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SAP BODS Tutorial

Are you looking to empower the data with the SAP System? If that is the case, here is the best guide for you. This tutorial covers all the information about SAP Data Services, that would help you to learn SAP BODS. By the time you reach the end of this guide, you will be able to successfully implement the BODS in your SAP System. 

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Getting data from various sources is a challenging task as data contains multiple inconsistencies related to format, values, and data type. To overcome this challenge, SAP BODS helps us by providing the ETL functionality that allows us to integrate the data coming from different sources. If you are not aware of this, this article will help you to gain all the information about the SAP BODS Data Service. So, let us start without any delay. 
Table of Contents

Overview of SAP BODS

The SAP BODS stands for SAP BusinessData Object Service which is an ETL tool that is used at the enterprise level. It allows the collection and process of data coming from different systems and then, integration into the SAP System and other target databases. As a result, we can easily transform the data into meaningful insights for strategic decision-making. 

Now, you might have doubts about what ETL is. In simple words, ETL((Extract, Transform, and Load ) operations help us to load the data from different sources into the target data warehouse. Here, the target database can be SAP or any other system that stores data in the form of dimensions and fact tables. It provides various enterprise solutions for data integration, data processing, and data profiling.

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History of SAP BODS

SAP BODS became a popular ETL tool as it has evolved through various transitions in the IT industry. Let us have a look at it. 

  • Originally, BusinessObjects Data Service was not part of SAP Products. It was developed as a data integration tool by Acta Technology Inc., based out of California. The name of the tools was the Data Integration (DI and Data Management or Data Quality (DQ) tool. 
  • Later in 2002, a French company called BusinessObjects acquired Acta Technology Inc. and rebranded these two tools. At the time, the tools were renamed as  BusinessObjects Data Integration (BODI) tool and BusinessObjects Data Quality (BODQ) tool. 
  • Finally, in the year 2007, SAP acquired the BusinessData Objects and rebranded these products as SAP BODI and SAP BODQ. Then, SAP merged these products into a single tool which is known as SAP BODS today. At present the SAP BODS Services are called the SAP Data Services. 

After knowing how it was developed, let us learn about what the SAP Data Service provides.

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Core Functionality of SAP BODS 

  • SAP Data Integrator: It allows us to integrate the data from multiple sources. Also, we can build large jobs including error handling, dependency handling, and restart-ability. It simplifies the daily operations using the web-based management console, auto-documentation features, and impact lineage information.
  • SAP Text Data Processing: It analyzes the text and extracts the patterns, activities, events, and relationships among entities. It supports text extraction features in 31 languages. Also, we can not only process text but also HTML, and XML but binary document formats such as PDF and Microsoft Word.
  • SAP Data Quality: Using this module, we can correct, and standardize our data. It provides a variety of data transformations for multiple types of data such as structured to unstructured data as well as customer, product, supplier, and material information. It is also flexible in terms of deployment and supports integrations with both SAP and Non-Products.

Features of SAP BODS

  • It allows to perform data integration tasks: 
    The users can connect and integrate data from various sources databases, applications, cloud-based services, and flat files. This helps them to unify data and create a consolidated view of data.
  • We can perform ETL operations: 
    It helps users extract data from various sources and transform them into a business-specific format. After this, the data is loaded into the target system so that we can use consistent and standardized data for our business.
  • It supports advanced data quality management: 
    SAP BODS allows us to perform various data cleansing, validation, and enrichment processes so that we can use the data without affecting its quality.
  • We can easily manage the metadata: 
    The information about the data, which is called the metadata plays an important role in the data integration. Thus, SAP BODS also focuses on the efficient management of the metadata for transparency and accountability.
  • Users can integrate with SAP, Non-SAP, and HANA databases: 
    A key feature is that it allows integration with both SAP and non-SAP systems. Additionally, we can also integrate with the HANA, which is SAP’s in-memory database and analytics platform. 
    The above features make SAP BODS a powerful tool. Now, let us see the architecture of SAP BODS.

SAP BODS Architecture

Following image shows the architecture of SAP BusinessObjects Data Service. The BODS contains three layers namely the Web Application Layer, Server Layer, and BODS Service Layer. These layers act as the interface between components to communicate with each other. Let us discuss each of the components of its architecture in a detailed manner.

Repository

The Repository is a set of tables that allows us to store the data objects. These objects can be defined by the user or pre-defined in the system. They store the system object, target metadata, and transformation rules. Generally, SAP BODS provides the following types of repositories. 

Local Repository: This contains the metadata about workflow, dataflow, datastore, etc. This is useful in cases when we have to maintain different environments like quality assurance and production. Here, the local repository is created in all the environments so that users manage tasks without any confusion. 
Central Repository: 
This acts like the version control system for our tasks. We can use it for the release management strategies. Thus, we can compare the jobs in the local repository with the central repository so that we can know what changes or updates have been made in the local repository. 
Profiler Repository: 
After we manage the tasks, we have to make sure the quality of the data is up-to-date. The method of assessing the data quality is called data profiling. So, this repository manages the profiler tasks in the BODS System.

Management Console

This component is responsible for various tasks such as Administration, Impact and Lineage Analysis, Operational Dashboard, Auto Documentation, Data Validation, and Data Quality Reports. It allows us to manage, monitor, and configure SAP BODS components so that SAP Experts can know job execution statuses, security settings, and system parameters. It also provides a centralized dashboard for the SAP Experts to check the performance of the BODS Environment.

Designer

It creates all the BODS objects such as workflow, dataflow, datastore, and other objects. Using Designer, we can define our job along with the transformation rules in the ETL Processes. It is a graphical interface with drag-and-drop functionality. Hence, it is user-friendly for BODS System experts.

Dictionaries and Directories

The BODS users use this component to manage metadata, configurations, and resource files. Here, the directories store the files and resources. On the other hand, the metadata is stored in the dictionaries. Thus, you can easily manage the data-related artifacts of the organization.

Address Server

This server is used for the validation and corrections of our data. This allows the various components to securely communicate with each other. It also maintains the registry of data stores, repositories, and job servers in the environment. This has to be started before processing of the flow.

Engines

It is an important component for performing data-related operations. After the jobs are executed, the job server starts the Engines to perform the extraction and transformation. It also moves the data from one component to another. An important fact about this component is that it allows the parallel processing and in-memory transformation of the data. Thus, we can have high data connectivity with quality.

Job Server

The Job Server is the component that integrates the data from multiple resources. In addition to this, it also helps us to manage the complex transactions and extractions from the ERP Systems and other sources. It is completely up to you whether you want to process the data in batch mode or in real-time. You also do need to run complex commands to start this as you can easily run it from the Designer to design the job.

Access Components 

You can use these components for authentication, authorization, and security. You have to define the user roles, permissions, and access control so that the data can be protected from unauthorized access. Hence, it plays a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and security of the BODS System.

Real-Time Clients

This component is the part of the Application layer in which various client machines and users can access the BODS System. It allows the users to interact with the data-integration tools of the BODS. Real-time Clients may include applications, dashboards, or third-party tools that require real-time data processing capabilities. 

Now, you are aware of the architecture of the SAP BODS. However, it is important to know some other terminologies as well.

Understanding SAP BODS: Key Terms

Data Store: Since SAP BODS connects data from sources to the target system, there should be a standard linking interface. The data Store is the interface between the backend database and data services. It also stores the description of the sources in the form of metadata.
CMC: It stands for the Central Management Console which is a web-based console to perform functions such as repository registration, user management, etc. 
DI Web Admin: This helps us to maintain the repositories in the data service for Meta Repository, Central Repository, job services, and web services.

SAP BODS Objects

The BODS Objects represent the components, entities, or structures used in the data data integration and transformation processes. These objects are of two types namely the single-user object and reusable object. They are described below. 
Single-Use Objects: These objects are specific to the job or data flow 
Reusable Objects: These are the objects we can reuse by making calls to the object description or explanation. The object explanation is stored in the object library. And, the objects from the library can be dragged and dropped into the workflow.

BODS Data Object Hierarchy 

The Object Hierarchy of the BODS Object is the arrangement of the data service objects. It helps us to systematically manage the data integration functionalities. Hence, it is important to learn the BODS Object Hierarchy whether you are a developer, administrator, or user working with SAP BODS. The following diagram shows the hierarchy of the SAP BODS Objects. 

The following table shows the various data objects with their definition and purpose:

TermDefinitionPurpose

Projects

Organizational units within the repository that group related jobs, dataflows, and other objects.

Provide a structured and logical way to organize components based on business functions, departments, or specific projects.  

Jobs

Represent a collection of one or more dataflows, transformations, and tasks executed as a single unit.

Define the execution sequence and dependencies between different ETL processes. Orchestrate the flow of data and transformations within the SAP BODS framework for coordinated execution.

Scripts

Pieces of custom code or programming logic in languages such as SQL, Python, or the BODS Scripting Language.

Implement custom operations or logic beyond standard data transformations.  

Workflow and Conditionals

Workflow is the Sequence of tasks and processes executed in a specific order. While Conditionals are Logical expressions or rules determining the execution path based on specified conditions.

Define the logical flow of operations within a job or data flow, ensuring tasks are executed in a predefined sequence. Organize and structure the overall execution logic.

Data Flows

Represent the flow of data from source to target within a job. Using the transformations, queries, and target tables connected in a sequence.

Define the path and operations performed on the data during the ETL process.

Data Sources and Targets

Sources are the Origins of data extracted into the system. While Targets are Destinations where data is loaded.

Defines the connections to data sources or target systems (datastores) along with storing the server details, database credentials, and connection parameters.

Transform

Operations are applied to the data within a data flow, including filtering, mapping, aggregation, and other manipulations.

Define the logic and rules for processing and transforming data during the ETL process.

Data Stores

Represent connections to data sources or target systems (data stores).

No specific purpose

Formats

Specifications for data presentation or processing within a data flow.

No specific purpose

Database Data Store 

Import metadata from RDBMS

Interact with databases such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and others. 

Application Data Store 

Import metadata from ERP Systems

Exposes the data through the APIs or services

Adapter Data Store

Provides access to the application’s data and metadata

Connect with a system that is different from the traditional data system. For example, file systems, message queues, or specialized data formats

Advantages

  • It provides a unified ETL platform:
    We can have a consolidated place to extract, transform, and load the data into the target system. Hence, there is no need to manage a separate environment for multiple tasks.
  • We can integrate data with quality assurance:
    Whatever data operations we perform, we can ensure the accuracy, consistency, and reliability of data. Also, we can perform the cleansing, validating, and enriching of data.
  • BODS promotes reusability:
    We can reuse the dataflow, transformations, and jobs. Thus, the development time is reduced and maintenance becomes simple.
  • It supports integrations with Non-SAP Systems:
    We can not only integrate the BODS with SAP Systems but also with Non-SAP Systems to load the data to various target systems. Hence, it supports the end-to-end functionality. 
    Disadvantages
  • You can face cost-related issues:
    The initial setup of the SAP Data Services can be unaffordable for you as it requires the license, hardware setup, and training expenses for implementing the SAP BODS.
  • Compatibility issues with the version may arise:
    When we update the SAP BODS to new versions, we may face some compatibility issues with the existing jobs and workflows.
  • Community support is less:
    If we compare the SAP BODS with other ETL Tools, the community support for the BODS is less. Hence, finding solutions on community forums is challenging.
  • Overhead of maintaining the resources:
    The SAP BODS requires a lot of resources for processing and high memory operations. Thus, we have to keep checking on the resources without affecting the applications running on the BODS system.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How does SAP BODS handle the metadata? 

Metadata is the information about the data such as its source, format, etc. So SAP BODS handles the metadata using the local repository in the system so that we can track and manage it for the ETL Processes. 

2. Can we integrate the SAP Data Service with SAP HANA? 

The SAP BODS provides various options to integrate with another database. It can work with the SAP HANA database services, which is an in-memory database service of SAP. 

3. What is the pricing of SAP Data Service? 

The pricing of the SAP Data Service can be asked through a quote-based query from the official website of the SAP Data Services at https://www.sap.com/india/products/technology-platform/data-services/get-started.html 

4. How does the BODS extract data from the ERP system? 

The pre-built connectors allow us to connect the BODS with the ERP Systems. It also supports the full (loading entire data in one go)  and delta loads(incremental loading of data) for data synchronization in the SAP System. 

5. What is the Data Profiling feature in SAP BODS?

 Data Profiling is the process of analyzing and reviewing the data so that we can understand it in a better way.

Conclusion 

SAP BODS which is now called the SAP Data Service helps the users to perform the ETL operations. The main goal of these operations is the integrate the data from multiple sources into a single target database. Its main functions include data integration, text extraction, and data quality management. All these constitute the multiple use cases of SAP Data Services in various scenarios. You have gained sufficient information about the SAP Data Service. Now, it will be easier for you to learn the SAP BODS and enhance your SAP Expertise.

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SAP BODS TrainingApr 23 to May 08View Details
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Last updated: 23 Feb 2024
About Author

 

Madhuri is a Senior Content Creator at MindMajix. She has written about a range of different topics on various technologies, which include, Splunk, Tensorflow, Selenium, and CEH. She spends most of her time researching on technology, and startups. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter .

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