In a heterogeneous system landscape, a data warehouse enables you to integrate and harmonize data from various sources. In particular, this is done for reporting, analysis, and interpretation of business data, which is crucial for optimizing business processes and thus preserving and increasing the competitive edge of companies.
In the past, customers using the SAP CRM solution had a possibility to extract and transfer data from their source systems to SAP BW – a highly optimized data warehouse solution for the SAP HANA platform. They could do so by using a number of data extractors specifically designed for SAP CRM. However, in SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, these old CRM extractors cannot be used anymore.
Why It's Not Possible to Use Old BW Extractors for CRM in S/4HANA Service
There're several reasons why it's not possible to use old extractors in S/4HANA systems.
- First, the basic tool for synchronization and distribution of data between different components of an SAP CRM solution, CRM Middleware, is not available in SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. That's why business documents that have been used for data exchange and data processing within a CRM system environment (Bdocs) can’t be used anymore either.
- The data models in SAP CRM and S/4HANA Service are different, SAP CRM data structures don’t follow a 1:1 mapping in SAP S/4HANA. Also, not all CRM features are supported in the business processes covered by the new Service applications.
- Furthermore, some attributes available in SAP CRM data models have been replaced by Sales attributes re-used in SAP S/4HANA Service. As a result, new extractors from Sales need to be used for extracting these Sales attributes.
- Likewise, the CRM master data, such as business partner, product, and IBase, has been replaced by SAP S/4HANA's master data, therefore requiring extraction to utilize S/4HANA's master data extractors.
- Finally: Data extraction in SAP S/4HANA is only possible using the new ABAP Core Data Services (CDS) technology.
This means that if you want to continue using the data extraction functionality in SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, you need to switch to the new CDS-based extractors that are currently being developed in the Service area.
New: CDS-Based Extractors for Service Data
Since recently, new CDS-based BW extractors in SAP S/4HANA Service have been made available for extraction of transactional data, in particular for service order and service confirmation data. Besides, the extraction of preceding transaction data and related reference object data is also possible. The extractor for service orders, preceding transactions, and reference object data has been available as of SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2005, the extractor for service confirmations – as of SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2008.
The extractors are implemented in such a way that they extract data from the header and item level for each business object. Both levels must be considered due to the bottom-up analysis logic that covers item dimensions, such as product, functional location, equipment, etc. Another guiding principle in the current approach is that each extractor should be valid for SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud systems, covering the intersection of functionalities from both editions. The new extractors are called from a BW system in pull mode, meaning that your source data simply waits for your data warehouse to extract it.
Apart from SAP BW systems, any external system can be used to extract data. As a prerequisite for this, you need to establish communication between your S/4HANA system and the corresponding external system (i.e. create an OData service, communication arrangement, etc.)
The CDS views that are used for supplying service order and service confirmation data from SAP S/4HANA Service are Data Extraction for Service Order (C_SERVICEORDERITEMDEX) and Data Extraction for Service Confirmation (C_SERVICECONFIRMATIONITEMDEX). In addition, several text views have been developed for the extraction of various master data.
These CDS views can be used both in full mode (for example, for master data because it changes rarely) and in delta mode based on the Change Data Capture (CDC) logic. You can use the delta mode if you want to extract new and changed data since the last extraction (for example, to extract transactional data due to its frequent changes). If there are multiple changes, only the latest changes are replicated across all attributes. The CDC feature also ensures that with every change in the source system, a respective change pointer is written.
The transactional data views are also enabled for extensibility, meaning that you can use them to extract your own custom fields. In addition, the views are GDPR-compliant: Using Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) notifications, they inform external systems about service orders and service confirmations that have been archived or destroyed in an S/4HANA system.
Predefined Data Models for Service Data
With SAP BW/4HANA Content Add-On, SAP delivers SAP HANA-optimized Business Content for Service that you can use to analyze service order and service confirmation data at header and item level. This content provides predefined data models following LSA++ (Layered Scalable Architecture) architecture for CDS views Data Extraction for Service Order and Data Extraction for Service Confirmation. Some important measures that you can analyze using these data models are:
- Open service orders
- Completion rate of service orders
- Overdue service orders by requested end date
- Average net value of service order
- Net value and average net value of service confirmations
- Unplanned services
- Number of service orders and confirmations.
The content for service orders is delivered with SAP BW/4HANA Content 1.0 SP 15 and SAP BW/4HANA Content 2.0 SP04, for service confirmations – with SAP BW/4HANA Content 1.0 SP 15 and SAP BW/4HANA Content 2.0 SP05.
Options for Extracting Data from Additional Fields
If you need to extract additional data, for example, those CRM fields that are not covered by the new extractors by default, you have the following options. If you are a cloud customer, you need to request additional fields that will then be considered in the next cloud release. If you are using an on-premise system, you can either request new fields for a next Feature Pack Stack (FPS) or you can use the provided CDS views as a template to build your own CDS-based extractors.