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Author's profile photo Swapan Saha

SAP Data Services, SAP Information Steward, and SAP Data Intelligence: strategy, maintenance, and future vision of SAP Data Management products

Abstract: In this blog post you’ll find the following information

  1. SAP’s Data Management portfolio direction with respect to SAP Data Services (DS) and SAP Information Steward (IS) in conjunction with SAP Data Intelligence
  2. Product release and support strategy, and links to published documents
  3. Go forward solution for utilizing SAP Data Services and SAP Information Steward assets at existing user bases

Data Management portfolio direction

SAP launched SAP Data Intelligence as a comprehensive data management solution, conceived and built since day one on a cloud-native containerized architecture. As the data orchestration layer of SAP’s Business Technology Platform (BTP), it transforms distributed data sprawls into vital data insights, delivering innovation at scale. It can be consumed both as-a-Service in SAP’s BTP, or BYOL on several hyperscaler and on-premise Kubernetes distributions, enabling complete flexibility of deployment.

While investing heavily to provide cutting-edge cloud-native data management, SAP is also fully committed to supporting hybrid landscapes, enabling enterprises to fully leverage their existing on-premise data sources and data management tools as they transition to the cloud. SAP’s hybrid data management strategy is designed to help existing SAP Data Services and Information Steward customers to leverage the power of SAP Data Intelligence to extend their reach and capabilities.

With our stated hybrid data management strategy, current on-premise DS and  IS customers can in fact leverage all their existing investments and efforts, reusing those time-tested and trusted artifacts and configurations that are being used today in DS and IS, while also extending the reach of their data management to the cloud, with SAP Data Intelligence, a native cloud solution.

The key principles of this strategy are the following:

  • Reuse existing DS and IS setups for all on-prem sources and workloads that are still relevant, for all the time they will still be in use, without requiring any rip and replace nor migration
  • Implement all new cloud hybrid, or big data-oriented workloads on SAP Data Intelligence, seamlessly extending and reusing existing DS and IS workloads.

Please check out the following expert sessions to learn more about this hybrid data management strategy.

Product release and support strategy

For the coming years, SAP’s innovation investments will mostly prioritize SAP Data Intelligence, our flagship cloud-native data management solution. At the same time, and despite the fact that the transition to the cloud is clearly SAP’s strategic direction, it is also clear that such transition will not be black and white and will happen gradually over time, with on-premise landscapes that will still be part of the overall enterprise data landscape for several years.

For this reason, SAP will continue to maintain and innovate also its two main on-premise solutions, DS and IS, as well as upgrading the underlying platform – SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) or Information Platform Services (IPS). The dependency and product support information are shared via the respective product availability matrix (PAM).  The DS/IS PAM document is updated regularly matching the GA version of the software. Maintenance model is published in the respective PAM documents.

  • Our current GA release is DS 4.2 SP 14 Patch x and IS 4.2 SP 14 Patch x, and its end of mainstream maintenance is March 2023. Please refer to page 5 of DS PAM and page 5 of IS PAM for all details concerning active versions, support policy and timeline by release. For more information on support policies please refer to Appendix 3 of the respective PAM documents.
  • DS 4.3 and IS 4.3 has been planned to be released in the end of Q1 2022. With this new release, mainstream maintenance will then be guaranteed until 2027 at least, and priority 1 support until 2029 at least. Please refer to chapter 2.3.1 and 2.3.2 in SAP Maintenance and Support Policy for details.
  • There will be a one-year adoption time available to upgrade from DS 4.2 to DS 4.3 and IS 4.2 to IS 4.3
  • In case of any delay in releasing DS 4.3 and IS 4.3, mainstream maintenance of the current GA version will be extended accordingly, to ensure continuity.

Concerning SAP Data Intelligence, the current release strategy is to issue a new version every quarter for SAP Data Intelligence, cloud edition, and once/twice a year for the BYOL/on-prem edition of the product. Given the frequent releases, the BYOL/on-prem edition of SAP Data Intelligence is normally maintained only for the minimum period of two years since the release to customer date of each major release, but retaining the possibility to extend such maintenance period if required, according to the planned released date of the subsequent version.

For example, for DI 3.x versions, end of mainstream maintenance was initially set to 15.03.2022 (two years since release of DI 3.0), but in April 2021 SAP decided to extend it to 15.03.2023, given that we are not shipping a new major version in 2021. Every minor version is then supported for at least six months after the release of its successor version: i.e. patches for version 3.n are shipped until 6 months after release of version 3.(n+1). Please refer to page 6 of the Data Intelligence on-prem PAM for more details, and to the PAM summary for the details of the current end of mainstream maintenance dates.

Go forward solution

In summary, SAP will release new version(s) of SAP DS and IS to all existing and new on-premise DS and IS customers. DS and IS customers can reuse existing investment with SAP Data Intelligence and to assist customers in migrating to the cloud. SAP customers can receive the necessary support information directly at the published PAM document.

  • For users opting to do Data Integration and Data Governance in cloud with a PaaS method Data Intelligence is the way forward
  • For existing DS/IS on premise users our upcoming solution of Hybrid Data Management is offered to use both data management products and DI as bridged solution, which allows them to retain their current DS/IS contents and manage them from Data Intelligence as cross functional components. This also allows them to increase their ability of cloud-based data integration with additional cloud-based data and application system connectivity, and machine learning capabilities which cannot be provided by on premise data management solutions.
  • SAP Data Intelligence is available both as a public cloud service and as a BYOL/on-prem product. The latter is issued on the same code base and feature scope as the public cloud service, on a fully containerized cloud-native technical architecture. For this reason, Data Intelligence BYOL/on-prem edition is not meant to replace DS/IS for traditional data management workloads, but it rather complements DI cloud edition for hybrid scenarios and big data scenarios.
  • If a user doesn’t want to go either cloud or Hybrid, they can keep using DS/IS with available functionalities within the scope of on-premise data integration and computing.

Useful Links

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      3 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Ginger Gatling
      Ginger Gatling

      Excellent - thank you!

      Author's profile photo Devraj Bardhan
      Devraj Bardhan

      Thanks and on-time for what I need 🙂  Lots of client discussions on future direction and this clear up the air for the future, The world is hybrid. Thank you Swapan Saha Ginger Gatling

      Author's profile photo Sally Newey
      Sally Newey

      This is interesting to note that there is finally some attention to Data Services, but what will be in 4.3 for us to retain it, really need to see what is going to be improved in 4.3 and this isn't there.