In 2007, SAP launched the first pure cloud ERP system, SAP Business ByDesign . SAP S/4HANA Cloud followed ten years later. In this article, we will compare the two solutions and explore which audience each system is aimed at.

SAP Business ByDesign

SAP Business ByDesign is an integrated cloud ERP system aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is an integrated business software that covers all business areas. The system is user-friendly and quick to implement. The solution is scalable, so it grows with you and is strongly based on standard processes.


SAP S/4HANA Cloud is also a cloud-based business application, but it is aimed at medium-sized to large companies. It consists of a core with the most important business processes, which can be flexibly expanded with other SAP or non-SAP solutions. Business processes and workflows can be quickly adapted and innovations accelerated. The use of new technologies such as AI, machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA) reduces the time spent on routine tasks.

Comparison of SAP Business ByDesign and SAP S/4HANA Cloud

Target groups

SAP Business ByDesign is aimed at small and medium-sized companies and subsidiaries of corporations, while SAP S/4HANA Cloud is suitable for medium-sized and large companies with more complex tasks.

range of functions

SAP Business ByDesign offers a total solution with preconfigured end-to-end business processes. It includes, for example, financial accounting for sales, purchasing, project management, human resources and production. SAP S/4HANA Cloud offers a core with standardized business processes with great functional depth such as financial accounting, sales, purchasing, production, logistics, which is intended for more complex tasks and can easily be expanded to include additional functions. Both solutions contain extensive analysis and reporting functions.


SAP Business ByDesign can be implemented quickly thanks to its implementation methodology specified by SAP and the preconfigured processes. For an ERP system with great functional depth , SAP S/4HANA Cloud can be implemented very quickly. The solution enables companies to quickly and easily change workflows and processes once core processes have been implemented in order to respond to changing business requirements.

integration and extensibility

Both SAP Business ByDesign and SAP S/4HANA Cloud can be connected to third-party systems (e.g. online shops) via interfaces (e.g. via web services).

SAP Business ByDesign can be extended by programming within the system. A separate software development kit is available for this purpose. SAP S/4HANA Cloud can be extended by programming outside of the system. The SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) is available as an extension platform for this purpose.

user interface

Both systems have a modern and user-friendly interface in common, with SAP S/4HANA Cloud as the much younger system once again showing significant improvements.


Both SAP Business ByDesign and SAP S/4HANA Cloud are based on a user-based rental license model. Since SAP Business ByDesign is typically used by companies with fewer users than SAP S/4HANA Cloud, it is also more cost-effective.


Overall, the choice between SAP Business ByDesign and SAP S/4HANA Cloud depends on the specific needs of the business. A good indicator is the size of the company.

For a detailed consideration of which system is best suited for your company (e.g. industry specifics), a more extensive workshop with an SAP consulting company is recommended. The Bradler GmbH team of consultants will be happy to support you here.