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Author's profile photo Frank Riesner

SAP Cloud Integration into SAP BW/4HANA

Dear BW enthusiasts,
integration has always been a hot topic in SAP environments. And now as business applications move to the cloud, I daresay the challenge will not vanish in future…

This blog post provides recommendations for integrating SAP´s cloud solutions into SAP BW/4HANA. In general, most approaches also apply to SAP BW 7.5 on SAP HANA; however, in this case you will have to leverage the classic source systems Web Service, Data Services or maybe External System instead of the ADSO write interface because this one is available from SAP BW/4HANA 2.0 only.

The below recommendations refer to common best practices which suit most conditions on the market. There are multiple additional options not listed here, and for some requirements and conditions other approaches might be more advantageous, of course. Hence, consider these integration patterns not as single point of truth! They are rather a solid foundation for an evaluation of the best individual integration approach for your organization.

Traditionally, external data is connected to SAP BW/4HANA through so-called DataSources which refer to a BW Source System of type Operational Data Provisioning (ODP), SAP HANA (Smart Data Access SDA / Smart Data Integration SDI) or simple flat files. Then Process Chains are used to pull the data into the BW applications.

On the other hand, there is the write interface which provides an option to push external data into the inbound queue of ADSOs. SAP offers several integration tools which can leverage this interface:

  1. SAP Data Services (DS), starting from release 4.2 SP12
  2. SAP Data Intelligence (DI), starting from release 2010 and BW/4HANA 2.0 SP07, more details here
  3. SAP Process Integration (PI), starting from release 7.5 SP15
  4. SAP Integration Suite as part of the Business Technology Platform (BTP), formerly also known as SAP Cloud Platform Integration (CPI)

Let´s not forget to mention, that this write interface is also open to 3rd party tools.

The remainder of this blog post provides details for specific SAP Cloud sources.

  1. SAP S/4HANA Cloud (full-fledged ERP) and SAP Marketing Cloud (CX/CRM)
    Here the extraction capability relies on ABAP CDS Views which serve as new type of “extractors” with proprietary delta capabilities. There are roughly three core activities required to prepare this approach:
    a) Setup a communication arrangement between both systems
    b) Create a new BW/4HANA ODP_CDS Source System
    c) Transfer the data from Cloud to the target BW/4HANA
  1. SAP Service Cloud and SAP Sales Cloud (CX/CRM)
    Formerly combined and known as “Cloud for Customer”, both sources leverage ODP in the context of ODP_BYD (SAP Business ByDesign) to provision data to SAP BW/4HANA. The communication is managed via HTTP/SOAP (Web Service). This ODP_BYD context builds on so-called Analysis Views as data sources in the cloud applications. The major customizing steps are similar to ODP_CDS in the previous paragraph; see more details in this blog post and the SAP help. Consider, that delta capabilities are not available currently (SAP note 2662674) and other hints provided in SAP note 2689285 and 2437389.
  1. SAP SuccessFactors (HCM)
    Here the recommended connection is based on SAP HANA SDI and its OData adapter. For this setup, SAP SuccessFactors provides an OData API called FormHeader. This API requires a HTTPS connection and therefore the client certificates need to be downloaded and then imported into the SAP HANA platform of the SAP BW/4HANA system.
    SAP even delivers SAP BW/4HANA standard content which is a great help to explore the reporting options with little effort. The following configuration activities are required (see also SAP note 2776343 – Connectivity to SuccessFactors for BW/4HANA Content):
    a) Export client certificates from the SAP SuccessFactors instance
    b) Import these certificates into SAP HANA database of SAP BW/4HANA
    c) Setup the SAP HANA SDI connection and create a RemoteSource
    d) Create Source System of type HANA_SDA in SAP BW/4HANA
    e) Create DataSources in SAP BW/4HANA
    f) Activate Content objects and adjust them as required in SAP BW/4HANA
  1. SAP Fieldglass (Vendor Relationship Management)
    SAP Fieldglass integration relies on CDI. CDI? Wait a second – here it is worth to spend more time actually:
    – CDI stands for Cloud Data Integration (yes another acronym..)
    – CDI is a new standard API from SAP
    – CDI relies on the OData V4 protocol
    – CDI is meant to get the default for consuming SAP Cloud Applications’ data in future
    – Currently, the SAP HANA SDI CDI Adapter and SAP Data Intelligence are able to connect to this API and provision the data to a target system like SAP BW/4HANA.
    As SAP Fieldglass has implemented this new standard API already, it is recommended to leverage it either via SDI or Data Intelligence (DI) to extract the data and load it to SAP BW/4HANA. For SAP BW 7.x only SDI is available, because DI requires SAP BW/4HANA 2.0 SP07 at least.
  1. SAP Ariba (Procurement)
    Here an Analytical Reporting API is available for extraction purposes. Currently, SAP Data Services and SAP Data Intelligence are the tools of choice to call this API, extract the requested data, and to send it to SAP BW/4HANA (based on write interface-enabled ADSO) or to SAP BW (Data Services Source System). The API can be used synchronously to retrieve smaller data sets, or but it is recommended to leverage it in asynchronous manner to retrieve larger amount of data. For smaller amounts of data SAP BTP Integration Suite might work as well.
  1. SAP Commerce Cloud (CX/CRM)
    SAP Commerce Cloud provides a sophisticated Integration API based on ODATA Services which provides the interface for a large variety of integration tools. While the default integration for operational scenarios with SAP S/4HANA are based on the SAP BTP Integration Suite, the mass data DWH extraction scenario might prefer SAP Data Services or SAP Data Intelligence as integration approaches. However, it really depends on the customer environment and what options are available already.
  1. SAP Concur (Travel Expenses)
    SAP Concur provides a so-called Intelligence Extract which provides travel expense data in a flat file format only, other data (e.g. travel data) is not available yet. These flat files can be loaded into SAP BW/4HANA via the Flat File source system, but of course all other integration tools listed in my blog post are also able to pick up and provision them to SAP BW/4HANA.
  2. For SAP Cloud for Real Estate (Location Management) there is a dedicated API on the SAP BTP. For all details please refer to this blog post: How To Connect SAP Cloud for Real Estate to SAP BW/4HANA by my colleague Jens.


Outlook
As you saw above, a new SAP standard API is emerging called Cloud Data Integration (CDI). Additional SAP cloud solutions are on the way of adopting this API to become CDI providers for SAP BW/4HANA or SAP Data Warehouse Cloud in future, but there is no confirmed roadmap available at this point of time…
I will keep you posted about updates – stay tuned!

Big thanks to Stefan, Andreas, Michael, Johanna, Julio for your inputs to this challenging topic. Also thanks to Kalyan, Manos, Reto and Andrew for the fruitful discussions.

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      31 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Deniz Osoy
      Deniz Osoy

      Hi Frank, great blog! Very innovative, and future-oriented. I am sure, this will help the whole BW community. Thank you!

      Author's profile photo Emmanouil Kouvaritakis
      Emmanouil Kouvaritakis

      Great Blog!!!

      Author's profile photo Paul Vatter
      Paul Vatter

      hi Frank

      thank you very much, a very comprehensive blog which achieves a great overview! It will be once again a reference site for me to support the discussions within my customer base... 🙂

      I would like to post some questions which I faced recently in the context of SAP cloud integration. Maybe you or someone else can add some insights, remarks or other experience.

      • We successfully implemented the SAP Service Cloud connection as mentioned above at a customer and were wondering about the missing delta capability (as mentioned also in 2662674). We used a "pseudo-delta" for datasources where it was possible, do you or someone of the other readers know if there is a roadmap item or at least a customer influence that this missing feature is solved somehow?
      • Also we had a discussion about the connection of SAP Open Connectors to BW/4. We see the option to connect it over CPI-DS and then push the data towards a write-interface ADSO. Is there any option to connect it and use a pull-mechanism (DTP) from BW/4 to skip the additional setup of CPI-DS just for this use-case?
      • We have recently successfully implemented the connection from SAP IBP to DWC based on the generic OData connection and used IBP OData Service for this requirement. Now I am wondering what would be the best approach for BW/4...

      Thanks again and best regards

      Paul

      Author's profile photo Frank Riesner
      Frank Riesner
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Paul,

      regarding 1) As the note 2662674 mentions, this is not available right now. But with a clear customer requirement it should be possible to discuss this matter with the SAP product mgmt.

      regarding 2) CPI-DS or BTP Integration Suite can leverage those open connectors. Then the write-interface for ADSOs is the proper interface to push the data to BW/4HANA.

      regarding 3) If OData is the API, then SDI could provide a standard PULL interface to SAP BW based on a remote connection. Of course, all other mentioned middleware tools (DS, DI, PI or BTP) should also be able to leverage this interface and PUSH into a ADSO.

      Have a nice Friday!
      Frank

      Author's profile photo Sreedhar polakampalli
      Sreedhar polakampalli

      Hi Frank,

      Good blog.

      Could  you please let me know if you have any idea how to we established the connect from Ariba  to BW (Ariba->CPI->BW system). We need to extract the data.

       

      Thanks,

      Regards,

      Sreedhar

      Author's profile photo Frank Riesner
      Frank Riesner
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Sreedhar,
      please check this blog for further details.
      https://blogs.sap.com/2021/02/05/replicate-sap-ariba-operational-data-to-sap-bw-4hana-2.0/

      Regards
      Frank

       

       

      Author's profile photo Dirk Umbach
      Dirk Umbach

      Hi Frank,

      for the sales cloud scenario this note is also intereting

      2437389 - Description missing for code list fields in BW - SAP ONE Support Launchpad

      It describes that there is no easy way to get the codelist texts. The proposal is to enter them manually in BW.

      Best regards, Dirk

      Author's profile photo Frank Riesner
      Frank Riesner
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you Dirk für this valuable input.
      I have added this note to my blog above.
      Regards Frank

      Author's profile photo Paul Vatter
      Paul Vatter

      hi Frank

      my customer and me have recently implemented the following scenario for the codelist texts:

      • SAP sales cloud is exposing the master data as an OData Service (see SAP help - whyever this one is still called Cloud for Customer - but this is a different story ;)).
      • We then activated the HANA DP server and created the SDI OData Adapter according to 2750585
      • Then we have created a HANA remote source for the OData Service Steps 1 & 2 of this blog
      • and lastly we created standard BW datasources & transformations/DTPs to load the texts into the InfoObjects

      According to my knowledge this approach is also valid for the BW/4 license including HANA REAB and not only HANA Full use.

      And so far it is working really well and in my opinion way more sustainable than manually maintaining text. Maybe you could contact the note author?

      Thanks & best regards

      Paul

      Author's profile photo Frank Riesner
      Frank Riesner
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Paul,
      I agree that this is more fancy then the manual approach. The HANA Remote Connection based on SDI OData Adapter integrated into a BW source system is fine from a commercial perspective as well. I will inform the note processor.
      Take care - Frank

      Author's profile photo Regys Mene
      Regys Mene

      Hi Paul,

      thanks for the detailed description of your undertaken steps. Very helpful. Two question though, regarding your steps: So you had to connect SAP Sales Cloud with BW on HANA 7.5 and you used the HANA SDI Odata Adapter instead of ODP BYD for the connection right? Would this approach work also for connecting SAP Service Cloud to BW on HANA 7.5? Is it extra license needed for HANA DP server, or thats included in the HANA REAB?

      Thank you in advance for your time!

      Regards,

      Regys

      Author's profile photo Paul Vatter
      Paul Vatter

      Hi Regys

      the HANA SDI OData Adapter was implemented at a customer having BW/4 HANA, actually just for master data and text loads. The transactional data was continued with the ODB BYD source system.

      As far as I know this approach would technically also work for BW 7.5. The license is included for BW/4 HANA with HANA REAB, but not in HANA REB. Unfortunately I have never received an answer if it is also included in the combinations with BW 7.5 - so as Frank mentioned - please clarify this with your SAP sales representative before implementation!

      Best regards

      Paul

      Author's profile photo Regys Mene
      Regys Mene

      Thank you for your reply!

      Author's profile photo Thirukumaran Rajendran
      Thirukumaran Rajendran

      Hi,

       

      Thanks for the blog, do you have any blogs for Fieldglass to BW Integration and setup.

       

      Regards,

      Thiru

      Author's profile photo Frank Riesner
      Frank Riesner
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Thiru,
      it is actually a quite rare scenario to connect SAP Fieldglass directly with SAP BW, because normally there is a deep integration of SAP Fieldglass with SAP ERP or SAP S/4HANA by default. This means, the Fieldglass data is available in these SAP sources which are usually popular sources of SAP BW.
      If a direct connection is required anyway, then SDI or SAP Data Intelligence are the recommended options. The first is a remote connection in SAP HANA which points to a new BW source system of type "SAP HANA", the second can be integrated to the SAP BW/4HANA write interface of ADSOs as described here. If your release is NetWeaver 7.x, then only SAP SDI is at your plate, as the ADSO write interface comes only with SAP BW/4HANA 2.0 .

      Hope this helps, stay well! Frank

      Author's profile photo Thirukumaran Rajendran
      Thirukumaran Rajendran

      Thanks a lot for your reply.

      Author's profile photo Regys Mene
      Regys Mene

      Hello Frank,

      thank you for the great blog. Just a small question. We are having a BW 7.5 on HANA (not BW/4HANA) and want to connect to the CPI. I understood that a direct connection at the BW-Application Server (because of the missing Write-Enabled ADSO) is not possible with BW 7.5 on HANA, however is it possible to directly connect CPI to the HANA of our BW7.5-System? What about the Event-Based Messages, is it possible to send them from CPI to the HANA of our BW 7.5-System?

      Thank you in advance for your time!

      Regards,

      Regys

      Author's profile photo Frank Riesner
      Frank Riesner
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Regys,
      I am sure you can connect SAP Cloud Integration either to BW via the Web Service source system or to the SAP HANA platform of SAP BW. For the second option however, make sure the license conditions apply (Runtime vs Full Use HANA).

      Please refer to the SAP help of SAP Cloud Integration - Connecting a Customer System to SAP Cloud Integration.

      KR Frank

      Author's profile photo Regys Mene
      Regys Mene

      Hi Frank,

      thank you very much for your time and reply. With the license conditions, you mean that a direct connection from CPI to HANA of BW is not included in the "HANA Runtime" license and we would need a full use HANA license?

      Thanks and best regards,

      Regys

      Author's profile photo Frank Riesner
      Frank Riesner
      Blog Post Author

      Yes Regys - this is what I mean. Please clarify this with your SAP sales representative before implementation.

      KR Frank

      Author's profile photo Denny Otten
      Denny Otten

      Hi Frank!

      I need to know what is your recommendation if I want to integrate

      a) SAP BW with SAP ERP
      b) SAP BW with SAP S/4HANA (on premsie)

      Would you recommend SAP BTP Integration Suite, SAP DI or anything else (from the "other SAP Sources" block?

      Best regards,
      Denny

      Author's profile photo Frank Riesner
      Frank Riesner
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Denny,
      my blog post is about integration of cloud sources. However, your scenario is a classic integration of SAP ERP or S/4HANA on premise to SAP BW.

      This case is very straight forward: Best practice here is a traditional RFC connection based on the ODP framework.

      SAP BW there are standard source system types available:

      1. SAP ERP: Use ODP_SAP for the ABAP FM based extractors
      2. SAP S/4HANA: same as SAP ERP with some restrictions + ODP_CDS for the new extractors based on ABAP CDS Views 

      Best regards, Frank

      Author's profile photo Tanapan Green
      Tanapan Green

      Hello Frank,

      Such a great blog you wrote. I just have a question about SuccessFactors integration with BW/4HANA. I was wondering if once I connect SuccessFactors to BW/4HANA through SAP SDI, will I be able to get data of any modules in SuccessFactors? I went through SuccessFactors API document and it said that with SAP SuccessFactors provides an OData API called FormHeader, I can only get Form data. Therefore, I am not sure if once the connection is set up, will I be able to bring in any SuccessFactors of interest to BW/4HANA? I hope you can shed some light on this. Thank you in advance.

      Regards,

      Tanapan

      Author's profile photo Frank Riesner
      Frank Riesner
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Tanapan,
      I am not sure all SF data is available for BW/4HANA extraction via oData, as this really depends on the API implementation within SF. It for sure is available for the areas for which we have SAP content (Master data, Workforce Management, Performance Management). Best you check when you have a connection established whether your requirements are covered.

      KR Frank

      Author's profile photo Tanapan Green
      Tanapan Green

      Hello Frank,

      Thank you for your reply. I have a further question here. If by any chance after the connection is set up and I cannot get data I need into BW/4HANA. What would you suggest doing in this case? One of the areas of interest would be LMS. Will that be possible to retrieve through oData connection?

      Thank you,

      Tanapan

      Author's profile photo Roland Kramer
      Roland Kramer

      Hello Tanapan Green

      as stated by Frank Riesner, BC for Success Factor is available with

      BW4CONT 200 0010 SAPK-20010INBW4CONT SAP BW4 HANA Content Addon

      Best Regards Roland

      Author's profile photo Tanapan Green
      Tanapan Green

      Thank you, Roland Kramer

      Author's profile photo Adrian Egger
      Adrian Egger

      Thank you Frank, thats really helpfull.

      We are on the Way to 2021!

      Kind regards,

       

      Adrian

      Author's profile photo Roland Kramer
      Roland Kramer

      SAP BW/4 HANA 2021 – 3rd Generation in Sync with SAP S/4

      Author's profile photo Jassim Parkar
      Jassim Parkar

      Thanks Frank. This blog post is very helpful. I have a couple of questions as I am trying to figure out the best options -

       

      We have 2 BW systems  (BW 7.5 on HANA and BW/4HANA 2.0) and we would like to connect to 2 cloud solutions

      1. Success Factors
      2. ServiceNow.

      What is the best approach to extract from the cloud solutions? As far as I see  - is it SDA/SDI for SuccessFactors( trying it but facing some challenges). Any input on Servicenow to BW?

       

      Thanks in advance.

       

      Author's profile photo Frank Riesner
      Frank Riesner
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Parkar,
      thanks for you comment.
      First of all it would be best to extract the data only once, let´s say to BW/4HANA and consume it in the other BW-system virtually only.
      For SuccessFactors there is standard content and a standard oData based connection as described in the blog above.

      For ServiceNow it seems that SAP DataServices  or SAP Cloud Integration (BTP) are providing suitable interfaces. There is even a blog about integrating ServiceNow into SuccessFactors which would result into only one interface towards BW, sounds tempting, but probably difficult to realize from organizational perspective.

      Hope this helps
      KR Frank