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Usage of BEx Query Designer in BW/4HANA system is obsolete and on an attempt to do so you end up with following information message: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

Check also what Business Function are used in the BW system. 

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. Technical InfoObjects

Technical BW InfoObjects (e.g. 0IOBJNM, 0LANGU, 0INFOPROV, 0UNIT, 0CURRENCY, etc.) are still needed to have a functioning BW4/HANA system. However, activation procedure for those IOs has changed in BW/4HANA. T-code like RSTCO_ADMIN (and subsequently ABAP program RSTCO_ACTIVATION_ADMIN) are not to be used anymore to for those IOs.

Following task lists are supposed to be used for activation of the tech IOs:

SAP_BW4_SET_OPERATION_SCOPE: only technical IOs needed for this Operating Scope

SAP_BW4_SETUP_SIMPLE: tech IO activation plus many other tasks are performed

SAP_BW4_AFTER_UPDATE: is used after importing new support packages to sync any changes or additional technical InfoObjects coming in with later Support Packages


15. 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.


16. 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

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