Use a New Process Type to Create Dynamic Process Chains

  • by John Kurgan, Independent SAP BI Professional, JK Global Consulting, Inc.
  • January 1, 2008
The SAP NetWeaver BI 7.0 process type Decision Between Multiple Alternatives allows for greater flexibility by closing the gap between SAP NetWeaver BI job scheduling and third-party job schedulers. See how this process type allows you to create more dynamic process chains that reduce manual effort and lead to a more automated data warehouse.
Key Concept

New in SAP NetWeaver BI 7.0, the Decision Between Multiple Alternatives process type allows you to configure a process chain to have specific outcomes when certain conditions are met. SAP NetWeaver BI offers several system variables that you can use to evaluate these conditions such as system date, system time, day of the week, time zone, and application server.

Data warehouses rely on source systems and have their own embedded dependencies. Therefore, a delay in any part of the extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) process can affect the availability of data. To mitigate this risk, most SAP NetWeaver BI implementers leave an ample buffer between the expected completion of data loads and the agreed-upon Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the user community. (You can download an illustration of this time buffer when you have a variable completion window.)

If data volumes are light, or the ETL process completes without delays, you might have plenty of time to perform incremental maintenance and performance tuning. Unfortunately, such situations are unpredictable. Often you must manually evaluate whether to schedule and perform maintenance.

Using the Decision Between Multiple Alternatives process type, which is new in SAP NetWeaver BI 7.0, I’ll show you how to create a dynamic process chain to maximize sporadic windows in your loading process. A simple example of this would be to include InfoCube compression after loading data. With Decision Between Multiple Alternatives, you can make sure that these performance-tuning tasks can scale according to the time allotted and do not jeopardize SLAs. By incorporating this process type in the method I describe, you can extract the most value from your batch windows.

John Kurgan

John Kurgan is an SAP BI consultant at JK Global Consulting, Inc. He has been fortunate enough to work as a consultant for clients in the US, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, and Great Britain. John is an avid Washington, DC, sports fan, where he is from originally.

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