Scenario: Majority of the business scenarios expect to analyze the live cache planning book data over a period of time, this enables the business to take informed decisions and plan their activities effectively.
Problem Statement: With traditional BW datasources, we have many limitations in reading the live cache data. The most prominent one is the inability of the datasource to capture changes (called delta in BW terminology) because of which whole dataset has to be read to move a copy to BW. With the performance of a BW extractor to read live cache as well as the amount of data to read on a daily basis leads to a non-scalable and inefficient solution in SAP BI.
Alternative Approach: SAP has introduced the ability to replicate Live Cache data into a transparent table with SAP infocenter – replication reports. This functionality can be utilized, provided the APO box is on HANA database. This can be treated as an alternative to BW datasource where SAP is utilizing the capabilities of HANA to make the replication faster and the ability to track delta’s.
Here are the high level steps to create a replication model, these steps have been detailed in many other documents already shared on SDN. In this document we will focus on generating a snapshot of the data as compared to reporting the ‘As is’ data which is a plug and play solution already configured by SAP.
High level steps:
- Create a replication model in with Tcode SAPAPO/REPL_MOD_VIE.
- Specify the connection as ‘Default’, do not use the external connection.
- Add the keyfigures you need into the replication model.
4. Activate the model in Tcode /SAPAPO/REPL_MODEL_MANAGE.
5. Run the replication in the Tcode /SAPAPO/REPL_REPLICATION_MODEL
Generating a Snapshot:
By default the SAP infocenter is configured to replicate the planning book into a HANA table that stays in HANA schema. However, it is technically possible to replicate this table into SAP schema that can then be used for snapshotting in BW.
Steps to generate HANA table in HANA schema:
- Choose the ‘default’ connection while replicating the table in Tcode SAPAPO/REPL_MOD_VIE.
- The table will be generated in SAP that is accessible via SE11. Look for the table with the “/1apo*” and hit F4 function key.
- You will find a table with the description as your replication model.
Pulling this data into BW for snapshots:
- Create a view on the table generated by the replication model.
- Create a custom datasource on the view created on top of replication model.
- Create a DSO and load it from the datasource created above.
Risk: As per SAP, every time the model is deactivated and activated again, model will generate a new table. This is an issue with BW, as the view cannot be changed in production environment.
Mitigation: Instead of the view based datasource, we created a function module based datasource that could read any specified table and pull the data. The name of the table to be pulled can be maintained in TVARV table or some Z table that can be maintained in Live environment by the application support team.
Conclusion: this model enables trend reporting on planning book data, we can now store various snapshots of the planning books with the ability of delta replication offered by SAP-infocenter replication jobs. However, this model is not suitable for real time data reporting, that is a plug and play solution offered by SAP, via HANA views that automatically get generated with the replication models.