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SAP BW

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n today's business world companies need precise and up-to-date information from all different sources, (e.g. marketing, production, sales and distribution, finance and human resources) in order to make effective decisions, obtain a competitive edge, optimise business processes and to react quickly to changes in market conditions. Integration and consolidation of this data is called "Data Warehousing".

"Data Warehousing" can be defined as independent application environment with an associated database that is supplied with data from various sources and that facilitates flexible queries and analyses. The Data Warehouse system offered by SAP is called the SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW/BI). SAP BW/BI has interfaces to SAP R/3, R/2 systems as well as to non-SAP systems and external data sources (e.g. databases, online services and the Internet).

In today's business world companies need precise and up-to-date information from all different sources, (e.g. marketing, production, sales and distribution, finance and human resources) in order to make effective decisions, obtain a competitive edge, optimise business processes and to react quickly to changes in market conditions. Integration and consolidation of this data is called "Data Warehousing".

It may be helpful to consider 3 layers to SAP BW/BI:

  • 1. Extraction, Transformation and Load (ETL) layer - responsible for extracting data from a specific source, applying transformation rules, and loading it into SAP BW system.
  • 2. Data Warehouse Area - responsible for storing the information in a various types of structures, including multidimensional structures called InfoCubes.
  • 3. Reporting - responsible for accessing the information in data warehouse area and presenting it in a user-friendly manner to the analyst of business user.
As a core component of SAP NetWeaver, the SAP BW/BI provides data warehousing functionality, a business intelligence platform, and a suite of business intelligence tools that enable businesses to stay ahead of market conditions and competitors.


SAP BW/BI:

  • can integrate, transform and consolidate relevant business information from productive SAP applications and all external data sources.
  • provides flexible reporting and analysis tools to support you in evaluating and interpreting data, as well as facilitating its distribution.
  • enables businesses to make well-founded decisions and determine target-orientated activities on the basis of this analysis.


Among the other features of BW are:

  • Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPIs) that enable connections to non-R/3 applications;
  • preconfigured business content;
  • an integrated OLAP processor
  • automated data extraction and loading routines;
  • a metadata repository; administrative tools;
  • multiple language support; and
  • Business Explorer, a Web-based user interface.


BW consists among other things of

  • components for data management (Data Warehousing Workbench),
  • extensive data modeling capabilities,
  • an embedded analytical engine,
  • a suite of rich front-end analytical tools refererred to as Business Explorer, BEx) and
  • operational tools used for importing the most current transactional data into the system.