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SAP data extraction: How to Retrieve Data from Your SAP System

A/R Accounts Receivable SAP extract

Let’s start with an assumption, you’re here because you want to get rich business data from SAP, integrated with your enterprise reporting and/or external systems. While SAP is great at collecting and storing data, getting that data out for reporting and other uses is difficult to say the least. Our history of moving data out of SAP into Databases, Data Lakes, EDW’S etc. goes back to 1995. Chances are you are looking for real time data from SAP. Not trying to manage a bunch of asynchronous extractions. You would think that in 30 years time, SAP would have solved this problem.

There are a couple of reasons why SAP never will solve the problem.

SAP wants to own your data and your entire stack. It’s your data but SAP doesn’t want to let you use it as you wish.

The push to keep all your data in the SAP Ecosystem and cloud, while it may be good for some simple applications, is not a realistic enterprise solution. The vast majority of our customers use data from Simplement Roundhouse and Data Liberator with Power BI or Tableau for final. They also use additional tools like SQL Server Reporting Services. The talent pool for these tools along with SQL, DataBricks, Snowflake etc. is enormous. Question — how many Datasphere developers do you know?

Using built-in work arounds is really a dead end. If it was great you wouldn’t be on this page looking for alternatives!

Using SE16N has multiple challenges, first a user must be granted access to the transaction , data selection criteria is opaque. Queries can’t include data from header and detail tables unless a join is created either in a CDS view or SE11. Downloading data into a spreadsheet and then loading into a database introduces risks of data corruption not to mention that when downloading multiple tables they are not time synchronous.

Go it alone and build your own ABAP Extractors??

At first glance this might seem like a reasonable approach. SAP has been around for over 50 years — if this approach was valid for large scale reporting it would be widely adopted by now. But for enterprise reporting — the internal support burden makes it a non starter.

Our approach — SAP Focused and Time Tested

Just moving the data isn’t enough, raw SAP data is a pain and inefficient to work with. At our core we make real time data movement as simple as possible. Our approach is table based, with horizontal (i.e. limit the data to specific company codes) and vertical filters (bring only the columns that you need) . To add a table just type in the name, select columns and then which destinations (we support multiple heterogeneous destinations as a standard feature) —

If you don’t know the exact table you can find tables by functional area and then add them to replication.

If you don’t know the precise table you can use our functional area explorer to find tables relevant to a specific SAP function.

Simplement is the only SAP First tool

There are a ton of data integration tools that can connect to SAP. But as SAP professionals you know that given the importance of the data, multiple storage formats (transparent, pool, cluster etc. ) from different versions all mixed together, a generic approach to data movement isn’t sufficient. Fun fact — SAP’S data services and even their most recent releases date back to Acta https://adtmag.com/articles/2002/07/15/business-objects-to-buy-acta.aspx — a general purpose ETL tool that wasn’t designed with an SAP first mindset! Even if a tool can handle all the table types, that is just the beginning. Technical names especially those in key functional areas like FI, MM, PP etc. have a rich history going back to SAP R/2 and the most important columns are limited to 5 character names. Non-technical users, with good business sense are stymied by this data.

Our approach to Data Simplification–

We believe that an SAP first tool should deliver data to users in an easy to consume manner and abundant accelerators that stand alone or as a starting point for customer enhancement. We deliver views that have business names, in multiple languages, instead of technical names. Our SmartStarts have full working models in areas such as A/R, A/P, Purchasing, General Ledger, and more. We also deliver full MRP dashboards along with an Order Status Dashboard.

We have data projectors for multi-level cross-plant Bills of Material, along with the HR Org Hierarchy. We’re still trying to find any other tool that can do this.

We can help —

Go ahead and get ahold of us. Wherever you go in SAP, chances are we’ve been there before and have tools and views to get you started. We would be happy to learn about your particular needs and see if we can help you achieve your goals. If we can’t we will let you know right away. Oh, and one more thing, we are ridiculously affordable!

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