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SAP Analytics Cloud – Landscape Architecture & Life-cycle Management

What should the landscape architecture of SAP Analytics Cloud look like and how does it compare with traditional on-premise landscapes? How should I manage the life-cycle of content in SAP Analytics Cloud? I address these and many other common life-cycle management questions in my article.

I first look at typical on-premise landscapes and then compare this to the Cloud, what’s the same and what’s different. The final architecture is determined by many factors and I present the most important things you need to know, including summaries of:

  • Public and Private hosted editions
  • SAP Analytics Cloud Test Service and its Preview option
  • Quarterly Update Release and Fast Track Update Release cycles

I explain where each fit into the overall life-cycle, thus allowing you to determine the right architecture for your organisation. This includes explaining how and when you can transport objects between the different Services. Here between the Preview Service and the regular Quarterly Release Cycle (QRC):

and here between the Quarterly Release Cycle and the ‘Fast Track’:

(the ‘Fast Track’ is not provisioned by default)

I also present why multiple environments are need at all and what can be achieved, albeit in a limited fashion, within a single environment when managing the life-cycle of content.

I present the typical landscape options chosen by most other customers and the most common path of adoption. Thus, giving you some guidance on what your next step on your SAP Analytics Cloud journey might be:

Content Namespaces are also an important concept to understand and I present some recommendations on how to manage this to avoid known issues and reduce the risk for your projects.

I also present the options for transporting objects around the landscape and I finish with a Best Practice Summary.

You can access my article in the wiki, download the slides and watch a video of the content being presented

Your feedback is most welcome. Before posting a question, please do read the article carefully and take note of any replies I’ve made to others. Please hit the ‘like’ button on this article or comments to indicate its usefulness.

Many thanks

Matthew Shaw @MattShaw_on_BI

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  • Fantastic blog Matthew Shaw

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

    I know this is a really complex topic, with different, wide-ranging experiences for our various customers.

    This article really helps pull that all together, and will be perfect for a forthcoming discussion with one of my customers!

    Kind regards


  • Thanks for the blog, Matthew!

    I have also reviewed your interesting powerpoint document.

    One comment I have: it would be usefull to include the impact of the QRC in the on-premise source systems.

    I mean, for instance, when a live connection is used, I am sure you are aware that there are a number of notes that must be applied.

    Then, I guess Test Preview should be pointed to a sandbox environment with the notes applied.

    What is your reommended approach?


    Thanks again for the insights,

    Inigo Montoya

    • Hello Inigo

      Many thanks.

      For the impact on on-premise, then please take a look at another blog on mine:

      Any notes, typically needed only for new features, would need to be applied to the sandbox database (live data source using a live connection), yes. My other blog/video talks about this with a bunch of SAP notes to follow. But generally speaking your existing content should not stop working just because you're using a newer version of SAC. But having the sandbox gives you that re-assurance and if any action is needed then if you're using a Fast Track Sandbox or a Quarterly Release Preview gives you that opportunity to take action before the Quarterly Production/Development/QA environments are updated.

      Typically speaking though, any on-premise updates are for defect or performance reasons, though not exclusively. For example the BI Platform sometimes requires a Support Pack update or an update to the Tomcat/JDK etc. So there are exceptions but if you're on HANA or BW then you only really need to be more concerned if you're on a very old version of BW or HANA where SAP might increase the minimum support level, but there's SAP notes to follow to give you plenty of time to plan accordingly.

      Regards, Matthew

  • Hi Matthew

    Attended your webinar today, It was awesome. It's crystal clear

    by the way I was wondering whether SAC does holds a dedicated architecture other than

    SAC-Overview(attachment),similar to what BW holds( such as LSA,LSA++)




    • Many thanks Bose for your feedback.

      There's no architecture diagrams as such, but I'll bear this feedback in mind as I can see there's a need for it. Could you describe more about what or why you'd like to see. I can then use this feedback to see what can be done. Many thanks indeed, Matthew

      • Matthew


        The reason being as part of our discussions with BW/HANA/B4/S4 regarding SAC Pros & Cons in conjunction with Business Objects SAC Architecture issue came up, hence this query


        Best Regards-Bose


  • Hi Matthew,

    your blogs are a one-stop solution for SAC questions! I find the lifecycle management of SAC content in a Live BW scenario quite unique and different from a BO-Server landscape.

    Is there information available on how objects like Comments and Bookmarks are stored? Are they stored in separate files or in the same file as the Story? When the same story with no comments from the Dev. Tenant in transported using the Content network to the Prod. Tenant, where the story does have comments/bookmarks - Are the comments/bookmarks retained in the Prod. Tenant?

    If yes, Does that imply the comments/Bookmarks for a story are stored in separate files?

    If No, do we need to transport the story to Dev. tenant before any change is made to story so that objects like Comments/Bookmarks are retained?

    Is there a plan to introduce automatic system switching for Live connection in the near future?

    Looking forward to your feedback!

    Best Regards,


  • Matthew,

    Thanks for the content, very helpful and comprehensive tour covering many aspects around SAC.

    A question around your point 'a single SAP Analytics Cloud Service can not manage the life-cycle of content on its own', in our single-tenant landscape we are facing some of the limitations you describe in change and application life cycle management for our SAC stories, in your opinion which is the most cost-effective approach to implement a SAC Test environment and transport changes via Content Network?

    We currently operate our SAP S/4HANA infrastructure in private Cloud and SAC Production tenant in cloud foundry, is best option to request a test tenant in the cloud or there are options to go on-premise or private cloud?



    • Hi Yoav Yahav nice to hear from you. Thought i'd chime in ahead of Matthew Shaw incase he doesn't see this right away.

      The 2021 quarterly releases don't change the landscape recommendations, but if you're looking for an updated release calendar, then they are here: Note 2888562 - Harmonized release calendar for SAP Cloud products

      the scheduled release dates are:

      1. QRC1 weekend of February 20th,
      2. QRC2 weekend of 22nd May,
      3. QRC3 weekend of 21st August,
      4. QRC4 weekend of November 13th 2021.

      This reflects the current state of planning but may be updated without notice.

      1. QRC1 includes bi-weekly waves 2020.22, 2020.23, 2021.01, 2021.02
      2. QRC2 includes bi-weekly waves 2021.03, 2021.04, 2021.05, 2021.06, 2021.07
      3. QRC3 includes bi-weekly waves 2021.08, 2021.09, 2021.10, 2021.11, 2021.12, 2021.13
      4. QRC4 includes bi-weekly waves 2021.14, 2021.15, 2021.16, 2021.17, 2021.18
      again, this info above reflects the current state of planning but may be updated without notice. (i.e. some waves might be moved out to later QRC releases) 
  • Hi Matthew,


    Is there an idea of a system copy in SAC?

    Example, we want to take all of our objects in Production and copy them down into our Test tenant. (Rather than having to select specific objects).



    • HI Derek

      Good question. There is no system (service) copy tool, you need to use the Content Network (or the legacy Export/Import) to transport content from one service to another as you indicated. There's no equivalent 'copy repository' like you could do with say the BI Platform.

      Regards, Matthew