Need Of Datawarehousing BW HANA

Need ofData warehousing : BW, BW on HANA, BW/4 HANA:

SAP HANA, the buzz word, we started hearing about HANA may be 7 years ago. The objective of this article is to look at the need for Data warehousing (BW, BW on HANA or BW/4 HANA) solution and how it is appropriate in today inoverallSAP Landscape.

Over the last few months, I attended some SAP events and customers are talking about shutting down the BW systems thinking that the S/4 HANA can replace them. What really surprised, is that, the customers with the 12TB Database size wanting to close the SAP BW system.We can just imagine the different sources that it is feeding data to the BW, the customcode & transformations that is done, we strongly believe that it is not always (100%) possible to just to move to S/4 HANA with all these complexities around.  I have worked with extensively large BW systems, the amount of custom code logicbuilt in to the BW systems is extremely huge and I do not think that it is always 100 % possible to just move to S/4 HANA and turn the S/4 HANA switch on to make it work.

If we look at the BW history, as the data grows, customers started complaining about the SAP BW, telling that it is rigid unable to make changes, if we wanted to add a field, it used to take a week or so. Then SAP Introduced, BWA – BW accelerator. Then only Cubes were put on to BWA, this removed some of the aggregation’s compression etc.But it was not yet simplified. Then BW on HANA 7.5 was introduced and later BW/4 emerged.

When S/4 HANA came to the market, most of us are under the assumption that BW is going away and some times we got the mixed message also from many experts were saying the diminishing value of BW and those things can be done in S/4. With S/4 HANA, moving some of the real time operational reporting definitely makes sense. We strongly feel, if customer is using only the SAP ERP / S/4 HANA, meaning that your data is coming from single source, it makes a sense that we do not need BW.But the current today situations are very different. Currentrequirementsare, we need to get data from multiple systems, lots of mergers and acquisitions arehappening, so we need to integrate multiple source systems and then do transformations etc., now separate system outside S/4 is a natural choice.

Few years back, in one of the projects, I tried to create the models in on HANA to simulate the logic of BW, I felt it was difficult to simulate certain features like complex look ups in views, time-dependent master data, or hierarchies with time-dependent nodes, or an inventory data model. I think both products are built for different purpose, I cannot imagine bringing all the data in to S/4 and creating the data warehouse kind of environment is very difficult to achieve and I strongly feel that a separate Datawarehouse system is required. Maybe we can push down all the real time needs or the operational needs to S/4 HANA. I feel the data warehousing need (BW /4 HANA) is still more relevant because of the above-mentioned reasons

SAP SQL Data Warehousing with HANA:SAP SQL Data Warehousing using SAP HANA 2.0  and focusing on native SQL data warehouse development.Here the customers can natively develop an SQL based EDW on HANA. This approach might offer more flexibility in modelling and selection of tools, but, on the other hand results into much more total cost of development. It is really up to the customers which approach to choose – with the SQL based approach, the customer has to take care that all the capabilities needed to operate an EDW. SAP delivers BW as the application driven approach for Data Warehousing, where BW offers all tools necessary to operate and develop an EDW.

Cost perceptive: One of the other reasons to look at HANA from Licensing perspective is sometimes customers feel the licensing cost & implementation costs are so high. Earlier if the Data comes to BW directly and the objects were creating in BW like DSO, Bex etc. and the consumption was through HANA studio so that we can leverage the HANA database efficiently was “Runtime edition for Applications” and some where in between it got changed that with BW/4HANA, customers has bought the enterprise licensewhich is very expensive. Currently I heard it changed back to runtime licensing. These things will change depending on your existing SAP investments and you might get discounts if you have bought other SAP Products. Please check with SAP representative before making any decision. To reduce the HANA DB size, please look for different NLS options from DataVard, PBS software & IBM.


Now there is a clear positioning of Analytics in BW/4HANA i.e. companywide, consolidated Corporate Memory of a Data Warehouse. The current BW/4 HANA is a modern data warehouse without the Cubes, redundant aggregate objects with integration to big data, with the good speed, so the BW/4 HANA is quite natural choice for customers and customers should look at the all the aspects. We still feel the Datawarehouse is integral part of any organization. Reporting wise some customers are not happy with the current SAP Business objects products, they can always look other tool like Tableau, Power BI or even QlikView as other options on top of your BW or BW/4 HANA system. With all the time, business is changing with mergers and acquisitions, this is the time we need the BW/4 HANA or Datawarehouse solutions to have single source of truth.

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