About two years ago the journey of SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) powered by SAP HANA started at SAP TechEd 2011 in Las Vegas when the ramp-up of the very first SAP NetWeaver application running natively on HANA was announced, making the need for traditional databases to power a BW system obsolete. It’s been quite an incredible journey since then with many customers live and in production by now.
The availability of the next BW release 7.40 SP5 is currently planned for the end of this year. See this link for more information about the timeline and planned availability.
With the next major milestone of BW on HANA not too far away SAP TechEd 2013 was the first time a lot of information about the new release was broadly communicated to customers and partners. In fact all sessions about BW provided by SAP described BW 7.40 features.
With this blog I want to quickly describe some of the key features that were covered at TechEd. If you haven’t had a chance to attend TechEd this year and get your personal copy of the session material just have a look to the attached BW TechEd presentations at the bottom of this blog.
The best way to get an overview of the most important new capabilities with BW 7.40 just have a look at the session SAP BW 7.4 SP5 powered by SAP HANA and further Roadmap (RDP201). The main areas of innovation are
One of the main areas BW already focused on with the 7.30 release is what we call ‘mixed scenarios’. This term describes the integration between BW models and HANA models where for example BW managed data is directly consumed off the HANA database layer outside BW, or the other way around where a HANA model created and managed through HANA Studio is consumed in BW. With BW 7.40 this integration is extended even further and BW takes more and more advantage of native HANA capabilities.
The session Enhanced Support for SAP NetWeaver BW Powered by SAP HANA and Mixed Scenarios (RDP203) goes into the details of this topic and describes a new approach of how HANA models can be generated based on BW models. It also covers a new feature called HANA Analysis Process (HAP) that is completely based on HANA in-memory capabilities, and the new CompositeProvider.
Another key theme that you might have noticed in the overview session is the move of BW towards supporting logical data warehousing. The session Real-Time Data Warehousing with SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse 7.40 (RDP300) dives into that area and outlines best practices, tips and tricks for a successful enterprise data warehouse implementation with BW in regards to real-time aspects for data provisioning and agility aspects during design time. Key learning points of this session will include understanding the available set of functions and capabilities for an agile and real-time data warehouse implementation scenario for BW.
Many of you are probably already familiar with the Layered Scalable Architecture (LSA) as a reference architecture and best practice of how to successfully implement an enterprise data warehouse with BW and it’s BW on HANA specific considerations covered by the LSA++. The lecture A Holistic BI Architecture with SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse and SAP HANA (RDP301) discusses how BW powered by HANA drives an evolution of business intelligence architectures. The main focus of this session is on the new field based modeling capabilities and how this influences the value of the LSA ++ when it is leveraged as a blueprint of a holistic BI architecture.
Handling large, increasing data volumes while keeping systems running efficiently and at low operation costs is a permanent challenge that becomes more and more important for BW customers. Near-line Storage (NLS) management capabilities for BW were introduced already with release 7.0 several years ago. With BW 7.30 a native IQ NLS solution was offered to customers by leveraging Sybase IQ. The next level of innovation between BW on HANA and Sybase IQ is discussed in session Efficiently Managing Data Persistence in an EDW with SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP Sybase IQ (RDP207).
If we move further into the more technical areas of BW one of the first sessions to look into should be Master Class for Optimizing SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse on SAP HANA (RDP303). This lecture describes in detail the BW migration cockpit and the tools it combines to make the migration of an existing BW deployment to the SAP HANA platform a more beautiful experience. In this session, you will find checklists, table consistency check tools and learn how they support a smooth transition to SAP HANA. It also discusses how to find potential ABAP performance issues in custom-coded BW transformation routines. You will find detailed guidelines for semantic and physical partitioning of your BW InfoProviders and corresponding SAP HANA tables and learn about the differences between single node and scale-out systems and how to set them up properly for optimal system performance.
Like every year there is also a session that goes into the details and best practices around upgrade and migration of an existing BW system to a BW powered by SAP HANA system. The session Migration to SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse on SAP HANA – Best Practice Update 2013 (ITM213) describes how much easier the migration process has become thanks to the improved procedure with the database migration option (DMO) where upgrade and migration is executed in one step. Additionally, the improved usage of the post-copy procedures (PCA) and the availability of the “partial migration” option offer a broader variety of the overall migration options.
If you want to find out more about post-copy automation (PCA) which is offered by SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Management (LVM) for BW and connected systems (SAP ERP, SAP CRM) for easier, reliable, and efficient system copies, have a look at session Post-Copy Automation for SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse System Landscapes (ITM204). PCA has proven to be of tremendous value for many migration scenarios.
I want to point out that the mentioned sessions above are just a subset of all BW related sessions that were provided this year at SAP TechEd 2013. Many customers and partners did an excellent job telling their fascinating stories about SAP NetWeaver BW powered by SAP HANA.
In case you haven’t had a chance yet to get your hands on a BW on HANA system I have good news for you. SAP offers now a free trial version for 30 days that will provide you a fully configured BW 7.3 system running on SAP HANA SP06 and a SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 SP07 environment. Those systems will be running in the cloud hosted by AWS and made available to you in less then 20 minutes after signing up. More information you can find via this link.
If you want to find out more about BW on HANA or look for something specific have a look at the BWoH FAQ which is the #1 place to go to find any information related to BW on HANA.
I hope to see you all next year again with even more success stories to share!