Develop a Custom DataSource Using the Generic Extractor

  • by Nathan Genez, Consultant, Serio Consulting
  • May 1, 2003
Most R/3 sites have custom-developed tables for which no standard SAP Business Content DataSource exists. You have to build one yourself using BW's generic extractor. SAP's online documentation does not completely cover the topic, but this article will walk you through the steps.


Several SAP-delivered Business Content items do not completely model all the information in an SAP source system, such as R/3, and consequently do not have their own extractors.1 For instance, project profiles in Project Systems do not have text extractors; neither do business types for vendors. 0DOC_TYPE has a text extractor, but no master data extractor. Despite this, you might still be required to pull this data into BW if your information needs demand it.

Custom development in the SAP source system presents the biggest problem. Here, you have no Business Content DataSource to work with. Almost all R/3 installations have created some custom Z-type tables to meet requirements that the core R/3 system could not satisfy. Obviously, BW provides no Business Content to support an end-to-end data model for material you created yourself.

In both of these situations, you could write a custom ABAP program that pulls the data from the necessary R/3 tables and exports a text file. This file could then be loaded into BW via the flat file interface. However, use this method only as a last resort, because most custom data lies in transparent tables or table views.

An easier way to extract data from these simple tables is to use BW's generic extractor to develop a custom DataSource. This tool has many benefits, such as:

Nathan Genez

Nathan Genez is an SAP FI/CO- and SAP BW-certified consultant who has worked with SAP ERP since 1996, with an emphasis on the capital accounting modules: PS, IM, and FI-AA. A former platinum consultant with SAP America, Inc., he has worked with SAP BW since release 1.2B. He is currently a managing partner at Serio Consulting in Houston, Texas.

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