With version 2.0 of BW/4HANA being generally available to customers since February this year, there still seems to be some confusion in the air around what the product is and how it differs from its predecessor, BW 7.5 on HANA. In this blog, we’ll cover this topic in more detail and have a look at what benefits BW/4 can bring to your organisation.
So, what is BW/4?
It’s SAP’s next-generation flagship data warehouse which has been built from the ground up to run on HANA only, meaning it’s fully optimised and has been designed to leverage some of the HANA Enterprise functionality which we’ve only seen in Native HANA. If you look at what SAP are saying, there are 4 distinct areas or selling points to BW/4 and its development over time which are as follows:
Simplicity – by significantly reducing the number of objects available to us for modelling and building the data warehouse
Openness – by enabling the integration between BW/4 models SAP HANA Views which can be accessed by SQL
Modern UI – by shifting the modelling, administration, and monitoring into HANA Studio and web IDE’s
High Performance – by enabling push-down of OLAP capabilities, such as transformations, etc.
What’s new with version 2.0?
Version 2 has been available for almost 6 months now and has brought a number of innovations to the table. I won’t discuss all of them in too much detail but alongside Modernising the UI and significantly improving Data Integration capabilities, SAP has also introduced some new Data Protection Management capabilities with the launch of the Data Protection Workbench which can be used to ensure GDPR compliance.
Other notable developments include:
- All SAP GUI Modelling Capabilities now exclusively available in HANA Studio – We can only use RSA1 for Administration and Monitoring.
- Remodelling of Advanced-Data Storage Objects has been significantly enhanced, meaning we can enhance and change data models without having to drop and reload data – This supports agile development
- Tighter integration with SAP Data Hub – making integrating data with external systems easier to develop and manage
- Extraction from S/4 HANA Cloud Systems
And finally, the most recent innovation (from SP1, 05/2019) introduces business content extractors and BW objects for Success Factors.
What does this mean for customers?
If you’re a customer who’s not yet on BW/4 and are thinking of upgrading or even having a greenfield implementation, the benefits you are going to see are largely around performance and openness with the integration to HANA.