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Software Logistics

System Copy & Migration - Explanation of Terms


The following terms are used in the context of system copies and migration:

System Copy

Duplication of an SAP system. Certain SAP parameters may change when a system is copied. When a system copy is made, all the instances are newly installed, but the database is set up using a copy of the source system database. A system copy can be either homogeneous or heterogeneous:

  • Homogenous System Copy
    Both the operating system and the database system stay the same during the system copy.
  • Heterogeneous System Copy
    One of the following is changed during the system copy:
    • Operating system (in this case, the system copy is called OS migration)
    • Database system (in this case, the system copy is called DB migration)
    • Operating system and database system (in this case, the system copy is called OS/DB migration)


Migration is a synonym for heterogeneous system copy.

Unicode Conversion

Your SAP system is converted from non-Unicode to Unicode. This can also be done as part of a homogeneous or heterogeneous system copy.

Distributed System

A system that resides on more than one physical or virtual host in a network, but can be accessed transparently as an entity.

Source System

The SAP system containing the original database is called the source system.

Target System

The system to which the database copy is to be imported is called the target system.