Coming back to the main theme – ‘Clear the Mist from SAP BI/BOBJ Integration Scenarios’, I would like to restate the three possible scenarios for BI-BOBJ integration, which I introduced in my first blog.
1) Client already has BW and looking for BOBJ line of products for enhancing the reporting infrastructure
2) Client doesn’t have BW or BOBJ but has ECC.
3) Client doesn’t have ECC, BW or BOBJ.
I have already covered the first scenario in some of my previous posts and would again visit it later but today I will be looking closely at the second scenario where the client has the ECC system only and doesn’t have BW or BOBJ implemented. Now this means that the client may be using
– just the standard ECC reports or transactions for reporting or
– they may have implemented some third party data warehouse or
– they might be using some homegrown data warehouse for reporting or any combination of the above mentioned points.
In either case it would involve good amount of customization and would take a lot of effort to maintain the system. Not to mention the amount of stress it would put on ECC system when reports will be executed in the business hours. There are numerous other points which I can mention, but again that’s the reason client has decided to think about either BW/BOBJ to improve the reporting infrastructure and experience. So let’s look at the key points one should consider as an SAP BI/BOBJ Architect in such a scenario.
One should look at what category the company falls in – Big, Medium or Small in terms of both revenue and number of users. Does it have a global presence or is it a domestic player? Analyze the data volume for last few years. How many ECC modules are implemented and what are those modules? Analyze any existing data warehouse which is being utilized for reporting. Is there any need for a planning application? Is the environment heterogeneous or ECC is the single source system? These are some of the basic questions/analysis points which one should look answers for. Please do not restrict yourself to these questions or analysis points. They are provided just to give an idea about different perspectives and some thoughts to start with. After this, one should interview few users from the client side across the ranks – from executives to end users.
Based on in depth analysis there can be three probable solutions –
a) Rapid Marts for a quick and effective data warehouse over ECC with BOBJ frontend tools
This would suit a small to medium company where the transactional data volume is not huge and the client doesn’t want to spend a lot of time in implementation. Rapid marts can be implemented quickly and come with prebuilt content for ECC modules.
b) BW as backend with BOBJ
This would suit a medium to large enterprise, where the transaction data volume is huge, reporting requirements are complex and user base is large. Requirements require significant amount of data modeling and scalability. Please refer my previous blogs where I have discussed this scenario in greater detail.
c) A custom data warehouse with BOBJ backend and frontend
This would suit medium to large enterprises, which not only have huge data volumes, but also a heterogeneous landscape. One of the key requirements here is to have a robust and scalable backend as well as frontend.
There is a thin line that separates the rationale in choosing between (a) & (b) or between (b) & (c) as a solution. It largely depends on the results of the evaluation, as I discussed above, done at the particular client.
Please keep in mind that the solutions suggested above are touched at a very high level and my intention is to provide some guidance in terms of possibilities. It will require separate posts to discuss each of the point at a detailed level. I would be discussing these in my later posts.
Now for the benefit of the SAP BW/BOBJ community I would really appreciate if any of you would share his/her experience in implementing any other solution for the scenario discussed in the blog. Or if you have implemented any one of the above solutions then it would also be interesting to know why you selected it.