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Learning SAP BW: Everything that beginner needs to start career in SAP NetWeaver BW: Part I

We have many resources available(Blogs, wiki, documents, articles) on SCN network but I thought it will be great if we have any document which will give directions to SAP BW beginner to explore SAP BW world step by step and also clear many queries, questions, confusion on different aspects of SAP NetWeaver BW.   

While searching on internet normally we get lost to some other discussions and topics. So despite of having unlimited resources on internet, SAP BW beginners are facing many problems and asking basic questions on SCN.. and there is chance that basic question may get blocked because as per Rules of engagement person asking question needs to search on SCN because there are many resources already available. I think its correct rule which will avoid replication of material, similar discussions and make SCN better place where one can get correct answers without getting more confused. But because of this many beginners are suffering as they don’t get correct path which will guide them to learn SAP BW… I was one of them when I started learning SAP BW..

Link to one such discussion which got blocked: http://scn.sap.com/thread/3248559

I was involved in above discussion and I thought, I will try creating one such document which will help all SAP BW beginners and will try guiding them. This document is result of same.

So let’s start

SAP NetWeaver BW is huge topic to cover but I am trying to design all my blogs in such way that they will provide answers to many queries which are running in your mind as beginner.

First aspect or first question which comes to your mind as SAP BW beginner could be one of the following or related? :

Is it really worth enough to learn new technology?

Is SAP NetWeaver BW worth enough to look as a career path after few years of experience in SAP?

Is it good to switch to SAP NetWeaver BW after getting experience in SAP ABAP or some other SAP module?

I am functional consultant..can I get basic knowledge of SAP NetWeaver BW.?

I am new to SAP world (Fresher).. can I choose SAP BW for career path?

What is the market value for SAP BW?   What is the future?

And many related questions.. Am I right?

The answer is Yes,

In my opinion SAP BW is really worth enough to learn and choose as a career path..

Let me explain you few more things.

For any industry, business, company or Enterprise the most important thing is Data. It can be historical data, transnational data, master data, or data in any form or type. The main point is Data is important for any company to run business and to stay in business and no need to tell you that SAP NetWeaver BW(Business warehouse) is all about it.

Business data plays key role in shaping company overall strategy. All fortune 500 companies care a lot about their own business data 🙂 Now a days as companies are expanding their business globally, the volume of data which any company needs in day today business, for developing future strategy is increasing day by day. So in this kind of situation application, tool and technology which will take care of company data plays key role. SAP BW is the solution which many companies already decided to invest in.

As data volume is increasing day by day so to resolve related performance issue we have SAP HANA in place which is combination of hardware and software which will provide base architecture for BW.. SAP BW on HANA is reality in today’s world.

There are quite good demand in market for SAP BW skill set and in my opinion it will remain for next couple of years, till date these entire new products(like HANA) will get stabilize in market.  Anyways in any technology to stay in business you need to acquire knowledge about upcoming new technologies, new versions, updates and all which have potential to affect your current technology demand.  In case BW is also same. As there are many new technologies, products are in line which are related BW and have potential to affect BW demand like HANA, BI, BO and all. Does SAP HANA replacing BW? In my opinion The answers is no..Its altogether different topic to write complete blog 🙂

On internet there are survey available which will give you some more detail about current BW rate and pay scale.. Certainly everyone will think about this too.. J

This is all about Market demand, market condition…

Now let’s go through Pre-Requisite to Learn SAP BW.

Pre-Requisite:

  • In my opinion to learn anything the first and mandatory pre requisite is passion towards it. If you have passion you can learn this technology even if you don’t have following other skill set.. I mean you can build following skill set and still can reach to your goal if you have passion.
  • We have few task in BW for which we need ABAP knowledge. That is extraction, Routine (Field level Routine, Start and End routine in transformation step).  ABAP knowledge will be great. If you don’t have ABAP knowledge then also you can lean remaining things in SAP BW and even learn basic of ABAP. In my opinion if you have experience in ABAP then it is really good while learning any new technology in SAP because you will come to know what is happening in background and you get some more confidence.
  • Experience in Data-warehousing tools will help you understand database related concepts.
  • Functional knowledge of at least one SAP module will give you good start while exploring and understanding SAP BW and it will help you in modeling also.
  • Analysis skills if you want to understand the reporting needs of your customers or end-users in one go.. 🙂   without rework. This plays very important role as in BW because after looking at the report if end users says you need to change few things you will need to change on every level which adds time and money and energy. So to understand business requirement in one go analysis and functional knowledge will help a lot.

After pre-requisite let me explain different aspect of SAP BW:

–      SAP BW architecture:

It is important to understand basic architecture of SAP NetWeaver BW. This will help you throughout your career with SAP BW.

http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw04/helpdata/en/e3/e60138fede083de10000009b38f8cf/frameset.htm

–      Extraction:

This part of BW is all about extracting needed data from different source system. Source system can be ECC system, any other ERP, Files and all. There are   different types of extractor and related knowledge will help you in extracting correct data. It involves complex logic related to delta mechanism, LO cockpit and all.. Data retrieval is one of the data warehousing processes in SAP. SAP provides mechanisms for retrieving data (master data, transaction data, metadata) from various sources. You can differentiate as to whether the SAP BW is the target or the source of the data transfer: If data from various sources is retrieved from various sources for transfer into a SAP BW system, the SAP BW system is the target of the data transfer. If the data from SAP BW is retrieved for distribution within the SAP BW or for distribution into analytical applications or other applications, the SAP BW system is the source or hub in relation to data transfer.

http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw04/helpdata/en/e3/e60138fede083de10000009b38f8cf/frameset.htm

–      Modeling:

This Part of BW is very important because in this you will create data model by using different objects like info-object, infoSource, datasource, DSO, Cube, Multi-provider, etc… DTP and transformation also comes into the picture. It required good knowledge about all these objects because every object has its own advantage and different process of working. If you know all of them you will be able to build robust data model. Writing routine is also part of modeling. Routines can be field level, start or end routine. Along with this you will need knowledge about of PSA, all modeling objects, DTP, transformation. Process chains,

http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw04/helpdata/en/e3/e60138fede083de10000009b38f8cf/frameset.htm

http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw2004s/helpdata/en/fc/1251421705be30e10000000a155106/frameset.htm

Reporting:

This part of BW deals with actual reporting skills where you actually build queries using BEx or BI, BO and use it to display reports for end users.

SAP BW uses BEx tool (Business explore) for reporting purpose. The Business Explorer is the SAP Business Information Warehouse component that provides flexible reporting and analysis tools for strategic analyses and decision-making support within a company. These tools include query, reporting, and analysis functions. You can use BEx Information Broadcasting to distribute Business Intelligence content from SAP BW by e-mail either as precalculated documents with past data, or as links with live data. You can also publish it to the Enterprise Portal.

The Business Explorer gives a large spectrum of users access to the information in SAP BW: Using the Enterprise Portal, using the Intranet (Web Application Design) or using mobile devices (WAP or iMode-enabled mobile telephones, Personal Digital Assistants). Now a days BI and BO is also in market which many companies are considering for advance anlysis and many new advance fetures:

http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw04/helpdata/en/e3/e60138fede083de10000009b38f8cf/frameset.htm

Some more good links

http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/304444f7-e02d-2d10-9c97-d5e3ecf09882?QuickLink=index&overridelayout=true

https://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw73ehp1/helpdata/en/b2/e50138fede083de10000009b38f8cf/frameset.htm

http://help.sap.com/nw73bwhana

Good books for SAP BW:

A Practical Guide to SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse 7.0

By Bharat Patel, Amol Palekar, and Shreekant Shiralkar

http://www.sap-press.com/products/A-Practical-Guide-to-SAP-NetWeaver-Business-Warehouse-7.0.html

Data Modeling in SAP NetWeaver BW

by Frank K. Wolf, Stefan Yamada

http://www.sap-press.com/products/Data-Modeling-in-SAP-NetWeaver-BW.html

SAP Certified Application Associate — Business Intelligence with SAP NetWeaver 7.

By Lisette Bellissimo

http://www.sap-press.com/products/SAP-Certified-Application-Associate-%E2%80%94-Business-Intelligence-with-SAP-NetWeaver-7.0.html

Inside SAP BusinessObjects Advanced Analysis

by Ingo Hilgefort

http://www.sap-press.com/products/Inside-SAP-BusinessObjects-Advanced-Analysis.html

SAP BW: A Step by Step Guide for BW 2.0 (Paperback)

by Biao Fu, Henry Fu http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0201703661/ref=pd_sim_b_3/102-7679650-5957713?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance&n=283155

SAP BW Data Modeling

by Norbert Egger, Jean-Marie Fiechter, and Jens Rohlf

http://www.sappress.com/product.cfm?account=&product=H989

Data Modeling in SAP NetWeaver BW

By Frank K. Wolf, Stefan Yamada

You can use following SAP Press link to look for latest books on BW.

http://www.sap-press.com/categories/SAP-NetWeaver-BI%7B47%7DBW/

http://www.sap-press.com/

That’s it for this blog. I am planning to write some more blogs/wiki which will guide SAP BW beginner a better way.. Stay tuned for Part II and much more..:)

Please feel free to add your comments.

happy learning 🙂

Thanks,

Bhupesh

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