SAP NetWeaver 2004s Simplifies Architecture for Transitive Attribute Reporting

  • by Sarah-Jane O'Connell, Senior Developer, The Washington Post
  • May 1, 2007
Reporting based on transitive attributes can be both useful and tricky. In BW 3.5, The Washington Post developed architecture to perform transitive attribute reporting. Upgrading to SAP NetWeaver 2004s considerably simplified the architecture.
Key Concept

An attribute of an attribute is called a transitive attribute. Suppose InfoProvider 0123 contains a particular InfoObject called X. X has a master data attribute called Y. Y, in turn, has its own master data attribute called Z. Reporting key figures from InfoProvider 0123 broken out by attribute Z is the challenge known as transitive attribute reporting.

One method of achieving transitive attribute reporting is the pure back-end transitive attribute process that occurs in table RSDCHA. You can find more information about this at saphelp_nw2004s/helpdata/en/6f/c7553bb1c0b562e10000000a11402f/frameset.htm.

If you were born lucky, your business owners only use standard SAP InfoObjects in their reports. They have no home-grown reporting categories. R/3 delivers all the standard methods necessary to slice the data.

If you are like the rest of us, however, your business has developed its own way of looking at its data. Like that famous line about old dogs and new tricks, convincing your users to change the way they manage their data is probably useless. Hence, you’re in a position in which your company has specific reporting buckets that do not naturally exist in SAP.

My team and I developed an architecture in BW 3.5 for creating and reporting on specific reporting buckets. It focuses specifically on the complexities involved in reporting on transitive attributes. See Figure 1 for an illustration of transitive attributes. Combined with the architecture we developed, SAP NetWeaver 2004s provides a new method of reporting based on transitive attributes.

Sarah-Jane O'Connell

Sarah-Jane O’Connell has been an analytics developer in data warehousing for five years. She is currently a senior developer at The Washington Post. Sarah-Jane graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in computer science and mathematics. She would like to thank JoAnn King who served as a technical consultant on this article.

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