Similar terms, different meanings: There are many different technical terms in the IT industry. For example, do you want to change your operating system, your databases or both? Then you certainly think of terms like SAP® system copy or landscape copy in this context. But what are the actual differences between these two terms?
In addition to the production systems, an SAP landscape also includes quality assurance and test systems. For tests and changes in programs and processes, the system copy approach is recommended in order to provide non-production systems with up-to-date data.
Typically, a system copy involves a great deal of manual effort. Depending on the structure and size of the system, such a copy can take several days. Over this period, the respective target systems are not available for operating and project teams. Another challenge is the high incidence of errors in the manual copy. If an error occurs, the entire process behind the copy must be completely repeated. (Source)
Updating not just one, but a whole group of systems is called a landscape copy. This is the case when dependencies of the source systems should also be reflected in the target environments. An example of this would be a test landscape, which is used for quality assurance with regard to tests and upgrades. But a landscape copy is also often used as a backup for disaster protection. (Source)
Probably the biggest difference between system and landscape copies is the size of the copy. A landscape copy copies a complete SAP system as well as non-SAP systems, whereas a system copy refreshes the SAP system or selected SAP modules. Another difference lies in the use of the copies. The focus of a landscape copy is on the backup function. A system copy helps companies test and optimize specific areas of their system.