Improve decision-making capabilities by bringing unprecedented performance to SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse with SAP HANA for current data and SAP Sybase IQ for historical data— achieving the perfect balance of cost and performance. The adapter for Sybase IQ as a near-line solution is delivered with the BW system. Integration of Sybase IQ makes it possible for you to separate data that you access frequently from data that you access rarely, thus making less demands on the resources in the BW system. The near-line data is stored in compressed form. You can thus reduce the costs incurred by data that is accessed less frequently. Please Note that the SAP-NLS Solution can be used with all supported Database Versions supported by SAP NetWeaver BW 7.3x. SAP Near-line-storage for SAP BW is general available with SAP NetWeaver BW 7.3  Support Package 9 and Sybase IQ 15.4

The document will guide you through the implementation process.

Some Background Information regarding the new SAP Implementation of the SAP Business Warehouse (BW) Near-Line Storage (NLS) Interface for SAP IQ

The BW NLS interface was introduced already in release BW 7.0, but could only be used thus far in SAP development partner implementations. A number of partners showed interest in this niche and developed a variety of NLS solution concepts.


(click on the image to continue)

One quite remarkable development here was an initiative by the software company PBS from Bensheim in Germany, a longstanding SAP development partner whose main focus is on archiving. In its BW NLS implementation, PBS opted for the analytic database platform Sybase IQ as the storage location for its NLS data, and had very positive experiences with the column-based architecture of this database. Notably, this was prior to the acquisition of Sybase by SAP.

Since BW release 7.3 SP09  is available, SAP is now heavily involved in the database sector, has acquired Sybase and developed its own in-memory database, the legendary SAP HANA DB.
In future, HANA DB and SAP IQ will work hand in hand as the main cornerstone of the SAP Real-time Data Platform (RTDP)
With this in mind, the NLS strategy in Business Warehouse has also undergone a fundamental change.
To begin with, SAP will take complete control of persistence management for its Business Warehouse and will offer an SAP owned NLS implementation for SAP IQ. Instead of having to rely on partner solutions, customers will then receive all the components required for running an EDW directly from SAP, including the DWH application (SAP NW BW), the databases (SAP HANA DB and SAP SAP IQ) and an intelligent NLS management solution.
SAP is pursuing a three-step color-coded persistence management concept.
Active data that has to be accessible on a permanent basis for read and write processes is referred to as ‘hot’ data. As would be expected, this data is stored in the main memory of the HANA DB.
Warm data, which is not accessed quite so often, is best stored in the HANA DB file system. Whenever this data is loaded into the main memory for processing, it is displaced with higher priority once processing has finished.

To achieve this, the BW development team has developed a non-active data concept in order to optimize the displacement strategy for BW tables in the HANA DB. Here, tables with warm data are flagged and are prioritized for displacement from the main memory whenever they are used. These tables are normally partitioned in the default setting, and only the partitions of the table that are affected by the transaction are loaded to the main memory.
This makes it possible to make more efficient use of the priceless commodity that is main memory space.

Differentiations: Multi Temperature Data Approach


While the non-active data concept manages the passage of warm data between the main memory and the disk, NLS management is concerned with the next data layer. This is ‘cold’ data that is rarely used and for which no more updates are anticipated in BW. This data is removed in time slices to the Sybase IQ DB. All affected time intervals of an InfoProvider are locked for load processes in BW.
Apart from this restriction, the removed NLS data remains available at any time for all other processes in BW, for read accesses quite naturally but also for ETL processes or individual look-ups.
Strategic queries, which analyze data over longer periods of time and thus inevitably also include cold data, are split and procure data both from HANA DB and from SAP IQ.
The removal process itself is highly complex and must comply with transactional requirements. All this can be easily managed in both directions using BW Data Archiving Processes (DAP) which can be combined in Process chains. Finally, the consistency of the entire data pool must be ensured at all times, even if this is split into two disjoint parts in the case of NLS.

The interface to the SAP IQ database required for this was implemented by SAP developers in Walldorf, on the basis of the existing NLS interface and its SDK.

Near-Line Storage (NLS) Architecture – LibDBSL based


On the basis of the ODBC connection to IQ, and separate porting in NetWeaver, this makes it possible to create a connection in ABAP from BW to IQ. With this connection, Sybase IQ Loader technology can be used for extremely high-speed writing of the BW data to be extracted to the NLS tables on the IQ.
Initial tests show that this can be done at a rate of about 200 million sets of data per hour. With these figures, SAP is way ahead of its competitors.

Find more details in the recorded Live Expert Session (LES) and  SAP NetWeaver BW Near Line Storage (NLS) Implementation for Sybase IQ

Best Regards

Roland Kramer, PM SAP EDW (BW/HANA/IQ)

To report this post you need to login first.


You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.

  1. Mikhail Budilov

    be aware about nav attr

    reporting with NLS works with filtering on navigational attributes on any supported release (as of BW 7.0). However the filter itself is not moved into NLS, since NLS storage does not store the master data.

    Example: if you filter on an attribute of a material, NLS returns all relevant material data rows and OLAP processor does the filtering. So the query result is correct however the runtime can be very long.

    1. Rex Geissler

      Yes, BW NLS with SAP (Sybase) IQ works fine with any other database as well.  However, the BW on HANA has many features that you should consider going forward.

      Regards, Rex

  2. Diego Curci

    I was wondering if there is a recommendation on where in a data model to begin archiving?

    Is it best to start archiving from DSO –> Infocube or Infocube –> DSO?

  3. Pavan Mulpur

    Also when my database is SAP HANA why do I have to use SybaseIQ for archiving? Can’t I archive using SAP HANA database? Is it not adding to my cost by having an additional database in the form of SybaseIQ?

    1. Roland Kramer

      near line storage is not archiving. it is a reallocation of existing historial data with permanent access to it.

      furthermore it is a simple question of TCO. SAP IQ is THE column based database with compression for historical data as fast as the former BWA.

      Best Regards Roland

      1. Pavan Mulpur

        Thank you Roland for your reply. But the beauty of SAP HANA is that it also allows us to store data in columnar fashion isnt’t. Then can’t I use SAP HANA for storing historical data along with current data. I agree SybaseIQ offers lot of benefits, but what I am unable to understand is what is that one or more killer features of SybaseIQ that clients are going for it just for storing historical data instead of using SAP HANA.

        Thank you.



        1. Roland Kramer


          simply TCO. Imagine there is no HANA, SAP/Sybase IQ is already there since 15 Years.

          That’s why it is even more benficial for customers still running classical DB’s as there primary databease.

          Best Regards Roland

          1. Swapnil Tholiya

            Hi Roland,

            I want to propose NLS to my current client. They currently have BW on HANA with no NLS. I know that HANA DB is costly as compared to Sybase IQ but in order to prove the case, can you please share some indicative figures as to how much would be the savings in cost if for ex. 100 MB of HANA is moved to Sybase IQ DB?



  4. Jonathan Bolton


    The pros and cons of using a write optimized DSO or standard one, immediately after the PSA are discussed below. SAP has introduced a straggler management option for standard DSOs attached to NLS. This allows for updates to be done to data that has already been archived in NLS. The other option is to use write optimized DSOs. Please can you share any project experiences you may have with NLS, specifically the logic behind which DSO type was used.

    Automated Straggler Management Example.jpg


Comments are closed.