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SAP EWM on HANA Analytics Scenarios – SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and BW/4HANA

Today we’re going to explore a few analytics scenarios for SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) using SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP BW/4HANA.

There has been a lot of questions around what can be achieved in terms of Analytics on SAP EWM and how.

This blog post will be focused on the “How” part, showcasing a few technical scenarios, components and integration between them, serving as a landing page to anybody that is looking for preliminary guidance.

Further to say this reading requires understanding of HANA development and modeling, specifically CDS Views and Calculation Views, BW/4HANA (with LSA++) and SAP Analytics Cloud, as we are not going to deep dive into these concepts/ tools.

OK, let’s begin!

First we’re going to present different scenarios where EWM table contents are consumed to create meaningful models, and then, how to consume them in SAP Analytics Cloud.

This post will be split into the below sections:

  • Operational Reporting on SAP EWM on HANA
    • Calculation Views
    • CDS Views
  • Strategic and Tactical Reporting on SAP BW/4HANA
  • SAP Analytics Cloud Connectivity

Before we begin with the scenarios, let’s briefly set the baseline of what we call Operational Reporting and Strategic andTactical Reporting.

Operational Reporting:

  • Real time, what is happening now;
  • Granular data;
  • Lightweight modeling.

Strategic and Tactical Reporting

  • Historical analysis;
  • Summarized data;
  • Requires transformation/ harmonization.

 

1.1 – Operational Reporting on SAP EWM on HANA – Calculation Views

The main driver for this scenario adoption is the HANA Live content delivered by SAP, where several report ready calculation views can be consumed by SAP Analytics Cloud.

The calculation views are created on top of the EWM tables, there is no data latency and no data replication in this scenario.

These calculation views are created and managed by the database, therefore, in order to access them directly, HANA users must be created, as well as roles to restric data access.

This is one big consideration companies need to factor in, depending on the complexity of data restriction, a complete HANA security strategy might need to be implemented.

Lastly, HANA Live content requires installation in your SAP HANA instance, a comprehensive guide on how to install it can be found here.

And follow this link for the complete list of available calculation views.

 

1.2 – Operational Reporting on SAP EWM on HANA – CDS Views

 

  • CDS views can be consumed via oData or via Transient Query by SAP Analytics Cloud.

As seen on the above picture, the CDS Views are managed by the ABAP application, this means it can benefit, for example, from ABAP lifecycle integration and the support of authorizations.

Similar to calculation views, there is no data replication or latency, but one big benefit of CDS Views are the possibility to leverage existing SAP EWM security model for access and data restriction.

SAP has delivered new EWM specific CDS views, as of S/4HANA 1909. In case the business requirements go beyond this pre-defined content scope, companies can build custom CDS views.

That are additional benefits on investing in CDS Views as they can be exposed as oData services, used in ABAP programs or used as data extractors.

As an attention point, the CDS Views are meant for lightweight modeling, if heavy lifting of data and/ or data harmonization and transformation is required, the recommendation is to consider an EDW solution, such as SAP BW/4HANA, which is our next scenario.

 

2 – Strategic and Tactical Reporting on SAP BW/4HANA

 

In this case, SAP delivers pre-configured EWM business content for BW/4HANA, providing companies with a quick win for the business team, by delivering report ready models for specific subjects, and for the technical team, by delivering the data foundation for EWM (extractors and data flows) accelerating development.

The list of business content objects can be seen here (EWM content starts on page 77, in case you are not directed to this page already).

As we mentioned in the previous section, CDS views containing “@Analytics.dataExtraction.enabled: true” annotation can be used for data extraction via ODP.

Besides that, EWM table contents can be replicated into a BW/4HANA Advanced DSO (aDSO) using HANA Smart Data Integration (SDI) technology for scenarios, e.g., where heavy lifting of data is required.

It also provides the ability to create a virtual data warehouse, where data is not replicated into BW/4HANA, but consumed directly from the EWM tables. For that, configuration of a remote access using Smart Data Access (SDA) technology between BW/4HANA and HANA (EWM) is required to allow the creation of an Open ODS view with source type set as virtual table.

Lastly, the BEx query is the recommended way to allow consumption of  BW/4HANA modeled datasets.

 

3 – SAP Analytics Cloud Connectivity

This section is going to focus solely on the integration options between SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) with EWM on HANA and BW/4HANA, not on the reporting/ visualization capabilities of SAC.

 

Consuming EWM on HANA content:

Going back to our scenarios, EWM datasets were exposed by Calculation Views or CDS Views, SAP Analytics Cloud provides support for both types of views, but with some differences.

  • Via Calculation Views: direct connection to the HANA database

Live mode: requires configuration in SAP HANA XS to allow HTTPS requests (if not configured that way already) and Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) support enabled. Refer to this guided playlist for step by step procedure.

Import mode: This can be achieved by installing SAP Analytics Cloud Agent Deployment Kit or via oData services. Be aware that oData scenarios is only intended for small datasets, as stated in SAP Note 2412507.

  • Via CDS Views: connection to ABAP application

Live Mode: only CDS Views with “@Analytics.query: true” annotation can be consumed by SAP Analytics Cloud, this generates a Transient Query that is going to be the access point for this connection.

Import Mode: in this case, CDS Views are going to be consumed via oData services, therefore, they must contain the “@Odata.publish: true” annotation and also be published as a service.

 

Consuming BW/4HANA content:

As mentioned before, the recommended approach is to use BEx Queries to expose BW/4HANA content to SAP Analytics Cloud, Live or Import mode can be selected.

For both types of connection, additional configuration is needed to make it work, as seen below:

Live mode: Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) support needs to be configured on BW/4HANA. Complete step by step guide.

Import mode: SAP Cloud Connector, SAP Analytics Cloud Agent and SAP Java Connector (JCO) needs to be installed and configured as per how to guide.

These are just few examples of what can be achieved using this full-blown architecture, consisting of SAP EWM on HANA + BW/4HANA + SAP Analytics Cloud

Hint: Most of the above concepts can also be used with others SAP ABAP based systems, such as, but not limited to, SAP S/4HANA.

Has your company ventured in any of the above approaches?

Or are you exploring options to understand what is best for you company going forward?

Feel free to share with us.

Thanks for reading!

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