SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is the tool within SAP’s portfolio that meets the data visualization needs in the cloud. It’s delivered as an all-in-one SaaS (Software as a Service) product, providing comprehensive analytical capabilities for all users within a single product. SAC covers data visualization, budget planning, and predictive analysis needs through the creation of stories.
Within the possibilities offered by SAC for data acquisition, the connection to live data from “on-premise” (local) or cloud systems stands out. The data is “live,” which means that updates occur directly. Consequently, when a user opens a story in SAP Analytics Cloud, changes made in the source system will be reflected immediately.
Moreover, with this live connection, both data volume and queries are processed on the back-end, theoretically without limitation in terms of data volume. However, from BIMEX, it is recommended to limit the data volume returned to the web browser to improve performance during analysis and provide users with a better experience. This function is noteworthy as it enables the use of SAP Analytics Cloud in scenarios where data cannot be moved to the cloud due to security or privacy reasons.
What is this live connection from SAC all about?
Queries necessary to enrich the stories and view the data in the browser are generated from SAP Analytics Cloud. This system sends these queries through the reverse proxy, downwards or via a live direct connection to the local database. The results of these queries are sent back to the browser and represented through analysis objects such as graphs or tables.
Throughout the process, the browser interacts with the reverse proxy or via the live direct connection (CORS), which, in turn, sends requests to SAP Analytics Cloud or the remote data source according to the route of each request.
Another question that may arise from this is: Does anything get stored in SAP Analytics Cloud when using live data connections?
The answer is yes, but don’t worry because only the metadata is stored. This means that SAC stores queries to build the stories, the names of measures and columns, filter values, etc. Essentially, the metadata that allows it to reconstruct the queries generated from the stories. However, none of the actual data, query results, or parts of the results such as totals are stored in the tool. Additionally, these metadata transferred to the browser are encrypted in memory.
And to which systems can we connect using the live connection?
SAP information systems such as:
- SAP HANA
- SAP Business Warehouse (BW)
- SAP BW/4HANA (BW4)
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud (S4HC)
- SAP S/4HANA on-premise (S4HOP)
- SAP BusinessObjects (BOBJ) Universes
- SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) (Embedded model) (BPC NW / BPC Embedded)
Similarly, it should be noted that whenever a connection is to be established with a system, certain requirements and SAC must be met to be able to make use of this live connection. No exception is made. At BIMEX, we lend a hand to determine if your system is compatible with this type of connection. If it’s not, we will guide you on what needs to be done to make it so.
On another note, if your information systems are not SAP, the SAP partner APOS has introduced its solution called “APOS Live Data Gateway.” This provides live data connectivity to numerous sources such as OLAP, relational data, data devices, or cloud-based data, including but not limited to Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Teradata, Microsoft Analysis Services, Redshift on AWS, Hadoop, among many others. Therefore, don’t worry if yours hasn’t been mentioned.
So what could be highlighted from the live connection to SAC data:
- Avoid the transfer of large sets of data from the source systems.
- Information is updated automatically with current data (“live” data).
- Connects to on-premise (local) or cloud data sources without the need to replicate data.
- Data models and complex calculations are created within the source systems and leveraged within SAC later on.
- Sensitive and confidential data can remain on the local network, behind your firewall.
- Only metadata is stored in SAP Analytics Cloud, as the browser directly launches queries to the back-end, and the analysis objects represent data based on query results.
- It can be used with both SAP and non-SAP information systems.
We hope that this post has clarified some doubts and that you feel more comfortable starting the transition process to the cloud. While we have observed an increasing trend towards following this path, and with the live connection of SAC, you can be assured of having your data locally while allowing your users to analyze data in a single application, reaping all the advantages of the cloud.
If you would like more information on this matter or are interested in our guidance to determine whether your systems meet the requirements to leverage all the benefits of SAC’s live connection, please do not hesitate to contact us via our email email@example.com. We will be more than happy to assist you and provide all the information you need.