In this two-part blog (see Part 2 here), we discuss how to support customers’ enterprise data warehouse through DWC.
Many companies are evaluating how to leverage cloud tools within their business analytics and data programs. In this blog, our SAP experts have provided a high-level architecture of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (SAP DWC) and core functionalities ranging from supported connections, data consumption and manipulation, to preparing for analytical usage.
SAP DWC is an end-to-end data management business tool and persona-driven Data Warehouse as a Service solution that is suitable for SAP and non-SAP customers. As a fully managed service, designed to reduce complexity from deployment to analytics with pre-built enterprise-grade business content and adapters that can integrate multiple sources of data, it provides businesses with the ability to be scalable. SAP DWC also provides flexible pricing options with integration to SAP Intelligent Enterprise Suite solutions, SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC), SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) services, partner solutions and open-source technologies.
SAP DWC is intended to reduce the complexity many companies face when working with heterogenous sources of data and shorten the time required for design and development, ultimately providing a higher return of value. Business users and developers can work on the same platform, therefore better decisions can be made when business users can view the reports generated off the live data.
As the name suggests, SAP DWC operates on the cloud. This software-as-a-service (SaaS) sits on the SAP HANA Cloud database and empowers customers to better understand the business data and make confident decisions based on real-time information.
There are many attractive features of DWC, including:
• A scalable model for many sources including on-premise and cloud sources.
• Maximized computing power with the SAP HANA Cloud database.
• Data governance capabilities.
• Prebuilt templates with business content for a quick go-to-market deployment.
• Expansive and advanced data analytics capabilities.
• Simple user interface.
• Improved collaboration between business and IT users, who can work together in the same toolset.
SAP Data Warehouse Cloud can be viewed by two functional areas: data builder and business builder. The image below shows core usage within each area and how they are connected to other sources or additional data analytics tools.
In SAP DWC, data is modeled within “spaces, which are decoupled workspaces for independent business use-cases. These spaces are virtual and flexible for multiple user access and each space can be monitored and managed by approved users that have access rights to the space. Spaces are scalable and customizable to the business use-case, and users can manage connections to data sources and set parameters for allocating virtual server bandwidth and size, storage type and importance level of each independent space.
Multiple spaces may be needed, depending on the connections or business needs. In some cases, one space could be used for hosting remote tables and other spaces for modeling, development and deploying final tables to be used for reporting needs.
Connect to and access on-premise and cloud data sources from SAP and non-SAP sources. Data can be accessed, pulled down or replicated in real-time or scheduled processes via API methods or in-house ETL tools. Scripting and ETL options are available for advanced business use cases that require more involved data preparation and transformations.
Like SAP Data Services and SAP HANA graphical view development, this functionality allows for building complex business rules for a quick integration of heterogeneous data sources. Users can include importing tables from connections or other sources, creating tables by importing from csv files, or creating data flows to bring data into the space with the possibility of applying transformations.
Graphical and BI tools are available for analyzing data independently at the business layer from the data layer. BI analysts will be able to create models and map these models to the data layer for different business use cases and demands.
With this functionality, models can be built efficiently and used as analytical datasets and dimensions and to combine business entities to expose data in lightweight, closely focused perspectives to SAP Analytics Cloud or other analytics clients.
SAP DWC allows self-service administrative settings on a system level for monitoring and auditing data integrations; including the functionality to manage database access, instigate IP allow lists and others.
Data Protection and Privacy
With SAP DWC, business users can define and manage security across all layers. This includes being able to manage access on tenant, functional and space levels, and having the ability to manage access to the data by defining row-level security on the data or business layer. Additionally, being able to configure secure connections to different data sources and having auditing rules in place for read and change operations will enable the users to securely protect, monitor and manage all data.
Flexibility to be able to connect to SAP Analytics Cloud or non-SAP BI clients and SQL tools to consume data models is another advantage of SAP DWC.
SAP is actively working on ensuring seamless connection between DWC and SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). With the SAP HANA Cloud database, DWC models can be easily consumed by various business analytics tools.
Within the Data Warehouse Cloud tenant, the SAC tenant is accessible via a drop-down menu to allow for seamless connectivity between the two tenants:
One of the questions that customers always ask is: what connections can be plugged in with SAP DWC? For a quick reference, the currently supported connections, both on-premise and cloud, follow.
There are eleven on-premise connection types:
There are currently 24 cloud connection types:
SAP provided sample projects under business content. Projects using similar sources could gain a head start and increase return of value even more. Some of the available business contents regarding line of business are listed below. Detailed usage on them can be found here.
SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is a viable SaaS option to provide organizations a platform to perform data integrations, deployments, reporting and analytics, and other BI functions that can connect to other SAP and non-SAP sources and tools. SAP DWC’s flexible customization and seamless integration with other BI tools and products provides freedom to both developers and business users to utilize SAP DWC for their analytics and business use cases. New functionality enhancements and features will continue to be added as the platform continues to grow and develop future iterations.
Protiviti understands that an organization’s data is essential to its success, yet as companies generate more and more data every day, the question of how to manage and transform that data into valuable business intelligence becomes more difficult to answer. Our data management team offers insight to help organizations through the entire information lifecycle, including strategy, management and reporting, to ensure decision-makers have the right information at the right time. Protiviti’s data management and business analytics project experience includes:
- Identifying data issues
- Designing data warehouses and data strategy
- Defining data mapping logic
- Testing and support UAT