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Author's profile photo Wilson Kurian

BW4/HANA in a Nutshell

What is BW/4HANA?

SAP BW/4HANA is a new, next-generation data warehouse product from SAP that, like SAP S/4HANA®, is optimized for the SAP HANA® platform, including inheriting the high performance, simplicity, and agility of SAP HANA.

  • BW/4HANA is a new product for the next generation of real-time data warehousing.
  • Similar to SAP S/4HANA, SAP BW/4HANA is natively built on the SAP HANA platform.
  • SAP BW/4HANA delivers real-time enterprise wide analytics that minimizes the movement of data, to allow a single, logical view of all data, including new data types and data sources by providing a logical data warehouse.
  • SAP BW/4HANA is built for the Cloud


BW/4HANA Architecture

BW/4HANA offers the possibility to design a true logical EDW platform that can help customers to run their EDW in a real-time fashion, but also caters to all possible scenarios that a modern datawarehouse demands…such as out of the box big data connectivity, smart data tiering, cloud readiness, advanced analytics, planning & consolidation, advanced processing like predictive, geospatial, text analysis etc


SAP BW/4 HANA Benefits

SAP BW/4 HANA Summary

SAP BW/4HANA is a separate product which is not part of and does not depend on a NetWeaver delivery. The underlying platform consists of the ABAP application server and ONLY runs on SAP HANA. So it is independent of Netweaver and any 3rd party DB and hence more innovations will be delivered through the BW/4HANA path.


  • BW4/HANA only runs on HANA DB
  • Better modelling interface UI through Eclipse platform
  • Runs on HANA Platform Revision 122 or higher (HANA 1.0 SPS 12)
  • Supports NLS solutions for SAP IQ and Hadoop
  • Better & automated data management capabilities for HOT/WARM/COLD storage
  • Provides native integration for SAP BusinessObjects on Cloud
  • SAP BW/4HANA provides open interfaces for 3rd party BI tools based on SQL, MDX and OData
  • BW4/HANA ONLY runs on LSA++ methodology, that means the customer can no longer use legacy BW objects for modelling once they are in BW4/HANA mode
  • To activate BW4/HANA, existing legacy objects must to converted to new BW4/HANA objects; conversion tools are provided
  • SAP Source systems connected to BW4/HANA should be minimum on NW 7.31 and higher, ECC Source systems should be 6.0 SPS20 min
  • BW4/HANA leverages HANA EIM to provide new data acquisition mechanism such as replicating data in real-time, accessing virtual tables etc.
  • Number of Source System Types reduced from 10 to 3. Only available is SAP HANA, ODP and File system.
  • Supports the true nature of Logical data warehouse with very minimal data transfer


  •  Available in HEC
  • Available in AWS

System Conversion (BW on DB/HANA to BW/4HANA)

(2238220 – BW on HANA: Transfer enhancements)

For customers running SAP BW powered by SAP HANA or any DB today, who choose to move to SAP BW/4HANA, we recommend upgrading to SAP BW 7.5 (SP02) on HANA and applying the SAP BW/4HANA Starter add-on as an intermediate step.

From the starter add-on, tools are provided to transfer from classic BW objects to BW HANA-optimized objects and data flows. The level of customization done in the customer’s system, will determine the amount of automation achieved by the tools provided. Upon transferring all objects and data flows, as well as successful system preparation checks, the system can be converted to SAP BW/4HANA.

Things NOT supported in BW/4HANA


SAP BPC (Only at present, things will change in due course)

2189708 – SAP BW/4HANA Add-On Handling and Usage

  • SAP BPC 10.1 Planning standard model is currently NOT supported with SAP BW/4HANA
  • Currently we are not supporting the conversion to SAP BW/4HANA, if you are already using SAP BPC 10.1 (standard and/or embedded model) the conversion will be supported with the availability of the new SAP BPC add-on for SAP BW/4HANA when it becomes available.
  • SAP BPC 10.1 Planning embedded model is supported with SAP BW/4HANA after implementing SAP Note 2373204



  • The SAP Business Explorer (BEx) are not supported any more. Queries are now defined in SAP BW, Edition for SAP HANA in the BW Modeling tools
  • BW4/HANA does not support traditional BEx tools such as Web Application Designer, Web templates, Analyzer, Workbooks etc
  • The relevant BEx tools need to be migrated to SAP Business Objects tools such as Design Studio, Crystal & Analysis for Office using the conversion tools provided.

Migrate SAP BEx tools to SAP BusinessObjects Suite when moving to BW/4HANA


  • Object types from the 3.x data flow are not supported any more and must be migrated.
  • BW4/HANA does not support legacy BW objects like Multiprovider, Infocubes, Infosets etc. It only supports the new objects like Composite Providers, ADSOs, Open ODS etc.
  • Modeling in the Data Warehousing Workbench (SAPGUI) is replaced by modeling in the BW Modeling tools in Eclipse. The BW modeling tools have been adapted to the SAP HANA modeling environment. The BW objects recommended for use with SAP HANA are modeled exclusively in the BW modeling tools.
  • All Classical objects need to be migrated to BW/4HANA supported objects using the migration tools provided.
  • InfoPackage creation, maintenance and related process types in process chains are NOT supported
  • Persistent Staging Area (PSA) maintenance and related process types in process chains are NOT supported
  • Traditional BI Content will not be supported (software components BI_CONT and BI_CONT_XT). New SAP BW/4HANA business content on top of the Business Content DataSources will be delivered in Q4 2016.
  • Realtime Data Acquisition (RDA) is NOT supported
  • Data Transfer Processes will now longer support extraction from PSA. Hence, they will always use the Data Extraction setting “Directly from source system. PSA not used” from now on. The respective setting “Data Extraction” has been removed from the Data Transfer Process Maintenance.
  • Error Handling in Data Transfer Processes (because of using PSA based error stacks) is NOT supported

Classic Maintenence

For the time being however, a small number of objects,  still have to be maintained in the Data Warehousing Workbench before it is completed replaced by Eclipse Platform. Administrative tasks are still performed in the Data Warehousing Workbench.

Yes. SAP GUI is still required.

DataSource still maintained in DataWarehousing Workbench.
Administrative tasks are still performed in the DataWarehousing Workbench such as:

  1. Defining Process chains
  2. Authorization Maintenance
  3. Transports
  4. Workspace Administration
  5. DBA Cockpit based monitoring
  6. NLS-IQ administration
  7. Tracing the query execution via RSRT

Sources to BW/4HANA –

All source system types except ODP, HANA and File System are not supported

  • All Business Content Datasources (extractors) that are released for Operational Data Provisioning (ODP) will be supported (the ODP Source System is replacing the SAP Source System in SAP BW/4HANA).

Some notes

2330548 – SAP BW 7.5, edition for SAP HANA : Prepare Check (DataStaging)

2228413 – Technical prerequisites for SAP BW Edition for SAP HANA

2189708 – SAP BW/4HANA Add-On Handling and Usage

2362549 – Technical prerequisites for BW/4HANA

2238220 – BW on HANA: Transfer enhancements

2347382 – SAP BW/4HANA – General Information (Installation, SAP HANA, …)

2228415 – UDO report for SAP Note “Technical prerequisites for SAP BW Edition for SAP HANA” (2228413)2228415 – UDO report for SAP Note “Technical prerequisites for SAP BW Edition for SAP HANA” (2228413)

2283111 – “SAP BW, edition for SAP” SAP HANA add-on – B4H mode

2246699 – SAP BW/4HANA Starter Add-On – Pre-Requisites/Installation/De-Installation/Update

2232584 – Release of SAP extractors for operational data provisioning (ODP)

Some important links –

SAP BW/4HANA Landing Page

Replay of the SAP BW/4HANA Launch Event

SAP BW/4HANA on SAP Community Network – Product Page

SAP BW/4HANA 1.0 in the Help Portal

Why #BW/4HANA?

The Road to SAP BW/4HANA – Part 1 & 2


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      Author's profile photo Benedict Venmani Felix
      Benedict Venmani Felix

      Hello Wilson,
      Nice information. About the second image-can Hadoop be used as a cold storage for BW4HANA?


      Author's profile photo Wilson Kurian
      Wilson Kurian
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Benedict,

      Yes, with BW4HANA there are native connectors for Big data storage like Hadoop.


      Author's profile photo Ritik Ramchandani
      Ritik Ramchandani

      Hello Wilson,

      Thank you for this information.

      One question - could you clarify which ECC component is the SPS version based upon?




      Author's profile photo Swetha N
      Swetha N

      very good article, helpful for anyone migrating to BW HANA platform with knowledge of BW.