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SAP BO PA or APL or PAL - Which one to choose ?

Hi SAP PA team,

Firstly I would like to thank you all for your continued efforts in area of Machine learning/PA and making it more and more automated.

However due to so many products being around: SAP PAL, APL, BO - PA, I would be really happy if someone could clarify these simple queries we have and are facing a hard time going with the best approach.

Consider I have a situation where I have to implement time series forecasting but as per the data it could either be ARIMAX or CROSTON because real data could be anything but as a human being I can decide as per the data or even write some code rules to detect periodicity and switch automatically between ARIMAX or CROSTON.


1. SAP BO-PA uses Auto.KXEN models to find the best time series model. Is it smart enough to determine by itself that a particular set of data is suitable for CROSTON or ARIMAX ? Would you prefer going with Manual or Auto model in this case ?

2. If I don't have an option of using SAP BO-PA, can I use SAP APL wrappers as a replacement of BO-PA? Is the result of "Forecast" function of APL and BO-PA going to be same?

3. If BO-PA is same as APL and I am using SAP APL as replacement of SAP BO-PA, there are scenarios when I have to call these wrappers from ABAP. What is the best way to call it through ABAP ? I used to create wrapper functions and table types of PAL algos manually and then create an AMDP class to call these wrappers later on. Any example blog/doc will be really helpful ?

ex: call "_SYS_BIC"."PAL_POLYNOMIALR_PROC"( p1 => :input_table, p2 => :control_table, p3 => :result_table, p4 => :fitted_table, p5 => :signif_table, p6 => :model_table );

4. If in case SAP BO-PA is not same as APL then, how can I call the SAP BO-PA algorithms from ABAP stack ?



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1 Answer

  • Best Answer
    Mar 14, 2017 at 07:51 AM

    Hi Hasan,

    Thanks a lot for your question and for your kind words on our solutions. Appreciated!

    Please find my answers below. I am not an ABAP specialist and I will seek internal help to answer 3.

    1. SAP BO PA test various time series modeling approaches using proprietary techniques (not specifically related to ARIMAX/Croston) and taking into account your potential extra predictable variables as an important input to refine the time series forecasting model.

    My opinion would be to test both approaches in case you want to compare. You can start with Auto and stop here if the approach/results suits you. You can also go manual, use Expert Analytics on top of PAL/R algorithms and see if the approach is fine for you.

    2. That's correct. SAP BO PA and APL are in reality using the same time series forecasting algorithm.

    3. See before

    4. This one is not applicable due to 2.

    Kind regards,


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