It’s been quite a busy 12 months for SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) 10.0: the release of the BPC 10.0 for SAP NetWeaver, new updates (SP9 in January) and lots of discussion about SAP HANA.
This means there are lots of questions as organizations evaluate their next move.
Three top BPC experts – Scott Cairncross, David Dixon, and Jarrett Bialek of TruQua Enterprises – joined us to take your questions on SAP BPC 10.0 in the Financials Forum, with a special focus on migrating to BPC 10 and running BPC on HANA.
Follow the entire thread in the Financials Forum archives or read the edited transcript here:
Allison Martin: Welcome to today's discussion thread on BPC 10.0!
Today, we have BPC experts Scott Cairncross, David Dixon and Jarrett Bialek of TruQua Enterprises here to take your questions. TruQua Enterprises will be participating in our upcoming BPC Seminar in Washington D.C in June and also presenting at our SAP Financials event in Amsterdam.
Welcome, Scott, David and Jarrett!
Jarrett Bialek: Thank you Allison, glad to be here and looking forward to some great questions!
Scott Cairncross: Hello All, Welcome to the Q&A forum on Upgrading to BPC 10.0.
Thanks for posting your questions. Post as many as you like and if we can't get to them during the hour we'll surely follow up and make sure that they are answered and sent to you.
Scott Cairncross (email@example.com)
David Dixon: Thanks Allison for the introduction! I see there are a few posts already so we will start replying. See everyone at the upcoming seminars and conferences!
RoseParatto: What challenges are being faced when installing BPC 10 NW using FIM and Data Services 4.1? What should I be considering for a successful installation?
Scott Cairncross: Hi Rose,
Thanks for your question. Can you clarify? Are you currently using FIM to populate BPC 7.5 NW?
As FIM and Data Services are EIM (Enterprise Information Managememt) tools they would not aid you necessarily in your upgrade process.
If your question is more related to how FIM interacts with BPC 10.0 NW vs. BPC 7.5 NW, it interacts in very much the same way. The integration templates are still in place and will continue to work to process your data movements between systems. Of course just as with any migration process you will have to do regression testing to make sure that everything is functioning as desired.
David Dixon: Hi Rose,
To add to what Scott responded, Data Services is an underlying component of FIM with a web application interface on top designed to be more user-centric than working directly within Data Services Designer.
It is an important distinction as there are ways to integrate Data Services into SAP BPC without FIM but this direct integration is custom development (supported by an SAP How-To guide for an earlier version of Data Services) and not SAP standard functionality (as with FIM). Otherwise, you can always use Data Services to generate files that can be imported and loaded by SAP BPC Data Manager.
If you took the latter approach (Data Services) versus the former (FIM) there will be more migration considerations due to the nature of the integration. More specifically, we did experience issues going from 7.x to 10.0 at one of our clients. In the end, we got it working with a few adjustments and it is heavily being used in a production system. Otherwise, the considerations are as what Scott describes.
Best wishes and have a great day!
What is your advice to clients considering migrating to BPC NW 10.0 vs. using BPC 10.0 on HANA?
Jarrett Bialek: Hello Matt,
I would take note of all your performance pain points and make sure that HANA will address (or plans to address) these issues before making the additonal investment.
Remember that HANA will help you with read/write times at the db level, however many customer's pain points appear to be backend when they are really how their front-end templates were designed, not enough dialog processes on application servers, not enough application servers, load balancing, poorly performing script logic, abap, or MDX, etc.
HANA will help with large data volumes (writes and reads) and calculation intensive processes. HANA will be better equipped to handle MDX than the current BPC 10.0 on NW (non-HANA).
We have also seen dimensions with many members (100,000+) only able to be processed on BPC HANA systems (however, this probably could be addressed as well with custom code on non-HANA systems).
We are currently considering a migration from BPC 7.5 NW to BPC 10 NW.
As we have numerous reports based on BO through WEBI, we have one concern : the queries on which WEBI reports are built on the multiprovider created by BPC. If we migrate the current appsets and applications from BPC 7.5 NW to BPC 10 NW using the migration program, will the technical names of the cubes (BPC models) change ?
The answer to this question is important since it will affect our migration strategy since we would want to have the reporting on WEBI to stay stable and not remap everything because technical names have changed.
Thank you for your answers.
David Dixon: To answer your question:
As part of the migration, you will perform a back up from your 7.5 NW system and a restore to your 10.0 NW system (before running the migration program UJT_MIGRATE_75_TO_10). The transaction code to do this back up and restore is UJBR. When you do the restore, there is a checkbox option you will need to flag called "Use Tech Names from Backup Files".
Make sure you flag this to avoid the issue are concerned with. Also note that as of EPM 10.0 NW SP5 it is possible to fix the technical names (reference SAP Note 1689814 - "Stabilize InfoCube's technical name in the modeling process"). There are other issues you need to consider in the area of transports and optimizations.
To address another issue related to your question:
As you may or may not be aware there are issues and considerations with the approach you are taking with SAP BusinessObjects integration as it is not yet SAP supported. SAP provides an ODBO provider to achieve such SAP BusinessObjects BI integration.
The approach in question by-passes SAP BPC security and its Shared Query Engine (which handles logic such as signage, measures and anything MDX related).
While SAP BEx queries can be created on the underlying SAP BPC generated Multi-Provider and successfully yield database results, the approach goes against the fundamental design principal that SAP BPC generates and manages all of its underlying SAP BW metadata for you.
It's conceptually similar to the approach of building SAP BusinessObjects Universes directly against SAP database tables; while there are working implementations it is not SAP recommended because it it by-passes SAP security and application server intelligence (in this case memory management, conversion exits, caching, etc).
jemathieu: Hi David,
Thanks for your answer. Concerning the other issues related to my question, most of them we were aware of, and chose to go for it as our business love BPC and...BO.. So we managed to handle security on the BO side and on the BPC side separately. We have a good process to handle this so it does not have much impact. For the shared query engine functionalities, we have workaround solutions for this, especially for YTD purposes.
We are totally aware that it is not SAP supported but on the other hand, business is satisfied and top management rather have a nice WEBI report / dashboards instead of connecting to BPC and open the required reports in Excel. So we assume our choices and do our designs with the issues you mentioned in our minds.
David Dixon: Hello JM,
Thank you for sharing your experiences and rounding out the dialogue!
Just a point of further clarification is that there is an SAP supported way to integrate SAP BusinessObjects BI (including Universes and Web Intelligence) directly to SAP BPC without having to go down the MultiProvider route.
So you are not forced to use Excel as your reporting tool against SAP BPC data. You can use Web Intelligence in an SAP supported way that leverages SAP BPC security and Shared Query Engine.
I believe the key decision criteria in going down the route you took is evaluating the SAP BPC ODBO provider versus the various SAP BW connectivity options. But it sounds like you were aware of all the trade offs involved; I simply wanted to make this important distinction for our audience.
Have a great afternoon!
FredericJubier: Hi Scott,
We are interested to do an "inplace" upgrade of our current system BPC7.5 NW to EPM10.
1) Backend migration – steps: I'd like to know the technical steps to convert/migrate DEV, QA and PROD from the backend point of view including the basis tasks if possible.
2) Frontend migration – steps: There is a conversion tool on the frontend to re-use existing EVDREs reports/templates which can be very useful for a quick win (backward compatibility). Can you elaborate on the topic? Does the performance will improve the time response by executing the same EVDRE in EPM10? MDX query or RSDRI query?
3) HANA option: One of the reasons to go to EPM10 is the performance gain through the use of HANA. I understand the reporting can be faster but I am not sure if the script logic (default) will automatically beneficiate from HANA. The read time is improve but I am not sure about the Write back with Script Logic. Does customer needs to develop SQL script in native HANA to have the full benefits?
Scott Cairncross: Hi Fred,
Here are the answers to your questions below:
1) Backend migration – steps: “I'd like to know the technical steps to convert/migrate DEV, QA and PROD from the backend point of view including the basis tasks if possible."
First off you will need to use the UJBR tool to backup your BPC Application Set... A full backup is required as it will be used later in the migration process.
Your BW system, the platform for BPC 10.0 then needs to be upgraded to BW 7.3 this process varies based on what version you are currently on as well as whether or not you are planning to leverage BW on HANA as well. Doing an upgrade alone would require using the SUM (Software Update Manager) tool to upgrade your system to BW 7.3 if you were not planning a net new install which from your question you do not as it is "inplace". As a part of the BW upgrade you can add the BPC 10.0 components to your upgrade queue (software components CPMBPC, POASBC & optionally HANABPC - if you are using HANA) and upgrade them at once. I typically like to break this up myself to ensure that the platform upgrade was successfull.
Once your BW system is upgraded to BW 7.3 at that point if you had not upgraded to BPC 10.0 you can then go ahead and do so. The upgrade process is very quick for the BPC related components.
After the upgrade you will then need to restore your Application Set that you backed up from BPC 7.5.
Once you have restored your Application Set at that point you can run the following program.
Which will take you through the final steps of the backend migration process.
If you are migrating to BPC on BW on HANA you then need to run the subsequent program.
There are additinal details on the backend which need to be tended to. If you have BAdI's there are a series of API's that have been updated and those updates need to be incorporated into your code:
- Get Dimension Members
- Get Current View
- Get Dimensions
- Read Transaction Data
- Write Transaction Data (Write Back)
- Get Metadata
- Process Dimension
- Read Master Data
Most of the other backend nuances are handled by the migration program itself...
2) Frontend migration – steps: "There is a conversion tool on the frontend to re-use existing EVDREs reports/templates which can be very useful for a quick win (backward compatibility). Can you elaborate on the topic? Does the performance will improve the time response by executing the same EVDRE in EPM10? MDX query or RSDRI query?"
--> There is a conversion tool, yes. EVDRE's post migration will work fine within the EPM Add-In the new and improved BPC 10.0 frontend tool. There is however a series of EV functions that do not work any longer and there are others that should over time simply be migrated to their EPM function counterparts.
BPC 7.5 reports may only be built with EV functions. Here is the list of all former BPC 7.5 functions that are backward compatible:
Here is a list of EV functions and their corresponding EPM functions as well as those functions that are now deprecated.
- evAPD = EPMModelCubeDesc
- evAPP = EPMModelCubeID
- evASD = EPMEnvDatabaseDesc
- evAST = EPMEnvDatabaseID
- evBET = EPMComparison
- evBNV = EPMBook
- evCGP = EPMCommentPartialContext
- evCGT = EPMCommentFullContext
- evCOM = EPMSaveComment
- evCVW = EPMContextMember
- evDES = EPMMemberDesc
- evDIM = EPMDimensionType
- evDNV = EPMDocumentList
- evGET = EPMRetrieveData
- evGTS = EPMScaleData
- evHNV = EPMURL
- evLCK = EPMWorkStatus
- evMBR = EPMSelectMember
- evMNU = EPMExecuteAPI
- evPRO = EPMMemberProperty
- evPRP = EPMDimensionProperty
- evRNG = EPMCellRanges
- evRTI = EPMRefreshTime
- evSND = EPMSaveData
- evSVR = EPMServer
- evTIM = EPMMemberOffset
- evUSR = EPMUser
- OsCLD = EPMDocument
Some former EV functions have been turned into EPM Add-in features and, therefore, are not supported anymore:
- EVEXP (use the new Report Editor instead)
- EVHOT (becomes “Quick links” functionality in the EPM add-in)
Regarding your question on Performance, migrating to the new Report Definition concept is really the best way to go to address performance this is something that is being developed and improved where as EVDRE and the other EV functions are simply being supported to help customers transition to the new frontend.
3) HANA option: "One of the reason to go to EPM10 is the performance gain through the use of HANA. I understand the reporting can be faster but I am not sure if the script logic (default) will automatically beneficiate from HANA. The read time is improve but I am not sure about the Write back with Script Logic. Does customer needs to develop SQL script in native HANA to have the full benefits?"
Script logic is currently not enhanced in BPC on HANA however based on the blogs from EPM Solution Management and discussions with development I believe we will being enhancements in this area.
Remember that not only is read performance improved with HANA, write performance is improved as well. The fact that dimension ID's are no longer stored in the DB which SAP says provids an 80% performance improvement for BW cube data loads which BPC gets inherently with HANA. Because of this fact that the Dimensions of the Cubes are no longer physically present we get simpler modeling and faster structural changes as a direct result.
Also processing of MDX Measure Formulas was pushed down into the HANA database to improve read times which is very helpful as well.
Hopefully this covers your BIG question... :)
Benjamin Tan: One of the concerns of upgrading to NW10 from NW7.5 is that we have many reports/input schedules that are heavy with vba and ev_functions. To rebuild them will take a lot of time and effort, an exercise we had once during the mirgration from MS7.5 to NW7.5 a while back.
I saw that BPC 10 comes with a tool to help migrate the report, but I heard it may not work with all reports.
What's your experience in this area and what advice/recommendation you may have? Thank You!
Jarrett: Hello Benjamin,
You are correct with all of your assumptions. It will help and speed up the upgrade given that you have already addressed the non-supported MS functions with your migration from MS to NW.
Here is a quick list of functions that are no longer supported when going from 7.5 -> 10.0:
EVEXP (use the new Report Editor instead)
EVHOT (becomes “Quick Links” functionality in the EPM add-in)
Other functions are still supported, but renamed like: evPRO -> EPMMemberProperty, you don't necessarily have to update all of these, but might be wise to in case a future support pack breaks the depricated functions.
Also, anywhere you use EVMNU functions will have to be re-written using EPMExecuteAPI.
This could be a good excuse to consolidate many of your reports to minimize the effort, but anywhere the above non-supported functions are used, the reports will have to be touched. What I have seen done is a program that goes through and updates all the vba, however this was to update over 1000 reports so the programming effort was justified.
deepesh100: What is the recommended option to migrate from BPC 7.0 NW to 10.0 NW?
7.0 -> 7.5 -> 10.0 or start from scratch with 10.0 system?
Scott Cairncross: Hi Deepesh,
This really depends on your business requirements. If you are planning to do planning process re-engineering or change your existing set of functionality then a new implementation would make sense. Otherwise a migration is in order and the "double-hop" you outline above is the right path forward. The move from BPC 7.0 to BPC 7.5 is straight-forward and the path from BPC 7.5 to BPC 10.0 I explained in response to Fred's question...
MarkSellnow: Does BPC 10.0 support multiple languages (Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese) in menu screens?"
Scott Cairncross: The following languages are supported in the EPM Add-In:
I hope that this answers your question.
Allison Martin: Thanks to all who posted questions and followed the discussion!
That wraps up today’s forum – thanks for joining us, and thank you, again, to our experts – Scott Cairncross, David Dixon and Jarrett Bialek of TruQua Enterprises for taking these questions today.
Thank you all - and I’m looking forward to seeing Scott, David and Jarrett in person at Financials 2013 in Amsterdam and then in Washington D.C at the BPC Seminar
hanks again to David Dixon, Scott Cairncross, and Jarrett Bialek for some great advice today.
A full summary of the forum will be posted on Insider Learning Network tomorrow, and you can post your questions here in the Financials Forum at any time.
For a full, deep dive on BPC, I invite you to join us at our upcoming 3-day BPC Seminar, starting in June in Washington, DC, June 18-20, and then coming to Copenhagen and Orlando. You can get all the information on locations, dates and full agenda – including sessions from Scott and David - at www.bpcseminar.com.
Thanks again for joining us, and I hope to see you in person at one of our events soon!