This being the first wiki from me (on 7.3 of course), I am concentrating on some of the new features provided in BW 7.3 and their benefits.
As part of this wiki, I will discuss about the below:
- Hybrid providers
- Graphical Dataflow modeler
- Accelerated data loads
- Semantic partitioning
- Integrated planning front end
- Analytical indexes
There are numerous improvements in release 7.3 – new ways of delivering data, new reports and new BW applications. The changes exist in mainly in the backend, used by the BW Architect and Development teams. SAP has invested the majority of their frontend development effort in Business Objects; so with the exception of small minor enhancements, the BEx frontend is unchanged. A number of the new features rely on a BW Accelerator (BWA), an increasingly important tool for businesses.
1. Hybrid providers
Firstly, let’s talk about the Hybrid providers. With hybrid providers, “BW Consultant’s lives are made easy!!!”
To make data held within a DSO available for reporting, in BI7 there are a number of steps we’ll need to do: Create the DSO, InfoCube, Transformation/DTP, MultiProvider, store in a BWA and connect them all up, and then schedule and monitor load jobs.
A HybridProvider takes a DSO and does it all for you, removing substantial development and maintenance effort. Just load your data into a DSO, create a Hybrid Provider and start reporting. You can even build your HybridProvider on a Realtime Data Acquisition DataSource (RDA), which could potentially provide near real-time reporting from a BWA.
A typical usage scenario could be that you want to extract your PurchaseOrders from R/3 and make available for reporting. Using a HybridProvider, as soon as the data is loaded into a DSO they then become available for reporting with all the benefits of an InfoCube and BWA.
A hybrid Provider within the Administrator Workbench
2. Graphical Dataflow modeler
A graphical way of building a datamodel has been introduced in BW 7.3. The Graphical Dataflow Modeler is a new function within the Administrator Workbench (transaction RSA1).
This provides:* Top-down modeling of a new dataflow* Organization for existing dataflows* Creation of template dataflows using best practice* SAP delivered pre-defined dataflows
Using a drag-and-drop interface, a developer can build a dataflow by selecting either existing objects, or by directly creating new objects from within the modeler. The entire dataflow can be modeled in this way, from the DataSource to the MultiProvider, and even as an OpenHub destination.
Any BW system with multiple complex projects would benefit from the retrospective implementation of dataflows. This tool reduces the effort and complexity associated with the administration and maintenance of a system. For example, a single dataflow could be delivered for all the data used within an application, meaning the system will become easier (and therefore cheaper) to support.
3. Accelerated data loads
Accelerated data loads are now possible!!! - SAP has rewritten underlying code for data loads for optimized performance.
In many places in BW 7.3, the technical coding has been optimized to improve the loading performance. Load times into DSO objects has been reduced by up to 40% when compared to BI7, plus the loading of Master Data has been accelerated.
Improvements in load performance translate into benefits for the business. Data can be made available earlier in the day, reloads are quicker (so cost less) and larger volumes of data can be loaded each and every day.
4. Semantic partitioning – Turned Automatic!!!
With BW 7.3, the BW systems can automatically “Semantically Partition” your InfoProviders. Using a wizard interface, you can create multiple partitions that store your data, handle the mappings between partitions and schedule the loading processes. The need for the manual creation of multiple transformations, DTPs has been removed J
Semantic Partitioning is where we spread similar data across several InfoCubes or DSOs, split according to region or year. This allows increased performance and stability, though comes with at a cost of increased development and maintenance.
A typical scenario would be to Semantically Partition an InfoCube that is used for Global Sales reporting. By keeping to data for each region or year separate, performance is improved, and maintenance and daily loading is easier.
Semantic Partitioning development will provide the business with both quicker and more reliable reporting, at a lower cost. Rather than manually building Semantic Partitioning where critical, you can use it in smaller applications at little extra cost.
Maintaining a semantically partitioned DSO
5. Integrated planning front end
In my view, the current Integrated Planning (IP) frontend in BI7 has always been unsatisfactory. Whilst it does the job, I felt that it is:* Slow to use* Requires MS Internet Explorer
Interestingly, SAP has now migrated the IP frontend to a traditional transaction screen within the SAPGUI. The screens are quicker and easier to use, and have no dependency on either a Portal or Java stack.
I believe business will benefit through lower development and maintenance costs but I find it so much nicer to use, this is reason enough for it to be a favorite change!
6. Analytical indexes
An Analytical Index (AI) is a transient dataset that is stored within the BWA. BEx or BusinessObjects can be used to report on them directly. They are defined and loaded from within the Analysis Process Designer (APD), and can contain the results of a JOIN between a CSV file and query.
The fact that they do not exist in the database and the ease at which they can be defined makes them a very interesting concept for inclusion in BW. Up until now, creation of datasets to address specific requirements has always been a significant exercise and has required transports and loading. So AI’s reduce the development effort needed to produce a fast-performing tool that addresses a specific current requirement.
Visible Benefits of SAP Netweaver BW 7.3:
So, all in all, SAP BW 7.3 looks quite promising with all the below benefits.
- Wizard based system configuration - Supports copying data flows, process chains etc.
- Accelerated data loads - SAP has rewritten underlying code for data loads for optimized performance.
- Performance improvement for BW Accelerator* Automated creation of Semantic Partitioned Objects
- Graphical Data flow modeling and best practice data modeling patterns
- Admin Cockpit integrated into SAP Solution Manager
In my next wiki, I’ll try and cover few of these benefits possibly with How-To’s.
Short quick summary to catch the reader's attention and of course the search engine