SAP BW/4HANA builds on a long history of data warehousing at SAP. In 2011, SAP HANA revolutionised data warehousing, bringing in-memory performance toover 3,500 customers who are running BW-on-HANA. SAP BW/4HANA is SAP’s next generation of SAP Business Warehouse designed to only run on SAP HANA and to leverage key HANA capabilities and performance. It is a logical continuation of SAP BW Powered by HANA but is not its legal successor.
SAP BW/4HANA is a new product with a new code base, which is not part of SAP NetWeaver, meaning it is decoupled from the SAP NetWeaver Release Cycle and not all components are part of BW4/HANA. However, certain NetWeaver components are still part of the BW/4HANA shipment. For example, Application Lifecycle Management, such as patching, and Service Packs and Transports of BW models through the environment landscape, will still be handled in the same way as currently the NetWeaver infrastructure. Conversely, NetWeaver shipments will not contain BW/4HANA.
SAP BW/4HANA supports only SAP HANA-Optimised objects, which will drive higher performance and allows provision via an open SQL interface for managing the data in SAP applications or other SQL systems.
This enables BW/4HANA to take a wider remit in the enterprise than SAP BW Netweaver could. But it does mean that much of the content in existing instances will need to be revisited.
All SAP BW customers need a roadmap for adopting and implementing this new platform. For new instances, the choice to start out on BW/4HANA is becoming more compelling every quarter. For established instances, a transition is a significant investment but that doesn’t stop you preparing for the change now.It is important to note that some of SAP’s design principles for BW/4HANA are readily available in versions 7.4 and 7.5. Most notably the 4 modelling objects that are the cornerstone of solution development in BW/4HANA are supplementary to the existing codebase in versions 7.4 and 7.5. You can start migrating your content in BAU before implementing a new platform.
Depending on your starting point, there are several migration paths and options for the move, not just from a prior version of BW but also from an EDW to BW/4HANA. This is influenced by multiple factors such as your wider SAP roadmap, your cloud strategy and the functions that your system covers.
Principle Info-Tech can help you determine the right strategy and roadmap for your enterprise to minimise the impact of this change on your business and your budget.
BW4/HANA relies far more on the HANA Studio toolset traditional SAP GUI and BEX Analyser and its Excel add in are no longer supported by BW/4HANA. As customers make the transition, market skills will reflect the new toolsets released over the next 2-3 years. Even though the lifespan of SAP BW Netweaver stretches into the next decade, the most talented resources will be moving to BW/4HANA, just as we saw a similar shift to SAP BW 7, from SAP BW 3.5, within 2 years of its release.