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Basis consultants might have questions about

  • What tasks needs to be performed in an typical BW system
  • What are the different BW objects and their use etc

From a Basis perspective, BW is just an SAP system following the 3-tier architecture.

What is done in BW system?

Data from different systems like SAP ECC, MDM (or any R/3), Oracle, MS SQL Server etc (SAP and Non-SAP systems) will be Extracted, Transformed and loaded in to SAP BW system for reporting purposes.

What are the components of BW system?

Typical BW system will have components like shown below. These are the backend components that will be installed for a BW system.

BW system also has a front-end component called BEx . BEx is SAP BW component that provides flexible reporting capabilities.

What are the frequently used terms in BW system?

Data Source

A DataSource is a set of fields that are used to extract data from a source system and transfer it to the entry layer of the BW system. In other words, data source contains the source table and field information from where the data is to be extracted into the BW system.When the DataSource is activated, the system creates a PSA table in the Persistent Staging Area (PSA), the entry layer of BI.The extracted records are stored in the PSA table.

Info Package

Before data can be processed in BW, it has to be loaded into the PSA using an InfoPackage. In the InfoPackage, you specify the selection parameters for transferring data into the PSA. A data source can have multiple info packages.

Info Object

InfoObjects are the smallest units of BW. You map the information in a structured form that is required for constructing InfoProviders. The data from every single field in source table can be stored in corresponding Info Objects in BW.

Data Transfer Process (DTP)

DTP can be used to load data from one target to another using transformation and other filters.  

Data Target - A data target is an object into which data is loaded. Data targets are:

A distinction is made between:

  • Pure data targets for which no queries can be created or executed.
  • Data targets for which queries can be defined. These are called InfoProviders. Queries can always defined with Basic InfoCubes.  A Basic Cube is therefore never a pure data target, but both a data target and an InfoProvider.

Info Provider - An InfoProvider is an object for which queries can be created or executed in BEx. InfoProviders are the objects or views that are relevant for reporting.

Data Store Object (DSO)

DSO – data target, Info Provider, used in BW system to store data and for reporting purpose. In BW, data will be stored in multiple layers (like in a DSO,Info Cube etc). The data from PSA table (viz entry point in BW) can be loaded into DSO or an Info Cube or Master Info Object. The DSO structure is a flat physical table that contains fields, index etc. This can be related to any table in Oracle or other database, where a table is consists of fields, primary keys, index etc.

Associated tables(Custom created):

New Data: /BIC/Adsoname40

Active Data: /BIC/Adsoname00

Change Log: /BIC/########## (dynamically generated)

Info Cube

Cube – data target, Info Provider, used in BW system to store data and for reporting purpose. An InfoCube is a multidimensional datastructure and a set of relational tables that contain InfoObjects. Hence info cube is not a flat structure like DSO, but has many tables related together. When an info cube is activated, all relevant backend tables are created automatically by the system. To check the backend tables created for an Info Cube, use Tcode LISTSCHEMA.

To summarize, data in BW system will be loaded into a Master Info Object, DSO or an Info Cube.However there are other objects which can display data without storing it physically.

Process Chains

Process chains are used to automate and schedule the data extraction, transformation and loading process in BW system.

Below is the process flow within BW system.


What are the typical tasks Basis perform in BW system?

  • Apply support package
  • Apply SAP Note
  • Installation/Upgrade
  • Moving transports
  • Analyse EWA recommendation
  • Monitor Jobs
  • Maintain Source system connection
  • Maintain RFCs
  • Monitor table space and archive logs
  • Monitor system log
  • Operating system monitor
  • ABAP runtime errors

There might be much more activities that I haven’t listed here but this will give you basic overview of the activities.

Next part, we will see the common errors occurring in BW system that needs basis involvement.


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