There is much debate about the future of SAP BW especially with the advent of SAP HANA; I am here to tell you BW will be around for a long time to come. SAP has made significant investment to integrate BW with SAP HANA and also with BusinessObjects, not to mention that Netweaver is the foundation for many SAP solutions; here I discuss one of the latest ways in which SAP is combining the power of HANA with BW, which is the transient provider.
The transient provider is a new object in BW 7.3 running on a SAP HANA Database; the objective is to allow BW to consume native HANA analytic and calculation views and enhance these views by including metadata (InfoObjects) from BW.
The use of transient providers provides a flexible way to model whilst giving the ability to provide information to users in ‘real-time’. Here is how it works; using transaction RSDD_HM_PUBLISH in BW will allow the selection of the analytical or calculation view directly from the SAP HANA database:
Noting the InfoProvider naming convention for a ‘Transient Provider’ being <@3><technical name on HANA model>, if the technical name of the HANA model is too long it will be truncated so consider using technical names for HANA models of less than 19 characters:
Even though we assign our Transient provider to an InfoArea it will not display on the BW Administrators workbench (RSA1), therefore it is not possible to combine with any further InfoProviders for example within Multi or Hybrid providers (something for a future release maybe?).
A best practice learnt by configuring the ‘Transient provider’ is that all technical names in SAP HANA analytics should always be in uppercase (even though to HANA lower case letters are acceptable), watch out for this as it will save re-developments efforts:
One of the really nice features about using the transient provider is the ability to reference existing InfoObjects thereby picking up on possible attributes, texts and hierarchies thus further extending the reporting capabilities. Do also note that if the InfoObject assigned is authorisation relevant then this is taken into account thereby avoiding the need to implement rather cumbersome analytic privileges within the HANA database itself (liking this feature very much):
Whilst the transient provider is not available on the workbench it does show up within the BW query designer under the specified InfoArea:
As you can see though assigning the InfoObject to the HANA Analytic attribute all of the BW InfoObjects attributes, texts, hierarchies and associated variables are automatically assigned:
The last reason I like the BW transient provider from HANA is the fact that Business Objects Web Intelligence currently has no direct connection to the HANA Analytic; a Universe is still required to be created. However, Web Intelligence does support direct connection to the BW query; this reduces my development efforts considerably.
So if you are one of the lucky few customers to have SAP BW on HANA then I can recommend the use of Transient Providers to give you a real-time, flexible and simplified reporting solution:
For additional information please refer to Klaus Nagel’ paper on ‘Reporting on HANA models in BW-on-HANA’: https://www.experiencesaphana.com/docs/DOC-1463