How to Use the SAP DLL Framework to Synchronize Foreign Exchange Rates from ECC to SAP Insurance Analyzer

  • by Yan Zhu, Senior Consultant, MSG Global Solutions, Inc.
  • June 2, 2016
Learn how to develop an end-to-end process to synchronize market data foreign exchange (FX) rates in SAP Insurance Analyzer from SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) using the Data Load Layer (DLL).
Learning Objectives

After reading this article, you will learn:

  • The Data Load Layer (DLL) architecture for market data foreign exchange (FX) rate synchronization from SAP ERP Central Component (ECC)
  • How to leverage preconfigured SAP BW objects and standard BAPIs with minimum customization
  • The step-by-step instructions to develop an automated process
  • Tips and tricks with performance considerations
Key Concept
Data Load Layer (DLL) is the new strategic framework to update market data, such as exchange rates and interest rates, the Source Data Layer (SDL), and the Result Data Layer (RDL), in SAP Insurance Analyzer. DLL is a technology based on SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) that provides standard Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPIs) to export data from a set of SAP BW DataStore objects (DSOs). Though updating each target object in SAP Insurance Analyzer requires a different BAPI, the fundamental architecture is similar. This article is focused on using DLL to update foreign exchange rates.

SAP Insurance Analyzer is a relatively new module for which I found very few available implementation materials. During my recent SAP Insurance Analyzer implementation for a customer, I designed and developed a Data Load Layer (DLL) process to sync up foreign exchange (FX) rates from SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) to SAP Insurance Analyzer. Having encountered numerous confusions and challenges, I decided to share my knowledge and experience from a technical perspective.

Note
The same DLL framework that I describe in this article would also work for SAP Bank Analyzer.

Currency conversion is a key requirement during an accounting implementation. As an accounting subledger, SAP Insurance Analyzer needs to have its own FX rate table updated from the source system ECC, where FX rates are maintained, to allow the local-to-group currency conversion. Because the FX rate table is client dependent, to synchronize FX rates across different SAP clients becomes a challenging task. There is no standard BAPI between the ECC client and SAP Insurance Analyzer client. Instead of creating a custom program, we found that the DLL framework provides preconfigured objects (InfoObjects, DataStore objects [DSOs], and BAPIs) to accomplish this.

What is the DLL framework and how does it fit in the overall architecture? DLL is an SAP BW-based middleware used for loading data from another SAP or non-SAP system into SAP Insurance Analyzer. DLL was originally designed for SAP Bank Analyzer. SAP Insurance Analyzer inherits this technology from SAP Bank Analyzer as its own primary and strategic data provisioning method. DLL provides preconfigured business content to expedite the development.

The core components of DLL include several out-of-the-box DSOs and standard BAPIs. Each DSO maps to a target structure in SAP Insurance Analyzer and provides input to a corresponding BAPI. The BAPI is called inside the SAP BW transformation to create entries in the Change Notification Service (CNS) in SAP Insurance Analyzer. CNS is used to collect data entries and then update the target all at once.

The architecture and data flow to synchronize market data FX rates from ECC to SAP Insurance Analyzer using the DLL framework are illustrated in Figure 1.


Figure 1
End-to-end architecture to synchronize market data FX rates from ECC

There are different ways to load data from TCURR and TCURF tables into SAP BW (Landing DSO in Figure 1). Because SAP Insurance Analyzer has its own exchange rate source tables in ECC (with the prefix /BA1/) and these tables also include additional market-data-specific fields, SAP has provided standard programs on the ECC side to sync up exchange rates and rate factors as well as market data fields for SAP Insurance Analyzer.

For this reason, the approach outlined in this article has followed the best practice. A custom SAP BW extractor is required to extract data from the SAP Insurance Analyzer exchange rate source tables. FX rates flow through the extractor and land in the staging DSO in SAP BW. An enhanced DSO cloned from the landing DSO is created with its own transformation and Data Transfer Process (DTP). Within the transformation, a standard BAPI is called to create change pointer entries in the CNS in SAP Insurance Analyzer. Data Load Function, which is an important step in DLL, is then executed to read new entries from CNS and create a mass update in the market data exchange rate target.

Because this process involves multiple SAP clients, one of the confusing points is in which client each configuration and development is done. I have summarized the configuration, development, and implementation tasks by client in Figure 2. Step-by-step details come next.

Yan Zhu

Yan Zhu is a senior consultant at MSG Global Solutions, Inc. She specializes in SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) and SAP Insurance Analyzer. She is a functional and technical lead with numerous implementation experiences. She is also certified in SAP HANA.

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