SAP BW on HANA Interview Questions and Answers

1. What is SAP BW on HANA? How Does It work?
Answer: When people refer to running SAP Business Information Warehouse on the SAP HANA in-memory database, or SAP BW on HANA for short, they are talking about running a particular version of SAP’s BW software that uses HANA as its primary database and is specially optimized for the HANA platform.BW supports many databases, including Oracle, MS SQL Server, DB2 and now HANA. Using BW on HANA means that no other database is required. (SAP BW on HANA Interview Questions)

SAP BW is also specially optimized for HANA above and beyond its optimization for other databases. BW does have database-specific optimizations for other databases — for example, it supports DB2’s clustering concept for very large tables, whereas most other databases use a partitioning concept to handle this scenario — but the situation with SAP HANA goes above and beyond. Activities like the activation step for DataStore Objects, or DSOs, and certain types of transformations are functionally the same on HANA as on other databases, but the actual processing has been moved into HANA rather than happening on the BW application server as it does with other databases. This cuts down on data movement, making it possible to execute these activities much faster with BW on HANA.

Other features are available only with BW on HANA. For example, the Open ODS View concept is a way to overlay such BW semantics as security and the BW analytic engine on data that is stored in tables outside of the BW system. However, Open ODS Views are enabled in BW only if it is running on top of the HANA platform, and is not available on other database platforms. The exact features available, as well as the question of whether they are executed on HANA vs. the BW application server, changed between NetWeaver BW release 7.3 and release 7.4, so check on individual features if you are looking at BW on HANA using the 7.3 platforms.

2. What makes it more advanced than SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) 7.5?
Answer: SAP BW/4HANA simplifies data structures, data flows, and data life-cycle management. Because it connects with SAP HANA and enterprise information management (EIM), it can access any non-SAP data in the company. And it has the latest user interfaces (UI) for end-users, BW modelers, and administrators, plus the powerful in-memory platform SAP HANA, which gives it excellent performance.

3. What Is Ad Hoc Analysis?
Answer: In traditional data warehouses, such as SAP BW, a lot of pre-aggregation is done for quick results. That is the administrator (IT department) decides which information might be needed for analysis and prepares the result for the end-users. This results in fast performance but the end-user does not have flexibility.

The performance reduces dramatically if the user wants to do analysis on some data that is not already pre-aggregated. With SAP HANA and its speedy engine, no pre-aggregation is required. The user can perform any kind of operations in their reports and does not have to wait for hours to get the data ready for analysis.

4. Will SAP BW/4HANA have the same capabilities as both the SAP BW 7.5 on SAP HANA releases?
Answer: SAP BW/4HANA has similar functions as SAP BW powered by SAP HANA. But SAP BW/4HANA processes only SAP HANA-optimized objects, which cuts modeling effort and the overall complexity of SAP BW/4HANA.

Following the SAP S/4HANA road map, within six months SAP BW/4HANA would differ significantly from SAP BW 7.5 powered by SAP HANA. SAP BW/4HANA is not valid for other database platforms.

5. Why should customers switch to SAP BW/4HANA if they have just upgraded to SAP BW 7.5?
Answer: The main benefits of SAP BW/4HANA for SAP BW on SAP HANA customers are its simplicity, openness, advanced UIs, and performance. As the road map shows, we plan to enhance the solution considerably in the three releases in the quarters ahead. (e learning portal)

6. What Is The Time Distribution Option In Update Rule?
Answer: This is to distribute data per time; for example, if the source contains calendar week and the target contains calendar day, the data is spit for each calendar day. you can select either the normal calendar or the factory calendar.

7. Can customers carry on using SQL-based SAP HANA data warehousing?
Answer: Yes, we’ll continue to support the SQL approach. This gives customers an option additional to SAP BW/4HANA. Which solution is best depends on the customer’s priorities, level of expertise, and the model determining their requirements? There is no right or wrong answer. Many customers find that a hybrid approach best meets their needs.

8. Will customers continue to receive support for older versions of SAP BW?
Answer: If you are running on oracle database and you want to build a rich web application with reports, forms, charts, drill downs and dashboards with limited Java experienced developers in a short time frame, Oracle APEX is the most likely candidate for consideration.

9. Can you partition a cube which has data already?
No; the cube must be empty to do this; one workaround is to make a copy of the cube A to cube B; export data from A to B using export data source; empty cube A; create a partition on A; re-import data from B; delete cube B.

10. What are the row-based and column-based approach
Row-based tables:

It is the traditional Relational Database approach

It stores a table in a sequence of rows

Column based tables:

It stores a table in a sequence of columns i.e. the entries of a column is stored in contiguous memory locations.

SAP HANA is particularly optimized for column-order storage.

SAP HANA supports both row-based and column-based approach. 

11. How does SAP HANA support Massively Parallel Processing?
Answer: With the availability of Multi-Core CPUs, higher CPU execution speeds can be achieved.

Also, HANA Column-based storage makes it easy to execute operations in parallel using multiple processor cores. In a column store data is already vertically partitioned. This means that operations on different columns can easily be processed in parallel. If multiple columns need to be searched or aggregated, each of these operations can be assigned to a different processor core.

In addition, operations on one column can be parallelized by partitioning the column into multiple sections that can be processed by different processor cores. With the SAP HANA database, queries can be executed rapidly and in parallel.

12. What are the steps to load the noncumulative cube??
1. initialize opening balance in R/3 (S278)
2. activate extract structure MCO3BFO for data source 2LIS_03_BF
3. set up historical material documents in R/3
4. load opening balance using data source 2LIS_40_S278
5. load historical movements and compress without marker update.
6. set up V3 update
7. load deltas using 2LIS_03_BF.

13. How can you convert an info package group into the process chain?
Answer: You can convert package group into a process chain by double-clicking on the info package group, then you have to click on the ‘ Process Chain Maint ‘ button where you have to type the name and description, this will insert individual info packages automatically.

14. What is B/W statistics and how it is used?
Answer: The sets of cubes delivered by SAP are used to measure performance for the query, loading data, etc. B/W statistics, as the name suggests, is useful in showing data about the costs associated with the B/W queries, OLAP, aggregative data, etc. It is useful to measure the performance of how quickly the queries are calculated or how quickly the data is loaded into BW.

15. Mention What Is The Role Of The Transaction Manager And Session?
Answer: The transaction manager coordinates database transactions and keeps a record of running and closed transactions. When a transaction is rolled back or committed, the transaction manager notifies the involved storage engines about the event so they can run necessary actions. 

16. Why should companies deploy SAP BW/4HANA? What are the benefits?
Answer: For business agility. Because the warehouse structure has been hugely simplified, and it has a new data flow modeler, SAP BW/4HANA users can respond quickly and easily to the business needs of new models and to changes in existing ones. Users can generate views automatically from SAP BW/4HANA objects, edit them using any SQL took, and visualize the data with SAP BusinessObjects Cloud or SAP Lumira. This makes agile database development possible, giving businesses better insights in real-time and at a lower cost.

And there are flexible deployment options for SAP BW/4HANA in the cloud and on-premise. Deployment in the cloud enables customers to set up their infrastructure quickly and flexibly and offers great value for money. The cloud version of SAP BW/4HANA can currently be deployed through SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft Azure.

17. How does SAP BW/4HANA fit into SAP’s data warehousing strategy?
Answer: SAP continues to offer data warehousing customers an SAP SQL-based and business warehouse approach. SAP BW/4HANA is a model- or application-driven approach with highly-integrated services for data modeling, data management, monitoring and scheduling, and ETL. In the future, SAP BW/4HANA will be more interoperable with SQL-based data warehouses.….

18. How do SAP BW/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA relate?
Answer: SAP BW/4HANA is completely independent of SAP S/4HANA. Customers do not have to implement one to use the other. SAP S/4HANA Analytics can be used for operational reporting on data taken straight from S/4HANA systems. SAP BW/4HANA, on the other hand, is an advanced data warehouse that can be used to create reports on current, historical, and external data from a multitude of SAP and non-SAP sources..

19. What Are The Steps To Load Non-cumulative Cube?
Answer: initialize opening balance in R/3 (S278)
activate extract structure MCO3BFO for data source 2LIS_03_BF
set up historical material documents in R/3 load opening balance using data source 2LIS_40_S278 load historical movements and compress without marker update.

20. What is a transnational info cube?
Answer: These cubes are used for both reading and write; standard cubes are optimized for reading. The transactional cubes are used in SEM.

21. Explain How You Can Avoid Un-necessary Logging Information From Being Stored?
Answer: You can avoid unnecessary logging information from being stored by pausing the replication by stopping the scheme-related jobs.

22. Is SAP BW/4HANA only for customers already on SAP?
Answer: No, it can be used for any data warehousing needs, for data from SAP and non-SAP sources alike.

23. What Is A Transnational Infocube?
Answer: These cubes are used for both reading and write; standard cubes are optimized for reading. The transactional cubes are used in SEM.

24. What Is Global Transfer Nile?
Answer: This is a transfer routine (ABAP) defined at the info object level; this is common for all source systems.

25. What is multi-provider in SAP BI? What are the features of Multi-providers?
Answer: Multi-provider is a type of info-provider that contains data from a number of info-providers and makes it available for reporting purposes.

Multi-provider does not contain any data.

  • The data comes entirely from the info providers on which it is based.
  • The info-providers are connected to one another by union operations.
  • Info-providers and Multi-providers are the objects or views relevant for reporting.
  • A multi-provider allows you to run reports using several info-providers that are, it is used for creating reports for one or more than one info-provider at a time.

26. Explain How Sql Statement Is Processed?
Answer: In the HANA database, each SQL statement is implemented in the reference of the transaction. A new session is allotted to a new transaction.

27. Which analytics tools can be used with SAP BW/4HANA
Answer: SAP BW/4HANA supports SAP BusinessObjects Cloud and SAP BusinessObjects BI. It also has interfaces open to third-party providers.

28. Can You Disable Cache?
Answer: Yes, either globally or using query debug tool RSRT.

29. What is an info source?
Answer: Group of logically related objects; for example, the CUSTOMER info source will contain data related to customer and attributes like customer number, address, phone no, etc.

30. What is a transnational info cube?
Answer: These cubes are used for both reading and write; standard cubes are optimized for reading. The transactional cubes are used in SEM.

31. What are the types of attributes?
Answer: Display only and navigational; display only attributes are only for display and no analysis can be done; navigational attributes behave like regular characteristics; for example assume that we have a customer characteristics with the country as a navigational attribute; you can analyze the data using customer and country.

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