So far the last main set of new features of the planning engine was shipped with BPC 11 and BW 7.50 SP8 (see SDN blog on ‘ First Steps from BW-IP and PAK towards SAP BPC 11.0, version SAP BW/4HANA planning with Embedded Model ‘ for details). I just recall the improvements on input ready queries and new lines on any level here.
However, since most of the features are mainly used in analytics, we now decided to move those descriptions to the BW/4HANA section and refer in planning to them.
For example, the journey to make the analytic layer stronger and add query less reporting of course continued in 2017. Those are a strong added value also in planning but first they are analytical features.
Main improvements mentioned therefore in the analytical article “Improvements of BW/4HANA Analytical Engine in Q1 2018 with BW/4HANA 1.0 SP08” are:
- New Query Cell based Documents
- Improved handling of structure elements in the formula mode of AO
The pure planning side improvements, however, we want to document in this article here. The main improvements here are:
- Planning on master data queries
- Support of further planning objects in BW Modelling Tools: characteristic relationship, data slices, planning sequences)
- Deep copy of planning sequences
- File Upload via AO
Let us have a glimpse on each of the topics in detail.
Planning on master data queries
Direct planning or maintenance of master data has been required a for a long time. The reason we hesitated to invest in this area are the fact that master data buffered on various places in reporting and planning and a change of master data can also lead of a realignment of open planning buffers having not submitted data. So, the first approach was to enable better master data maintenance for end user having a web UI. This was done in BW with a link from transaction RSD1 and now in BW/4HANA with a link in the BW Modelling Tools. It can also accessed directly in the browser by knowing simple the web link https://<server>:<port>/sap/bc/webdynpro/sap /rsdmdm_md_maintenance_app?IOBJNM=<info object name>&sap-language=EN
for flat list maintenance or
https://<server>:<port>/sap/bc/webdynpro/sap/rsshwdy_hierarchy_maint_app?sap-language=EN&WDPREFERREDRENDERING=STANDARDS# for the hierarchy maintenance.
The same approach was then also adopted by BPC NW and BPC11 in the web admin client. This includes also local attributes and hierarchies and we lately allowed them in display mode for HANA views in BPC 10.1 in NW 7.50 SP11 or BPC 11 with SP4 (see for example note 2514651).
Master Data Mainenance from BW4 Web UI
Master Data Mainenance from BPC Web Admin
Hierarchy Mainenance from BPC Web Admin
On the other hand when we introduced the attributes planning based on direct update DSO in NW BW 7.4, we enabled SID based key figures for the attributes in the data section which is technical already the basis for master data planning (See for detail section 3 of the blog ‘Further Improvements on SAP HANA-optimized planning with the Planning Applications Kit in 2014’ ). Therefor we decided to invest in master planning and allow it under the condition that the user does not simultaneously plan on master data and facts. To use the new master data in a planning grid on aDSO, the user has to toggle the input readiness in AO and log off and logon again.
A prerequisite to do planning of master data in BW4 is that the characteristic has a master data table and is owned by BW/4HANA, i.e. it is not implemented using a special master data read class like HANA views. Also, the flag ‘Enhanced Master Data Update’ must not be used.
To enable the master data planning in BW/4HANA, the InfoObject must be marked as InfoProvider in the BW modeling tools on the InfoObject editor.
You need to set the new ‘Planning Mode’ flag. Then an aggregation level on top of the info object as InfoProvider can be created.
But as for aDSOs or InfoCubes, after creation the InfoProvider is in staging mode (Real-Time Data Target Can Be Loaded, Planning Not Allowed). To switch it to planning click on ‘Manage Attributes’ in the menu of the Manager Characteristic Icon in the InfoObject editor.
This leads to the manage screen for InfoObjects (former transaction RSMNG).
Pressing the ‘Planning Mode’ button you can toggle to : Real-Time Data Target Can Be Planned, Data Loading Not Allowed
To do planning we need to create an input ready query on top as for normal InfoProviders. All keys and attributes that should be planned must be marked as Input-Ready. The disaggregation behavior is as for NO2 or SID key figures ‘Disaggregation Copy’.
The query then must be started in input mode.
Including the query as data source in AO now master data can be changed.
Also, time dependence of attributes and text are working and can be changed. For time dependent attributes the meta characteristics 1DATEFROM, 1DATETO are added to the aggregation level. For time dependent texts the meta characteristics 1TXTDATEFROM, 1TXTDATETO are added.
Starting the query in AO you can see following
Currently new lines are not supported due to a limitation in the interface layer of existing AO. However, we hope to lift this soon with upcoming AO 2.7 release.
Another known limitation so far beside this, is the fact that it has to be a BW4 managed InfoObject with master data table. In addition, XXL attributes or when ‘long texts being extra-long’ are not supported. Also, a characteristic without any attribute or text cannot be maintained using input-ready queries. Using a composite provider in between only navigation attributes can be mapped and therefor maintained. From planning side, we do not support any planning function in the first version on master data planning. Most of the standard planning function types like distribution make no sense for master data and others are also limited by SID based key figures (see https://help.sap.com/viewer/69ec98e0c0e54128a61c32f3255fa438/11.0/en-US/4cacf4b354423b9fe10000000a42189b.html for details). The deletion of master data is currently not possible as well as it not on normal aDSO. But we put this item on our planning roadmap.
In addition to the normal query modelling possibilities – like setting an attribute planning enabled or not – also the standard master data maintenance customizing is considered. Customizing can be found under implementation guide (SPRO) of SAP BW/4HANA Customizing Implementation Guide->SAP BW/4HANA->Data Acquisition-> Settings for Master Data Maintenance. Only the setting to evaluate analysis authorizations is irrelevant since in input-ready master data queries analysis authorizations are always evaluated. Only the option ‘Not visible’’ of the change mode setting on the attribute detail is overruled by the query definition and the BADI of enhancement spot RS_MD_MAINTENANCE is neglected.
Support of further planning objects in BW modelling Tools
We started the journey to integrate the planning objects from a separate modelling transaction to the BW Modelling Tools with NW BW 7.50 SP4 with the aggregation level as first planning object (see Planning Engine Improvements for BPC Embedded Model, PAK and BW-IP with BW 7.50 SP4). The reason for this was to span the usability gap between modelling of the query and the underlying data provider. We continued the journey in BPC 11 with the characteristic relationship editor (see First Steps from BW-IP and PAK towards SAP BPC 11.0, version SAP BW/4HANA planning with Embedded Model). Now with FP8 we added the data slices and planning sequences.
The execution of the planning is possible by the green icon. Here we still navigate to the web gui transaction RSPLAN.
The editor for data slices as well as for characteristic relationships can be accessed from the underlying InfoProvider editor or context menu of the InfoProvider
The editor shows the different step and the detail are modelled on the right side.
In case of exits one can directly navigate to the exit class.
Deep copy of planning sequences
Very often, during error situations it is use full to do a deep copy of the scenario and make it then smaller. For Planning sequences, we now introduced this possibility with a report. All used objects like functions, filter and variants can be copied.
It is possible to access it from the modelling tools
or in BW 7.50 from the RSPLAN transaction
See also a small demo on youtube
File Upload via AO
You might remember the blog on ‘Planning Engine Improvements for BPC Embedded Model, PAK and BW-IP with BW 7.50 SP4’. There we mentioned the development done on backend side to move the How to Load a File into BI-Integrated Planning (NW7.0) into the SAP standard delivery. The AO adoption at this time was done only in a PoC and shipped in a product version. Now with AO 2.7 the file upload will be present in the Excel UI.
When you execute a planning function of type “0RSPL_FILE_UPLOAD_AO” a pop up will come to upload the data file.
Then the procedure works as mentioned in the previous blog. See the little movie on youtube to watch the sequence.
If a planning sequence contains a planning function of the same type “0RSPL_FILE_UPLOAD_AO”, the same happens.
This we ship with B/4HANA SP08 and Analysis Office 2.7. It can be also used with NW BW 12 or with note 2621959 from 7.50 SP6 onwards.