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Report from BW or MB51

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Where would it be better to run a report that contains calculations and returns a large amount of data in BW or MB51?

I know, it depends on several factors, such as the size and complexity of the data, the processing power and memory capacity of the systems involved, and the specific requirements of the report.

SAP BW (Business Warehouse) is a powerful data warehousing and business intelligence tool that is designed to handle large amounts of complex data and perform complex calculations and analyses. It is optimized for reporting, analysis, and data mining, and provides a range of tools and features to help users extract insights from their data.

MB51, on the other hand, is a transaction code in SAP that allows users to view material documents and stock balances in SAP. It is primarily designed for inventory management and tracking, rather than reporting and analysis.

As SAP consultants, can I have your views on this matter?

Thanks in advance.

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Answers (4)

Answers (4)

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I agree with Kristan about BW's ability for dumping out large amounts of data. But if a summarized report is required for making regular business decisions and that report would be run regularly, it add's the advantage of providing a more consistent / controlled output. Using MB51, you can export much data but there is less control over what criteria was used to generate the data and then how it was manipulated after that. Another option to using MB51 is to pull data out of the tables directly using SE16N and then linking that data in Excel if pulling from multiple tables, I occasionally do that with MSEG and MKPF. There is a balance between control of the inputs / outputs vs flexibility of using BW vs MB51 or SE16N.

Active Participant
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Hi Cenk

What is "large amounts"? BW is in general not good at dumping large amounts of data actually it stinks at that. BW is good at working on large amounts of data and the presenting the results in a summarized form.

What will you do with the data afterwards? What is the purpose of the download? Do you need a download at all? Who will be able to really use large amounts of data if it's not because you afterwards load it to another system or you somehow filter it. Figure out if it is really a need to download large amounts of data.



Active Contributor
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Hello cenk.kizildag ,

Apart from factors you mentioned, If you want to see real time data from source then MB51 can be used.

If overnight data or near real time data with additional calculations, reporting and dashboarding capabilities you can go for SAP BW.

Please refer these blogs for more information around inventory management in BW.

SAP First Guidance SAP BW/4HANA Inventory Handling and Non-Cumulative Key Figure

SAP BW – Inventory data loading step by step(0IC_C03)


Bhavin Vyas

Active Contributor
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Hello cenk.kizildag,

If you need some calculations on data then use BW and if you can track the movements of material then use MB51.


Neeraj Jain