InfoObjects in SAP BW are the key figures and characteristics in the Business Information Warehouse.Domain and data element references are created for each object. Depending on the object type, check and text table references as well as reference field information, attributes, and hierarchy references are added. The end result is a Metadata repository which can cover all of the business processes in operation.The Metadata can be used as a basis for defining structures that transfer data from the OLTP systems to the Business Information Warehouse.InfoObjects are used in InfoCubes and in the three structures that are relevant for data requests (extract structure, transfer structure, and communication structure).
Functions of InfoObjects:
InfoObjects : are a part of an InfoSource. In this case, they act as fields in a structure but also contain additional Metainformation.
InfoObjects :make up InfoCubes. The characteristics, units, and time characteristics are essentially the key fields or sides of the cube. The key figures are the data fields or the facts and values of the cube.
An InfoSource is a set of logically associated information. InfoSources contain all the information on a business transaction or a type of business transaction (for example, cost center accounting). InfoSources can contain transaction data (this data is stored in InfoCubes) and master data (attributes, texts, and hierarchies - this data is stored in separate tables).The BW transfer structure and communication structure are generated from a DataSource. The transfer structure is the InfoSource transfer structure between a source system and its SAP BW System. The transfer structure transports the DataSource data from a source system to an SAP BW System and passes it on to the communication structure with the transfer rules.
The communication structure is independent of the source system and is filled from the transfer structure by the transfer rules. The communication structure contains all the fields of an InfoSource. Each InfoCube can have an update rule that determines how the communication structure data is stored in the InfoCube.
The central data containers, which form the basis for reports and analyses in SAP BW, are called InfoCubes. InfoCubes contain two types of data - key figures and characteristics. Each individual InfoCube should contain a self-contained dataset, since queries always refer to one InfoCube.An InfoCube consists of several InfoObjects and is strutured in a star schema. This includes a fact table, which contains the InfoCube key figures, as well as several surrounding dimension tables,where the InfoCube characteristics are stored.
An InfoCube is assigned to an InfoArea. InfoCubes are supplied with data from one or more InfoSources. A report in the Business Explorer always refers to exactly one InfoCube. Characteristics that logically belong together are brought together in a dimension (district and area, for example, belong to the regional dimension).
BW Star Schema: InfoCube
An InfoCube is a set of relational tables that are arranged in a star schema with a large fact table for recording transaction data at the center and several surrounding dimension tables. The fact table and dimension tables are linked by abstract identification numbers (IDs) that are stored in the key section of the respective database table.The fact table and dimension tables are relational database tables. The characteristics of a dimension identify master data by means of their attributes and text descriptions. Each InfoCube has one fact table and up to 16 dimension tables.Each fact table can contain a maximum of 233 key figures. A dimension can contain up to 248 freely available characteristics.
The objects most central to reports and analyses in BW, are called InfoCubes. In reporting, an InfoCube is a self-contained dataset (for example, a business area). You can analyze this data with a query.An InfoCube can be
· a BasicCube that presents a set of relational tables in a star schema,
· a RemoteCube whose transaction data is not managed in the Business Information Warehouse,
or · a MultiCube that presents a view of the data from several BasicCubes or RemoteCubes.
With the Business Explorer Analyzer you can evaluate data in the SAP Business Information Warehouse.In the Business Explorer Analyzer, you define queries that are based on a selection of InfoObjects or predefined InfoCube global structures. By navigating through the queries, you can generate various views of the data, which enable you to analyze and present the InfoCube data in different ways. You can save the result of the navigation in a workbook, which you can call up when you next initialize the Analyzer.
You can manage and execute workbooks, which you stored on the server, directly from the Business Explorer Browser.BEx Map is an additional reporting tool, which you can use to display your query data graphically according to geographical criteria. You can do this from the Analyzer.
InfoCubes and Queries
You analyze the Business Information Warehouse dataset by defining queries on the InfoCube data. You can picture an InfoCube as an n+1-dimensional cube from which certain parts are cut out when characteristics and key figures are selected in a query definition.Thanks to the multidimensional nature of the query data, you can create various views of an InfoCube dataset. The OLAP processor structures queries from the InfoCube data and provides methods for navigating through the data in several dimensions.
The Business Explorer requests the data from the InfoCube and presents the current view of the stored data. Only the query data that is actually required is transferred. If you want a different view of the data when navigating, you can get it from the InfoCube with the OLAP processor. The data from the current and previous drilldowns always remains on the application server.
The reporting functionality in the SAP Business Information Warehouse provides a wide range of options for analyzing and visualizing the data stored in InfoCubes. The following units take a closer look at the these reporting options.