Automate Your Updates Even When Deltas Won't Work

  • by Iliya Ruvinsky, Managing Partner, Skywind Consulting, Ltd.
  • February 1, 2005
Keeping the data in your InfoProviders current is critical if you want to give end users reports with any real value. Automation is the key to efficiently performing updates that keeps the data fresh. Here’s a way to automate even the toughest updates using process chains and a little custom code.
Key Concept
Automating transactional and master data loads as well as other jobs in BW 3.x can be streamlined using process chains. They group processes into sequences such that each process in the chain waits for its predecessor to be completed.

You have two basic methods to update data in your InfoProviders. You can delete all the data and reload it again, or add data incrementally via a delta update. Sometimes, however, neither of these methods is adequate. Because of the way the system maintains records, a delta update could result in multiple errors, and starting over from scratch puts such an onerous overhead load on your resources that it’s just not feasible.

Consider the following example. When certain financial activities are performed in R/3, the system stores the results in table ECMCT in the Consolidation ledger. Records are uploaded from there into the Business Consolidation (BSC) InfoCube in BW. If any mistakes are made during the consolidation process, the incorrect data is passed on to BW. Correcting the error in R/3 causes a problem for BW because rather than reverse the value of the mistaken item and bring it to zero in table ECMCT, the source system deletes the bogus record altogether. Updating the record in BW via a delta is not possible because the program no longer “sees” the record in R/3.

As a result, erroneous records are retained in the BCS InfoCube instead of being updated with the correct values. Over time, these types of bad records stack up and it becomes necessary to delete all the data in the InfoCube and reload it again from scratch. Doing a complete reload is at best an inelegant solution and often impossible for certain applications.

Iliya Ruvinsky

Iliya Ruvinsky is a managing partner at Skywind Consulting Ltd., Israel. He is an SAP-certified BW consultant and instructor with more than 12 years of experience working with SAP BW and SAP BusinessObjects. He is an implementation and project management expert, serving for more than eight years as a trusted advisor to a wide range of Israeli enterprises, including in the insurance, energy, sales, and logistics industries. He is a graduate of the University of Tel Aviv, Israel, holding an MBA in information systems analysis.

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