Best Practices for leveraging CAR Calculation views as a Data Source in SAP BW/4HANA

Kalyan DittakaviBlog

Best Practices for leveraging CAR Calculation views as a Data Source in SAP BW/4HANA

/N SPRO

Introduction

SAP Customer Activity Repository (CAR) is a foundation that collects transactional data that was previously spread over multiple independent applications in diverse formats. The repository provides a common foundation and a harmonized multichannel transaction data model for all consuming applications. SAP CAR consists of POSDM, Demand Data Foundation, Unified Demand Data, Forecasting, Promotion Management, Loyalty and much more. SAP CAR offers real time insights into Inventory, On-shelf availability, Omnichannel sales across all channels,and the list goes on.
CAR Architecture is below:

CAR Architecture (Source SAP.COM)

SAP CAR and SAP BW Standalone System Architecture.

Let’s understand the architecture of CAR and BW when they are 2 separate standalone systems.
As you see from picture 1.0 SAP CAR and SAP BW are on 2 separate systems.

Picture 1.0

Main Points to note from the Picture 1.0 are:
1. CAR has POSDM/DDF/UDF/Real Time Inventory /PMR/Multi Channel Sales Query and much more.
2. CAR sits on a separate HANA Data Base where as BW has its own HANA Data base
3.BW Uses POS Standard SAP Data source- 0RT_PA_TRAN_CNTL which gets replicated from CAR into BW.
4. BW extracts Inventory/Purchasing/Billing/FI GL and other SA data from ECC using regular standard extractors.

Pros and Cons of standalone system Architecture

PROS

PROS

  • Sizing is done for each system specifically
  • Operational Reporting can still be done in CAR and also in BW
  • Core functionality like POSDM/UDF/DDF/PMR/Multi-Channel/Inventory Visibility needs various sets of data and can be availed from CAR directly using CAR Analytics. This eliminates the need to replicate the same data into BW
  • Patches/upgrades are de-coupled
  • Memory allocation/usage is well balanced and risk of out of memory dumps are very low
  • CAR can be used as a Side-car and can even replace BW with some exceptions
  • We can leverage on the CAR calculation views using ODP and persist the data in BW for any agile development/scenarios

CONS

CONS

  • Custom Fiscal time calendar needs to be maintained in CAR specially to do Year over Year and Month over Month analysis
  • Data is duplicated in CAR (from ECC via SLT to CAR). Same data is extracted from ECC into BW using Std extractors.
  • Virtual reporting in BW is possible (accessing CAR Tables/Views), but not recommended for big tables.
  • POS Sales data exists both in CAR as well as in BW
  • Doing a join b/w CAR Calculation view and BW ADSO may lead to performance issues if the data set is big.

Limitation of Standard SAP BW Content with respect to CAR:

Customers who are not on SAP BW/4HANA can use Retail Content, provided they have a Retail POSDM add on in BW. With this, customers can get Std DSO’s, Cubes, Info objects, Queries etc out of the box.
When a customer is on BW/4HANA(assuming CAR and BW are separate systems), there is no Retail specific content available from SAP.
In this case, a customer can replicate the data sources from CAR into BW, but the data flow upwards is not available. ( i.e no Std SAP ADSO’s, Composite Providers, queries). This leaves the customer with below options:
a. Transport the Cubes/DSO’s/Transformations from lower BW version to BW/4HANA and migrate them. Note- There’s a risk as not all objects/methods/classes are supported now in BW/4HANA.
b. Leverage on SAP CAR’s calculation views which I will discuss in detail below.

How to best leverage on CAR Calculation Views as a Data source to BW by using agile development and consume in BW for reporting.

Use cases:

  1. When you want to leverage on a CAR Calculation view as a data source to BW
  2. When there’s no Std SAP data source available in CAR for BW
  3. When you want to do a quick agile development

Detailed Steps:

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Logon to BW Eclipse

Go to data sources tree and create a new Data source on ODP_HANA Source system. In my case its called NS2HBDSCHE.

In the search box, type “sap” and look for any Calculation view. I am taking POSSales_V2

Select that Calculation view and finish the data source creation wizard:

Activate the data source and you refresh your data source tree to see the newly created data source:

Create a ADSO and use the above data source ( POSSALESV2) as the source. Create transformations and activate the objects:

Perform a data load using DTP. Later, create a query on top of the ADSO. You can see the POS Sales data:

When to use which system for reporting:

CAR

CAR

  • Operational can be done on CAR
  • Reporting at transaction level can be performed on CAR. Eg. UPT’s
  • Real time inventory visibility can be achieved in CAR
  • Demand and Forecast reporting can be done
  • Its not a good idea to model a calculation view like a composite provider which can have multiple subject areas data
  • CAR can be used as a Side-car and can even replace BW with some exceptions
  • We can leverage on the CAR calculation views using ODP and persist the data in BW for any agile development/scenarios.

BW

BW

  • On hand inventory at any time using Std Non-Cumulative ADSO’s can be done
  • Historical and analytical reporting can be done
  • Reporting on multiple SA’s is possible. Eg: Pur Reg, PO’s, STO’s, Inventory, Distribution in and out, Material Movements, Store receipts, Store sales, allocations, replenishment and billing.
  • Using ODP, either ECC/CAR tables can be replicated into BW for agile development.
  • BW can leverage on CAR std SAP Calc views for agile development. (Replicate those views and persist)
  • Inventory Snapshots can be achieved in BW
  • Planning can be done in BW


Source: /N SPRO