SAP BW or SAP Netweaver BW module provides business intelligence, analytical tools, and data warehousing and reporting solutions. In today's working environment it has become mandatory for the organizations to have quick access to complete data and tools to analyze it for decision making. SAP BW module comes to resolve this situation and provide complete solution to the companies struggling with fragmented and inconsistent data. Though mostly it is used by the companies who run their business on SAP solutions but it can work even in non-SAP environment too.
SAP BW solution is comprised of extraction, transformation and load layer which are responsible for data extraction from a specified source, applying transformation rules and loading it in data warehouse area. The extraction process is supported by DBMS systems of SAP technology and does not allow extraction from other databases like IBM, IMS and Sybase. It also does not support file formats of MSExcel, MSAccess and Dbase. How ever it provides all the functionality required for extracting data from non-SAP systems.
The ETL service comprises of two parts staging process and storage process, staging process manages retrieval of data from different sources while storage process manages access to data targets in SAP BW and the aggregates that are stored in relational and multidimensional database system. Data warehouse area stores the information in various types of structures like data store objects, infocubes and infobjects.
Reporting layer is used to access the data and present in user defined format or in set formats with analytical tools to understand and analyze the information. Metadata data modeling is the component of SAP BW module which provides main entry points for metadata objects used in reporting and analysis. Metadata modeling provides metadata manager for handling the requests of retrieval, editing and deleting of metadata. Reporting and scheduling mechanism is handled in batch processes to provide quick results and avoid conflict of resources.
There are various components of SAP BW module which handle database at file level. Operational data store for handling and storing tactical day to day data. Interfaces, these are used for transferring transactional and metadata from one BW system to another BW system. Open hub service maintains data consistency and controls data distribution across the system and also it shares data with non-SAP sources, analytical tools and other sources. Master data manager controls data structure and provides access to data for reporting purposes.
ODS manager maintains an active data table for maintaining ODS object data and also provides access to object data for reporting and analysis purposes. Archiving manager stores unused or dormant data in an archive with the help of ADK and also keeps track of data which can change over time. Infocube manager maintains infocube data tables and provide access for SAP BW reporting and analysis.
The release of new version includes many more features to enhance reporting and analysis of SAP BW module. It comes with a BW accelerator as an external application, it is a memory resident program which works for improving query performance.