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Use BPC infoobjects for IP Cube

Former Member
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Hi  Gurus,

One of our client has a user base of 1000 and client can afford only 30 BPC licenses. For the remaining users the proposal is to have planning solution in BW IP.

Wondering if it is a good idea to use BPC created infoobjects ( or may be not directly but use Z infoobject referencing BPC Infoobjects )  for the BW IP build. We think we could leverage on BPC master data directly in the IP solution.

If any of you have done this past, it would be good if you could share your experience and challenges you have faced.

Also what are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach?

Thanks,

Arun

Accepted Solutions (1)

Accepted Solutions (1)

Former Member
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Hi,

I disagree with Andy. I came across a large utility company who have done similar approach of using BPC Infoobjects referenced to Custom Objects in BW for market planning as direct use was not allowed by SAP (also license implication ) . It has been a night mare with maintenance and support. Changes to BPC is supposed to be a quick one, but in this case the client had to face the challenge of not breaking the BW solution as it created frustrating issues (mapping, data sync etc.,. ) every time something was chnge on BPC end.Upgrade and patches always created problems and add to it security governance another big challenge for the big organisation. When Issues were  raised with SAP the client was advised to redesign the solution .

Suggest not to go with this approach and think about other possible solution like distribution or better off using standard objects.

JL

Former Member
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Hi Janos,

You disagree with me on which point?

If you read all my response in this thread then you should conclude that I'm clearly against using BPC objects in BW. and in my first reply I suggested using distributions.

So I'm not sure what you meant when you say you disagree with me?

Andy

Former Member
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Hi Janos,

Thanks for your contribution - the points you raised are valid ones and we had them as considerations also.

We have learnt recently that at a previous customer, they had prototyped this solution approach further, in an effort to tighten integration between BW-IP. From a technical standpoint it is possible, however they too identify that the impact on ability to change SAP BPC in the future (new properties, master data management etc.) became too interdependent.

An alternative option is obviously to enhance standard objects in SAP BW (0PROFITCTR etc.) to support requirements for planning. This is a step towards BPC Embedded modelling, and that used in S4/HANA which is a benefit. The disadvantages however are that the Master Data objects need to be in good shape to be optimised for planning. Poor master data maintenance can sometimes be cleaned or optimized when loading into a BPC Standard solution, however using BW-IP with standard objects will rely directly on the data quality, making it directly impact planning usability.

Although the extended star scheme vs. simpler technical approach varies, we have not found any problems with this based on our prototyping. In addition, backing up and restoring as raised by Andy would only have issues in a very specific scenario, if technical names were not preserved yet integration was expected (unlikely scenario). DB Backups or system copybacks would not be an issue as far as we can see.

Many thanks again for your thoughts,

Nick.

Former Member
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Hi Andy,


"To answer your question you can use those info objects in BW, it is not the best practice but doesn't mean you can't use it. you might break the dimensions in BPC if you write into those objects directly."


This is what I meant. I agree with your idea on distribution. But looks like in this case it is not possible either.

It is based on my experience with issues related to using BPC infoobjects. I would never ever do that even if it is technically possible.



Former Member
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Nick,

Enhancing standard objects is a common practice in any BW development so it will be the right approach than seeing it as an alternative. This is what one should consider in first place to keep BW and BPC master data in sync in terms of attributes and properties. You should discuss with BW consultants if don't have much experience in BW space.


BW is your source of master data for BPC. BW gets master data from ERP systems.If master data is not maintained properly in ERP,  it is the problem with ERP and problem with how client operates its business. Client should take appropriate measures to clean/tidy it up (garbage in garbage out ) in the source ERP itself. You could use filters on status or validity date or some business logic in BW or BPC side to have clean master data. But again these status and filters should be driven by business logic configured in ERP.

In our case, we also made a decision based on prototype. Often prototypes are tried with minimal configurations. But at that time we didn't know what we don't know and ended up facing issues on every direction. My suggestions would be to play safe by considering experiences and learning from those who have tried and failed.

Janos

Former Member
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Hi Janos,

You are taking my reply out of context, I would never use BPC info object in BW myself, you need to read all my replies, I'm against using BPC objects from the beginning, I told Arun its possible to use it, doesn't mean I support it, so I donno what is your point.

Andy

Answers (4)

Answers (4)

Former Member
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Hi All,

Thank you all for your valuable inputs.

We have decided not to use Z infoobjects referencing the BPC objects.

We have decided to use standard info objects. After in depth analysis we noticed except for Version, master data for all Infoobjects and BPC Dimensions will be in sync anyway as in any case BPC receives master data from BW.

I am marking this post as answered.

Arun

lucas_costa3
Active Contributor
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In my view, it's totally possible to integrate BPC master data with BW info objects.

And it's not that trick. Please take a look at BADI UJE_DIM_PROCESSED_BADI. In a nutshell this will be triggered when a dimension is processed - therefore further processing like load master data to BW characteristics can be implemented.

The sound of this solution, would be the data input itself. You'd need to maintain security in two places and wouldn't be possible to use BPC resources such as work status and audit. Without mentioning the data sync as well.

Cheers,

Lucas

Former Member
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Thanks Lucas - this is a good idea and useful to know of the BAdI exit.

Agree that if security is managed on an InfoObject level (currently only InfoCube, so no real impact) then the creation of Z objects would duplicate security effort. For this at least I would propose using shared objects unless there are significant differences between Master Data in standard object and Planning object (there shouldn't be!).

Former Member
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Hi Arun,

I do not see this as a smart and practical approach at all, just for the sake of technical argument this might sound possible for very hypothetical solution !!

Here are my points:

Firstly, Any work around solution created to bypass SAP license cost will be caught during system audit anyway!

Secondly , IP cubes follows the concept the extended star schema with SID generation and uses specific objects for UOM and Time whereas BPC Dozy cubes does not strictly follow that standard. That is clearly an issue while replicating BPC data into IP objects. On the top you do not have much of a control over input values that a user might try to save in the cube in BPC cube that might be an issue to be accepted in IP cubes. How would you model Actual Vs Planned? Having 2 different types of objects?

Thirdly, this creates Unnecessary BPC / IP dependency and highly resulting an unstable solution.

Lastly, you will end up creating redundant solution in two areas. Business might need to spend on 2 different resources to manage one solution, What about CTO and ROI for business?

Former Member
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Hi Arun,

How about offline input sheet?

You can distribute then collect it into BPC again.

What does the 1000 user want to do?

define how many power users and users, surely your system is not catered for 1000 active users anyways.

to answer your question if it a bad practice to use BPC created objects in BW, if you want to use IP have a look into embedded version of BPC.

But I think offline distribution should cater for your needs.

Andy

Former Member
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Hi Andy,

Offline input sheet will be  tedious to manage and this is one of the requirement to reduce use of Excel based Planning Processes.

It is basically workforce planning.

Also client is not in HANA yet and will take a while ( 2 yrs or so ) for them to implement HANA . This means we cant use Embeded Model.

I am still keen on hearing more thoughts on this.

Thanks,

Arun

Former Member
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Hi Arun,

You gonna use excel in your IP solution as well.

give an example on what will one of the 1000 average user required to do.

Andy

Former Member
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For the IP side the proposal is to use Design Studio application. 

The 1000 users will be required enter the budget and forecast of Employee wages based for no of days per month.

Thanks

Former Member
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Hi Arun,

Have a look at Collaboration section in the EPM user guide page 251, focus on Distribution and Data Collection on page 263.

you will be amazed how automated this feature is, and it is the perfect solution for your requirement.

http://help.sap.com/businessobject/product_guides/boeo10/en/EPMofc_10_user_en.pdf

Andy

Former Member
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Hi Andy,

Thanks for the link. I read the section on Distribution and Data Collection. I think it is still a tedious to manage the workbooks sent out to 1000 users. I think with a Web based application based on Design studio it will be centrally managed and will reduce the time significantly.


Going to my question,  has anyone come across the scenario of using BPC generated infoobjects in BW IP?


Thanks,

Former Member
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Hi Arun,

Distribution is centrally managed as well. all you need to do is setup the function. I think you knows BW/IP and not BPC.

To answer your question you can use those info objects in BW, it is not the best practice but doesn't mean you can't use it. you might break the dimensions in BPC if you write into those objects directly.

best is to speak to your BPC solution architect before you creating more work for yourself and BPC guys.

Andy

Former Member
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Andy,

Actually this is the idea proposed by BPC Lead Consultant. I am trying to find any bottlenecks especially on BW IP  we may face taking this approach.

Arun

Former Member
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Arun,

Then you should propose my solution to your lead BPC consultant.

no bottleneck, it is just another info object, you can use it like any other info objects.

you won't be able to delete BPC dimension as it will be used in BW.

if you guys ever use backup and restore then it will cause problems.

Andy

Former Member
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Thanks Andy for your comments and guidance. Below are some of the potential issues I can think of.

a. Need to have separate security set up against these new infoobjects on top of already existing BW security.

b. Difficult to integrate with Actuals data for comparison reporting.

c. IP cube will have to rely on BPC master data than BW master data which is readily available.

d. BPC namespace difficult to manage when it comes to future enhancements

Regards,


Arun

former_member186338
Active Contributor
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Hi Arun,

Offline template is not a bad idea! Do you really have 1000 departments to budget? For the organization of this size it's strange to have issues with license purchase

Vadim

Former Member
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Hi Vadim,

I agree with you on Offline Template. The client is a govt dept and is not keen on spending money on licenses for 1000 users. The users are basically field officers (FO) who manage assets and resources owned by the dept across the region. FOs manage group of ppl for whom the FOs plan wage.

Thanks,

Arun

former_member186338
Active Contributor
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If they don't want to spend money then the whole project is a question

former_member200327
Active Contributor
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I'd add data Locking issues. BPC and IP have completely different locking engines, so data damage can happen.

damovand
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
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Hi,

What you are proposing is not possible, you cannot use BPC InfoObjects directly in BW because their behavior is controled in a very specific way and using them outside /cpmb/ namespace will render them incorrect.  The closest I can think of combining BPC standard and BW InfoObjects is to have BW InfoObjects resemble BPC InfoObjects, the same type of attributes, and then transfer data between BPC and BW InfoCubes, using retraction and load packages.  But that is a very complex process and in the end you won't be working with BPC data directly.

Best Regards,

Leila