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Modeling approach : HANA studio OR BW on HANA ?

Former Member
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I have question on the modeling approach.

Scenario : We have to impliment Reporting system for a client. 30% fo the reports that business want can be delivered using standard BI contents and rest 70% can be delivered with some customization to the BI contents.

Client has liscence to use both BW on HANA & HANA native

We have 2 options for modeling

1) Use BW on HANA : Install BI contents and deliver all the required reports using standard BW contents with some enhancements.


  • By using BI content we can save development efforts
  • Using BICS connection BO reports can use BW hierarchies


  • It locks client into a proprietary OLAP structure and also doesn't align with SAP's long term vision in terms of how HANA should be used
  • SAP recommends to stay away from cubes, use granular DSO's, not engage OLAP for calculations & use self-service analytics thru use of Universe
  • Not all the BI contents are In Memory optimized.

2) Use HANA studio for modeling : Install BI contents and consume all the acquisition layer DSO's in HANA (Analytic Views) and create calculation views based on these views and do reporting on these HANA models.


  • No duplication of data (only one phycical layer and rest are views).
  • In line with SAP's vision
  • HANA Live contents can be leveraged


  • HANA live contents are not matured as BI contents
  • HANA hierarchies are not supported in BO tools like Webi, we can not expand and collapse hierarchies, which is possible using BICS connection on BE queriues.
  • More efforts required for Modeling

So, what is the best approach in current date? BW modeling or HANA modeling?

What is SAP's vision on use of both these technologies?

Thanks & Regards


Accepted Solutions (1)

Accepted Solutions (1)

Former Member
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In my opinion, you have some misunderstanding of BW on HANA. Please read the BW on HANA documentation as suggested by Mr. Sarhan Polatates, a couple of times keeping in mind that SAP is trying to give you the benefits of HANA.

Also, please do not try to substitute a data warehouse (BW or custom built) with a real time modelling solution. You need both. Please go ahead and build HANA models for your real time needs. However, you still need a data warehouse (BW or custom built) where a real time models will not work.

  "It locks client into a proprietary OLAP structure and also doesn't align with SAP's long term vision in terms of how HANA should be used"

     What is a proprietary OLAP structure? Where did SAP say using BW on HANA is not how HANA should be used? In fact, the emphasis is on optimizing BW to perform better on HANA . Finally, BW on HANA  together with custom built HANA analytic models are part of the LSA++ architecture being suggested by SAP.


"SAP recommends to stay away from cubes, use granular DSO's, not engage OLAP for calculations & use self-service analytics thru use of Universe"

    First of all, you can still create a cube in HANA. When a cube is created in a traditional database, you will end up with one index on each dimension. You might also create additional aggregates based on the usage of the cube. Finally, you may have to designate certain dimensions as line item dimensions to get better performance. All this is not needed when you create cube in BW on HANA. The structure becomes a simpler star schema with a fact table in the middle connected directly to the master data tables (of info objects).

      A DSO almost becomes a cube in HANA.  You have all the master data tables connected to the fields in the DSO table with facts.  There are few specific reasons where you still need a cube. If those reasons are not applicable for a modelling situation, then you choose to just stay with DSO. If you still want to create a cube, go ahead and create it.

     Where did SAP say not to engage OLAP for calculations? What SAP said is that OLAP engine becomes more smart when BW is on HANA. It knows what calculations and other work it can delegate to HANA engines and what residual work it has to do. You will have the full power of BW OLAP engine in HANA, but it is smarter and faster.


     When you are accessing BW from Business objects platform, you don't need a Universe.  If you want to access HANA analytic models from Business objects platform, you may create a Universe. However, most of the modelling work traditionally done in a Universe can be accomplished in a HANA analytic model. Hence, the universe becomes much simpler. In this case, the universe becomes an intermediary. All the front end tools that needs a Universe, will have a universe but most of the work of the Universe is transferred to a HANA model behind the Universe.

     "Not all the BI contents are In Memory optimized."

     What does this mean? Are you taking about standard SAP BW delivered content created by SAP prior to availability of HANA?  Nothing stops you from optimizing any existing BW content. Of course, SAP will deliver HANA optimized content in future.

Do not fall into the trap of one or other. You need both approaches working together.

If you don't like BW but would like to build a custom data warehouse on HANA , then it is fine too.  You can still use BW extractors in SAP ECC environment using DXC method. Of course, with custom development,  lot of work is shouldered by you instead of a data warehouse application like BW.


Answers (1)

Answers (1)

Former Member
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Hi Sagar,

This is not so easy to answer, since more information is required. Both options can be used, however, BW on HANA is sap's packed solution for Enterprise DataWarehousing.

If I were you, I will build my soultion by using BW on HANA. Please refer to the following page, will guide you further.

Data Modeling - BW InfoProviders | SAP HANA