SAP BW InfoObjects
InfoObjects are absolutely essential to the SAP BI ecosystem. InfoObjects take delivery of source data and throughout the entire ETL process, adjusting and arranging data for its eventual report consumption. The InfoObject is truly the smallest building block in SAP BW. It’s required within all InfoProviders (InfoCubes, DSOs, MultiProviders, Queries, etc…). Picture InfoObjects as tiny Lego blocks that when stacked together, create large lego house (InfoProvider). InfoProviders are made up of InfoObjects and ultimately will be used in queries to report out of BW. You will find five different styles of InfoObjects offered inside the SAP BW landscape.
Types of InfoObjects
Characteristics (Employee, Customer, Material)
Key Figures (Quantity Sold, Amount, Weight)
Time Characteristics (Year, Month, Period, Quarter)
Unit InfoObjects (Currency Unit, Measurement Unit)
Technical Characteristics (Data Load Request ID, Change Run ID, Package ID)
This kind of InfoObject symbolizes a business attribute that you’ll be analyzing. For example: material, customer, or region.
This particular type of InfoObject provides numeric measures of business entities. We employ the use of these to analyze characteristics by weight, quantity, price, amount, etc…
This type of InfoObject houses date information. E.g. fiscal year, month of sale, day of sale, quarter in which something sold.
This type of InfoObject represents what unit of measure a key figure is using. To illustrate, we may be using the metric system to measure weights for our end user, so instead of pounds we will be using kilograms.
SAP internal InfoObjects that accumulate information containing system generated IDs that are used for monitoring and maintenance of the SAP BW platform. For instance, every individual load into SAP BW incorporates a unique request ID that ties back to a unique load so administrators can resolve data quality issues or reject a bad data load.
See if you can spot the InfoObjects that we may use to answer this business question…
ABC Corporation is interested in finding out how much of product x shipped on date x to factory x.
0NAME (ABC Corporation), 0MATERIAL (Product x), 0DATE (Ship date x), 0LOCATION (factory location) would be our characteristics needed
0AMOUNT (Quantity shipped) would be our key figure used to measure the quantity of products shipped
It’s obvious that we would need at a minimum, an InfoProvider that contained the above five InfoObjects. It’s important when modeling in BW to fully understand the business requirements. The majority of those requirements will revolve around InfoObject definitions so you can develop an InfoProvider containing relevant InfoObjects that will create valuable reports which in turn, provide information for the business to make more informed decisions.
SAP delivers a ton of InfoObjects out of the box. These objects reside in BI content (Business Content). BI content is SAPs vision for an out of the box solution to fit business needs. These objects start with ‘0’ and cannot be modified. Quite often, these delivered InfoObjects will not meet your needs for development. So you have the option of using them as a template, or simply creating a custom-made object that will fit your requirements to a tee.
So get out there and start creating some InfoObjects!