How to Make a Near Real-Time InfoCube

  • by Duncan Foster, Information Strategy Consultant, CSC EMEA Northern Region
  • November 1, 2008
Near real-time data is not possible as standard with InfoCubes in SAP NetWeaver BI 7.0. Only DataStore objects can use real-time data acquisition (RDA). However, InfoCubes provide better performance than DataStore objects. Find out how you can model InfoCubes to facilitate near real-time data.
Key Concept
Real-time data acquisition (RDA) is a new capability that you can use with DataStore objects in SAP NetWeaver BI. It allows you to load data from an SAP or Web service source system on a minute-by-minute basis. With clever modeling you can simulate this capability with InfoCubes and keep your data just as up-to-date.

Think back to when you first started deploying a data warehouse. One of the first things you explained to your users is that their reports/outputs would not be up-to-date. Rather, they would show only the data that had been loaded into the data warehouse over the weekend or as of last night. Can you remember their response? Most people were probably shocked at this limitation. After all, the whole point of their ERP environments is that data would be up-to-date and they would avoid batch processing.

Several years later, data warehouses have become common, and users have grown accustomed to data having a latency of at least one day. But now, real-time data acquisition (RDA) in SAP NetWeaver BI is becoming a reality, so users can eliminate data latency. I will show you why this is useful.

Two scenarios instantly spring to mind. First, up-to-date analytics information can be vital to operational decision-making. Consider customers who are approaching their credit limit. Credit checking might normally be performed in the ERP system. However, some organizations might have more than one ERP environment (e.g., for different geographies), so they want a consolidated credit check across all systems.

Duncan Foster

Duncan Foster is an information strategy consultant with CSC EMEA NR (Ireland, Netherlands, and UK) and is responsible for SAP NetWeaver's advancement. He specializes in helping organizations determine management information and performance management strategies, as well as supplies architectural oversight and project management services. He has worked with SAP since 1999 and SAP NetWeaver BI since 2001, improving the business performance and quality of decision making for thousands of users.

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