Datamart in SAP BW

To all dear readers, sorry for this late post. I was away for the Christmas Holiday. Oh, btw, Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all.

Anyway, back to our usual SAP topic of discussion. While we're trying to create a datamart in SAP BW by linking an Infocube to another infocube, we stumble into this problem: How to create the datamart infosource infopackage.

You see, we're able to generate the datasource from the cube and all, but the problem is, infosource for the datasource didn't show up in the "Infosource directory". So, we're not able to generate the infopackage. We did a hack by creating a customized "infosource" and linking it with the generated-datasource. But this solution is just that, a hack.

So, I meditate on this problem and the "divine" inspiration told me to right click on the Infosource directory. And what do you know, there's the option for "Insert Lost Nodes". I did just that, and walla, the generated-infosource is displayed in the "Infosource Directory".

I guess, since we did not install the business content for the "infosource directory structure", the generated datamart infosource cannot tag itself to an infosource area, thus becoming the "lost nodes". So, that's how we solve our problem. Like Occam's Razor (spelling?), the simplest explanation is always the right one.

The power of SDN

Recently, I needed to extract some data from R/3 HR to do some reporting. Using "SAP Bag of Tricks" I activated the BW-OM business content, configure the relevant datasource in R/3, create infopackage yada-yada, you know, the boring stuff.

Anyway, the point is, after doing all that, my infocube still did not load all the necessary master-data information into itself. I change the update rules, reload again. Still, no changes. This stubborn infocube, just simply refuse to recognize the master data, even though the information is in the infocube to extract the necesary information. You see, in the update rules, most of the characteristic in the business content cube 0PAOS_C01 is derived from the master data 0EMPLOYEE. But somehow, when loading data into the cube, the characteristics is just not loaded.

Annoyed and highly agitated, I finally post a question in SAP Developer Network regarding my dilemma. In just a few minutes, some helpful soul out there answered my questions and bingo! It solved my problem. You see, the problem is, I didn't realize that some of the master data is not activated. I did activated it before, but someone did something, and caused all these activated and loaded master data to become deactivated.

So, I re-activated the master data, and reload the infocube from PSA, and presto, the data is loaded! The moral of the story people, is that when in doubt, seek the wise SDN forum. Some "enlightened" soul will fulfil your quest for knowledge!

Thank you, whoever you are.

Ruby and SAP

I was browsing through SAP Developer Network, when I came across this interesting blog: Interfacing data into BW using Perl, Ruby, or Python. Well, being a "no longer active" open source advocate, I love the idea of being able to interface data into BW using open source tools.

What better tools to use then the language of ruby, the birth mother of the "super framework" of the almighty "Rails". FYI, Rails is a framework to develop web applications in super-fast time and less-codes. Well that's the promise anyway. Also, developing AJAX enabled web application is a breeze.

So, without wasting time, I installed ruby using the Ruby One Click Installer and installed mysql for database. I created some mockup data to simulate data load to BW and these are my assessment:
  1. Method is only feasible for delta loading, as it uses XML-SOAP interface to load data into BW.
  2. Before creating XML datasource, you have to create a "mockup" Flat File datasource. The generated BW XML datasource will be created based on this flat file comm and transfer structure.
  3. When creating the Info Package based on the generated datasource, under "update" tab, choose "Initialize Delta Process" and "Initialize Without Data Transfer".
  4. Schedule the load. Now under RSA7, your delta queue will be there.
  5. Now create another infopackage, choosing "Delta Update".
  6. Everytime data is available in the delta queue, the data will be loaded to the data target when the scheduled delta update info package take place.
  7. Infocube cannot be used as a data target for this XML delta update. Instead use an ODS which can push the data to an infocube later.
  8. 0RECORDMODE is a necessary field in the transfer structure for this delta process.

And yes, it works folks! So, if you need interfacing to some unknown proprietary system, this is one way to solve it. Bravo Piers for a job well done!

SAP Project Implementation Timeline

In the world of IT, one cannot separate themselves to the "awesome power" of Project Timeline. Gone are the days where a project implementation consist of having an "idea", and implementing it overnight based on an adhoc discussion between geeks. Now, with the technology of Microsoft Project, all IT based project must be properly planned; time and resources tabled out using a gantt chart and such. And thus was born the role of "Project Management" in any IT project implementation.

Well, SAP, being a humongous beast, cannot escape this necessary "evil". As always with SAP, they have their own term to describe the overall "project implementation lifecycle". Instead of the usual waterfall "Spec Analysis Design Implementation Testing Evaluation Maintenance" cycle, they use a more catchy terms. So here, ladies and gentleman we have SAP project implementation lifecycle:

  • Project Preparation
    This is the phase where all the mumbo jumbo such as "Defining Critical Success Factor", "Business content GAP Analysis", "Define System Landscape", "Capacity Planning" etc takes place.
  • Business Blueprint
    This is where a "blueprint" or the document which contains the "design" on how the SAP system is going to be configured will be documented in detail. Customer must agree to this before the actual configuration/customization takes place. I would like to call this phase, the "Hell and Fire Fighting Phase".
  • Project Realization
    This is where the "dirty work" take place. Configuration, customization, interfacing blah blah blah you name it, is here. Heck, even Quality Assurance (if you defined a Q-system landscape) is here.
  • Final Preparation
    This is nearing the end of implementation. Here is where all the last minute stuff like Setting up Production environment, conduct system test, end user training etc is conducted.
  • Go Live and Support
    System is "Live" here. Any quirks will be observed here. Also, any validation of Live Business Process is done here. Last but not least, support for the live system is done here too.

So, that's all folks. SAP Project Implementation Lifecycle.