SAP Datasphere has two modeling layers tailored for different user groups. The Data Layer is where data engineers create their models with a technical approach. The Business Layer is for business users who create their models using a more semantic approach. This enables business users to work independently from data engineers, while still being able to collaborate and share data with them. The collaboration between business users and data engineers fundamentally changes: Data engineers can focus on the data consolidation and provisioning, while business users can optimize the business models.
Usually, the IT infrastructure on the data layer is more volatile than business user needs. There are multiple reasons for change, such as system updates, software changes, and acquisitions. On the one hand, this leads to the data layer changing permanently and needing adjustments. On the other hand, business definitions remain relatively stable, for example, they do not often change the KPI margin calculation.
To keep the business layer more robust, while continuously modifying the data layer, the business layer is loosely coupled to the data layer. The layers can be mapped and remapped at any time. Without needing to modify the business models themselves, the data models can be upgraded and remapped to the business models.
Here are some key characteristics of separating IT driven modeling from business oriented modeling:
- The separation enables business users to model their business scenario without knowing the underlying data models.
- It provides service modeling for lines of business.
- It hides data complexity through business language and terminology.
- There is one business catalog as the central entry point for business definitions independent of the modeling layer.
- It builds a stable semantic layer for all your consumers.
- When needed, it flexibly changes the underlying data layer (that is, changes in storage technology) without disrupting your consumers.
The SAP Datasphere Business Builder
SAP Datasphere Business Builder is the designated tool for modeling the objects of the business layer. Business users can define business models in the Business Builder, models that are separate from the physical data layer. They create their models top down and map them to the data layer. You can use the business layer to expose business users to the data fields they need while hiding any data fields that might be irrelevant.
SAP Datasphere Business Builder Artifacts
Business users can create different business entities such as Dimensions and Facts Models on top of the data layer. On top of these models, you can create Consumption Models as a basis for data consumption. On top of consumption models, you must define Perspectives that serve as interfaces for using the data in SAP Analytics Cloud. As planned in 2023, the new Analytic Model replaces Consumption Models and Perspectives.