Optimize Storage Space with a Delta-Capable DataSource Based on Planning Area

  • by Shreekant W. Shiralkar, Global Head, SAP Analytics CoE, Tata Consultancy
  • May 15, 2007
The data back-up component of Advanced Planning and Optimization 4.1 supports a full extraction of data from the planning area, which is taxing on your storage space. See a step-by-step procedure to develop a delta-capable DataSource from the planning area. It allows you to extract only new or changed data, which takes up less storage space.
Key Concept
In the extraction process, a delta-capable DataSource signifies that each extraction by this DataSource fetches only new or changed records from the source system to a target system. It uses an operational data store object in the data staging area before loading the data to an InfoCube.
Imagine that in Demand Planning (DP) you have sales quantities for three different categories of 100 products that have a monthly planning cycle. The monthly plan includes the demand in quantities by day across six levels: planning version, geography, category, plant, distribution channel, and material for the next month. The plan also includes quantities for the following two months by week. A user corrects the plan once each month, which generates many records.

To avoid overloading your DP system, you need to monitor the planning process. In DP, you can monitor and improve the planning process by tracking and using planning numbers for analysis. To do this, you need to extract planning data from the planning area. It is best to capture planning figures and compare them with actual data — for instance to monitor how actual sales compare to forecasted figures and where the deviation between forecast and actual sales occurs.

In doing so, you must ensure that you optimize the technical parameters of your system, such as storage space in your Business Information Warehouse (BW) system. One way to do this is to refine the way you retrieve data. By using a delta-capable DataSource to collect only new or changed records from your source system, you can avoid taxing your system with a full data extraction each time you need to look at data.

I developed a nine-step process for creating a delta-capable DataSource from the planning area. The process uses an operational data store (ODS) object. While this procedure is designed for an SCM person, basic SAP BW configuration expertise is a prerequisite. Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO) 4.1 includes SAP BW 3.5, so this procedure is specifically applicable for those versions of APO and BW, though the general concept is applicable across versions. This step-by-step process helps those who do not have a deep understanding of the ODS object. However, depending on your level of expertise you may want to enlist a BW expert.

Shreekant W. Shiralkar

Shreekant W. Shiralkar is a senior management professional with experience on leading and managing business functions as well as technology consulting. He has authored best selling books and published many white papers on technology. He also holds patents for innovations. Presently he is global head of the SAP Analytics Centre of Excellence at Tata Consultancy.

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