SAP Business warehouse Tools for Generic Data Extraction

The transaction data entering the Business Information Warehouse by means of extractors originates from very different modules. Due to past developments, very different extraction mechanisms are necessary.Your company wants to analyze the purchase requisitions created in R/3 in the Business Information Warehouse. Since Business Content does not include an Info Source for this purpose, you have been given the task of generating a Data Source for purchase requisitions using the tools for generic data extraction.

The requested quantities are to be analyzed according to material. Similarly, reports are also to be supported using the old material number that was transferred from the legacy system to the material master in the R/3 System.The old material number is to be maintained as a material attribute. In order to do so, you have to generate a new Info Source for the material characteristic with the attribute "old material number".

When should you use the tools for generic data extraction for creating a Data Source?

1.Business Content does not include a Data Source for your application.
2.The application does not feature its own generic data extraction method.
3.You are using your own programs in SAP R/3 to populate (fill) your tables.

Tools for Generic Data Extraction RSO2

The tools for generic data extraction are launched with the transaction RSO2.You can use this transaction to create Data Sources for both transaction and master data, and for texts.The technical name of new characteristics (Info Objects) must be between 4 and 9 characters long. The characteristics are created in two steps:

First, the properties of the characteristics (the extractors) are defined with the relevant extractor type and characteristic compounding.

Next, the Info Objects (if they exist) are assigned to the characteristic attributes defined in the extractor. If these do not exist, they must be created using the 'Assign attributes' transaction.

Creating Data Sources for Transaction Data

When you create a generic Info Source for transaction data you first have to enter the application component and texts for describing the Info Source. The application component determines where the Data Source is stored in the Data Sources tab in the Administrator Workbench after the Data Sources have been replicated.
You can then select the data source for the generic Data Source. Here you can choose both transparent tables and database views. You can also use SAP Query Info Sets to extract data.Choose the 'Extraction from view' button, if you want to extract the data from a transparent table or database view, and enter the name of the table or view. The extract structure of the generated Data Source is then identical to that of the view or table.Choose the 'Extraction from Query' button if you want to use an SAP Query Info Set as a data source.Then select the required Info Set from the Info Set catalog. You can go to the screen for maintaining an existing Info Set by double -clicking on its name. 

 Digression: Extraction Using View

You create views with transaction SE11 (ABAP Workbench Dictionary). To do so, you have to choose the view type 'Database view'.The tables must be joined by identical fields in the join conditions.
All of the key fields in the tables must be defined as view fields, otherwise some data records may overlap and the data will not be transferred to BW. Characteristics can be ignored if you are certain that they are not used in the table keys. If characteristics with only one attribute are used, they can be assigned selection conditions (Goto > Selection conditions). If the master data is time-dependent, the DATETO and DATEFROM fields have to be included in the view.
The sequence of fields for defining a database view for extracting texts is fixed. 

  1. Client
  2. ŸLanguage with the domain SPRAS, if the defined texts are language dependent
  3. ŸKey field: if compounding is used, all of the relevant characteristics have to be listed.
  4. ŸIf the data is time-dependent, the DATETO and DATEFROM fields
  5. ŸShort, medium and long texts

If one of the text fields is not required, it must not be checked. If there is no medium-length text, the last two fields are the short text and long text fields.

  Creating Info Sets

SAP Query is a powerful tool for defining reports in the OLTP system and supports different forms of reporting. It allows users to define and execute their own reports on data in the SAP System without any knowledge of the ABAP programming language.
Reports are structured by entering texts and selecting fields and options in SAP Query. The relevant fields can be selected more easily using Info Sets (before Release 4.6C: functional areas) 'Info Sets' are seen as 'data sources'. These data sources can be used for extracting in BW.The procedure for creating an Info Set from the Data Source definition:

1. Fill out all of the required entry fields (application component, descriptions).
2. Choose the 'Extraction from query' button.
3. Choose the 'Create' icon. A new screen is displayed.
4. Enter a name for the Info Set and press the 'Info Set maintenance' button.
5. In the screen that follows, press the 'Create' button.
Then carry out the following steps:
Select the data source (DB tables/views, joins, logical DB)
ŸDefine the field groups and assign the fields

Info Sets

Info Sets are the 'data sources' for SAP QUERY
Info Sets are 'semantic layers'

Conceal the technical properties of the physical data sources
Limit and extend existing physical data sources
Potential physical data sources

Database tables/views
Table joins (limited according to ABAP SELECT)
Logical databases
Data retrieval programs (freely coded accesses)

'Info Set' from OLTP Release 4.6C, until then the valid name is 'functional area'.An Info Set is a special view of a data set (logical database, table join, table, sequential file) and is used by SAP Query as a data source. InfoSets, therefore, determine the tables or fields in these tables that can be referenced by a report. In most cases, InfoSets are based on logical databases. 
SAP Query features a component for maintaining Info Sets. When you create an Info Set, a data source in an application system is selected.SAP Query is relevant for the Business Information Warehouse because it allows you to define the extract structure by selecting fields in a logical database, table join or other data sets in the form of an Info Set. In this way, you can use the generic data extraction function for master or transaction data from any Info Set. When you do so, a query is created for an Info Set that retrieves data and transfers it to the generic extractor.

Info Sets represent an additional, convenient data source for extracting data generically. Logical databases in all R/3 applications, table joins and further data sets can be used as a data source for BW.

To create Info Sets with access to a logical database, you first have to make just two entries:
Ÿ the name of the Info Set
Ÿ the logical database.
The automatic text identification leads to the text being shown for table fields that support this function. It is deactivated for extraction purposes.

Since the number of fields in a data source (logical database) can be very high, fields can be combined in logical units called field groups. Field groups are groups of several fields representing a logical unit in an Info Set. The extract structure is always formed from all of the fields in all of the field groups.
When you create an Info Set, you have a choice of options for forming field groups ('read all table fields', 'read key fields' and 'create empty field groups'). You can create other field groups if you need to.The fields need in the extractor must be assigned from the the logical database to the field groups. You then have to generate the Info Set.

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Data Extraction from Finance Special Ledger using SAP BW Continued

Difficulties Connecting FI-SL to BW

  1. The FI-SL transaction data is stored in a group of tables.
  2. A ledger can refer to part of a table group.
  3. The object numbers in the totals table are not 'expressive'.
  4. The period block means that a key figure TSL01 can refer to two different totals records in two different periods.
  5. The currency information is only partially stored in the table group.
  6. Quantity key figures
  7. When you generate an FI-SL Data Source, a ledger, which is based on a totals table, proposes a combination of characteristics and key figures.
 Updating the FI Special Ledger in BW

The BW Data Sources help prepare the data that is to be updated in the Business Information Warehouse.The Info Source with a Data Source allows the BW system to:
import the extracted data from the extraction structure in the SAP R/3 OLTP System Ÿ transfer the data to the BW transfer structure using the OLTP System transfer structure Ÿ convert the data using the transfer rules in BW and Ÿ transfer the data to the communication structure in BW.
The Info Source prepares the data for permanent storage in the Info Cube.FI-SL Data Sources cannot be delivered by SAP with BW Business Content for non-standard ledgers, because the ledgers and their FI-SL totals tables may link to user-defined fields and structures.
All other FI Data Sources (FI-GL, FI-AR, FI-AP) are delivered with Business Content.To provide an FI special ledger Data Source for BW, an extract structure (=transfer structure) must be generated for the FI-SL totals table in question. You then have to define the Data Source for the totals table ledger.
These steps will now be explained one by one...
The resulting Data Sources transfer the totals records from the FI-SL. No single line items are

Setting Up an FI-SL Data Source

So that you can transfer transaction data from your customer-defined ledgers from the source system OLTP into the Business Information Warehouse, you must first carry out the following Customizing actions in the OLTP System:
Use the transaction /NSBIW to call the BW IMG of the OLTP System:
-> Business Information Warehouse
-> Customer-defined DataSources
-> Financial Accounting - Special Ledger
Step 1:
-> Generate transfer structure (= extract structure) for totals table
In step 1, you generate a transfer structure for your totals tables. Use this structure to transfer transaction data from your ledgers into the Business Information Warehouse.The transfer structure contains fields from the totals table, from the object table and derived fields from Customizing.
The system derives the name of the transfer or extract structure according to the following rule for naming totals tables: If the name of the table ends in a T, the T is replaced with a B. If the name does not end in T, a B is added to the end of the name of the totals table. n If the same totals table is regenerated, the existing structure is overwritten.

Step 2

Use the transaction /NSBIW to call the BW IMG of the OLTP System:
-> Business Information Warehouse
-> Customer-defined Data Sources
-> Financial Accounting - Special Ledger
Step 2: -> Create Info Source (= Data Source) for ledger
In step 2 you define a Data Source for a ledger and assign the Data Source to the ledger. When you carry out this step, all non-standard ledgers are displayed first, which already have extract structures for their totals tables. Formulated differently: Reasons for which a ledger is not displayed in step 2 could be:
The ledger is a standard ledger (starts with a figure, for example, 00=general ledger 0F=Sales costs. There are Business Content Data Sources for these.Ÿ the ledger's totals table does not have an extract structure.
The column status shows whether a Data Source was already assigned to the ledger. If this is the case, the traffic light is green. Select the ledger to which you want to assign a Data Source. Enter the name of the Data Source you want to assign to the ledger.Naming convention: The name must start with the number 3. The system proposes a name with the prefix 3FI_SL_ and the name of the ledger.You cannot change the name once you have saved the assignment.Please note that ledgers are client-specific and Data Sources are cross-client objects. Within a client, a Data Source can only be assigned to one ledger.Result: The Data Source delivers transaction data from an FI-SL ledger on a totals table level.

Transfer Structure Fields

Only the characteristics that are always part of the Data Source are named here. Depending on how the FI-SL totals tables are defined, other characteristics can be added. As a rule, the system proposes useful Info Objects for assigning these characteristics when the Data Source is defined. Under some circumstances, you have to create new Info Objects, especially if you are working with customer defined fields (beginning with ZZ...).

A so-called global ledger has the company as the organizational unit. The characteristic Company only appears in the transfer structure with Data Source for global ledgers. With global ledgers, you then have the option of the characteristic Company code. Other comments on Data Source:

ŸAccount plan and Fiscal Year Variant cannot be used as selection conditions.ŸThe field Version shows the FI-SL-led version.ŸThe FI-SL characteristic Record type is based on the Info Object Reporting value type. The extractor transforms 2 reporting value types from 4 different FI-SL record types: Plan and actual.

Replicating Data Sources in BW (Step 3)

The Data Source must be replicated before it can be used in BW.To do this, choose the 'Source Systems' tab strip in the BW Administrator Workbench. Select the relevant OLTP system and choose Replicate Data Sources from the context menu. All the Data Sources that do not exist yet in BW are then transferred from the OLTP to the BW System.

Assigning/Creating Info Sources (Step 4)

n When the Data Source is replicated in BW, you have to assign it to an Info Source or create an Info Source first, if necessary.

Maintaining the Communication Structure (Step 5)

Communication structures are created for Info Sources and thus represent part of an application in the OLTP System (for example, order data from Sales, purchase order data from Purchasing, and so on). n The total number of Info Objects in the communication structure and extract structure may be different, since Info Objects can be copied to the communication structure from all extract structures (several source systems).

Maintaining Transfer Rules (Step 6)

Transfer rules specify which fields in the transfer structure are to be transferred to which fields in the communication structure. You can create detailed conversion rules to change or add to data.You can only choose one of the three types of transfer rules for each Info Object in the communication structure:

The fields are copied from the transfer structure and not modified.
ŸA field in the communication structure can be supplied with a fixed value for this source system.
ŸA local transfer routine is used to supply the content of the communication structure with data when uploaded from this source system. The routine defined only applies to the selected Info Object.
The transfer rules do not take effect until they have been activated.

Maintaining Info Cubes and Update Rules (Step 7)

Before data can be uploaded from the OLTP System to BW and evaluated in an Info Cube, the Info Cube must be created with the relevant update rules.You maintain Info Cubes and update rules in the Administrator Workbench, Modeling > Info Cubes. Update rules are always defined for a combination of an Info Cube and Info Source. For this reason, an Info Source can update several Info Cubes. An Info Cube, however, can be linked to several Info Sources via update rules.

There are various ways of updating Info Cube key figures into the update rules. Possible: Field to field assignment, formula and fixed value. You can also specify which date field in the Info Source is to supply the time characteristics of the Info Cube with data. Similarly, a key figure can only be updated under certain conditions. In the same way, a currency translation can also be triggered when a key figure is updated to the Info Cube.

Creating an Info Package (Step 8)

Data requests sent to the source system are managed with the Scheduler. These requests are formulated for each Info Source and source system and are divided into master and transaction data. An Info Source in a source system can have several different extraction jobs with different selection criteria. These are referred to as Info Packages.

Info Packages or groups of Info Packages can be distributed to background processes using the R/3 job planning facility. This means that you can fully automate the data transfer process and decide when and at what intervals data is to be extracted. Or, for example, you can use a factory calendar to specify that data is not to be extracted on public holidays, and so on. 

The term 'transaction' in the Business Information Warehouse covers data retrieval in the OLTP and the successful updating of this data to the relevant Info Cubes. You can monitor the transfer and processing of the data closely using the Monitor function in the Administrator Workbench.You can compile lists containing information on Info Package processing for each user, source system, day, etc.

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