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SAP BW/4HANA is the SAP data warehouse solution for on premise customer and it is supported until 2040. SAP BW have been in the market for + 20 years and I have worked with it since 2004 and that was release SAP BW 3.2 , soon after came release 3.5. Thousands of customers are successfully using the solution for business critical reporting, steering and ad hoc analysis. Thousands of customers have successfully used the platform for over 20 years. 

SAP BW have been my career for almost 20 years. We have almost had a relationship.  It has been a good relationship.  It has been prosperous. It has been secure. It has been challenging. Some relationships eventually come to an end, sometimes ugly, sometimes in good understanding.

This article gives my perspective of the way forward for SAP BW 7.5 customers.  

New Horizon

SAP Datasphere is now ready to take over the role that SAP BW have played for SAP customers. Now is the time to embrace the new horizons.

We have all heard about the new era; GenAI,  Data Mesh, Data Fabric, Data Marketplace, knowledge graphs. These are capabilities that are of great value for customers and there are no plans as of today to include these kind of capabilities into SAP BW. 

In addition to these new areas, SAP Datasphere have in the recent releases received great functionality which have taken SAP Datasphere to the next level, also for more traditional data warehouse and data foundation use cases. 

Let me describe what I mean:

  • Replication flow

Replication flow offers real- time Delta enabled replication from SAP semantic object CDS views to Datasphere or to external targets.

  • Tables with Local delta

Tables with delta offers performant and efficient data loads through the solution. Similar to the ADSO with change logs in the SAP BW world.

  • Transformation flow with SQL

Transform and enrich your data with well-known SQL. Either graphical or scripts.

  • Analytic model

Analytic model will be your semantic object that BI tools or AI/Ml models will consume. It will play the role that BW queries have played in the BW world.

  • Scoped Roles

Scoped roles are the new generation role concept in Datasphere which make the role concept more robust and enterprise ready.


With these objects, SAP Datasphere secure a robust Data Foundation with enterprise qualities. Together with our partners and our innovations we are constantly enhancing the SAP Datasphere capabilities.

Planning models in Datasphere, AI, Co-pilots , SAC Compass and so much more.

Why not upgrade?

If you are a customer that has SAP BW 7.5 and are thinking of the way forward. Why spend quite a lot of money to upgrade to SAP BW/4HANA? What will it give you? Yes, longer support time. But it will not get you to the new paradigm; no AI, no Co-pilot, no SAC planning models, no Data marketplace, no Data democratization, no Data Fabric.

Why not take the opportunity to re-innovate your solutions on SAP Datasphere? Spend your innovation money wisely. Use they upgrade budet to re-innovate on SAP Datasphere and build all new use cases directly there and move existing solutions gradually. 

Now is the time move to SAP Datasphere and replace your SAP BW solutions and at the same time enter the new paradigm of data solutions from SAP.

I hope that my coming 20 years will be as good as my first, I am looking forward to it.

Thank you SAP BW

Thank you SAP BW I wish you all the best and long live SAP Datasphere!

Active Contributor

Hello @kenneth_dalvik ,

I've been waiting for a Blog like yours already ... just wondering by what date in time it would occur 🙂

In general I agree: Many, many new inventions will never come into BW4, and you need to have a hybrid approach if you want to leverage the new capabilities to the fullest extent. Basically, for the backend it may be the right time already...

But with all your BW experience you probably have seen the same rise and fall of front-end tools and developments like me: Bex Web, Design Studio, Lumira, now SAC.... imagine, you would have build your whole front-end 3-4 times completely new (latest with BW live in SAC) ... and now you are supposed to re-build it even from scratch again - which means the Analytic Model, replacing the BW query - plus updating the SAC story on top....

Don't you think this is a veeeeeeeery long way, for all the queries your whole LOBs created during the last 20 years, and which they demand to keep in the future? You basically have to rebuild each and every Story Diagram from BW Live to Datasphere!

I know huge companies with thousands of queries, also many two-structure queries, with extensive logic in it. Ten thousands of lines of Customer Exit variable code, for hundreds of CE variables. How do you deal with that? It can be an effort of 2-3 years 😞

And one thing came to my mind lately: You can order Datasphere with 4 TB max. ... what about Scale-out customers, with e.g. 6 x 3TB size? Usually 50% is unused but even with archived data they will very quickly exceed the full 4TB. What is the solution for those? Archiving daily more data than extracting?

You see, there are still many more things to consider.

BR, Martin




Hi @kenneth_dalvik ,

Well, this is an exact suggestion we would imagine from SAP as the "end-users" in a wider sense

I tend to agree with the need of embrasing changes and do not want to feel as a man from a prehistorical cave.. BUT 🙂

I also do agree with @MKreitlein when he is listing the whole previous history of SAP data and analytics solutions

if you ask the vast majority of your business users - what is required NOW for their productive work? None of them will mention "hey, let's forget about  ----> thousands of queries, also many two-structure queries, with extensive logic in it. Ten thousands of lines of Customer Exit variable code, for hundreds of CE variables <--- also thousands of hours of data rules creation, validation and polishing the solutions as well as company adoption of those reporting solutions

The existing customers ideally would love to get a minimal disruption in their BAU - though also get a dozed pinch of new tools/technologies/approaches.

But it seems that SAP really (again) tend to push people into this direction with fancy things 

Maybe I'm young and blind, but if you try to convince business people in this "no AI, no Co-pilot, no SAC planning models, no Data marketplace, no Data democratization, no Data Fabric"  -- the answer would be "aaaand, what is the problem really?"

Unfortunately, SAP haven't sold this idea of moving to SAP Datasphere to technical people, consultants and partners - so they can not promote this tool to the end business users. 

Good to have SAP Datasphere as "another" Data ana Analytics platfrom - yes! To start some PoC, trials there - yes, for sure. Start showcasing them to business people - also, a bold yes!

But it's a very long way ahead of each company, indeed 🙂 

And here I'm not even talking about licenses, support, storage, resource consumption and performance of the live/stored data reports 😉





Active Contributor

Hello @kenneth_dalvik.

I do not agree at all, at least for medium and large projects (which is where the migration to BW4 can be more complex).

The customization and power of the processes that we can create in BW are far away from what can be done in DSP today.

Load management, error control, use of programming, use of parameters, possibility of running UPDATES, dynamic partitions, data tiering, etc, are functionalities that in DSP are either not supported or are supported in a very limited way.
If this already happens when comparing HANA Cloud with Datasphere, the gap widens when comparing BW with Datasphere when creating datawarehouses.

I just hope that the product team is aware of this (beyond the "marketing" vision), and that work continues on bringing DSP to a similar level of functionality as BW and HANA.

The success in the implementation of projects and also in their maintenance depends on it.


Worth noting what BEx features are still not supported but are planned to be supported;

(this is from 10/2023)


▪ Handling and reuse of hierarchies (Q1/2024)
▪ Non-Cumulative Key figures (Q2/2024)
▪ Constant selection (Q1/2024)
▪ Exit variables
▪ Multi-Structure (will be delivered in 3 Phases, manually already possible, via Cross calculation
▪ Unit Conversion
▪ Replacement path variables
▪ Conditions

Some key features in that list with no ETA on them.


▪ Temporal Join
▪ Ambiguous Join
▪ BADI Provider as PartProvider
▪ Open ODS View without calculation scenario

I assume most customers with a lot of queries using some of these features will stick with the hybrid approach until those gaps are closed.

Active Contributor
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Hi @kenneth_dalvik,

It's a nice summary to mention SAP BW / SAP BW/4HANA and SAP Datasphere together. I see a nice discussion has already started.

SAP Datasphere is a great product and SAP Analytics Cloud has a good reputation so far. Of course, there are a lot of concerns and questions! Hesitations, let's give it a try, what about POC, hey, what is SAP BW Bridge not mentioned here, big bang, phased approach, hybrid, etc.? SAP Lumira gone, SAP BusinessObjects Platform left alone --no official investment in it--, my Webi reports, what will happen to SAP BW? But let's not talk about alternatives here!

I have questions regarding as you mentioned "planning models in Datasphere" and "no SAC planning models". Is there a plan in the roadmap to bring planning capability in Datasphere, what about SAC planning models?

SAP BW Bridge with Datasphere seems to be attractive for SAP BW customers although it has many limitations. Also, BW Bridge will look like an old friend / practice that sits next to Datasphere. Yes, it can be considered as a transition but... it would be a good decision...hmmm...maybe...




Hello @kenneth_dalvik,

I love your enthusiasm about DataSphere. My company is now using DataSphere to attempt to migrate away from our BW 750 environment.  Though, there are so many basic features still missing from Datasphere that I think your predictions are a little premature.   

  • No Composite/Multiprovider function
  • Scheduling in the Integration Monitor does not support saved SAML Tokens, meaning we cannot schedule reoccurring jobs when authentication is not the SAP Idp.
  • Analytical Models do not have any concept similar to BEX Queries or perspectives to allow us to create subject area models
  • Business Builder does not support S4 Hierarchies
  • No debugger, nor execution plan view
  • No native planning support with write-back models
  • You cannot schedule SAC stories on top of DataSphere with Live connections
  • No ODATA post support (we can write to the Hana Cloud underneath, but not DS directly)

Again, while I love your positive thinking and I am a huge fan of DataSphere, I really wish SAP would step up and follow through with completing the basic functionality of DataSphere.  DataSphere is nowhere near ready to replace BW with so many basic functions missing.


Thanks for all the comments. 

First of all. The idea is not a big bang and replace BW 7.5 over short period of time. I acknowledge that there are still gaps. And I hope that they are closed sooner rather than later. 

The suggestion is to have BW 7.5 and Datasphere side by side until the support of BW7.5 comes to an end in Dec 2027. That gives 3,5 years and approx 14 releases to close the necessary gaps that still exists. 

All new requirements that can be classified as low to medium complexity should be built in Datasphere native. Low to medium complex solution from the BW 7.5 can gradually be re-built in Datasphere side. For high complex solution which requires functionality with known gaps, the customers should stay on BW7.5 until the gap is closed. 

With this approach customer does not have to spend money on upgrading to BW/4HANA, instead use the coming 3.5 years to slowly migrate to SAP Datasphere. I feel confident that within 3.5 years the "must have" gaps are closed. 

Secondly, everyone working with SAP BW should ask oneselves why are SAP BW losing Market Share, why are company after company decommissioning or at least have a plan to decommission SAP BW? Solutions can be built in another way than in BW. And there are a lot of companies that do not use BW for reporting, even on SAP data and they manage to serve their users with analytics and reporting capabilities.  

Thirdly. In the recent Datasphere sizing the Storage Max is 7,2 TB and Compute 1,8 TB. I strongly believe that many BW 7.5 systems contains obsolete solutions, redundant data non-optimized modeling patterns, hence with current sizing of SAP Datasphere should be sufficient for many customers. 

Fourthly, BW bridge is not mentioned because it is as the name suggests a bridge. I think it is better to do this approach and migrate slowly but firmly over 3,5 years. To me BW Bridge is a temporary step towards Datasphere native. 



Active Contributor

@TuncayKaraca the item of SAC Planning directly in a Datasphere model is still not on the roadmap, right 😞 ... but it was talked about it, in some webinars in the past, e.g.: PSD_WEB_00005317

Webinar: SAP Datasphere Premium Outbound Integration - Ask us Anything

I placed the question, of how exactly it will work, since I assumed we need something like a write enabled table, which you can restrict in a specific Analytic model key figure, so that it's clear which data comes as reference table A and which key figure stores the plan data in table B.

However, the answer was not really helpful 😞 .... I only understood that maybe there will not be the same version concept like in SAC directly.

I asked @ChrisGruber to please shed some more light on it, but I never got feedback.

BR, Martin


Active Contributor

@kenneth_dalvik thanks for replying again.

Would you mind to share some facts & figures about your "secondly"?

If I ask my customers, 9 out of 10 would primarily like to keep their reporting system as it is. Of course most of them could imagine having additional data in it - if it was easy to integrate. But no one of them would accept to lose the current reporting, reduce their number of daily used reports or are happy with change... human nature rarely embraces complete changes 😉

I think the question "why does one lose market share" has an easy answer: Because there are new / other competitors ... see classic car manufacturers vs. new electronic car manufacturers 😉

If one is better than the other, depends on how you define "better".

BR, Martin


Regarding Planning data in SAP Datasphere. It is called seamless planning and first release of the functionality GA is planned for Q3 2024. See link below.;INNO=1FA75F34ABA51EDEADDAB4F...


@MKreitlein  I do not have any official facts and figures, but in the Nordics this is a well known movement. Rough numbers 50% of the SAP BW customer I work with have already taken the steps to move away from BW. Of the remaining 50% approx. half of them have it as a long time vision. A big part of these customers are seriously considering SAP Datasphere as a way forward and we have several prototypes of SAP Datasphere solutions for SAP centric reporting starting up and running. 

Out of net new S/4HANA customer only a very small portion have chosen SAP BW/4HANA that last 4 years in the Nordics. Some have chosen SAP Datasphere and a big part have chosen other cloud solutions for SAP centric reporting. 


@kenneth_dalvik  Doesn't your comment here contradict the title of this post?

" The idea is not a big bang and replace BW 7.5 over short period of time. I acknowledge that there are still gaps. And I hope that they are closed sooner rather than later. The suggestion is to have BW 7.5 and Datasphere side by side until the support of BW7.5 comes to an end in Dec 2027. That gives 3,5 years and approx 14 releases to close the necessary gaps that still exists. "

Sounds like you're saying Datasphere is not yet ready to completely replace BW for existing customers. I'd suggest changing the title as it might be a bit misleading. 

Like @MKreitlein I'd be interested in any figures you have, beyond anecdotal evidence, regarding SAP's BW customer base (> 17,000 BW customers last I heard) i.e. how many lost BW customers year over year. What type of steps are you referring to here, '50% of the SAP BW customers I work with have already taken the steps to move away from BW.'? 




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@edwin_ryan2  If a BW 7.5 customer can replace BW with Datasphere depends on complexity if the solutions. Low to medium complex solutions can be re-built using Datasphere objects already now. 

There are quite a substantial number of customer that does not have a SAP BW and used SAP Datasphere to build SAP centric reporting solutions.  I have personally worked with three customers in the Nordics that have built reporting solution on Datasphere. 

The title says SAP Datasphere is ready to take over the role of SAP BW. That means to be the platform to build SAP centric reporting solution on sources like S/4HANA, Successfactors, EWM. TM.. 

It does not say to take over each and every feature for each and every solution in an existing BW7.5 solutions. That is why I am suggestion to build new requirements on SAP Datasphere and move the solutions that can be moved to start with. 

The message and the essence is for BW 7.5 customers to avoid a costly BW/4HANA upgrade and instead start manual greenfield approach with Datasphere. From total TCO perspective I am certain that is the wise thing to do. 

Active Contributor

@MKreitlein @kenneth_dalvik Thanks for responses on planning in Datasphere.

Seamless planning integration with SAP Datasphere in Q3 2024 of the Roadmap seems to be a great enhancement. SAP Analytics Cloud should be really just a frontend if you have SAP Datasphere too in your environment! 

  • Deploy new models in SAP Analytics Cloud to SAP Datasphere spaces, with the model data (facts and master data) residing in SAP Datasphere
  • Expose facts and public dimensions (except account dimensions) in the data builder of SAP Datasphere for analytic modeling



As an end user who switched from a third party BI-solution to datasphere / SAC, it is good to see that planning is being addressed. I have been waiting for that. 

Datasphere is powerful and we use its functionality heavily, which is great. I cannot speak about the comparison to BW but I do expect in the future that *all* SAC functionality works with Datasphere models (or Datasphere as the source) and truly becomes a first class citizen in SAC.

Blending models and creating datasets for example.

Great blog @kenneth_dalvik !

Since SAP DataSphere is a cloud solution, how can this be dealt in big organizations that will not adopt any cloud solutions for security and resilient reasons?  Is there any DataSphere on-premise solutions possible?  Today's world faces, a multitude of challenges (conflicts, climate, hacks, etc...) so internet connection may become an issue, and maybe not be continuously available, especially for cloud solutions.  How SAP is dealing with this?



While I understand the hype around Datasphere, I don't agree that it's ready to take over the role of SAP BW.

Same as you, my career, for the last 24 years, has been around SAP BW. On BW/4HANA 2023 today. 

SAP BW is a much more mature platform than Datasphere at this moment. The BW Bridge component in Datasphere is still far from giving the users the same functionality and capabilities they find in BW/4. The fact that SAP has committed to support BW/4 all the way to 2040 is a sign of how solid it is.

From the Datawarehouse point of view, doesn't make sense, at this time, to jump from BW to Datasphere. Maybe a few years from now that might be the case.

Question is, why jump now into Datasphere, if you have a mature BW platform that, if you haven't, can still be upgraded to BW/4HANA, which works in perfect harmony with S/4HANA and provides all the good proven functionality expected from an Enterprise Datawarehouse?

In my opinion, no, Datasphere is not ready to assume the role of SAP BW... Not yet.



Customers I speak to wants so much more than a Datawarehouse. So many of them wants to get ride of BW. 

They want: Self-service, Data Products, Data Catalogs, Data marketplaces, AI, GenAI, Co-pilots.. these are things that BW will never get and can never give. Again, there might be features where there is a GAP, but from a modern and forward leaning perspective the step to Datasphere should happen now. 

No innovation is happening on BW. 




@Kenneth, I'm sure there are users in that case. People usually want to jump into the latest and greatest, even when sometimes don't have a full understanding of it or what it implies. 

Having said that, I agree with you, the step to Datasphere needs to happen, but it doesn't have to be now. 

To fully leverage all the things you mention, the digitalization of the enterprise must take place first, otherwise it's just a waste. This is not small feat so companies with heavy investments in BW and other solutions have to plan in the long term while also making sure disruption is minimum and only when really necessary. Again, right now, Datasphere is more of a natural evolution than an immediate need for the majority of users out there.