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Author's profile photo Former Member

Is BW’s ETL too simple for its own good?


I think over the past few years SAP BW would be the module that saw an exponential increase in the number of developers. I think it is because of the simplicity of BW’s ETL and modeling components more than anything else i.e if your only objective is to bring the data from a transaction system into your BW system.  But this simplicity comes with its own set of demons.  A few I can think of are:


  1. BW doesn’t require its developer to be knowledgeable about schema’s or models, heck you don’t need to even understand Data warehousing to extract data and run a report.
  2. Everybody knows that BW uses full and delta, but how many developers actually take time in really understanding the various delta’s and the consequences of using them.
  3. Taking into account the scalability of a model in case of huge buildup in data at a later stage.


Most of the developers approach the BW from a report perspective, where in the format and the report structure govern how you build a model, but they fail to see that the success or failure of a BW implementation is decided in this initial design phase itself. I have come across so many “BW experts” who don’t even know what a star or an extended star really mean. Anybody can pick up the way to bring in data into BW but I think its in the best interests of a project to ask basic questions like why did I chose a particular dimension for an infoobject or why would I go for a particular infoprovider for a particular requirement and save a lot of flak both for yourself and BW in general at a later stage.


My blog I hope would make someone new wanting to learn BW to really understand data warehousing concepts first and then learn the fundamentals of BW and how it provides for a better warehousing before implementing a model on a BW project.

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      Author's profile photo Srini Tanikella
      Srini Tanikella
      Gokul, I agree 100% - It is very important to have a strong foundation in the basics. I would extend this by saying that one should know "What a Star Schema is compared to a snow flake" and "What and Why did SAP come out with wrt Extended Star Schema"...I would also say one should realize the limitations of any particular tool at the design stage itself, more often people neglect this and it may cause issues at the end. Nice blog!
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      I have no option but to agree with you. Recently, I had an abaper friend thrown into bw, where without much of modeling knowledge help was sought to address the reporting issue. This would certainly cause issues at a later stage when addressing archiving, indexing, delta updates etc... and perhaps would require a remodeling all over again causing time and costing the company.