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SAP Business Warehouse OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SAP Business Warehouse is #7 ranked solution in top Cloud Data Warehouse tools. PeerSpot users give SAP Business Warehouse an average rating of 8 out of 10. SAP Business Warehouse is most commonly compared to Snowflake: SAP Business Warehouse vs Snowflake. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 30% of all views.
What is SAP Business Warehouse?

Reporting, analysis and interpretation of business data are crucial to preserve and enhance the competitive edge of companies by optimizing processes and enabling them to react quickly and in line with market needs. SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) provides tools and functions that enable companies to attain these goals. In SAP BW, you can integrate, transform, and consolidate relevant business information from productive SAP applications and external data sources. SAP BW provides you with a high-performance infrastructure that helps you evaluate and interpret data. Decision makers can make well-founded decisions and identify target-orientated activities on the basis of the analyzed data.

SAP Business Warehouse Buyer's Guide

Download the SAP Business Warehouse Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: January 2022

SAP Business Warehouse Customers

Medtronic, Cirque du Soleil, Antarc, B&G Manufacturing, EarlySense, eBay, Ferrero, James Austin Company, Lenovo, Sagem, RAK Ceramics, Vodafone

SAP Business Warehouse Video

SAP Business Warehouse Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SAP Business Warehouse pricing:
"It's moderately expensive, but definitely has its branding and price value for it."

SAP Business Warehouse Reviews

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Business Analyst at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Has ready-made connectors where we can extract data from
Pros and Cons
  • "The features that I have found most valuable are its capabilities to connect to Excel and to slice and dice."
  • "A few things which are missing include the visualization of reports. That's where your costs and licensing become heavy. When it comes to this database compared Microsoft Warehouse, it's an expensive solution."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case includes logging the reports on OpenTech manager. We wanted to slice and dice across the PO - whose POs, number of POs which are created, number of POs whose payment is pending, whose payment was done or the turnaround time from PO to payment cycle, etc... For all this we had to extract the data from SAP and build the cubes with the measurement and dimensions, and to slice and dice. For this, we used these cubes that provided VW. We connected it to our dashboard which is Tableau and used the dashboards for the management.

What is most valuable?

The features that I have found most valuable are its capabilities to connect to Excel and to slice and dice. But the reporting is not that interactive because of its reliance to Tableau. We have something called Excel Analysis, which we connect to the cube and do the slice and dice - so that is the best part.

The other best part, and why we moved from Microsoft to SAP BW, are the ready-made connectors where we can extract the data from, which was something that was a challenge for us to pull in SQL Microsoft Warehouse. So the delta features and Excel features are some of its advantages, which we've found. And with SAP it was easier for us to directly get the data immediately, rather than purchasing licenses and all. So although we have an additional connector for SQL extraction for the data from SAP to SQL, that connector doesn't provide us the feature of extracting delta data.

All the reports were already depending on SAP data. But anything in which we needed to combine data to their applications we were trying to pull with Microsoft Data Warehouse to those different users.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what can be improved, they already improved the features of SAP HANA, and since we are not migrated now, we are using SAP VPC and consolidation where they provide those VW's for HANA. Once we go there, we will be able to understand that differentiation point and what could be improved or could have been provided more. But as of right now we're in a very early stage so I don't see anything else that is required.

In the next release, I would like to see BW integrate the visualization with the reports which are in SAP HANA. If that gets into BW in the next release we would be happy rather than having to purchase different business objects, like for the front end, or Tableau, or other SAP products. Instead, of buying that, BW could provide us better visualization. Then we don't have to put data into other tools and build things out there.

For how long have I used the solution?

My organization has been using SAP Business Warehouse for a year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have no issues with the stability as of right now. Everything boils down to the servers and the configuration. So apart from fees, no issues related to BW.

How are customer service and technical support?

My team members who are handling SAP have been in touch with support. I would evaluate support at four out of five. We are happy with it.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

The only thing which we needed help with, and are still struggling with, is getting to know the AW server. That really helps because we always have to be dependent on a vendor or a consultant company to help with our strategy.

If SAP could help with that, it would really help us with the hardware requirements. Because we are not on the cloud, we still struggle with the SAP and always have to be dependent on a partner to give us all the information. There are existing details about the basic configuration and requirements based on the data sizing - that calculation is available and it really helps.

What about the implementation team?

For BW we use a proper software integrator to help with their part and implementing it for us. But I think their experience is very limited. But since we wanted a partner who knows Microsoft Warehouse and BI, we have connected as partners. As far as the sizing and installation, everything was done by our team within our organization. The vendor is only responsible for creating the cubes and the reports but we implement the infrastructure installation.

What other advice do I have?

SAP Business Warehouse is really good. I had already used it in four prior organizations and this will be my fifth organization using it. It is pretty good as far as SAP Data is concerned. So right now, our licenses are only limited to SAP Data because it is for external data, then we need to purchase additional licenses, which we have now gone ahead with.

So that's where one of the challenges is. They have ready-made connectors for the SAP, data transfers, extractions, cube production, and all the applications. We build the data and the reports. They are trying to deliver the data as compared to extracting the data from SAP to SQL Tables and then building the same logic and producing the report. We prefer that when it comes to SAP Data.

My advice would be if you have a data block and if you really want a big solution on the reporting side of it with slicing and dicing, definitely go ahead with BW when it comes to SAP related data.

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate SAP Business Warehouse an eight. 

As I said, a few things which are missing include the visualization of reports. That's where your costs and licensing become heavy. When it comes to this database compared to Microsoft Warehouse, it's an expensive solution.

Because if I already have an SQL Server, my licensing fees and the server licensing cost for installation all go drastically down.

They also give us a free reporting tool. For the data view, we need to have user-licensing and every cost gets increased, as I said. For example, we have a license for SAP Data, and for external data, we also have to purchase one more license, and again for a visualization tool. So that way, licensing costs keep increasing with BW.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Sai Kalyan RamChintapalli
IT Manager at GIC Re
Real User
Top 20
Integrates well with Microsoft Excel, largely stable, and easy for end-users to readily extract data
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution has functionality that makes it easy for end-users to readily extract data directly from Business Warehouse into Excel and carry on their analysis on their own."
  • "More integration with Microsoft Office products (not just Excel) would be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

All the data that we enter we can put into SAP in any module. We have an HR module, a finance module, an insurance module, and an investment module. All this data is being fed into the SAP CT production system, which is how we primarily use it. Also, we have some custom reports that are developed by our development team and these reports are used by all departments.

What is most valuable?

The fact that it can integrate with Microsoft Excel is the solution's most valuable feature.

The solution has functionality that makes it easy for end-users to readily extract data directly from Business Warehouse into Excel and carry on their analysis on their own.

What needs improvement?

It would be helpful if we could interface with BW itself, instead of piggybacking on Excel. If it could have its own interface where you can build dashboards and reports and where high-level power users can start building things, that would be helpful. Right now, only developers can build reports on BW. They need to begin to open it up to power users. The solution needs a broad-based interface.

More integration with Microsoft Office products (not just Excel) would be helpful.

For how long have I used the solution?

The company has been using Business Warehouse since 2010.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Business Warehouse is stable but my concerns surround the complexity of the solution. When some things go wrong, it becomes extremely unreliable. If everything is running smoothly and there are no problems then it's a very stable system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Currently, the scalability isn't possible right now right now with its current architecture. That's why it's important that SAP has come up with its HANA solution and SAP Analytics on Cloud, where it's much easier to scale as necessary.

We're a company of 600 people and about 50% of the company uses the solution. The solution is used daily for reporting for the organization.

How are customer service and technical support?

We contacted technical support in the past when we needed their help on a few issues.  It's a complicated system. Whenever our internal IT team was stuck on developing any reports we contacted SAP nearly every day.

Largely, we didn't have problems with technical support, but over the last two years, we were getting replies mentioning that we would be phased out of support and would need a new license. It's been a bit of a bumpy relationship in the last little while.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't use a different third party solution previously. However, we did have some internal custom solutions that we used, not fully, but in some departments.

How was the initial setup?

The set-up of the solution was very complicated. I believe SAP has a new offering on HANA that may be easier, but we have still not adopted that due to cost concerns.

Deployment took about one and a half years.

Consultants had to come in with their content and explain everything and helped by calculating the BW content. The BW developers had to understand all the build documents. That took a lot of time because SAP's architecture is very complicated for general users to understand.

It took about 35 to 40 people to handle the implementation across the organization. There were about five people from each department because Business Warehouse is something that's set-up for all departments and all the systems that all departments use.

We have three to four people from our internal IT department that handle maintenance. We also have a support structure with an external third-party vendor who assists with our maintenance support. Roughly, in total, we have six to ten people handling ongoing maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

The company used consultants and integrators from the vendors to assist with the implementation of the solution. 

We had a team for coordinating with the implementation partner, they coordinated with the vendor and also the business departments to understand what was required.

The implementation was completely done by the implementation partner proposed by the vendor.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is fairly high for the solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were looking for an enterprise-wide solution. In terms of an enterprise-wide ERP solution, SAP was the only available at that time in 2010. It was able to provide us with all the modules in one place, which was what we required.

What other advice do I have?

We don't use any Data Quality or Identity Manager. Our company doesn't deal with customers directly as it is not open to the public. Our clients are mainly insurance companies. We will normally limit the amounts of data, so we don't have those components but we do have Business Warehouse where we pull in reports of incidents.

Recently, we were upgrading versions. We were on SAP BW version 4.7, and we have moved on to BW 6.0. Right now, we access Business Warehouse through an Excel add-on called BEx Analyzer which is also a product of SAP.

At this time, I wouldn't recommend the solution as the product support will be phased out by SAP. If others are interested in an SAP solution I would go for SAP Analytics Cloud.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about SAP Business Warehouse. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
564,729 professionals have used our research since 2012.
SAP BusinessObjects Consultant at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Good for reporting, but has poor technical support and lacks many important features
Pros and Cons
  • "In terms of stability, comparatively, the solution is quite stable."
  • "We are very unhappy with technical support. First of all, they send their sales agents or pre-sales agents and most of them who don't know the solution as a properly trained tech would. We have an on-site SAP representative who is supposed to help us with our high priority and production issues, and they're not satisfactory to say the least."

What is our primary use case?

We have end-to-end SAP. Therefore, we have the operations system, which is ECC6, which is the ERP. This is used for day-to-day data consolidating of purchase orders, finances, etc. We have 16 business lines. 

When the data comes, we need the reports for the management and we need consolidated and aggregated data. For that, we use Business Warehouse. NetWeaver is a platform, however, on top of it, you use different products. Therefore, on top of NetWeaver, we have BW overlayed for aggregated data for its management. It can be displayed as necessary in data visualization tools, like Business Objects, Excel, Tableau, Power BI, etc. 

The main purpose of our BW is to consolidate data and show the trends for the last, I would estimate, ten years.

What is most valuable?

BW is our bread and butter. We use it every day for reporting, for analysis, data consolidation and aggregation, drag and drop queries, etc.

What needs improvement?

There are a lot of things that could be improved especially in terms of data cleansing, data management, data lineage, etc. The solution needs to offer more flexibility in terms of formulas and the query designer. 

The solution has very limited options, so we have to mix and match some functionality formulas we create in Business Warehouse. The rest of the formulas and functionality we try to deliver on the front end via direct objects. Therefore, there's a lot of improvement needed. 

My understanding is that they are going to discontinue Business Warehouse so that they can push HANA, including Native HANA, S4 HANA, and BW/4HANA.

This platform has reached its limitation. In order for SAP to improve it, they have to provide a new product, which they have: BW/4HANA. 

BW/HANA is much better than the native standard Business Warehouse. It has new options, new functionality, is faster, has pre-built processes, etc. It has all the data processes from a different company's best practices, and they give it to you by default, just out of the box. This is what Business Warehouse should have been, and it's good they are pushing HANA instead of BW.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In terms of stability, comparatively, the solution is quite stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution isn't that scalable. It depends on a lot of factors like what the budget of the company is. If it's scalable in terms of hardware, then we'll have to acquire new hardware and new costs start to pile up. We are not scaling it. If we go overboard with the size, then we just try to reduce the size. We haven't ever tried to scale it. We don't want to spend more to do so.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are very unhappy with technical support. First of all, they send their sales agents or pre-sales agents and most of them who don't know the solution as a properly trained tech would. We have an on-site SAP representative who is supposed to help us with our high priority and production issues, and they're not satisfactory to say the least.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I cannot recall if we previously used another solution or what it was. Before SAP, the company was using a third-party tool on Oracle or some other SQL database. We have been running SAP for the last 10 years, and I joined the company in the past six years. I wasn't here when SAP was originally implemented.

How was the initial setup?

Initial set up is pretty easy. You just install it and connect it to ECC. The tables are already there as well as the business content. If your company has a lot of customized processes, then you have to adjust a few things. 

Otherwise, if it's a fairly new company, then you just have to connect ECC and the data will start coming in. You can do batch jobs and create aggregation. The initial implementation is fairly easy in that scenario. 

What other advice do I have?

Our solution is strictly on-premises due to our company policy to not place anything on the cloud. 

Consultants with technical experience are helpful. They need to understand the processes, as well, however, because designing is the key. Designing right from the start is the very important if you want the product to work for you. 

There are multiple teams within our company. In my team, we are only concerned with BW and BO. With other teams, there are probably many other instances where someone that is using the solution is connected to other data sources and may be providing the data to the suppliers outside SAP using the portal. I don't know much about it because I'm not involved in this process.

I'd rate the solution six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Engineer( IT) at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Features real-time data acquisition, but needs to be more developer-friendly
Pros and Cons
  • "With the technical support, the response has been pretty good from the SAP side."
  • "In the next release, my suggestion would be to have user-friendly interfaces and performance issues be addressed."

What is our primary use case?

We already were having a lot of transaction data in the SAP R3 system. We were doing the extraction, transformation, and loading process every time, ETL from SAP R3 to SAP BW and leveraging it to develop and design certain static reports. They were static in nature; they were not really very beautiful or very impactful reports, but they were used by our senior management. They are still being used by our senior management.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution has improved our organization because we used to have a finance department. Payroll is a routine affair there, so some reports were required by the finance department for expediting their reconciliation which could be used in the closing of bank, closing of the books in the organization. We have helped them use the tools in that manner. There were also things like our generation was real-time captured in the transaction system. We tried to fetch the data from the transaction system and tried to aggregate the data in this BW system and help the management with the data at the click of a mouse.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the new version of Business Explorer Analyzer. That is a very good version because there are a lot of analytical features of Excel also. Additionally, in the SAP BW cockpit, there are features for real-time data acquisition, so RDA. That is a good feature.

What needs improvement?

One area that could be improved is the Business Explorer still needs to be developer-friendly also.

Another improvement would be to develop certain connectors to get hold of the external data. That aspect also needs to be strengthened. It needs to be reinforced because there were issues when we were integrating the SAP BW system with a source system, which is other than the SAP R3 system. The dependency that is currently there between SAP R3 and SAP BW, needs to be enhanced, augmented.

In the next release, my suggestion would be to have user-friendly interfaces and performance issues be addressed.

For how long have I used the solution?

I been using the solution for eight to ten years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have 1,000 plus users in the organization.

How are customer service and support?

With the technical support, the response has been pretty good from the SAP side. They do respond and they're very courteous. Technical support doesn't make you go around things. They try to find a solution and they reach out to you in time. That is very important because quick service is also very important.

How was the initial setup?

The client tools of SAP BW are very straightforward. I don't have any issues with the installation part. Installation is quite friendly, quite speedy.

What about the implementation team?

In the initial phases of deployment, we had an integrator, then we switched over to the consultants. The integration partner was Siemens at that time when Business Warehouse was launched, and then gradually, we took third-party consultants only when there was a need.

What other advice do I have?

My advice when considering this solution is that a proper planning strategy is a must for going on a journey with a reporting and analytics solution. From my experience, I can tell you that organizations just venture in for a reporting, analytics solution without even framing a proper strategy as to what they would like to see as the end result and how they would like to approach it. That is the only thing that is important. Otherwise, the journey is smooth with SAP products. But you need to be clear in your head, and planning really takes the majority of the time. If you have twelve months, then I think you should plan for four months, so that the last eight months are a smooth journey for you.

I would rate the solution a seven out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Group IT Manager at a engineering company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Simplicity of the solution makes it a stand out option
Pros and Cons
  • "Having the back-end data set with the right information is the best qualification for this solution."
  • "I would like to see a different end solution in order to read the data and attract internal users."

What is our primary use case?

I am the Group IT Manager in our company and responsible for SAP implementation. We are currently evaluating what is the best solution for us given the landscape. We are running SAP 3 release plus BW, version 7.5 and we are evaluating the adaption of BW/4HANA considering attached applications like BPC. Our focus is to migrate to the SAP solution and we're evaluating the product in terms of data warehousing.

Our primary use case is for collecting data coming from SAP implementation and fully running the solution for other companies. We have about 20 users in our company who are generally IT admins. Our difficulties relate to the way users configure these kinds of solutions. The traditional approach is to extract the data from the ERP and make extra files.

What is most valuable?

The business warehouse solutions are not SAP solutions, which means that data is already connected to the IP network connectors making the configuration of the BW system quite simple. It's more simple than other solutions available on the market. I think it's the best quality of BW.

What needs improvement?

On the existing release, I'm unsure about improvements. For sure the functionality is available in the new release. I don't know what competitors' systems of data warehousing provide. I would for sure like to see a different end solution in order to read the data and attract internal users. I'd like to see the flexibility to create reports. Having the back-end data set with the right information is the best qualification for this solution.

I'm considering migrating to the BW/4HANA solution because the language in terms of settings is very similar to the one I am currently using. We are starting to configure the BW old version solution so I don't need to invest in data analysis in order to understand the difference or to connect to a different data warehouse with this system.

Additional features that could be included would be for SAP to provide different layers of solutions. One for data warehousing, another for different end solutions on the data warehouse. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution since 2014 when we began with a data set, and have expanded it over the last five years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is okay but there are some bugs which is normal for an enterprise solution. Again, our issue now is that we didn't go ahead with the upgrade. We are now running a newer version.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had some issues with scalability but it's related to the fact that we didn't upgrade the solution. If you update the solution every time SAP suggests it, you have the possibility to introduce all the new features. We didn't do that and we have some issues with the connection. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is strong and helpful.

What other advice do I have?

We are a manufacturing company, also running a factory and we implemented it in the ERP. I think BW is one of the best products at the moment. There are a lot of competitors that are adding features. Specialty Suites or the FETA Gartner and Logic requirement. It's important to check all options. A company needs to take into account what business or industry they have. Most are probably considering different solutions and for banks or insurance companies, it's possible that Microsoft solutions are better. 

I would rate this product an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Henrique Brodbeck
Owner / Consultant at Brodbeck
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Easy to set up, scales well, and is reliable
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable aspect of the solution is the integration with SAP ERP."
  • "It's a product that is at the end of life so they will not improve it anymore."

What is our primary use case?

SAP Business Warehouse is a data repository; a data warehouse for business intelligence applications. Companies can use it in a variety of ways. Our clients that work with SAP use Business Warehouse for staging, consolidation, and treatment of data between SAP and the business intelligence application.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable aspect of the solution is the integration with SAP ERP.

The initial setup is very easy.

The solution scales well.

The stability is good.

What needs improvement?

It's a product that is at the end of life so they will not improve it anymore.

It's a product that needs experience and needs knowledgeable users. You don't typically find experienced consultants, especially in Brazil. While it's not hard to maintain, it's hard to find people that could help you with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale well. There aren't any issues if a company would like to expand it. 

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is very good. We were very satisfied with their level of support when we needed it. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. It's not too complex. 

You need two experienced technicians to handle the deployment process. 

What was our ROI?

I don't have any details on the ROI. It's hard to gauge exact numbers as the ROI doesn't depend only on SAP Business Warehouse; it depends on all the components, including the BI and the IP.

What other advice do I have?

I'm an independent consultant. I have no direct relationship with SAP, with the vendor.

It's an application that is being migrated to HANA. I would recommend only the HANA version right now.

I would advise those considering this or a similar solution that they need to hire an experienced consultant, or to study the technical details of the project before starting using it.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Consultant
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Founder & CEO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Integrates well with open-source, is stable, and has good support
Pros and Cons
  • "I like that it integrates to open-source."
  • "SAP Business Warehouse could integrate better with other ETL tools."

What is our primary use case?

We use SAP Business Warehouse to host the data. We are hosting financial services data.

What is most valuable?

I like that it integrates to open-source.

What needs improvement?

SAP Business Warehouse could integrate better with other ETL tools.

There is some complexity to the setup. It would be helpful if the setup could be simplified.

I would like to see more MLOps capabilities included.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using SAP Business Warehouse for one year.

We are using a previous version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not experience any bugs or glitches with SAP Business Warehouse. It's a stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SAP Business Warehouse is scalable, but you need to understand the product well.  It requires some expertise.

We have five people in our organization who use this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. They were able to assist us in some specific issues we were experiencing.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have some experience with Snowflake.

We did not previously use another solution, this was a new implementation.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup can be a bit complex. It's not easy, but not overly complex, It's medium.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's moderately expensive, but definitely has its branding and price value for it.

What other advice do I have?

SAP Business Warehouse is a good option if you are interested in memory analytics including HANA.

I would rate SAP Business Warehouse an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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