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SAP BW4HANA OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

SAP BW4HANA is #7 ranked solution in top Data Warehouse tools. PeerSpot users give SAP BW4HANA an average rating of 8 out of 10. SAP BW4HANA is most commonly compared to Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics: SAP BW4HANA vs Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 32% of all views.
What is SAP BW4HANA?

Streamline processes and support innovations with a single, trusted source for real-time insights. Based on SAP HANA, our next-generation data warehouse solution can help you capitalize on the full value of all your data from SAP applications or third-party solutions, as well as unstructured, geospatial, or Hadoop-based.

SAP BW4HANA was previously known as SAP BW/4HANA.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Data Warehouse Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2022

SAP BW4HANA Video

SAP BW4HANA Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SAP BW4HANA pricing:
  • "We started as early birds from the SAP side. We got this entire suite for free. I cannot really talk about the price because we didn't have to pay anything."
  • "In general, it's quite expensive."
  • "As an investment, the solution is very expensive."
  • SAP BW4HANA Reviews

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    Head of Enterprise Reporting & Analytics at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Good capabilities, direct approach, and the right reporting tool for SAP companies
    Pros and Cons
    • "Its direct approach is the most valuable. You get more real time and capabilities than BW."
    • "They have taken out a few BW functionalities when they redesigned this. The way of multi-dimensional thinking and star schema got a little bit lost. It may be because of the cost, but certain functionalities that were previously implemented from the BW side should come back again in the whole product. It is a young product. It is version 2.0. In time, I'm pretty sure they will come back again because otherwise, it limits the potential of the product, and I have to do a lot of modeling towards that direction. For me, the analytics focus is too much. It is not cube-oriented in that way, so its functionality is limited. It is not really technically limited in the back end; it is more limited in the front end. It has a data-mining mindset for SQL developers. The navigational attributes should be easy. It needs to be built in models. I see the data mark cube or understanding that the composite provider needs to be models in a cube coming back. The multi-dimensional star schema approach and the reporting need to be done as well as possible to leverage the star scheme below. This is definitely not understood by many consultants and even composite providers for star schema. They always think in terms of flat tables, which is limiting. You need to build the right dimensions, objects, and so on. If you can build this in BW4HANA, then you have this understanding that BW4HANA is not forcing you in this direction, but it should force you a bit better in this direction. Maybe a few elements which were in use in BW should come back again. It would help the community to determine the direction to build on the cube. You can have maybe 50 elements, and then you can expand it to what you need by leveraging navigation. So far, this functionality is a little bit limited in the tool, and it is not thought through, but I think it will come. They should also be adding more capabilities for the transformation between different objects. In BW, this is currently limited, especially towards composite providers. It is a bit complex basically in the building. You have to have a lot of knowledge as well as know how to do it better because it is a bit different from BW. There is not too much expertise currently in the consulting markets. Many are trying to build something, but it may be based on their knowledge of what they have from the BW and HANA side. You have to find the right mix from both of them at this time. We also have HANA Native. These are our two different sync sources basically, and we have approaches to connect nicely, but it is hard to manage your team because a lot of coaching is required."

    What is most valuable?

    Its direct approach is the most valuable. You get more real time and capabilities than BW. 

    What needs improvement?

    They have taken out a few BW functionalities when they redesigned this. The way of multi-dimensional thinking and star schema got a little bit lost. It may be because of the cost, but certain functionalities that were previously implemented from the BW side should come back again in the whole product. It is a young product. It is version 2.0. In time, I'm pretty sure they will come back again because otherwise, it limits the potential of the product, and I have to do a lot of modeling towards that direction. For me, the analytics focus is too much. It is not cube-oriented in that way, so its functionality is limited. It is not really technically limited in the back end; it is more limited in the front end. It has a data-mining mindset for SQL developers. The navigational attributes should be easy.

    It needs to be built in models. I see the data mark cube or understanding that the composite provider needs to be models in a cube coming back. The multi-dimensional star schema approach and the reporting need to be done as well as possible to leverage the star scheme below. This is definitely not understood by many consultants and even composite providers for star schema. They always think in terms of flat tables, which is limiting. You need to build the right dimensions, objects, and so on. If you can build this in BW4HANA, then you have this understanding that BW4HANA is not forcing you in this direction, but it should force you a bit better in this direction. Maybe a few elements which were in use in BW should come back again. It would help the community to determine the direction to build on the cube. You can have maybe 50 elements, and then you can expand it to what you need by leveraging navigation. So far, this functionality is a little bit limited in the tool, and it is not thought through, but I think it will come. They should also be adding more capabilities for the transformation between different objects. In BW, this is currently limited, especially towards composite providers.

    It is a bit complex basically in the building. You have to have a lot of knowledge as well as know how to do it better because it is a bit different from BW. There is not too much expertise currently in the consulting markets. Many are trying to build something, but it may be based on their knowledge of what they have from the BW and HANA side. You have to find the right mix from both of them at this time. We also have HANA Native. These are our two different sync sources basically, and we have approaches to connect nicely, but it is hard to manage your team because a lot of coaching is required.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    SAP BW4HANA is a relatively new product from the SAP side, but we have been running almost a two years project now and moving from BW to BW4HANA. So, it is a completely new build of the entire environment. We just completed that in November last year.

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

    We have used BW and HANA Native. BW4HANA is definitely much better than BW. It is also much better than HANA Native.

    How was the initial setup?

    It depends on your experience, the approach, and so on. I took over the project when it was already started. It had been running for two or three months. I would have approached it differently if I was there during the kickoff. It is challenging when you are too much focused on old products, and you don't have a good model in place or a good understanding of the business model. For me, it was not so difficult. I did it a lot in my former positions and during many years of experience in multidimensional data modeling, but for most of my colleagues and my team members, it was quite challenging because they had more experience in reporting subs, SQL subs, and so on and not so much experience in data modelings and so on. 

    In general, you need to acquire experience in this. There are not so many in the market. I also had a bad experience with consulting companies. I had to correct them and technically detail the process for how to do this.

    It is simply the mindset. When we approach it with the mindset of how it was done in BW or HANA, you get a process that is not really efficient. When object-oriented approaches are not taken into consideration, everything gets built a hundred times, and instead of being more object-oriented, it gets quite complex. It always requires good modeling and an understanding of the business requirements, which can be quite challenging.

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

    We started as early birds from the SAP side. We got this entire suite for free. I cannot really talk about the price because we didn't have to pay anything.

    What other advice do I have?

    It makes sense for all enterprise companies that currently have BW in place to move over because BW4HANA has more reasonable performance, and it helps you in getting reporting. An enterprise can manage the reporting on this one product. In my previous company, I had to do and review reporting for end-users at the aggregated management level, not only at the transactional level. 

    I would rate this solution an eight out of ten. It is definitely an eight for reporting low and high at the management level as compared to others, but it is also dependent on the design. I had to provide and I still need to provide a lot of things knowing how my former colleagues have approached those things. From my point of view, it is never always the product, it is the experience we have in the design and context. BW4HANA is definitely much better than BW. It is also much better than HANA Native. It is definitely the right tool in terms of reporting and security on top of the SAP companies. Most of the companies are SAP companies. If you need an additional reporting tool on top, this is a solution.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Technology Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Transforms large volumes of data, good reporting, improves efficiency, and the support is good
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature is that we can transform a huge amount of data and apply business logic as per the requirements."
    • "The speed of operations could be a little faster."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a service provider and we provide SAP services to our clients. I am a consultant and I offer SAP BW4HANA as a data warehouse, used for retail business.

    The reports being generated by this product are used by the business to clarify profit and loss on the orders that they have placed.

    How has it helped my organization?

    If you have a large set of orders, it is very difficult to track and manage them. This product helps you to distinguish the processes and provides visibility such as checking where products are in the process at any given time.

    It provides information about billing, delivery, and all of the aspects related to an order. You can generate monthly reports or yearly reports, including charts, as needed.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is that we can transform a huge amount of data and apply business logic as per the requirements.

    What needs improvement?

    The speed of operations could be a little faster.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been working with SAP BW4HANA for approximately seven years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    This is a very stable solution and we use it on a daily basis.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    SAP BW4HANA is scalable. We have approximately 5,000 users.

    How are customer service and support?

    The technical support is good.

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

    I was not using another similar product prior to this one.

    How was the initial setup?

    With a deployment plan, it takes approximately a year and a half to complete. The complexity of the initial setup is such that we need help from SAP.

    The number of people required for deployment and maintenance depends on how big the project is. It takes between 30 and 40 people initially if it's a small to medium-sized project. For maintenance, 10 people would be enough.

    What about the implementation team?

    We required help from SAP for the implementation.

    What other advice do I have?

    We use this product in conjunction with the new solution, SAP Analytics Cloud.

    My advice for anybody who is considering SAP BW4HANA is that it's a very stable product, and if you are looking at a huge volume of data that you want to process daily or any similar kind of task, then this is definitely a good solution.

    At this point, I can't think of any additional features that I would like to see in the next release.

    I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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    SAP Technical Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Good reporting, well-suited for medium to large-sized organizations
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable features are the speed of reporting and the HANA database."
    • "It takes too long to escalate problems from the first level of support."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a solution provider and this is one of the products that we implement for our clients.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are the speed of reporting and the HANA database.

    What needs improvement?

    I find the migration from an existing BW platform to be quite difficult. It is quite cumbersome for our customers to migrate to BW 4HANA.

    The impact that it has on the ECC/ERP system is a problem because they are relying solely on the ODP tool to perform the extract.

    It takes too long to escalate problems from the first level of support.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for a bit less than two years, from around the time that it came out.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is something that needs to be improved. There are too many SAP nodes to implement on a regular basis to get everything working.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It is a scalable solution but it depends on the hardware. Our clients vary in size from small to very large organizations, although for this product, most of them are at least of medium size.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is okay, although it can be improved because sometimes it takes too long to get the correct expert to deal with the issue. Essentially, the wait at the first level of support causes us to lose time.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is rather complex. It can be up and running in two or three days but it takes a week to have it perfectly implemented.

    We implement both on-premises and cloud-based deployments for SAP BW 4HANA.

    What about the implementation team?

    Our in-house team does the implementation and deployment for our customers.

    What other advice do I have?

    This is a good product and one that I recommend implementing. 

    As we look at the information we have for the cloud solution, it would be helpful to have something more clear from the vendor in terms of strategy. More information on the direction of the data warehouse solutions, going forward, would be helpful. Today, there is a market for HANA both on-premises and in the cloud, but the data warehouse cloud solution that is coming up is quite different.

    I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
    Sr SAP Cloud Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Has all the data warehouse features, but licensing could be better

    What is most valuable?

    SAP BW/4HANA is the same as the old SAP BW system, except that it's being hosted on HANA. Nowadays, SAP HANA is coming out with all the data warehouse features. You don't have to have SAP BW on HANA, HANA itself can offer that. SAP as 4HANA itself is taking over because it supports both OLTP and OLAP transactions at the same time.

    What needs improvement?

    One thing is that it costs more because you have to acquire that license for the product, which itself is a waste. If you can do that without the product, that's one thing. And then the performance. Performance is never so good with the old model, BW model that SAP developed because you need to extract the data, you have to load it, you have to put it into cubes, and you have to build your own warehouse, then it's ready for reporting, which is a very convoluted process. It's a long journey and a tedious job every day, every week, but that's how the world was working for several years.

    If anything, they should only make it faster. You cannot blame the product completely because it depends on how well you built your cubes, as well as the database objects inside the data warehouse, and how efficient your SQL is.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using this solution for about three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The system has always been stable. 

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is fine. The limitation is not the product, but limitation is the hardware for HANA because HANA hardware is very expensive. Everyone has to be very cognizant about how much data is really required and what data needs to be pushed. Otherwise the hardware costs for HANA database is going to be very, very expensive.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this solution a seven out of ten because it's not bad. The world has been running with the same product for several years, but now new products and new technologies are coming. They have their own challenges. That doesn't mean that this is bad.

    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
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    Senior Strategy Manager at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Reliable, scalable, and has good support but they need more integration

    What is our primary use case?

    I was a developer.

    We use this solution for sales reporting and financial reporting.

    What is most valuable?

    I like that it's quite quick.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like more integration.

    Cost is a factor. It could be improved.

    The installation could be simplified.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using SAP BW4HANA for seven years.

    The version that I dealt with was 7.4, and the company I am in now is using the latest version.

    I am just starting to use that now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    SAP BW4HANA is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It's a scalable solution. I don't have any issues with the scalability of this product.

    We have 200 to 300 users in our organization who use it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have contacted technical support, they are generally very good.

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

    I used standard reporting, which didn't meet our needs and we had to go through a data warehouse.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is quite complex.

    We are a worldwide team, we need quite a few people to manage this solution. We have a team of eight to manage this solution in Europe and close to the same to manage it in Asia. 

    We have a team of 14 or 15 to manage this solution worldwide.

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

    In general, it's quite expensive.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend this solution in certain circumstances, but for others, probably not. It all depends on what the use case was.

    I would rate SAP BW4HANA a seven out of ten.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
    Associate Manager at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Stable, scalable, and good performance, but expensive
    Pros and Cons
    • "Some of the main features of this solution are that it uses HANA and it has good performance."
    • "Other competitors provide better solutions that are more up to date with current technology."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use the solution in a data warehouse.

    What is most valuable?

    Some of the main features of this solution are that it uses HANA and it has good performance.

    What needs improvement?

    Other competitors provide better solutions that are more up to date with current technology. For example, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using the solution for approximately five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There are no issues with scalability with this solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The installation is complex.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used the SAP team to do the installation for us. We have a vendor who takes care of the maintenance of the server. 

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

    As an investment, the solution is very expensive. We pay 72% every year to SAP. Additionally, we pay for support for the solution and a vendor to do maintenance.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I have evaluated Talend, Azure Cloud, and Google Cloud which have better features.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would not recommend the solution because they have not upgraded their technology.

    I rate SAP BW4HANA a seven out of ten.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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