SAP Data Services is a software application that is highly optimized for data integration and transformation. This platform enables the development and execution of workflows that are ideal for the extraction of SAP data from varied sources such as data stores, web services, applications, and databases. After the data is extracted, it goes through a process of integration and transformation that helps in real-time business analytics and deciding critical operational strategies.  

The functions of SAP data do not stop at calculations, aggregations, joins, and filters that are available in typical data transformations. They go a step further and carry out text analysis, data profiling, auditing, geocoding, and addressing standardization. Data input for stream-processing of data systems and data warehouses is greatly facilitated by the Change Data Capture (CDC) feature supported by SAP data. 

Specific applications can also be used to query Data Services through the real-time services provided by SAP data. This results in receiving immediate response based on pre-defined workflows as well as batch processing which has been the strategy for data transformation in the past. 

The SAP Extractor

The SAP Extractor was previously known as the “BW Extractor”. It is one of the data management tools of SAP that is generally used to extract SAP data from source systems. Once extracted, the data is stored in downstream data warehouses or business analytics systems. The SAP Extractor was primarily launched to extract SAP data for inputting in SAP BW applications. For clients of SAP who do not use the BW, there is the option to integrate data with an SAP Extractor.  

Forms of the SAP Extractors

Users have the option to use the SAP Extractors to extract SAP data in three distinct ways. 

  • Application Specific Content Extractors: These are used when BW content, FI, HR, CO, SAP CRM, and LO cockpit have to be extracted.
  • Application Specific Customer-Generated Extractors: These Extractors are used when there is a need to extract SAP data related to LIS, FI-SL, and CO-PA.
  • Cross Application Generic Extractors: These Extractors work on the DB View, Infoset, and Function Modules.

Organizations can use any one of the approaches to extract SAP data depending on specific requirements. 

The Working of the SAP Extractor

Most extractors to extract SAP data are hard-coded for the Data Source and are specific to applications. Hence, they can be delivered to the Business Warehouse BI Content as they complement the structure of the Data Source. Additionally, several types of Extractors can be used to extract SAP data and move it to the BW. SAP Extractors classify which data has to be extracted and the tables from where data is read-only after the generic extractor identify the Data Source. This process is optimized as the SAP extractors are fully automated.  

However, regardless of the application used, a user with an Extractor can extract SAP data. This data is rich in attributes and texts and contains transaction data from all transparent tables, database views, or SAP query functional areas. These types of data can be broadly read and transferred to the BW through the Data Source. 

Because of its many cutting-edge and technologically advanced features, the SAP Extractor has always been a leader in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) product niche. Other established database management systems like Oracle, Microsoft, and Salesforce have not reached this benchmark with an equivalent ERP system. 

Use Cases of the SAP Extractor

One of the programs in SAP ERP is the SAP Extractor which can be used to extract SAP data for moving to BW. The Extractor has two forms. One is a standard Data Source and the other is a customized Data Source that details a full load and delta load process of various types. The data transfer process of the program is monitored and continually tracked by the SAP BW. The delta queue, when it is of the delta type, is also populated with new and changed records by the Extractor that is then transferred to SAP BW via a simple data transfer remote call.

To extract SAP data for transfer to the input layer of SAP Business Warehouse, also called the Persistent Staging Area (PSA), it is essential to define the load process with an InfoPackage in the scheduler. When this happens, the data load process is activated by a request IDoc to the source system after the InfoPackage is implemented with process chains.        

Optimized Tool to Extract SAP Data

Using the SAP ETL tool is the most optimized method to extract SAP data. ETL is short for Extract, Transform, and Load and is used to extract SAP data from multiple data sources, transform the data into a structure that matches that of the target database, and finally, load the formatted data into the intended target. The primary benefit of the SAP ETL tool is that it can extract SAP data even from its native format – structured, semi-structured, or unstructured. 

Another function of the SAP ETL tool is that it can transfer data within the SAP environment and conduct checks to clean the data and confirm whether the value has been allotted to a name. Additionally, a unique feature of the tool is that it can extract SAP data and transform it even when running outside the application.

The tool also has several cutting-edge functionalities apart from its ability to extract SAP data. One of them is automating the activity of extracting incremental and change data or deltas through the OData Services. This is possible because the tool can be connected to CDS views and SAP Data Extractors. 

In conclusion, the evolution of the SAP Extractor and its ability to extract SAP data optimally meets the exclusive needs of the SAP Business Warehouse.