With the introduction of the BW Modeling Tools, a new development environment for BW metadata objects was provided. The first editors which were shipped for the HANA CompositeProvider and the Open ODS view were released for SAP NetWeaver BW 7.4 SP5 in 2013. With BW/4HANA, the BW Modeling Tools become the major set of tools for the maintenance of BW objects.

This blog provides some hints and tips regarding the installation and configuration of the BW Modeling Tools. Please find detailed information about installation in the corresponding guide http://service.sap.com/~sapidb/011000358700001144122013E.
A short description of the required installation steps can be found in the following note: http://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1954169

The BW Modeling Tools represent a state-of-the-art development environment based on Eclipse. In general, the BW Modeling Tools can be installed in two ways:

  • SAP Support Portal   (https://support.sap.com/software.html)
    Please note that you need a user account to access this web site.
    To display a list of the available versions, go the SAP download center and search for “BW MODELING TOOLS”. To   make sure you get the latest version, please pay special attention to how the version numbers are handled, where Release 1.8 is older than 1.15 for example.
    Important: In general we recommend using the latest available version.
    As mentioned in the installation guide, you also need to download the SAP HANA Studio and the ABAP Development Tools for this kind of installation.
  • SAP Update Site   (https://tools.hana.ondemand.com/)
    Using the update site allows you to install the BW Modeling Tools directly on a plain Eclipse. All required   dependencies will be resolved automatically.
    Please note that you do not require a user account to access this web site. The software will be provided   under the terms of the SAP Developer License.
    From the functional perspective, there is no difference in comparison to the version on the SAP Support Portal. It’s important however to know that there might be a delay in the shipment of new versions. A new version will always be provided on the support portal first. The version will generally then be available on the update site two to three weeks later.

Target folder for installation

Before starting the installation, consider which location to install it to on your computer. In Microsoft Windows, you should not use standard folders, such as C:\Program Files. Due to the authorization handling of Microsoft Windows, using these folders can cause negative side effects and can prevent you from using the BW Modeling Tools.
If you install the BW Modeling Tools into a non-standard folder like c:\tools\BWMT, you also have the advantage that all installed components are directly available in this one folder. You can therefore copy the content of this folder to another computer and use it without installing. This is also a great option for distributing the BW Modeling Tools within a company.

Installation steps

As mentioned before, the installation process is described in detail in the installation guide. There are also some very helpful installation tutorials available on YouTube.

For installation using the download package from the SAP support portal, please see the following two tutorials on YouTube:
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d-v57ttxcM
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jfo-kKOy6ow

For installations using the SAP update site, please see the following tutorial:

Multi-user environment

Eclipse can also be installed in multi-user environments. In this case however, you need to adjust the configuration handling. The configuration details, the used workspace for example, will be stored by default in the “configuration” subfolder of the installation folder. In a multi-user environment, this would cause file access collisions. To solve this problem, you need to add the osgi.configuration.area parameter to the “configuration\config.ini” Eclipse configuration file. By adding osgi.configuration.area=@user.home/hdbstudio.config for example, Eclipse creates a local configuration file called hdbstudio.config for each user in the corresponding home directory.

Further details and possible scenarios can be found on the Eclipse Help site (help.eclipse.org) by searching for “Eclipse Multi User Installs”. Note http://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/2252199 also provides information about installation into multi-user environments.

Default workspace

To work with Eclipse, a workspace has to be selected. This folder will contain details about metadata information, projects and so on. Especially in the case of distribution to multiple users within a company, it can be important to adapt the default workspace to meet company requirements.

This setting can be found in the “configuration\config.ini” configuration file in the installation folder. By changing the existing entry osgi.instance.area.default, you can change the location of the default workspace.

Language-dependent UI texts

The BW Modeling Tools generally only supports English UI texts. A set of German texts is also shipped with the product however. By default, Eclipse takes the locale settings from the operating system. If you are using a German locale on the operation system, the BW Modeling Tools will therefore automatically switch to German texts.
This default handling can be changed by setting a parameter in the Eclipse INI file. The UI texts can be fixed as English by adding the following line to the “eclipse.ini” file at the end:
This line can actually be added at any position after “-vmargs”.

If you are using a HANA Studio installation (already includes Eclipse), please note that the INI file name is not “eclipse.ini”, but “hdbstudio.ini”.

Updating the BW Modeling Tools

The steps for updating the BW Modeling Tools are straightforward. Adjust the available update sites in Eclipse or HANA Studio and run “Check for Updates”. The configuration details for this step can be found in the installation guide.

Please note however that performing an update will not remove older versions from the file system. If you perform multiple updates, this results in multiple versions of the corresponding feature on the file system and an increase in the disk space required. At runtime however, only the latest version is used.

Bearing in mind that updates of the HANA Studio and the ABAP Development Tools are not required that often, a good strategy might be to prepare a basis installation with HANA Studio and ABAP Development Tools and the required Eclipse features.
Before the BW Modeling Tools are installed, now create a copy of the current installation folder and keep this one as a backup. As soon as a new version of the BW Modeling Tools is available, just install this new version on top of the backup version. This way, the installation directory will not grow over the time.

With this in mind, please note that the update will not install any new features. If a new version of the BW Modeling Tools provides a new feature, it is still necessary therefore to use the menu entry Help -> Install New Software….
Please check the release schedule note for an overview of the released versions: http://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1944835

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  1. Christophe Posson


    Hi Steffen,

    I am looking for proof that you can use the BW modeling perspective in HANA Studio without the need of a direct database connection to the HANA database itself.
    In other words, can you use the BW modeling tools to connect to the BW back-end application server only and not give the developers access to the HANA Database directly (so no access in the Administrator perspective, Modeling perspective and so on..)

    Reason I am asking is that our basis team is not convinced that we will not mess up the  HANA database once we have access to the BW modeling tools 🙂

    Can you help me out with this?

    Many thanks!

    Kind regards,


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