Bring Business Rules into BW for More Accurate Reports

  • by Gersh Voldman, Business Intelligence Manager, Inforte Inc.
  • Sushrut Shrotri, Consulting Manager, SAP America
  • March 1, 2005
Businesses often need to use IMG (Implementation Guide) logic configuration in BW. This article describes different ways to do so, focusing on the method that has proven the most efficient based on the authors’ numerous implementations.
Key Concept
IMG is a part of the R/3 transactional SAP system that provides general tools for system customization. Every part of IMG is application specific and each part can store configuration in a different format. This configuration is a formalized representation of business rules that’s applied to R/3 processing. Sometimes you can apply the same rules to BW data to enable up-to-date reporting.

Many business requirements demand business rules in BW. For instance, your business may need to assign a profit center to sales data coming from a non-SAP source system or apply CO-PA derivation rules to sales data. With the technique we describe here, you can bring IMG data to BW and apply IMG business rules to transaction data. You can also use that data as a characteristic in an InfoCube to catch the historical values, or use it as a navigational attribute to see the most up-to-date values.

Some of IMG data is stored in SAP database tables and some is interpreted by ABAP routines. IMG rules allow the use of conditions — less than, not equaling, etc. — but no BW object type can store this kind of information. A generic custom extractor is a tool to bring business rules from R/3 to BW – it can upload SAP database tables/views into BW as well as base extraction on a program. The details of importing information stored in IMG tables are outside the scope of this article. Instead, we will concentrate on extracting the information that’s interpreted by ABAP programs.

We will show you the easiest way to process business rules in BW: by converting those rules into all possible combinations and bring these combinations into BW in the form of master data. If you load this master data every time before transaction data, you can apply the most current business rules to BW transaction data.

There is a crucial step that all extractors must accomplish before importing this kind of data into BW: Locate which function in R/3 interprets the business rule you’re dealing with. There are many ways to do this, and since it isn’t a BW task, you can assign it to somebody with ABAP knowledge. Let’s assume for our example that we already know the function that interprets the rule in question.

Gersh Voldman

Gersh Voldman has more that 15 years of IT experience including more than 10 years in consulting. His main area of interest is BW where he has over five years of experience from more than six successful projects. Gersh is a business intelligence manager at Inforte Inc.

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Sushrut Shrotri

Sushrut Shrotri is a consulting manager for the northeast region with SAP America. He has over six years of experience in BW and SEM and over 10 years of industry and ERP experience. He has successfully managed six BW implementations and two upgrades. Multiple customers and implementation partners have requested Sushrut as a specialist, advisor, and quality analyst.

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