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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Data migration is a major task and key for a successful SAP implementation. SAP Rapid Data Migration with SAP Data Services enables you to migrate your data, ensuring your data can be trusted by the users and is ready for business process execution within SAP systems as Business Suite powered by HANA, ERP, SAP Business All-in-One, CRM, and SAP industry solutions for utilities. New content includes data migration content for SAP's HCM suite in the cloud SuccessFactors Employee Central, SAP Cloud for Customer, and SAP BW. The first ever RDS package available for SAP HANA Cloud Integration has just been released offering content for a Rapid Data Migration to HCM cloud, Workforce Analytics (WFA).

Data migration projects are relevant for all companies that need to move data from one application to another but planning for a data migration project is a major task. Migration projects are risky. If not done correctly, they can cause a myriad of issues, including delayed production go-live, poor data quality that prevents core business processing, and poor user adoption of the new or upgraded SAP system. Cleansing, transforming, and loading data into a new SAP application can seem like a daunting task. For those of you interested in data migration solutions that are fast and easy to deploy or want state-of-the-art data migration best practices so that you can be a data migration maestro, check out SAP’s Rapid-deployment solutions for Rapid Data Migration.

Understanding SAP Rapid Data Migration

SAP Rapid Data Migrations has three major components:

  • Software driven by SAP Data Services (hereafter Data Services)
  • Migration content developed by SAP’s Rapid-deployment solution organization
  • Consulting services provided by SAP Services and partners

Watch the demo recording:

Downloading SAP Rapid Data Migration content

SAP's rich RDS content for a rapid data migration:

The combination of the software, migration content, and optional consulting services provides a complete solution for migration to SAPapplications. Please find a list of the supported objects here.

Data Services is a key element of SAP’s solutions for enterprise information management (EIM).  Data Services provides capabilities for data integration, data quality management, and text data processing. If you’re looking for more information about SAP’s EIM solutions, there is a new book EIM with SAP that explains the changing face of EIM at SAP: what the different products are, how they work together, and how to get started using them. For the purposes of data migration, the focus is on the data integration and data quality management capabilities. The piece for data integration is an extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) tool for ETL aspects from one or many sources to one or many target systems. Together with the data quality piece it is best suited for migration between non-SAP applications to SAP.

Leveraging the SAP BI platform, the data migration solution also enables BI reporting and contains dashboard analysis. The migration content includes some SAP Web Intelligence reports to get a better picture of the entire data migration process and its progress also for business users.

SAP Data Migration software is used across the following steps:

  1. Profile and extract data from the source system 
  2. Map the data to the target data structures
  3. Validate the data against the target business context (i.e., the business rules of the target system, such as if there are specific fields required or if the country codes are correct)
  4. Load the data into the target SAP system
  5. Reconcile the data between the target SAP system and the source system
  6. Repeat the entire process iteratively until the data is ready for loading into the production target system

Let’s take a look at the architecture of data migration in Figure 1. We’ve called out six specific areas, which we discuss in more detail.

Figure 1 Architecture of data migration using SAP software and SAP Rapid Deployment solution components

1.  Source and target systems: First look at the target environment and legacy data environment. These show the source and target applications. When using the Rapid Data Migration for SAP content, the environment is always an SAP application, typically including the rapid-deployment solution for Data Migration package. The legacy environment can be any non-SAP environment, from connectivity to databases, legacy applications, flat files, or XML. 

2.  Extract and profile: The staging area is provided using Data Services. In this staging area, you extract and profile data from the source systems. The profiling of data is a critical step as it provides insight into the state of the existing source systems. Examples of important details you can check for are patterns across data. For example, in the U.S., ZIP codes are five digits plus an optional four-digit code. A data assessment can determine how many unique ZIP codes you have and how often the ZIP+4 extension is used across your source systems. Another example is to know the pattern of country designations. For example, for Germany the terms Germany, DE, or Deutschland could be used in the source system.

3.  Cleanse, transform, and validate: This includes updating the data so that it meets specific patterns, transforming the data according to rules, and validating data against the SAP business context. This can involve combining two fields into one, splitting fields, updating the data within a field to match certain rules (for example, telephone number formats), and validating data against required fields and lookup values from the SAP business context and configuration. 

4.  Extraction of SAP configuration: As part of an SAP implementation, SAP is configured with many values such as plants, material types and groups, and sales territories. Mapping of the source data normally requires mapping fields that comply with the SAP configuration. The extraction of SAP configuration data takes the settings in the SAP system so that the source data can conform to the required format in the target system.

5.  Reconciliation: Reconciliation looks at what was actually loaded versus what was expected to be loaded.

6.  Reporting and dashboards: Throughout the process, dashboards are available for people involved with the project to know the status of the migration. Additionally, the migration starts the process of data quality expectations and governance around data management. 

The process outlined in Figure 1 enables companies to migrate data quickly and effectively – data migration is no longer a daunting task. The SAP Rapid-deployment solutions for data migration will empower you to cleanse, transform, and load data like never before. 

Look out for my next blog on data migration rapid-deployment solutions - including a step-by-step deep dive on using the migration content in Data Services, please read part 2 for that. If you want to know how to visualize your Data Migration projects, check out part 3.

For more information and to ask questions to the community, please visit our Data Migration SCN space:

Data Migration