If your employees are during most of the time sipping coffee, browsing news or chatting with colleagues, you might have SAP BW system performance issues. Read interview with Eva Lichnerova, our developer specializing in BW systems, to see what can be done about queries that are taking ages.
Q: What are the common problems with SAP BW system and how can we approach them?
Users often have issues with slow system performance, long DTP executions, queries take a lot of time, and it gets very time-consuming to gather all the data. That’s where the idea for developing BW fitness test came from. It is designed to identify the root causes for the slow-down, see what is wrong with the BW system and what can be improved.
Q: If you were to indicate three main reasons for a system slow-down, what would they be?
Firstly, a build-up of data. For example, there is a specific structure in the BW system called cubes. You can compress and aggregate data in these cubes, which makes life easier for queries. But if this compression is neglected, then queries take a lot of time. Secondly, lack of archiving – a lot of data stored in the system is older than a year or two and is queried as rarely as once per year. Archiving will save space while still keeping the data accessible for reporting. And thirdly, lack of housekeeping – a lot of data is generated by the system while working with it. These are the data which should be cleaned up on a regular basis to improve the system performance.
Q: What does the process of running a fitness test look like?
We provide a transport which is then installed on the BW system. Users can execute it themselves, or consultants can execute it on behalf of the user. Next, the fitness test collectors gather data from various areas of the BW system, like queries, info providers, DTPs and so on. Once it is completed, these data are downloaded to our systems and we run a comprehensive analysis.
Q: What if the system data are sensitive?
The only sensitive data that we collect is information about users who are locked or haven’t logged into the system for at least one year. If data on user activity should remain confidential, then we just don’t download them. In most cases however, companies agree to process this information as well.
Q: What is the end result of a BW Fitness Test?
We deliver an easy to read report which clearly indicates where the problems are and what should be improved. We use green, yellow and red colours to mark areas which are fine and those which require attention. Then, our consultants can suggest possible solutions that will troubleshoot the detected issues. For example, we can advise on archiving specific set of data or running a system clean-up.
Q: What are the biggest challenges with the BW Fitness Test?
This solution is really stable – it has been available for 4 years now, and so far we have run the test for over 300 companies. The challenge is to keep up with new technologies such as SAP HANA and to keep improving it with regards to the users’ feedback.