Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Using SAP as a Data Source

I was recently asked a question which I thought might be of value to everyone.

Can you please let me know...
1. Is share Point and Performance Point can be used in SAP BI or is it strictly Integrated with MircoSoft Technologies!!

So my response was...

I’m assuming you mean “can you use SAP as a data source?”

Firstly, SharePoint isn’t a BI technology as such. It’s a collaboration, portal & document management tool. However it does have the ability to create lists and simple KPIs which you could use SAP data as a source for if you wanted to.

That said, I’m sure your SAP operations team would never allow you to link directly to SAP – you would need to extract into a database first.

Secondly, you can certainly use SAP as a data source for both PerformancePoint modules - Planning and Monitoring & Analyzing. However you would never link directly to the system from PerformancePoint. You would almost always extract from your transactional system into a datawarehouse and that would be your data source (there may be exceptions from time to time but generally it's is wise to separate your reporting engine and your transactional engine. There are numerous gains in doing so - security, performance, aggregation, modelling).

The other key consideration is licensing. SAP is pretty strict about licensing when it comes to extracting data so you would need to take that into consideration also.

Hope that answers your question!

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