SAP R/3 and SAP S/4HANA are two different generations of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems developed by SAP, but they have significant differences in terms of architecture, functionality, and technology. Here's an overview of the key differences between SAP R/3 and SAP S/4HANA:
SAP R/3: SAP R/3 is based on a three-tier client/server architecture, where the presentation layer, application layer, and database layer are separate components.
SAP S/4HANA: SAP S/4HANA is based on a simplified architecture known as the SAP HANA in-memory platform. It leverages the power of in-memory computing, eliminating the need for separate application and database layers.
SAP R/3: SAP R/3 traditionally used relational databases like Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, or IBM DB2.
SAP S/4HANA: SAP S/4HANA is designed to work exclusively with the SAP HANA database, which is an in-memory, columnar database. It allows for real-time data processing and advanced analytics capabilities.
SAP R/3: SAP R/3 typically had a transaction-based user interface with screens and menus.
SAP S/4HANA: SAP S/4HANA introduced a more modern and intuitive user interface called SAP Fiori. Fiori provides a role-based, responsive design that can be accessed from various devices, including desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
SAP R/3: SAP R/3 used a complex data model that required separate tables for different modules and functionalities.
SAP S/4HANA: SAP S/4HANA introduced a simplified data model that eliminates redundancies and merges multiple tables into a single table. This simplification enables faster data processing and improved performance.
SAP R/3: SAP R/3 offered comprehensive functionality across various business processes but lacked real-time analytics and predictive capabilities.
SAP S/4HANA: SAP S/4HANA enhances the existing functionality of SAP R/3 and introduces new capabilities such as real-time analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things (IoT) integration. It focuses on delivering real-time insights, simplifying business processes, and enabling digital transformation.
SAP R/3: Migrating from SAP R/3 to SAP S/4HANA involves a substantial effort and usually requires a system conversion or reimplementation.
SAP S/4HANA: SAP S/4HANA is a new product and requires a separate installation or migration from existing SAP systems. The migration process involves transforming data and adapting customizations to the new data model and architecture.
It's important to note that SAP S/4HANA is the successor to SAP R/3, and SAP has been encouraging its customers to migrate to the newer platform. SAP S/4HANA offers enhanced performance, real-time analytics, and advanced functionality, leveraging the power of the SAP HANA database and modern architecture.