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SAP BW Interview Questions

Dear readers, these SAP BW Interview Questions have been


designed specially to get you acquainted with the nature of
questions you may encounter during your interview for the subject
of SAP BW. As per my experience good interviewers hardly plan to
ask any particular question during your interview, normally
questions start with some basic concept of the subject and later
they continue based on further discussion and what you answer:
Explain the architecture of SAP BW system and its components?

OLAP Processor
Metadata Repository,
Process designer and other functions.
Business Explorer BEx is reporting and analysis tool that support
query, analysis and reporting functions in BI. Using BEx, you can
analyze historical and current data to different degree of analysis.

What all data sources you have used to acquire data in SAP BW system?

SAP systems (SAP Applications/SAP ECC)

Relational Database (Oracle, SQL Server, etc.)

Flat File (Excel, Notepad)

Multidimensional Source systems (Universe using UDI connector)

Web Services that transfer data to BI by means of push

When you are using SAP BI7.x, you can load the data to which component?

In BW 3.5, you can load data in Persistence Staging Area and also in
targets from source system but If you are using SAP BI 7.0 data load
should be restricted to PSA only for latest versions.

What is an InfoPackage?

An InfoPackage is used to specify how and when to load data to BI


system from different data sources. An InfoPackage contains all the
information how data is loaded from source system to a data source
or PSA. InfoPackage consists of condition for requesting data from a
source system.
Note that using an InfoPackage in BW 3.5, you can load data in
Persistence Staging Area and also in targets from source system but
If you are using SAP BI 7.0 data load should be restricted to PSA
only for latest versions.
What is extended Star schema? Which of the tables are inside and outside
cube in an extended star schema?

In Extended Star schema, Fact tables are connected to Dimension


tables and dimension table is connected to SID table and SID table
is connected to master data tables. In Extended star schema you have
Fact and Dimension tables are inside the cube however SID tables are
outside cube. When you load the transactional data into Info cube,
Dim Ids are generated based on SIDs and these Dim ids are used
in fact tables.
How extended Star schema is different from Star schema?

In Extended Star schema one fact table can connect to 16 dimensions


tables and each dimension table is assigned with 248 maximum SID
tables. SID tables are also called Characteristics and each
characteristic can have master data tables like ATTR, Text, etc.
In Star Schema, Each Dimension is joined to one single Fact table.
Each Dimension is represented by only one dimension and is not
further normalized.
Dimension Table contains set of attribute that are used to analyze
the data.
What is an InfoObject and why it is used in SAP BI?

Info Objects are known as smallest unit in SAP BI and are used in
Info Providers, DSOs, Multi providers, etc. Each Info Provider

contains multiple Info Objects.


InfoObjects are used in reports to analyze the data stored and to
provide information to decision makers.
What are the different categories of InfoObjects in BW system?

Info Objects can be categorized into below categories

Characteristics like Customer, Product, etc.

Units like Quantity sold, currency, etc.

Key Figures like Total Revenue, Profit, etc.

Time characteristics like Year, quarter, etc.

What is the use of Infoarea in SAP BW system?

Info Area in SAP BI are used to group similar types of object


together. Info Area are used to manage Info Cubes and Info Objects.
Each Info Objects resides in an Info Area and you can define it a
folder which is used to hold similar files together.
How do you access to source system data in BI without extraction?

To access data in BI source system directly. You can directly access


to source system data in BI without extraction using Virtual
Providers. Virtual providers can be defined as InfoProviders where
transactional data is not stored in the object. Virtual providers
allow only read access on BI data.
What are different types on Virtual providers?

VirtualProviders based on DTP


VirtualProviders with function modules
VirtualProviders based on BAPIs
Which Virtual Providers are used in which scenario of data extraction?

VirtualProviders based on DTP

This type of Virtual Providers are based on the data source or an


Info Provider and they take characteristics and key figures of
source. Same extractors are used to select data in source system as
you use to replicate data into BI system.
When to Virtual Providers based on DTP?
When only some amount of data is used.
You need to access up to date data from a SAP source system.
Only few users executes queries simultaneously on the database.
Virtual Provider with Function Module
This Virtual Provider is used to display data from non BI data
source to BI without copying the data to BI structure. The data can
be local or remote. This is used primarily for SEM application.
What is the use of Transformation and how the mapping is done in BW?

Transformation process is used to perform data consolidation,


cleansing and data integration. When data is loaded from one BI
object to other BI object, transformation is applied on the data.
Transformation is used to convert a field of source into the target
object format.
Transformation rules
Transformation rules are used to map source fields and target
fields. Different rule types can be used for transformation.
How do perform real time data acquisition in BW system?

Real time data acquisition is based on moving data to Business


Warehouse in real time. Data is sent to delta queue or PSA table in
real time.
Real time data acquisition can be achieved in two scenarios
By using InfoPackage for real time data acquisition using Service
API.

Using Web Service to load data to Persistent Storage Area PSA and
then by using real time DTP to move the data to DSO.
Real time Data Acquisition Background Process
To process data to InfoPackage and data transfer process DTP at
regular intervals, you can use a background process known as Daemon.
Daemon process gets all the information from InfoPackage and DTP
that which data is to be transferred and which PSA and Data sore
objects to be loaded with data.
What is InfoObject catalog?

InfoObjects are created in Info Object catalog. It is possible that


an Info Object can be assigned to different Info Catalog.
What is the use DSO in BW system? What kind of data is stored in DSOs

A DSO is known as storage place to keep cleansed and consolidated


transaction or master data at lowest granularity level and this data
can be analyzed using BEx query.
A DataStore object contains key figures and charactertics fields and
data from DSO can be updated using Delta update or other DataStore
objects or master data. DataStore objects are commonly stored in two
dimensional transparent database tables.
What are the different components in DSO architecture?

DSO component consists of three tables


Activation Queue
This is used to store the data before it is activated. The key
contains request id, package id and record number. Once activation
is done, request is deleted from the activation queue.
Active Data Table
This table is used to store current active data and this table
contains the semantic key defined for data modeling.

Change Log
When you activate the object, changes to active data re stored in
change log. Change log is a PSA table and is maintained in
Administration Workbench under PSA tree.
To access data for reporting and analysis immediately after it is loaded, which
Data store object is used?

DataStore object for direct update allows you to access data for
reporting and analysis immediately after it is loaded. It is
different from standard DSOs in the way how it processed the data.
Data is stored in same format in which it was loaded to DataStore
object for direct update by the application.
Explain the structure of direct update DSOs?

one table for active data and no change log area exists. Data is
retrieved from external systems using APIs.
Below APIs exists

RSDRI_ODSO_INSERT: These are used to insert new data.

RSDRI_ODSO_INSERT_RFC: Similar to RSDRI_ODSO_INSERT and can be


called up remotely.

RSDRI_ODSO_MODIFY: This is used to insert data having new


keys.For data with keys already in the system, the data is
changed.

RSDRI_ODSO_MODIFY_RFC: Similar to RSDRI_ODSO_MODIFY and can be


called up remotely.

RSDRI_ODSO_UPDATE: This API is used to update existing data.

RSDRI_ODSO_UPDATE_RFC: This is similar to RSDRI_ODSO_UPDATE


and can be called up remotely.

RSDRI_ODSO_DELETE_RFC: This API is used to delete the data.

Can we perform Delta uploads in direct update DSOs?

As structure of this DSO contains one table for active data and no
change log so this doesnt allow delta update to InfoProviders.
What is write optimized DSOs?

In Write optimized DSO, data that is loaded is available immediately


for the further processing.
Where do we use Write optimized DSOs?

Write optimized DSO provides a temporary storage area for large sets
of data if you are executing complex transformations for this data
before it is written to the DataStore object. The data can then be
updated to further InfoProviders. You only have to create the
complex transformations once for all data.
Write-optimized DataStore objects are used as the EDW layer for
saving data. Business rules are only applied when the data is
updated to additional InfoProviders.
Explain the structure of Write optimized DSOs? How it is different from
Standard DSOs?

It only contains table of active data and there is no need to


activate the data as required with standard DSO. This allows you to
process the data more quickly.
To perform a Join on dataset, what type of InfoProviders should be used?

Infosets are defined as special type of InfoProviders where data


sources contains Join rule on DataStore objects, standard InfoCubes
or InfoObject with master data characteristics. InfoSets are used to
join data and that data is used in BI system.
What is a temporal join?

Temporal Joins: are used to map a period of time. At the time of


reporting, other InfoProviders handle time-dependent master data in
such a way that the record that is valid for a pre-defined unique
key date is used each time. You can define Temporal join that
contains atleast one time-dependent characteristic or a pseudo timedependent InfoProvider.

Where do we use InfoSet in BI system?

Infosets are used to analyze the data in multiple InfoProviders by


combining master data charactertics, DataStore Objects, and
InfoCubes.
You can use temporal join with InfoSet to specify a particular point
of time when you want to evaluate the data.
You can use reporting using Business Explorer BEx on DSOs without
enabling BEx indicator.
What are the different type of InfoSet joins?

Inner Join

Left Outer Join

Temporal Join

Self Join

What is the use of InfoCube in BW system?

InfoCube is defined as multidimensional dataset which is used for


analysis in a BEx query. An InfoCube consists of set of relational
tables which are logically joined to implement star schema. A Fact
table in star schema is joined with multiple dimension tables.
You can add data from one or more InfoSource or InfoProviders to an
InfoCube. They are available as InfoProviders for analysis and
reporting purposes.
What is the structure of InfoCube?

An InfoCube is used to store the data physically. It consists of a


number of InfoObjects that are filled with data from staging. It has
the structure of a star schema.
In SAP BI, an Infocube contains Extended Star Schema as shown above.
An InfoCube consists of a fact table which is surrounded by 16
dimension tables and master data that is lying outside the cube.

What is the use of real time InfoCube? How do you enter data in real time
InfoCubes?

Real time InfoCubes are used to support parallel write access. Real
time InfoCubes are used in connection with the entry of planning
data.
You can enter the data in Real time InfoCubes in two different ways

Transaction for entering planning data


BI Staging
How do you create a real time InfoCube in administrator workbench?

A real time InfoCube can be created using Real Time Indicator check
box.
Can you make an InfoObject as info provider and why?

Yes, when you want to report on charactertics or master data, you


can make them as InfoProvider.
Is it possible to convert a standard InfoCube to real time InfoCube?

To convert a standard InfoCube to real time InfoCube, you have two


options
Convert with loss of Transactional data
Conversion with Retention of Transaction Data
Can you convert an InfoPackage group into a Process chain?

Yes, Double Click on the info package grp Process


Maintenance button and type in the name and description.
When you define aggregates, what are the available options?

H Hierarchy

F fixed value

Blank

Chain

Can you setup InfoObjects as Virtual Providers?

Yes.
To perform a Union operation on InfoProviders, which InfoProvider is uses?

MultiProvider
Explain the different
MultiProvider?

between

Operation

Data

store,

InfoCube

and

ODS
They provide granular data, allows overwrite
transparent tables, ideal for drilldown and RRI.

and

data

is

in

InfoCube
This is used for star schema, we can only append data, ideal for
primary reporting.
MultiProvider
It contains a physical data and allow to access data from different
InfoProviders.
What do you understand by Start and update routine?

Start Routines
The start routine is run for each Data Package after the data has
been written to the PSA and before the transfer rules have been
executed. It allows complex computations for a key figure or a
characteristic. It has no return value. Its purpose is to execute
preliminary calculations and to store them in global Data
Structures. This structure or table can be accessed in the other
routines. The entire Data Package in the transfer structure format
is used as a parameter for the routine.
Update Routines
They are defined at the InfoObject level. It is like the Start
Routine. It is independent of the DataSource. We can use this to

define Global Data and Global Checks.


What is the use of Rollup?

This is used to load new Data Package into the InfoCube aggregates.
If we have not performed a rollup then the new InfoCube data will
not be available while reporting on the aggregate.
How can you achieve performance optimization in SAP Data Warehouse?

During loading, perform steps in below order


First load the master data in the following order: First attributes,
then texts, then hierarchies.
Load the master data first and then the transaction data. By doing
this, you ensure that the SIDs are created before the transaction
data is loaded and not while the transaction data is being loaded.
To optimize performance when loading and deleting data from the
InfoCube

Indexes

Aggregates

Line item and high Cardinality

Compression

To achieve good activation performance for DataStore objects, you


should note the following points
Creating SID Values
Generating SID values takes a long time and can be avoided in the
following cases
Do not set the 'Generate SID values' flag, if you only use the
DataStore object as a data store. If you do set this flag, SIDs are
created for all new characteristic values.

If you are using line items (document number or time stamp, for
example) as characteristics in the DataStore object, set the flag in
characteristic maintenance to show that they are "attribute only".
What is Partition of an InfoCube?

It is the method of dividing a table for report optimization. SAP


uses fact file partitioning to improve performance. We can partition
only at 0CALMONTH or 0FISCPER. Table partitioning helps to run the
report faster as data is stored in the relevant partitions. Also
table maintenance becomes easier.
Explain the difference between InfoCube and ODS?

Infocube is structured as star schema where a fact table is


surrounded by different dim table that are linked with DIM'ids.
ODS is a flat structure with no star schema concept and which will
have granular data (detailed level). Overwrite functionality.
What is the use of Navigational attributes?

Navigational attribute is used for drilling down in the report.


While loading data from flat files, when separators are used inconstantly. How
this will read in BI load?

If separators are used inconsistently in a CSV file, the incorrect


separator is read as a character and both fields are merged into one
field and may be shortened. Subsequent fields are then no longer in
the correct order.
To load the data from a file source system, what is requirement in BI system?

Before you can transfer data from a file source system, the metadata
must be available in BI in the form of a DataSource.
In SAP BW, is it possible to have multiple data sources have one InfoSource?

Yes.
How data is stored in PSA?

In form of PSA tables

What is the use of DB connection in SAP BW data acquisition?

DB connect is used to define other database connection in addition


to default connection and these connections are used to transfer
data into BI system from tables or views.
To connect an external database, you should have below information

Tools

Source Application knowledge

SQL syntax in Database

Database functions

What is UD connect in SAP BW system? How does it allow reporting in BI


system?

Universal data UD connect allows you to access Relational and


multidimensional data sources and transfer the data in form of flat
data. Multidimensional data is converted to flat format when
Universal Data Connect is used for data transfer.
UD uses J2EE connector to allow reporting on SAP and non-SAP data.
Different BI Java connectors are available for various drivers,
protocols as resource adapters

BI ODBO Connector

BI JDBC Connector

BI SAP Query Connector

XMLA Connector