UDConnect in SAP BW 3.5 Enhances Native Data Acquisition

  • by Glen Leslie, BI Product Manager, SAP Labs
  • Guido Schroeder, Director of Development, SAP Labs
  • June 1, 2004
The SAP BW ETL services layer in BW 3.5 features UDConnect, which allows users to extract data from a variety of sources. The authors introduce this new functionality and examine its advantages. They also provide an example of a common use scenario.


Since the launch of SAP BW, users have demanded the ability to incorporate data from various SAP and non-SAP systems into SAP BW systems. SAP has consistently met their demand and has improved SAP BW’s ability to natively acquire data and metadata from disparate data sources.

SAP BW’s data acquisition capacity has grown to include a file interface for ASCII and CSV files, a SOAP interface for XML data, and the Staging Business Application Programming Interface (Staging BAPI), which several third-party vendors such as Ascential Software have adopted for ETL tools. In addition, SAP BW supports access to remote Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) tables via DBConnect functionality.

With the release of SAP BW 3.5 later this year, SAP adds yet another extraction interface to the SAP BW ETL services layer — Universal Data Connect (UDConnect). Figure 1 illustrates how UDConnect provides additional flexibility and extends SAP BW 3.5 native extraction capabilities beyond database platforms such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL, DB2/Informix, and MaxDB, which are all supported by the SAP Web Application Server (Web AS). With UDConnect, users can access data from a wide variety of sources including RDBMSs, which support the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) Data Access API, as well as OLAP servers to support the OLE DB for OLAP (ODBO) and XML for Analysis (XMLA).

Glen Leslie

Glen Leslie is a product manager for SAP’s Business Intelligence solution. Originally a data warehousing consultant, Glen has been working with SAP BW since the 1.2B release in a variety of environments.

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Guido Schroeder

Guido Schroeder is the Director of Development at SAP Labs where he is leading the BI Advanced Technologies group. Before joining SAP Labs, he worked with the BW Regional Implementation Group in the US at SAP America, and began with the core BW development team at SAP AG in 1997.

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