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