Planning applications powered by SAP Business Planning and Consolidation
Since the announcement of SAP BPC 11.0 in June 2017, there are two different releases about SAP Business Planning and Consolidation in the market:
- Our strategic planning solution SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 11.0 (SAP BPC 11.0) in combination with our strategic Data Warehouse solution SAP BW/4HANA. The planning product contains the planning models:
- BPC Embedded and
- BPC Standard
- In addition to this, SAP BPC 10.1 in combination with our SAP NetWeaver based Data Warehouse solution SAP BW 7.5x, which plays a very important role in the combination of SAP BPC optimized for SAP S/4HANA.
With the help of the following document, we would like to give you some guidance for the usage of the different deployment options.
Deployment options: Overview
SAP BPC 11.0, version for SAP BW/4HANA as our strategic planning solution, is an add-on for our strategic data warehouse solution SAP BW/4HANA.
SAP BPC 11.0, version for SAP BW/4HANA is designed for generic planning applications with standalone deployment.
If you deploy our SAP S/4HANA software component, you will get a SAP BW 7.5x Embedded (so called Embedded BW) as analytics engine, which includes SAP BPC 10.1 for SAP NetWeaver.
SAP S/4HANA is on a different application platform (SAP NetWeaver) than SAP BW/4HANA. SAP BPC 10.1, Add-On for SAP S/4HANA, which is designed for embedded FINANICAL PLANNING (embedded in S/4HANA). The additional SAP BW add-on SAP BPC Optimized for SAP S/4HANA (also known as Integrated Business Planning for Finance (IBPF) or S/4 Finance or … ) provides a first class business content for integrated, financial planning applications between SAP S/4HANA and SAP BPC.
With the help of this approach, we reduce the data duplication between the ERP part and the BW part. A virtual data model allows the BPC-based planning application to get direct access to ERP data.
This advantage will be only provided in the context of SAP BPC Optimized for SAP S/4HANA. For all additional BPC planning applications, you need to develop this virtual data access on your own or you need to duplicate the data into the embedded BW instance.
With SAP BPC Optimized for SAP S/4HANA, many people find out about Embedded BW as part of the ERP deployment for the first time. But the Embedded BW was already there. Since SAP NetWeaver is part of the ERP deployment and SAP BW is part of SAP NetWeaver as well, you will deploy the Embedded BW with the deployment of SAP ERP.
There are now two deployment options for SAP BW and many people raise the question: Could I replace my SAP BPC based planning applications as part of my stand-alone BW instance with the help of the Embedded BW component?
With the help of the following Q&A, we would like to explain what you can do and what you should not do.
Q: What is the Embedded BW component?
- SAP BW is automatically included in SAP ERP systems since SAP NetWeaver 7.0.
- This Embedded BW supports technically all BW native functionality incl. SAP BPC processes. (The usage of SAP BPC requires separate licenses.)
- The Embedded BW is used to support certain business processes in the SAP Business Suite and in SAP S/4HANA, e.g. Integrated Business Planning for Finance, using SAP Business Planning & Consolidation (SAP BPC).
- From an outside perspective, the product that is sold to and installed at a customer is the SAP Business Suite or SAP S/4HANA.
For more details on Embedded BW, see https://www.sap.com/documents/2015/06/3ccee34c-577c-0010-82c7-eda71af511fa.html
Q: Why do we have different SAP BW deployment options?
- The Embedded BW is used to support certain business processes in the SAP Business Suite and in SAP S/4HANA
- The stand-alone version is designed for SAP Business Warehouse as your strategic instance to follow the EDW approach.
Q: Could you explain very shortly an EDW scenario?
- Consolidate the data across the enterprise to get a consistent and agreed view on your data
- Combine SAP and other data sources together
- Standardized data model on corporate information
- Supporting decision making on all organizational levels
- EDWs require a database plus EDW orchestration tools
- Define common semantics
- Harmonize data values
- Establish a ‘single version of truth’
- Provide a single, comprehensive source of current and historical information
- Keep copy of source data to ensure independency of source and support the unknown
EDW orchestration tools are used to manage, model, and run the Enterprise Data Warehouse
- EDW orchestration tools can be shipped as an integrated EDW application
- Custom built EDWs are based on loosely coupled orchestration tools e.g. ETL tools, Data Modelling tools, Monitoring tools etc.
Q: I would like to use the Embedded BW instance for all my SAP BPC planning applications. What are the risks?
Concerns about the landscape:
If you want to implement powerful planning applications with great data quality, the first input which you need are actuals. If you already have a central BW instance with SAP BPC, you can build your planning content directly in this solution. The actual data are still there and you can re-use this information for your planning applications.
If you want to build your planning applications as part of your Embedded BW instance, you need to bring the data (which you need for your planning scenario and which are not yet stored in SAP S/4HANA) to your SAP S/4HANA instance. Now, you will allocate any additional performance resources from your SAP S/4HANA instance and this allocated resource are NOT available for SAP S/4HANA processes.
If a SAP S/4 HANA instance is running on top of SAP HANA, we are talking about this use case from a single node scenario. Due to the reason, that the Embedded BW software component is part of every SAP S/4HANA deployment, SAP HANA will be split the overall performance between the different components.
Every component needs a proportion of the overall provided performance.
Performance is not only important for acceptance of the business user. The performance of the systems may even have an impact on the overall utilization of the ERP systems
We would like to demonstrate the impact of this fact to your daily business with the help of the following example.
There are no differences between the functions of SAP BPC 10.1 as part of the stand-alone BW and SAP BPC 10.1 as part of the Embedded BW version. Let’s assume you decide to run all planning applications into your Embedded BW system.
During your real-time planning process, you would like to load data from any sources to your system. You run different planning functions and during your plan activities, you refresh and save your workbook very often.
This will generate from time to time (or even always) performance peaks, which will be allocated from the overall provided CPU capacity. It may be possible now, that too much CPU capacity will be allocated by the
Embedded BW and thus there is not enough capacity left for your SAP S/4HANA instance. This situation could end up in a critical situation for your ERP system.
Due to this reason, we have defined the 20% rule:
The amount of data persisted in the Embedded BW should not exceed 20% of the overall data volume of the system. This applies to extraction from own Suite / SAP S/4HANA system integration of data from external applications data from planning applications.
SAP strongly recommends not to use Embedded BW for data warehousing (EDW) use cases!
Q: In addition to my finance planning, I would like to implement “small” planning applications in my Embedded BW. What do I have to consider?
A: The term “small” makes it very hard to provide guidance. The protection of the system performance is absolutely required to ensure a safe system operation. Due to this reason, the sizing of your system is very important. You need to check, what kind of applications (including data volume, number of user, sizing of the queries, …) should be supported from the beginning and in the future. You should check for every new development of applications the sizing aspect. Do I have enough resources or do I need to extend my available resources? With the help of this approach, we will be on a safe side regarding performance impacts and you will minimize the risks.
Q: Are there any differences between the Embedded BW and the stand-alone version with respect to the feature set?
A: Both deployments offer the same feature set.
Q: What about the strategic direction of the Embedded BW version and the stand-alone BW version? Are there any differences?
- The version of BW used in the embedded scenario is SAP BW 7.5x powered by SAP HANA. The strategic Data Warehouse solution is SAP BW4/HANA. There are currently no plans to enable SAP BW/4HANA for SAP S/4HANA.
- The development of new functionality and the innovation will be part of SAP BW/4HANA.
- See also FAQ for SAP BW/4HANA
Q: What about the strategic direction of SAP BPC?
A: The strategic planning and consolidation solution in combination with SAP BW is SAP BPC 11.0, version for SAP BW/4HANA.
Q: Are there any restrictions between the lifecycle management?
A: If you want to use new functionality of new BW release in the stand-alone version, you can upgrade your BW instance without any dependencies to your SAP S/4HANA instance.
If you want to use new functionality of new BW release in the embedded version, you need to upgrade your SAP S/4HANA instance.
Q: In the PAM, we will find as the announces end of maintenance date 31.12.2020. Why do we have such short maintenance window?
- BPC version for SAP BW/4 HANA is the version based on our most modern platform (BW4) and will be the BPC version that will be the focus for development going forward
- The reason why end of maintenance of BPC version for SAP BW/4HANA is 31.12.2020 is that we plan to release SAP BW/4HANA 2.0 (based on SAP HANA 2.0) significantly prior to the end-of-maintenance date for SAP BW/4HANA 1.0 to allow for sufficient transition time. If SAP BW/4HANA 2.0 is not released as planned, the end-of-maintenance date will be moved. BPC will follow this approach. Please see also https://blogs.sap.com/2017/09/05/sap-bpc-11.0-version-for-sap-bw4hana-end-of-maintenance-date/.
- The upgrade from SAP BW/4HANA 1.0 to SAP BW/4HANA 2.0 is expected to be a smooth, lean upgrade. We don’t expect any change in the application moving from BPC on SAP BW/4HANA 1.0 to SAP BW/4HANA 2.0. The major technical reason for SAP BW/4HANA 2.0 is that SAP HANA 2.0 is planned to become mandatory for SAP BW/4HANA 2.0.
You can obviously use BPC 10.1 NW, but taking into consideration the lifecycle of a planning and consolidation application (typically 10 years or more), you will need to move to SAP BPC version for SAP BW/4HANA at some point. In this case the move to SAP BPC version for BW/4HANA will be more challenging.