Configuring with SAP Central Business Configuration

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Get an introduction to SAP Central Business Configuration
  • Review the system landscapes and setup activities
  • Identify characteristics of the implementation project experience
  • Activate scope, countries, and define the organizational structure
  • Define configuration values for the business processes
  • Complete the production system settings

Introduction to SAP Central Business Configuration

Introduction to SAP Central Business Configuration

SAP Central Business Configuration is a tool that will make it possible to configure business processes spanning different SAP cloud solutions from one central place. Since January 2021, SAP Central Business Configuration supports the system provisioning and configuration of SAP S/4HANA Cloud (public cloud).

Customers who implemented SAP S/4HANA Cloud prior to January 2021 will be contacted by SAP individually to convert to SAP Central Business Configuration. The future vision is for SAP Central Business Configuration to support implementation of all solutions in SAP's Intelligent Enterprise to enable end-to-end provisioning and configuration of solutions such as SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, and others.

Solution characteristics:

  • Built on the foundation of SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud preconfigured business process content.
  • Scoping via Business Adaptation Catalog (BAC) & end-to-end processes.
  • Quick access to a preconfigured, ready-to-run system.
  • Option to adapt preconfiguration to customer needs
  • Extended configuration for areas not equipped with preconfiguration content.
  • Enable delta deployment of scope extensions (for example, additional countries/regions with preconfiguration).

Components of SAP Central Business Configuration

SAP Central Business Configuration aims to increase business process flexibility, reduce time to value and total cost of ownership, and support roll-out of business processes in smaller iterative steps.

SAP Central Business Configuration consists of the following components; select each component to read more.

Configuration Process Overview

SAP Central Business Configuration enables you to manage your configurations for SAP cloud implementations and ongoing operations centrally via the Project Experience.

The guided workflow process steps include:

  1. Scope: Select the scope items (business processes) and countries in which to activate them, then assign systems as the deployment targets.
  2. Organizational Structure: Specify primary finance settings such as group currency and fiscal year variant, set up the organizational structure, and deploy the settings.
  3. Product-Specific Configuration: Carry out configuration activities to define business processes and release transports to the target systems. The configuration activities visible are based on the active scope.
  4. Production System Settings: Maintain current settings in the productive system such as bank accounts for company codes and financial statement versions.

Maintaining SAP S/4HANA Cloud after Go-Live

SAP Central Business Configuration is used to continuously maintain SAP S/4HANA Cloud after go-live. For example, if a new business process is released, a customer will start at the beginning of the workflow to first select the scope to activate, make any changes or additions to the organizational structure (if necessary), complete the relevant configuration activities, and finally maintain any necessary production system settings. The workflow ensures all required steps are completed for new scope to be successfully activated.

Old Configuration Method vs. New Configuration Method

Prior to SAP Central Business Configuration, the Manage Your Solution and Configure Your Solution apps in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Fiori launchpad were used to complete configuration activities. Customers that implemented SAP S/4HANA Cloud prior to January 2021 will continue to use this method to maintain their systems until their systems are converted by SAP. Until all customers are converted to SAP Central Business Configuration, the Manage Your Solution app will not be removed from the launchpad. For customers with SAP Central Business Configuration, we recommend using the Maintain Business Roles app to remove visibility of the Manage Your Solution app so as not to cause confusion.

Embedded User Assistance

User assistance is accessed through the question mark icon in the top right corner of the SAP Central Business Configuration system. You will find:

  • In-app help: On-screen "hot spots" describing elements of the user interface with links to detailed information and tutorial videos.
  • SAP Help Portal links: Application help with interactive graphics, concepts, task descriptions and tutorial videos.

Additional Resources:

  • SAP Central Business Configuration in the SAP Help Portal
  • SAP Central Business Configuration in the SAP Community
  • SAP Central Business Configuration free training on openSAP
  • SAP Central Business Configuration Learning Journey (SAP Learning Hub subscription required)

Try it out

Access the SAP Central Business Configuration In-App Help.

System Landscape Access & Setup

SAP Cloud ALM & SAP Central Business Configuration

SAP Cloud ALM is used by implementation consultants and customers to manage the implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud and maintain the system after go-live. The implementation tasks are populated from the SAP Activate Roadmap tasks for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. An integration can be set up between SAP Cloud ALM and SAP Central Business Configuration to allow you to navigate directly to the SAP Central Business Configuration in relevant tasks, and to monitor the system as part of the larger integrated landscape after go-live with the SAP Cloud ALM for Operations functionalities.

System Landscape High-Level Architecture

SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the system where your enterprise business data lives. SAP Central Business Configuration is a separate tool that lives in SAP Business Technology Platform where you provision your SAP S/4HANA Cloud systems, activate the business scope, and complete configuration-related activities. Both SAP Central Business Configuration and SAP S/4HANA Cloud are integrated with the customer's SAP Cloud Identity tenants.

SAP Cloud Identity Services includes two tenants: Identity Authentication Service (IAS) and Identity Provisioning Service (IPS).

All SAP S/4HANA Cloud systems used for implementation activities (Starter, Quality, Production) are provisioned through SAP Central Business Configuration. Within SAP Central Business Configuration, two projects separate the systems. The first project you create is the Evaluation Project. You activate content in the Starter System from within the Evaluation Project. You create a second project called the Implementation Project to provision and configure the Quality and Production systems.

Project Types in SAP Central Business Configuration

There are two primary types of projects used by customers and partners in SAP Central Business Configuration:

Evaluation Project

The Evaluation Project is used to set up the SAP S/4HANA Cloud starter system. The starter system has technically already been provisioned, however the system is empty because no content has been activated yet. You follow the guided workflow tasks to connect the starter system to the evaluation project and activate the SAP Best Practices content, including the organizational structure, master data, and configurations in the starter system. The data in the starter system aligns with the data used in the scope item test scripts from SAP Best Practices Explorer. This enables consultants to easily demonstrate business processes during the Fit to Standard workshops with the preconfigured starter system and test scripts.

Please refer to the User Onboarding for SAP S/4HANA Cloud guide for step-by-step activities to complete after the customer IT contact receives the starter system login credentials.

Implementation Project

The Implementation Project is the main project for a customer implementation where the SAP S/4HANA Cloud quality and production systems are requested and managed. The milestones guide you through the different phases by unlocking relevant project activities that must be completed. Transports to release configurations to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud quality and production systems are initiated in SAP Central Business Configuration. An Implementation Projects consists of the following phases:

  • Scope and Organizational Structure: define business scope, define primary finance settings, setup organizational structure, and request activation of license-dependent business scenarios.
  • Product-Specific Configuration: perform configuration activities, request production system, and release configuration to production system.
  • Production System Settings: perform required configuration activities that must be done directly in the production system.
You can create an unlimited number of projects, regardless of the project type.

System Access Welcome Emails

When a customer purchases SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the sales order triggers the tenant setup request. The person that signed the contract to purchase the solution (often the CIO) is typically assigned the IT Contact role by SAP.

The IT Contact receives system access emails and is automatically assigned to be the super admin in the Support Portal. The IT Contact assignment will likely need to be changed to the person who should be the super admin/primary contact for the implementation on the customer side.

Find information on changing the IT Contact in SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer

The IT Contact receives four welcome emails:

  1. SAP Cloud Identity email
    • Provides URL to access the Identity Authentication System (IAS).
    • Use your S user ID to log into IAS. You will be prompted to reset your password.
      Regardless of the order in which you receive these emails, the IAS must be activated first.
  2. SAP Central Business Configuration email
    • Provides URLs to the Identity Provisioning System (IPS), Identity Authentication System (IAS), and SAP Central Business Configuration (CBC).
    • Use your S user ID to log into IPS. You will be prompted to reset your password.
      You first run a job in IPS to replicate CBC roles to IAS. You then create users and provide access rights to CBC in IAS.
  3. SAP S/4HANA Cloud Starter system URL and Initial User ID email

    Provides the starter system URL and initial user ID (technical user).

    • The technical user is only to log into SAP S/4HANA Cloud the first time and create an administrator user. After the administrator user has been created, the technical user should not be used.
    • The starter system will be empty until scoping and business process content is activated through SAP Central Business Configuration.

  4. SAP S/4HANA Cloud Starter system Initial User Password email
    • Provides the starter system technical user password, which you will be prompted to reset.
    • The password is sent separately from the initial user ID email for security.

System Setup Activities

The IT Contact is responsible for setting up the partner and customer project team members in SAP Central Business Configuration.

System setup activities:

  1. Activate the Identity Authentication System (IAS)

    The IAS provides customers with controlled cloud-based access to their cloud tenants, such as SAP Central Business Configuration, the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Starter, Quality, and Production systems, and additional SAP Cloud solutions for which a license has been purchased.

  2. Provision groups and users in the Identity Provisioning System (IPS)

    User provisioning setup enables customers to automate user and role-specific lifecycle processes, such as provisioning users and groups across different business applications that can be added as source and target systems. The source system is where users and groups are created, and the target system is where users and configured roles are received. This allows you to create users/groups once and maintain them in a single system, rather than creating and maintaining in multiple different systems.

  3. Set up job management parameters

    Jobs can be scheduled, or run manually. The jobs that can be controlled are for replicating roles from SAP Central Business Configuration to the IAS tenant, and replicating users from the IAS tenant to SAP Central Business Configuration.

  4. Create users in SAP Central Business Configuration (CBC)
    1. First, IPS is used to run a job that pushes the roles (called user groups in CBC) from CBC to IAS. Without this step, there would be no roles available to grant users access to CBC.
    2. Next, users are created in IAS and assigned to user groups.
    3. After this, IPS is used to run another job that replicates the users and their assigned user groups from IAS to CBC.
    4. Last, within a project in CBC, there is a Teams tab, where users are manually added to the team.
  5. Create users in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Starter System (high-level summary)
    1. First, the IT Contact logs into the starter system with the technical user credentials provided in 2 of the 4 welcome emails and manually creates a new administrator user and assigns the administrator business role to grant full permissions.
    2. Next, the IT Contact logs into the starter system with the administrator user credentials and creates additional users for the implementation project team members.
    3. Last, project team members log into the starter system with their own credentials and create test users that correspond to the test scripts they will be demonstrating to customer experts in their respective Fit to Standard workshops.

In the Quality and Production systems, you will set up an integration with the customer's HR system of record. When the integration is active, you will no longer create users manually, as a user created through the file-upload method in SAP S/4HANA Cloud would simply be overwritten at the next replication job from the HR system.

Recommendations for using the Starter System

Do not set up all customer-required configuration settings in the starter system, because your target system will be set up later in the implementation project. You can customize and edit some business content in the starter system, but you cannot delete any entities in the organizational structure or change the core finance settings.

When completing scoping in the starter system for the first time, select only one country/region and use the default settings provided by SAP to get the base system set up. If you want to add additional countries/regions, scope, organizational elements, or configuration settings afterwards, you can initiate a change and perform the required enhancements or changes.

Changes to Project Activities

Project activities and milestones are executed in a specific sequence in every phase of project. Any change that belongs to a preceding phase can be done by using the Initiate Change functionality, which will set back the project to the respective phase.

For example, you can initiate changes to Scope and Country and Org Management which belong to the Scope and Organizational Structure phase while you are already in a later phase (such as Product-Specific Configuration phase). The project activities of the previous phase are unlocked and are then sequentially executed moving forward to ensure you complete all required configurations based on the new scope/country/region activation. You must complete the same sequence of phases and tasks per phase because some business scenarios require organizational structure changes and/or will have corresponding configuration activities where data must be entered.

SAP Central Business Configuration Release Upgrades

SAP Central Business Configuration is its own individual product with a feature roadmap independent from SAP S/4HANA Cloud and other SAP Cloud solutions. The current focus is on each SAP Central Business Configuration release providing enhancements to the configuration capabilities for SAP S/4HANA Cloud. In the future, additional SAP Cloud solutions will be included.

Because SAP Central Business Configuration is an independent product, release features will not be published with the SAP S/4HANA Cloud content. Instead, refer to the What's New information in the dedicated SAP Central Business Configuration Help Portal webpage.

Project Experience

Project Experience Overview

SAP Central Business Configuration is designed to provide guidance for your implementation project by controlling the sequence of activities that are completed. In the Project Experience, you can manage your team members, complete activities to set up and configure your systems, and view the project status. Activities are grouped into phases, and each phase ends with a milestone.

Milestones serve the following functions:

  • Trigger the change of project phases
  • Lock project activities of project phases that are currently not active
  • Trigger and control processes in the background to simplify the user experience

The Project Status lets you know the current state of your project and can give an indication of what activities are occurring in the backend. Project Statuses can be:

  • Active: the project is available or in use and project activities can be executed.
  • Closed: after the final milestone in the last phase has been completed, the project switches to ongoing operations mode where it is locked for changes, but remains active. This mode still allows you to perform manual rework, maintain current settings, or use the Initiate Change functionality to move the project to a previous stage.
    Ongoing operations mode is not displayed in the user interface.
  • Decommissioned: this status is used for the evaluation project when it is no longer necessary and can be decommissioned.
  • Setup: the project is being initially set up, upgraded, or there are operations being performed by the SAP Support team.

One-time Login Message

On the initial login to SAP Central Business Configuration, each user will be presented with a one-time popup window, requesting users to click 'proceed' in order to acknowledge they have read and understood the provided information and hyperlinked privacy statement. Without clicking 'proceed', access to SAP Central Business Configuration will not be possible. Please refer to the popup message and the hyperlinked privacy statement for details.

In order to click 'proceed', no certification is required by the user.

Project Phases & Switching Projects

For the Evaluation Project, the Scope, Organizational Structure, and Product-Specific Configuration phases are available. In the Implementation Project, these three phases are available, in addition to the final Production System Settings phase.

You can easily switch between projects and create additional projects. You can also move to an earlier phase by using the Initiate Change functionality. This allows you to unlock activities for an earlier phase and then sequentially move forward through the required activities. For example, after a customer goes live with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, a new business scenario (scope item) may be released in an upgrade they want to activate. The customer would use the Initiate Change functionality in SAP Central Business Configuration to move back to the Scope phase to activate the new scenario, then continue through the Organizational Structure phase (some scenarios may require additional organizational entities), the Product-Specific Configuration phase to complete any necessary configuration for the scenario, and finally, the Production System Settings phase.

Project Team

The Teams tab provides an overview of project team members and their specific project roles. Some activities, like scoping, can only be processed by one user at a time. This ensures the data is consistent. Other activities, such as defining the organizational structure and configuration of business scenarios (scope items) allow multiple users to work at the same time.

Systems and Deployment Targets

The Systems tab provides an overview of your systems and their provisioning statuses after scoping is complete. It allows you to request system provisioning, and you have the capability to release configuration settings to the productive environment.

The Systems tab only becomes visible if a deployment target has been assigned to the project. The deployment target is the system where the content you scope and configure in SAP Central Business Configuration should go. The deployment target is created and maintained in the backend by SAP, but in the Project Experience, a consultant or customer still needs to assign the target on the Deployment Targets tab. The assigned deployment target automatically sets up the corresponding technical business options in scope for the project.


The Logs page provides detailed information on the changes performed in Project Experience. For audit purposes, it's important to have tracking and logging history in place that captures changes in project activities with the time, name, fields changed, and area.

Scope and Organizational Structure Activities

Select Countries/Regions

In SAP Central Business Configuration, you start scoping in the Project Experience area with the Define Scope project activity. You begin scoping by providing basic information about your company, such as the countries/regions and industry you operate in. The tool will propose relevant bundles and scenarios with predefined content. You can then further adjust the business scenarios in your solution. Built-in rules ensure that your selected content is logical and consistent from a technical and business point of view.

With SAP Central Business Configuration, customers are able to scope:

  • Countries in which the chosen business processes will run
    When defining your initial scope or using the Initiate Change functionality to define additional scope, we strongly recommend not to scope more than five countries or regions at a time.
  • Predefined scenario bundles
  • Additional non-standard scenarios

Select Bundles/Scenarios

You first select a bundle that includes many scenarios (scope items) grouped into a package. Additional scenarios can be added after selecting a bundle. License-dependent and non-standard scenarios show a "lock" icon because they need to be requested. Within a bundle or scenario, you can choose which country/region to activate the scenario in. The documentation of each scenario provides a link to SAP Best Practices Explorer for additional information.

Select a Group Ledger Scenario

You must choose a group ledger scenario when defining the initial scope. The two choices are:

  • Accounting and Financial Close - Group Ledger IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards)
  • Group Ledger US GAAP (United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles)

Review Scoping Selection

My Selected Scope provides an overview of all business scenarios (scope items) you have chosen. You have the ability to filter scenarios by country/region.

Try it out: Define the scope

Request License-Dependent or Non-Standard Scenarios

You must request license-dependent scenarios from the SAP Service Center by creating a case. Selecting the Open button in this activity brings you to SAP Best Practices Explorer to find the relevant app IDs and scope item information.

Find information on requesting SAP S/4HANA Cloud license-dependent or non-standard scenarios in SAP Help Portal.

Assign Deployment Target

This activity requires you to assign a deployment target for your system. The deployment target is created and maintained in the backend by SAP, but in the Project Experience, a consultant or customer still needs to assign the target. The assigned deployment target automatically sets up the corresponding technical business options in scope for the project.

Once a deployment target is assigned, it cannot be decoupled from the assigned system.

Confirm Scoping is Completed Milestone

Relevant configuration activities are identified based on the scoping selection.

Specify Primary Finance Settings

Next, you define the fiscal year variant and group currency. The fiscal year variant defines the number of posting periods in a fiscal year and how many special periods are needed. The group currency is used as the global currency and allows amounts to be compared in a single currency.

The fiscal year variant and group currency are applied to the entire system and cannot be changed after confirmation.

Set Up Organizational Structure

The Organizational Structure app allows you to easily create and adapt your company's organizational structure (org structure). The selected scope defines which organizational entities are required to run the underlying processes. The system also runs consistency checks to ensure all organizational hierarchies contain the relevant entities (for example, every plant requires at least one storage location if logistics is in-scope), and that all required relationships are defined (for example, every distribution chain requires at least one plant to be assigned).

The following types of relationships exist between the units of an organizational structure:

  • Tree relation: Country-specific parent-child relationship (1:n). For example, plant to legal entity.
  • Additional relation: Relation of an organizational unit from a country-specific tree to another organizational unit of the same tree or to a global organizational unit. Additional relationships have an n:n cardinality, meaning each of the organizational units for which an additional relationship is possible may have an additional relationship with one or several organizational units.

Local Entity

Local entities are assigned to defined countries, and are the highest level of the organizational structure. Company is the root node and may have one legal entity as a child. Under legal entities, you can add these organizational units:

  • Sales Organization for Sales & Distribution
  • Plant for site logistics

Global Entity

Global entities can be assigned to enterprise structures in one or more countries. For example, a Shipping Point can be assigned to several Plants which are in more than one country. You can create the following types of global entities:

  • Distribution Channel
  • Division
  • Purchasing Organization
  • Sales Office
  • Shipping Point
  • Shipping Point for Raw Materials
  • Standard Shipping Point

Organizational Structure App Display Views

The Organizational Structure app allows you to easily create and adapt your company's organizational structure (org structure) with several different views:

  • Graphic view: Graphical, scope-dependent, and guided creation of organizational units
  • Table view: All org units are listed in a table
  • Simplified mode: The buttons that guide you through the creation of new org units are hidden in this mode to gain a better overview of your org structure
Non-confirmed entities are in the "staging" area, where they can be easily changed or deleted. Make sure you confirm only the units you want to deploy to the back-end system. Once confirmed, the entity cannot be deleted!

Confirm Organizational Entities & Complete Milestone

When you are finished maintaining the organizational structure, select the Confirm button to confirm the entities, then complete the activity.

Deploy Quality System

The Confirm Scope and Organizational Structure is Completed milestone initiates the installation of the Quality system. You can check the provisioning status of your systems from the Systems tab in SAP Central Business Configuration.

The provisioning statuses are:

  • Installing System: Triggered by completion of the Confirm Scope and Organizational Structure is Completed milestone.
  • Ready for initial deploy: System installation is complete and ready to receive the initial business configuration deployment.
  • Installing content: Content is being deployed and the progress is visible with a progress bar in the Operation Status column.
  • Activating: When the deployment progress reaches 100%, the status changes to activating. Activation can take approximately 4-5 hours, depending on the scope.

Product-Specific Configuration Activities

Request SAP S/4HANA Cloud Production System

In the Product-Specific Configuration phase, the Production System can be requested from the Systems tab. In weekly sprints, configuration of business scenario (scope item) data should take place in SAP Central Business Configuration. At the end of each sprint, the configuration is released to the quality and production systems through a transport. Configuration activities during this phase enable you to define detailed settings for the business scenarios.

Assign Deployment Target

As with the Quality system, the Production system must also be assigned to a deployment target.

Initiate Change to an Earlier Phase (if necessary)

If you need to change or add something done in a previous phase, you can select the Initiate Change button in the upper right corner of SAP Central Business Configuration. You will then be prompted to choose the information you wish to change, for example, activating an additional country or business scenario (scope item).

Try it out: Initiate change

Configuration Activities

The configuration activities in SAP Central Business Configuration are designed to support customers in adapting the preconfigured SAP Best Practices content to their requirements. The available configuration activities are based on the active scope and country selections. Configuration activities may vary by country, because not all business scenarios (scope items) are available in all countries. Configuration activities can be mandatory, recommended, or optional.

Configuration Activity Types:

  • Mandatory: Must be configured. For example, organizational structure.
  • Recommended: Default content exists that a customer can use, but many will need to change the standard content or add their own content. For example, Chart of Accounts or Pricing.
  • Optional: Default content exists and most customers don't need to change the standard information. For example, Delivery Block Reasons.

Activities Completed in Other Systems

Several activities during implementation are listed in SAP Central Business Configuration, but not actually completed within the configuration tool, such as data migration, business process testing, and integration setup. In these cases, the activity in SAP Central Business Configuration links to the most applicable area or information to complete the task.

For example, the Integration Setup activity in SAP Central Business Configuration links to the Integration Setup deliverable and corresponding tasks and accelerators in the SAP Activate Roadmap Viewer. The Business Process Test activity in SAP Central Business Configuration links directly to the Test Your Processes app in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Quality System.

Release Transports

Configurations done in SAP Central Business Configuration need to be transported to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Quality (Q) system for testing, then the Production (P) system. On the Systems tab, you select the Release Transport button for the Q system. After the initial transport, you are able to release transports to the P system.

The Operation Status column provides a progress bar indicating the status of the transport.

View Transport History

Each transport generates a log, where you can view the user that released the transport, transport description, and the date and time of the transport.

Production System Settings Activities

Production System Settings

Some configuration activities must be done directly in the production system. In the Production System Settings phase, maintenance of the current settings and relevant manual rework activities are completed. After all open activities have been completed, the last milestone is Confirm Production System Settings are Completed.

New features and business scenarios (scope items) will continue to be released with each SAP S/4HANA Cloud upgrade. Customers will use SAP Central Business Configuration to activate new scope and countries/regions, make additional configurations, initiate transports, and complete other configuration-related tasks to maintain their SAP S/4HANA Cloud systems.

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