5 Replies Latest reply: Oct 3, 2014 1:38 AM by Sunil Jain RSS

Is the SAP Connector really the best way to get data from SAP?

Trevor Roth

I have been using QlikView and the SAP connector for approximately 3 years and it has been very successful for us. As many of you might know pulling SAP data isn’t always as easy as it sounds, and I am wondering if there is a better way to get data out of SAP then using the SAP Connector. As an example take the table VBRP (Billing Document: Item Data). This table is indexed on Billing Document Number – not a date range, so doing incremental QVD loads is very challenging. To make things more difficult, users can modify historical data (modify lines to Orders, Billing, etc.). I understand this challenge is due to SAP and not the QlikView Connector for SAP, but it does prompt the question of where this challenge should be solved (BI application layer or data warehouse / ETL layer).

 

I am sure others have faced these types of challenges. Can you help me to understand how you are dealing with them?

 

One idea I am thinking of is to abandon the use of the SAP Connector for QlikView, and ask our data warehouse/ETL team to create a copy of our main SAP tables for me (let’s call this an SAP Operational Data Store). Our ETL tool is already pulling SAP data, and our SAP team has some ‘tricks’ to make pulling tables like VBRP faster for us. Let’s also assume the SAP ODS adds an indexed ‘last modified date’ column for me to use in my QVD incremental loads. Below are some of the pros/cons of this proposed solution:

 

Pros:

-     would make incremental loads faster on the QV side

-     less load on SAP

-     less dependent on QV as a single technology

 

Cons:

-     increased administration / maintenance / development

-     Possible security concerns with the new SAP ODS

 

What do you think of this idea? Are there pros/cons that I am missing? Are there better approaches out there that you are using? What are some techniques you are using to more effectively pull SAP data?

 

Thanks in advance!

- Trevor

 

PS:  Let me add that SAP BW is not an option for us.

  • Is the SAP Connector really the best way to get data from SAP?
    Sunil Jain

    Yes, There are some other alternative exist but SAP Qlikview connector is best approach to extract data from SAP R/3 and SAP BW.

  • Is the SAP Connector really the best way to get data from SAP?
    Varun Bhandary

    The best possible approach to Extract data is as Sunil mentioned is SAP Qlikview conennctor.
    If you create a copy of SAP Tables the eventual load that is levied on you SAP Base system is almost simillar to what the connector if implemented efficiently will put hence I donot forsee any major improvement, and will also add an headache of keeping both of them in sync.

  • Re: Is the SAP Connector really the best way to get data from SAP?
    Trevor Roth

    I wanted to add an update on this thread. We have been using the SAP connector since 2008 and pull a few hundred SAP tables each night. The connector has been working well for us, but my question was more theoretical in nature. The SAP connector has been very successful for us, but QlikView isn’t the only BI tool we own. Our company is currently evaluating tools that replicate the SAP database in an efficient manner (SAP is on Oracle, and we would replicate it to SQL). The current candidate tool reads transaction logs, so it would not be hitting the tables directly. If we follow through with implementation, and it is successful, the idea would be to cut down on our SAP Connector usage and load QlikView from our replicated source where possible. As an added bonus, we can load faster from SQL then from SAP via Connector, and the replicated SQL database will add row modified date/time stamps for incremental QlikView data loads (SAP does not have this).

     

    One of the challenges we are starting to have with the QV Connector for SAP is that it is Qlik specific – it loads QVDs which cannot be consumed by our other BI Tools (without switching the format to text, or using 3rd party tools like SSIS plug-ins). Our other BI tools are pulling SAP data, but at different times – causing a ‘multiple version of the truth’ situation.

     

    Has anyone else experienced this challenge where they have started to move away from the QlikView specific SAP Connector, and a more tool agnostic approach like EDW or replication?

     

    As an aside, the other tools pull from SAP without a connector by hitting the underlying Oracle database directly. The QlikView team does not like the risks associated with this approach, so we continue to use the connector.

    • Re: Is the SAP Connector really the best way to get data from SAP?
      Yaniv Feldman

      My Personal opinion is that a Data Warehouse is be the preferred data source for qlikview because of several reasons:

       

      1. It has better ETL tools/methods to extract the data from SAP (in comparison to the SAP connector)

      2. It is easier to arrange the data in a manner that will fit the qlikview the best way (for example joining date fields to VBRP according to VBRK and creating one table for Invoices with all the relevant fields required for QV that will be easy to extract to QV)

      3. it can unify data from SAP and from other source systems beside SAP. QV can extract this data and do great things with that (for example, in my company we combine data from SAP and the manufacturing floor system)

       

      we use SAP BW as the organizational data warehouse. However, I think any data warehouse can do the job.

       

      Thanks

      Yaniv

  • Re: Is the SAP Connector really the best way to get data from SAP?
    Sunil Jain

    As per my experience from 6+ SAP QV project implementation ,  QlikView SAP connector is very good tool to Integrate QlikView with SAP ECC 6.0 or SAP B/W.

     

    Its providing functionality to fetch data from SAP standard report , SAP Customized report , SAP standard table , SAP customized table , BAPI execution , Cube , DSO, Infoobject extraction .

     

    Regards;

    Sunil