This was a webcast from yesterday
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February 21 BI: What’s new in SAP BI4.2 SP7
You can watch the replay of the webcast here
Many SAP customers have been consolidating and transforming their data for years using SAP Business Warehouse (BW). SAP Product Manager Eric Yew walks you through end-to-end best practices with SAP Analytics Cloud integrating with SAP BW. This webinar will walk you through technical requirements and pre-requisites for data connections, technical overview on support of BW query features, best practices and tips on Story performance, BW query design, and more! A quick update on roadmap will also be provided.
Anything in the future is subject to change
Technical overview: Backend version pre-requisites
Supported versions are shown above
Key points – for listed versions in the slide, and blue font, encourage update to latest SP
There may be additional SAP notes you may be required to implement, specific to SAC
Encourage everyone to look at SAP Note 2541557 and run BW note analyzer to run and analyze SAP BW sytems
Questions from customers – what is the best way to plan ahead, SP, based on upcoming roadmap features
Should start planning version upgrade as soon as possible
There are upcoming features relating to SAC with BW integration that require a baseline
If you are on BW7.5 minimum baseline will start with SP16, GA in September this year
BW/4HANA 2.0 is planned for GA end of February
See SAP Note 2715030 – outlines dependencies 6 months in advance
SAC is more flexible with BW support with Data Import
SAP recommends HANA 2.0 – ensure compatibility
Technical overview: Data connectivity options
Two different options to connect to BW
Left – live connectivity – talks to BW in best manner when understanding metadata concepts; no data replication
Data is kept safe behind firewall; data security is seamless
On right – data import – data is being replicated and stored securely in SAC – can establish a scheduling job
Use for when live connect cannot achieve such as planning or predictive use cases
Need to model in SAC and think about authorizations as the BW authorizations do not transfer
Live connectivity – talks to SAP directly
CORS- above shows the different interaction points
Web browser handles the work in terms of sending the requests from BW system
Accessing data beyond the firewall, in case VPN is not available.
Live connectivity to BW is possible via reverse proxy in DMZ
Need to be on a specific version of SAP Netweaver
Check out the guided playlist links:
Import from BW queries and InfoProviders
Relies on on-premise components – HANA cloud connector (acts as a secure VPN tunnel) and cloud agent (establishes data connections to BW system and manage query executions)
It is recommended that the SAPCP cloud connector, SAP Analytics Cloud agent, and the SAP JCO are installed together on a dedicated server, and not a personal computer. This helps to ensure that multiple users can use an import data connection without experiencing slowness or downtime. (source: SAP)
HANA calc view generated from a BW query; make sure you do a validation check on calculation view
There are two ways of creating SAP HANA views for BW objects: From the BW system or from SAP HANA Modeler. Although they present a number of differences, both approaches can be recommended in equal measure.
Generating SAP HANA views from the BW system is recommended if:
you mainly use the BW Enterprise Data Warehouse layer and plan to execute queries directly on the data models, without OLAP functions.
you want the SAP HANA view to be automatically adjusted when changes are made in BW
you want the SAP HANA view to be part of the BW transport system
you want SAP HANA users to be automatically assigned SAP HANA privileges
you want CompositeProviders or queries to be used for SAP HANA views
you want to access the near-line storage or use non-cumulative key figures
However, importing BW objects from the SAP HANA Modeler is recommended if:you mainly use SAP HANA Modeler and your own ETL tools
the content package can be individually configured for each object
you want to keep changes made to the generated SAP HANA view after a re-import
Technical overview: Supported BW query concepts
Live connections offers the strong integration with BW query features and authorizations
Data import – BW OLAP engine is not tied to the data
Metadata support for BW query concepts
Live connections understands dimensions, string, date, measures
Data import – can import into a model, but may need to do extra work in data prep so right data item is mapped
SAC does not support TIMS time concept – live connection cannot leverage it for a time series chart; data import – cannot be acquired as time concept
As you can see, display and navigation attributes are supported
Live connections supports more “exotic” features, including cell editor calcuations
You cannot import a query with 2 structures; data import UI will block you from opening
Dynamic filters are supported in Live (default values in BEx Query)
Variable support; pay attention to hierarchy version variables as part of prompting; SAC does not have ability to show version information in chart builder
Selection option for complex filtering
Variants are supported for live connections; consumptive workflow only
If need to edit, go back to on-premise tool
Merge/unmerge for technical ID for prompt (live connection)
Live connections supports BEx conditions
Display of how KPI’s are shown – supported for live connection
Best practices consideration: Tips and tricks
Query read – determine how often the OLAP processor reads during an SAP end user navigation
– hierarchy in table visualization, user clicks on parent node to click out – BW reads from database – fetch on demand based on user navigation
SAC – recommends – query to read when navigate
Leverage existing queries, follow existing best practices on query design
Use can configure scaling options as shown above
Configured scaling factors in query are transferred to SAC – only happens for supported scaling options shown above
If scaling factor is unsupported, SAC will display raw number; may lead to confusion
If internet connection is slow, or BW server is on peak load, these are factors impacting story design experience
Enhanced story building performance option – feature in live model; like pause-refresh capability (Analysis Office) – can suspend query interactions while making modifications to chart and visualizations
Take in consideration to hide unnecessary metadata
Organize and group common dimensions together to help content creators
Navigate to Sys Admin of SAC to configure number of parallel sessions you would like to allow
Could see gains in performance improvement
Does introduce additional overhead on BW resources
Works on a per user basis; discuss this with your BW admin team
Integration road map with SAP BW
Data blending – – support 2 forms – allow business users to create blended visualizations based on post-aggregated data
Browser based blending based on live/imported data – do limit the data volumes – 6MB of uncompressed data
If larger volumes, look at SDI based blending
Check the latest SAP Notes
Planned for Q1/2019
Support native data type date
Allows for filtering on data – slider approach, fixed range
Planned for Q2/2019; planned for BW 7.5/BW4HANA
Analyze how an initial value is effected over increase/decrease
Planned for BW 7.5/BW4HANA
Planned for Q2 support
Can leverage BW lat/long features
Supports BW/4HANA 2.0 BW75 SP6
Linked analysis filtering based on multiple dimensions
Supported today for table display and visualizations
Focused on improving data import connectors
Question & Answer
|what type of queries are a source for live connection? default infoprovider query ? transient query? e.g. do I need to create a query on an infoprovider or is there a default query I can leverage? The drop down list of queries appears to include transient queries but not default queries||Live connectivity connects to the BW Queries. the Default Query on the InfoProvider is not supported.|
|lot of existing customer use SAP BusinessObjects BI, What is the positioning of SAC vis a vis BO BI? and also is there a migration path available / planned?||SAP Analytics Cloud is a pure cloud offering combining BI, Predictive, and Planning – so there is no 1-1 comparison because as part of the on-premise BI offering you don’t have such offering.
Currently there is content migration planned.
|Which datasources are available in SAC from a BW connection? for example: Infoproviders, BW queries, etc…..||SAC support BW Queries for the Live Connection.
For Import BW Queries and InfoProvider are available.
|In the case of having a calculation view created from a BW object, a connection between HANA and SAC would have to be created? Instead of using the connection between BW and SAC||Thats correct. You would then point to the SAP HANA system.|
|Is it recommended to have a Live connection and an Import connection created to the same BW system in order to support different scenarios?||It really depends on your overall requirements. For sure it is a scenario that is possible|
|1.How much data can we import to SAC with import connection.||in a single step currently you can upload around 80.000 rows but it also depends on your backend configuration as 80.000 rows could be a large number of cells and you might have a lower number of cells configured using the safety belt in BW|
|Is there any way we can transform the dimension types when building the model in live connection? SAC is not recognising time dimension from a BW query, thus we are unable to create a time series chart. Is there any other way?||Full date dimension support is planned as part of Q1|
|Can you do HANA modeling and create Calc views on top of SAC tables?||Are you referring to “SAC Tables” meaning the model that you created in SAC ? If so – the answer is No.|
|Will changing of measures also apply to calculations made in SAC. So, you could combine BW measures and calculations and change the order of measures?||its about changing the order or displaying measures in a table for example. its not changing the actual measure.
so a calculation you created in SAC should not be impacted
|When will the smart predict feature supported?||only working on concept for HANA Live connection; today available for import connections|
|We are working with an Analysis for Office workbook, adding data models from SAC, we are not able to consume BW and HANA models, only native models, this is going to change in the future?||that is planned for a future release|
More subsequent Q&A from another related webcast:
Q: Which BW 7.5 SP is working with SEM BCS
Q: if a user manually imports data from an excel file on his desktop into SAC, is the data transfer to the SAC then safe?
Q: Hi there. For the live connection. BW is currently using a certificate that is self-certified. When connecting from BW to SAC this comes up and does not play well with our network security. If possible we would want to change this to. Do you know how we go about changing this and the best practice around it? As a workaround for now we are using Firefox to connect to SAC which is working in this manner.
Q: If we upload data from a BW infoprovider, can we import data with a delta mechanism into SAC instead of each time uploading the full cube content?
Q: How to schedule the stories in SAC
Q: Can I combine/blend a live model on a BW query with an import data model in one story?
Q: Is it possible to expose BW WAD into SAP Analytics Cloud..?
Q: Is it possible to expose BW WAD into SAC..?
Q: you mentioned smart discovery and smart insights features are not possible with live data connection. Is this correct? is it in the roadmap?
Q: My live connection to BW works well in Web, but the application IOS fail whit the connection, how can help me?
Q: How to schedule a stories in SAC(Not models)
Q: are there any tools which allow you to trace the INA interface and extract the statement which is passed on to BW (or HANA)
What do you think?