SAP Data Warehouse Cloud [PART I]
SAP Data Warehouse Cloud [PART I]
An intro to SAP Data Warehouse Cloud
In these modern times, data is spread across different areas within the company. The standardization of reporting needs has perished along the way and a company can now be organized in such a way that BI-related tasks don’t have to be centrally managed. The sophistication of the cloud data warehouse market has been transformed at a rapid pace due to digital transformation and the cloud. With it, new expectations for business professionals emerged and SAP released a data warehouse platform to meet these expectations.
“SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is the first enterprise-ready, data warehouse in the cloud that unites all your data sources in one solution, maintaining the security, trust, and semantic richness of your information.”
SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is a platform that puts the data and insights into the hands of business professionals. It starts with the business user in mind and can be the solution for all your company’s business needs. SAP Data warehouse cloud gives more possibilities to the business users while giving central IT the tools to manage it all in a controlled way.
In this blog, we will summarize Data Warehouse Cloud’s main capabilities and walk through the different practices of setting up the development environment within the platform. When a user logs in he will be directed to the home screen which is shown in the picture below. From here users can access all their objects and developments corresponding to their assigned work areas called Spaces.
One of the main capabilities within SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is the Spaces-concept. The use of spaces within SAP Data Warehouse Cloud has two main purposes. First of all, it is used to give business users access to the data required dedicated to their work.
For that reason, spaces are often created based on a company’s internal structure (departmental and or geographical). On the other hand, space gives the IT department the necessary tools to control the computation power and storage that is assigned to a certain space and serves as a starting point for authorizations.
Before users can start developing a Space needs to be created, Spaces can be set up by the administrator on the Space Management page. How they are configured can differ for each company, they can be set up in a way best soothing your company needs. When creating a Space, storage (DiskIn-Memory) needs to be assigned. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud gives more control to the customer as storage can be reallocated at any given time. Users and connections can be added to the Space, a connection can be the link between your systems (e.g. S/4HANA) and the Data Warehouse Cloud platform. It is also possible to use already existing flows from your SAP systems and connect third-party software tools to the platform.
This is where things get interesting, in the Data Builder page business users can start loading data and developing their objects. There are several ways to load and model data in Data Warehouse Cloud.
- New Table: Create your own predefined table
- Import CSV File: Import a local file from your computer, limited to csv files (for now)
- Entity-Relationship Model: Create a model where you can make associations between fields from different sources and “join” the data. It is possible to give more technical fields a business name. These associations and business names help the Space users in a later stage where the data will actually be joined in a Graphical -or SQL view. This model is optional and is used to support the business users, it makes the data more readable.
- SQL View: Model data from different sources like a BW/4HANA table and an imported csv file. This realized by using SQL code.
- Graphical View: Model data from different sources like a BW/4HANA table and an imported csv file. This in a graphical environment using drag and drop principles.
After modeling your objects, you will have to deploy them in Data Warehouse Cloud. If the deployment of your object was successful and the data looks correct, you can move on to the next step.
Business Catalog & Story Builder
The Business Catalog is a page where you can see all your developments. Through this catalog business, users will have a clear image of what is available within a Space. The semantic layer applied in the models creates a more unified perspective and helps users understand what they are working with.
In the Story Builder, you can use the embedded functionalities of SAP Analytics Cloud and start reporting on top of your deployed views.
The Content Network feature can be used to share content across the company’s systems. It is possible to create and manage packages. You can find sample templates, stories, or boardroom presentations to work with. The user can also add Business Content (Industry and line of business content created by SAP.
DWC ‘Integrated Cohesion’
SAP has put the emphasis on the flexibility and openness within SAP Data Warehouse Cloud of data integration and data modeling. Powered by SAP HANA Cloud, the integration of data from varied sources has been simplified. It is easy to combine data from different on-premise, cloud, and even hybrid environments, and because Data Warehouse Cloud permits the use of 3rd party data extraction tools it gives you the possibility to extract your data from any other source.
The pre-integration of SAP Analytics Cloud and all its capabilities gives their users the advantage of being able to access their real-time data for reporting in the blink of an eye. The predictive, forecasting, and planning capabilities in SAP Analytics Cloud are therefore also available for use and will certainly give an added value to the business’s insights.
At Cubis, we have been working with SAP Data Warehouse Cloud and we would like to discuss different topics in a series of blogs. This first part was to give a short overview and introduction to SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. In the next blogs, we will tackle in more detail the spaces and how to best use & configure them.
Blog by Youri Van Heester and Jeroen Coppens