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SAP BW Certification A Business Information Warehouse Study Guide

Catherine M. Roze

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

SAP BW Certification A Business Information Warehouse Study Guide

Catherine M. Roze

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

This book is printed on acid-free paper. ∞ Copyright © 2002 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. All rights reserved. Published simultaneously in Canada No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc., 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, 978-750-8400, fax 978-750-4470, or on the web at Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Permissions Department, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030, 201-748-6011, fax 201-748-6008, e-mail: [email protected] Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty: While the publisher and author have used their best efforts in preparing this book, they make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales representatives or written sales materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. You should consult with a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor author shall be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. For general information on our other products and services, or technical support, please contact our Customer Care Department within the United States at 800-762-2974, outside the United States at 317-572-3993 or fax 317-572-4002. Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: Roze, Catherine M. SAP BW certification : a business information warehouse study guide / Catherine M. Roze. p. cm. Includes index. ISBN 0-471-23634-9 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. SAP Business information warehouse—Examinations—Study guides. 2. Data warehousing— Examinations—Study guides. 3. Management information systems—Examinations—Study guides. 4. Business—Computer programs—Examinations—Study guides. I. Title. HF5548.4.B875 R69 2002 650' .0285 '5785—dc21 2002010153 Printed in the United States of America 10














Chapter 1


Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouses, and SAP BW


Chapter 2

Certification Exam


Chapter 3



Chapter 4

Data Modeling


Chapter 5

Building Blocks


Chapter 6



Chapter 7



Chapter 8

Getting Ready for Certification: Tips and Tricks


Chapter 9

Simulated Certification Test


Appendix A

SAP BW and Data Warehousing Resources


Appendix B

SAP BW Quick Reference Guide


Appendix C

SAP BW R/3—Related Quick Reference Guide

23 2

Appendix D

SAP BW 3.0 New Features


Appendix E

SAP BW Training Offerings: Course Descriptions


Appendix F

Roles and Skills for BW Projects





Appendix G

SAP BW White Paper


Appendix H

SAP BW Standard Business Content







In recent years, companies have replaced dozens of legacy systems and years of business data with a new ERP system to address the integration and modernization of daily transactions that run the business. As part of this process, they redesigned business processes and often developed new process measurements. SAP was often the ERP system of choice. After having implemented ERP, most organizations found that these systems were good for gathering data, executing transactions, and storing data. Still, organization after organization discovered that getting information out of ERP systems was difficult. In the face of increased pressures due to globalization and rapidly changing markets, these ERP customers have felt an increased need to use information as a competitive advantage for decision making while constantly monitoring and improving their business processes. They also require new data views to facilitate comparative studies and measurement of performance in order to increase their ability to achieve their tactical and strategic objectives. Listening to the needs of its customers, SAP developed the Business Warehouse (SAP BW), an end-to-end data warehousing solution that has been gaining in acceptance. It is an integrated solution that includes not only the traditional data warehousing technology but also the supporting technology such as queries, reports, and key performance indicators, InfoCubes, InfoSources, and preconfigured extraction modules. Many ERP customers worldwide are evaluating or implementing SAP BW to convert large amounts of data into integrated information systems. Because of the complexity of these business information systems there is a significant need for qualified SAP BW skilled analysts and consultants. If you are an analyst or consultant with SAP, ERP, or Business Intelligence skills, acquiring SAP BW certification is a must in further developing your skills. While training is an important part of acquiring SAP BW skills, this book is an effective way to prepare for the certification test and to use your newly acquired knowledge. SAP BW certification covers several knowledge areas and this book will help you prepare for the exam. Catherine Roze is a consultant with excellent knowledge of Business Intelligence and SAP BW in particular. She has been involved in a wide variety of projects and has put her practical experience to work in this book. The technical information on SAP BW has been organized in a simple and effective manner allowing you to quickly acquire the knowledge required. The sample questions prepare you for the exam. The book also contains a wealth of information that makes it a great reference when implementing SAP BW. I am sure that you will find this book an excellent guide, reference, and invaluable aid in preparing for the SAP BW certification. MR. MEENAKSHISUNDARAM (Meenasi) VENKATASUBRAMANIAM Practice Executive SAP Process Integration IBM Global Services



The SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) Certification Test program is a rigorous testing and certification program for SAP BW practitioners. This book is a concise, comprehensive study guide to the areas covered on the SAP BW certification exam. SAP offers consultants the opportunity to be recognized for their skills as an SAP Certified Consultant. Recognized worldwide, the certificate evidences their ability as a highly qualified SAP BW consultant to the marketplace. Certified consultants can also access the SAP information network, keeping their knowledge up-to-date to benefit customers. The certification test for becoming an application consultant for SAP BW is intended to provide candidates with the opportunity to prove that they have a fundamental knowledge of this particular area of the SAP system and are able to apply this knowledge within a project environment.

Mission The primary mission of this book is to provide a practical approach and strategies to help you prepare and pass the SAP BW Certification exam. In most cases, this study guide is not intended as a substitute for the classroom training offered by SAP, but rather to complement it. Therefore, it is usually best to take the test after having attended the SAP BW classroom training provided by the SAP education centers. This book is designed to present SAP BW concepts in a clear and concise fashion. I have created this text specifically to help you identify the information that you need to know to prepare for the SAP BW Certification exam and give you an edge to pass.

What You Will Find in This Book The book provides information about the exam, training offerings by SAP, a study guide, sample test questions, suggested exercises and one simulated certification test. This book covers the core (required) subject areas for the SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) certification:  SAP BW Data Modeling. Basic concepts and techniques for data modeling in traditional data warehouses and SAP BW  SAP BW Building Blocks. Basic concepts and tools of the configuration, technical architecture and warehouse management of the SAP Business Information Warehouse





SAP BW Reporting. SAP BW reporting and analysis tools SAP BW Extraction. Mechanisms to extract data from SAP and non-SAP data sources within SAP BW

Useful reference information is also provided to assist you in becoming more knowledgeable and proficient in SAP BW, including SAP BW quick reference guide, SAP training offerings, and a list of useful on-line and published resources on data warehousing, business intelligence, SAP R/3, and SAP BW.

Target Audience



The audience for this book consists of all SAP Business Information Warehouse practitioners who wish to pass the SAP BW certification exam. This includes practitioners experienced in the subject matter areas – SAP BW, business intelligence, or SAP R/3 areas and beginners in SAP BW:  Technical and functional consultants for SAP BW  Certified SAP R/3 technical consultants interested in working in the SAP BW environment  SAP BW partners and consultants  SAP BW power users  Project managers and team leaders of SAP BW implementations  SAP BW practitioners seeking re-certification to current SAP BW release (Delta examination).

SAP BW Experienced Professionals If you are experienced in the subject matter area—SAP BW, Business Intelligence/Data Warehousing, or SAP R/3 areas—this study guide will help you codify your knowledge, understand SAP’s view of the universe, and prepare for the SAP BW certification exam. It will also aid those practitioners preparing for the SAP BW Delta examination (re-certification to current release).

SAP BW Beginners If you are a beginner in SAP BW, this study guide should also prove useful. You will need real world experience that no book can provide and depending on your background, you may also need help from one or more resources such as Business Information Warehouse for SAP (Portland, OR: Premier Press, 2000) by Naeem Hashmi; SAP BW Reporting Made Easy, 2.0/2.1C (Palo Alto, CA: SAP Labs, Inc., 2001) by SAP Labs, Inc., Simplification Group; or classroom training.




Which SAP BW Versions Are Covered? As SAP updates SAB BW in new releases, we expect most of the changes to be in the look and feel of the software and not the basic SAP BW concepts and process. As such you may find that some screens used in this book, terminology or software functionality or screens might have changed. At this time, SAP BW certification exams are version independent. To keep this version independence in mind, you will find this book to be version neutral as it describes the SAP BW certification process. The Author has attempted to provide sufficient guidelines to qualify exam with contents and hundreds of questions that will be valid for both SAP BW 2.1C and SAP BW 3.0. Where appropriate, critical areas have been flagged when significant differences exist between BW 2.1C and BW 3.0, and additional reference and study material are provided for details. The main intent of this book is to provide a practical approach to help you get certified in SAP BW. Its goals are not to present version-specific details and features but rather to be as version-independent as possible. To provide the required information while avoiding unnecessary confusion for the reader, the following has been done:  When appropriate, the major changes between SAP BW releases are highlighted within the technical chapters (chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7) with a “New” icon.  Appendix D presents new features in SAP BW 3.0.  Additional resources provide more details regarding new developments in SAP BW. In the future, our Web site will also provide information and links to new features and changes in SAP BW.

What This Book Covers The book includes the following chapters: Chapter 1: Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouses, and SAP BW This chapter provides a general introduction to the main themes herein: ERP, SAP, Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, OLAP and SAP BW. Concepts in this chapter are not explicitly tested on the exam but are important to understand. Chapter 2: Certification Exam This chapter is a brief introduction to the SAP BW certification exam. It provides key information regarding the exam process, rules and logistics including prerequisites and certification requirements. To assist you in prioritizing your efforts, it also suggests the relative weighting that these questions may carry on the exam.



Chapter 3: Training This chapter is a brief introduction to the SAP BW Training offerings by the SAP Education Centers. It provides key information regarding the classroom training for SAP BW, prerequisites, resources, location, scheduling, and enrollment. Chapter 4: Data Modeling This chapter provides basic concepts and techniques of data modeling in traditional data warehouses and the SAP Business Information Warehouse. Chapter 5: Building Blocks This chapter provides basic building blocks for the architecture, configuration, and data warehouse management for the SAP Business Information Warehouse. Chapter 6: Reporting This chapter presents SAP BW reporting and analysis tools and concepts. You will learn SAP BW queries and reports design and management techniques, including Web reporting and authorizations. Chapter 7: Extraction This chapter describes the tools and mechanisms to extract data from SAP and non-SAP data sources into SAP BW. 

Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7 are organized based on the following structure: Study Guide. This is a comprehensive study guide for the areas covered on the exam. It can be read straight through or serve as a reference for the areas in which you feel that you need further study. Suggested Exercises. This section provides a list of exercises that you can perform, usually with a small test SAP BW server, to gain experience in the exam’s subject area. Practice Tests. This section includes comprehensive test questions to assess your knowledge of the current exam topics and readiness for taking the exam. These questions are similar in content and format to those of the actual SAP BW certification exam. The questions on the certification exam are either one answer only or more than one answer. Because the questions on the certification exam usually indicate if a single answer or more than one answer is expected, the questions have been separated accordingly for studying purposes. Answers to Practice Tests. This section provides answers to the questions from the practice tests. You should take the opportunity to review incorrect answers to identify those subject areas where you need additional review before attempting the exam.



Chapters 8 and 9 These chapters offer  Test-taking tips to maximize test performance  SAP BW certification exam simulation to judge exam readiness

How to Use This Book and Pass the SAP BW Exam To be successful in the SAP BW certification, follow these 10 steps for success and pass the SAP BW certification test: 1. Review chapters 1, 2, and 3 of this study guide to become familiar with the concepts, certification process, and training options. 2. Become familiar with the SAP BW concepts and terminologies by studying the key concepts in the study guide. Understand the test objectives for the SAP BW test by reading SAP BW Exam Content & Weighting (chapter 2). 3. Depending on your knowledge and experience level, attend one or more of the SAP BW curriculum training provided by SAP. 4. Read the “SAP BW Certification Study Guide” in detail. 5. Study additional resources and training materials as needed in the SAP BW and data warehousing areas. 6. Test your knowledge with the practice exam questions throughout the book. 7. Do a thorough review of the objectives and use the answers to the practice tests to learn from your mistakes and solidify the information in your head. 8. Take the simulated certification exam at the end of the book. Give yourself an hour and a half for each test and follow the Test-Taking Tips and Hints. 9. Schedule your exam with SAP Education Center (Internet or SAP central registration 888-777-1727). 10. Practice, Practice, Practice. This study guide includes comprehensive test questions to assess your knowledge of the current certification exam topics and readiness for taking the exam. These questions are similar to both the content and format of the SAP BW certification questions. Use this study guide or have someone ask you the questions to be sure you are prepared for the test. Don’t be satisfied if you merely know 95% of the topics the exam covers. The questions are moderately hard and are a good test of your overall comprehension and will help you identify the areas where further study is needed. You should not underestimate the difficulty of the SAP BW certification exam because you can probably expect to find harder questions on the actual exam. You should take the opportunity to review incorrect answers to identify the subject areas in which you need improvement before attempting the exam. Be especially aware and knowledgeable about the benefits and restrictions listed in the study guide for the different components of SAP BW. For instance, the test questions will probe your knowledge of the benefits and restrictions of the star schema in regards to the



minimum and maximum number of dimensions and key figures or the benefits and restrictions of ODS, PSA, and InfoCubes in regards to type of data to be stored. Throughout the study guide you will find the following icons that identify special content.

Information about areas that you should study for the certification exam and the type of questions that you should expect

Suggestions for improving performance of the SAP Business Information Warehouse in the areas of queries execution, data extraction, and overall system These tips are directly related to the exam and you should expect questions on the certification test.

The limitations and specifics of SAP BW for a particular subject area They are directly related to the exam and you should expect questions to test your knowledge of these restrictions.

The unique features of SAP BW when compared to traditional data warehousing and data modeling You should also be prepared for questions assessing your comprehension.

Useful notes to enhance your understanding or help you clear up confusion These notes will probably not be directly generating questions on the exam.

The major changes between SAP BW releases 2.1C and 3.0



Your Feedback The information herein is provided on an “as is” basis. The author and John Wiley & Sons, Inc. shall neither be liable nor responsible to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages arising from the information contained in this book. This book is designed to provide information about the SAP BW certification exam. While every effort has been made to make this book as complete and accurate as possible, no warranty or fitness is implied. We have tested and verified the information in this book to the best of our ability, but as no human endeavor is perfect, we may have made an occasional error, notwithstanding our diligent efforts. As the reader of this book, you are the most important critic and commentator. We value your opinion and want to know what we are doing right, what we could do better, what areas you would like to see us publish in, and any other words of wisdom you are willing to pass our way. Please let us know about any errors you may find, as well as your suggestions for future editions by writing to me electronically at [email protected] When you write please be sure to include your name, phone and fax number, and we will carefully review your comments. We have a Web site for the book where we will list examples, errata, and any plans for future editions at I wish you good luck in your pursuit of a career in SAP BW.

Dedication When I told my family and friends that I was writing a book, they thought it sounded like a really good idea. I do not think any of us realized the time, energy, and commitment that would be eventually required. I would like to dedicate this book to the friends and families who supported me in my effort to write it.


A number of individuals contributed to this book and I would like to give credit and thank everyone involved for their help and support. First, I would like to thank Robert Chiarelli, Sheck Cho, and John Wiley & Sons for this opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge in the ever evolving industry of business intelligence and SAP BW. The quality and consistency in this book would not have been possible without the support of the editorial staff at John Wiley & Sons, especially Sheck Cho and Jennifer Gaines, who spent time editing, organizing, and packaging the material in this book. Their support is very much appreciated. The manuscript was also reviewed for technical accuracy at various stages by Naeem Hashmi. His input has given me added inspiration while helping make this a better and more interesting book. His expertise in SAP BW was invaluable, especially in organizing the book and creating the performance optimization tips. I would like to thank Mr. Arka Mukherjee of IBM. He introduced me to SAP BW in 1999 upon my joining IBM and gave me the opportunity to start working in this field. When I presented my vision for this book to him, he encouraged me to proceed and gave me the inspiration to start this endeavor. There is a group of business intelligence and SAP BW practitioners and friends that I also would like to thank for reviewing chapters and providing useful suggestions for refining some of my ideas and clarifying points. They include Richard Dunning, chairperson for the SAP BW American SAP Users Group (ASUG); Joffy Matthew, Doug Childs, and Phil Harrington of the Enterprise Data Group; and Marv Jackson of IBM Global Services. A very special thanks goes to my friend and mentor, David Moss, for his patience, encouragement, and support in writing this book. My friends Violaine Galland and Bruce Urquhart were also helpful in providing resourceful suggestions and moral support. I wish to acknowledge the kind assistance of SAP AG, especially Laurie Nolan, Director, Americas BW Product Marketing; SAP Portals; and Bernhard Hochlehnert, Head Global Customer Affairs, SAP AG. I would like to thank those with whom I did not work directly, but who worked behind the scenes and were instrumental in bringing this book to publication: production staff, cover designer, and graphic artists. I cannot forget the delivery people who kindly brought nourishment to me during the crash production periods of this book. Last but not least, I would like to thank the readers of this book. The SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) is still evolving rapidly, and writing about a moving target is not an easy task. I wish them all the best in the SAP BW certification exam and their SAP BW endeavors.




Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouses, and SAP BW

In This Chapter: Enterprise resource planning (ERP) SAP R/3 Business intelligence Data warehousing OLAP ERP data warehousing SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) This chapter provides a general overview and background to enterprise resource planning (ERP), SAP R/3, business intelligence, data warehousing, OLAP, and the SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW), the main themes of this book. The contents in this chapter are not explicitly tested on the exam, but provide important background information. This section will assist you in answering generalpurpose questions on the exam related to these topics.



Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouses, and SAP BW

Enterprise Resource Planning Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) are commercial software packages that facilitate the seamless integration of all the information flowing through a company—financial, accounting, human resources, supply chain, and customer information. ERP systems fundamentally integrate the different processes necessary in a business into a centralized pool that facilitates data sharing and eliminates redundancy. ERP provides information management and analysis to organizations. The major benefits of ERP systems include:  On-line/real-time information made available throughout all the functional areas of an organization  Improved data standardization and accuracy across the enterprise  “Best practices” included in the applications  The efficiency gained throughout an organization  The analysis and reporting made available for long-term planning The major players in the ERP software industry are Baan, J. D. Edwards, Lawson, PeopleSoft, Oracle, and SAP. Examples of ERP modules are human resource management systems (HRMS), financials, manufacturing, distribution, and sales. Each ERP module offers different functionality for different industries. SAP R/3 The German software company SAP AG is the market leader in the ERP arena. Systems, Application and Products in Data Processing (SAP) consists of highly integrated software modules that perform common business functions based on multinational leading practices. SAP R/3 is the third generation of SAP software. SAP R/3 is based on a client/server architecture and uses a relational database to track all information related to a corporation. SAP R/3 runs on several operating systems, including UNIX, Windows NT, and AS/400, and can use different database management systems, including Oracle, DB2, Informix, and Microsoft SQL Server. The SAP R/3 client/server system architecture is built around several modules or applications. A module is a set of transactions that deal with the same area of business functionality. The current modules of SAP R /3 include:  FI—Finance  CO—Controlling  MM—Materials Management  HR—Human Resources  PM—Plant Management  PP—Production Planning  LO—Logistics  SD—Sales and Distribution One of the reasons for the success of SAP R/3 is the tight integration of the business applications. One event in one module, such as materials, automatically triggers response in the others, such as sales, finance, and plant maintenance. For instance, when a customer places an

Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and On-Line Analytical Processing


order, a purchase order is created, an inventory is created, appropriate documents are created, and so on. This functionality is a major advantage compared to that offered by other vendors who simply package the business functionality in one box with limited integration.

Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and On-line Analytical Processing Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence The twenty-first century belongs to those who exploit information as a strategic enterprise resource. Today’s decision makers urgently need accurate information on production, sales and markets, finance, and personnel to obtain a complete and up-to-date picture of their business and environment. As illustrated in Exhibit 1.1, that information is usually spread throughout the corporate IT structure, on a wide variety of platforms and in a wide range of applications. In other words, getting hold of vital facts and figures can be a complex and timeconsuming task.

Exhibit 1.1

Business Intelligence Reality: Islands of Information

Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouses, and SAP BW

The technical concept for meeting this data challenge is known as data warehousing. A data warehouse is a separate application environment with a dedicated database drawing on diverse data sources and designed to support query and analysis. “Business Intelligence is the process of transforming data into information and transforming that information into knowledge through discovery.”1 Data warehousing and other business intelligence tools give meaning to all of that “useless” data. Using data warehousing and business intelligence functions, strategic decision makers can analyze, slice and dice, query, and generate reports. Closer integration of corporatewide data warehousing data with ERP data potentially enhances companies’ return on their ERP and data warehouse investments. On-line Analytical Processing


One significant functional component of business intelligence is on-line analytical processing (OLAP). The OLAP Council defines OLAP as a category of software technology that enables analysts, managers, and executives to gain insight into data through fast, consistent, interactive access to a wide variety of possible views of information that has been transformed from raw data to reflect the dimensionality of the enterprise as understood by the user.2 OLAP functionality is characterized by dynamic multidimensional analysis of consolidated enterprise data supporting end-user analytical and navigational activities, including:  Calculations and modeling applied across dimensions, through hierarchies, and/or across members  Trend analysis over sequential time periods  Slicing subsets for on-screen viewing  Drill-down to deeper levels of consolidation  Reach-through to underlying detail data  Rotation to new dimensional comparisons in the viewing area



While OLAP systems can answer “who and what” questions, it is their ability to answer “what, if, and why” questions that differentiates them from data warehouses. OLAP enables decision making about future actions. A typical OLAP calculation is more complex than simply summing data, for example, “What would be the effect on soft drink costs to distributors if syrup prices went up by $.10/gallon and transportation costs went down by $.05/mile?” OLAP and data warehouses are complementary: A data warehouse stores and manages data. OLAP transforms data warehouse data into strategic information. OLAP ranges from basic navigation and browsing (often known as “slice-and-dice”), to calculations, to more serious analyses such as time series and complex modeling. As decision makers exercise more advanced OLAP capabilities, they move from data access to information to knowledge. ERP Data Warehouses The demand for data warehousing functionality for ERP systems has been growing exponentially as companies strive to gain and maintain a competitive advantage and executives are realizing that an ERP implementation alone does not provide the business intelligence edge that they need to take full advantage of emerging front-office applications such as supply chain management, sales force automation, and customer relationship management. ®


Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and On-Line Analytical Processing


To improve the quality and accuracy of decision making in these areas, decision makers and business analysts need full integration and access to ERP and other source system data. However, some major hurdles prevent the flow of ERP data to business intelligence systems such as data warehouses. In response to these challenges, ERP vendors, data warehousers, and third-party tool vendors developed numerous products and solutions to meet this demand. Aside from building a data warehouse from scratch, the three basic categories of vendorbased data warehousing solutions include: 1. Solutions from third-party vendors that analyze data within ERP systems 2. ERP-based solutions that analyze data within ERP systems 3. ERP-based solutions that build data warehouses outside their ERP systems An ERP-based data warehouse is a classical, external data warehouse or data mart built with tools offered by an ERP vendor. Oracle and SAP are currently the only major ERP vendors with such offerings. Sooner or later other ERP vendors such as PeopleSoft and Baan will enter the market.

Limitations of ERP Data Warehouses There has been a lot of skepticism about ERP vendor offerings of data warehouses. Wayne Eckersen, vice president of the Data Warehouse Institute,3 stated that: The promise of closed-loop decision support gives the ERP vendors an advantage in building next-generation data warehouses. But making the leap from transaction systems to analytic applications involves a radical shift in the way systems are designed, developed, and used. It’s not self-evident that ERP vendors will master the art of building decision support tools or analytic applications, let alone linking the two together to create a closed-loop environment. This gives data warehousing vendors an opportunity to compete as the markets for ERP systems and data warehouses converge. Data warehouse professionals are not the only skeptics of ERP-based data warehousing solutions. In an article entitled “ERP Users Face Data Warehouse Dilemma,”4 Frank Gillette, a Forrester, Inc. analyst, expressed doubt that ERP vendors are qualified to build data warehouses, saying, “You do not want to have data extraction and transformation going on in the same database that you run your transactions in.” The prime reason for this skepticism by the analysts in accepting ERP data warehouse initiatives can be traced back to the “cultural issues” as Naeem Hashmi, CTO of Information Frameworks, documented in his article “Mix It Up.”5 This article explains what ERP data warehousing really means and identifies the traditional and ERP-centric data warehouse evolution and the cultural issues. Three major limitations of ERP applications prevent the productive flow of data for business intelligence: 1. ERP applications are designed to support high-volume transaction-level activity using highly normalized data structures; they are not designed to support business intelligence functions such as ad-hoc querying, reporting, and analysis.


Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouses, and SAP BW

2. ERP applications do not store historical data that are needed for trend analysis. 3. Finally it is notoriously difficult to access and analyze data in ERP applications, especially in SAP. Therefore ERP’s limitations cause considerable difficulty when linking business intelligence and ERP technologies.

SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) The SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) is a state-of-the-art, end-to-end data warehouse solution developed by SAP. As pictured in Exhibit 1.2, SAP BW provides knowledge workers and decision makers with rapid access to data from SAP R/3 systems, other enterprise applications, and external sources, such as Nielsen. Based on proven SAP R/3 client/server technology and exploiting SAP’s acknowledged business expertise, SAP BW combines state-of-the-art data warehousing technologies with SAP AG’s expertise to create an end-to-end solution. It includes all the components required for installation, use, ongoing changes, and maintenance of a data warehouse. The content-rich SAP BW sets a precedent for speed and ease of implementation and maintenance because it is preconfigured with intelligence about a company’s business

SAP BW Integrates Data from SAP R/3 and Other Enterprise Applications

Exhibit 1.2


Sales & Distribution


MM Materials Mgmt. PP etc. Production Planning SM etc. Service Mgmt.


Quality Mgmt. etc.


Financial Accounting

CO Controlling



Fixed Assets Mgmt.








Project System



Plant Maintenance




Human Resources

Industry Solutions

APO Demand Planning






Flat Files

SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW)


processes, providing a faster return on information. This new-generation solution provides users with a comprehensive view of data across an organization, including SAP R/3-based data as well as data from other systems. SAP BW Drivers When the ERP environment is SAP, the majority of the users face multiple problems in accessing, analyzing, and reporting of data. These problems prevent end users from easily accessing both current and historical data for better decision making. It is difficult to extract customized reports from SAP R/3 and access enterprisewide analytical data while users are provided with a limited set of options:  Build custom programs for each new reporting requirement.  Use SAP’s predefined reports—if you know where to find them.  Do without the data. Custom SAP reports can be written using Advance Business Application Programming (ABAP), a proprietary SAP coding language. ABAP reports, while costly, do not solve the problem because:  They are static. They do not support ad-hoc querying capability.  They are expensive to maintain. All changes have to be manually incorporated by ABAP programmers.  They negatively impact the performance of the transaction system. Integration of SAP and non-SAP data is difficult because data extraction from SAP is a difficult task and requires knowledge of SAP data structure and contents. As a consequence, flexible access to enterprisewide information becomes very difficult. Many organizations have tried to solve this problem by building data warehouses taking data feeds from SAP and nonSAP systems. Alternative solutions exist but lack flexibility and ease of use. These attributes are essential if the data are to be exploited profitably. None of the available approaches optimally address key aspects of a desirable solution:  SAP R/3 ERP information systems. While the SAP Logistics Information Systems are quite flexible in permitting multidimensional querying, significant issues remain:  All the data that compose the multidimensional cubes have to be available in SAP R/3 whereas most organizations have a significant amount of enterprisewide data in nonSAP transaction processing systems.  Use of the Logistics Information System (LIS) requires significant training, and end users need knowledge of SAP data before LIS cubes can be customized.  The execution of queries to LIS has a negative impact on SAP/R3 transaction processing performance.  Third-party solutions. Third-party solution products are available to extract data out of SAP from multiple vendors. These products are components of a business intelligence solution rather than being an end-to-end solution.  Custom data warehouse solutions. The creation of custom data warehouses taking data feeds from SAP and non-SAP systems is usually an expensive project that takes years to implement and usually has limited success due to the following issues:


Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouses, and SAP BW


If the Metadata in the data warehouse are not synchronized with SAP/R3, the data warehouses can quickly lose relevance. Extracting data from SAP R/3 to obtain the data feeds has traditionally been a difficult task, because it relies on the underlying data model and data definitions. The integration effort is often plagued with difficulties, because different OLTP systems utilize disparate data.

SAP BW Features and Functionality SAP BW is an end-to-end data warehousing solution with multiple features and functionality:  The SAP BW server includes an OLAP engine and a metadata repository, both of which are preconfigured with business content, saving the time and money that would be necessary to build a data warehouse from scratch. The SAP BW server is designed to provide fast retrieval, interpretation, and preparation of the information stored in its data stores.  The Business Explorer provides customers with a new easy-to-use multidimensional data access interface. The Business Explorer’s navigation capability allows customers to build a personal catalog of reports for ongoing or recurring queries and reports displaying data using Microsoft Excel.  In addition to Business Explorer, the latest version of SAP BW 3.0 also includes a new Web-based multidimensional analysis environment to develop and publish analytical applications for the Internet community.  Automated data extraction and loading capabilities supply the SAP BW server with data from SAP R/3 applications, SAP R/2 applications, and non-SAP applications and external sources using flat files or using certified third-party extraction tools for any other data source.  The Administrator Workbench, another feature of SAP BW, provides a single point of control for creating, monitoring, and easily maintaining the complete data warehouse environment, reducing the total cost of ownership to customers.  SAP BW embodies all the advantages of leading-edge SAP R/3 BASIS technology with its multitier architecture: security, integrity, scalability, high availability, and interoperability within a uniform environment.  Desirable reporting architecture and features:  SAP BW includes a proven, consistent enterprise data model for the application of business rules to data. This builds on the enterprise model of SAP R/3 and greatly facilitates data warehouse implementation and management.  Preconfigured information models and reporting templates help users generate reports quickly and simply.  SAP BW supports predefined standard reports and ad-hoc analysis; both allow drilldown and multidimensional views.  Users can define their own collections of favorite reports, enabling them to access relevant information at the “touch of a button.”  SAP BW is built for high performance. It resides on its own dedicated server. OLTP and reporting activities are therefore separated, and OLTP system performance is not compromised. Report caching mechanisms have also been carefully designed to maintain high performance.

SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW)


Benefits of SAP BW SAP BW remains open to different source systems and it will also come as a pleasant surprise for its ease of introduction and maintenance. SAP BW includes a broad range of predefined reporting templates geared to the specific needs of particular industries and user types, such as production planners, financial controllers, or human resources directors. When implementing the Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW), customers obtain the following benefits:  Fast business intelligence solution. As a business component of SAP R/3 Business Framework, SAP BW can be implemented quickly, especially when compared to a custom data warehouse solution.  Data access. SAP BW significantly reduces the data load time, thereby providing global access to data on a timely basis and significantly lower maintenance and overhead costs.  Increased performance on the R/3 OLTP system. The integration of decision support functionality into the existing business applications environment does not compromise the performance of the OLTP systems; on the contrary, it takes the reporting load away from the OLTPs.  Open solution. SAP BW is not limited to sourcing data from SAP R/3 and interfaces with third-party extract, transform, and load (ETL) tools and other systems through flat files.  Function-rich solution. SAP BW offers a wide range of powerful reporting and analysis features for effective exploration and interpretation of data.  Adaptable solution. SAP BW is designed to adapt to changes made to the business processes or IT environment. In addition, the Administrator Workbench provides effective support for easy maintenance of SAP BW and quick implementation of changes.  Robust, business-driven solution. Based on proven SAP expertise in SAP R/3 technology and business processes, SAP BW is built to answer the specific information needs of decision makers in all industries reliably and effectively.

Limitations of SAP BW SAP BW was first introduced to the market by SAP AG in 1998 with version 1.0A. By all reasonable criteria, SAP BW is still a relatively new product and still in development as of this writing; SAP is providing functional updates every two weeks. As such, initial versions of SAP BW have been criticized for some of their limitations. In 1999, William Inmon, the “founding father of data warehousing,” criticized the architecture of the current SAP BW release (1.2) in his white paper, “SAP and Data Warehousing.”6 He noted the limitations of SAP BW as a true data warehouse solution, including:  The redundancy in data movement and storage  SAP’s “open” interface is somewhat constraining in use and applicability.  The SAP BW metadata repository only imports directly from SAP R/3 sources; non-SAP R/3 sources require manual managing of metadata.  SAP BW requires an underlying star schema.  Each cube is limited to 16 dimensions, three of which are reserved.


Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouses, and SAP BW


The end-user interface of choice in SAP BW is Microsoft Excel extended through Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macros. The lack of a true operational data store (in the data warehousing sense) The lack of accessibility by non-SAP tools to the data in the staging area The complexity of the creation and maintenance of the interfaces between SAP R/3 and the InfoCubes.

The most critical shortcomings noted above have already been addressed by SAP in later releases of the product. For instance, SAP has improved the architecture of SAP BW, and the Operational Data Store in SAP BW 2.0 is now a true Operational Data Store. Other limitations are being addressed as SAP is adding new features and functionality with every new release. For instance, in release 3.0, SAP BW provides:  Closed-loop analytical applications  Open standards in heterogeneous environments  Platform for e-business solutions  Hub-and-spoke capability as an option in BW 3.0B For further details on enhancements available with SAP BW 3.0, refer to “Development News for SAP Business Information Warehouse” ( and to Appendix D. SAP BW’s Competitors Competition for SAP BW comes from ERP and data warehousing vendors, including:  Other ERP vendors  Oracle  PeopleSoft  Data warehouse tool vendors  Extraction tool vendors—extraction from legacy to SAP BW • ACTA • Informatica  Front-end tool vendors (can integrate with SAP BW) • Cognos • Business Objects  OLAP vendors—coupled with many analytical application vendors • Essbase/Hyperion • Microsoft SQL Server—Data Warehouse Consortium  Partnerships of these vendors  Internally developed data warehouses Future of SAP BW There should be an explosion in the demand for SAP BW. First, demand from end-user companies needing expertise in the integration of ERP data into corporatewide data warehouses is growing exponentially. This trend is due to several business and technology drivers:  Acquisitions and mergers lead to the requirement of consolidated data from disparate systems to perform decision support activities.




Integration of disparate systems. To develop a comprehensive Business Intelligence solution, a data warehouse can incorporate data from all the systems. Companies demand better information about their customers and marketplace. Today’s technology can support the promise of data warehousing:  Parallel computing technologies have made very large databases a reality.  Competition has significantly lowered computing and storage costs.  Tools are becoming more versatile and user friendly. Analytical applications such as strategic enterprise management (SEM) support the processes to provide the return on investment that companies are trying to achieve.

Second, end users and consulting companies alike are increasingly seeking data warehousing solutions for prepackaged ERP data warehouse implementations, especially for SAP’s Business Information Warehouse. The strategic direction for SAP AG is to move all reporting and analysis functionality away from SAP R/3 and into SAP BW. For instance, reporting for the new SAP products such as Advanced Planning Optimizer (APO) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is provided in SAP BW. Therefore, most companies with SAP R/3 implementations will be implementing SAP BW in the near future. Finally, SAP will probably want to expand the current market of SAP BW to go beyond that of SAP-centric organizations. In the future SAP will certainly try to create more robust interfaces and technologies to incorporate non-SAP source systems and data access tools.

Summary This chapter introduced the basic concepts behind the key topics of this book: ERP and SAP R/3, business intelligence, data warehousing, OLAP, and SAP BW. It also provided a general overview of SAP BW, its drivers, features and functionalities, benefits, limitations and future. In the next chapter, you will learn more about the SAP BW certification exam, including the benefits of the certification, examination process, prerequisites and resources, preparation for the exam, certification requirements, scoring for the exam, exam retakes, and logistics. The content/weighting discussion provides the exam content and assists you in prioritizing your efforts in preparing for the exam.

Need to Know More? Published Resources    

Thomas Curran, Andrew Ladd, Dennis Ladd. SAP R/3 Reporting and E-Business Intelligence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000. Naeem Hashmi. Business Information Warehouse for SAP. Portland, OR: Premier Press, 2000. William Inmon, Claudia Imhoff, and Ryan Sousa. Corporate Information Factory. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1998. Alan R. Simon. Data Warehousing for Dummies. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997.


Enterprise Resource Planning, Business Intelligence, Data Warehouses, and SAP BW

On-line Resources  

Naeem Hashmi. “Mix It Up.” Intelligent Enterprise. Intelligent ERP—feature, July 2000. Naeem Hashmi. “SAP BW for Data Warehousing Professionals.” The Data Warehouse Institute Winter Conference, December 2001. Available at Publications/TDWIFall2001/html/SAP%BW%20for%20DW%20Professionals.htm

Endnotes 1. Gartner Group. 2. “OLAP Council White Paper,” The OLAP Council, 1997, 3. Wayne Eckersen, “Analyzing ERP Data,” The Data Warehouse Institute, 1999. 4. Frank Gillette, “ERP Users Face Data Warehouse Dilemma,” ComputerWorld, October 1999. 5. Naeem Hashmi, “Mix It Up,” Intelligent Enterprise, Intelligent ERP feature, July 2000, 6. William Inmon, “SAP and Data Warehousing” (white paper), 1999.



Certification Exam

In This Chapter: Benefits of the SAP BW certification Where to take the exam and how to register How to prepare for the exam: prerequisites and resources Exam format, rules, and procedures Certification requirements and scoring SAP BW certification exam content and weighting Getting the results This chapter provides a brief introduction to the SAP BW certification exam. It gives key information regarding the exam process, prerequisites, scoring, rules, logistics, and certification requirements. It is organized chronologically and provides information to be used before, during, and after the exam. To assist you in prioritizing your efforts, this chapter also suggests a list of key areas and the relative weighting that the questions in those areas may carry on the exam.



Certification Exam

Benefits of Certification The SAP BW certification is currently the most sought-after credential for SAP BW practitioners. It requires passing the SAP BW exam, which consists of three core areas: 1. SAP BW System Configuration. SAP BW data modeling and building blocks 2. SAP BW Extraction. Extraction mechanisms within SAP BW to pull data from SAP R/3 and non-SAP source systems 3. SAP BW Reporting. SAP BW reporting and analysis tools



Certified SAP BW consultants have passed a strenuous examination to certify that they possess the in-depth SAP BW product know-how required to successfully implement SAP BW for their clients. Certified SAP BW consultants are integrated in a closely coupled information network with SAP to ensure that their knowledge remains current and relevant and that they can continue to provide the highest level of professional guidance and service to their clients. A certified SAP Business Information Warehouse consultant has the knowledge to advise customers on issues relating to SAP BW, including:  Data analysis  Reporting variables  Data modeling  Data extraction—OLTP, LIS, flat files, and so on  InfoObject within SAP BW  InfoSources  Authorizations  Web reporting  


Benefits of the SAP BW certification include: Acceptance. Employers and recruiters benefit from the widespread acceptance of certification credentials. Simplified recruiting and hiring. Requiring an appropriate certification assures a minimum knowledge level in applicants, thereby ensuring higher-quality candidates while minimizing the initial applicant screening. Flexibility. Certified individuals have validated their technical knowledge while not being tied to a particular vendor’s product. This means greater flexibility—a substantial advantage in the fast-changing technology marketplace. Credibility. Certification credentials provide a competitive advantage in highly competitive technology markets. This advantage applies to both the certificate holder and the hiring organization. Certified individuals benefit from the widespread acceptance of certification credentials. Enhanced job opportunities. Because recruiters and hiring organizations employ certification requirements, more opportunities are available to certified individuals. Access to SAPNet ( Unless you are already an SAP customer or partner, access to the SAP on-line repository is a major benefit because it includes BW system documentation, white papers, support information, OSS notes, and so on.


Preparing for the Exam


Location and Registration The exam is given at an SAP Education Center. There are more than 15 SAP Education Centers in major cities in the United States and Canada.  For up-to-date course descriptions, dates, locations, and availability, visit the SAP Education Center Web site (  To register for classes and the exam and access on-line registration visit At the time of this publication, the certification exam is free when taken as part of the SAP BW curriculum training, or $500 USD ($700 CAD) when taken independently. The test is offered at the conclusion of the TABW30 course (SAP BW Extraction) or can be taken independently of the class for those candidates who do not wish to take the SAP class. Candidates can register for the exam alone (without taking the SAP classes) or will be registered automatically when signing up for the SAP BW extraction class. In case of failure the exam can be retaken as many times as necessary, at the current cost of $700 for each sitting thereafter. This fee applies whether you pass or fail. Thus, it is a good idea to prepare as thoroughly as possible before attempting to take the exam. Logistics for the certification test and the classes are identical (e.g., dates, locations, availability, and registration). For more information, refer to Chapter 3, “Training.”

Preparing for the Exam There is no essential prerequisite to the SAP BW certification exam. However, experience with data warehousing and/or SAP R/3 is highly recommended. To get the most out of this certification study guide and maximize their chances on the SAP BW certification test, candidates should have one or more of the following:  Previous experience and participation in an SAP BW project implementation  A strong desire to learn SAP BW  Detailed understanding of data warehousing, and specialization in one of the following areas:  Extract, transform, and load (ETL) design  Data modeling  Report design  Data warehouse project management  Knowledge of reporting and analysis in SAP/R3 reporting environments, for example, Logistics Information Systems (LIS), Report Writer/Report Navigator, ABAP/4 Programming  Some knowledge of SAP BASIS administration Depending on your understanding of the subject matter, in addition to this book it may be useful to study other materials. SAP’s documentation, such as the SAP BW Library, the online help documentation in the SAP BW software, and the reference materials provided in appendixes may be helpful. It is recommended to attend SAP BW training offered by SAP Education Centers (more details provided in Chapter 3). One of the benefits of attending the training is to obtain the


Certification Exam

SAP BW training material.1 This material contains detailed and content-rich SAP BW information that is considered necessary for the test. This training curriculum also includes exercises to be completed during class on a live SAP BW system that will give you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the exam’s subject area. It is also very important to have hands-on experience with the system to apply the techniques and concepts covered in the exam. You should have access to an SAP BW server with which to experiment. Although it is possible to attain the SAP BW certification by attending SAP classes and studying books and other documentation, you absolutely need real-world experience with SAP BW to successfully perform and contribute on an SAP BW project.

The Exam This section describes the actual process for taking the exam, including:  Examination rules and procedures  Format of the exam SAP dictates the rules used during the examination:  Candidates must produce an official valid identification document with photo, for example, passport or driver’s license, before they can receive the examination papers and logon password.  Candidates must complete the examination alone and independently.  No assistance is allowed, except as follows:  Candidates whose mother tongue is not the language of the examination may use a dictionary provided that it contains no notes and is inspected and accepted by the proctor before the start of the examination. • Errors in the dictionary or documentation are the candidate’s responsibility and no such error will be reason for any review of the result of the examination. • The time available to candidates to complete the examination is limited and can be neither interrupted nor extended.  Candidates must follow the proctor’s instructions.  The examination questions and tasks are copyrighted and must not be written down, copied, or otherwise reproduced in whole or in part or made available to others in any form.  If a candidate disturbs the examination or breaks any examination rule, that candidate will be excused from the examination immediately.   

The exam format is as follows: The tests are administered by computer. You are given a set time limit for the test (90 minutes) and must answer 60 questions. You can mark questions to return to later if you are not sure of the answers. Passing the exam requires a minimum of 70%. Your pass/fail grade will be reported to you four to six weeks after you have sat for the exam.

The Exam


The questions are chosen randomly from a pool of thousands of questions. Each candidate in the same classroom will have the same questions in the exam, but will have them presented in a different sequence from the other candidates to prevent teaming.

The questions generally fall into two categories: 1. Questions that have only one correct answer 2. Questions that have more than one correct answer

Single Answer (only one answer) Single answers are basic multiple-choice questions for which only one answer is correct and these are generally the easiest. Each question will have four or five answers listed. The correct answer must be selected. For example: A conceptual description of data objects, their attributes, and the relationships between them is: a. A data warehouse b. A data model c. An InfoCatalog d. An InfoSet e. An InfoSource Answer: b. These questions often address facts and figures included in the exam objectives. Although these are relatively easy questions, many of them are purposely worded to be confusing or to encourage jumping to conclusions. Be sure to read the questions carefully and double-check your answers.

Multiple Choice (one or more answers) Multiple choice are questions for which multiple potential answers are provided and where one or more of the answers are correct, and you must choose all that apply. For example: Which of the following are types of SAP BW InfoCubes? a. MultiCube b. Inverted Cube c. Remote Cube d. Relational Cube e. Basic Cube Answer: a, c, and e. These questions can be tricky. Although they often address the same type of definitions and facts as the simpler questions, the multiple-choice questions increase the possibility of mistakes. Rather than look for one or more obvious answers to these questions, you may find it useful to consider them as a series of true/false questions, evaluating each of the possible choices separately. Otherwise, it is easy to overlook a correct answer. Be sure to read these questions carefully.


Certification Exam

Passing and Scoring The examination consists of 60 questions from the following SAP BW topic areas: 1. SAP BW Data Modeling  Data modeling  Data management 2. SAP BW Building Blocks  System configuration  Monitoring  Scheduling 3. SAP BW Reporting  Report definition and Web publishing  Data analysis in BEx Analyzer and a Web browser plus integration of analytical applications into mySAP enterprise portals  Organization of reports  Authorization 4. SAP BW Extraction  SAP BW extractors in components  Openness to external systems  Integration of extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) tools The passing score for the final exam is 70%. It is useful to understand how SAP will score your answers on the exam so as to maximize your score: If Only One Answer (maximum of two points)   

This type of question scores a maximum of two points and a minimum of zero points. If the answer you select is correct (true), you get full credit and score two points. If the answer you select is false, you do not score any points. There is no penalty for an incorrect response.

If More Than One Answer (maximum of 5 points)  

This type of question usually has five possibilities and scores a maximum of five points (one point for each correct answer) and a minimum of zero points. You should consider the potential answers provided as a series of true/false questions.  For each potential answer, if the answer is true and you select it or the answer is not true and you do not select it, you are correct and you score one point per question.  Conversely, if the answer is false and you answer true or the answer is true and you answer false, you are not correct and do not score any points for that question.

It is important to remember that there is no penalty for not answering a question correctly. Therefore, you should never leave a question unanswered even if you do not know the answer. Regardless of the type of questions (one answer or more than one answer), scoring of the answers for the exam is based on Boolean logic:


SAP BW Certification Exam Content and Weighting

Correct Answer

Your Selection

Your Score

True False False True

1 1 0 0

True False True False

For instance, for a test question with more than one answer (possible answers a, b, c, d, and e), if the correct answers are a, b, and c,  If you select a, b, c, and d you score 4 points as follows; one point each for selecting a, b, c, one point for not selecting e, and no points for incorrectly selecting d.  If you select a and b you score 4 points as follows: one point each for selecting a and b, and one point each for not selecting d and e. Had you also selected c in this scenario, you would have scored a perfect 5 for this question. Scoring on the exam is summarized as follows: Correct Answer If there is only one correct answer If there is more than one answer

Incorrect Answer

No Answer

2 points

0 points (no points deducted)

0 points

1 point per correct answer

0 points (no points deducted)

0 points

The maximum number of points for each question is as follows: Potential Maximum Number of Points If there is only one correct answer If there is more than one correct answer

Four answers Five answers

2 points 4 points 5 points

SAP BW Certification Exam Content and Weighting The certification test for SAP BW application consultants is intended to provide candidates with the opportunity of proving that they have a fundamental knowledge of this particular area of the SAP system, as well as that they are able to apply this knowledge within a project environment. The examination consists of questions, both one answer only and multiple choice, from the topic areas specified below. To assist you in prioritizing your efforts, the weighting of the questions in the test is codified as follows:2 + = 1–10% of the questions in the exam ++ = 11–20% of the questions in the exam +++ = over 20% of the questions in the exam


Certification Exam

As recommended by the SAP Education Center, the topic areas for the SAP BW certification exam are: Reporting (++)     

Analyzing data BEx Analyzer within Business Explorer (BEx) Report Builder Roles Workbooks

Reporting Variables  Types of variables  Replacement types  Variables  Calculation of variables  User-exit for variables Reporting Tips and Tricks  Customizing the BEx Browser  Using the style tool  Reporting monitor  SAP BW statistics  Version of BEx Reporting OLE DB for On-Line Analytical Processing (OLAP)  SAP BW architecture  Object linking and embedding (OLE) and OLE DB for OLAP  Use of open database for objects (ODBO) or OLE DB for OLAP  Query blocks Data Modeling (++)    

Data modeling for data warehouses Structure of information—entity relation model (ERM) Analytical processing—the multidimensional data model (MDM) Translating the MDM into SAP BW

Multidimensional Data Models within SAP BW  Star schema and the SAP BW extended star schema  InfoCubes  Characteristics  Hierarchies  Aggregates  Concept of granularity

SAP BW Certification Exam Content and Weighting

Extraction (++)     

General aspects Flow of data Triggering extraction Data marts Data homogenization within SAP BW

Data Extraction  Types of data to be extracted  Extraction of SAP R/3 application data  Production data extractor  Metadata update  Non-SAP data sources  Third-party extraction tools OLTP Extraction  Extraction process from SAP R/3 OLTP and non-SAP R/3 OLTP systems  Integration of data from multiple InfoSources  Use of intermediate documents (IDOCS) and operational data store (ODS)  Scheduler to initiate data extraction  Monitor statuses Flat File Extraction  Flat file extraction process of transaction and master data  Types of data that can be extracted via flat files LIS Extraction  Logistics information system (LIS) overview  Connecting LIS InfoStructures  Populating InfoCubes Extraction from Controlling and Profitability COPA  Creating the InfoSource  Modeling the InfoCube  Transferring the data Administrator Workbench (+)     

Workbench features Design/maintenance of data warehouse Scheduler Monitor Source systems



Certification Exam

InfoObject within SAP BW (+)      

Metadata in SAP BW Technical definition Master data, texts Attributes Hierarchies Compound information

InfoSources  Components  Creating an InfoSource Warehouse Management (++)             

Architecture Data staging Data extraction Administrator workbench (AWB) new design InfoObjects InfoCubes Aggregates ODS Business document service (BDS) DataSources Update rules Scheduling Manage InfoCube

Metadata Repository (+)   

Architecture Functionality Business

Authorizations (+)    

Roles Transactions Activity groups Authorizations

Business Explorer (++)   

BEx Analyzer Toolbar Template

Getting the Results



Filter Conditions Exceptions MultiCubes Report-to-report Interface (RRI) BEx Browser Architecture

Web Reporting (+)      

View Elements Language objects Revenue Simple lists Using the wizard

Getting the Results This section describes how you will get your results and the procedure for unsuccessful candidates and exam retakes. The passing score for the final exam is 70%. The examination is assessed in accordance with general rules defined by SAP. Unlike most computer-based training tests, the results are not immediately known upon completion of the exam. It may take up to five weeks to receive your grade. Candidates are informed in writing of their grade, which is either “pass” or “fail.” Successful candidates receive a certificate with a unique identification number. The certificate names the candidate and the candidate’s employer. SAP will hold the results of the examination in a database to ascertain, if necessary, what certification a candidate holds and whether a candidate can be admitted to other examinations. SAP may also use the data held to provide targeted information to certified candidates and to enable candidates to retrieve specific information. SAP may also inform others of successful candidates’ certification. If your results are not favorable, SAP will allow unsuccessful candidates to take the certification exam again with the following restrictions:  Unsuccessful candidates may retake the same examination after a three-months waiting period.  Unsuccessful candidates usually receive general information on identified gaps in their competence.  Before admission to the same examination for a third time, the candidate must produce evidence of training suitable to rectify the gaps identified in the candidate’s competence at previous examinations.  No candidate may take the same examination for the same release more than three times. A candidate who has failed at an examination three times for a release may not attempt that examination again until the next release.  The exam fees cover only one exam and candidates must pay the exam fee for all retakes.


Certification Exam

Summary In this chapter, you learned about the SAP BW certification exam. You now understand the benefits of the SAP BW certification exam, how to prepare for the exam, where to register for and take the exam, certification requirements, and what happens after the exam. A list of the key areas and the relative weighting that the questions in those areas may carry on the exam was also discussed. To assist you in prioritizing your efforts in studying for the exam, you should refer often to this list. The next chapter provides information on the SAP BW training offered by the SAP Education Center. It will provide key information regarding the classroom training for SAP BW, location, scheduling, and enrollment.




1. SAP BW Configuration, SAP BW Reporting, and SAP BW Extraction, SAP BW Solution Academy, Training Participant Handbook, SAP BW release 2.0B, September 2000. 2. SAP Education Center Web site,, February 2002.





In This Chapter: SAP Solution Academy SAP BW training curriculum How to decide what training to take Location, scheduling, enrollment This chapter provides a brief introduction to SAP BW training, including the training curriculum for SAP BW, how to decide what class to take, training locations, scheduling, and enrollment. This study guide is not intended as a substitute for the classroom training offered by SAP but rather to complement it. Therefore, it is usually best to take the test after having attended the SAP BW classroom training provided by the SAP Education Centers.




SAP Solution Academy SAP partners are technology and business consulting firms that offer assistance in all phases of SAP software implementation projects, including go-live, training, and education. Partners have proven knowledge of SAP products and expertise in using best practices for effective business process reengineering and work closely with clients in redefining roles and systems to optimize performance with SAP software. As described in Exhibit 3.1, SAP has partners in all areas of SAP implementation projects, including software, service, technology, support, hosting, channels, and education. A list of SAP partners is available on SAP Web site at The SAP Solution Academy is an international institution of higher education in SAP applications, including SAP BW. It is a training academy open to all SAP partners to provide certification through a variety of course offerings. The primary objective of the Academy is to instruct in features, functions, and the best use of SAP products for new consultants. The second objective is to provide continuing education and advanced training for experienced SAP product practitioners.

Exhibit 3.1

SAP Partners


SAP BW Curriculum


The SAP Solution Academy offers comprehensive, hands-on classes for SAP partners, independent consultants, and customers who are seeking intensive training leading to SAP certification. The Solution Academy offers rigorous programs for both experienced attendees and newcomers. Participants who pass the optional exam at the end of each Academy program will receive SAP’s highly regarded consultant certification, one of the most respected industry certifications available.

SAP BW Training Curriculum The SAP BW training curriculum for partners and nonpartners is illustrated in Exhibits 3.2 and 3.3. There are three levels of classes: 1. Level 1. Introductory level 2. Level 2. Standard training for business content experts and SAP BW data extractors and developers to learn SAP R/3 application modules 3. Level 3. Specific for SAP BW application developers, support, and administration staff Exhibit 3.2

SAP BW Solution Training Curriculum (partners only)

Level 1 BW200 (1 day) BW Overview

Level 2

Level 3 BW210* (5 days) BW Configuration

BW220* (3 days) BW Extraction

BW257* (5 days)

BW209 (2 days)

MySAP BW Reporting

BW Web Reporting

BWNA40* (2 days)

D20BW** (5 days)

BW Authorization Workshop

* Class recommended for SAP BW certification. ** Class recommended for SAP BW delta certification. Source: SAP.

BW Delta 1.2B-2.0B

WNAPBW (5 days) APO/BW Integration Workshop

WNABWC (3 days) BW/CO Integration Workshop

D30BW BW Delta (3.0)



Exhibit 3.3

SAP BW Nonpartners Training Curriculum

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3 TABW10* (5 days) BW Configuration

TABW20* (5 days) BW Presentation

TABW30* (5 days) BW Extraction

TTW090 (3 days) BW Technical Administration

TU3BW* * (5 days) SAP BW Delta

* Class recommended for SAP BW certification. * * Class recommended for SAP BW delta certification. Source: SAP.

The basic SAP BW curriculum is based on three level-3 classes of one week each in duration (course descriptions are provided in Appendix E): 1. SAP BW Configuration (BW210 or TABW10 for partners)—SAP BW data modeling and Building Blocks 2. SAP BW Reporting (BW257 or TABW20 for partners) 3. SAP BW Extraction (BW220 and BNNA40 or TABW30 for partners) Several other classes offered are of interest to SAP BW practitioners, including SAP BW Delta and SAP BW Technical Administration (TABW90). The SAP Education Center or the SAP education Web site ( will provide:  The ability to register for SAP BW classes and exams  SAP BW training course descriptions, dates, locations, and availability Exhibit 3.2 provides an overview of the SAP BW training curriculum for SAP partners (Solution Academy). Exhibit 3.3 provides an overview of SAP BW training curriculum for nonpartners.

What Training Do You Really Need?


What Training Do You Really Need? This study guide may be used as a teach-yourself program; however, prior knowledge and experience with SAP BW is assumed. At the same time, it is highly recommended that candidates for certification take one or more of the classroom courses offered by SAP to customers and business partners. One of the benefits of attending the training is to obtain the SAP BW training material.1 This material contains detailed and content-rich SAP BW information that is considered necessary for the test. This training curriculum also includes exercises to be completed during class on a live SAP BW system that will give you the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the exam’s subject area. Candidates who have completed the appropriate Solution Academy or SAP standard curriculum classes may test for SAP BW certification. Consultants may take the exam without attending classes if they have significant experience in SAP BW, BASIS, SAP system administration, or R/3 database administration. In order to increase your knowledge in SAP BW and your probability of passing the exam, SAP recommends taking at least three SAP BW classes in the key exam topic areas SAP BW Configuration (data modeling and building blocks), SAP BW Reporting, and SAP BW Extraction. One can and should attend as many classes as possible, based on budget and requirements. However, there is no mandate on the number of classes taken; some candidates may, for instance, take only one class to meet a specific requirement whereas other candidates will take all three classes. When taking all three classes, the following is highly recommended:  Take the three classes in the order suggested by SAP: System Configuration (data modeling and Building Blocks), SAP BW Reporting, and SAP BW Extraction. Each class builds on concepts learned from the previous one.  Do not take all three classes in three consecutive weeks but rather take the first class (SAP BW Configuration), and then wait a month or two before proceeding. This strategy will allow you some time to study the training material in detail and avoid burnout.  Attend Solution Academy classes (rather than customer classes) as those classes are more specifically geared to prepare you for the SAP BW certification exam. Solution Academy classes are for partners; however, SAP will usually allow nonpartners to attend, provided seating is available. As an alternative, the nonpartner class should provide you the same information but might be less oriented toward the certification exam. As shown in Exhibit 3.4, if you plan to become certified you should take at least one class: the SAP BW System Configuration (SAP BW data modeling and Building Blocks) (BW 210 or TAB10). This class is fundamental to understanding the other two classes (Extraction and Reporting) and to your success on the exam. Therefore, you should spend most of your time and energy on understanding all of its concepts before proceeding to the other two SAP BW classes and the exam. Even if you already have significant knowledge and hands-on experience with SAP BW it is highly recommended that you take this class before attempting to pass the exam.



Exhibit 3.4

Recommended Training Path for SAP BW Certification

Take SAP BW Certification Exam

Review Material*** SAP BW Extraction

Study Material*** Yes

SAP BW Extraction

SAP BW Extraction

TABW30** (5 days) Alternatively BW220* No Significant experience in SAP R/3 or extraction?


Review Material*** Study Material***

SAP BW Reporting

SAP BW Reporting

SAP BW Extraction TABW20** (5 days) Alternatively BW257* and BWNA40*

No Yes

* Nonpartner class ** Partner class (preferred for certification) *** Material includes: • SAP BW training class material • The SAP BW certification study guide and reference material

Significant experience in SAP BW and data warehousing?

Review Material*** SAP BW Data Modeling and Building Blocks

SAP BW Configuration TABW10** (5 days) Alternatively BW210*



Location, Scheduling, and Enrollment SAP offers more than 15 state-of-the-art training center locations for classroom training throughout the United States and Canada, including Boston (MA), San Francisco (CA), Atlanta (GA), Philadelphia (PA), and Toronto (Canada). For up-to-date course descriptions, dates, locations, and availability visit the SAP Education Center Web site ( To register for classes and the exam and access on-line registration, visit SAP can also conduct a full complement of project team training on-site at your location. SAP’s on-site training offers substantial cost and time savings through a more flexible scheduling approach. It can provide trained and qualified instructors for all technical and practical applications. In some instances, the number of employees to be trained makes an on-site approach more economical, and the on-site schedule can be more closely aligned than the published class schedule. The customer receives the added benefit of reduced travel costs and less disruption for the overall project team. All the necessary information on SAP’s curriculum content, course offerings, dates, locations, and hotel accommodations can be found in the following resources:  SAP Education and Training Center: or 1-888-777-1SAP (1888-777-1727)  SAP central registration in North America: 888-777-1727  Internet:  SAP On-line Service System (OSS) for customers and businesses For more information, the SAP Solution Academy for SAP consultants can be contacted directly by phone in North America at (800) 790-7750, (612) 376-7750; fax (612) 376-7755; or email: [email protected] Classroom capacity for both certification training and testing in SAP BW is limited; based on the growing interest in becoming SAP BW certified, you should plan to register a few months in advance.

Summary In this chapter, you learned about the SAP BW training offerings. You now understand the SAP BW training curriculum, what training to take, and the training locations, enrollment, and scheduling. In the next chapter, you will learn more about data modeling in traditional data warehouses and SAP BW. This chapter is fundamental to SAP BW and provides the foundation to the other areas of SAP BW. It represents a significant percentage of the questions on the certification exam.

Endnote 1. SAP BW Configuration, SAP BW Reporting, and SAP BW Extraction, SAP BW Solution Academy, Training Participant Handbook, SAP BW release 2.0B, September 2000.



Data Modeling

In This Chapter: Data warehouses, data marts, and Operational Data Stores Comparison of traditional data modeling and SAP data modeling Traditional data modeling SAP BW data modeling value-added proposition Keys, IDs and pointers in SAP BW Standard business content Suggested exercises Practice test Answers to practice test This chapter provides key concepts of SAP BW data modeling. It is critical to have a high-level knowledge and understanding of these concepts as they are the building blocks for all other areas of SAP BW and the basis for a large number of the questions on the certification exam. Data modeling is an important component of the SAP BW certification exam. It tests your knowledge of BW in the data modeling subject areas for traditional warehouses and the SAP Business Information Warehouse, including:  Data warehouses and data marts versus OLTP systems  Data models  Star schema/InfoCubes  Business content for SAP R/3 OLTP systems


Data Warehouses, Data Marts, and Operational Data Stores


For readers interested in the SAP BW training curriculum, this chapter refers to the class “SAP BW Configuration” TABW10 (SAP partners) or BW210 (nonpartners).

Data Warehouses, Data Marts, and Operational Data Stores Data warehouse, data marts, and Operational Data Stores are concepts central to SAP BW. This section provides information related to the SAP BW certification exam on  Data warehouses  Operational versus data warehouse systems  Data marts  Operational Data Stores This information is related to the SAP BW certification test and you can expect questions on the exam. For additional information on data warehouses, you should also refer to the data warehouse section in Chapter 1. If you have limited experience and knowledge of data warehousing, additional reading in that area is recommended. Especially recommended are Bill Inmon’s and Ralph Kimball’s books. Other resources are provided in Appendix A. Data Warehouses A data warehouse is:  “A collection of integrated, subject-oriented databases designed to support the DSS function, where each unit of data is relevant to some moment in time”1  “A copy of transaction data specifically structured for query and analysis”2 As illustrated in Exhibit 4.1, the data warehouse architecture spans from the extraction of operational data to the management of warehouse data and delivery of information to the business users. Operational versus Warehouse Systems There are fundamental differences between operational (OLTPs) and data warehouse systems (DW). Table 4.1 provides a comparison of operational systems (e.g., OLTPs) and data warehouses (e.g., SAP BW). Data Marts A data mart is also known as a local data warehouse. It is an implementation of a data warehouse  With a restricted scope of content  With support for analytical processing  Serving a single department, part of an organization, and/or a particular data analysis problem domain


Data Modeling

Exhibit 4.1

Datawarehouse Architecture


Operational Data and External Data


Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL)



Data Warehouse



Knowledge Discovery/ Data Mining


Operational Data Store (ODS)

Data Warehouse

Data Marts




Information Access Tools

Business Users

As presented in Exhibit 4.2, there are two types of data marts: 1. Dependent data marts. A data warehouse provides data to the data marts. 2. Independent data marts. The data marts provide data to the data warehouse. Operational Data Store An Operational Data Store (ODS) is a subject-oriented, integrated, volatile, current-valued data store containing only corporate detailed ®data.”3 The ODS is an intermediate storage area


Data Warehouses, Data Marts, and Operational Data Stores

Table 4.1

Characteristic Applications and functions Business data


Comparison of OLTP and Data Warehouse Systems Operational System (e.g., SAP R/3)

Only data for specific functions of application Used to run the business Data used to conduct a business transaction Changes Changing with business events Data Original entry point for primitive/atomic data Usually primitive/detail data, not derived Limited historical data (e.g., 1–2 months) Data currency Current, real-time data Data growth Predictable data growth, finite Data operations Create, read, update, delete Single row operations Data are maintained by operational systems Data Detailed transaction data processed/available (data intensive) Integration with Minimal integration data from other modules/ applications Machine utilization Stable and predictable Normalization Highly normalized for performance Processing Single row processing, individual records Predictable processing Response time Seconds User community Nonmanagerial

Data Warehouse Data not associated with an application, but rather integrated from various applications Used to manage the business Data used to make a business decision and for analysis Fixed as of a specific point in time Data are sourced from operational environment (primitive data) Lightly to highly summarized data, and some primitive data Greater historical data (e.g., 2–10 years) Usually current data but not real time Data grows at an infinite rate Read only Multiple row operations Data are maintained by feeds from originating source Summarized data (for OLAP only) Significant integration

Unstable and unpredictable Highly denormalized for querying Set row processing, groups of records (use a set of data at a time) Unpredictable processing Minutes Managers, executives, decision makers

of operational data for the data warehouse. Its sources include several systems and it contains current or near-term data. In traditional modeling, ODS contains very highly granular data and is based on flat tables, resulting in a very simple modeling of the ODS. In SAP BW the ODS plays a role that goes beyond the role of the ODS in traditional data warehousing. Unlike traditional ODS, where very few data transformations are done, SAP BW manages ODS objects just like other data objects and you can cleanse, transform, merge, and sort data to build staging tables that


Data Modeling

Exhibit 4.2

Data Mart Architecture

Dependent Data Marts

Independent Data Marts

(Data marts sourced by a data warehouse)

(Data warehouse sourced by data marts)

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Data Warehouse

Data Mart 1

Data Mart 2

Source 1

Source 2

Data Mart 1

Source 3

Data Mart 2

Data Warehouse

can later populate InfoCubes. Moreover, you can build ODS tables containing document-level details for end-user reporting. Using ODS for data staging or direct user inquiries does not fall in the traditional data warehouse definition. Since SAP BW 2.0, the ODS is an important component in the SAP BW landscape. The reasons to use an ODS include:  ODS is technical in nature. The ODS can be used as an intermediate data store for data consolidation, cleansing, and staging purposes. ODS can combine information from multiple DataSources (e.g., reconciliation) before storing the data in InfoCubes. Then custom scrubbing and preparation tasks can be performed on a complete extract before data are mapped into InfoCubes. This supports, for example, complex aggregation of data coming from different heterogeneous source systems during data load.  For analyses (using queries or the OLAP processor) that need access to more detailed data than what is stored in the InfoCube. For instance, users may want to drill down from a report to a single document. A request of this type can be satisfied by SAP BW without entering the OLTP system. The ODS is organized as a set of flat tables, each assigned to a single InfoSource, which holds the extracted production data records. These records can be

Data Modeling


regarded as pseudodocuments, that is, scrubbed OLTP documents composed of some fields from the original document that have been selected for transfer into SAP BW. Take advantage of the overwrite capability of the ODS for key figures and non-key characteristics since it is not possible to overwrite the data in the InfoCubes.

Queries and Data Staging You should leverage the ODS to store data to be cleansed or consolidated (overwritten) at the document level rather than storing it in the InfoCube. This will contribute to smaller InfoCube tables and faster reads during query processing.

More details regarding the ODS will be discussed in Chapter 5.

TE AM FL Y SAP BW Certification A Business Information Warehouse Study Guide Catherine M. Roze John Wiley & Sons, Inc...

Author: Catherine M. Roze | Naeem Hashmi

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Define the mapping in transaction RSBBS

The transaction RSBBS is used to create and maintain jump targets for one or several queries. In the "Assignment Details" of a specific jump target you can define how to map the infoobjects available in the sender query to the infoobjects available in the reciever query.

As long as no explicit mapping is defined by the user, the mappings of all infoobjects of the sender query are set to "Generic". In this case the the implicit rules described in the SAP Note 1053310 will apply.

Sometimes the functionality of these rules is not that trivial and might lead to some behaviour that is not expected in the first place. In the following I want to provide such a scenario where the usage of a "Generic" mapping leads to an unexpected behaviour of the RRI interface and I will explain how this behaviour can be analysed.

Sample Scenario


  • The query contains the following characteristics in drilldown: Country, Employee, Calendar Year/Month
  • The query does not contain any global filters


  • The query contains the following characteristics in drilldown: Person, Calendar Year/Month
  • The query does not contain any global filters

Transaction RSBBS:

  • The query RRI_SENDER_QUERY contains the query RRI_RECEIVER_QUERY as a jump target
  • The mapping is set to "Generic" for all infoobjects:

Executing the jump

Now let us jump from the first line of the sender query to the receiver query:

1. Run the sender query:

2. Jump to the receiver query

As you can see from the screenshot above, the receiver report does not contain any data ("No Applicable Data Found."). The following filters have been automatically applied by the RRI Interface:

  • Calendar Year = 2010
  • Person = 90
    Filter: "Calendar Year = 2010"
    This filter can be easily explained as we jumped from the first row of the sender query an here Calendar Year/Month = 07.2010.

Filter: "Person = 90"
This filter seems rather confusing. In the sender query Person is not in drilldown and there is no filter applied on Person in the receiver query by default. So where does this filter come from?

Analyzing the jump

Let us jump again from the first line of the sender query to the receiver query but this time we activate the RRI debug flag when
executing the senderquery:

1. Run the sender query and activate the RRI debug flag:

2. Jump to the receiver query -> Debugger is opened

*The query stops at a predefined breakpoint in the function 'RSBBS_SELDR_TO_MAPPING'

  • In this function we can check the mappings identified on the sender side (independent from the receiver side). The information is stored in the internal table E_THX_MAPPING.

For now we just ignore the Debugger and continue the execution (by pressing button F8).

3. Debugger is opened a second time

  • The query stops again in the Debugger, this this at a predefined breakpoint in the form SHOW_TRANSFORMATION.
  • In this form we can check the mapping which is to be applied on the receiver side. The information is stored in the internal table I_THX_TRANSFORMATION_TO.

Again we just ignore the Debugger and continue the execution (by pressing button F8).

4. The Receiver query is displayed

  • Again the result of the receiver query is dipslayed but this time also detailed information on the mapping during the RRI jump is provided.

Given this information we see that the filters both on Calendar Year and Person comes from an attribute mapping:

The reason for this attribute mapping is as follows:

  • The receiver query does not contain the infobjects Employee or Calendar Year/Month but it contains the infoobjects Person (which is an attribute of Employee) and Calendar Year (which is an attribute of Calendar Year/Month). This behaviour is also explained in the SAP Note 1053310.
  • In case that the implicit attribute mapping on the infoobject Person should not occurs, it would be necessary to remove the generic mapping from the infoobject Employee in transaction RSBBS (the mapping on infoobject Person is irrelevant in this scenario!). You could either set the mapping on the infoobject Employee to "Delete" or explicitely map the infoobject Employee to the infoobject Employee.


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