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General questions about SAP Cloud Platform Predictive service

What are the SAP Cloud Platform Predictive service (short name Predictive service)?

A set of developer-level services deployed within SAP Cloud Platform that allows any cloud application to easily embed SAP’s automated analytics capabilities.

 

How SAP Cloud Platform integrates Predictive service?

Predictive service is like other SAP Cloud Platform services. They are listed into the SAP Cloud Platform cockpit of your account into the menu Services. Before using them into your application, you have to check that the Predictive Services are started. Refer to section “About the Predictive Services” on the online help.

 

What is the Predictive service available?

In the current release, SAP Cloud Platform Predictive service will contains 7 services which are:

  • Dataset: Provide a series of functions to manage datasets
  • Forecast: Predict next values of a time series from a reference date.
  • Key influencers: Return the variables which have an influence on a specified target.
  • Outliers: Identify the odd profiles of a dataset whose target indicator is significantly different from what is expected
  • Scoring equation: Build a model to explain a target and exports it as a scoring equation which will be applied in order to get a value of the target variable for new cases.
  • What-if: Simulate an action on a variable and discover what are the most significant changes on all the other variables.
  • Recommandation: Based on transactional dataset of the form customer/item pairs, this service creates a recommendation model (recommender) and uses it to generate a list of items (recommendations) to suggest to a specific user.

 

How can I get Predictive service?

Contact your sales representative to get a license to use Predictive service. Once done, you will have an access to Predictive service from section “Services” of your SAP Cloud Platform cockpit when you will be able to enable and deploy them.

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Will I pay only for what I use?

There are 7 services in the package: Dataset, Forecast, Key Influencers, Outliers and Scoring Equation, What-if and Recommandation. The price you will pay is for these 7 services.

 

Installation

What do I need to use Predictive service?

To use Predictive service you need to have:

1) A SAP Cloud Platform account with APL installed on the HANA database of your account (note that APL is included into the license of the Predictive service). ). Note that creating a schema on this HANA instance in order to store datasets could be helpful.

2) A development environment to code your application. For this, refer to section Get Started and Tools from SAP Cloud Platform help.

 

Is APL needed?

Yes APL is needed because Predictive Services are implemented above APL. The version of APL has been validated with the services.

Predictive service :

– provide a REST Web Service architecture,

– hide the complexity of using APL and

– provide a business approach of strong and robust predictive analytics features.

The version of APL has been validated with the services.

 

How can I install Predictive service?

Refer to section “To Deploy the predictive services” of the online help. This section explains how to install APL on the SAP HANA box of your SAP Cloud Platform account and how to deploy services

What should I do if there are problems during the installation?

Create a CSS ticket with a description of the steps you have done and the problem you have.

 

Is there an order for the installation?

No there is not. You can install APL and then predictive services or in the reverse order.

 

How can I add users (developers) to allow them to use Predictive service?

The administrator of the SAP Cloud Platform account has to go into the Members section of the SAP Cloud Platform cockpit and add users and assign them a role. There are 4 roles: Administrator, Developer, Support User and Application User Admin. Refer to this SAP Cloud Platform help page to get more details.

I have deployed Predictive service but I cannot access to the SAP HANA database. How can I do that?

Before starting Predictive service and use them into your application, it is necessary to create a binding to a SAP HANA schema and assign the application role to users. Refer to section “To Bind the Data Source and Assign Roles” of online help.

 

Architecture

On which platform can I use predictive services?

Today the predictive services are available exclusively on SAP Cloud Platform.

Where are the SAP Cloud Platform Predictive service deployed?

Today they are deployed on the SAP Cloud Platform account of the customer or partner.

What is the recommended size of HANA DB of the SAP Cloud Platform instance?

64 GB of RAM is recommended but this depends on the volume of your data.

How do I know that SAP Cloud Platform Predictive service is available?

Predictive services are a Java application named aac4paservices. It is visible in the “Java Applications” page of the SAP Cloud Platform cockpit. To use the services from within your application, aac4paservices must be running.

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How my application can access to my data stored in the SAP HANA database?

Predictive services are using JDBC connectivity API to access to data but this is transparent for you.This is for internal mechanism. For the developer point of view, to use a dataset stored in the HANA schema, you need to register with the Dataset service. This will provide you a datasetID. The datasetID must be provided when using the other services.

 

My application fails to call a Predictive service. What can I do?

It may be due to the following reasons:

  • The application is stopped. Go the HCP cockpit and check in the Java Applications menu that the application aac4paservices is deployed and started.
  • You do not have permission to use the services. On the HCP cockpit, go to Managing role. Make sure your ID is granted the role C4PA-User. For more details, go to https://help.hana.ondemand.com/help/frameset.htm?db8175b9d976101484e6fa303b108acd.html
  • The application is misconfigured. Go to menu /admin/status to have more information (role C4PA-Admin is required).

Development

How do I get started to develop an application on SAP Cloud Platform?

On your computer, you have to:
– download and unzip SAP Cloud Platform SDK
– download and install Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers
– Install the SAP Cloud Platform Tools

 

For complete description, refer to the SAP Cloud Platform online documentation (https://help.hana.ondemand.com/).

 

Where can I find documentation on Predictive Services?

Online functional documentation is available here and technical documentation here.

 

How to call a Predictive service from the application I develop?

Predictive service is exposed via REST (Representational State Transfer) interfaces which is commonly used to develop Web applications. This style is easy to learn and uses small messages based on: a verb and a URI (Unique Resource Identifier). Predictive services are using verbs:
– Get : used to retrieve information
– Post: to trigger an action
– Delete: to suppress link with data and result of services

 

Examples of URI with their verb:

– POST /api/analytics/keyinfluencer          To create a key influencer job
– GET /api/analytics/keyinfluencer/1353     To get status of a key influencer job
– DELETE /api/analytics/dataset/156          To delete the reference to dataset ID 156

 

For a complete description, refer to the API documentation from the online help of SAP SAP Cloud Platform Predictive service: https://help.hana.ondemand.com/c4pa/api/aa-cloud-services.html.

 

In the Automated Analytics user interface of SAP Predictive Analytics 2.4, there are a lot of parameters to control the dataset and the way models are built. Do we have the same parameters in predictive services?

One goal of this first version of predictive services is to be simple enough to be used by a developer and easy to understand by a business analyst, keeping their focus on business requirements and not on technical Advanced Analytics details. So in a first approach, Predictive Services can be run with default settings that allow the service to take full advantage of the underlying algorithms.

In a second approach, an advanced user of the Predictive Services can use optional parameters to control how the predictive algorithms are executed to build models.

Parameters of predictive services are described into the technical documentation.

 

Can I store models for later reuse?

No you cannot. Models generated by Predictive service are not persistent.

 

What kinds of datasets can be used by the services?

The Dataset service  directly references a HANA table or view in the schema of the HANA database of the SAP Cloud Platform account. For this, the Predictive service must be granted with select right of this HANA table.

 

Can predictive services delete data?

Datasets uploaded via the predictive services Dataset Service can be deleted via the unregistering service. Any other datasets are read only, not updated nor deleted.

 

I have encountered an error but I don’t know how to fix it. Where can I find documentation on potential causes?

If a request is unsuccessful, the call to the Predictive Service returns a message in the JSON format. Refer to the online help in section “Error messages”.

 

Contact

You can also get information on our Starter Kit Page.

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7 Comments

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  1. Madhavi Mallepally

    Hi Thierry Brunet

    Very Informative and useful Blog to work on Predictive Services.

    Just small query may i know whether we can develop custom Services or we will be able to use only existing  services.

    Thanks,
    Madhavi.

    (0) 
  2. Thierry BRUNET Post author

    Hi Madhavi,

    SAP HCP  is an open cloud environment. This means that you can develop your own applications and/or code your own services.
    What we propose here with SAP HCP, predictive services is a web REST API to easily add predictive features inside HCP applications. This means that you cannot modify these predictive services, but use them to extend the capabilities of applications you could create.
    I hope this answer to your question.
    Best regards
    Thierry

    (1) 
    1. Madhavi Mallepally

      Hi Thierry,

      Thanks for your reply.

      However I would like to know in order to build a new service,can i know which technology approach (HANA CDS View / XSJS Service / Java Web service) is needed to take to build a RESTful service. An insight of how we build a new service would be helpful for me to explore in that direction.

      Thanks,

      Madhavi

       

       

      (0) 
  3. Madhavi Mallepally

    Hi

    I have posted the Question in right forum.The Topic name is Predictive services and i have posted the question related to the same topic.

    Antoine,

    Request you to read the entire topic and then comment.

    Thanks,

    Madhavi.

    (0) 
  4. Antoine CHABERT

    Hi Madhavi,

    let me take the time to explain this in detail, sorry for not doing it in the first place.

    We cannot easily monitor new comments on a post, when these comments contain detailed questions.

    If you want to ask questions and get answered with quick turnaround, please create a new question in the Questions & Answers section.

    I am a moderator for SAP BO Predictive Analytics and HCP predictive services since 2015 and I want to help you get the most of the community, hence my comment.Thierry is my colleague.

    I hope this helps & clarifies further.

    Thanks for your involvement,

    Kind regards

    Antoine

    (0) 

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