Using Business Content to Get Started with Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud
Customers with new implementations of Data Warehouse Cloud have asked me what the best way is to get started on a project. There are great resources available as an administrator as well as business user but there is also pre-delivered Business Content available to be activated for Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud.
In this blog, I want to share my experience with activating the Sales Analytics for S/4HANA on-premise package as a way to explore an end to end scenario. It uses S/4HANA On premise as a data source using standard CDS views, Data Warehouse Cloud as the main Data Warehouse and has pre-built content in SAP Analytics Cloud to visualize the data.
What are Data Warehouse Cloud Business Content End to End Scenarios?
The main documentation that provides more details on what gets delivered with Business Content and what scenarios are available can be found in the following links:
Data Warehouse Cloud Community Blog: (the list keeps expanding with every new DWC and SAC update so stay up to date).
If you are totally new to Data Warehouse Cloud, one of the best places to find links to learn DWC concepts and setup is the main SAP Data Warehouse Cloud Getting Started Community Page.
Choosing Which Business Content is a good fit
1) What Line of Business or Industry is of interest?
Business Content is divided into specific Lines of Business or Industry categories so the documentation will let you search based on this criteria.
2) What SAP Systems will be used as the data source?
Each Business Content package will support a specific data source. For example, I activated the Business Content package Sales Analytics in my landscape which connects to CDS view data from an SAP S/4HANA On-premise system.
Some of the common data sources supported are as follows: SAP Ariba, SuccessFactors, SAP S/4HANA on-premise, SAP S/4HANA Cloud etc with the options expanding.
3) What can i use if I just want to get started but don’t have a backend system as a datasource
There is Sample and Business Content that use data from CSVs. A good starting point may be to use the Sample FI, SD, Sales Package for Data Warehouse Cloud and SAP Analytics Cloud. See this blog for more information.
Why is Activating Business Content a good way to start?
If a Business Content scenario matches the desired implementation use case, the project can quickly get accelerated. But even if the use case doesn’t completely match but a customer does have the required data sources and data in place, Business Content can also be used as a learning reference for the following concepts in DWC. There are also some packages that provide sample data.
Modeling Best Practices
These best practices are outlined in the following guide: First Guidance: Development Guidelines and Naming Conventions
1) Naming Conventions
There are different layers during the modeling process. Naming conventions help to distinguish the layers so they have unique names.
- Inbound Layer IL – closest to the datasource
- Harmonization Layer HL
- Propagation Layer PL
- Reporting Layer RL – This layer is used to be exposed to reporting tools
For the Sales Analytics for S/4HANA on-premise business content, you can see the different layers distinguished by naming conventions used in the modeling.
Business Content gives examples on how to start with dimension and basic views as the inbound layer that are incorporated into more complex views. The advantage of modeling in smaller pieces is:
i. Basic Views can be reused in multiple complex views
ii. If a Basic View needs to change, you just need to do the change in one place as opposed to multiple models
iii. This includes separating hierarchies and master data into their own entities so that they can be reused as associations.
iv. When to use joins vs associations
Business Content includes enhancements to the original SAP source objects using calculations. It is recommended to re-use calculations in Data Warehouse Cloud instead of individual stories in SAP analytics Cloud or 3rd party reporting tools. Activating Business Content can provide good examples of how calculations can be created.
For example, the formula Incoming Sales Order Net Amount uses a case formula.
Work with Business Content using Remote or Replicated Data or both
Once Business Content is activated, depending on the data sources, a customer can choose to keep data in tables remote (no data is brought into Data Warehouse Cloud) or replicate data from the data source.
For more information, see the following: Replicate Data into SAP Data Warehouse Cloud
Note: The type of replication available is dependent on the data source.
Lessons Learned when activating Business Content
Based on experience with activating a few of the Business Content scenarios, I wanted to share some factors that will help ensure everything goes smoothly. The following prerequisites should be in place.
Read the Documentation thoroughly
Refer to the documentation for the selected package for all critical information: DWC Detailed Business Content Help . This information is also available when you select the package in the content network before activation.
Create the Dedicated Space
All Business Content gets set up in a dedicated space in DWC (manual step). Once activated, objects can be shared with other spaces. The person activating the content must have a user in this space with the correct authorizations. See the Business content documentation for details on authorizations required.
Ensure all prerequisites for connectivity to the data source(s) are in place.
The best link to determine prerequisites such as a DP Agent, Cloud connector etc. is Preparing Connectivity to Connections. The official documentation on connectivity can be found here. Also see the following blog on the different ways SAC can connect to data Data Integration & Data Source Connectivity in SAP Data Warehouse Cloud
Create and Test the Connection to the datasource using exact Name in documentation
Based on the pre-requisite documentation for the package, set up the connection in DWC with the required system details for the source systems. The name must equal what is listed in the documentation. Test the connection by going to the Data Builder to ensure data source objects show up under the source. For example,the documentation for the Sales Package calls for the creation of an On-premise S/4HANA connection named SAP_CONTENT_SAP_S4H
Create Time Dimension Objects in DWC
Before importing any Business Content, Create the Time Dimensions objects in the SAP_CONTENT space by following the documentation. If you want to be able to see proper hierarchy drilldowns in the reporting tools, these time dimension objects will be required.
If using Older versions of a datasource (eg. S/4HANA on-premise), check availability of artifacts
Business Content may have some dependencies on the Data Source Version.
For instance, when I activated the Sales Analytics package, I found out I was missing the CDS Views C_SALESDOCUMENTITEMDEX_1 (CSDSLSDOCITMDX1) and C_BILLINGDOCITEMBASICDEX_1 (CSDBILDOCITMBDX1) because i had a lower version of S/4HANA on premise. I had to apply note SAP Note 3070845 to my S/4HANA on-premise system. Because my system was missing some objects from the data source, specific objects and dependencies were not properly deployed when I activated the business content. Unfortunately, i had to manually activate each object individually as I did not check for the required objects beforehand.
In future roadmap, there will be options to do mass deployment of objects. Currently not all business content documentation has a list of the required source objects so you may not find out until you activate the business content.
A good place to look for undeployed objects is in the Repository Explorer. You can select filter criteria to show all Not Deployed objects based on owner, spaces and types.
To see and navigate to object dependencies:
For tables, go to the Dependent Objects tab.
For Views, you will see the list in the right pane under Dependent Objects
Create Connection to DWC from SAC and Activate the corresponding SAC Content
If you are using SAP Analytics Cloud, you will need to create a connection to Data Warehouse Cloud from SAC called SAPDWC. Details of how to create the connection can be found here. You will also need to activate the Business Content related to the DWC content directly in SAP Analytics Cloud as per the help documentation.
For users consuming the DWC content in SAC, that user needs to exist both in the DWC space and SAC.
Once the DWC and SAC content has been activating and the connection to DWC has been set up in SAC, you should then immediately see results from the data in the SAC Dashboards.
Example of Sales Volume report in SAC using the DWC connection
Hopefully, this blog provides guidance on how Business Content can help you get started with Data Warehouse Cloud. Depending on what package you choose, there may be additional administrative steps so please read the documentation carefully.