SAP BW Architecture

BW is an end-to-end data warehousing solution that uses preexisting SAP technologies. BW is built on the Basis 3-tier architecture and coded in the ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) language. It uses ALE (Application Link Enabling) and BAPI (Business Application Programming Interface) to link BW with SAP systems and non-SAP systems.
The top layer is the reporting environment. It can be BW Business Explorer (BEx) or a third-party reporting tool. BEx consists of two components:
    • BEx Analyzer
    • BEx Browser
    BEx Analyzer is Microsoft Excel with a BW add-in. Thanks to its easy-to-use graphical interface, it allows users to create queries without coding SQL statements. BEx Browser works much like an information center, allowing users to organize and access all kinds of information. Third-party reporting tools connect with BW OLAP Processor through ODBO (OLE DB for OLAP).
  1. The middle layer, BW Server, carries out three tasks:
    • Administering the BW system
    • Storing data
    • Retrieving data according to users' requests
      We will detail BW Server's components next.
  2. The bottom layer consists of source systems, which can be R/3 systems, BW systems, flat files, and other systems. If the source systems are SAP systems, an SAP component called Plug-In must be installed in the source systems. The Plug-In contains extractors. An extractor is a set of ABAP programs, database tables, and other objects that BW uses to extract data from the SAP systems. BW connects with SAP systems (R/3 or BW) and flat files via ALE; it connects with non-SAP systems via BAPI.
    The middle-layer BW Server consists of the following components:
    • Administrator Workbench, including BW Scheduler and BW Monitor
    • Metadata Repository and Metadata Manager
    • Staging Engine
    • PSA (Persistent Staging Area)
    • ODS (Operational Data Store) Objects
    • InfoCubes
    • Data Manager
    • OLAP Processor
    • BDS (Business Document Services)
    • User Roles
The previous post is regarding the data warehousing introduction.

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