Carl explains, that in August of the year 2022 (release 2208), the three-system landscape (3SL) became available. The two-system landscape included a Quality system, where customizations were both created and tested, and a Production system. The three-system landscape includes a Development system, Test system (previously named Quality), and Production system. This enables developers to build more complex on-stack extensions using stable SAP objects in the Development system, and separates testing activities into a dedicated Test system.
Configuration content in the three-system landscape is always provided via SAP Central Business Configuration, which is connected only to the Development system. While SAP handles the software updates and upgrades, you decide within a dedicated time frame when you want to apply the content updates and upgrades available in SAP Central Business Configuration.
The following graphic illustrates the connection between SAP Central Business Configuration with the Development system. The graphic also shows the basic transport process from the Development to the Test system, and Production system.
Carl explains the roles of the different SAP systems:
Within an SAP system, there can be one or more tenants with different purposes. A tenant is an organizational unit in the system with specific user master records and authorizations. The SAP S/4HANA Cloud Starter and Development systems have two tenants:
The development tenant is for developer extensibility in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP environment, where developers have full ABAP development tool access to released SAP S/4HANA Cloud business objects and extension points. The development is tenant-independent, meaning development objects built here can be accessed from the customizing tenant if permission is granted. This is because development objects are stored in database tables without a client column. Changes are recorded and transported to the subsequent systems.
The customizing tenant is the main project tenant, used for business process configuration and key user extensibility with the SAP Fiori extensibility apps. The configuration activities are based on the reference content from SAP Central Business Configuration. The customizing activities are mostly tenant-dependent, meaning configurations or extensions made here can only be accessed within the customizing tenant. This is because master and transactional data is stored in database tables within a client column. Changes to business configuration in this tenant are recorded and transported to the subsequent systems.
Once the development and configuration projects in the Development system are finalized, an administrator imports development transport requests, customizing transport requests, and software collections into the Test system to validate business configurations and extensions.
An administrator imports development requests, customizing requests, and software collections in the Production system to make the configurations and extensions available for productive use.
Settings via SAP Central Business Configuration in a three-system landscape:
Any settings that are made via SAP Central Business Configuration are synchronized with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, for example, the organizational structure, selected scope, or configuration settings. In general, these settings are transported from the configuration system to the subsequent systems.
Carl remembers the following:
Technically, a tenant is a client within the SAP system.
From Reference Content to Active Business Configuration:
SAP offers content updates and upgrades with each software upgrade. To ensure business continuity, however, the customer can decide when to apply the content updates and upgrades to the Test system and Production system after each software upgrade.
In the three-system landscape, the main tool in the configuration environment is SAP Central Business Configuration.
Reference content coming from SAP Central Business Configuration is automatically deployed to the Development system. Any settings that are been made by the customer via SAP Central Business Configuration are synchronized with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, for example, the organizational structure, selected scope, or configuration settings. In general, these settings are transported from the configuration system to the subsequent systems.
SAP Central Business Configuration is the main tool of your configuration environment where the customer does most of the configuration work. However, there are further configuration tools to support in the following use cases:
Current settings in the test system and production system:
In general, configuration activities are carried out in the Development system via SAP Central Business Configuration and transported them to subsequent SAP systems. Those configuration activities are read-only in the subsequent SAP systems.
However, some settings are tenant-specific or must be changed regularly in the other systems as well, the current settings. Since SAP Central Business Configuration is not connected to the other SAP S/4HANA Cloud systems, dedicated apps are available within SAP S/4HANA Cloud to grant access to such settings in all SAP systems:
The Implementation Activities app offers a collection of configuration activities in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud systems.
A structured list of configuration activities can be displayed, for example, along business capabilities. These activities include the following types:
Read-only activities: With this app, the customer can display read-only activities to check which settings are currently valid in each of the systems.
Activities for current settings: With this app, the customer can filter for current settings, which are editable in all systems, and make changes.
In addition, individual area-specific apps may grant access to further activities.
After configuration settings have been imported, there are certain manual rework activities that must be performed in the target system.
The stagings for business configuration that have been deployed from a configuration tool like SAP Central Business Configuration can be viewed and processed.
SAP Central Business Configuration is a cloud service which is integrated with SAP S/4HANA Cloud and supports the scoping, organizational setup, configuration, and continuous adoption in SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
SAP offers pre-configured solutions with SAP Best Practices, which can be explored based on demo data before adapting and launching them. The Lifecycle Management in SAP Central Business Configuration ensures that configuration settings remain in a consistent state. Regular upgrades and updates of SAP Best Practices reference content can be safely consumed without impact on the adapted configuration.
Each configuration activity belongs to a business catalog which manages access to this activity. If a user wants to access a certain configuration activity, the corresponding business catalog must be assigned to that user via a business role
Manage Implementation Projects
In SAP Central Business Configuration, projects are created within a corresponding workspace. The workspace contains all configuration data from the SAP Best Practices reference content based on the selected scope and is assigned to an SAP S/4HANA Cloud system. A user can define the scope, create a complex organizational structure, make additional initial settings, and adapt certain configuration settings to the needs. All this data is stored in the workspace as well. There are regular synchronization points when the user releases the configuration data to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system.
Carl ends with: