Positioning SAP Datasphere, SAP BW Bridge


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe use cases and scenario options

Use Cases of SAP BW Bridge

Consider that the company's data is distributed across various stores internationally, leading to uncoordinated and disaggregated data collection and Analysis.

Following the cloud first strategy, your organization has recently implemented SAP Datasphere and wants to leverage the power of SAP BW bridge to integrate and transfer data between different systems.

As a consultant or data engineer, you are responsible for setting up and configuring the connection between SAP Datasphere and SAP BW bridge.

You want to harmonize and enhance data from different sources.

Following SAP's long-term product strategy, you have the choice between two data warehouse products: SAP Datasphere and SAP BW/4HANA, or a hybrid approach between both these solutions. This is the topic of this learning journey.

In a nutshell, SAP Datasphere is positioned for the following purpose:

  • Data Engineers can connect a variety of data sources.
  • Data Engineers can create virtual models and easily switch on or off physical storage for them.
  • Data Engineers can schedule and monitor data load and data transformation jobs.
  • Data Engineers can provide data products and make them available internally or externally for free or for fee.
  • Business users can create agile models from different sources and even upload their own CSV files.
  • Business users can create currency conversion, restricted and calculated columns based on existing models.
  • Administrators and security administrators can define system resources, roles and authorizations based on isolated areas of modeling.
  • SAP Datasphere leverages the optimal performance of SAP HANA.
  • SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge as an additional tenant leverages the optimal usability of SAP BW/4HANA.
  • As a cloud solution, SAP datasphere is accessible from everywhere for worldwide collaboration.
  • As a cloud solution, SAP datasphere is scalable
  • As a cloud solution, software updates are regularly provided by SAP without major IT involvement.

(In case you don't know SAP Datasphere yet, then check this Learning Journey first: Exploring SAP Datasphere).

Before we have a look at the use cases, make sure that you understand where you come from. Launch the following video to see which different types of users use SAP Datasphere and its special tenant, SAP BW bridge:

What is this "SAP Datapshere, SAP BW bridge"? It is an SAP BW/4HANA offering in the public cloud that is always kept up to date by SAP. Some features of SAP BW/4HANA are not offered for technical reasons. Generally, however, you can profit from the best of two worlds - the well-known modeling features of SAP BW/4HANA on premise and the elasticity of the cloud.

See the following video to describe migration and data integration scenarios.

The idea is that you use SAP BW bridge to generate a common data basis and then, you expose these records to the SAP Datasphere core tenant. Let the business users create their individual views on top of the generic data basis. In SAP Datasphere core tenant, individual additions such as formula, input parameters, and associations to texts and attributes can be created specifically for each reporting topic.

So, you may want to move to SAP Datasphere, SAP BW bridge to profit from these advantages, but does this mean you have to quit working with SAP BW/4HANA? Here is the good news: SAP BW/4HANA is supported until 2040 at least, and SAP provides technologies for hybrid strategies and for transition strategies:

Data Warehousing Strategy of SAP

The image shows three options: A. Convert and migrate existing content to SAP BW bridge and ongoing data acquisition, B. Hybrid scenario with on-premise models consumend as SAP Datasphere remote tables and cloud content in SAP Datasphere, C. SAP Datasphere Greenfield with model import, from SAP S/4HANA to SAP Datasphere, new cloud content, and opitonal SAP BW Brdige models.

You are not forced to follow this paradigm in a short period of time. You can shift to the cloud in your own pace, combining the migration, hybrid and green-field approaches. For example, your path can include the following optional steps:

  • In the first step, you can continue to develop models in SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA and connect them as source in SAP Datasphere (approach B).
  • Additionally, you can start using SAP Datasphere and SAP BW bridge for new topics (as part of approach C). Reuse standard extractors for SAP's on-premise sources and leverage SAP's business content to persist the data, including ABAP logic.

    When you decide to discontinue your on-premise BW, SAP provides a tool support to migrate SAP BW 7.x and SAP BW/4HANA applications one by one to the SAP bridge (approach A).

  • You have two options to transfer models that you have created or migrated in SAP BW bridge to the SAP Datasphere core tenant: manual import and / or model transfer with semantic integration (approach A and C).

Interoperability between the SAP Data Warehouse Approaches

SAP's Data Warehouse approaches are not isolated concepts. In fact, SAP puts a special focus on providing options to integrate them with each other.

Let's have a look at some hybrid scenarios:

The image shows two possible sources, BW objects and SAP S/4HANA datasources and how they are used in SAP Datasphere.

The following hybrid scenarios exist for the consumption of on-premise models in SAP Datasphere:

  1. Consumption of BW data directly in SAP Datasphere core tenant
    1. SAP BW connection to consume InfoProviders, InfoObject characteristics and BW queries (released as InfoProviders) or ABAP dictionary tables
    2. SAP ABAP connection to consume ABAP dictionary tables and views
    3. SAP HANA connection to consume database tables or SAP HANA Calculation Views (including external SAP HANA views generated in SAP BW 7.5 on HANA or SAP BW/4HANA)
  2. Consumption of BW data in SAP BW bridge based on the ODP framework (context ODP_BW).
  3. Consumption of source system data in SAP BW bridge based on the ODP framework (context ODP_SAP, ODP_CDS).
  4. Consumption of SAP BW bridge data in SAP Datasphere core tenant based on a standard connection defined in SAP Datasphere by default.
This image shows the planned reverse hybrid scenario. The central element is SAP Datasphere, core tenant. We plan to enable the SAP datasphere BW BRDIGE connection and the HANA_SDA source system in SAP BW 7.5 to consume the SAP Datasphere models.

The following hybrid scenarios exist for the consumption of SAP Datasphere data in SAP BW solutions:

  1. Consumption of SAP HANA cloud data in SAP Netweaver BW or SAP BW/4HANA using HANA_SDA source systems.
  2. On the roadmap, consumption of SAP Datasphere data in SAP BW bridge is planned.
This image displays Hybrid Scenarios with Model Transfer, from SAP S/4HANA, SAP BW, or SAP BW/4HANA. The following text explains it.

The following federated business semantics integration scenarios are another way to define hybrid scenarios. The data stays in its original source but the complete logic in the master data and transactional data that it re-created with SAP Datasphere native artifacts.

  • A. Using SAP BW Bridge
    1. There are Migration paths (shell, remote migration and combinations) to move SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA data flows into SAP BW bridge, including the related master data and transactional data, if required. This is started from the original SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA system.
    2. Finally, SAP BW Bridge Model Transfer (more than a simple Import of BW objects) enables the semantics integration of BW bridge content into native SAP Datasphere entities. BW Queries, which have been migrated into SAP BW bridge before, are also available for this approach. This is started inside SAP Datasphere core, semantic onboarding.
  • B. SAP BW/4HANA Model Transfer transfers a BW Query and CompositeProvider. A number of native SAP Datasphere entities are generated. The SAP BW/4HANA system only acts as a remote data source but the calculation and consumption is managed by the SAP HANA engines of SAP Datasphere core tenant. This is started inside SAP Datasphere core, semantic onboarding.
  • C. SAP S/4HANA Model Transfer leverages the same concept, but is based on ABAP CDS Views which act as source for the model generation in SAP Datasphere core tenant. This is started inside SAP Datasphere core, semantic onboarding.

All these hybrid approaches are covered in this DSPBW1 training in the following units and lessons.

More details will be provided in this training. For more details, refer to the following sources:

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