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SAP S/4HANA Embedded Analytics

Your questions answered on what is available, data preparation techniques, integration with your BI front-end solutions, and more!

March 27, 2018

Panelists: Dmitry Kuznetsov, BI Consulting; Andrei Zhakhavets, Independent Consultant
Sponsor: BI & HANA 2018

Read this Q&A transcript to learn about the embedded BI content delivered in SAP S/4HANA, such as analytic models and SAP Fiori tiles.  If your organization is considering, evaluating, or planning the move to SAP S/4HANA, get answers to key topics, such as: embedded analytics use cases, best practices, custom modelling, and integration.  /span>

Bridget Kotelly: Hello, and welcome to today’s live Q&A, SAP S/4HANA Embedded Analytics. We’re looking forward to a lively discussion.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted their questions in advance.

We’re joined for today’s event by Dmitry Kuznetsov with BI Consulting, and Andrei Zhakhavets, an independent SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW), SAP HANA, and SAP BusinessObjects consultant and SAP Business Intelligence (SAP BI) architect. Dmitry is a frequent speaker at SAPinsider events and will be presenting on this topic – along with a few others – at the upcoming SAPinsider BI & HANA 2018 conference, 27-29 June in Prague.

To learn more, click here.

Comment From PB: Can embedded analytics core data services (CDS) views be consumed directly in SAP BusinessObjects tools such as Webi? Or to do so do we need to build a calculation view on top of it?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: Yes, you can certainly use Analysis or SAP Lumira Designer straight on top of CDS views; there is no need to create additional SAP HANA calculation views. All are managed from ABAP Development Tools (ADT) in an on-premise case.

Comment From Santiago: In consumptions CDS, is it possible to have two structures in SAP Business Explorer (BEx) Query Designer — one in rows and one in columns, with restricted and calculated fields?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: CDS views usage for designing queries is still a bit limited; thus, use of structures, hierarchy node variables, and other functionalities is not possible yet.

Comment From Javier: Where can I find a complete developer guide for SAP S/4HANA Embedded Analytics such as CDS views? What are the differences between CDS developed in SAP HANA and CDS views developed in the ABAP layer?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: There is no such thing as a complete developer guide on SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics. You may choose to attend one or a few SAP courses from the list: S4H400, S4H410, S4D430, all of which I sometimes deliver.

SAP HANA CDS views are used for creating persistent objects in the SAP Web Integrated Development Environment (IDE);  ABAP CDS, in contrast, are just the views to build up analytical and other models (search, UI, etc.).

Comment From Ramana R.V.S: What kind of standard supply chain analytics dashboards and visualizations are available in SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics?

 Dmitry Kuznetsov: There is quite a lot in terms of analytics in the Logistics/SCM area. I would advise to install Analysis for Office and connect it to an SAP S/4HANA system. This will show you content grouped by areas; this content comes in handy for exploration purposes. Alternatively, you may use the Query Browser tile in SAP Fiori.

Comment From Alfonso: Is there any trick to generate hierarchies into the HRRP_NODE database table and make them available in reporting?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: You need two reports for that:

  • Set Report Relevancy for a Hierarchy (FINS_REPORT_REV_MAINT)
  • Manually Replicate Runtime Hierarchies (FINS_REPLICATION_HIER)

Comment From Sewak: What percentage of regular SAP BI or SAP BusinessObjects licenses’ analytics is available as embedded analytics in SAP S/4HANA?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: You may choose to use SAP Fiori-based analytical tools that fall under the SAP S/4HANA license or connect SAP S/4HANA to the SAP BusinessObjects platform, which is subject to additional landscapes and licensing.

Comment From Sabita Nayak: Does embedded analytics in SAP S/4HANA provide noncumulative Inventory extractors similar to the ones that are used to extract data to SAP BW?

Andrei Zhakhavets: You can refer to 2500202 - S4TWL - BW Extractors in SAP S/4HANA for an overview of the supported extractors.

Comment From Josko Poljak: Hi, Dmitry, is there a graphical tool to create CDS views?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: Unfortunately, for ABAP CDS views there is no graphical tool (at least yet). You are welcome to suggest it to SAP people whenever you are in contact.

For those customers using the cloud version of SAP S/4HANA, there are two additional SAP Fiori tiles that enable creation of custom CDS views and queries on top of them in a web-based environment.

Comment From Krishna V: Is SAP S/4 HANA embedded analytics an alternative solution for SAP BW? What are the advantages over SAP BW? What are the limitations of embedded analytics?

Andrei Zhakhavets: SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics would be used in case of real-time reporting on top of one system. You would consider using SAP BW when you need to combine data from more than one system, or when you have to build corporate memory and store more historical data or any other Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) functionality.

Comment From Johnny: Hi, how is security set up in the SAP S/4HANA suite to have certain users see some of the data and not all.

Dmitry Kuznetsov: There is an additional entity, called data control language (DCL) source (or sometimes Access Controls), which can have restrictions on the data. Values accepted there are literal values or classic PFCG (Role Maintenance) authorizations. So, it works in a similar fashion as Analysis Authorizations in SAP BW. If you’ve been to TechEd 2017, see session S4H269.

Comment From Morten A: With SAP S/4HANA on-premise you may extend or build new CDS views through eclipse for end-user analytics consumption (e.g., in Smart Business). But what can you do with an SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution, when you need to create analytics content that exceeds what you can do with Smart Business or the KPI modeler? Is SAP BW/4HANA) the only option for this kind of modeling? And then SAP Analytics Cloud or SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise for reporting options?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: I cannot comment so much on the cloud option from practice.

For those customers using the cloud version of SAP S/4HANA, there are two additional SAP Fiori tiles that enable creation of custom CDS views and queries on top of them in a web-based environment.

I have also seen SAP Analytics Cloud mentioned as the way to do more analytics on SAP S/4HANA, but you need to explore the way to connect the two cloud environments.

Comment From Erno Toivanen: Will embedded analytics follow user authorization rules that come from SAP S/4HANA? Is it possible to give more privilege examples to aggregated data than you are able to see on SAP S/4HANA? For example, in SAP S/4HANA you have access to company codes A and B, but not C and D. Still, you can see the total value of all company codes and not only the total of A and B.

Dmitry Kuznetsov: Yes, you can reuse the PFCG-given authorizations and grant additional access to the data with literal values. In other words, you can mix the two in the same DCL source (or Access Controls as it is sometimes called).

Comment From Alfonso: What is the alternative to building structure reporting in real time for SAP S/4HANA?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: You can still use BEx Query Designer (Eclipse or Windows based) for creating functionalities such as structures and BEx variables on top of cube-like CDS views.

Comment From Timur Zaynashev:

Is it possible to overcome CDS view limitations, such as hierarchies and hierarchies nodes, by modeling in Query Designer on the top of a CDS view? Will report performance significantly degrade in the case of BEx query use?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: There are two concerns:

1. Functionality. Yes, it is certainly possible to create a BEx query on top of a generated CDS-based Transient provider. It will have all the same functionality with a few natural exceptions.

2. Performance. Both CDS views of a type @Analytics.query: true and a BEx query are getting executed in the same online analytical processing (OLAP) engine (aka the Analytics Engine), so it will depend more on the query definition rather than the environment (BEx/CDS).

Comment From Deb Donohoe: Is there any new or specific maintenance activity or technical housekeeping needed with the use of the embedded analytics?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: There is minimal housekeeping. The only thing I can think of is that  you need to refresh the hierarchies (report FINS_REPLICATION_HIER) every time these change. You should probably refresh the hierarchies daily.

Comment From Cyril Jacob: Does SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics have all the business content data sources that are part of SAP BW?

Andrei Zhakhavets: Not all the business content data sources (from SAP ERP Central Component [SAP ECC]) are still relevant in SAP S/4HANA because of the changed data model in SAP S/4HANA. Refer to the SAP Notes listed in the OSS 2500202 that provide more detail on the restrictions and deactivated standard data sources.

Based on the currently available structures of standard data sources, you would model analytics.

Comment From Miguel Perez Salazar: What processes are embedded analytics really good for? What components are required to do analytics on SAP S/4HANA?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: Embedded analytics functionality is very suitable for doing tasks such as operational reporting and mixed analytical and transactional scenarios. This all implies that the data is readily available in SAP S/4HANA.

Since all back-end CDS views are part of an ABAP stack, you do not need to install additional components to start using them. If you choose to use various front ends (SAP Fiori, back order processing, SAP BW), there are guides with steps to follow to enable that. The best practices section is a good starting point (login required).

Comment From RK: How is embedded analytics different from the SAP Digital Boardroom?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: The SAP Digital Boardroom is a front-end concept that potentially consumes (and writes) data from multiple places such as SAP BW, SAP S/4HANA, or flat files.

Embedded analytics is a combination of back-end CDS views and analytical SAP Fiori apps with possibilities to integrate then further with SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and/or SAP BW.

Comment From Claudio: Are all objects belonging to SAP BI embedded analytics transportable through the landscape?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: Yes, both back-end CDS models and SAP Fiori KPI configurations are, indeed, transportable objects.

Comment From Oscar Alberto: When do you use SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics instead of SAP BW or SAP S/4HANA?

Andrei Zhakhavets: Use SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics for operational reporting on top of one system; use SAP BW/4HANA for enterprise data warehousing.

It is possible to reuse views from SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics in SAP BW/4HANA by means of virtualization when you need to combine operational and strategic or  historical analytics (from more than one system).

From the other side, federation of several SAP S/4HANA systems for embedded analytics would be possible without SAP BW by means of Smart Data Access.

Comment From Timur Zaynashev: There is an SAP recommendation to keep Embedded BW no more than 20% of the full SAP S4/HANA database size. For the rest requirements Strategic Analytics solutions in the standalone SAP BW should be used. Any technical SAP S4/HANA limitation is driving this 20% constraint? Or it is only organizational obstacles such as upgrades, patching, disaster recovery solutions, and so on?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: Yes, there is such a recommendation, but it is not technical.

From a pure use perspective, you will use embedded SAP BW, mixing CDS-based content with some external data and snapshots built from SAP S/4HANA. It should not be very likely to have big external data volumes compared with what will reside in SAP S/4HANA itself.

You may find this link on embedded SAP BW useful:

Comment From Alfonso: Is there any documentation from SAP about existing standard CDS for each SAP S4/HANA module?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: No. There are 16,000 of them in SAP S/4HANA 1709.

Use the View Browser app in SAP Fiori for a good idea per area.

Comment From Julio Zuniga: How can you optimize the performance of queries when the composite provider contains cubes for SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) classic versions? Is it better to build the composite provider with objects created in SAP BW (InfoCube, DSO, ADSO, InfoObjects)?

Andrei Zhakhavets: If SAP BPC runs on SAP HANA, it is possible to convert cubes to SAP HANA-optimized versions; otherwise you need to apply non-SAP-HANA-optimized best practices.

Comment From rukmambarababu: Are there any new features in SAP S/4HANA?

Dmitry Kuznetsov: As far as analytics functionalities are concerned, everything is very new in SAP S/4HANA compared with the analytics offered in SAP ECC on SAP HANA.

Back-end modeling is done in ABAP CDS views. In the front end a lot of SAP Fiori analytical apps are integrated to back order processing.

So, it is very different to extract, transform, load (ETL) processes, BEx. and Web Application Designer times.

Bridget Kotelly: Hi, everyone. That wraps up our time for today’s live Q&A. Thanks to everyone who participated for your great questions.

To learn more about this topic, as well as many other SAP data, data warehousing, and analytics topics, join us at BI & HANA 2018, 27-29 June in Prague. Find out more and register here.

Dmitry, Andrei, thanks again for joining us today for a great chat.

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3/27/2018 5:57:35 AM

How can we build a structure based report (restricted keyfigure selection with hierachy like form) using CDS views?

Sabita Nayak

3/26/2018 10:33:58 AM

Does Embedded Analytics in S/4HANA provide Non-cumulative Inventory extractors similar to the ones that are used to extract data to BW?


3/26/2018 4:39:25 AM

Please comment on the advantages / disadvantages between embedded analytics and Account Based Copa.


3/25/2018 4:37:43 AM

What percentage of a regular SAP BI or BOBJ licenses analytics are available as embedded analytics in S4HANA


3/22/2018 3:39:35 AM

In S/4HANA on-premise you're able to extend or introduce new CDS Views from eclipse to extend the embedded analytics and let the end user consume from Fiori.. But what can you do with a S/4HANA Cloud Solution when embedded analytics and the use of Smart Business or KPI Modeler is not enough to "build" the required data foundation? Any means to achieve the same? Or do you have to consider BW (or maybe rather BW/4HANA) to extend the embedded analytics? And will Analytics Cloud, Lumira or BO Enterprise be the only reporting tools for the consumption? Or is there a trick to bring it closer to Fiori??


3/19/2018 4:29:26 AM

What are the main recommendations to follow for selecting the best S4Hana Deployment Option between On Premise and Cloud considering that Embedded Analytics and its user experience and adoption would depend from the performance? What are the recommendations to follow regarding to the network requisites in the Client Area, Internal Area and Storage Area?

Ramana R.V.S

3/18/2018 11:52:15 PM

what kind of standard Supply chain analytics dashboards and visualizations available in S/4 HANA Embedded analytics.

Balaji V

3/17/2018 6:58:27 AM

1. kindly share the use case details of this S/4 HANA Embedded Analytics
2. What kind of benefits customer can get by using this S/4 HANA Embedded Analytics
3. can you suggest/share the learning path to beginners who are all interested to Learn S/4 HANA Embedded Analytics
4. Different SAP Module knowledge required/necessary to work on this S/4 HANA Embedded Analytics
5. How this S/4 HANA Embedded Analytics interconnected/linked with BW/4 HANA,BI tools like WEBI etc

Deb Donohoe

3/16/2018 11:42:46 AM

Is there any new or specific maintenance activity or technical housekeeping needed with the use of the embedded analytics?

Oscar Alberto

3/16/2018 11:37:33 AM

When to use S/4HANA Embedded Analytics instead of BW/4HANA?

Oscar Alberto

3/16/2018 11:36:50 AM

How is diferent S/4HANA Embedded Analytics vs BW/4HANA?