One of the most striking differences between BW and BW/4HANA is data modeling. On one hand, there is less but more versatile objects to choose from (see figure 1). On the other hand, there is a new, more intuitive alternative to BW’s long standing admin workbench (RSA1), namely the Data Flow Modeler (see figure 2). It shows physical and virtual containers (like DSOs or composite providers) as boxes. Data transformations, combinations, transitions etc. are indicated as directed lines between those boxes. From those boxes and lines it is possible to access the respective editor for those objects. In that way, a DW architect can navigate along the paths that the data take from entering the system towards the multidimensional views that serve as source to pivot tables, charts and other suitable visualisations. This is not only great for the mentioned DW architect but also allows for rapid prototyping scenarios, e.g. when a DW architect sits down with a business user to quickly create a new or modify a given model. Figure 3 shows an example.
Figure 1: Less and more logical objects when architecting a DW with BW/4HANA.
Figure 2: The new Data Flow Modeler in BW/4HANA.
Figure 3: The same scenario, once in the traditional admin workbench (left) and BW/4HANA’s Data Flow Modeler (right).