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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert


Innovate your IT landscape with SAP Datasphere, which is SAP’s strategic target solution for all data warehousing use cases in the puplic cloud, in line with SAP’s data-to-value portfolio strategy. This blog post provides SAP BW and SAP BW/4HANA customers an overview of how existing on-premises investments can be converted to the cloud. More importantly, a Cloud Transformation Checklist which can be used when preparing the project and during the actual conversion to SAP Datasphere. The checklist contains the various conversion paths (Shell- and Remote Conversion), and their individual steps in different tabs, including the corresponding SAP Notes. The checklist is in no way intended to replace a dedicated project plan, but rather to provide support for effort orientation. For initial project planning and rough structuring, it makes sense to think through all project parts one by one. Tip: Click on the figures of the individual project phases below for better readability.


SAP Datasphere is SAP’s strategic public cloud product for data warehousing. It improves agility, accelerates time-to-value, and unlocks innovation with unprecedented business user enablement, a new form of openness, and embedded partner offerings. Looking at conversion, SAP offers the possibility of a tool-supported move of SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA investments to SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge (see figure 1). SAP BW bridge is a feature of SAP Datasphere, that provides a path to the public cloud for SAP BW and SAP BW/4HANA customers. It enables connectivity and business content via proven SAP BW-based data integration (extractors) from SAP source systems. In addition, it provides staging layers of SAP BW to manage data loads (including deltas) with partitioning, monitoring, and error handling. This allows customers to leverage their existing SAP BW skills and protect their SAP BW investments in the public cloud. For more information about SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge, check out the announcement blog post and the detailed blog post. Note: SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge is not a full SAP BW/4HANA component within SAP Datasphere. See SAP Note 3117800 for feature scope of SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge.

Figure 1: SAP BW to SAP Datasphere

In any conversion, manual interaction and re-design is required (see Figure 2). The degree of these manual tasks varies from customer to customer and depends on the configuration and state of the SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA system. SAP has developed tools to automate this renovation where possible and feasible, but they are not built or intended to fix badly designed models or clean up neglected systems. The tools transfer objects based on XML files via RFC from SAP BW Release 7.30 to 7.50 (on SAP HANA or Any-DB), and SAP BW/4HANA 2021 to SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge. Regarding release coverage, please see the details in the SAP Note 3141688. Each transfer is based on a selection of a specific scope, i.e., a set of SAP BW objects, e.g., a data flow that can be transferred together in a consistent way. Please note that SAP BW 7.40 and lower are already out of maintenance.

Figure 2: Conversion Paths

SAP provides a Pre-Check Tool (see SAP Note 2575059) that identifies important steps customers need to take to ensure their system is compatible with the conversion process. The tool determines which objects are compatible with SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge and which objects are not available in SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge. In addition, it checks which objects can be automatically converted, deleted, or need manual adjustments (see figure 2).

Figure 3: Conversion Overview

Regardless of the type of conversion (see figure 3), the Simplification List (currently in preparation, see SAP Note 3154420) and the Conversion Guide are suitable as a starting point. The Simplification List describes in detail, on a functional level, what happens to individual data models and objects in SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge. The individual Notes explain what needs to be done in the conversion process. The Conversion Guide is the end-to-end documentation of a conversion to SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge. Note: There is an individual Conversion Guide for the Shell Conversion (see Link) and an individual Conversion Runbook for the Remote Conversion (see Link).

Shell Conversion to SAP Datasphere

Shell Conversion: General Sequence

Figure 4: Shell Conversion - General Sequence

Shell Conversion (see figure 4) is offered by SAP to convert an SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA system into SAP Datasphere. It does not include the transfer and synchronization of existing data sets. Instead, customers can choose to load data from original sources, load data from the sender SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA system, or simply ignore historical data and start fresh. For SAP BW systems on releases from 7.30 to 7.50 (running on SAP HANA or Any-DB) and SAP BW/4HANA 2021, a shell conversion can be performed.
Shell Conversion: (T1) System Requirements

Shell Conversion: (T2) Pre-Checks

Shell Conversion: (T3) Custom Code Check

Shell Conversion: (T4) System Provisioning

Shell Conversion: (T5) Shell Transfer

Shell Conversion: (T6) Post Conversion Tasks

Shell Conversion: (T7) SAP Datasphere Core Tasks

Shell Conversion: (T8) Go-Live


Remote Conversion to SAP Datasphere

Remote Conversion: General Sequence

Figure 5: Remote Conversion - General Sequence

Remote Conversion (see figure 5) is offered by SAP to convert an SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA system into SAP Datasphere. It enables customers to move whole data flows or transfer only selected data flows including data. Customers are able to decide whether they want to build a clean system, leave old and unused objects behind. For SAP BW systems on releases from 7.30 to 7.50 (running on SAP HANA or Any-DB), a remote conversion can be performed. SAP BW/4HANA 2021 as a sender system in a Remote Conversion will be possible soon.
Remote Conversion: (T1) System Requirements

Remote Conversion: (T2) Pre-Checks

Remote Conversion: (T3) Custom Code Check

Remote Conversion: (T4) System Provisioning

Remote Conversion: (T5) Remote Transfer

Remote Conversion: (T6) Post Conversion Tasks

Remote Conversion: (T7) SAP Datasphere Core Tasks

Remote Conversion: (T8) Go-Live

Conversion Deep Dive to SAP Datasphere

This YouTube session provides customers of the SAP Business Warehouse application and the SAP BW/4HANA solution with an overview of how existing on-premise investments can be transferred to the cloud. Learn how you can use SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge to move your business warehouse workloads into the public cloud.


SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge, helps to accelerate the transition to cloud data warehousing while protecting previous and new investments in the cloud. In fact, the value of SAP Datasphere is clearly recognized by many SAP customers. However, customers want a smooth conversion path to secure their investments in SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA. Converting an SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA system to SAP Datasphere does not happen in one go. It is therefore essential to understand and deal with the differences between SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA and SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge. Indeed, customers should carefully analyze their existing system, estimate the complexity and duration of the required tasks, as well as properly plan all conversion activities. If customers manage it correctly, their conversion to SAP Datasphere will be very successful.

SAP offers a Conversion Execution Service for SAP Datasphere. With the conversion execution service for SAP Datasphere, customers can accelerate their move from an existing SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA system to SAP Datasphere. In addition, the course “SAP Datasphere: SAP BW Bridge” (DWCBW1) is available at SAP Education, see also the dedicated blog post for this SAP training. Find further information to get started with SAP Datasphere and check out Best Practices in the Community for SAP Datasphere. Customers will find more information about what is new or changed with SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge on the SAP Help Portal: New Features and Changes in SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge.

Please let me know, if you have any specific question. SAP’s Experts from SAP Data Warehouse Product Management & Strategy, and SAP Data Warehouse Development are involved in this topic.

Thank you to my colleagues Udo Bätz, Dominik Graus, Konstantinos Stergios and Klaus-Peter Sauer for their support.

Best regards,