Tuesday, February 22, 2022

What to consider while moving to BW/4HANA

There are few areas that need to be considered while moving an SAP BW Classic system to BW/4HANA based system. Just in general it always helps if the BW system undergone a cleanup up of unused objects before the migration.  It is useful if a whole the data flows, all the objects that are there sitting and not being used are deleted. 3.x fashion BW objects should really not be present in BW 7.x based system. Sooner they are migrated/removed less problems will pop up during the BW/4 move. SAP BW statistics can be used to see what objects are not used. Objects are to be deleted manually in t-code RSA1 or in automated way via ABAP prg RS_DELETE_TLOGO. Other things that can be done much prior before the migration are:

·        BW/4 Sizing report (ABAP prg /SDF/HANA_BW_SIZING), see Note 2296290

·        Custom code scan (ABAP prg RS_B4HANA_CODE_SCAN), see Note 2577045

·        BW Authorization concept status review

See my other blog post Converting BW system to BW/4HANA for details on those activities.

 

1. Modelling/Administration

BW development/modelling moved to Eclipse (SAP HANA Studio) and similarly BW administration moved to web. There is not much of emphasis for using SAP GUI anymore for BW related tasks. In most of the cases, you can still use the SAP GUI but main SAP BW’s t-code the all mighty RSA1 has a limited scope in is BW4/HANA based systems. Anyhow even with a relatively new t-code like RSMNG for data target administration the web for administration and Eclipse modelling are the preferred tools.

On the attempt to use traditional SAP BW t-codes on BW Transformation object you can only get to display mode while system throws a following information message popping up:

Transformations can only be edited in the BW Modeling Tools in Eclipse

 

2. Queries

Usage of BEx Query Designer in BW/4HANA system is obsolete and on an attempt to do so you end up with following information message:


Info: BEx Query Designer not supported in SAP BW/4HANA – use BW Modelling Tools.

Message no. R9E065

While using the BEx Query Analyzer in the same system may end up with following messages:


Workbooks cannot be maintained or created in BW4HANA edition

Themes cannot be maintained or created in BW4HANA edition

In short, you can still view the queries definition in BEx Query Designer but no changes are allowed. Similarly BEx Query Analyzer of BW 7.x version only version within the versions of BW 7.0 to BW 7.51. Needless to say that SAP HANA Studio (Eclipse) BWMT are replacing the BEx Query Designer and Analysis for Office (AfO) is a preferred the tool of choice for reporting in BW/4HANA. See details here. Moreover, there is a pure cloud based solution SAP Analytics Cloud that can consume BW/4 objects too.

Other old front-end objects are not available in BW/4HANA:

·        SAP Crystal Reports (published to SAP BW)

·        SAP Xcelsius Dashboards (published to SAP BW)

·        BW Enterprise Reports

 

3. Analysis Process

T-code RSANWB for Analysis Process Designer (APD) is not present in the BW/4HANA system. All APDs needs to be converted to new HANA optimized objects. Those can be either HANA views or HANA Analysis Processes (HAP). Then perhaps Open Hubs or BW transformations can be considered for replacement too.

 

4. Source Systems

A large set of different source systems was simplified in the BW/4HANA system edition. SAP and BW source systems are replaced by ODP one (ODP_SAP and ODP_BW). There are no DB Connect, UD Connect, External or Web source systems. SAPI based extraction framework is replaced by the OPD. The BW/4 does not support SAP source system anymore.



5. 3.x Data Flows

Old flows in 3.x fashion that haven’t been migrated when system was moved to 7.x version do not run any more in BW/4HANA based system edition. These flows involves legacy transfer or update rules within the data flows and have to be converted to 7.x fashion of the data flows. There are an automatic migration tools available to support that. See Tools for migrating to SAP BW/4HANA (B4H).

 

6. Generic Data Sources

There are usually plenty of generic data sources in every BW system. Those are either table, view domain or custom function module based data sources. They are sometimes called as Service API data sources. Are the generic DS supported in BW4/HANA? In short, an answer is no. T-code RSO2 is still around but you can only see existing DS and not maintain new one anymore. However if you “migrate” such the DS during a period that BW/4 system is switched to Compatibility Mode (see for details here) in BW/4 Transfer Cockpit then it will run later when you move B4H mode too. However, it is not advisable. Here are options how to replace those type of datasources:

·        ABAP CDS (allowing for some logic as well)

·        HANA Calculation Views (e.g. on top of External Views of InfoProviders)

·        BADI Provider as ODP-BW Provider

 

7. Export Data Sources

Export Data Sources were used in classic BW systems to transfer data from a source BW system into a target BW system. It was possible to generate them on top of cube, DSO or infoobject – in names space 8<object_name>. These export Data Sources are obsolete and invisible in BW/4. ODP-BW context is to be used in instead. That means in case of:

·     BW/4 InfoProv there is the ODP-BW provider capability that allows transferring data to other SAP BW or SAP BW/4HANA via ODP.

·      For any database tables that sits on top of BW/4 system an ABAP CDS Views for data transfer. Such the data source then appears in ODP-CDS Source System target system. To get more flexibility of the BW/4 system you can define the CDS view with parameters.

 

8. Reporting: Customer exits

Classic customer exits for BEx variables (RSR00001) called via Function Module EXIT_SAPLRRS 0_001 are not supported anymore. Exits for the variables need to be handled via BADI. Enhancement spot RSROA_VARIABLES_EXIT_BADI (RSROA_VARIABLES_EXIT) is designated for the migration.

 

9. Authorizations

Old reporting authorizations in 3.x fashions are not supported in BW/4. Nevertheless, that was valid even for 7.x version based systems. That means that 3.x reporting fashion of authorizations needs to be replaced by Analysis Authorizations. Moreover if there are objects used in the roles that are not supported anymore in BW/4 (e.g. infocubes, PSA, HybridProv, MultiProv, TransietProv, VirtualProv, InfoSet) then need to be replaced with corresponding objects mostly type of aDSO.

 

10. Add-ons compatibility

As BW/4 aims to simplify BW Classic’s complexity, some add-ons installed onto BW system may not be compatible with the BW/4. See SAP Note 2189708 for particular list of what add-ons are/are not supported. In case the add-on is not supported there is a chance that the add-on can be de-installed. See post: How to uninstall SAP ABAP add-on.

 

11. Impact on planning solutions

The BW/4HANA does not support planning functionality (SEM, BPC), as we know it from SAP BW Classic (based on SAP NetWeaver platform). There are versions of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation based on BW/4HANA (including BW-IP/PAK). However, in case of some planning add-ons that are not supported they need to be migrated while the system is being upgraded - when BW/4HANA Starter Add-on is installed.

 

12. Business Content (BCT)

Software components BI Content (BI_CONT) and BI Content Extended (BI_CONT_XT) are not present in BW/4 systems. Instead there are objects of the Business Content that are optimized for BW/4HANA. They are separated into two software components (add-ons):

·   SAP BW/4HANA Content BASIS Add-On (BW4CONTB): contains InfoAreas, Application components, InfoObjects, Variables, Conversion exits and Master data read classes.

·        SAP BW/4HANA Content Add-On (BW4CONT): SAP HANA optimized BW content (aDSOs, Composite Providers), InfoSources and transformations.

Notice that there are no Data Sources as part of the BCT anymore as the DS are maintained in source system like S/4 HANA.

 

13. Technical Business Content

Technical content in BW/4 was replaced by the ABAP CDS views. See online docu for details. Old tech BCT objects can be deleted using program RS_DELETE_TECHNICAL_CONTENT.

 

14. BW statistics

Good old tables that stores BW statistic data like RSDDSTAT are still in place plus new tables are introduced in BW/4HANA system.

 

15. Dependency on S/4 as source system

There are many objects that have been changed in S/4. Just to name a few. Simplified data model (many new tables e.g. in FI module BSEG -> ACDOCA), domain extended (e.g. MATNR from 18 to 40 characters). These changes needs to be reviewed and impact on BW assessed. For BW extractor in S/4 overview see SAP Note 2500202 - S4TWL - BW Extractors in SAP S/4HANA.

 

For general FAQ on BW/4 see SAP document.

 

More information:

2473145 - BW4SL - SAP and BW Source Systems

2603634 - BEx Query Designer not supported in SAP BW/4HANA; use BW Modeling Tools R9E 065

2817202 - BEx Analyzer 7.0 on BW4HANA

When SAP BEx will die?

Overview of BW 3.x to 7.x migration possibilities per BW objects

Tools for migrating to SAP BW/4HANA (B4H).

Something about BEx’s variables

2478384 - BW4SL - Reporting Authorizations

2468657 - BW4SL - Standard Authorizations

2458521 - Conversion of obsolete customer exits (CMOD) to enhancement spots in SAP BW

2684463 - FAQ: User-Exit/BAdI in data loads from ODP SAPI source systems

2626183 - Generic datasource in BW/4 HANA

2443863 - BW4SL - S-API DataSources (SAP BW/4HANA as Source)

How to uninstall SAP ABAP add-on

2189708 - SAP BW/4HANA Add-On Handling and Usage

2673734 - BW4SL - BI Content

2500202 - S4TWL - BW Extractors in SAP S/4HANA

2467074 - BW4SL - Administration Cockpit and Technical Content

BW statistic

Simplifying ABAP short dumps

ABAP dumps are very useful sources of an information about what went wrong in execution of particular ABAP code. When the code runs into runtime error due to e.g. an uncaught exception, an exit message, a failed assertion, missing authorization to access the object etc. there is the ABAP dump generated. The dup can be viewed in t-code ST22. The dump itself carries a lot of information about the SAP system and its environment. Be it: hostnames and or IP addresses of DB server, app server, terminal, user names, version of SAP system, kernel, DB, memory, even the data can be exposed in ABAP variables, internal tables etc.

In order to prevent a leak of potentially sensitive information like above mentioned an ABAP dump could be simplified. Instead of all information, only two parts of the dump can be presented to the user:

·        What happened? – shows brief description of the place where the code was aborted

·        What can I do? – shows basic information of what can be analyzed further

 

Technically the simplified ABAP dumps are displayed in case the user has no below authorization assigned to its profile:

Authorization object: S_DEVELOP

Activity:                  03

Object type:            ST22

The authorization check is performed in method CHECK_USER_AUTHORIZATION_ST22 of class CL_ST22_TOOLS.

 

More information:

2306423 - Hiding sensitive information from Short Dumps (ABAP)

Transformations can only be edited in the BW Modeling Tools in Eclipse

While working with a newer versions of SAP BW like e.g. BW4/HANA 1.0 SP08 on HANA you may encounter following information message popping up:



Transformations can only be edited in the BW Modeling Tools in Eclipse

Message no. RSTRAN898

Diagnosis

The SAP GUI Editor for a transformation is used to display/change a transformation.

System Response

Change mode can't be enabled.

Procedure

Use the Editor in the BW Modeling Tools in Eclipse to edit the transformation. Using the SAP GUI Editor is not allowed, as it could cause inconsistencies in the transformation.

If you get this message, it means that you are still glued to SAP GUI. As BW development/modelling moved to Eclipse and similarly BW administration moved to web it is a high time to abandon good old SAP GUI and start to use those tools too. The Eclipse tools for developing BW objects are called BW Modeling Tools (aka BWMT). It is a plugin into the Eclipse IDE that can be downloaded from tools.hana.ondemand.com/#bw

 

On other hand, you may also get below message that is slightly similar to above one. 


The transformation has to be adjusted to make it editable in Eclipse

Message no. RSTRAN899  

Diagnosis

The transformation cannot be edited in Eclipse because it contains incompatible rules

System Response

The transformation is opened in the SAP GUI Editor instead

Procedure

Please check if the transformation contains any rules or settings that are described here. Change the transformation as suggested below to make it compatible for the Eclipse Editor:

•In an ABAP routine, the second global part is used

◦Please move the code of the second global part to the first global part, so that the second global part does not contain any coding

•The ABAP Routines contain coding that is not compatible for ABAP Objects (for example internal table definitions with header lines)

◦Please change the coding and substitute the code to make it compatible with ABAP objects

•Rule type 'Routine with Unit' is used.

◦This rule type is not supported in the BW Modeling Tools. Use rule type 'Routine' instead and fill the currency/unit via a constant (this new feature is only available in Eclipse). If that is not possible because the field has to be filled dependent on other fields, use an end routine to fill the field.

•For more details, see SAP Note 2639435

 

In most of the cases, this message is appearing during migration projects to BW4/HANA. While classic BW objects are being converted to BW/4 objects. This means that the transformation in question contains some parts (e.g. rules) that are not editable in in the Eclipse yet. Such rules are not compatible with the BW/4 (mostly ABAP code not compliant with ABAP OO) and need to be adjusted before the transformation can be maintained in the Eclipse.

In short, the t-code RSTRANGUI can still be used to in display mode to see the transformation. While editing it can only take place in the Eclipse BWMT.

 

More information:

2766760 - Transformations can be edited only in the BW modeling tools (no editing in SAP GUI)

2639435 - Transformations are opened in SAP GUI instead of in Eclipse

2654109 - Conversion of ABAP/AMDP routines/exits in SAP BW/4HANA to the processing in Eclipse



Tuesday, February 15, 2022

SAP software asset management

I touched briefly a topic of licensing of SAP software in my older post here. I just can reiterate that it is a very very very complex topic. To understand it may make significant reduction of IT budgets spent yearly on licenses of SAP software. Needless to say that lack of such an insight may have also negative impact potentially from financial and legal liabilities. Analysis of SAP system usage falls under terms SAP SAM (Software Asset Management) and License Performance Evaluation (LPE).

Over the years, SAP came up with different type of licenses. Those can be e.g. named user license that refers to a direct SAP users as those who have logins and passwords on the SAP systems they work in. Then there is a package license that is tied to some metric like revenue or the number of employees in the company.

Even SAP users within the same SAP system can be recognized differently. So called Contractual User Types can be: named user, developer user, professional user, productivity user, functional user, etc. I encourage you to have a look into table TUTYPA (System measurement: User types with attributes). There are typically around 150 records each holding the user type of the SAP System.

Moreover, there is something called indirect usage, that includes also the use of data stored on SAP by or via a third application (e.g. by C.R.U.D. operations). In addition, the indirect usage needs the SAP license too.

 

How to perform SAP License Management? First step to understand any SAP landscape is to collect data about it.

In the times before Solution Manager (Solman) was introduced by SAP traditional SAP t-codes like STAD (Workload Statistics, Business Transaction Analysis), AL08 (Users Logged On system-wide) and SM04 (Active users on an SAP application server instance), and ST03 (Workload and Performance Statistics), etc were used to analyze input data for license usage. No need to mention that typical SAP shop has many different SAP system deployed. Each of them usually has several instances. It was not that easy to manage all these on all these systems.

After Solution Manager introduction an dedicated job can be run is used to collect the data. The job name is REFRESH_ADMIN_DATA_FROM_SUPPORT. As the Solman is typically connected to each SAP system deployed within an organization running the analysis it from one central spot simplified it a bit.

Finally, there are dedicated SAP tools to gather the usage data. T-codes:

SLAW - License Administration Workbench

USMM – SAP License Administration Workbench (SLIM)

SDCCN - Service Data Control Center

 

More information:

Licensing of SAP software

Solution Manager - License Management Prerequisites

How to launch AfO report via URL

This is a continuation of my earlier blog post about launching AfO documents (reports) from SAP GUI. Analysis for Office (AfO) documents can be shared with users also by sending them just a simple URL that will open the document in either MS Excel or MS Powerpoint applications. The URL is basically an SICF (SAP Internet Connection Framework) service for Analysis documents. It has following syntax:

 

http(s)://<server>:<port>/sap/bw/analysis?application=<application>&object_type=<type>&object_id=<id>&var1=<val_of_variable1>&var2=<val_of_variable1>

 

A value of application parameter can be excel or powerpoint. The value of object_type parameter can be document (for workbooks and presentations), query, query_view or infoprovider. Finally, the value of object_id is the technical name of the object in the BW system, e.g. AfO report technical name. Parameters of the report’s selection screen can be supplied as well – see the URL’s parameter like var1, var2, etc.

What happens when the URL is accessed is that a web browser gets a file with an extension sapaox (e.g. analysis.sapaox). Over that file depending on BW’s backend configuration either logon popup window is displayed and the user provides logon credentials there or via Single Sing On (SSO) target AfO application is opened (Excel/Powerpoint) and the AfO report is shown in there. The sapaox file is technically an XML file that contains ticket which allow the authenticated login to the backend server (BW servers BusinessObjects BI platform server).

However, in order to this function working there is a one prerequisite. The SICF service mentioned above needs to be activated via t-code SICF.

 

More information:

Online docu

Launch AfO from SAP GUI

2658872 - Analysis Office: How to ensure secure connections in Analysis Plugin

3105370 - Using and troubleshooting SAC Live Data Connections in Analysis Office

Friday, February 11, 2022

LSA++ for SAP BW/4HANA

LSA (Layered Scalable Architecture) is SAP's recommended (reference as a best practice) approach for modeling (enterprise) data warehouse (EDW) solutions. Over the years and in line how SAP BW solution was evolving so the LSA architecture evolved too. There are versions of the LSA for classic BW 7.x and LSA++ for BW on Hana (BWoH). With an advent of BW for HANA (BW/4HANA) the SAP introduced updated LSA++ architecture too that is sometimes called as integrated layer architecture.

Just to recap a main differences LSA vs LSA++ lie in: introduction of operational layer in the LSA++; enabling reporting on aDSO objects of propagation layer; introduction if virtual layer based on Composite Providers to support virtual data marts; queries can be directly accessed in SAP HANA database.




Further, when it comes to LSA++ for SAP BW/4HANA SAP distinguish between:

1/ LSA++ for Simplified Data Warehousing: New BW objects below that were introduced in LSA++ are further leveraged:

aDSO – object for data standard persistency

Open ODS View - defines reusable BW data warehouse semantics on field-based structures

Composite Provider - defines virtual data marts on persistencies (aDSO/InfoObjects) and/or Open ODS views, or a combination of both

Layers of LSA++ for SAP BW/4HANA:

Operational Data Store – entry layer on top of which queries can be built

EDW Propagation and Harmonization – provides semantic an value standardization for data from different sources in highly harmonized form

Corporate Memory – contains complete history of loaded data

Architected Data Mart – query access layers in case query can’t be built already in ODS layer, often case where additional business logic needs to be put

Virtual Datamart – combines data from persisted providers (aDSO/InfoObjects) with virtual providers (union, joins)


2/ LSA++ for Logical Data Warehousing:

In the simplified data warehouse the data is persistent in one of its layers. This means data were copied (load or replicated per se) from its source to the DW. Activity like data copy/move implies a cost. In order to reduce such cost a logical data warehouse approach comes to a picture. The logical DW attempts to provide a solution without a need to move the data by acting either as system requesting or as system providing the data. The logical DW concept allows leveraging of mixed scenarios in SAP BW.


More information:

LSA

LSA++

onlinedocu