Tips for Enhanced Reporting and Planning Using Local Providers

  • by Pravin Datar, Director, SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidations Solution Management
  • June 22, 2017
The embedded model of SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation 10.1, version for SAP NetWeaver, offers a unique functionality for ad-hoc planning that leverages SAP HANA tables for easy data input and retrieval: local providers. Learn how you can use local providers in SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation 10.1, version for SAP NetWeaver, to perform quick planning.
Learning Objectives

After reading this article, you will know:

  • When to use local providers
  • How to configure local providers
  • The benefits—and limitations—of using local providers
Key Concept
Local providers in SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation 10.1, version for SAP NetWeaver, are tables in SAP HANA that can be used to plan data. These local providers can use characteristics and key figures in SAP Business Warehouse. Ad-hoc planning may require you to quickly load data from your local machine and create planning simulations with data residing on this local machine. Local providers accomplish this while remaining local to your system in your system landscape.

SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation 10.1, version for SAP NetWeaver, introduced the embedded model type that only works with SAP HANA as the database. Though the embedded model is tightly integrated with SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW), you can plan with the embedded model without using any corresponding SAP BW InfoObjects as well. This feature helps with ad-hoc planning simulations where you can experiment with a straw-man model in SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation rather than in offline Excel workbooks and then incorporate the simulations into a business plan, if necessary. All you need to do in this scenario is upload a flat file into SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation and let SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation automatically create the model for you—hence, the term local provider. By using local providers, you can perform ad-hoc planning much more quickly and efficiently. The local providers in this scenario are the SAP HANA tables instead of BW InfoProviders. I discuss, in detail, the use case, architecture, and configuration required to create and use the local providers with SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 10.1, version for SAP NetWeaver.

Planning with Local Providers

A scenario requiring a quick or ad-hoc planning and reporting solution is the perfect use case for planning with local providers in SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation 10.1, version for SAP NetWeaver. I do not recommend this approach for regular corporate planning, budgeting, and forecasting that SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation enables you do with its regular planning functionality. The approach is not recommended because although planning with local providers has many useful features (discussed in the next section), it has two limitations.

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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