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Islands of excellence do not a genius make,
Making them meet is what it takes,
Towards a mega polis of information interaction
The key to the lock is integration

Parts of a whole or wholesome parts…

SAP NetWeaver provides a unique platform that offers complete information integration. In a typical Data Warehouse environment we deal with historical data, which we usually update every predefined time block. But these days real time data is also needed for strategic analysis, and NetWeaver is the best available platform for that. Of course, not all users need all data in real time. Now, with SAP NetWeaver, companies can provide up-to-the-minute data for immediate decisions and deliver large amounts of historical data to those performing strategic analyses with redundant data for each user.

BI provides ETL (Extraction, Transformation and Loading) capabilities which integrates, standardizes, and synchronizes data. However nowadays, companies look beyond traditional ETL and expand the concept of data acquisition to include enterprise application integration (EAI). EAI enables applications to talk to each other and deliver information immediately.

As an integration broker, SAP XI supports the concept of real time data acquisition, in which data is updated in the data warehouse or the operational data store in real time. SAP XI ABAP proxy and prepackaged web services can link the enterprise analytics and reporting infrastructure to real time applications running on a strategic partners manufacturing system. SAP XI thus enables SAP BI to generate analytical models and reports with near-realtime data and lets users spot problems as they occurs.

SAP MDM maintains inter-application data reliability by managing a unified central repository that synchronizes replicated data, a necessary step for automated processes that continually extract data from transactional applications. For a unified, synchronized, and specific picture of data, SAP MDM works in concert with SAP XI to offer consistent distribution of master data objects into other systems.

SAP Enterprise Portal (EP) unifies disparate information, applications, and services from multiple systems into a single, personalized web-based interface. It can also integrate analytics and reporting functions expressly target each user into the same interface. As a result, enterprise users get BI insights via a familiar interface that requires little or no additional user training.

Users running analytical applications and receiving reports are likely to collaborate with one another and with appropriate external partners through a secure, context- appropriate environment. SAP EP and SAP WAS have built-in tools for creating instant messaging and virtual collaboration rooms where KPIs and other business performance metrics can be tracked. They also have general document publishing and tracking capabilities that let users share intelligence insights and their own ideas, simply and securely. Through its Knowledge Management capabilities, SAP NetWeaver establishes connections to unstructured data it has already indexed, linked and made searchable. Users can see emails, documents, or other objects that enhance their analyses and reports with contextually relevant information.

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Integration aspects of XI-BI

SAP Exchange Infrastructure (XI) is a technical infrastructure for the XML based exchange of messages in order to integrate applications (SAP or non-SAP) and Business Partners (B2B) on the basis of open standards. SAP XI is the integration component between SAP MDM and other areas of a solution landscape, such as SAP Enterprise Buyer, SAP R/3, and non-SAP systems, through the exchange of XML messages. The integration of SAP XI and SAP BI allows customers to use SAP XI to send data from various sources, including SAP MDM, to SAP BI. SAP XI distributes (routes), transforms (maps), and transports the messages exchanged between the systems.

The integration of SAP XI and SAP BW allows us to use SAP XI to send data from various sources to the delta queue of SAP BW.

The integration of SAP XI and SAP BW offers the following advantages:

  • In the role as integration broker, SAP XI facilitates the real time distribution of data in heterogeneous system landscape.
  • Information is pushed to BI from the source system when available. It becomes very useful in those cases where is a large number of source systems with only occasional updates. No frequent and futile pulling of source data is required, reducing system overhead sharply.
  • Business Process Management functions in SAP XI route data flows complex EAI processes to SAP BW and, where necessary, trigger the data load process in SAP BW.
  • Options for transformation of message content between sender and recipient. Mappings help us to adapt values and structures of our message to the recipient.
  • Using proxy communication with SAP BW. Proxies are executable interfaces generated in the application systems for communication with the SAP XI Integration Server. They guarantee that the data is delivered only once and in the correct sequence. The SAP XI Integration Server keeps the serialization as it was established by the sender.

Integration aspects of MDM-BI

Today, companies operating within heterogeneous IT landscapes are commonplace, and the demand for streamlining communication within such an environment is great. True Enterprise Application Integration must be geared towards the technical harmonization of a diversified infrastructure and the consolidation of business-critical data.

SAP Master Data Management (SAP MDM) – a key capability of SAP NetWeaver – enables information integrity across the business network. It enables companies to store, augment, and consolidate master data, while ensuring consistent distribution to all applications and systems within the IT landscape. It leverages existing IT investments in business-critical data, delivering vastly reduced data maintenance costs through effective data management. And, by ensuring cross-system data consistency, SAP MDM accelerates the execution of business processes, greatly improves decision-making and helps companies maintain their competitive advantage.

SAP MDM works with the SAP XI which enables intersystem communication in highly heterogeneous, multivendor technology environments. We can federate company business processes by inserting master data object distribution mechanisms into other systems.

SAP MDM works out of the box with SAP BI, bringing together a powerful business intelligence platform, a comprehensive set of tools, and industry-leading Data-warehousing capabilities. Users can seamlessly leverage harmonized data from SAP MDM for analysis and reporting within SAP BI. SAP MDM leverages SAP Enterprise Portal technology to offer a role-based, personalized user paradigm, presenting users with business processes and information based on their roles as users, administrators, etc.

Additionally, SAP MDM leverages the knowledge management capabilities of SAP NetWeaver to enable linking associated content, such as part specifications, for example, to associate master data. Integration of SAP MDM with the knowledge management capabilities of SAP NetWeaver allows companies to manage all facets of unstructured information – from collaborative authoring and publishing to advanced search and navigation.

Integration aspects of BI-EP

We can integrate business-relevant content from the SAP Business Information Warehouse seamlessly into a SAP Enterprise Portal. The SAP Enterprise Portal enables us to access applications from other systems and sources, such as the Internet or intranet. Using one entry point, we can reach both structured and unstructured information. In addition to content from Knowledge Management, business data from data analysis is available to us from the Internet and from the Intranet.

The integration of SAP BW content into the SAP Enterprise Portal enables us to work more closely and more promptly with company colleagues when you need to do so. For example, this can help when we need to insert notes and commentary for key figures and reports, run approval processes automatically, and in doing so, take part in decisions within a broad company context.

The following types of content from SAP BW can be included in the content area of the Enterprise Portal:

  • BEx Web Application As an iView
  • Precalculated BEx Web Applications as a document in Knowledge Management
  • BEx Web Applications as a link in Knowledge Management
  • BW Workbooks
  • BW Documents
  • Web interface (from BW-BPS)

Conclusion:

I had read in a featured article by Mr. Shai Agassi that the entire concept of Enterprise Service Architecture ESA can be seen in analogy to a human body with various components of the NetWeaver forming different parts with the XI is the network of vessels, MDM forming the backbone, BI and KM forming the cerebral component and EP being the ocular component. In the similar context, I feel, I have designed workout schedules to harness these various components to their optimum towards an efficiently functioning body. The integration of various components can result into novel solutions for strategic or technical issues.

This article is a harbinger of the solutions that can be formulated using these individual NetWeaver components in their individual capacities for niche, strategic solutions required in the industry.

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11 Comments

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  1. Former Member
    I wonder why you have deleted my previous comment? Your weblog provides a very general content which SDN already provides. Anybody could go to help.sap.com and grab this content for any of the application you have mentioned in the weblog and write a weblog about it. I would rather see webloggers share some of their experiences and solutions. I hope you take my comment as a positive feedback.

    regards,
    Prakash

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    1. Former Member
      You are faster than I am Prakash, I just sent you a mail with your original comment (complete text) we had a problem with the weblogs and we lost this post and so your comment and an additional one was left hanging.

      I asked him to repost and I sent you a mail asking you to repost your original comment.

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      1. Former Member
        thank you Craig. My original comments were following.

        “I think you should assume that most of the users that come to SDN already know about all these software applications. If not then SDN itself with their own content are doing a great job explaining these software applications. I would recommend you to share some weblogs where you share your experience and solutions that you have implemented, rather than publishing very trivial/general content. Sorry, i had to respond this way.”

        regards,
        prakash

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        1. Former Member
          Prakash you are correct, there is a fine line between repeating general information and providing new information but the item to remember that sometimes what one udnerstands one way is confusing for another.
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        2. Kamaljeet Kharbanda Post author
          Craig,

          Thank you very much.

          prakash,

          From a technical point of view one could say it is trivial, But for new comers i think SDN weblogs corner is the best place to understand NetWeaver, rather then going through help.sap.com and consolidate all material by own at first start.

          Beginners need help as much as advanced people do.

          But thanks for your advice, i will try to consider it for my future weblogs.

          Regards,
          Kamaljeet Singh

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        3. Former Member
          Prakash,

          “I think you should assume that most of the users that come to SDN already know about all these software applications. If not then SDN itself with their own content are doing a great job explaining these software applications.”

          I’m completely sharing your opinion. But… This is an ideal situation. Reality is very different.

          Read SDN forums — majority of users does not search. Users ask. Ask trivial things. The answer is nearby, in NetWeaver help. But in their environment the help is not even indexed (for that kind of users: this occurs on first search by help). Answers are in samples right in IDE directory. But they ask. Answers are in downloadable samples on SDN, tutorials, and e-classes. But who cares?

          This is question of mentality. Some people are reSEARCHers, others need personal guidance/assistance/mentoring for much longer time.

          Probably, such 15000f-overview may help them.

          VS

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    2. Former Member
      We have often seen here on SDN so much information that it oftens is hard for someone starting fresh to find the right starting point. Often times the best starting point is one presented by someone else who is starting out.

      I personally feel that this weblog was nicely point together and a nice starting point for new comers.

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      1. Former Member
        I totally agree with you but KamalJeet is not a new comer(his has written several weblogs – 8 ) and I would expect more from this weblog rather than just explaining what each application does.

        regards,
        prakash singh

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        1. Former Member
          True but he’s still new enough to remember the hardships one has when first getting the information consolidated – do you still remember? I don’t I just know where to find what I want now but I couldn’t tell you how I found it to begin with other than that I had lots of help from the weblogs here on SDN and from other users in the forums.
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    3. Pankaj Kumar
      Prakash,

      Here is another perspective. In one of my lives I was a Portals trainer back when we were still using JRun as servlet engine. One of the training techniques that we use to hammer down some of the main ideas from so many new concepts was repetition. Every hour or so we would ask the participants same questions with a different flavor. Idea was to let them retain few of the important themes. From this perspective I believe Amar’s post adds value to the SDN eco system.

      Also it is the nature of any community online or offline that there would be new members. In real life you have new borns and toddlers, all of them go thru the same stages of learning. We repeat the same stuff to them over and over. I am part of Hindi online community and we get the same question of how to display or write almost every day even though every thing is there on one of the wikis.

      Just my 2 cents.

      Pankaj

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