SAP DW Cloud and SAP BW/4HANA – A Match Made On The Cloud


The release of SAP DW Cloud has sparked thoughts in many customers. Especially those who have focused their data warehouse strategy on SAP BW/4HANA are wondering if they made the right decision. Especially since this cloud-based data warehouse solution seems to stand in stark contrast to the on-premises solutions. SAP BW is constantly evolving, brings together information from multiple sources, and enables extensive evaluations of company data. New features are added in SAP BW on HANA up to the BW 7.5 version. Many of the limitations of the previous classic version of BW are overcome in the latest version of SAP BW/4HANA.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (SAP DWC) SAP is now bringing a third product into the race. This is aimed primarily at business users and brings with it the advantages of a cloud solution – namely low costs and simple
scalability. So, does this mean that existing SAP BW customers or those customers that are currently considering moving to SAP BW, should instead focus solely on SAP DW Cloud?  As with most technology decisions, the answer is that it depends on the individual customer’s use case and requirements. Customers should look at SAP Data Warehouse Cloud either in form of a standalone data warehouse solution or in combination with SAP DW cloud and SAP BW/4HANA or SAP HANA SQL DWH.

Differences between SAP DW Cloud and SAP BW/4HANA

SAP BW/4HANA is the SAP data warehouse solution. Typically, BW replicates SAP source systems data using pre-installed BI Content but can also be enhanced, according to customer requirements and requires hardware and software installation. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is a SaaS model in which a service provider configures and manages the hardware and software resources required for a data warehouse, and the customer provides the data and pays for the managed service, and doesn’t require a hardware installation.

Hybrid Implementation

Hybrid is now becoming the answer to a wide range of analytics decisions and might be seen by some as an option to avoid committing either way, but in the current landscape where more and more solutions are being offered as cloud solutions in addition to the on-premise, hybrid is often the right decision and offers businesses the opportunity to enhance and extend their existing on-premise solutions and investments with cloud-based solutions.

SAP BW/4HANA Integration in DWC

Currently, DWC can access BW data either through the application layer via the BW queries or directly at the database level.  This data can be accessed virtually or imported into DWC. As part of the SAP Roadmap tighter integration is planned between BW/4HANA and DWC with the transformation of BW data flows into native DWC modeling scenarios, the transfer of BW queries to DWC with semantics and the metadata import to DWC.

Considerations of SAP BW/4HANA and SAP DW Cloud
Considerations SAP BW/4HANA SAP DW Cloud
Implementation Time BIContent supports
operational SAP applications
Developments are made
from scratch
Performance Uses SAP HANA
in-memory integrated database
solution on the Cloud. Requires data to be moved
Hardware Requires Hardware
investment and management
No Hardware to manage
Connectivity Configured as
Source in SAC
Embedded SAC
using Space aware and Cross Tenant connectivity

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud is not currently a cloud-based replacement for SAP BW/4HANA, but a solution for business functions to get access to and the ability to merge data from various sources from within their organization and externally, with limited involvement from IT, where both IT and the business users can work collaboratively. An organization uses its SAP BW / 4HANA system as a central enterprise data warehouse that places great emphasis on governance and quality. However, for departments, a possibility is being sought to map flexible extensions and views based on this stable database. The Data Warehouse Cloud is very well suited for this.

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