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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
This post gives an overview of the motivation behind migrating SAP HANA graphical view models (e.g., Attribute Views, Analytic Views, Calculation Views) into the new XSA development environment and the steps involved. For more details you can also listen to the recording of a session that was held on this topic at TechEd 2017. You can find the recording here.


Motivation for the migration to the new development environment

In the past several different development tools have been used for specific HANA development scenarios. To unify the development experience on SAP HANA a new development environment has been introduced that integrates these former separate development tools in one development environment. This environment is called SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA and runs in the XS Advanced (XSA) environment (available since SAP HANA 1.0, SPS11). The screenshot below depicts the old situation of many separate development tools and the new situation in which all these tools are integrated into SAP Web IDE.


Integration of several development tools into SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA


With the required move to XSA to run SAP Web IDE the old HANA repository and the XS classic service become obsolete. See SAP Note 2465027 for further information about the deprecation of the old development repository that was used with SAP HANA Studio. SAP Note 2396214 describes the transition process from XS classic to XSA.

In addition to the unified development experience the XSA environment also provides a more seemless transition to a Cloud installation running Cloud Foundry because basically the same deployments can be done in XSA and Cloud Foundry (see this blog for more information).

Within this new and unified Web IDE development environment the different development tools have been reimplemented. See the screenshot below for examples of various development tools in the SAP Web IDE for SAP HANA.



Mock-up that combines the various development tools available in SAP Web IDE in one screenshot


New modeling features that are only available in the new development environment

The graphical view modeler is one of these tools that have been reimplemented in the new Web IDE environment. As a consequence, new features of this tool are only made available within this new environment. See the following screenshot for an overview of the new features that are only available in SAP HANA Web IDE.




Selection of features that are only available with the graphical view modeler running in SAP Web IDE but not in SAP HANA Studio


Overview of migration steps

In order to make use of this new development environment the old modeling artefacts have to be migrated into the new HANA deployment infrastructure (HDI) that runs in the XSA environment. The neccessary steps for this migration are discussed below. Basically, the migration consists of two steps:

  1. Migration of old modeling artefacts to artefacts supported by HDI

  2. Migrating these HDI-supported artefacts into the HDI environment.

Both steps are supported by tools. Up to HANA SPS03 the two steps were run separately. Since SPS03 both steps can be combined.The following screenshot summarizes this information graphically.


Depiction of the the migration steps


Migration assistants

The wizard for the migration to HDI-supported modeling artefacts is available in SAP HANA Studio since HANA SPS11. However, we recommend the most current Studio release to benefit from additional migration options. See screenshot below for how to start the wizard.


Migration wizard for step 1, started in SAP HANA Studio


The second migration assistant to migrate the HDI-supported artefacts into the XSA environment requires that the target system is at least on HANA 2.0. Since SPS03 this migration assistant can also cover some of the functionality of the migration wizard.

Step 1: Migration to artefacts supported by HDI

In the past three different view types were available for graphical modeling in HANA: Attribute Views, Analytic Views, and Calculation Views. With newer releases, SAP has recommended to try to replace Attribute and Analytic Views with Calculation Views. These recommended Calculation Views come in three different flavors: Dimension, Cube, and Cube with Star Join.

There were mainly three reasons for this recommendation to replace Attribute and Analytic Views with Calculation Views:

1.) clarity: In the past the type of the view e.g., Attribute View did not bear information to the intended modeling scenario. In contrast, a Calculation View with flavor "Dimension" includes this semantic information. This means developers do not have to select their view type based on tacit knowledge but can explicitly express their intention instead.

2.) unification: The conceptual differences between the views have been reflected in differences in graphical modeling in the past. With the Calculation View as the sole type for modeling these differences have been minimized providing a unified modeling experience

3.) performance: By using solely one view type additional optimizations options become possible. These optimizations will become more and more relevant with later HANA releases and require migration of Classical Analytic Privileges in addition.

Given these advantages a decision was made to only support graphical Calculation Views and SQL Analytic Privileges but not Attribute Views, Analytic Views, Classical Analytic Privileges, or script-based Calculation Views in the new development environment SAP HANA Web IDE.

Therefore, a fourth reason – to benefit from the new development environment - exists now to convert Attribute and Analytic Views to Calculation Views and to convert Classical Analytic Privileges to SQL Analytic Privileges. See screenshot below for an overview of the artefacts that are not supported in the HDI.


Types of view models that are not supported in HDI


More details about this migration process to HDI-enabled artefacts and the wizard that is available since HANA SPS11 to support the migration can be found here. Additional manual steps might be required in certain situations. Please refer to the attachment of SAP Note 2325817 for an up-to-date list of these situations. How a switch to Calculation Views can be achieved in a SAP BW environment is described in SAP Note 2236064.


Step 2: Migration of HDI-supported artefacts into XSA environment

For further details on actual migration steps of these HDI-enabled artifacts into the new development environment see the documentation mentioned in SAP Note 2362604. In particular also check the section Modeler Artifacts here for changes related to the migration.

In a nutshell the tool is called from operating system level and connects to the source system to read the specified delivery unit that contains the HDI-enabled artefacts. If the tool completes successfully the created archive can be imported into the XSA environment.

Since SPS03 this second migration assistant can also be used directly on the objects that are not supported in HDI (e.g. Attribute View and Analytic View) and will then convert these artifacts into Calculation Views first.


For more details check the recording of a session that was held on this topic at TechEd 2017. You can find the recording here.