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‘Where’ is your business data?

With many companies today, the lines between business data and GIS data are converging. Whether they are trying to reduce their shipping costs to their customers, expanding their business to a new location, or optimizing their maintenance workorders, these companies are turning to spatial data to enrich their business data.

These systems are often silos within their organization, with their transactional data in S/4HANA and their spatial data in a different GIS system. So let's take a look at how we can integrate an S/4HANA system and the spatial data from an Esri ArcGIS geodatabase running on HANA.

Before we get started...

There were 3 basic "rules" we want to follow when dealing with an S/4HANA system:

  1. Maintain S4 system security (use S/4HANA authorization and standard view access)

  2. No data replication (ensure data integrity by keeping the data at it's source)

  3. Keep the process repeatable

With these in mind, we confined ourselves to using standard tools and processes to achieve our desired outcome.

The system...

We can break down the system into 3 major parts:

  • At the source of the business data is an S/4HANA system. Through the standard interfaces for S/4, we create CDS Views which represent the necessary data that we want to view.


  • I mentioned earlier 'No data replication' and for this we use the Data Provisioning Agent from SAP Smart Data Integration which acts as the proxy into the S/4 system. The ABAP connector points to the S/4HANA system and is the end-point for the virtual tables we create in HANA.


  • And finally, one of the advantages of having Esri ArcGIS 10.6+ and HANA 2.0 SP02+ is having an enterprise geodatabase running natively on HANA. This exposes all of the mutli-model data processing engines of HANA (spatial, predictive, text, graph, etc...) to the GIS world, plus gives us a analytics platform to integrate the data. We make use of SAP HANA Smart Data Access to create virtual tables of the S/4 CDS Views and then use them in SAP HANA Calculation Views to integrate and analyze the data.

So what does that look like?

'Where' do we go from here?

  • With the integrated S/4 data and GIS data combined in a HANA Calculation View, we can now use something like SAP Analytics Cloud to report directly against live HANA to look at the enriched business data.

(Take a look at Creating Geo model from Live HANA Calculation View)

  • Through the use of SAP HANA Spatial calculations, further integrate GIS data like demographics (population, household income...) for the S/4HANA store locations

(HANA spatial engine calculates only the demographic data within 5km of your stores)

  • Access this combined data from other applications like Esri ArcGIS Pro


Final words

With this type of blend between spatial data and business data, there are many more insights available for a business. More importantly, these capabilities now pave the the way to further business innovation.

To help on this journey, our friends at the SAP Academy jamie.wiseman put together a few aspects of this system on github to make this process easier. (Steps 1-3)

Until next time, Happy Innovating!