Depending on the source systems and the type of data basis, the process of loading data into the SAP BW is technically supported in different ways. In the conception phase, the system firstly needs to detect the different data sources in order to be able to transform the data with the suitable tool afterwards.
Additional heterogeneous data can be loaded alongside the original mySAP.com components that provide data via extractors:
- Flat files: A flat file in ASCII or CSV format can automatically be read by the SAP BW standard.
- Data providers: Providers such as Dun & Bradstreet and AC Nielsen US provide data which already has an import-friendly format.
- XML: XML data can also be processed in SAP BW.
Data Staging Tools
- DB Connect: Allows relational databases to be accessed directly. Here, SAP DB MultiConnect is used to create a connection to the database management system (DBMS) in the external database. By importing metadata and original data, the necessary structures can be generated in SAP BW, and the data can be loaded without problem.
- ETL tools (for example, DataStage): In heterogeneous system landscapes, an important requirement is that the different data structures and content are consolidated before being loaded into SAP BW. You can use an ETL tool such as Ascential DataStage to load data from heterogeneous systems, such as Siebel and PeopleSoft, transform this data into a single format and then load it via a Business Programming Interface into SAP BW.
- UD Connect: Using UD Connect, you can access just about all relational and multi-dimensional data sources. UD Connect transfers the data as flat data.
Multi-dimensional data is converted to a flat format when UD Connect is used.
- BW Service Application Programming Interface (SAPI): A SAPI is an SAP-internal component that is delivered as of Basis release 3.1i. Communication between mySAP Business Suite components and SAP BW takes place via this SAPI.
- BAPI: Like the SAPI, a BAPI is also used for the structured communication between SAP BW and external systems. Both data providers and ETL tools use this interface.
- FILE: SAP automatically supports automatic import of files in CSV or ASCII format for flat files as standard.
- Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP): The SOAP RFC Service is used to read XML data and to store it in a delta queue in SAP BW. The data can then be processed further with a corresponding DataSource and SAPI.
- UD Connect (Universal Data Connect): For the connection to data sources, UD Connect can use the JCA-capable (J2EE Connector Architecture) BI Java Connectors that are available for various drivers, protocols and providers as resource adapters.