SAP Analytics Cloud is a public Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) that enables access to on-premise and cloud data sources. SAP Analytics Cloud provides live connection (online) and data import (batch) connectivity – two ways of accessing your data located anywhere in your information-system landscape.
Let's look at the differences between live connections and import connections for on-premise sources.
The figure Connection Types illustrates the connection types and data connections environments.
The SAP BTP Connectivity Cloud Connector serves as the link between SAP Analytics Cloud and existing on-premise systems. The SAP BTP Connectivity Cloud Connector combines an easy setup with a clear configuration of the systems that are exposed to SAP Analytics Cloud. In addition, you can control the resources available for the cloud applications in those systems. Thus, you can benefit from your existing assets without exposing the whole internal landscape to SAP Analytics Cloud.
The SAP Analytics Cloud Agent is an on-premise data connectivity component that is used to:
- Import data connections from SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, version for Microsoft Platform (BPC MS).
- Import data connections from SAP Business Warehouse (BW).
- Import data connections from SAP Universes.
- Import data connections from SAP ERP.
- Import data connections to an SQL database.
- Import data from a file server.
Depending on your environment, there are different requirements for establishing both live and import data connections to SAP Analytics Cloud. SAP recommends creating your live data connections using a direct connection type (Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS)). Direct connectivity does not require any additional hardware. It is easy to set up and provides superior performance.
With live connections, you can create models from data sources in on-premise or cloud systems, build stories based on those models, and perform online analysis without storing your data in the cloud. This feature allows SAP Analytics Cloud to be used in scenarios where data cannot be stored into the cloud for security or privacy reasons, or your data already exists on a different cloud system.
Data is imported (copied) to SAP Analytics Cloud, and changes made to the data in the source system do not affect the imported data. Setup of SAP BTP Connectivity Cloud Connector and SAP Analytics Cloud Agent is required when creating an import data connection to system types such as:
- SAP Business Warehouse (BW)
- SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC)
- SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform Universe (UNX)
- SAP ERP
- SQL Database
- SAP SuccessFactors
- SAP Concur
- Salesforce.com (SFDC)
- SAP Fieldglass
- Google Drive
- Google BigQuery
- File server
Customers need to decide which connection type to set up, according to their own needs. As you evaluate which connection type to use, consider the following criteria:
- Functional needs
- Data privacy constraints
- Data volume constraints
It is also important to review the system requirements and technical prerequisites, and to check whether your landscape is compliant with what is supported for your version and connection type.
Project management is also required as maintaining connectivity settings cannot be successful as a one-person task. Settings follow a strict process where different stakeholders must be engaged and must deliver their own expertise in their respective areas of responsibility.