SAP ECC is one of the most widely used ERP systems and it is usually the most critical system in the enterprise since it is used to support day to day operations. This also makes it a critical system from a data flow perspective.

Data integration with SAP ECC was always tricky if you did not use SAP BW and for some companies, it came with tradeoffs and led them to question the need for SAP BW. This also led to SAP BW being used as a pure data storage system to support delta extraction.

Why is delta extraction so difficult within an SAP system and why is BW able to do it effortlessly…?

Let us look at how we used to extract from SAP ECC.

SAP Operational Data Provisioning – SAP’s version of an Enterprise Data Hub

 

Here the options were to hit the SAP ECC tables directly or load the data into BW and extract it from the DSO table. The reason for this was that the Delta Queue consists of Cluster Tables which are defined at the application level and hence cannot be addressed at the database level.

 

With enterprises consolidating multiple ERP systems and multiple BI systems, it started becoming increasingly difficult to establish a Data Bus for the organization especially when SAP ECC was involved. Initial attempts involved the usage of SAP PI to propagate information across multiple systems but then for large data volumes, it was not an option that scaled up.

To address this issue, SAP then opened up cluster table access to ETL tools like Data Services and Informatica, and Informatica also had specialized adapters for ECC to read the delta data but the configuration and usage of this was also limited.

Then SAP implemented an Enterprise Data Hub with subscription-based access and request-based access to the delta data within ECC. This was called as Operational Data Provisioning (ODP) and the Operation Data Queue (ODQ). With ODP, all that you had to do was whitelist an extractor for ODP/ODQ and the delta data was available for access using a variety of methods.

SAP Operational Data Provisioning – SAP’s version of an Enterprise Data Hub

 

However, this requires certain patch levels in your ECC system before it can be accomplished.  This depends mainly on your SAP_BASIS version installed in your ERP System.

If your SAP_BASIS is less than release 730, ODP 1.0 is available for your ECC System (SAP Note 1521883)

If your SAP_BASIS is greater than or equal to release 730, then ODP 2.0 is available for your ECC System. (SAP Note 1931427)

 

For a functional comparison of ODP 1.0 and ODP 2.0 you can refer to SAP Note 2481315

The other advantage of ODP / ODQ is that it integrates seamlessly with SAP Data Hub as well which makes it very easy to manage.

For those who are familiar with SAP BW, ODP is similar to PSA but is maintained in ECC and the PSA is available to all the ETL systems that have subscribed to it.

In the subsequent blogs we will talk about how you can migrate your data sources to ODP and how you can make the best use of what SAP has to offer.

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