Today, we announced SAP Datasphere, a comprehensive data service built on SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) that enables every data professional to deliver seamless and scalable access to mission-critical business data.

For more details, read Unleashing the Power of Business Data with SAP Datasphere, by JG Chirapurath, chief marketing and solutions officer for SAP BTP

With the unified experience of SAP Datasphere for data integration, data cataloging, semantic modeling, data warehousing, data federation, and data virtualization data, professionals can now easily distribute mission-critical business data — with business context and logic preserved — across their organization’s data landscape.

SAP Datasphere is the next generation of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud, but with new capabilities that enhance data discovery, modeling, and distribution. This includes a new data catalog that acts as a centralized repository, describing all the data and metadata, including lineage and governance, to assure data is accurate, complete, and up to date. State-of-the-art data flow capabilities allow organizations to automatically generate pipelines at enterprise scale. We also enriched the business semantic layer with advanced modeling capabilities.

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Existing SAP Data Warehouse Cloud customers will automatically see the new functionality in their product environment today — no migration necessary.

Here, we go deeper into some of the new SAP Datasphere capabilities announced today, which will enable organizations to deliver seamless and scalable access to mission-critical business data.

Access Authoritative Data

Customers tell us that they spend countless hours and resources extracting SAP and non-SAP data from heterogeneous data sources in order to rebuild the semantics, logic, and context that often already exist in applications such as SAP S/4HANA or SAP SuccessFactors solutions. The result is a costly cycle of extracting and rebuilding, often while losing the rich context that business insight needs.

SAP Datasphere solves this issue by connecting – rather than just extracting – data with easy federation or replication to a business semantic layer, which in turn enables self-service modeling for business users without deep technical knowledge of the underlying application data structures.

SAP Datasphere enhances the business semantic layer to provide advanced multi-dimensional capabilities by introducing the SAP Datasphere Analytic Model. This modeling experience includes complex aggregations, time dependencies, data preview, business hierarchies, business KPIs, and more. Analytic models harmonize data from different sources and expedite access to contextual, relevant business data for faster insights and decisions: they are the foundation for data consumption in SAP Analytics Cloud.

Data professionals can choose the business entities required for their use case while having flexibility to leverage their existing attributes, relationships, and relevant measures or key figures. With this consistent, rich, and targeted analytics experience, they can distill relevant insights faster.

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SAP Datasphere Catalog makes it simpler to browse and search, discover data and metadata from SAP applications, and classify objects for your own business catalog, enriching them using the glossary, custom defined terms, and hierarchical tags. With the data lineage capability, whether it is business data or metadata, users can understand relationships between assets and visualize where the data is coming from and where it is landing. Lineage offers a structured overview of objects and spaces for users to quickly understand object and data dependencies and directly navigate to the relevant business objects.

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SAP Datasphere Catalog supports data objects from other SAP Datasphere instances and SAP Analytics Cloud. The catalog will soon expand to include other SAP applications and sources, including SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW), SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC), and SAP S/4 HANA. But that’s not all: we strive to help businesses unify all their enterprise data, both SAP and non-SAP. We are continuously developing integration with industry-leading data catalog partners, such as Collibra, to support the non-SAP sources and provide trusted governed data across the enterprise.

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Enrich All Data Projects

We have kept all the powerful capabilities of SAP Data Warehouse Cloud in SAP Datasphere to enhance collaboration across the enterprise. In this way, we empower both business and IT and enable instant access to application data via pre-built integrations to federate or instantly replicate data using change data capture.  

A new data ingestion capability takes this further. SAP Datasphere can replicate data and automatically generate large numbers of pipelines without any manual build or configuration required. With the new replication task, you can identify the source system from where data needs to be replicated (SAP ECC, SAP S/4HANA, or SAP BW), then select objects in the source systems and a target location. The system will automatically configure all the pipelines needed to handle the initial data load and ongoing delta changes without any user intervention. These pipeline tasks are fully resilient, automatically managed by the task, and even restarted in case of failure. With this new capability, SAP Datasphere makes it simple to replicate large numbers of tables automatically and continuously with minimal user effort or overhead.

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Whether you decide to federate or replicate data into SAP Datasphere, organizations can now easily manage user access and govern data in a virtual workspace called SAP Datasphere Spaces. In this environment, business data professionals can model data, blending from internal and external sources and extending the model with additional business semantics.

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As workloads today are ever-changing, the virtual workspace is fully elastic, and as permissions are often space-dependent, further developments will support these very specific demands. For example, at the end of the year finance departments require sensitive HR data to calculate the bonus payout for every employee of an organization. With SAP Datasphere Spaces, you can create a separate secured area for HR to share data with finance to calculate the bonus payouts — with no movement or copying of sensitive required.

SAP Datasphere Marketplace has been enhanced to make it even easier to leverage external industry data to support business-relevant use cases and data democratization initiatives via internal data markets. SAP Datasphere Marketplace today offers more than 3,000 datasets, including sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data products from Connect Hub, public data sources from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and Eurostat. The intelligent lookup feature in SAP Datasphere brings together disparate and non-changeable datasets, so that organizations can enrich their internal datasets with externally available third-party data with just a few clicks. Within SAP Datasphere Marketplace, you benefit from access-control mechanisms that manage who can read which dataset. This helps ensure secure and governed data exchange for B2B networks with which data professionals can create new, objective KPIs and processes built over public, shared data sets.

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Simplify the Data Landscape

With SAP Datasphere, the capabilities of SAP BW bridge will be augmented to help leverage current investments in SAP BW and SAP BW/4HANA and sustain your current access to SAP data with ABAP level extractors, staging data, and understanding of SAP data and relationships. You can use existing SAP BW functionality and skills to move 70 to 80% of your existing SAP BW and SAP BW/4HANA artifacts into SAP Datasphere.

In addition, our upcoming application integration features will allow business teams to leverage pre-built business models and content packages. These accelerate the onboarding of data and metadata from SAP business applications to SAP Datasphere, with business context and logic preserved.

Existing SAP S/4HANA customers can sign up here to:

  • Get a sneak peek and demo of the new application integration features in SAP Datasphere
  • Share feedback directly with the SAP Datasphere product management team
  • Stay up to date with the latest news and road map items around SAP Datasphere

Delivering a Business Data Fabric

SAP Datasphere, and its open data ecosystem, is the technology foundation that enables a business data fabric. This is a data management architecture that simplifies the delivery of an integrated, semantically rich data layer over underlying data landscapes to provide seamless and scalable access to data without duplication. It’s not a rip-and-replace model, but is intended to connect, rather than solely move, data using data and metadata. A business data fabric equips any organization to deliver meaningful data to every data consumer — with business context and logic intact. As organizations require accurate data that is quickly available and described with business-friendly terms, this approach enables data professionals to permeate the clarity that business semantics provide throughout every use case.

For organizations, the value of the business data fabric is the simplified delivery of authoritative data, in business terms, to consumers across highly distributed data landscapes. It unleashes the rapid creation of intelligent data applications and quick spin-up of new analytics and planning projects, so organizations can derive more business value from data assets.

Building a Powerful Open Data Ecosystem Around SAP Datasphere

SAP is also partnering with an open ecosystem of leading technology vendors seeking to alleviate organizations’ need to simplify, integrate, secure, and govern the data landscape. The first set of open data partners providing core components of the value the business data fabric delivers include Databricks, Collibra, Confluent, and DataRobot. Together, we will work to champion and strengthen SAP’s business data fabric as a new industry standard for an interoperable data strategy.

Each of these strategic partners brings the unique strengths of their ecosystems:

  • Databricks and SAP will deliver bi-directional integration between SAP Datasphere—with SAP data’s complete business context—with its Data Lakehouse platform on any cloud platform
  • Collibra and SAP will start by integrating their data catalogs to future-proof data governance, privacy, and compliance initiatives for every organization.
  • Confluent will enable data in motion with real-time streaming data from/to SAP Datasphere
  • And finally, DataRobot will allow any organization to build powerful custom machine learning models on top of SAP Datasphere and bring results directly into their business data fabric
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SAP Datasphere represents the tailored integration point for all partners, enabling customers to connect, unify, and distribute SAP and non-SAP data unlike ever before. With the support of some of the world’s most renowned advisory firms, such Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte, EY, IBM, and PwC, every organization can enable a business data fabric that delivers meaningful data to their data consumers.

We welcome all partners to join us in our mission of empowering customers to unleash the power of business data.

Get Started with SAP Datasphere Today

Start your journey today to unleash the power of business data across your data landscape with SAP Datasphere.

Juergen Mueller is CTO and a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.