Monday, November 11, 2019

miniSAP - SAP NetWeaver 7.52 SP04, installation

It is being quite a tradition for last few years that SAP published on yearly basis an ABAP development environment for developers. Last year it was SAP NetWeaver 7.52 SP01. This year it is SAP NetWeaver 7.52 SP04. I normally call these versions as “miniSAP” even thou this term is not used anymore by SAP. Due to some legal restrictions (SAP can’t distribute installed software) the ABAP developer edition comes as a set of installation files. This time it is 11 files most of them 1,4GB of volume each. These files as usual can be downloaded from SAP Community Trials and Downloads site. To download it just search for “7.52 SP04” like via this link. A part of the install file an OS is needed. Here normally I go with open version of SUSE Linux called openSUSE currently in version 15.1 64 bit. A plenty of other Linux OS are supported see below official installation guide. As VM environment I used VirtualBox.

Again within this release of the ABAP developer edition an installation procedure is very well described in blog by Julie Plummer -> see below the first link under more information. Thus, I’m not providing the installation step by step. I just focus on one issue that I faced.


Notes related to VirtualBox:

1 No Menu Devices shown in the VM window: in case a Menu Devices of VirtualBox is not shown (needed to install Guest Additions): just exit from scale mode (Right Ctrl + C). Then 'Devices' menu will appear.

2 Installation of VirtualBox Guest Additions into the VM: add new optical drive to the VM, point it to e.g. "c:\Program Files\VirtualBox\VBoxGuestAdditions.iso"
then run command in VM: /run/media//VBox_FAs_5.2.8/autorun.sh
to get the VirtualBox Guest Additions installed in your VM. I needed it because I took a slice different approach while unpacking the installation file. In the installation guide (see below the first link under more information) the files are copied to your VM and un-rar-ed there. I unpacked it in my host OS and via the VirtualBox Guest Additions’s Shared Folders I made them available in my VM as well.

3 Elevation of admin rights that are needed to run the install: elevate user admin rights: use command "sudo su" or "sudo -i"


Notes to the installation itself:
Once installation runs as started via command: “./install.sh” following message related to license can be observed:




My install was aborted only once and that was due to following error I faced:

ERROR      2019-11-11 01:40:34.324 (root/sapinst) (startInstallation) [iaxxbjsmod.cpp:83] id=modlib.jslib.caughtException errno=MUT-03025
Caught ESAPinstException in module call: Assertion failed: Unable to verify database access for login SAPSR3. Refer to trace file sapinst_dev.log for further information.

This was pretty much same error message I got last year while installing SAP NetWeaver 7.52 SP01. So I thought it has something to do with expired Sybase DB license that contains the file located at /sybase/NPL/SYSAM02_0/licenses/SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic. However, in my case the file was correctly pointing to March 31st 2021 means it wasn’t expired. In attempt to fix this issue I tried to follow up a comment located in SDN thread. Basically the trick was in the setup of /etc/hosts file. Normally the file format shall be like following:

10.0.2.15 vhcalnplci vhcalnplci.dummy.nodomain

But I put it as opposite:

10.0.2.15 vhcalnplci.dummy.nodomain vhcalnplci

After restarting the linux server (the VM) the installation shall be kicked off with OS command:
install.sh –s

This means the parameter -s suppresses the hostname check. Employing a different format of /etc/hosts the installation worked like a charm.


Enjoy the 7.52 SP04 miniSAP!

More information:

Sunday, November 3, 2019

SAP TechEd 2019 Barcelona my recap

Note: The blog is cross posted on my blog at SCN.

I had a privilege to attend SAP TechEd this year again. It was possible through SAP TechEd 2019 Tutorial Mission contest.

This year due to my workload within project work, I almost forgot about the contest and I finished it very late in August. I think it was even on very last day for the contest's mission - a few hours before deadline. Then I forgot about it again. I thought that I was lucky enough on last year so there is no chance for me to make it happen this year too. Sometime in mid of September a tweets from people who succeeded with the contents started to pop up. I again assumed the TechEd would not be for me this year. How big my surprise was when an email from Developers@sap.com showed up in my mailbox. That was approximately 2 weeks before the event. Afterwards it went very quickly, booking flight ticket and hotel in Barcelona, building an agenda...

So I was there, attending the SAP TechEd again. I flown in a night before it started to be fresh for a conference. From last year, I knew what to pack to take with me. This time there was a nice present to all attendances - a reusable bottle for water. Which served very well, all participants helped conserve a water. Although I saw a one small drawback. The phone app needed separate registration to take a part in water refill program. I can understand that the registration thing hold some people back from participating. Perhaps it would be easier to make an authentication via some social network ID (twitter/facebook/google) or even via SAP ID...

The TechEd started with opening keynote on Tuesday morning. I think it is a kind of tradition to kick off such event with great visual presentation supported by music. It feels like one is on rock start concert and not on the conference. For TechEd veterans it is perhaps normal for me it is still amazing to experience it. I liked Juergen Mueller attitude shown during the key note. Bringing 17 years old programmer girl on a stage was great thing. The future of the world belongs to the youth of the world - also SAP gets that. At her age, I was trying to program some very basic graphic things in Pascal language on 286 type of computer at high school. She did her programming for her school assignment in cloud environment - very different times.
What was announced during the key note? I just focus on things that were related to topics I followed – data warehousing/analytics, integration and ABAP.

At first, an Intelligent Enterprise (IE) was discussed focusing on four examples of End-to-End processes (like Design to Operate, Total Workforce Management, Source to Pay and Lead to Cash). All this was described while emphasize an X data that is flowing around Experience part of the IE and O data flowing around Operation part of the EI whereas Intelligence is central part of the IE.


Later a BTP - Business Technology Platform (reference architecture) was introduced. It is next evolution of SAP’s digital platform. More less umbrella term comprising of four pillars: DB & data management, Analytics, App Development & Integration and finally Intelligent Technologies that are underlying technology foundation.


Next announcement was about SAP HANA Cloud. Which cloud solution based on HANA platform that address storage (multi-level data tiering), performance scaling, processing, quality, and consumption of data. It comes with services like Data Warehouse Cloud (see below) and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). Will be available before Christmas 2019. What I got from its presentation is that it is HANA based SaaS offering.


Now into more details of four pillars of the BTP. Within first pillar - DB & Data Management it was nice to see that SAP BW/4HANA has still a prominent spot within SAP business architecture in a category of on-premise apps. In cloud category there is a brand new solution called SAP Data Warehouse Cloud. I do not know how to call it better I tend to refer it as "DWaaS". This abbreviation can be seen in URLs pointing to UI of this solution e.g. https://*.hanacloudservices.cloud.sap/dwaas-ui/ so I guess I am not that far from naming it correctly. The DWaaS aims to be logical DW solution for dynamically changing landscapes. It can consume data coming from SAP BW, BW4, SAP SQL DW, SAP HANA etc. It is SAP’s response to new DWH requirements in cloud world. It is not a product coming out from project blueberry that I heard about on TechEd 2018. However, from what I understand it leverages part of functions that were developed during the blueberry project. More than 2k customers registered for DWaaS already at the time of the key note. Needless to say the DWaaS is in GA as of Q4 this year and DWaaS is one of services of the SAP HANA Cloud.

Concerning second pillar – Analytics. SAP Analytics Could (SAC) will be as of Q4 this year embedded into SuccessFactors. This follows announcement from Las Vegas TechEd where same thing was announced just in case of S4/HANA. The SAC is now primary analytics tools across SAP product portfolio. One more announcement with regards SAP’s BusinessObjects portfolio. Beta version 4.3 of SAP BusinessObjects BI platform will be available in December this year.

Next, the third pillar App Development & Integration. I liked how CPI – Cloud Platform Integration is developing. Especially within integration of SAP solutions and 3rd-party apps via SAP Cloud Platform Open Connectors. Integration flows and data mapping are available on API Business Hub (api.sap.com) now. This is similar to what other integration (IaaS) companies are doing like mulesoft with their templates or built.io (now part of software ag) with flows. ML is used here to suggest best mapping fields by ML based content advisor. There is currently Open Connectors available to provide integration with 160+ systems.

The fourth pillar intelligent technologies. These comprises of Conversational AI, Intelligent RPA, IoT Cloud, IoT Edge. It was announced that will be 200 ML cases live by end of 2019. There was an interested demo show cased for automated user behavior mining. It started by identifying processes that can be automated. There is a tool called “spotlight by SAP” that provides overview of process (e.g. transactions in SAP ERP) that require a lot of manual effort. KPIs like total time spend in UI can be analyzed. Once the process candidate for automation is identified via Intelligent RPA tool, a bot can be created based on data from the user behavior mining. These solutions are coming from SAP spotlight. That is internal SAP startup focused on tools for process transparency and data-driven actions that developed the Spotlight by SAP tool.

Now to the TechEd’s sessions. Unlikely to my first year at the TechEd I was this time more picky while building my agenda. As rule of thumb, I always had a backup session scheduled in case some session would not be interesting enough for me. Anyhow, I attended approximately 20+ sessions, again related to topics I followed – data warehousing/analytics, App development / ABAP. Below I mention few of them.

Data warehousing/analytics
I enjoyed session about “SAP Analytics Cloud, Analytics Designer: Road Map (AIN828)” by David Stocker. I appreciate David’s sense of humor for example while mentioning that lady sitting close to him in the plane on the way to TechEd that had whole P/L printed with her and studying it whole trip :) yeah who on the earth would print the P/L :)

“Integrating SAP Analytics Cloud in SAP Applications (AIN103)” I learned that SAC is now strategic analytics platform for all core SAP business applications. Interesting demos were presented related to Digital Boardroom. Although it is separated product but it is based on different content in the SAC. Normally there are two flavors of the SAC implementation. One is embedded – means it sits on the same system just different tenant is provisioned to customer. Other one is cross app where data is coming from multiple apps to the SAC.

“Modeling a Data Warehouse with SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (AIN378)”. A hands-on session on administration, creating data models and reporting in SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.

“One Data Management Strategy with SAP DW Cloud and BW/4HANA (AIN207)” – presentation on how DWaaS fits into business and IT user’s needs.

“SAP Data Hub: Data Integration with Enterprise Applications (DAT202)” – Data Hub is gaining traction also with newly ABAP, BW, SCP integration and SAC Push API.

“Intelligent Planning with SAP Analytics Cloud (AIN105)” – session so called SAC for planning. It was nice to see all what the SAC is capable of in terms of planning. We will see how all this will cope with current SAP portfolios of planning solutions like BPC (standard/embedded/optimized/simplified, ...)

“Integrating SAP Analytics Cloud in Third-Party Applications (AIN370)” - hands-on session on integration API for SAP Analytics Cloud. We build simple JAVA SCP app that consumed SAC’s API.

“SAC, BW/4HANA, and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (AIN376)” - hands-on session. I tried examples on how to consume BW/4 query in SAC. This seems to be important feature as BW queries (former BEx queries) will be only objects that the SAC can consume out of the BW/4.

“Overview of SAP BW/4HANA 2.0 (AIN208)” and    “SAP BW/4HANA: Road Map (AIN832)” – BW/4 is around for some time its 2nd version was introduced earlier this year. My only regret is to see that BW/4 simplifications (see BW4SL SAP Notes) are fixed and there are no plans to bring more functionalities of classic BW (like Analysis Process Designer) to BW/4.


App Development & Integration
Session “Unboxing SAP Cloud Platform (CAA115)”, I learned here that SAP Business Application Studio will replaced Web IDE going forward. How subaccount can be created for one account on SCP. In addition, there were interesting information about Neo part of the SCP although it is still supported but as SAP wants to give its customer option to go to any of hyperscalers so focus will be on CloudFoundry part of the SCP.

“Optimize Your Custom ABAP Code for SAP HANA (CAA104)” – For me a many new ABAP concepts were presented like: host expressions (here ABAP can derive correct type of variables from context), CTE - Common Table Expression (temporary results sets in SQL queries that can be accessed in other SQL statements), ABAP SQL Windowing (dividing data sets into subsets), hierarchies within CDS views, new built-in ABAP types, and so on.

“Road Map: ABAP Platform (CAA800), ABAP Strategy (CAA100) and Get the Big Picture of the ABAP RESTful Programming Model (CAA103)”. From product direction point of view, there are two main forks:
1. On-prem = SAP NW AS for ABAP7.5 (versions 7.50, 7.51. 75.2), these are only in maintenance mode
2. Cloud = 
           2.1 SAP S/4HANA Cloud or ABAP Platform for SAP S/4HANA
          2.2 SAP Cloud Platform ABAP Environment (steampunk), not innovation code line
More on steampuk. At last year’s TechEd there was RAP (RESTful ABAP Programming) model introduced. That was with so-called unmanaged scenario where programmer need to code all (e.g. CRUD) operations. Now there is managed scenario where some of functionality like Insert/Update/Delete is delivered out of the box. This certainly speeds up developing of Fiori apps. ABAP is still evolving but now with strategy = “cloud first but not cloud only”.


I spent some time at show flor too. SAP was running many interested things there. Few of them to mention: “unconference” meetups, community lounge, developer garage, community talks / community theater, app space where attendees had a chance to work on SAP tutorials, open source bar where few OSS projects that SAP contributes to were presented, learning zone, SAP runs SAP and others. SAP and especially people from SAP Developer and Community Relations team did pretty good job in here.

Funny thing happened on Tuesday night. I was so focused and in rush to complete tutorials in app space that I did not notice that people are leaving for the day. Security people had to kick me off from there :)

In closing, I want to say that it was great experience to be at the TechEd this year again. I met some people I know from different SAP gatherings (like Inside Tracks and/or Code Jam) there at the TechEd too. Not mentioning meeting strangers over morning coffee or during a lunch. Simply the TechEd is the place where community comes together. So thank you SAP community for having me.

PS: One more thing I want to mention waste management at the TechEd facility. I was very surprised to see that there were no dedicated bins for recyclables (paper, glass, metals, plastics). All the waste produced by conference attendees was just thrown into one type of bin for common trash. I do not think they separate and recycle it later. If the facility operator does not care about it – SAP should. Even it would mean to pick different operator/location IMHO.

- image credits: twitter -


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

BW web applications: popup blocker activated

While using BEx web application like web reporting either ABAP or JAVA based user may encounter following massage displayed in web page:

A popup blocker is activated for URL 'http(s)://domain:’.
This prevents distributed session management (DSM) from functioning correctly.
The application will be closed. SAP Note 919196
Deactivate the popup blocker and restart the application.

This means that session management that manages user sessions of the BEx web app between client (web browser) and backend SAP system (BW) experienced issues. In most cases system tried to open a new popup window where some part of logic (e.g. logoff) was supposed to take place. However in case there is blocker enabled in the web server of the client it prevented the new popup to be opened and consequently that part of the logic wasn’t executed thus it all resulted in such a situation.
A quick win solution is either to deactivate the blocker or to put a domain of the SAP server to while list in the blocker. After implementing, one of the suggestion above and restarting the web browser the issue should disappear.
In addition, it is worth to point out that above-mentioned message can be disabled adding parameter "RSWR_CHECK_POPUP_BLOCKER" with the value "FALSE into RSADMIN table.

More information:
919196 - Dialog box blocker and Java/ABAP BEx Web applications
2405012 - BEx Web 7.3+: Disable Popup blocker message

Monday, September 30, 2019

Degree of Parallelization in SAP BW

Normally by SAP BW systems a large portions of data is processed. Such a data volume normally cannot be processed by single process. Depending on the available hardware resources the process that crunches the data should be parallelized. SAP BW systems similarly as any other moderns DWH systems is supporting this feature. The number of processes that are processing the data is called degree of parallelization.

In the SAP BW it is possible to define the degree of Parallelization in t-code RSBATCH for multiple different tasks/objects within the SAP BW. There are (in version 7.5 SP15) about 106 different processes. As per table RSPROCESSTYPES these includes:

ABAP            Execute ABAP Program
ADSOACT      Activate Requests in DataStore Objects (advanced)
ADSODEL      Deletion of Requests from DataStore Objects (advanced)
ADSOOLR      Delete Overlapping Requests from DataStore Object (advanced)
ADSOREM      Clean Up Old Requests in DataStore Objects (advanced)
AGGRFILL      Initial Fill of New Aggregates
AND              AND (Last)
ANPR            Execute Analysis Process
ARCHIVE       Archive Data from an InfoProvider
ATTRIBCHAN Attribute Change Run
AUTOCLASS   Automatic Classification
BIAINDEX      Initial Activation and Filling of SAP HANA/BWA Indexes
BIA_TPS        Update Explorer Properties of BW Objects
BOBJDSJOB   Start Job in SAP BusinessObjects Data Services
BOBJEVENT   Trigger Event in SAP BOBJ BI Platform for BW Data Changes
BPCADMCDM BPC: Create Dimension
BPCADMOTC  BPC: Optimize Application
BPCADMVLG  BPC: Validate Logic
BPCADTARC   BPC: Archive Audit
BPCAPPS       BPC: Application Source
BPCBADIRT   BPC: BAdI Retractor
BPCCLCUBE   BPC: Delete Application
BPCCLEAR     BPC: Delete BPC Tables
BPCCMCOVT  BPC: Convert for CM
BPCCOMS      BPC: Delete Comments
BPCCONVERT BPC: Convert
BPCECHAIN   BPC: Execution of Chain
BPCEMAIL     BPC: E-Mail
BPCEPURPT   BPC: Generate Equity Pick-up Audit Report
BPCFILE        BPC: Data Connection
BPCFINOPT    BPC: Complete Optimization
BPCFTP         BPC: FTP
BPCIFS          BPC: InfoProvider Source
BPCIOBJS      BPC: InfoObject Source
BPCJORNAL   BPC: Journal
BPCLOAD      BPC: Load
BPCMADLOAD BPC: Master Data Description
BPCMALOAD  BPC: Master Data
BPCMDDEAL  BPC: Master Data Processing
BPCMODIFY   BPC: Modify Dynamically
BPCONLINE   BPC: Online Status
BPCOWCALC  BPC: Ownership Calculation
BPCPSAS       BPC: PSA Source
BPCRUNLGC  BPC: Run Logic
BPCTDHVER   BPC: Manage TDH Version
CHAIN           Local Process Chain
CHGLOGDEL  Deletion of Requests from Change Log of DSO (classic)
CLEARTODS   Delete Entire Content of Linked Transactional ODS
CL_ARCHIVE  Cleanup Archive
COMMAND     OS Command
COMPRESS    Compression of the InfoCube
CPS_EVENT   Event in SAP CPS
CPS_JOB       Job in SAP CPS
DATACHANGE Trigger Event Data Change (for Broadcaster)
DBSTAT        Construct Database Statistics
DECISION     Decision Between Multiple Alternatives
DROPCUBE    Complete Deletion of Data Target Contents
DROPINDEX   Delete Index
DSOREPLIC   DataStore Object-Replication
DTP_LOAD     Data Transfer Process
EXOR            EXOR (First)
HAAP            Execute SAP HANA Analysis Process
HIERSAVE     Save Hierarchy (3.X)
INDEX           Generate Index
INTERRUPT    Interrupt Process
LOADING       Execute InfoPackage
LPI                Logically Partitioned InfoPackages
MAIL             Send Message
MDREORG     Reorganize Attributes and Texts for Master Data
MDUPDATEGK Master Data Update with Global Keys
MULTIHIER    Load All Hierarchies
NDB_MERGE  Trigger Delta Merge
ODSACTIVAT Activate Requests in DataStore Objects (classic)
ODSPROCESS Update DataStore Object Data (Further Update)
OHD_NOTIFY Open Hub Notification
OPENHUB      Data Export into External Systems (Obsolete)
OR                OR (Each)
PC_ACTIVE    Is the previous run in the chain still active?
PLSEQ           Execute Planning Sequence
PLSWITCHL   Switch Realtime InfoCube to Load Mode
PLSWITCHP   Switch Realtime InfoCube to Plan Mode
PSADELETE   Deletion of Requests from PSA
PSAPROCESS Read PSA and Update Data Target
QMSTATUS    Quality Status/Set Data Release
RDA_CLOSE   Close Request for an InfoPackage (RDA/Push)
RDA_RESET   Stop Real-Time Data Acquisition (RDA) Load Process
RDA_START   Start Load Process for Real-Time Data Acquisition (RDA)
REMOTE        Remote Process Chain
REPA_BB       Precalculation of Value Sets
REPA_BC       Precalculation of Web Templates
REPA_BP       Print in the Background
REPA_ER       Exception Reporting
REQUDEL      Delete Overlapping Requests from InfoCube
ROLLUP         Roll Up of Filled Aggregates/BWA Indexes
RS2HANA      Replicate BW Analysis Authorizations to SAP HANA
RSCNV           Remodeling Toolbox Operation
RSDASYB_PM Sybase IQ Partition Monitor
RSSDA_STAT Creation of Database Statistics for Virtual Tables
R_SALES2XI  Send POS Sales Data to XI System
SDI_INIT       Start SAP HANA EIM Remote Subscription
TB_LCCUPD   Last Customer Contact Update (Retraction)
TIMCHNGRUN Adjustment of Time-Dependent Aggregates
TRIGGER       Start Process
WODSODEL   Deletion of Requests from Write-Optimized DSO (classic)
WORKFLOW

Notice that for not all the above mentioned processes the parallelization make sense so not for all of them are the degree of parallelization is possible to set. Actually, the setting itself is done in section called “Settings for Parallel Processing” for those processes that it can be set.
The settings set in this t-code are stored in table RSBATCHPARALLEL - Control Parallel Batch Processes. Maintaining the table itself is coded in FM RSBATCH_MAINTAIN_PAR_SETTINGS.

More information:
2197654 - BW Data Extraction - Important house keeping activity in BW system

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Find out users having a role

Just a quick tip on how to find out what are user(s) having particular role assigned in the SAP system. Normally this can be done via t-code PFCG there in role maintenance screen is a tab called Users, which shows this information.


However if one has no access to the PFCG t-code it needs it be relied on tables. The table that holds an information on assignment of roles to users is called AGR_USERS. The same info as in PFCG can be seen there.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Dummy Source System in BW

Concept of dummy for an SAP BW system is sometimes required in case of large BW installations. The case is that there is not only connected one actual source system but there are connected several source systems that are not all completely homogeneous.

In case there are several target system for one source system it is possible to leverage option “7.0” in screen of “Conversion of source system names after the transport (view V_RSLOGSYSMAP)”. That option is only valid for BW 7.x objects like RSDS, TRFN and DTPA etc. It means that 7.x objects are imported several times (to several targets) even though they were exported only once. However in case target are not the same (not homogeneous) it may become tricky because those system may have different settings applied like different filters on DTPs, different schedules etc.

These kind of issues are addressed by introducing a source system type of dummy source system. This type of source system can only be created in development systems. It is not real source system just an alias to real one. Metadata of all depended objects are referenced this alias. During the transport remote function calls which for example are doing replication of DataSources or actually activate and run the metadata objects are re-directed to the real source system.

More information:

Friday, August 2, 2019

SAP BW InA Provider

SAP BW InA stands for Information Access Protocol or Info Access Service or Info Access Interface. It is an SAP internal proprietary protocol used by SAP products to retrieve data from (embedded) BW or HANA databases. As the protocol is proprietary, there is no public documentation for this SAP internal protocol. Web services of this protocol are accessible via URL: https://hostname:port/sap/bw/ina/ Functionalities are codes in ABAP classes/methods starting with: CL_BICS_INA*. It was delivered since NW 74 SP04.

Originally, the InA protocol was only used for BPC embedded product its froent end tool called EPM client, which is an add-in to either MS Excel or PowerPoint. Afterwards InA used increased within other clients and products. These counts Design Studio, SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC), Lumira v2 among others. S/4HANA (cloud or on-premise) supports a consumption of CDS views through the technical InA interface.

In case of e.g. the Design Studio and the SAC it is for pure analytical use cases that the InA is used for. More over in case of the SAC the InA enables BW’s Direct Live connections into the SAC.

Furthermore, in case of BPC’s EPM client the interface that communicates to NWBPC backend was developed under project code name FireFly. At least this seems to be teh case based on SAP Notes that are containing a phrase - Firefly. Leveraging the INA Provider connection, it is possible to do the following in the EPM client:

    Work with BW queries (with or without variables)
    Retrieve data, using reports
    Enter and save data, using input forms
    Execute planning function for BW Integrated Planning

More information:
Software component: BW-BEX-OT-BICS-INA InA functionality

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

BPC in Standard Mode or Embedded Mode - difference

There are many information on the web about different flavors of SAP BPC - Business Planning and Consolidation solution. I wanted to summarize the main differences between the two main favors plus a bit of information about the newest favors. By no means is this blog post intended to provide a comprehensive insight just basic overview and difference between the two. For much more detailed information refer to blogs listed under More information part. This blog is mostly abstract of the two mentioned blogs in there.

1. BPC Standard Model (or Classic): is a planning solution, which has its own functionality that creates and manages cubes in BW. The BPC standard is a planning (means also reporting and consolidation) solution based on BW technology mainly designed to be used by LoB.  The technical BW objects needed (like InfoObjects, InfoCubes, etc.) are generated and controlled by BPC and not directly exposed in BPC. BPC introduces BPC specific concepts different from BW concepts. Thus in the BPC standard model one has to copy over all master data, hierarchies and transaction data from BW to BPC and to align the copied data with the BPC concepts. In this sense thee BPC standard is a data mart solution. To support this the BPC standard’ implemented again a lot of existing functionality in BW although in the BPC way. The BPC Standard is sometimes called as Business Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP NetWeaver (BPC NW).

2. BPC Embedded Model: is a planning solution based around BW’s IP (Integrated Planning) functionality. The guiding principle of this approach is do not copy the data but use the BW objects and features instead. Therefore, instead of brining data over to BPC (as in the BPC standard model) it is leveraging existing data in BW. By nature, the BW is more IT driven whereas LoB drives in case of the BPC standard model.
The BPC Embedded is sometimes called as BW-IP/PAK (Planning Applications Kit).
Both of these flavors of BPC run on BW – they just use different features of the platform and have different design approaches.
With S/4HANA system there are even more options on how to run Business Planning and Consolidation solution. In S/4HANA “Simple Finance” there is Integrated Business Planning for Finance (IBPF) available. The purpose of IBPF is to leverage ERP objects for consociation. Later the IBPF was renamed to “BPC optimized for HANA” or “SAP BPC optimized for S/4HANA”.

3. BPC Optimized: It is the BPC Embedded version 10.1 installed on the BW engine present in S/4HANA Finance system. BPC Optimized is only available with S/4HANA. Its first purpose is to replace planning functions from FI/CO, which are not there anymore in S/4HANA Finance.
This favor of the BPC is also called, as Real-Time Consolidation (RTC) is a consolidation solution based on the deep integration between SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC). RTC takes both data quality and flexibility into account. It has the privileged direct access to universal journal entries, while leveraging the consolidation capabilities from SAP BPC. Unified staging and storage of finance data achieves high data quality and eliminates redundancy.

4. SAP BCS FOR SAP BW/4HANA (BCS/4HANA or BCS4HANA): although this is not directly related to BPC, the BCS (Business Consolidation) is solution to replace SEM-BCS. It is to support an automation of financial group close (consolidation). The BCS4HANA is a subset of the functionality of software components SEM-BW and FINBASIS related to consolidation.

5. SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP BW/4HANA (SAP BPC 11.1 version for SAP BW/4HANA, BPC4HANA): both models (Standard or Embedded) can run in one system. If organization wants, the planning tool to be managed it in the centralized way -> Embedded; if the same shall be running by LoB (users) -> Standard one. That means planning and consolidation functionalities are now together (BI-IP or (BW-IP) and PAK are included in Embedded model now) so SAP calls it “Simplicity” – Simplified BPC.

More information:
Concepts compared: BPC standard and BPC embedded
Practical differences – BPC standard vs Embedded BPC (BW-IP/PAK)

Monday, July 29, 2019

Not possible to change DTP package size

I faced recently a situation when it was not possible to change package size of DTP. I entered the DTP in edit mode but field change package was disabled for changes. I tried to reactivate the DTP but it did not help neither. I also tried to delete data requests that was produced by that DTP from infoprovider and again it did not help. Finally, I removed semantics groups from TRFN and/or DTP and it was possible to change package size from DTP UI so the field became possible to be editable.

I researched this topic a bit a came across few SAP Notes (see below) that discuss this situation. There is a report RSBKDTPREPAIR_MAXSIZE available that determines such a “erroneous” DTPs and corrects them by re-activating them again. It is possible to run the report in simulation mode get a list affected DTPs. In addition, the report can prepare BW transport for or without it and as well to run it for selected DTPs only.

More information:
1521135 - DTP package size is too large (more than two billion)
1595541 - Extension of the report RSBKDTPREPAIR_MAXSIZE

What is SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office, edition for SAP Analytics Cloud

As per SAP's "BI Convergence Strategy 2018" there is an edition of  SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office (AfO) that works with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). It is called "SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office, edition for SAP Analytics Cloud" - "AfO-SAC". This means that AfO-SAC is integrated to SAC so there will be in future just one solution that integrates with both on premise and cloud-based data sources. This is what SAP calls as bridging the gap between cloud and on-premise systems.

In particular within AfO-SAC can: consume models (including both models analytics and planning ones) from SAC (an SAC connection can be created in AfO-SAC = as data source), store AfO workbooks in SAC environment, store AfO workbooks having SAC models as data sources locally, working with SAC hierarchies, enter planning data of SAC planning model in a crosstab in AfO analysis (front-end cell locking is used), etc.

Although that there are currently many restriction within the products (see online docu and roadmap) the AfO-SAC is being heavily developed together with strong support on SAP BW backend side. Which with the newest SP 16 (soon to be released) for BW 7.5 version is a kind of “go-to release” for all organizations that wants to use SAC.

As of AfO version 2.7 the AfO-SAC version follow the original AfO versions. Just it is market as different component - ANALYSISOFFICE_FOR_SAC.

More information:
roadmap