Simplify Complicated Extractions with Function Modules

  • by David Eady, Reporting Team Lead, SI Corporation
  • July 1, 2006
While you can handle most custom extraction needs with a generic extractor over a table or view, it’s handy to have another method for a more complicated extraction. This example shows how to create a generic extractor that uses a function module to gather and deliver data to BW.
Key Concept
A generic extractor using a function module has two pieces; the extract structure and the function module. The extract structure defines the layout of the data (the fields and field types) to provide to BW. The function module gathers and delivers the data to BW.

One of the advantages of using BW in conjunction with an R/3 source system is the wealth of standard content available to provide data from R/3 to BW. However, in many circumstances the standard content extractors do not provide all the necessary data. For these situations SAP has provided the tools to create your own custom or generic extractors in R/3.

Generic extractors can have several different sources of data. By far the easiest and most popular is creating an extractor over an existing table or view. A second alternative is to create an extractor over an SAP query. The third and probably least-used alternative is to create a custom extractor that uses a function module to provide data to BW. That is the focus of this article.

A custom extractor that uses a function module can create a much more summarized set of data than what exists in transactional data. You could load all the detailed data into BW and summarize as the data goes into the InfoProvider. However, because BW disk space is at a premium, it is preferable to summarize the data before it leaves R/3. That’s where the function module becomes very helpful. You can build logic into your function module to summarize the transactional data and only return that summarized data to BW.

I will use the venerable SAP-provided flight scheduling sample tables in this illustration. I’ll describe the process for creating a generic extractor that uses a function module to provide data to BW.

David Eady

David Eady is the reporting team lead of the SI Corporation MIS team headquartered in Chattanooga, TN. The reporting team is responsible for all aspects of SAP information delivery. David has been with SI Corporation for six years and has been involved with BW for the last four years. He has a BS degree in industrial engineering from Mercer University and lives with his wife and two daughters in the foothills of northwest Georgia.

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