Implementing a data warehouse that integrates SAP R/3 data with data from other enterprise sources is one of the hardest, riskiest,and most time- consuming challenges an IT professional can ever face. In prioritizing the requirements for R/3 warehousing, Hurwitz Group concluded that the requirements fall into two broad categories:

  • Packaging requirements. SAP R/3 users need and prefer packaged solutions for data warehousing instead of using generic tools or hand coding to build custom solutions. A packaged solution for warehousing with R/3 must include prebuilt extraction routines, data transformations, queries, reports and data models for various types of marts.
  • Technical requirements. Hermetically sealed R/3 is by no means the average database environment. Extracting data with integrity and performance from the R/3 environment requires special third-party tools that can access the great number of unique and proprietary data structures within R/3.

Hurwitz Group recently conducted research to determine which software vendors score well when measured by these two requirements. A summary of research findings can be seen online at: andscape.html

THE HURWITZ TAKE: The long list of software vendors now offering packaged solutions attests to the need among SAP R/3 users for packaged warehouse solutions. The list also corroborates Hurwitz Group's assertion that SAP AG's business information warehouse is too narrowly defined to serve as an enterprise-scope data warehouse.

SAP R/3 users considering warehouse solutions should avoid generic extract, transform, move, load (ETML) products. Although these may provide the tools and servers needed to build a warehouse, building a warehouse from scratch takes time, costs considerable development payroll, strains resources and runs the risk of integration failure. Therefore, R/3 users – who clearly understand the benefits of packaged solutions or they wouldn't be using an ERP system – should look for packaged data warehouse solutions that provide data models and queries specific to the needs of the SAP R/3 user.

Some of the most difficult-to-satisfy requirements for warehousing with SAP R/3 involve accessing R/3 data structures with data integrity and efficiency. These are common warehousing requirements, but they are far more difficult to satisfy in the SAP R/3 environment than in others because of the enormity and complexity of R/3. Hence, R/3 users should look for data warehouse solutions that include prebuilt components in the package that can access the broad array of complex data structures that R/3 contains.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Information Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access