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Article Series "Bringing Together Clean Core, Cloud, the SAP Extension Suite and SAP BTP - A Clean Core and Differentiation / Extensibility Strategy"

This posting is the fourth part of a series, which proposes a functional-strategic approach to Clean Core to help overcome the challenges, which the prevalent technical approach entails. Visit the overview page for a management summary and links to the other postings.

Introduction and Recap

As discussed in the previous posting, Clean Core and the SAP Extension Suite are not compatible with the classic project approach for SAP-based development but require a new framework and a new approach. So, let’s take a step back and consider again the key notion of Clean Core – the separation of standard code and custom code.

SAP Clean Core: Standard and Custom Code have Contrary Characteristics


So far, this is convincing, and it is a great basis to build on. In the next step of this previous posting, we have seen that this means that the S/4HANA Core is surrounded by an API and that all custom extensions are getting moved out of the Core and into a separate area.

SAP Clean Core means that no changes are allowed in the SAP standard code anymore


However, what we are seeing above, is and should be the view for the implementation of all those process, which can get standardized and may only need customizing. Here, the focus is on the S/4HANA Core and the primary concern is to keep it clean. Of course, this should be the case for the large majority of processes and functionality. Usually, some custom development cannot be avoided, though. For these exceptions, the focus when having to extend the standard, is and should be on the extensions.

From Extensions to Differentiation


The standard is just one side to SAP Clean Core - the other side is the custom development


The above graphic might look like just a simple flip of the sides. Indeed, it is only a change in the perspective, but with a fundamental impact: To start with and most obviously, there is a change in the focus. In this new view, the differentiation of the organization is in the center, not the standard anymore. Additionally, the roles and the meaning of the standard and the custom code have changed. The custom code is now an independent application in its own right, which exists aside from the standard code. The standard now serves only as a repository of services.  Applied to the graphic showing the SAP Extension Suite together with the Clean Core principle, i.e the overall framework, this becomes even more obvious as described in the next posting.

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