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Jun 21, 2021 at 11:25 AM

Live Data Connection in SAP Analytics Cloud: pros & cons

1678 Views Last edit Jun 24, 2021 at 12:21 PM 2 rev

Dear SAC Community,

I would like to collect some thoughts about SAC & Live Data Connection (we are using live connection to BW4 2.0).

From one side, Live Data Connection is great from the maintenance perspective:

  • We don’t need to build row level security in SAC, as the BW4 framework is reused (what user is able to see in BW4, will be able to see in SAC without additional configuration), we can easily reuse authorization relevant InfoObjects with variables.
  • We don’t need to transfer any data to SAC and setup scheduled jobs.
  • We can easily reuse BW components, hierarches, texts, variables.
  • BW Query changes are reflected in SAC immediately.

However, Live Data Connection brings some serious downsides:

  • Some BW4 data models changes are just not reflected in SAC. Sometimes it is enough to re-save the SAC model or rebuild and refresh BW Info Provider DTA buffer, but sometimes the change is not visible for existing SAC Stories (or SAC Story starts to work in a not predictable way, throwing random errors). Sometimes the only workaround is to rebuild the SAC model & story from scratch (imagine doing that for 60+ productive stories)! In note 2789695 - Considerations when changing backend data models used in SAP Analytics Cloud through live connections, SAP advices to keep changes of backend models used in productive SAC stories to a minimum, which is not possible with living environment where the change is written in a DNA. SAC is losing the synchronization between the backend meta data and the remote model's meta data for changes like common InfoObject length change, new authorization variable in a model.
  • Performance. It is extremely important to build queries for SAC in a proper way (tailor made queries), but even with that, the general performance is whimsical. Sometimes is good, sometimes is not, sometimes some strange errors pop up (variable submit error, error 2981, error 70 ) (but we have thousands of users every day and for sure that is important performance factor).
  • Many bugs, especially with blending, hierarchies, and structures. I can’t count how many notes I’ve implemented recently (and our BW4 is rather up to date, SP5 now) and how many types of errors I’ve seen.
  • SAC features not supported for Live Data Connection, especially smart features (Discovery, Predict, Insights), for Search to Insight authorization characteristics are not supported… Every quarter we get a list of new SAC features, but I always first need to check what is working for Live Data Connection.

I really appreciate Live Connection in SAC, I really do. However, with number of challenges, sometimes I think that maybe import connection would be better. I would love to confront my opinion with someone else – what is your opinion about Live Connection? How stable is your setup?

Thanks in advance for any inputs, comments, thoughts!