SAP Business Warehouse - PDF

Document Sample
SAP Business Warehouse - PDF Powered By Docstoc
					                   SAP Business Warehouse


      A Premium Paper From thespot4sap LTD


                                                       Contents

1.0 Introduction...............................................................................................................2
2.0 SAP’s BW Information Model: Overview .................................................................2
  Data Sources ...............................................................................................................3
  InfoSources .................................................................................................................3
  ODS objects ................................................................................................................3
  InfoCubes....................................................................................................................3
  InfoProviders...............................................................................................................4
  MultiProviders.............................................................................................................4
3.0 Analytical View of Business Information Warehouse Model .....................................4
4.0 Building SAP BW into multi-tier architecture model in Business Services.................6
  Components of BW architecture..................................................................................6
  Modeling Features.......................................................................................................7
  Fundamentals of ETL Service Architecture .................................................................8
  Extraction at Service Levels ........................................................................................8
  Components of ETL Services at Database of File Level...............................................9
  Understanding the role of storage services layers in architectural model ......................9
5.0 Analysis of BW support navigation facilities integrated to BW 3.0..........................10
6.0 Challenges to the SAP Business Information Warehouse.........................................10
7.0 Outlook ...................................................................................................................11




© www.thespot4sap.com                                   Page 1 of 1                    independent.current.research
                             SAP Data Warehouse


1.0 Introduction
In the fiercely increasing competition amongst corporations it has become mandatory to
make quick and sound crucial business decisions based on analysis of business critical
data. This is the point where data warehouses come into play. Although many
companies are relying on data warehouses, they are still struggling to achieve positive
results due to fragmented and inconsistent data. For them SAP’s Business Information
Warehouse (BW) provides a complete information factory solution. BW is the central
component in the SAP suite of applications with an added advantage of being a software
package that can be used in both SAP and non-SAP environments.

           Read This Nugget
           For the modern enterprise, time wasted due to huge data loss and
           dissarangement is unacceptable, partuclarly when this can often be
           remedied easily through the use of a data warehouse. SAP introduced
           Business Warehouse Information Systems (BW) in the first half of
           1997. This system approach consolidates the external and the internal
           sources of data into a single repository and provides preconfigured data
           that aids the organizations and enterprises in dealing with the data
           management and archiving. The SAP environment therefore expanded
           its horizon with the introduction and implementation of SAP BW to
           encompass new applications for the SAP R/3 administrators
           responsible for administering and maintenance of these data reserves.


2.0 SAP’s BW Information Model: Overview
SAP’s BW information model is based on the core building block of InfoObjects which
are used to describe business processes and information requirements. They provide
basis for setting up complex information models in multiple languages, currencies, units
of measure, hierarchy, etc. The key elements in the SAP’s BW information model are:

      DataSources
      InfoSources
      ODS Objects
      InfoCubes
    InfoProviders
    MultiProviders




© www.thespot4sap.com                    Page 2 of 2             independent.current.research
                       Fig: Architectural Model of InfoObjects Structure



                Repo                         Presentation Services
                rting                                                         Info
                Agen                                                          Obj
                   t           InfoCubes          InfoCubes      InfoCubes    ects




                                                                              Curr
                                             Storage Services                 enc
                                                                               y
                                                                              Tran
            MetaData             InfoCubes                     ODS
                                                              Objects
            Services
                                                                              Auto
                                                                              mati
                                                                               on

                                     Presentation Services
                Proc                                                          Use
                ess           Transfer and        Source       InfoPackage     rs
                Chai            Updates          Systems            s




Data Sources

DataSources are flat data structures containing data that logically belongs together.
They are responsible for extracting and staging data from various source systems.

InfoSources

InfoSources are the group of InfoObjects that belong together from a business point of
view. It contains the transactional data obtained from the transactions in online
transactional processes (OLTP) and master data such as addresses of customers and
organizations, which remain unchanged for longer time period.

ODS objects

An ODS object is a dataset which is formed as a result of merging data from one or
more info sources. In it information is stored in the form of flat, transparent database
tables that are used for preparing reports and quality assurance purposes.

InfoCubes

InfoCubes are multidimensional data storage containers for reporting and analysis of
data. They consist of keys figures and characteristics of which latter is organized as



© www.thespot4sap.com                          Page 3 of 3              independent.current.research
dimensions facilitating users to analyze data from various business perspectives such as
geographical area or types of sales channel.

InfoProviders

InfoProviders refer to all the data objects that are present in the SAP BW systems.
These include all the data targets viz. InfoCubes, ODS objects and master data tables
along with Info sets, remote Infocubes and MultiProviders.

MultiProviders

MultiProvider is a virtual information provider which is a combination of any two
physical or virtual info providers. MultiProviders do not contain any data and are
used to combine data from different info providers. Their main purpose is to
make this data accessible for reports and analysis.

3.0 Analytical View of Business Information Warehouse
Model
SAP’s BW is based on “Enhanced Star schema” or “Info Cubes” database design. This
database design has a central database table, known as ‘Fact Table’ which is
surrounded by associated dimension tables. These dimension tables contain references
to the pointer tables that point to the master data tables which in turn contain Master
data objects such as customer, material and destination country stored in BW as Info
objects. An InfoObjects can contain single field definitions such as transaction data or
complex Customer Master Data that hold attributes, hierarchy and customer texts that
are stored in their own tables.

          Read This Nugget
          The BW product is designed to store all business-critical information
          contained in the R/3 OLTP (online transaction processing) system and
          other non-SAP systems in a form that is easy to access and analyze
          using the BW client tools.
          The database design used to meet these objectives is an “Enhanced Star
          Scema” or “InfoCube” (the data against which the end user runs
          queries).

The info cubes and master data tables that are used in a BW system are generally
unique to that system as shown in the figure below:




© www.thespot4sap.com                  Page 4 of 4             independent.current.research
                            Figure: SAP BW Database Design




The complexity of the objects in this design leads to the challenge of maintaining up-to-
date and accurate data in all the BW data tables. However, loading data into the BW is
accomplished by using InfoPackages. InfoPackages are tools for organizing data
requests that are extracted from the source system and are loaded into the BW system.
With the progress of BW project the number of info packages increases emphasizing the
importance of good performance of each info package. Although the DBMS underlying
the BW system is monitored by the standard software’s for the R/3 functionality but this
leaves a gap between the table spaces and table names as they appear at the DBMS
level and the BW application level entities to which these objects belong. To bridge this
gap, the new BW functionality for R/3 includes reports that place DBMS objects in a BW
context. These reports allow the user to take an object at the DBMS level and associate
it with its application-level entity.

In case of any problem in order to enable the administrator to identify the problem the
InfoPackages are organized on the basis of the object to which they are transporting
data- Info cube, ODS or Master Data. The overall request status for the object is
displayed, and an alarm is triggered if any Info Package run from any Info Source fails.
In this way, the administrator is able to locate the exact position where a failure is going
to impact the users and the BW system. Also, for InfoCubes, Master Data and the ODS
to give an overview of the history of requests for the system, the progress of the last N
requests through each stage of extraction and load is displayed, and for any failures, the
step that failed is displayed. The performance of requests can be monitored by display of
performance statistics for each stage of extraction and load in the form of graphs.




© www.thespot4sap.com                   Page 5 of 5           independent.current.research
4.0 Building SAP BW into multi-tier architecture model in
Business Services
Being implemented on top of SAP Web Application Services SAP’s BW provides a multi-
tier architecture (figure shown below), along with a complete software development
environment, system management tools and additional functionalities such as currency
conversion or security. Although it is closely related to SAP R/3, SAP BW is a completely
separate software package which comes with automated extraction and loading
facilities.

Components of BW architecture

SAP BW is based on integrated metadata concept with metadata being managed by
metadata services. SAP’s BW has following layers:

    Extraction, Loading and Transformation (ELT) services layer.
    Storage services layer, with services for storing and archiving information.
    Analysis and access services layer, which provides access to the information
      stored in SAP BW.
    Presentation services layer, which offers different options for presenting
      information to end users.
    Administration services.
    Metadata services.

                         Figure: Multi-tier Architectural Pattern




© www.thespot4sap.com                  Page 6 of 6            independent.current.research
The administration services in SAP BW can be availed through Administration
Workbench (AWB). It is a single point of entry for data warehouse development,
administration and maintenance tasks in SAP BW with Metadata modeling component,
scheduler and monitor as its main components as described in the figure hereunder:

                        Figure: Metadata Services Architecture




Metadata modeling: Metadata modeling component is the main entry point for defining
the core metadata objects used to support reporting and analysis. This includes
everything from defining the extraction process and implementing transformations to
defining flat or multidimensional objects for storage of information.

Modeling Features

 Metadata modeling provides a Metadata Repository where all the metadata is stored
   and a Metadata Manager that handles all the requests for retrieving, adding,
   changing, or deleting metadata.
 Reporting and scheduling mechanism: Reporting and scheduling are the processes
   required for the smooth functioning of SAP BW. The various batch processes in the
   SAP BW need to be planned to provide timely results, avoid resource conflicts by
   running too many jobs at a time and to take care of logical dependencies between
   different jobs. These processes are controlled in the scheduler component of AWB.
   This is achieved by either scheduling single processes independently or defining
   process chains for complex network of jobs required to update the information
   available in the SAP BW system. Reporting Agent controls execution of queries in a
   batch mode to print reports, identify exception conditions and notify users and pre
   compute results for web templates.
 Administering ETL service layer in multi- tier level: SAP’s ETL service layer provides
   services for data extraction, data transformation and loading of data. It also serves
   as the staging area for intermediate data storage for quality assurance purposes.


© www.thespot4sap.com                 Page 7 of 7           independent.current.research
   The extraction technology of SAP BW is supported by database management
   systems of mySAP technology and does not allow extraction from other database
   systems like IBM, IMS and Sybase. It does not support dBase, MS Access and MS
   Excel file formats. However, it provides all the functionality required for loading data
   from non- SAP systems as the ETL services layer provide open interfaces for loading
   non-SAP data.

Fundamentals of ETL Service Architecture

ETL service comprises of two parts: Staging engine and Storage Service. Staging
engine manages staging process for all data received from several source systems. It
interfaces with the AWB scheduler and monitor for scheduling and monitoring data load
processes. However, Storage Service manages and provides access to data targets in
SAP BW and the aggregates that are stored in relational and multidimensional database
management systems.

It is true, however, that the extraction technology provided as an integral part of SAP BW
is restricted to database management systems supported by mySAP technology and
that it does not allow extracting data from other database systems like IBM IMS and
Sybase. It also does not support proprietary file formats such as dBase file formats,
Microsoft Access file formats, Microsoft Excel file formats, and others. On the other
hand, the ETL services layer of SAP BW provides all the functionality required to load
data from non-SAP systems in exactly the same way as it does for data from SAP
systems. SAP BW does not in fact distinguish between different types of source systems
after data has arrived in the staging area. The ETL services layer provides open
interfaces for loading non-SAP data.

Extraction at Service Levels

SAP BW can be integrated with other SAP components based on application
programming interface (API) service. It provides a framework to enable comprehensive
data replication based on data extractors that encapsulate the application logic. Data
Extractor fills the extract structure of data source with a data from data source and offers
sophisticated handling of changes. In addition to supporting extractors, the service APIs
also enable online access via RemoteCube technology and flexible staging for
hierarchies. On the other hand SAP provides an open interface called Staging Business
Application Programming Interface (BAPI) to extract data from non-SAP sources. BAPI
serves the purpose of connecting third- party ETL tools to SAP BW and provides access
to SAP BW objects which facilitates use of customer extraction routines. Data can be
extracted at the database level by using: DB connect, flat files and XML. DB connect
facilitates extraction directly from DBMS. In this the metadata files are loaded by
replicating metadata tables and views into the metadatory repository of SAP BW. Data
can also be uploaded from flat files by creating routines for extraction of data and XML
files can be extracted through XML via Administrator Workbench in SAP BW.




© www.thespot4sap.com                   Page 8 of 8           independent.current.research
           Read This Nugget
           SAP BW provides three ways to extract data at the database or file
           level: DB Connect, flat file transfer, and XML. SAP BW provides
           flecible capabilities for extracting data directly from RDBMS tables
           using DB Connect.
Components of ETL Services at Database of File Level

 Operational Data Store: It stores detailed data and supports tactical, day-to-day
   decision making. A SAP view ODS as a near real-time informational environment
   that supports operational reporting by interacting with existing transactional systems,
   data warehouses, or analytical applications. SAP BW allows flexible access to data
   in the ODS, the data warehouse, and the multidimensional models.
 Data Marts: A data mart provides the data needed by a decentralized function,
   department, or business area. You need to weight the pros and cons before
   developing a data mart. For example, a data mart can be implemented faster and
   cheaper than a data warehouse, sometimes costing 80% less than a full data
   warehouse. But as data marts proliferate, the cost advantages can disappear. The IT
   organization must maintain the individual data marts and the multitude of ETL and
   warehouse management processes that go with them. Multiple data marts can
   complicate data integration efforts, increase the amount of inconsistent data, require
   more business rules, and create the data stovepipes that data warehousing strives to
   eliminate.
 Interfaces: The data mart interface enables users to transfer and update
   transactional data and metadata from one SAP BW system to other SAP BW
   systems.
 Open Hub Services: The open hub service is used to share data in SAP BW with
   non-SAP data marts, analytical applications, and other applications. This service
   controls data distribution and maintains data consistency across systems. With the
   open hub service, actual data and the corresponding metadata are retrieved from
   InfoCubes or ODS objects.

Understanding the role of storage services layers in architectural model

 Master data manager: Master Data Manager generates the master data
   infrastructure containing master data tables as well as master data update and the
   retrieval routines. It also maintains master data and provides access to master data
   for use by SAP BW reporting components and for exporting to other data warehouse
   services for analysis and access services.
 ODS Manager: ODS manager generates ODS data object infrastructure. It maintains
   an active data table for maintaining ODS object data, a change log for every update
   applied to the ODS object data as part of application process and provides access to
   ODS object data for SAP BW reporting and analysis functionality.
 Archiving Manager: The Archiving Manager stores unused, dormant data in an
   archive with the help of Archive Development Kit (ADK). ADK is connected to the




© www.thespot4sap.com                   Page 9 of 9           independent.current.research
   SAP BW via Archiving Manager. It also keeps track of relevant metadata such as
   Infocubes and ODS objects which possibly will change over time.
 InfoCube Manager: It serves the function of generating the InfoCube Meta
   tables. It maintains InfoCube data tables and provides access to InfoCube
   data tables for SAP BW reporting and analysis.

5.0 Analysis of BW support navigation facilities
integrated to BW 3.0
OLAP BAPI: SAP BW 3.0 comes with the OLAP BAPI Interface (OBI) which provides
functions that can be used by third party reporting tools to access BW Info cubes. It
provides an open interface to access any information that is available through OLAP
engine.

Integrating with XML: OLAP BAPI serves as the basis for the SAP implementation of
XML for analysis. It is an XML API based on Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)
designed for standardized access to an analytical data provider over the web. The XML
interface introduced with SAP BW 3.0 release accepts XML data streams compliant with
the SOAP. Unlike all other SAP BW interfaces in XML interface the actual data transfer
is initiated by the source system.

Open Hub Services: The Open Hub Service allows controlled distribution of consistent
data from any SAP BW InfoProvider to flat files, database tables and other applications
with full support for delta management, selections, projections and aggregation. Open
Hub Services have InfoSpokes as their core metadata objects. With the SAP 3.0 release
InfoSpokes have become generally available.

Content Management Framework: The SAP Web Content Management Server stores
unstructured information that users can go through and use efficiently. Integration with
the SAP BW content management framework provides an integrated view on structured
and unstructured information to the end user.

6.0 Challenges to the SAP Business Information
Warehouse
With the growing network of processes and systems the need for efficient management
support systems is also increasing. However for this it is not enough to place a company
strategically and give guidelines for its further development. Instead it is essential to
have real time analysis and graphical visualization of the key performance indicators. In
SAP BW automatic assimilation and analysis of information is possible. BW gives a
holistic view of the company by considering both the financial data and non- financial
assets of the company. As corporate planning is often not done in one common planning
tool (e.g. turnover plan in a sales system and cost center plan in excel) studying


© www.thespot4sap.com                Page 10 of 10          independent.current.research
interdependencies and coordination among them has become even more tedious. Thus
the strategic management system must establish a planning process through all levels of
planning in the company to make the data available for all responsible persons in one
system. With SAP BW it is possible to upload data of different planning tools, manipulate
planning data and write back changed data to the operational system. SAP BW can also
be used as early warning system to inform the responsible persons about critical
indicators on the basis of already defined thresholds of these indicators.

7.0 Outlook
SAP BW has the usual data warehouse layers accompanied by administrative services
through the Administrative Workbench. It allows exchange of data and metadata with
other systems and tools in the case of SAP-specific interfaces like Staging BAPI and the
OLAP BAPI and supports other industry standard interfaces allowing easy access to
data and metadata maintained in SAP. Also, the metadata objects that are available in
SAP BW are used to build Operational data stores, data warehouses and info marts.
Thus, the services provided by SAP with SAP BW makes it a major tool for complete
corporate information and strategy management.




© www.thespot4sap.com                Page 11 of 11          independent.current.research

				
DOCUMENT INFO