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Comprehensive metadata analysis of SAP S/4HANA

In case you ever wondered what, it takes to power all the business processes in SAP S/4HANA, then this is the blog for you. In this blog, I would present the comprehensive metadata analysis of the SAP S/4HANA system and what is under the hood. In S/4HANA the building blocks to power your intelligent enterprise are the ABAP CDS (Core Data Service) Views. The logic embedded in the views enable the hybrid transactional and analytical processing and is also the reason why you no longer need the aggregates. Here in the figure below is the representation of the SAP S/4HANA metadata in and SAP Analytics Cloud Story.

In case you wondered why do I see only 3585 views when I have the latest SAP S/4HANA 2005 CE and wondered how many of the SAP S/4HANA views are enabled for odata consumption, available as “live connection” in an SAP Analytics cloud system or available as an API or could be extended then this is metadata view for you.

 

As you see in the figure above only the view which is released would be available in an SAP S/4HANA CE. Also, all the views which have the annotation @odata.publish=true are listed here in the tile as the CDS Views odata published. All the views which have the status as CO released could be used in SAP Cloud Platform as API views and the views listed as Analytics Query are available as “live connection” in your SAP Analytics Cloud system.

Trivia for all #SAP Consultants: Examine all the 12 tiles above and give yourself 1 mark for each tile you could use in a project without needing further explanation. If you score 10 and above you are ready to be part of the implementation project at SAP S/4HANA. If you are score, 12 do comment below – you are super ready for your next project!

In the figure below is a sample representation of a view stack for Sales Order processing. For all the ERP superfans and for whom VBAK, VBAP, MARA, and MAKT are part of their vocabulary after consulting for multiple projects. In the example below, you could see how the tables are wrapped in a BASIC view and then post further processing are available as a Consumption view or Analytical Query. Also, you could see the view available as external API could be used in SAP Cloud platform or any other platform as APIs. For more details on all the available APIs for SAP S/4HANA refer to https://api.sap.com/

Now delving further into the hood – a peek into the amount of logic that is embedded in a sample cube view. As you see below in the complexity matrix the number of database tables, joins, clauses, or cast expressions used for creating the final cube view. Imagine now the logic which has been already predefined in an SAP S/4HANA system and available for you as an API or a view for further development of applications and embedded SAC dashboards.

 

An important point to note here is that in case you would like to build similar logic from the database tables you would need to write this complex logic again. The logic embedded in the ABAP CDS view is the secret sauce for powering all the applications be it embedded analytics, HTAP apps, and all the Fiori apps available across the LOB areas.

Moving away from a single view, if you are interested in all the views by LOBs, the figure below would give a quick snapshot of the views per business area. This is an analysis of the released views by LOB. If you would like to examine all the FIN views, so see we have more than 980+ views which cover all the finance application from General Ledger, Accounts Receivables or Payables or even Asset Accounting. Similarly, you see more than 400+ views across logistics and 391 views for Sales.

A further drill down view per business function within Finance is available. As you see this metadata is built-in SAP Analytics cloud, so it provides the ability to drill down into the released views, then into the LOB views or the specific function within a LOB. Extending the analysis, you could navigate down to the view required for your application. The official app for analysis of the ABAP CDS Views in SAP S/4HANA is the View Browser application which is available as part of the embedded analytics toolset and is available in every SAP S/4HANA system.

A user needs to be assigned the role SAP_BR_ANALYTICS_SPECIALIST and with that, he would have access to all embedded analytics toolset including the View Browser which he could use for analysis of view at an individual level.

Now for the most interesting part, if you are interested in the views available for extraction via ABAP CDS based extraction. Using the CDS based extraction you could extract data from S/4HANA Cloud to be available in any data warehouse or any data lake. This is a topic that deserves a complete blog in itself and I plan to elaborate this in a later blog.

 

This is a summary of the metadata in SAP S/4HANA. I hope you enjoyed the read. For any feedback or questions please post in the comment section and I would get back to you.

Note: This is not official release material of SAP S/4HANA. This was an analysis I had built to analyze the SAP S/4HANA metadata in SAP Analytics Cloud as a POC. The data is from the latest SAP S/4HANA system.

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