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This article explains what the various SAP connectors are, how they work and how it ties in to the various components.
The connectors are based entirely on SAP standards and do connect via a Remote Function Call API.
With the SAP connector we can connect to the whole SAP ecosystem, so this can be transactional,
the SAP Datawarehouse but also other products that SAP has. The only condition for this is that it needs to be based on
When you license the SAP connector, you’re able to use a number of tools that come free of charge. Connecting to SAP can at times seems complex and these tools make
it much easier to use the various datasources that live within the SAP implementation.
The main connector are the Query connector, the Report connector, the BAPI Connector, the Extract Connector and the SQL Connector.
All these modules require the installation of Transports in the SAP system to allow for the communication between the connector and the SAP system.
This connector allows for queries to be configured and managed in the SAP environment. The SAP Query is executed and the result is fed back to Qlik. There is not a lot of effort required in Qlik, but you should verify that the performance is adequate.
It works by returning the content of SAP spool files as Tables in Qlik. Complex customizations may occur, so if something changes in spool file you have to re-configure it in Qlik.With this connector you use data and business content of ERP. All the configuration is performed in SAP and therefor its usage can lead to complex SAP structures in Qlik.
Extractor Connector. This connector allows the ERP system to deliver data to Qlik as if it were a BW System. Configuration of the extracts are performed in SAP with standard techniques. It allows for the use of Hierarchies and deltas if they are available. For this connector to be use the Logical System must be generated and BW has to be activated. The benefit of using this connector is that it Utilizes the SAP standard functions and programs.
SQL Connector. This connector provides access via open SQL, this means that data modeling needs to be done in Qlik. The Script buildertool can beused to automate this process or it can be done manually. The biggest benefit of using this connector is that provides high performance and allows for large amounts of data to be loaded.
With this connector you use data and business content of ERP. All the configuration is performed in SAP and therefor its usage can lead to complex SAP structures in Qlik
Connecting to SAP Business Warehouse
When we want to connect to SAP Business Warehouse there are two options, through OLAP of using Remote Function Calls.
When we connect through OLAP we have two connectors at our disposal to accomplish this: the DSO Connector and the OLAP connector.
The DSO/ODS Connector uses the BAPI Interface to connect to the Data Store Object so there is no need for Transports to be used. It is recommended to only use this connector for small amounts of data as the performance of this connector is not particularly good. The second connector is the OLAP Connector. Like the DSO connector ituses the BAPI Interface, so no Transports are needed for this connector.All the configuration is done in SAP, Qlik receives predefined content. This means that there is no need for data modeling. The downside of this connector is the same as with the DSO Connector in that it only works well for small amounts of data.
The second method of connecting to SAP Business Warehouse is using the Qlik Remote Function Call module.
So contrary to the OLAP method transports will need to installed in Business Warehouse. We have three connectors that can be used in this scenario, the SQL Connector, the Extractor Connector and the Bex Connector. Data modeling is required. Also here this can be done manually or with Script builder/ Templates.You will not be able to use SAP content, but this connector provides high performance and is suitable to retrieve large amounts of data.
The second connector to be used to connect to SAP Business Warehouse is the Extractor Connector. It can be used to both retrieve Cubes or data from the Data Store Object. All the configuration is done in SAP and Qlik receives predefined content. Like the SQL Connector it offers high performance and can retrieve large amounts of data. The last connector to be used is the BEx Connector. This connector allows the use of BEx Queries to retrieve data from Cubes or the Info Object. The configuration is performed in SAP and also here Qlik receives predefined content.The big advantage of this connector is that it Leverages the complete Business Logic from Bex.
If HANA is implemented in the SAP environment it is crucial to understand if HANA is implemented on the ERP system or if the Business Warehouse implementation runs on top of HANA. When you want to retrieve data from your ERP system and use HANA then the simplest way is to use the SAP HANA ODBC Connector. This then allows you to directly retrieve the Analytics Views, the Attribute Views the Calculation Views and the Source Tables and Views. In this usage scenario the customer doesn’t even need to purchase the SAP Connector. When accessing the data through the source tables it can make sense to use Direct Discovery.If the customer runs Business Warehouse on top of HANA then the scenarios of accessing the data in the Business Warehouse are exactly the same as when SAP runs on its own Database.
Which Connector shall I use?
The first question that you will need to determine is whether you have Business Warehouse Extracts available in your system. If yes, then using the Extractor connector is the easiest way to connect to your SAP system, it provides good performance and doesn’t require a lot of data modeling in Qlik. It also allows you to get data both from ERP and Business Warehouse. The second best option is to use the SQL connector. It also provide access to most of the SAP system and provides good performance, but the downside is that it will require a lot more data modeling in Qlik. This can be helped by using templates and/or the script builder, but still some effort is need on the side of Qlik to get all data in the right shape into our products. So by far the most commonly used and recommended connectors for larger projects and productive use are the Extractor connector & the SQL Connector.The DSO BAPI & OLAP BAPI connectors are mainly for PoCor testing purposes due to limitations by SAP regarding data volumes, performance & stability.The other connectors can be of use when specific business logic is defined in the SAP system that needs to be captured in the Qlik application.