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4 ways to use ABAP on your SAP NetWeaver BW project

by The Tip Doctor

January 28, 2011

The Tip Doctor, Insider Learning Network.

Ned Falk, Senior Education Consultant, SAP America, shows how your SAP NetWeaver BW projects can benefit using ABAP in his article “20 Uses for ABAP on SAP NetWeaver BW Projects,” which was posted to the SAP Professional Journal Web site in February 2010. Here are four of those uses.

1) Perform Open Hub transformations:

SAP NetWeaver BW supplies the Open Hub service to meet requirements for getting information to third-party applications from SAP NetWeaver BW. The data types, field names, and field lengths are often not the same in SAP NetWeaver BW as they are in the external application, or additional value manipulation is necessary. For this, an ABAPer needs to code the custom logic for the manipulation in a Business Add-In (BAdI). BAdIs, based on ABAP OO, help you accomplish custom enhancements in a controlled way.

2) Build authorization values:

ABAP implemented through variables filled by a user exit can be used to dynamically build authorization values when the user logs in. This is sometimes an easy way to maintain many allowed values for a cost center range for a specific user.

3) Process chains:

The process chain is a scheduling tool for various tasks in the data warehouse. In some cases, you can use ABAP code to schedule a job on the source system or run a small ABAP program on SAP ERP to raise an event on SAP NetWeaver BW. This event could then be used to start a process chain. A business case for this could involve a transaction or ABAP code run on SAP ERP to indicate that the Financial Accounting (FI) system is done with the month-close process. This ABAP program calls SAP NetWeaver BW and raises an event. When this event is raised, the process chain called “FI Monthly Process” starts.

4) Virtual InfoCube with services:

Virtual InfoCubes allow for the direct read of source data in real time. You do not have to load the data into an InfoCube — it is loaded into memory directly from the source when the report is run using standard SAP NetWeaver BW query and reporting tools. The three types of virtual InfoCubes are SAP remote InfoCubes, general remote InfoCubes, and virtual InfoCubes with services. SAP remote InfoCubes use SAP ERP or SAP CRM DataSources (and their associated extractors) to read the data in real time, while general remote InfoCubes access data that is normally purchased (e.g., Nielson). Virtual InfoCubes with services are used if the source is a custom table or group of tables. In this case, custom ABAP function modules (services) can be written to properly present the data from these tables to the SAP NetWeaver BW query tools, making your table look like an SAP NetWeaver BW InfoCube. This provides real-time data, not replicated data, from your application to the user.

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