Leveraging HCI-DS Web services

Leveraging HCI-DS Web services

Article by Pierre Cariou and Julien Raoulx, IBP Consultants at Beelogix


 

SAP HANA Cloud Integration (HCI-DS) is used to transfer data into and out of SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP). HCI-DS offers a pre-built Web service which allows to launch tasks from another application. In this blog we will give examples of how to take advantage of this technology. For more details on these Web services click the following link to get access to the SAP documentation.

The fact that HCI-DS is asynchronous/batch integration (vs. real-time integration) and that HCI-DS is usually managed  by the IT organization (not by business end-users) can lead to process challenges, such as lag between data changes in source systems and their impact in IBP. As an example: Forecasts are managed by Sales Representatives in APO-DP, HCI-DS runs daily to transfer to IBP, a last minute promotion change in APO-DP needs to be quickly transferred to IBP for analysis and capacity simulation.

This is where the ability for the business users to trigger HCI-DS tasks could be helpful. Having faced this kind of challenge while implementing IBP, we at beelogix have developed a custom VBA application in IBP Excel UI that calls HCI-DS Web service. The following screenshots show the launchpad and the job status, both available  in Excel UI:

VBA Interface

HCI Task Status

In order to test HCI Web services, a remote application such as SoapUI can be used. This type of application is best to perform testing, as its configuration is fairly straight forward. Also, advanced VBA skills will be needed, as robustness and ease of use are key requirements.

Another application is the integration of such a model with SAP BW. If IBP data is sourced from SAP BW, HCI-DS integration tasks should ideally start as soon as the BW sources have been updated. To do so, the SOAP web service can be used at the end of the BW process chain to automatically launch HCI-DS tasks.

With IBP 6.1 coming, SAP will be providing some new features and tools like HANA Smart Data Integration. The SDI engine should offer near real-time integration. It will be interesting to see how this can offer more options to answer customers’ needs.

We look forward to dig into the new features SAP will be releasing shortly.

If you want to do more on this topic, don’t hesitate to contact us at ibp@beelogix.ca.