Open ODS views enable you to define BW data models for objects like database tables. database views or BW DataSources (for direct access). These data models allow flexible integration without the need to create InfoObjects. This flexible type of data integration makes it possible to consume external data sources in BW without staging, combine data sources with BW models and physically integrate (load) external data sources by creating DataSources.
The Open ODS view is a BW metadata object that provides a structure description with attributes (fields) and data types. It represents a view on a source and adds analytic metadata to this source. Supported data sources are objects, which describe their data in a structure with attributes and data types (such as database tables), views or BW DataSources. The Open ODS view does not have separate storage for transaction data or master data. This means persistency and analytic modeling are decoupled for the Open ODS view.
Although classic modeling with InfoObjects guarantees a high level of consistency in the data model, any existing modeling already in use for reporting and analysis is difficult to modify. Modeling with Open ODS views is considerably more flexible. You can create an Open ODS view with minimum effort for a data source and assign properties to the fields of the Open ODS view. In particular, when defining the structure of the Open ODS view, you can specify whether a specific field should be interpreted as a key figure or characteristic. An Open ODS view modeled in this way makes data available for consumption (for example, with a query). The view can be enhanced stage by stage for further integration into BW.
Consume external data without staging:
The Open ODS view allows data sources to be virtually consumed without the need for a separate BW persistence for the data. These data models can be located in a database schema (of the SAP HANA database in BW), which is not managed by BW. Alternatively, the models can be located in other databases, which can be connected to the SAP HANA database in BW using SAP HANA Smart Data Access.
Combine external data with BW models:
By using links to InfoObjects, you can combine Open ODS views with BW models and thereby use master data attributes and texts in BW, for example. There is another way of combining the Open ODS view with BW models; by using the Composite Provider.
Physical integration of external data (staging):
For ETL purposes, you can create DataSources for Open ODS views and thereby physically integrate data sources into BW.
The degree of integration for data models can be iteratively developed, without invalidating any modeling objects (for example, queries) that are based on these modeling objects. For example, you can model a simple Open ODS view with standard properties for the fields. You can then use this view for queries and, in subsequent steps, link InfoObjects, for example, to the fields of the Open ODS view and use the InfoObject properties in your model.
Open ODS views are available if the BW system is running on the SAP HANA database.
Open ODS views cannot be defined for hierarchies.