Recently, SP8 for SAP BW 7.4 has become generally available. This new release of SAP BW brings a number of important changes to the SAP BW landscape from a modeling perspective.
Introduction of the Advanced DataStore Object
In SAP NW BW 7.4 SP8, the Advanced DataStore Object, or Advanced DSO is introduced. The Advanced DSO is introduced in order to simplify the SAP BW landscape. The current SAP BW landscape offers a large number of objects to be included in data models, each with their own pros and cons.
The Advanced DSO consolidates DataStore Object, PSA, InfoCube and Hybridprovider functionality into a single object and completely replaces both objects in newly to be developed data flows. The Advanced DSO:
- Supports Field-based modeling and InfoObject-based modeling
- Can serve as a source object for Open ODS views
- Supports high-frequency data loads
- Can contain up to 120 key fields (compared to 16 in standard DSO)
- Can be modeled in the Eclipse-based SAP BW modeler
The Advanced ODS however, does not seem to be available directly after upgrading SAP BW to 7.4 SP8. Modeling the Advanced DSO in the Eclipse-based environment is only available from release 1.5 of the BW modeling tools, due to be released in October 2014. As of yet it is unclear if workbench access to this functionality will be available before the release of BW7.4 SP9.
UPDATE: both SAP BW NNW 7.4 SP9 and the BW Modeling Tools 1.6 have been released by now, and this functionality is fully available. For details, please see SAP First Guidance – Implementing BW-MT for BW-aDSO by Roland Kramer
With SAP NW BW 7.4 SP8 several enhancements have been made to the Composite Provider. These are:
- New use cases
- Support of planning functionalities for UNION cases
- Possibility to create a CompositeProvider on top of Composite Providers (only UNION supported)
- Use of Open ODS views as Source Objects and allowing JOINS to be used
- Support of navigational attributes (familiar to the use of navigation attributes in MultiProviders)
- Support of input parameters when Open ODS views are used as source objects;
A first check on our demo environment* reveals that it is only possible to create a CompositeProvider with a JOIN operation which includes Open ODS views, when the ‘Calcscenario used’ property in the Open ODS view is set to ‘yes’. This is not possible for all Open ODS View sources. * Intenzz Demo system details:
- SAP BW 7.4 SP8
- SAP HANA Studio SP8, Rev. 82
- BW Modeling Tools 1.4
New features for CompositeProvider in SP8 (credit image: SAP)
With the new functionalities the Advanced ODS (ADSO) offers and the new enhancements in the CompositeProvider, the SAP BW modeling landscape is simplified in a drastic manner. Using the new development objects, only four BW Modeling object types remain to be used. The InfoObject and ADSO act as building blocks for everything persistent, the CompositeProvider and Open ODS view for everything virtual.
Landscape simplification (credit image: SAP)
Performance: Additional functionality pushed down to HANA
The main advantage SAP NW BW 7.4 offers over SAP NW BW 7.3 is the fact that next to the data and activation processes, Transformation logic has been pushed down to the HANA database as well. This provides a huge performance improvement for transformations. In SP8, the number of supported formulas has been enlarged, and ABAP managed database procedures are now integrated as well.
Automated HANA model generation
Generation of HANA models based on BW InfoProviders and Queries have been further developed, introducing the following enhancements:
- Changes in BW InfoProviders will automatically re-generate the HANA model, representing the changes.
- Models based on Queries now include security
- It is now possible to read from Nearline storage (NLS) with SAP IQ. Only supported for InfoCubes and SID-enabled DSO’s.
- Supported functionalities now also include currency/unit conversion, variables, restricted key figures, global restrictions, inventory key figure (closing balance)
HANA SP8: What’s really available today and future planning?
With SAP NW BW 7.4 SP8, a number of really interesting new features should be available. Assessing these new features in our demo landscape however, we found not all new functionalities to be available yet. This raises the question what is available and what isn’t at this point in time and subsequently, and SAP’s plans are regarding the missing functionalities.Unavailable features in SP8:In the previous sections, the new features were listed and explained briefly. In order to avoid to make a list of these features again, you will find only those that are not yet available below:
- The Advanced DataStore Object (available when BW Modeling Tools 1.5 is released (now available, see update above for details)
With regard to the Advanced DSO it is at least expected with the release of SP9 later this year (probably December). It is expected a future release will also support conversion of existing InfoProviders to Advanced DSO’s. If this functionality will be available in the short term however, is unsure.
See below the future planning as announced by SAP earlier this month:
SAP BW on HANA Roadmap (credit image: SAP)
By W. van de Rozenberg and Sjoerd van Middelkoop