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Microsoft Power BI is a market leader in analytics, with strong interconnectivity. With this in mind, let’s see what makes it sit comfortably at the top of SAP data visualization.

According to Gartner’s 2019 Worldwide Report on Market Share1, SAP is an international leader in ERP platforms through S/4HANA and BW/4HANA, and within the analytics area, it is in the Visionaries quadrant due to SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). All of those tools are subject to frequent updates with improved practicality showing at regular intervals.

However, several analysts and consultants have an enterprise landscape comprising a mixed architecture setup, during which they employ SAP, Microsoft (Azure), Amazon, and numerous alternative suppliers and platforms across their business functions. Once it involves analytics, several of them aim to find a single platform for data visualization and report building across their company, however, they often have several questions on how to integrate this with data across multiple disparate platforms.

Gartner’s 2020 BI Magic Quadrant2 – puts Microsoft Power BI at the top of the market amongst all offered analytics suites. Power BI has a wonderful client satisfaction rating and powerful interconnectivity with Microsoft workplace 365.

Many BI tools have a comparable set of options and functionalities, however, the most queries for the enterprise are with regards to integration. We’ll concentrate on knowledge property, affiliation modes, and safety features between Power BI and SAP.

At a basic level, Power BI is a desktop application, downloaded by report developers, and is employed for data connection, transformation, visualization & report creation. Once built, reports can be sent to the cloud-based Power BI Service for consumption by the business, with the power to form interactive dashboard-style reports and self-service analytics. The Power BI On-Premise Data Gateway (OPDG) is included to allow for connectivity between the data warehouse and the Power BI Service.

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Power BI presently has two varieties of connectors to ensure SAP BW connectivity: the SAP Business Warehouse Application server and therefore the SAP Business Warehouse Message Server. The application server is a straight connection to BW, while the Message server provides a load balancing facility.

There are two connection modes offered in Power BI to attach to SAP BW. The Import mode can take an instance of data, transfer it and store it within the Power BI Service and cloud if uploaded. It’ll take up user storage and might be used from the facility BI Service while not refresh (although knowledge is often reinvigorated with a re-upload). The direct query mode is a live connection that makes use of Remote Function Calls (RFC) to the information for every data refresh and alteration. It doesn’t store a physical dataset with the document.

The Import Mode imports data from multiple sources, which may be blended together, and provides a large vary of DAX functions – DAX being the language of the Power BI suite – and a powerful query engine to process it. However, there’s a data limit of 1GB, and row-level security, if needed, has to be done at the Power BI level.

Direct question retrieves knowledge from one supply, like a BW question or Composite supplier, however, this technique has restricted knowledge transformation and DAX capability. Modeling ought to be pushed all the way down to the info warehouse to require advantage of OLAP practicality. Security is heritable from the info warehouse analysis authorizations and individual users are often mapped between BW and Power BI.

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Power BI has one dedicated connector to SAP HANA Database, that supports Import and Direct query mode. As an alternative, a SQL Statement may also be written to query SAP HANA. Attribute, Analytical, Calculation, and CDS are all exposed to Power BI. This connector doesn’t connect with S4/HANA or ECC tables.

There are 2 choices for connecting to SAP HANA in Direct query mode. The Multi-dimensional model is comparable to connecting to BW, where just one Calculation can be read. It also supports a parent-child hierarchy. Aggregations of non-cumulative measures square measure performed by SAP HANA, not by Power BI.

The Relation model connects to multiple views and relationships and blends are created in Power BI. It offers larger flexibility, permitting you to form calculated columns, DAX formulas, new aggregations, etc. It doesn’t, however, support a parent-child hierarchy.

Data security is a priority. Let’s explore the information governance approach in Power BI. There are many levels wherever restrictions can be applied. The HANA/BW info is that the initial level of restriction, where data is retrieved based on the user’s credentials in BW/HANA. This happens through analytical privileges or BW authorization objects. Within the second level of restriction in Power BI, the dataset is pulled based on direct pull or import of calculation views database credentials. The third level of restriction in the Power BI service is row-level security (RLS) at the PBI level. The data administrator can outline roles and portion workspace level access like Admin, Contributor, Member, and Viewer based on needed access to data and reporting. Authorizations that are based on a Hierarchy don’t add Power BI for SAP HANA and BW.

Single-Sign-On (SSO) is enforced in Power BI for SAP HANA & BW. Once users execute Power BI queries, their security role level credentials are used to get the required data. There are 2 styles of SSO implementation in Power BI for SAP databases: Kerberos is the suggested approach for SAP BW, while SAP HANA supports Kerberos and Security Assertion language (SAML).

SSO works based on User Principal Name (UPN). The Power BI service passes the UPN string for every report query/refresh triggered by a Power BI Azure Active Directory (AD) user. The UPN string is mapped to the associate degree Azure AD user account once Azure AD Dirsync is organized.

SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is that the most well-liked front-end product to attach to SAP knowledge, with SAP BusinessObjects (BO) providing on-premise reporting. If you’re using Power BI with live knowledge from SAP, then make certain to take care in selecting that connection mode to use, based on your knowledge, modeling, and security needs.

Hopefully, this weblog has given you a good understanding of the ways in which Power BI will connect with SAP Data and the problems that need discussion in implementation.

(Article Source – Exploring the Visualisation of SAP Data using Microsoft Power BI)