The reporting, analysis, and interpretation of business data is of central importance to a company in guaranteeing its competitive edge, optimizing processes, and enabling it to react quickly and in line with the market. As a core component of SAP NetWeaver, the SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) provides data warehousing functionality, a business intelligence platform, and a suite of business intelligence tools that enable businesses to attain these goals. Relevant business information from productive SAP applications and all external data sources can be integrated, transformed, and consolidated in SAP BW with the toolset provided. SAP BW provides flexible reporting and analysis tools to support you in evaluating and interpreting data, as well as facilitating its distribution. Businesses are able to make well-founded decisions and determine target-orientated activities on the basis of this analysis.
The following graphic shows how the SAP BW concept is structured. Data Warehousing, BI Platform and BI Suite represent the core areas of SAP BW.
The following graphic shows where SAP BW is positioned within SAP NetWeaver. Furthermore, those subareas that incorporate SAP BW are listed. These are described in detail below.
BEx Information Broadcasting allows you to publish precalculated documents or Online links containing Business Intelligence content to SAP Enterprise Portal (SAP EP). The portal role Business Explorer illustrates the various options that are available to you when working with content from SAP BW in the Enterprise Portal. For more information, see Information Broadcasting.
You are able to integrate content from SAP BW in SAP EP using the BEx Broadcaster, the BEx Web Application Designer, the BEx Query Designer, KM Content, the SAP Role Upload or the Portal Content Studio. For more information, see Integration into the SAP Enterprise Portal. For an overview of the ways in which BI content can be integrated into the Enterprise Portal, see Overview: Ways of Integrating and Displaying BW content in the Portal.
The documents and metadata created in SAP BW (metadata documentation in particular) can be integrated using the repository manager in Knowledge Management in SAP Enterprise Portal. The BW Metadata Repository Manager is used within BEx Information Broadcasting. For more information, see BW Document Repository Manager and BW Metadata Repository Manager.
You can send data from SAP and non-SAP sources to SAP BW using SAP Exchange Infrastructure (SAP XI). In SAP BW the data is placed in the delta queue where it is available for further integration and consolidation. Data transfer using SAP XI is SOAP-based. For more information, see Data Transfer Using SAP XI.
With SAP BI Content, SAP delivers pre-configured role and task-based information models and reporting scenarios for SAP BW that are based on consistent metadata. SAP BI Business Content offers selected roles in a company the information they need to carry out their tasks. The information models delivered cover all business areas and integrate content from almost all SAP and selected external applications.
SAP BI Content is delivered as an add-on to SAP BW.
SAP BW Subareas
Data warehousing in SAP BW represents the integration, transformation, consolidation, cleanup, and storage of data. It also incorporates the extraction of data for analysis and interpretation. The data warehousing process includes data modeling, data extraction, and administration of the data warehouse management processes.
The central tool for data warehousing tasks in SAP BW is the Administrator Workbench.
The Business Intelligence platform serves as the technological infrastructure and offers various analytical technologies and functions. These include the OLAP processor, the Metadata Repository, Business Planning and Simulation, special analysis processes such as Data Mining, and the Reporting Agent.
The SAP BW Business Intelligence Suite, the Business Explorer (BEx), provides flexible reporting and analysis tools for strategic analyses, operational reporting, and decision-making support within a business. These tools include query, reporting, and analysis functions. As an employee with access authorization you can evaluate past or current data on various levels of detail, and from different perspectives, not only on the Web but also in MS Excel.
You can use BEx Information Broadcasting to distribute Business Intelligence content from SAP BW by e-mail either as precalculated documents with past data, or as links with live data. You can also publish it to the Enterprise Portal.
The Business Explorer allows a broad spectrum of users access to information in the SAP BW using the Enterprise Portal, the Intranet (Web application design) or mobile technologies.
· BI Java SDK
With the BI Java SDK you can create analytical applications with which you access both multidimensional (Online Analytical Processing or OLAP) and tabular (relational) data. You can also edit and display this data. BI Java Connectors, a group of four JCA-enabled (J2EE Connector Architecture) resource adapters, implement the BI Java SDK APIs and allow you to connect applications that you have created with the SDK to various data sources.
· Open Analysis Interfaces
The Open Analysis Interfaces make various interfaces available for connecting front-end tools from third-party providers.
· Web Design API
The Web design API and table interface allows you to realize highly individual scenarios and demanding applications with customer-defined interface elements.
The following graphic shows how subareas and their functions are integrated into the SAP BW architecture: