SAP HANA Live – Real World Example 2 (simplifying Finance with SHAL GR/IR)

Kris Stono

Posted by Kris Stono on February 17, 2014

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It’s been a while since my last blog () on SAP HANA Live (SHAL), and things have moved on quite a bit. This blog will try and highlight another SHAL offering based on a native SHAL application (GRIR Monitor) and complimentary tools which all access the same data.

The previous blog focused purely on reporting via a HANA Live query on Analysis for Office, however, I would like to go a bit further in this blog and explore the HANA offerings for a traditional Finance process.

The examples shown are all from productive usage running on large volumes of data (1.5 billion records across relevant tables) based on HANA as a ‘sidecar’ accelerator, however, SHAL will also work in an integrated scenario where HANA is the primary database for ECC. In the integrated scenario, data replication is no longer a factor and SHAL reporting becomes trylly ‘real-time’.

What I will attempt to show is a case where an existing process that should be common to most of the GL users out there, is not only accelerated, but also transformed through HANA.

The problem statement: gain control of grir open items, ageing, clearing and kpi’s associated with the GRIR maintenance and monitoring process.

MR11 reporting no longer possible as foreground execution times out requiring multiple executions in small subsets of data, this equates to very inefficient use of resources (system and people) as well as additional cost…and no real insight into the underlying problems as the task becomes quarterly instead of daily/weekly.

So how have we addressed this with a standard ‘out of the box’ solution?

  • We activated further SHAL content, focusing on the GRIR monitor which provides a new HTML5 application running directly on HANA.
  • We expand the usage to a SHAL view/query delivered by the GRIR application and,
  • Utilize the ECC Line Item browsers delivered by the Finance Accelerator.

A key point to make here is that the Finance Accelerator opens the door to SHAL applications and views due to the underlying transactional tables (BKPF/BSEG) which are in HANA. Once the finance tables are in place, the rest becomes easy!

So that was the background, but what does it look like in the Real World?

“Something new – 1”

The GRIR Monitor:

Clear overview of all GRIR accounts in a company code is provided with selectable KPI tiles across the top of the screen, with a detailed Reconciliation Monitor as a secondary screen. The Reconciliation Monitor combines several traditional ECC transactions into a single user interface (PO details, open items, PO history, contact information…etc). This simplifies and streamlines the user interaction and removes the need for ECC/SAPGUI access. I will not detail all the functionality here as this is all documented and can be accessed online ( The key factor is that the data is as real-time as your replication mechanism, so if you use a real-time replication tool (i.e.SLT), you should have an instant view of what is happening in the accounts, without the need to refer back to ECC. As mentioned previously, in an integrated scenario where HANA is the primary DB, data replication/SLT would not be a factor.

The monitor screen provides a detailed view across the open items with PO information, goods receipts, invoice receipts, PO history, document details as well as ability to export the detailed info into a .csv file which can be used back in ECC for MR11 clearing…again, all is documented online.

“Something new – 2”

So the HTML5 app is pretty and user friendly, but lets say that a controller still wants the detail in a spreadsheet, and also wants to know the ageing of GRIR open items down to PO level. We now jump into the SHAL views that underpin the GRIR App and use the GRIRClearingMonitorDigestQuery calc view in Analysis for MS Excel:

If there is a further requirement to visualize and share the result of the analysis, we can use the same Query in a visualization tool

“Something Faster”

So let’s step back into ECC and explore the same data as was used in the SHAL examples above. We now also have the ability to perform online analysis of open items (and ‘normal’ items) in ECC through the Finance Accelerator delivered transaction of FBL3H (FBL1H /FBL5H also delivered for AP/AR). We are now able to run open item analysis on GR/IR online, using pretty much any selection available (including text!). All the ALV functions are available, however, the key difference is that we start at an aggregated level and drill our way down to the required level of detail:

So, if we think a little outside the box, we can now have an ‘MR11 like’ view of the items using and capture the information back to MR11 for clearing…no more multiple background jobs just to extract the data! We can run analysis by excluding Reference Transactions MKPF and RMRP and validate if any non GRIR transactions were posted against the clearing account…yes, it does happen!

The beauty of this function is that it is not restricted to GRIR only and does not rely on the secondary index tables (BSAS/BSIS) as the select is from the transaction tables (BKPF/BSEG)…so you can now also view line item details on GL accounts that do not have ‘line item display’ activated!! The example below shows a GL Stock account used in the line item browser, selecting ALL items for 2 periods…view the 25 seconds at your leisure. I would also challenge anyone to retrieve 5 million records, online through standard FBL3N…or any ECC transaction!!!

To conclude (the blog is a little longer that I expected!), we are now in a scenario where:

  • GRIR control is in place
  • Real time analysis
  • No lengthy background jobs
  • No custom reports or data warehouse extracts/transformations
  • ECC system load reduced!
  • KPI’s readily available in a clear user interface, with no bespoke development
  • process change from quarterly task to weekly/daily
  • …and the art of the possible…the users are exploring data in engaging ways that were just not available before

As a parting recommendation, if you are struggling with a business case for further HANA use cases or if you are lacking user buy in then, do explore SAP HANA Live content and the Finance Accelerator for ECC even if just in a DEV/QA system. Then get the user community involved and you will be surprised by the reactions!

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