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A Guide to SAP HANA Smart Data Integration

A Guide to SAP HANA Smart Data Integration

by — 1 year ago in Security 4 min. read
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Any new technology or innovation that is introduced in business environments always has specific purposes. They are generally needed to address the challenges faced in older technologies, fulfill the needs of the customers or to help make existing processes easier and more economical to negotiate. This is where SAP smart data integration has a crucial role to play.

It is important to first understand to HANA.

Even a few years back, if you had wanted to load a flat file into HANA, you would be required to first install an ETL tool like Data Services to replicate, transform, and then load the required data from the source to the target system. If real-time functionalities were required, you would have to additionally install SLT/SRS and if you were not replicating data to the source, you needed SDA to take advantage of the virtual tables. So fundamentally, you had to install 3 different tools with their connectors. This long-drawn process is no longer required now after the development of SAP Smart Data Integration (SDI).

SDI is a bridge between the source and HANA. It reads the source data and transforms it into HANA type data value. Hence, it combines the best of old-world tools like features of ETL, real-time replication, and virtual tables. SDI batch loads and/or replicates changed data real-time from the source to the SAP HANA tables thereby providing immediate visibility of conditions in either target SAP HANA or at the source.

Why is SAP smart data integration a preferred tool today?

SAP SDI is a preferred tool for businesses today because of a large number of factors all of which aids and increases operational efficiencies of businesses cutting across industries.  The focus is on how SDI facilitates real-time replication of data from any source to SAP HANA. This data is visible when pulled on-demand to execute any query or when data at source changes or is updated. This change is then automatically pushed to SAP HANA.
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Listed here are the most critical functionalities and features of SAP SDI.

  • Easy setup and configuration –

It is very simple to set up and configure the SDI tool. SAP SDI Agent has to be installed and the SFDC adapter has to be deployed on it. This adapter is hosted on S/HANA data provisioning agent and acts as the link between the source and HANA, reading source data and transforming the values into HANA data type value.

  • Session Reuse Mechanism –

The SFDC adapter for SDI supports source session reuse so that the number of login calls to the source can be reduced. The source session will automatically renew and refresh the session if the current one has expired.

  • Based on the volume of data, the communication method is dynamically adjusted

The Adapter has a “Maximum Expected Number of Record” parameter that can switch automatically between source APIs. SOAP API is normally used when a definite number of records in source data are less or equal to the value of the maximum number of expected records parameter. If this is not the case BULK APIs are applied instead of SOAP APIs.
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  • Source system authentication –

Basic authentication is supported by the SFDC Adapter for SAP smart data integration. Credentials like Username, Password, or Security Token only have to be provided in a remote source configuration and the source system authenticates access.

  • Query Locator results –

The Query Locator is used when a large number of records are being queried. It represents the server-side cursor that monitors the current processing location in the set of query results. The Adapter will repeatedly call and access the query until all records in the result set have been fully processed.

  • Virtual Table as a source –

The SQL query runs directly in the source system. Hence, with the SDI Adapter, it is possible to virtually access the data without the need to copy it to S/4HANA.

  • Enabling batch and real-time data transformations –

Ability to integrate and cleanse data is present in SAP smart data integration. The SAP HANA SDI provides SAP HANA Web-based Development Workbench that creates flow graphs for data transformation. The flow graph allows ETL based batch and real-time data flows. There are many options available to meet transformation data like aggregating, filtering, joining, cleaning, and more.


  • Change data capture (CDC)

If you have to replicate entire source data to the target every day, a lot of time will be taken and the focus will shift from completing core tasks. The performance of the whole system will be affected. CDC, on the other hand, continually tracks the changed data and transfers current changes across source and target. This increases business efficiencies.

  • Batch and real-time support for all sources

SAP smart data integration enable both near-real-time data replication with an option to execute the same even in batch mode.

  • Quality of data

SDI ensures that users get data quality and data reliability. This improves various business operations like decision making and planning which are heavily dependent on data accuracy.

  • Predictive analysis

Apart from integration, SDI offers other benefits too. It can be used to draw meaningful insights that are based on predictive patterns, using algorithms as well as various forms of machine learning.”

  • Provides one connectivity that maintains everything

SDI has a lot of in-built flexibility and can thus connect seamlessly to both unstructured data sources as well as RDBMS. It also props up Big Data and other new systems.

  • Provides one UI that maintains everything

The SAP HANA SDI provides SAP HANA Web-based Development Workbench that helps in developing entire applications in a web browser without the need for additional installation of any development tools. It offers an intuitive UI that simplifies development through many convenient and easy-to-use functions.

In a nutshell, then, SFDC Adapter for SAP smart data integration provides businesses with the tools to acquire, retain, and service new customers.

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