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Author's profile photo Priti Mulchandani

How to setup Smart Insights on Live HANA

In this blog here, I shared 3 reasons of WHY Smart Insights feature in SAP Analytics Cloud is important for you and your day to day analysis.

Now as we have Live HANA data support starting with Wave 20 for fast track and Q4 QRC 2020 release here are the details of how to get the end to end setup established.

Overall Setup

First- You don’t need any additional components or add-ons to get the feature working on top of your live data but an admin will need following configuration steps to opt and enable live HANA data for Smart Insights calculation.


So why do we need Cloud Connector and what is meant by Model Metadata. To understand these questions, lets have a look at architecture diagram and see different components involved for Smart Insights on live data. Architecture%20Diagram%20for%20Smart%20Insights%20on%20Live%20Data

Architecture Diagram for Smart Insights on Live Data

Metadata Generation for Smart Insights –

Smart Insights algorithm that highlights Top 5 Contributors for your input data is based on 2 set of calculations. One that requires metadata information such as Number of Dimensions, Number of Members, Levels of Hierarchical Dimension and then other that computes the rank on the UI or story considering user context/filters/authorizations. Now the first one happens on backend because:

  1. Depending upon data volumes, the metadata query could be time consuming and doing it on front end may hamper user experience.
  2. Metadata contains statistical information about structure of underlying HANA view and hence it does not change frequently. For a SAP Analytics Cloud model, typically it would be only one time activity or only when there are huge structural changes (e.g. new tables/joins in HANA view). So the results of metadata query can be persisted on cloud cache in order to make use of it later on when Smart Insights is triggered in UI.

Use of Cloud Connector for on-premise data connectivity –

Cloud Connector acts as a secure tunnel between your company’s private firewall and public domain of SAP Analytics Cloud. In order to obtain metadata information from on-premise HANA views, SAP Cloud Connector is considered to be most secured and effective reverse proxy.

A new Technical User –

A HANA user with permissions to read metadata information is needed, which a business SSO user configured in SAP Analytics Cloud may not have. The minimum privileges required in HANA for this user are:

  • InA role – sap.bc.ina.service.v2.userRole::INA_USER
  • The SELECT privilege on the _SYS_BIC schema.
  • The SELECT privilege on all dependent objects, such as tables or other dependent modeling

Detailed Steps in SAP Analytics Cloud

Having the above setup done for Technical User in HANA and SAP Cloud Connector pointing to HANA DB, this is what as Administrator user, you will need next to tie everything together in SAP Analytics Cloud:

  1. Via System->Admin->Datasource Configurations, make sure the Live Data Sources flag is switched ON.  Kindly note for Smart Insights, only metadata and not the actual data leaves the network.Data%20source%20Configuration%20in%20SAC
  2. For existing Live HANA connection or when you create a new one, Enable model metadata generation for Smart Insights and provide Cloud Connector and Technical user-password in Advanced Features.Smart%20Insights%20Model%20Metadata%20generation
  3. Now use the ‘Generate model Metadata for Smart Insights’ function from the Connections UI and trigger metadata generation by simply clicking ‘Generate Metadata’ button from the popup. (note metadata generation is automatically triggered for any new models that gets created against live HANA connection for which above setup is done). In case of issues, refer to SAP Note here.Icon%20in%20Connections%20UIGenerate%20model%20Metadata
  4. Test Smart Insights from Story/DiBo having models with live HANA connection setup or ask business users to confirm.Happy%20Ending

Enjoy! And Share any feedback or questions in the comments.

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      Author's profile photo Gurbir Brar
      Gurbir Brar

      Thanks for putting this document together Priti! We started making use of Smart Insights in our landscape right after reading your blog.

      Author's profile photo Priti Mulchandani
      Priti Mulchandani
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Gurbir Brar Glad to hear this. Let us know how it goes and if you need any further help for making use of it.

      Author's profile photo Thomas Quäbicker
      Thomas Quäbicker

      Hello Priti,

      I followed your instructions to set up the customizing, but when I tried to run "Generate model Metadata for Smart Insights", I get the information under status: Metadata is available for: 0 of 2 models. Cannot generate model metadata.

      Do you have any idea, why I can't generate the metadata?

      Kind regards,

      Author's profile photo Priti Mulchandani
      Priti Mulchandani
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Thomas Quäbicker , Can you kindly mention what error messages do you seen in Troubleshooting section in Metadata Generation popup. Most common reasons for not having any models with metadata generation is connection or authorization issue. If you can access Calc Views in HANA and read the data with technical user that you used in configuration then that will be the first success check.  There might be other reasons if the above one does not apply here and see the detailed troubleshooting note here.

      If you still face issue, please feel free to raise support ticket so we can investigate for specific case.

      Author's profile photo Vatan Choudhary
      Vatan Choudhary

      Thanks Priti for such detailed information. We have SAC connected to HANA DBs using proxy, could you please help us with some details if we need cloud connectors to enable smart insights. If yes then how. Thanks in Advance !

      Author's profile photo Priti Mulchandani
      Priti Mulchandani
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Vatan Choudhary

      See the official documentation and pre-requisites here.

      Smart Insights documentation will be under 'Augmented Analytics' -> Smart Insights in main SAC help pages. And then you should be able to navigate to Live HANA setup from main Smart Insights page.

      To your question - Yes SAP Cloud Connector is needed for HANA connection types we support currently (Direct). SAP HANA cloud is not supported at the minute and Tunnel type is also on roadmap. 

      Hopefully that helps. And then if you get specific issue or question further, let us know.


      Author's profile photo Henry Banks
      Henry Banks

      Hi Priti Mulchandani  sorry to bother but please could you point me to the roadmap item where Tunnel connections will be supported for Smart Insights to HANA?  Regards,  H

      Author's profile photo Priti Mulchandani
      Priti Mulchandani
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Henry Banks , there are no immediate roadmap items for support for Tunnel connection but referring to Robert McGrath to confirm on this.

      Author's profile photo Robert McGrath
      Robert McGrath

      Hi Henry Banks

      Priti is correct, currently we do not have planned dates for this.


      Author's profile photo Henry Banks
      Henry Banks

      Hi Priti Mulchandani many thanks for this blog.

      Quick question from my side if i may, does Smart Insights require HANA APL at source?  or is that only for Smart Predict scenario builder?

      Regards, Henry

      Author's profile photo Priti Mulchandani
      Priti Mulchandani
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Henry Banks - No Smart Insights does not need APL or any additional component to be present in HANA. On the other hand Smart Predict does have dependency on APL.

      Author's profile photo Matthias Kaempf
      Matthias Kaempf

      Hi Priti Mulchandani many thanks for this blog.


      My question:

      Is it possible with the approach you descibed to use Smart Insights on a BW/4HANA application. I.E. to create HANA views for BW queries and then to use the HANA views as data source for Smart Insights?

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Swapnil Gujar
      Swapnil Gujar

      Hi Priti Mulchandani , I am trying to use smart features for live connection. Have enabled  the Live Data Sources flag in the Datasource configuration. However I am not able to find the advance feature option while trying to edit the connection. Please advise. Thanks

      Author's profile photo Henry Banks
      Henry Banks

      Hi Swapnil Gujar  what kind of Connection type is it?  and what's the data source ?

      (for example: Live -> HANA  + Connection type: Direct ... will show "advanced options" at the bottom of the connection dialog)

      regards, H

      Author's profile photo Swapnil Gujar
      Swapnil Gujar

      Hey Henry Banks It is  a live data connection with SAP HANA cloud as a data source ? If you could share screenshot of "advance options" that would be nice.

      Author's profile photo Henry Banks
      Henry Banks

      Hi Swapnil Gujar unfortunately there are some restrictions with that combination. i was looking into the help documentations here:

      and there's an excerpt that states: << Smart Insights is supported on acquired and live SAP HANA direct connections only. >>

      alas, when i chose the 'hana cloud' connection type - advanced options disappears. 

      regards, H