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SAP Business Objects Data Services Data Integrator

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 UPDATE: The implications of SAP buying SYBASE: SAP SYBASE

bobiCasually described as "BODI" by the experts or sometimes just "SAP XI", could be nicknamed BODS now as the acronyms evolve. This product has a long history, in the end its just another ETL tool with some useful templates and development features in place and ambition to move towards ETI but the development process remains familiar to those experienced sufficiently with Informatica, AbInitio or IBM DataStage (now called IBM Infosphere DataStage). If you have a large SAP platform in your architecture (rule of thumb footprint > 50% say) then it seems sensible to integrate using this toolset when considering package software for a specialist function. Wading through the plethora of material from SAP and BO; even on the usually wonderful SDN is not an easy task; it has to be said that the marketing stuff and the technical stuff are interleaved. As the native BO products are integrated into the SAP roadmaps and offerings, material becomes very rapidly out of date. 

Here are some links and references useful for those who need to understand this middleware, ETL tool; "whatever". You should be clear what version the site is running and what their plans for this tool are, which roadmap they are following. This reference set is the starter for 10, I will update this page using the comments facility as more material appears relevant or interesting

 BusinessObjects Data Integrator Wikipedia (the History)

 BODI Brochure

 BusinessObjects Data Services XI 3.1 Getting Started Guide

 BODS Videos (from SDN, thus very good)

 SAP BusinessObjects Data Services Blueprints

 SAP BusinessObjects Data Services Designer Guide

 SAP BusinessObjects Data Services Integrator's Guide

 SAP BusinessObjects Data Services Supplement for Oracle Applications

 ETL Project Guidelines

 A RoadMap to Data Integration Success

sap im "Connecting an ETL tool to SAP is difficult. SAP does have a couple of different interfaces but all with their unique pros and cons." This sentence is a quotation from the Business Objects Data Services page on the SAP SDN here fair warning I would say. But as usual with SAP if you do your homework and you know what you are doing, you will find great product which will get the job done. [How many times do I bang the drum on this theme in this blog?] BUT my experience (and that of others I know) is, that Data Integration projects are always more complex than they look and in the context of the business requirement which I focus upon right now (Banking Risk Management), your business customer will have needs from your project (predicated upon downstream as well as upstream feeds) which are beyond your wildest dreams, so be careful, sizing the thing and estimating the development process, even the largest consulting fudge factor might not encompass all of the risk! Here is what SAP said to its partners in summer 2009 were the key risks to a BODI project;-

 

 

  • Under estimating BI project complexity
  • Implementations skills often left to JIT (Just In Time)
  • Un-realistic Expectation setting with project teams as well as with Clients
  • Planning for some SAP/SBO Field Services assistance/knowledge transfer where project teams have little experience on latest Integration practices
  • Historical or pre-acquisition integration issues may still be seen by client as a roadblock
  • Rapid product updates/fixes require regular review/adjustment of best practices

 Other Related Interesting References

 Integrating SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 Tools with SAP NetWeaver

 Ingo Hilgefort on SAP SDN

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