Google Cloud has a genuine passion for solving technology problems that make a difference for our customers. With the release of our BigQuery Connector for SAP, we’re taking a another big step towards solving a major challenge for SAP customers with a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to integrate SAP data with BigQuery, our serverless, highly scalable, and cost-effective multi cloud data warehouse designed for business agility.
Solving for simplified data integration
Like most businesses today, SAP customers are eager to unlock the immediate insights and opportunities within their ever-growing stores of business data. However, many are discovering just how hard it can be to take the first step in any modern, cloud-enabled data analytics strategy: combining SAP data with other cloud-native, and enterprise data sets in real-time and at scale. According to a 2020 SAPInsider study, more than half of SAP customers surveyed said data integration was their top analytics pain point. These companies urgently need a rapid, sustainable, cost-effective and scalable way to integrate SAP data with modern cloud data analytics solutions.
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The BigQuery Connector for SAP gives our customers a solution: a fast, simple, cost-effective and massively scalable way to make SAP data fully accessible within BigQuery by leveraging customers’ existing SAP Landscape Transformation Replication Server (SLT) tooling and skill sets. It’s the first SAP SLT direct near real-time connector for BigQuery without the need to set up additional infrastructure or third-party middleware, and can be deployed using a variety of embedded or stand-alone deployment options. In fact, most customers can install the BigQuery Connector for SAP in less than an hour—a remarkably easy way to start working with our industry-leading analytics solution that delivers proven and quantifiable business advantages for customers. Additionally, the BigQuery Connector for SAP is not restricted to customers who have deployed their SAP applications on Google Cloud. Customer’s who are running their SAP applications on-premise, or on any cloud, can also deploy and realize the analytical benefits of the solution.
Designing a solution with customer requirements and investments in mind
When the Google Cloud team started work on an analytics data integration tool for our SAP customers, we began with a set of requirements designed to root out the usual sources of cost and complexity. These included:
- The need for real-time performance with deltas replicated in milliseconds
- The ability to integrate data from almost any SAP Netweaver based application running today, regardless of its deployment location (on premises, any cloud, Google Cloud)
- Automatic BigQuery data type mapping with minimal transformation required
- Generation of target tables in BigQuery directly from source, if required
- Application layer integration that avoids the issues of direct database access
- Leveraging customers’ existing SAP skillsets, change data capture, and infrastructure
An important step towards meeting these requirements came when Alphabet, Google’s parent company, decided to leverage SAP SLT as a foundation for developing direct data replication between SAP and BigQuery for its internal corporate landscape. SLT as part of SAP’s strategic Business Technology Platform, supports real-time replication of data from SAP or third-party systems to SAP HANA, however, one of its limitations was direct integration with targets like BigQuery.
SAP SLT was a logical foundation for developing the connector for several reasons:
- It’s widely adopted among SAP customers who likely already leverage SLT for SAP analytics data integration
- It works with almost every non-SaaS SAP application environment running today
- It supports real-time replication performance at massive scale
It was an obvious choice for the Alphabet engineering team who saw immediate value from integrating SAP with BigQuery.
“The BigQuery Connector for SAP has enabled fast, low latency data replication for billions of records from 500+ tables of our most critical financial and supply chain data. Now in one cost-effective BigQuery data lake, this ERP data can be combined with other data sources for previously impossible real-time analytics and ML use cases. This allows us to drive much deeper strategic insights that support business and operational excellence, management and P&L reporting and more.”—Anil Nagalla, Sr. Engineering Director, Financial Systems, Google
SAP data integration with BigQuery enables new value
By leveraging SAP SLT, the BigQuery Connector for SAP can integrate real-time data streams from any SAP system—while also taking advantage of customers’ existing SAP investments and skillsets.
At the same time, the BigQuery Connector for SAP does a lot of heavy lifting on its own. For example, it automatically handles the complex, multi-step process of transforming SAP data types for use in BigQuery—mapping data-type transitions between the SAP and BigQuery environments, creating a target table schema on BigQuery for the transformed data types, building the target BigQuery table, and even adapting as new data types appear in your SAP environment.
For teams that want to fine-tune the BigQuery Connector for SAP’s automated recommendations, the connector supports additional levels of customization and choice. But if you simply want to get the job done and give your data analytics team greater support for their high-value work, then you’ll love just how quickly and easily the BigQuery Connector for SAP turns the complicated work of data integration and performance to process large volumes of data into a done deal. By integrating enterprise data sets in real time, customers can drive differentiated value and unlock new insights and actions that drive a competitive advantage.
The BigQuery Connector for SAP really shines as an enabling tool that transports and transforms your SAP data to power analytics solutions enabled by accelerators like the Google Cloud Cortex Framework: a comprehensive set of reference architectures, deployment accelerators, and integration services designed to give SAP customers a fast and seamless path to value with their data analytics investments. Simply put, the more SAP data you make available within Google Cloud, the easier it is to get meaningful—and often game-changing—insights from these solutions.
Learn more about the BigQuery Connector for SAP
Ready to get started with your own SAP data analytics strategy on Google Cloud? Install the Google Cloud BigQuery Connector for SAP, and discover a faster, simpler, more sustainable way to power your company’s data analytics strategy.
By: Mike Eacrett (SAP Product Manager, SAP, Google Cloud) and Sujan Gade (Product Engineering Lead, Google Cloud)
Source: Google Cloud Blog
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