SAP BPC - Overview


SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) tool is used to support all operational and financial activities in an organization. SAP BPC helps in automating and streamlining business forecast, planning, and consolidation activities in your organization.

SAP BPC supports two types of migration - SAP NetWeaver and Microsoft Excel. BPC with Microsoft version enables you to perform modeling, application maintenance, importing data and applying transformations, creating scripts, etc. It leverages the power of MS Excel and provides the user with an Enterprise Power Management (EPM) solution, collaborative tool with robust, readily accepted environment.

SAP BPC provides support for existing Microsoft functionality and various enhancement features like drag and drop report builder, etc.

Following are the key benefits provided by SAP BPC −

  • It allows the user to make better business decisions by supporting What-If analysis and allows you to perform scenario-based planning.

  • It allows you to collaborate data and thus increase accuracy in business planning and accountability.

  • It helps in aligning your plans with strategic goals and hence decrease the cycle time.

  • You have an option to choose the version of SAP NetWeaver or Microsoft Platform.

Following are the key benefits that can be achieved by using BPC −

  • Business Forecasting
  • Analytical Reporting and Analysis
  • Budget Planning
  • Predictive Analysis and Recommendations
  • Improve Compliance
  • Consolidation
  • Business Process Flows and Smooth Collaboration

What is EPM?

SAP Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) allows your organization to improve its financial and operational performance management. SAP EPM supports various functionalities with SAP Business Planning and Consolidation - BPC-NW or BPC-MS, like financial consolidation, financial information management, supply chain performance management, strategy management and many more areas.

SAP BPC NetWeaver vs BPC MS

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation NW version is based on the functionality of NetWeaver platform. This is built on NetWeaver HTML5 and supports various user environment capabilities. It also provides various prebuilt components to reuse in different applications.

SAP BPC NW version supports RESTful connection to ABAP backend component and provides regular access to user interface. It also supports client-side logging capabilities.

The following table illustrates the name of the platform and the supported components −

Client Microsoft Windows Vista 32 bit and 64 bit, MS windows 7 32 bit and 64 bit Window Server 2003, 2008 and 2008 R2 terminal server 32 bit and 64 bit Microsoft Office 2007, 2010 and 2013 Internet Explorer 9.0 and 10.0 Mozilla Firefox 17 and higher Apple Safari for iPad IOS7 and upper versions
NetWeaver Application Server Any OS supported by NetWeaver SAP NetWeaver 7.4. Refer PAM for supported database

SAP BPC for NetWeaver provides various advantages since it is integrated with BW system and allows you to store data in InfoCubes.

Some key advantages of using SAP BPC with NW system are −

Star Schema for Exceptional Reporting − SAP BPC uses NW InfoCubes to store the data. The dimension model used is extended star schema so it makes BPC with NW system and exceptional system for reporting.

No Database Dependence Version − BPC NW version is not dependent on database version and can run common databases like DB2, Oracle, SQL Server, etc.

BW Accelerator Support − SAP NetWeaver BW accelerator tool is an additional feature that can be used to enhance the performance of reporting in the system, even if you are using large datasets. It indirectly helps in saving the cost for a company as less number of performance issues are reported.

BAdI Development and ABAP Support − SAP BPC with NetWeaver allows you to use ABAP programming to develop K2 script logic. It enables to create business add-in BAdi interface in the back-end system, which can be called later from script logic developed in BPC system.

It helps in solving the complex business requirements and to reduce the development time for an organization.

Some key advantages of using SAP BPC MS are −

Apart from common features provided in BPC like currency translation, allocations, validation and account transformations, automatic adjustments and carry forward of opening balance, the following features can be achieved in BPC MS version −

  • Dimension Logic − This can be configured in BPC system using simple mathematical formulas.

  • Business Rules − This allows you to create rules in BPC system to perform specific functions.

  • K2 Script Logic − This is used to perform some specific functions which can’t be achieved using out-of-box functionality to meet business requirements. You can create K2 script logics to perform certain functions, which can be performed in a standard system.

Many organizations use MS Excel to manage business planning and consolidation but it has some disadvantages. Following are the disadvantages of using BPC MS over NetWeaver

  • Tough to Manage Excel Spreadsheets − As business planning and consolidation data is stored in the form of spreadsheets, it creates a security issue and an option to control access is by keeping the files on the shared network drive. In SAP BPC, you can save the data in database and this provides security of data.

  • Version Control − To create a new version of data, SAP BPC with NW allows you to maintain the version of data in the system and you can maintain the current data too. While using Excel spreadsheets for data store, you need to name the file with new name every time.

  • Integrity of Spreadsheets − Using spreadsheets make it tough to manage the integrity of the sheets as the same file is accessed by multiple users and it’s tough to find out the latest version of spreadsheet. However, SAP system has a central repository to maintain financial and business planning data.

  • Collaboration − SAP BPC allows you to collaborate data from different users and you can put comments on critical information and Excel doesn’t support collaboration feature.

SAP BPC with NetWeaver Architecture

Requirement − SAP NetWeaver ABAP 7.3 or 7.31

Database − Any of the above version of SAP NetWeaver support.

Operating System − Any supported version of SAP NetWeaver system and database engine.

The following figure shows SAP BPC 10.0 architecture.

SAP BPC Architecture

SAP NetWeaver BW Objects

Difference between SAP BPC v7.5 and v10 is Web Server component. SAP BPC 7.5 NetWeaver uses Microsoft ISS, while BPC 10.0 NW and BPC 10 on HANA use the web server that is part of SAP NetWeaver.

SAP NW 10 is more scalable than SAP NW 7.5 (IIS in 32bit mode) and it simplifies the system topology as no separate Web Server and Network Load Balancing components are required as these were part of BPC 7.5 implementations.

Another difference between the two is version of SAP NetWeaver. SAP BPC 7.5 NW supports SAP NetWeaver 7.01 and 7.02. However, SAP BPC 10 NetWeaver and BPC 10 HANA doesn’t support NW 7.01, 7.02 versions. Also note that NW 7.01 and 7.02 requirements are quite different from SAP NetWeaver 7.3.

It means SAP BPC 7.5 NW systems in many organizations are running on older versions of Operating Systems and RDBMS is not supported by SAP NetWeaver 7.3.

Following are the key NetWeaver BW Objects −

  • InfoObject
  • InfoProvider

SAP BPC Objects

As per the above architecture, following are the key objects in BPC 10.0 −

Client Interface − At the top, you have client interface which is a web-based tool used for configuration and reporting for business planning. It consists of MS Office client, Excel based admin clients, and web-based tool for reporting.

Microsoft-based admin tool is used for configuration of application and Microsoft Office tools such as Word and PowerPoint are used for reporting data.

Web Server and .NET Application Server − This tool uses web services to connect to .NET Application Server. It receives the request from client interface and directs all the requests to ABAP server, which is a part of SAP NetWeaver BW system.

This server is used for data conversion between client tools and SAP NetWeaver BW system.

SAP NetWeaver Application Server − This server is used to process all the requests from client tool. The request from .NET Application server is processed in this server as Remote Function Call RFC. This is used to process requests to create reports or to update the database.

When a request is processed by the Application Server, it gets the data and passes to .NET Application Server, and then sends it back to client interface.

Database Server − This layer is responsible to store all the data in the database. SAP NW back-end system is responsible to create objects and data is stored for BPC system. The NetWeaver supports most of the databases like SQL Server, DB2, Oracle and many more.

Release Strategy

Following are the release notes from SAP for SAP BPC 10.0 −

  • Product Version 10.0, SAP NetWeaver
  • Area CPM-BPC

BPC now supports the following platforms −

  • Server Support − Any operating system that is supported by SAP NetWeaver. VMware support as per SAP standard. Virtualization, VMware, Microsoft, Windows, Hyper-V, XEN, vSphere, IBM, INxHY, KVM, zBX. SAP NetWeaver Support for NW 7.3. No support for older versions.

  • Database Support − BPC supports all database that are supported by SAP NetWeaver system.

  • Client Support − Microsoft Windows, WIN XP (32 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit and 64 bit), and Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit).

  • Microsoft .Net Framework − .Net Framework 3.5 is required.

  • Web Browser Support − BPC supports the web browsers - IE 8.0 and IE 9.0.

  • Microsoft Office Support − Microsoft Office 2007 (32 bit and 64 bit) and Microsoft Office 2010 (32 bit and 64 bit). .NET server is no longer required in latest BPC versions.