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While most of the tech world ( and especially the ones attending the #SAPTechEd ) woke up the either the news on the new Apple iPad Air or the new line of macbook pros, or to the news on the BBM launch for Android and iOS, or to the news on the changes to Amazon's Free shipping policy , some tech enthusiasts in Las Vegas started their day off with a 5K run.

 

Day 3 at the #SAPTechEd started off with the 5K run. Though I could not participate in it due to a full registration, I was told that it was a full house and a lot of fun and enthusiasm. Congratulations to all of them who managed to completed the 5K, AND then attend the sessions the whole day ( Man, that must be tiring ).

 

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and a conference boring. SAPTechEd organizers ensured that this is not the case for their event. There is always work, and there is a hell lot of play all around it and within it !

 

Work


Today at the TechEd for me was mostly about learning. Some of the sessions i attended and the key takeaways from them were

 

1.  Real Time Data warehousing with SAP Netweaver Business Warehouse 7.40

 

This session mainly focussed around what changes SAP has brought in from an ERP as well as a BW standpoint in order to handle real time aspects of data provisioning and agility with extraction and reporting. Some important points to be noted are

 

  • New overall LSA++ architecture as announed in 2012, with the option to eliminate the infocube and multiprovider completely, to be replaced by the transient and the composite infoproviders, thereby making the DSO the most important aspect of the Virtualization concept.
  • Operational Data Provisioning (ODP) in BW and Operational Data Queue (ODQ) in ECC, make the persistent storage area obselete during data acquisition.
  • Direct delta taken from SAPI extractors and real time replication into BW performed using SLT
  • Open ODS View takes center stage in the Open ODS layer,  and acts as a Virtual infoprovider and persistent staging layer, which can be queried upon or included into Composite providers.
  • Field based DSOs based on the Open ODS View removed the need for infoobjects, and also allows integration with existing BW objects/models. This eliminates the need to built a complete LSA architecture upto the infocube layer in order to look at our source data, and acting as a major advantage in View-Based Virtualization.
  • Query execution optimized with the help of Open ODS View on BW HANA, as the processing is pushed down to HANA.
  • It is not possible (yet) to create SPOs using Field based DSOs, but future service packs will allow this feature.
  • Eclipse based modelling environment now possible with BW 7.4 on HANA
  • New ODP BW and SAP extractors in BW 7.4
  • Query Preview ( RSRT ) now integrated into the context Menu.
  • ODP enable extract one - deploy many possibiliy of source data.
  • HANA Smart Data Access layer provides read access to several relational and non relational source systems. The BW Virtualization layer can be built on top of this.

 

2. SAP Business Objects Business Intelligence 4 Sizing - what you need to know

 

This session talked about the need to size your Business Objects BI correctly, and what are the various factors that are to be considered during the process. Some key take aways were

 

  • Proper time needs to be taken in order to analyze and predict the number of users on the system, and size based on the growth and scale perspective rather than sizing based on what you have today
  • Utilize the latest sizing resources provided by SAP ( http://sap.com/bisizing )  and size the different tiers for resources.
  • Factors that can influence sizing are
    • Datasource types
    • Refresh rates of data
    • User categories and numbers (Active/Concurrent)
    • Report sizes and complexities
    • Types of universes used
  • Periodic monitoring and performance analysis and resource usage analysis needs to be performed across the landscape

 

3. SAP Business Objects BI 4 Roadmap

 

This Q&A session helped immensely in understanding the future of the BOBJ BI 4.0 suite, and what we might expect in terms of innovations in the various applications in the suite. Some important points to note were

 

    • Agile Visualization is the future for the BO suite. From a data, semantics and an exploration standpoint
    • Customers can expect zero down time while applying updates and allocation of system resources to specific content can be expected
    • Lumira, Explorer, Analysis and Predictive Analysis are the set of tools defined in the Agile Visualization portfolio.
    • We can now program UNX universes using the Authoring SDK.
    • Developers can use APIs to read metadata from universes and add universe connectivity from any UI using a Consumption SDK.
    • Ability to transform single source universes to multi source universes is in the pipeline. This makes it for a very interesting discussion around duplication of universes.
    • Direct connectivity to the Lumira tool to BW via a universe, and at a later point of time to Bex queries directly to follow.
    • Cell level annotations (commenting on data points), variable variants and manual entry inputs help in enhanced prompting experience on SAP BW from Webi and Crystal reports
    • Webi for Mobile will be easier and intuitive and UI will be mobile ready. It will also have improved capabilities on SAP BW
    • Business Explorer : Refresh of UI for explorer. It can now also leverage models created in Lumira. There will be jump start visual recommendations so that users need not start form ground zero.

 

 

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Play

 

I managed to finally lay hands on the DataGeek t shirt at the Lumira Infozone. Have you guys taken up the datageek challenge yet ? I have started mine !

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Everyone kept adding to their huge inventory of free stuff from the various stalls, and the auction at the Cisco booth this evening was worth a mention for all the noise we had to make to win prizes like a Bose headset or a Amazon gift card.

 

I continued to introduce myself to new people and talk about the various aspects of their companies' and their own work profile, and their strategies and what can be good or bad from a business and technical views. It is always good to hear that the issues they face in their day to day work are exactly the same as what you face in yours . Gives you a sense of " And I thought i was the only one ! " of relief

 

The most striking feature of the conference is that people whom you contact at the Networking sessions, the Q&A sessions, the breakout sessions, CodeJam, are all willing to help you and share their knowledge and help you think in the direction of how you can apply it to your own scenario, which i believe is the essential feature of a friendly and successful environment created in such events.

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By the time it was evening, everyone was tired and it was time for the drinks, foosball, while the SAP Mentors band performed some lively numbers and rocked the Show Floor

 

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All in all, another interesting day at the Teched. I have signed up for some hands on session tomorrow and Friday, so it is going to be a lot of fun and learning. Keeping my fingers crossed that the networks and the applications hold up for most part of the hands on sessions

 

Will keep you posted.

 

PS : Thanks for all the encouragement so far ! I was stoked to see my blog mentioned in the blog roll on the SCN homepage today. Quite inspiring !

 

Snehith

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