Smart Data Access Prevents Data Duplication in SAP BPC

  • by Pravin Datar, Director, SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidations Solution Management
  • July 28, 2015
Learn how to configure SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) 10.1, version for NetWeaver with SAP HANA for planning using any SAP or non-SAP master data. You can use the data in SAP BPC 10.1, version for NetWeaver in real time without any data duplication or replication.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will learn:

  • About the features of the SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) 10.1, version for NetWeaver embedded model
  • How to configure Smart Data Access to connect to an external database
  • How to configure SAP BW to consume external master data in planning applications
Key Concept

The SAP HANA system handles data such as local tables on the database. Using the Smart Data Access tool, you can map data from databases connected via SAP HANA remote sources to SAP BW InfoObjects.

The current version of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC), version for NetWeaver, is 10.1. It became generally available in Q2 2014. With this release, SAP offers two model types that can be deployed to meet your business needs, standard and embedded. Prior to this release, there was only one model type available. The architecture and functionality of the standard model is very similar to the model in BPC 10.0, version for NetWeaver, whereas the embedded model type is more like the modeling paradigm of SAP BW Integrated Planning (BW-IP) and the Planning Applications Kit (PAK). In the embedded model type, the master and transactional data from the entire host Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) environment is accessible by the application.

I focus on the embedded model type since it uses the characteristics and key figures from the EDW environment. A similar approach can be used for standard model as well but that is beyond the scope of this article. The Smart Data Access (SDA) feature of SAP HANA makes it possible to access remote data without having to replicate the data to the SAP HANA database beforehand. Automatic data type conversion makes it possible to map data types from databases connected via SAP HANA SDA to SAP HANA data types.

Note
In this article I am focusing on master data. A similar approach can be adopted for transactional data, which I discuss in my other BI Expert article, “Using SAP BPC 10.1, Version for NetWeaver for Real-Time Integrated Planning Without Any Data Duplication.” To learn how to use SDA for transactional data and for more details about the embedded model type, refer to that article.

I first explain how to connect SAP HANA to the external database using the SDA feature. I then create a virtual table for the physical table in the external database. In the third step I create a calculation view with the master data attributes that you need to bring to BPC on the virtual table created in the earlier step. Finally, I show how to link the calculation view to the characteristic master data. In this way, you can access the master data from external databases in real time in the SAP BW characteristic without duplicating data anywhere.

An Overview of the Features of the BPC 10.1, Version for NetWeaver Embedded Model

Both the standard and embedded models can be used in the SAP Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) web client, EPM web reporting, and mobile reporting in similar ways. Both models make use of business process flows, work status, process chains, and granular transports in similar ways, and both support SAP BW authorizations and customizing using ABAP.

Pravin Datar

Pravin Datar works as director in the Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) Solution Management team at the SAP BusinessObjects Division. He has more than 20 years of business experience that includes management consultancy, ERP project management, and SAP SEM, BPC RIG, and EPM solution management. He holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering and an MBA from University of California.

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