system landscape. This offering introduces the following improvements:

  • Landscape: Starter System with Development Tenant and Customizing Tenant, Development System with Development Tenant and Customizing Tenant, Test System with Customizing Tenant and Production System with Customizing Tenant

  • Extensibility: Developer ABAP Extensibility available

  • Central Business Configuration (CBC): two evaluation projects for the Starter System (Customizing Tenant and Development Tenant) and two implementation projects for the Development (Customizing Tenant and Development Tenant) and no projects connected to the Test System and the Production System.

  • Transport Path: Development System > Test System > Production System using Adaptation Transport Organizer (ATO)

  • Tenant Provisioning: always triggered by the customer using SAP For Me.

  • Upgrade: Content update is triggered after software upgrade is applied. Customer has improved controls to move the reference content through the landscape as well as ability to continue configuration during the upgrade window.

3-system landscape

Let us review what tasks and accelerators we have introduced in the Activate Methodology to help you be successful with your implementation. We will talk about the following phases: Discover, Prepare, Explore, Realize, and Run.


The overall process in the Discover Phase remains the same for customers in the SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, 3-system landscape roadmap. For partners, two key Partner specific deliverables were added:  Partner Demonstration Landscape and Access Partner Demonstration Landscape. The tasks and accelerators within both new deliverables provide guidance related to accessing the Cloud test, demo, and development for SAP S/4HANA Cloud landscape for SAP Partners.


Once the implementation project has been kicked off, one of the first steps is provisioning the systems. To do this, you must request access to SAP for Me.  SAP for Me is a digital companion that provides guidance and helps customers interact easily with their SAP product portfolio in one place.

After SAP For Me is provisioned, you can work on requesting your Central Business Configuration system, followed by requesting your Starter System. One of the key differences in the 3-system landscape is that there are two different tenants in the Starter System: Customizing and Development. Both tenants will need to be set up accordingly in the SAP Central Business Configuration system. The tasks Set Up Starter Customizing Tenant in SAP Central Business Configuration and Set Up Starter Development Tenant in SAP Central Business Configuration guides the customer through the process of enabling both tenants.  In addition, the Help - Project Experience accelerator provides detail steps on creating an Evaluation Project in the Starter Development and Starter Development tenants.

Upon creation of the Evaluation Projects, team members should follow the steps in task Self-Activation of Project Team Members in the Identity Authentication Service to activate their Identity Authentication service access per the system email they received. This process should be completed twice: once for the Starter Customizing tenant and once for the Starter Development tenant.


The overall processes in the Explore phase remains the same with regards to setting up and conducting the Fit-to-Standard Workshops. The key difference in the 3-system landscape is the use of SAP Central Business Configuration and SAP Cloud ALM. The Fit-to-Standard workshops should be conducted in the Starter Customizing tenant and the new requirements should be captured as backlog items in SAP Cloud ALM. The tasks Conduct Workshop by Business Process Area and Confirm Backlog provides additional guidance.


Now that the Fit-to-Standard workshops have been completed, it is time to enter the Realize phase, where the main bulk of the project implementation work begins. Although the general process remains the same for customers (configure, migrate, test), we want to bring attention to some new and useful deliverables, tasks, and accelerators.

As this is a 3-system landscape, during this phase we will be requesting three systems rather than two: Development, Test and Production. The first system that will need to be requested is the Development System which you will request via SAP For Me. Once your Development system has been provisioned, you will follow similar steps as you performed for your Starter system to set up implementation projects in CBC for the Development Customizing tenant and Development Development tenant.

Once your implementation projects have been created for both of your Development tenants, you can begin initial access to your Development system.

Once you have finished the initial setup of your Development system, you can request your Test system via SAP For Me. Your Test system will not be connected to your CBC, so there is no setup required in CBC. Any access to this system will be done directly via the system.

As with access to previous systems, the IT contact will receive an email to access the system. Once the system is fully provisioned, the first step before further use is to import the initial configuration transport from Customizing Tenant of the Development System into the Test System.

Once the Test system has been provisioned and the initial setup has been completed, you are free to also request your Production System. You should bear in mind that once your Production system is provisioned, your Starter system will be decommissioned 30 days later.  In addition, SAP recommends that you request your Production System as soon as your Development System and Test System have been provisioned and before your start configuration to allow the base release and hotfix levels to be the same between all three systems. Similar to Test, the Production system is not connected to CBC, so you do not need to perform any setup there.

Now that you have your 3-system landscape set up, you can begin the implementation work of configuring based on your findings during the fit-to-standard, migrating needed data, and performing the necessary testing. Let us review the key deliverables and tasks for these activities.

You will start with the Solution Configuration deliverable. In this deliverable, we first want to highlight the Transport Configuration task. As mentioned above, in the 3-system landscape, the transport path is to release from the Customizing Tenant of the Development System, Import into the Test System and forward to the Production System. This task has further details and best practices for this and references the SAP Help – 3-System Landscape and Transport Management accelerator which we recommend you review. The second task we would like to highlight in this deliverable is the Manage Settings in Test/Production system task. This task shows how to maintain settings in the Test and Production systems that cannot be transported. This is done via the Implementation Activity app in each system. This task also mentions the following helpful accelerators which we recommend you review: Help – Configuration in a 3-system Landscape and Help – Manual Rework Activities in a Target System.


The tasks and accelerators within the deliverable Release and Update Cycles for SAP S/4HANA Cloud provides key information regarding managing updates and upgrades of SAP S/4HANA Cloud. With 3-system landscape architecture, software and business configuration or content lifecycles are decoupled. Software updates and reference content upgrades in SAP Central Business Configuration are governed by SAP with predefined schedule. The Release and Update Cycles for SAP S/4HANA Cloud deliverable has details on how to evaluate the new functionality, review and process hotfix collections, evaluate and activate new features from continuous delivery and how to prepare and process the upgrade. Please be sure to review the Upgrade and Maintenance Schedule accelerator for specific upgrade dates for Customers with a 3-System Landscape. This follows a slightly different schedule than the 2 system landscape, notably, the Test System is upgraded first, with Development, Production, and Starter Systems being upgraded 3 weeks later.

We also encourage you to review the SAP Activate for Upgrade of SAP S/4HANA Cloud 3-system landscape roadmap that has more detailed deliverables and tasks.

We hope this blog post helps you when using the SAP Activate for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, 3-system Landscape roadmap. We look forward to hearing your feedback!

If you have question that we didn’t answer above, please post in SAP Activate Community and we will get back to you shorty. You can explore more SAP Activate resources in SAP Community, we encourage you to consider following our sister communities SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Cloud ALM.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments to this blog post or via questions in the SAP Activate community.

Stay tuned for more updates and blogs.

Follow the SAP Activate page on the SAP Community. Remember to turn on your notification to receive updates or information about items requiring your attention. To enable notifications, follow the steps on the SAP Community Resources page.

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As always, I would like to encourage you to subscribe to our new podcast “Inside SAP S/4HANA”. This podcast leverages the unique knowledge and expertise of SAP S/4HANA product experts, partners, and customers to address your needs by sharing product insights and project best practices.