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In the last two weeks, several customers and colleagues have come around with questions regarding this topic (Operational Reporting) and these solutions (Embedded Analytics and HANA Live). Let’s throw some light into basic information.

 

What Operational reporting solutions are?

This kind of solutions are very close to transactional user. They are supposed to give users data to perform their day-to-day activities better (higher productivity and higher effectivity). These real-time reports are not very aggregated, but highly detailed and filtered.

These solutions are a combination of: (1) a set of views and, (2) a set of tools. The first point is the answer to why SAP has two different solution. They are views, so they are depending on the underlying data model. ECC has its own data model, then it has its own set of views for operational reporting. S/4HANA has a new, different and smaller data model, so it has its own set of views for operational reporting.

What tools are part of these solutions? basically they are (1) a Browser, to access a list of views and their definition; (2) a Data Viewer, to visualize data (not for final user consumption); and (3) a View creator.

This tools allow user to access data, key users or Developers to create or modify views to better support final users.

 

What Operational Reporting Tools SAP provides?

SAP ECC (on HANA) and SAP S/4HANA are two different ERP products, thus they have different Operational Reporting solutions. Let’s compare:

  ECC on HANA S/4HANA
Operational reporting solution name SAP HANA Live

SAP S/4HANA Embedded Analytics

 

Base technology:

what technology the views are built on

SAP HANA Information views (Analytical and Calculated views)

CDS Views

Fully integrated to ABAP lifecycle development framework

 

ERP NetWeaver Security integration

None.

Security is HANA DB level

 

Full.

CDS is ABAP technology

Interaction mode:

How do developers work with the solution

SAP HANA Studio

·   SAP Fiori

·   SAP HANA Studio with ABAP for Eclipse

 

Data Access SAP HANA DB user needed.

SAP S/4HANA user needed.

 

Tools

·   SAP HANA Studio

·   Browser

·   Authorization assistant

·   Extension Assistant

Link

 

·   Query Browser

·   Query Designer

·   KPI Designer

·   Smart Business Cockpit

Link

 

Final Ideas

Our current recommendation for implementation projects is to include this topics and tools in every LoB (every Key User should be expert on this topic and tools), and in final users training curriculums.

For customers already in production our recommendation is to start exploring these tools.

HANA Live must be mixed with a consumption tool, current recommendations are Lumira, Analysis for Office or another BO Tool like WebIntelligence. Embedded Analytics it is used with Fiori tools, but it is highly recommended to use more powerful visualization tools like those mentioned for HANA Live.

BWonHANA and BW/4HANA can consume both HANA Live Views and Embedded Analytics CDS Views, with different uses cases and functionalities. That’s for another blog.

 

Let me see your comments or questions.

 

#LetsTalkAnalytics

 

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5 Comments

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  1. Luc Vanrobays

    Abap CDS views (Abap 7.4 >= sp8h) have the right stiffness to avoid your bi team to play around with inúmerous graphical hana views. Off course, some retrofit from S/4 Hana into Ecc6/Hana might not work since the data models have substantially changed, but some models won’t change that fast SCM, CRM, SRM), and as such might be worth the retrofit or at least make the effort to assess sap ‘s business content team deliverables . For sure, Hana live path was a bit of a frenzy, being caught in the confusion of using or not CE functions. Clearly, Abap CDs views and table functions injects ( >= 7.5) strong governance. Still some powerful features are hard or not available in Sql approach ( and vice versa . Amazing, one size still doesn’t fit all with Hana. In the worst despair, will you try to consume a Bapi function module in BOBJ Information Design Tool ?

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    1. Mauricio Cubillos Post author

      Luc,

      I do agree CDS is a step forward from HANA Views, and we still need to keep taking steps in that direction.

      Would I recommend to consume BAPI function module in BOBJ (as last resource in a moment of despair)? Are we still in the context of Operational reporting? If transformation are this hard, maybe this is a case for BW/4HANA.

      My general recommendation is the two-steps check:

      1.- Is this technically feasible? Yes, IDT can read a function Module.

      2.- Does this make sense? (is this simple or over complicated?, are we keeping the idea of logic pushdown, Is this aligned with our data consumption policies and architecture designs, etc.)

      A chess teacher once told me: if there are no other moves, then it is a good move.

       

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      1. Luc Vanrobays

        «A chess teacher once told me: if there are no other moves, then it is a good move.»

        I was a bit of cynical with IDT and FM, because I banged ( too late ) into this appropriate solution for showing SRM RFQ (operational) sapscript text into the WebI report.

         

        Thanks Mauricio for enriching the discussion.

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  2. Masaaki Arai

    Good discussion! I know many analytics experts are interested in this topic.

    First of all, it is important to note that it is only for the scenario of S/4HANA Enterprise Management.

    I, As S/4HANA DEV team, have to add some points regarding why ABAP CDS and Fiori.

    1. HANA Live, predefined HANA Calc View for data model, for new data model is shipped only for FInancial area, and in logistic area, no predefined HANA Live is shipped and it is necessary to adjust the model manually (Note 2270382) and VDMs created with CDS View are provided for some HANA Live Views.
      1. HANA Live on HANA2 should technically work as of course HANA Calc View is supported in HANA2, but functionally it i yet to be supported as the test in DEV team is yet to be completed. 
    2. ABAP CDS View based architecture is the strategic direction. More and more functions are and will be released, and almost all of them are based on Fiori and CDS View. If customers use HANA View based app, they could not enjoy the evolution of S/4HANA.
    3. ABAP CDS View is used not only for analytics, but used for many other scenarios including the datasource of Enterprise Search, Fiori apps including read-write application, datasource for BW etc.., so that anyway it is necessary to understand CDS View to enjoy the potential value of S/4HANA including push down, renovated UI. 
    4. S/4HANA Analytics is more focusing on Fiori and SAP CP, rather than BusinessObjects on Premise.

    Cases in which HANA View might be better:

    On the other hand, I, as Analytics expert, know the best solution should be different in each customer. It should depends on current analytical functions/system, customer’s skill set, desirable analytics solution etc..

    For customers who are familiar with SQL technology, HANA View might be better choice.

    1. For customers who don’t like BO or Fiori but want to use 3rd party tool like Tableau, HANA View might be better.
    2. For customers who has BW on HANA or BW4HANA and want to use HANA External View rather than BW query, it might be better to use HANA View in S/4HANA as well for the consistency of the technology.
    3. For customers who have already had HANA View based analytics system and want to move S/4HANA EM, it might be less disruptive to continue to use HANA View based analytics architecture (but adjustment of the data model is anyway necessary), rather than rebuilding analytical applications based on ABAP CDS View.
    4. For customers who haven’t had BO license and don’t expect so rich analytic experience, Fiori analytics would be better, but for customers who have already had BO license and has enough knowledge of them, it might be better to use BO and ignore Fiori analytics.

    Again,theoretically why ABAP CDS View is better in S/4HANA EM in principle:

    But, as analytic expert, I believe, in principle, it is better to start with embedded analytics in S/4HANA EM.

    1. Complexity of the architecture is gone. (user management/transport, and more than that they dont have to consider the combination of the tools themselves – this mean, for Analysis Office, HANA users would have to be used, but for webi, BIP user have to be used – duplicated.) In S/4HANA EM, the architecture of Analytics solutions is changed to be based on ABAP CDS View, instead of HANA View. Why? it is because HANA View based architecture has many issues, simply saying, it was rather complex!
    2. Hierarchy exception aggregation… sophisticated aggregations are possible.
    3. ABAP CDS View technology can be used not only for analytics, but it is used for many purpose and anyway they have to understand it. so anyway, investment for the new knowledge is necessary.

    At last, as a technical expert, I do believe it is worth to have active discussion on such a important topic!

    Thanks, Masa

     

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