A look at SAP BW/4HANA and SAP BW 7.5 Edition for HANA

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SAP BW/4HANA is an evolution of SAP BW that is wholly optimized and custom-made for SAP HANA. The BW/4HANA code can only run on SAP HANA as it is interlinked with SAP HANA engines and libraries. The ABAP element is several million lines of code smaller when contrasted with BW on HANA. This is an extension into the world of big data through SAP HANA VORA, an asset that will be heavily utilized by BW/4HANA.


The unique selling points of BW/4HANA are:

1. Simplicity

BW typically offers 10 to 15 varying object types such as building blocks like InfoCubes, MultiProviders etc. to construct a data warehouse. In BW/4HANA, there will be only four which are at least as expressive and powerful as the previous 15. BW/4HANA’s building blocks are more versatile. Data models can now be constructed with fewer buildings blocks without the compromise of expressiveness. They will, hence, be easier to maintain, thus more flexible and less error-prone. Existing models can be improved, adjusted and, therefore be kept alive for a longer period that goes beyond the initial scope of things.

How to get to SAP BW4HANA

(Source: news.sap.com)

An important feature of BW/4HANA is that data allocation in tables is made highly efficient. Using this information, one can automatically derive the kind of data that needs to be placed in the hot store or memory, and what data can be placed in the warm store which is non-volatile RAM to harness a highly economic use of underlying hardware. This is highly unique to BW/4HANA when contrasted with custom made data warehouses that need custom made implementation of data lifecycle management.

 2. Openness

BW/4HANA as BW provides a managed approach to data warehousing. This means that prebuilt templates or building blocks are provided for building a data warehouse in a standardized manner. The latter offers massive opportunities to optimize the resulting models for SAP HANA considering footprint, performance, data life-cycle. Compared to conventional BW, it is possible to deviate from this standard approach wherever needed and applicable. On one hand, BW/4HANA models and data can be exposed as SAP HANA views that can be accessed via standard SQL. BW/4HANA’s security is therefore not compromised by sections of those SAP HANA views. On the other hand, any type of SAP HANA table or view can be easily and directly implemented into BW/4HANA. It is therefore not needed to replicate data. Both capabilities mean that BW/4HANA integrates with and augments any native SQL data warehousing approach. It can be considered as a powerful collection of tools for designing a data warehouse on SAP HANA with all the options to integrate with other SQL-based tools.

SAP BW4HANA Putting it all together

Source: blogs.sap.com

3. Modern UIs

BW/4HANA will provide modern UIs for data modeling, admin, monitoring that run in SAP HANA Studio or a browser. In the midterm, SAP GUI will become obsolete in that respect. Similarly, SAP’s Digital Boardroom, SAP BusinessObjects Cloud, Lumira, Analysis for Office and Design Studio will be the perfect match as analytic clients on top of BW/4HANA.

4. High Performance

Excellent performance powers the core of BW since the inception of SAP HANA. As detailed above, BW/4HANA will be free of any burdens and will leverage any optimal access to SAP HANA which will be especially interesting with regards to big data scenarios as SAP HANA VORA provides a highly optimized bridge between the worlds of SAP HANA (RDBMS) and Hadoop/SPARK which refers to distributed processing on a file system. Most consumers require to improve and augment existing data warehouses with cases that deal with categories of data that go beyond traditional business process triggered such as (OLTP) data, namely machine-generated data (IoT) and human-sourced information (social networks).

SAP BW on HANA, a whole new approach – SAP BW 7.5 Edition for HANA

It is a known fact SAP is experiencing a paradigm shift from BW modelling within the traditional or conventional GUI, and is instead adopting Eclipse as the development environment for the foreseeable future. For existing SAP BW environments, this means a considerable shift to adapt to this new approach to data modelling for new developments, whilst supporting existing classic BW objects. This is no small feat by any means. But one which is completely essential to be undertaken to leverage the benefits and power that SAP BW on HANA can offer. Fortunately, this is becoming easier with tools that support the automated conversion of conventional models into new SAP BW on HANA optimized objects.

SAP BW4HANA - The Next Generation

(Source: media.licdn.com)

It is said that the mix of old and new no longer needs to be an issue with the introduction of SAP BW 7.5, edition for SAP HANA. Organizations that adopt this latest release will be wholly aligned with the future direction of SAP BW and be empowered to hit the ground running with the newest set of tools and best practices without the overhead costs involved in migrating or supporting legacy objects.

In case you’re already utilising SAP BW on AnyDB or BW on HANA, You’re not excluded and there is a clearly defined process to harness the benefits of SAP BW 7.5, edition for SAP HANA. This includes first executing an upgrade to SAP BW 7.5 on HANA, then using ‘prepare mode’ to change to SAP BW 7.5, edition for SAP HANA which will permit you to convert your existing objects, check for any necessary prerequisites and, ultimately, constrain the use of classic BW objects. Post this you’ll ready to progress on to future steps for your organization.

What are the benefits of SAP BW 7.5?

The theme since the inception of BW modelling in HANA Studio has been, and still is simplicity which is a core theme of the elements in SAP BW 7.5. The functionalities of the data modelling objects, Advanced DataStore Objects (ADSO) and CompositeProviders have been improved to facilitate accelerated implementation and modelling agility. This is accomplished with the simplification of the creation process of these objects, or the conversion of existing legacy objects to the best.

With 7.5 (SP1), we can now say goodbye to BEx Query Designer and hello to the next generation BW Query Designer, also embedded into the Eclipse UI. This new technique for query design is compatible with BEx Queries, without the need for migration effort. This also comes packed with new features such as HANA View Generation and an Integrated Query Previewer.

Data modellers and business users will have even more power creating ad-hoc reporting scenarios with advanced SAP BW Workspaces which now has additional hierarchy features and also support for uploaded local data.

Importing data into SAP BW is now simpler with enhanced Smart Data Integration (SDI) capabilities facilitating real-time streaming from various sources, direct access to any SDI remote source via OpenODS Views and CompositeProviders and the ability to replicate source data in its original format in BW.

The trending topic in IT circles: multi-temperature data management, has also been addressed in this release with additional capabilities being added for both Dynamic Tiering (DT) and Near-Line Storage (NLS). The main additions here are both in relation to the ADSO with automatic data movement to DT being added as a remodelling task, and straggler management taken care of for NLS scenarios to name just two of many examples. With Big Data being a focal point for SAP, expect the enrichments in this space to keep coming thick and fast, with the consumption of SAP HANA VORA models and support of HADOOP as NLS as launched in 2016.

To wind up the major enhancements included in this release, planning functionality has been added to the mix. The SAP BPC 10.1 Add-On, and BPC Embedded model components, are now made available for use, just like BW-IP (PAK), and also ADSOs which has been made planning enabled.

Why would a customer choose 7.50 Edition for HANA?

In the race to develop highly flexible and agile Data Warehousing SAP has come up with next generation analytics through BW 7.50 powered by HANA called BW Edition for HANA. Customers should consider going for SAP BW 7.50 Edition for HANA NW 7.50 as it has enhanced integration with S4/HANA and for Cloud Technologies as well.

The objects modelled in BW Edition For HANA wholly leverages HANA capabilities to the maximum possible extent unlike in BW on HANA where BW objects just sit on top of the HANA Database.

The SAP BW 7.5, edition for SAP HANA supports modelling with HANA optimized BW objects which leads to a highly simplified governance of new implementation projects and future proof architecture for Data warehouse implementation.

Below is the list of features offered in BW 7.50 (BW Edition For HANA)

• BW runs simpler with new agile and flexible lean data modelling
• Highly Simplified governance and Faster time to Market
• Renewed intuitive UIs in Eclipse and SAP UI5. All the modeling including Query development can be done in eclipse , as an Add-on to HANA Studio
• Matured ADSO replacing all the data persisting objects. This satisfies all agile data warehousing staging requirements
• Tools provided to convert existing Data Provider objects to ADSO
• Composite Provider replacing all the virtual providers
• HANA views can be produced for all the data providers including Queries. The HANA views can be consumed in native SQL
• New HANA Exit Variable to process in HANA DB
• Support for More than one Billion Master data records for an info object and Disable Display attributes to Reference characteristics
• Highly enhanced SAP BW Workspaces. Local hierarchies can be generated from scratch and ADSO can be utilized as central provider. Workspace queries can be generated
• SDI to consume the Local HANA data or remote data through OpenODS view into persistence layer
• SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering : Automatic data movements to dynamic tiering
• Enhancements to NLS to access the archived data for F4 help. Statistics update for NLS access
• Flexible ODP based data distribution via OData
• BW-IP/PAK enhancements to generate planning query in Workspace designer and to generate local dimensions and hierarchies

Author: Shruthi Agasimani, Sr. Instructional Designer/Technical Content Writer @ ZaranTech LLC