Soon after SAP introduced their HANA optimized ERP system (S/4HANA – 4th generation ERP system, 18 months back) another main product of SAP is emerging on HANA platform. It is SAP BW/4HANA (or B4H, BW4 or just B4) launched on Sep 7th 2016. Important information is that it is a new products and it is not successor of SAP BW at all. It is based on code fork (unlike BWonHANA (BoH) which code line is still shared with rest of supported DBs) of Any DB SAP BW and it will become primary development platform at SAP. This can indicate that in future there will only be new versions of B4H delivered. All other Any DB SAP BW will not follow current BW 7.5 version and these versions will not be maintenance mode.
According SAP there is following 4 corner stones of the new product:
1. Simplicity – only 4 basic types of objects (advanced DSO, Composite Provider, IO, Open ODS view) enhancement to already introduced “Field based modeling instead of InfoObjects based one”.
2. Openness – B4H can consume data from any source and data can be visualized by any major BI front end tool. Moreover any HANA table/view can be incorporated into B4H data model w/o data replication. SQL or native SQL data approach known in classic SAP BW scenarios is still possible.
3. Modern UIs – it shifts more towards Eclipse based tool – HANA Studio from all major use case perspectives like modeling/administration/user. Use of SAP GUI shall be more less obsolete for B4H. More parts of monitoring functions are SAP Fiori / UI5 based.
4. Performance – Calculations in newly developed data warehouse models shall be pushed down to database. This will bring speed to classic BW models that are being calculated on level of ABAP AS. Push down approach shall ensure enough “horse power” to deal with big data (e.g. via SAP VORA a bridge between classic RDBMS and distributed processing on a file system (hadoop).
Online docu SAP BW/4HANA 1.0
What is B4HANA – saphana.com
What is B4HANA - SCN
What is B4HANA - Thomas Zurek blog
Why B4HANA - Thomas Zurek blog
BW/4HANA FAQ - John Appleby blog
Making the leap to SAP BW/4HANA - John Appleby blog
SAP Influence page for B4H
SAP Support system component: BW-B4H