SAP BW4HANA Overview

SAP BW4HANA is the #5 ranked solution in our list of top Data Warehouse tools. It is most often compared to Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics: SAP BW4HANA vs Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics

What is SAP BW4HANA?

Streamline processes and support innovations with a single, trusted source for real-time insights. Based on SAP HANA, our next-generation data warehouse solution can help you capitalize on the full value of all your data from SAP applications or third-party solutions, as well as unstructured, geospatial, or Hadoop-based.

SAP BW4HANA is also known as SAP BW/4HANA.

SAP BW4HANA Buyer's Guide

Download the SAP BW4HANA Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2021

SAP BW4HANA Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about SAP BW4HANA pricing:
  • "We started as early birds from the SAP side. We got this entire suite for free. I cannot really talk about the price because we didn't have to pay anything."
  • "This is an expensive solution and there are costs in addition to the standard licensing fees."

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HW
Head of Enterprise Reporting & Analytics at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Good capabilities, direct approach, and the right reporting tool for SAP companies

Pros and Cons

  • "Its direct approach is the most valuable. You get more real time and capabilities than BW."
  • "They have taken out a few BW functionalities when they redesigned this. The way of multi-dimensional thinking and star schema got a little bit lost. It may be because of the cost, but certain functionalities that were previously implemented from the BW side should come back again in the whole product. It is a young product. It is version 2.0. In time, I'm pretty sure they will come back again because otherwise, it limits the potential of the product, and I have to do a lot of modeling towards that direction. For me, the analytics focus is too much. It is not cube-oriented in that way, so its functionality is limited. It is not really technically limited in the back end; it is more limited in the front end. It has a data-mining mindset for SQL developers. The navigational attributes should be easy. It needs to be built in models. I see the data mark cube or understanding that the composite provider needs to be models in a cube coming back. The multi-dimensional star schema approach and the reporting need to be done as well as possible to leverage the star scheme below. This is definitely not understood by many consultants and even composite providers for star schema. They always think in terms of flat tables, which is limiting. You need to build the right dimensions, objects, and so on. If you can build this in BW4HANA, then you have this understanding that BW4HANA is not forcing you in this direction, but it should force you a bit better in this direction. Maybe a few elements which were in use in BW should come back again. It would help the community to determine the direction to build on the cube. You can have maybe 50 elements, and then you can expand it to what you need by leveraging navigation. So far, this functionality is a little bit limited in the tool, and it is not thought through, but I think it will come. They should also be adding more capabilities for the transformation between different objects. In BW, this is currently limited, especially towards composite providers. It is a bit complex basically in the building. You have to have a lot of knowledge as well as know how to do it better because it is a bit different from BW. There is not too much expertise currently in the consulting markets. Many are trying to build something, but it may be based on their knowledge of what they have from the BW and HANA side. You have to find the right mix from both of them at this time. We also have HANA Native. These are our two different sync sources basically, and we have approaches to connect nicely, but it is hard to manage your team because a lot of coaching is required."

What other advice do I have?

It makes sense for all enterprise companies that currently have BW in place to move over because BW4HANA has more reasonable performance, and it helps you in getting reporting. An enterprise can manage the reporting on this one product. In my previous company, I had to do and review reporting for end-users at the aggregated management level, not only at the transactional level. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten. It is definitely an eight for reporting low and high at the management level as compared to others, but it is also dependent on the design. I had to provide and I still…
PN
Manager for BI at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Good technical support but the reporting performance is very poor

What is our primary use case?

We are currently using the on-premise deployment model. We have just started implementation for normal usage.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is that it's robust."
  • "I cannot integrate it with my other tools. It's not possible to do something in the predictive analysis. Mobile reporting is also not available."

What other advice do I have?

It's a good solution if you're integrating data from SAP software like ERP and looking out for the day-to-day reporting from the operational users at the lower level. If someone is looking for the quick, graphical reports and mobile availability then this is not the right solution for that. From an analytical perspective, I would rate it a two out of ten but from the business warehouse perspective, I would rate it a five. From an analytical perspective, I would rate it two because it's not competent in the current scenario of the market. The reports take a huge amount of time because it just…
Learn what your peers think about SAP BW4HANA. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2021.
501,499 professionals have used our research since 2012.
FS
Director with self employed
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Has good processes and offers many features that you can't get on-prem

Pros and Cons

  • "The processes are the most valuable aspect of this solution."

    What other advice do I have?

    Thinking of the business people, independent of the tool, it could be state-of-the-art, it depends on the business people. Business people think that in order to run a business as usual, then they don't care about what you need to do in order to get them right. You could have a very fancy application but if the data is wrong, it doesn't have the right data quality, the right quality shape then no matter what, it won't work. Take the business people onboard and second, run data quality workshops just to be sure that everything that is put into the tool is clean. I would rate it an eight and a…
    SA
    Lead Consultant at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    User-friendly and flexible with lots of standard features, but it needs to be more customizable

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a solution provider and this is one of the solutions that we implement for our customers. We primarily use this solution for data warehousing and reporting.

    Pros and Cons

    • "Out of the box, this solution has a lot of standard features."
    • "Connecting multiple sources is a challenge because you have to go through a lot of different setups."

    What other advice do I have?

    SAP is introducing a lot of new features and making this product even more flexible. The suitability of this solution depends on how big the business is and how much they want to invest in data warehousing. The effectiveness will vary from customer to customer. For example, I don't think that it is a good solution for small or medium-sized businesses because it is very costly. It involves a lot of maintenance costs and a lot of expertise. For a big customer, who is SAP-centric, with lots of SAP data or SAP business processes, this is one of the best data warehousing solutions. Rating a product…
    RM
    SAP Technical Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Good reporting, well-suited for medium to large-sized organizations

    What is our primary use case?

    We are a solution provider and this is one of the products that we implement for our clients.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable features are the speed of reporting and the HANA database."
    • "It takes too long to escalate problems from the first level of support."

    What other advice do I have?

    This is a good product and one that I recommend implementing. As we look at the information we have for the cloud solution, it would be helpful to have something more clear from the vendor in terms of strategy. More information on the direction of the data warehouse solutions, going forward, would be helpful. Today, there is a market for HANA both on-premises and in the cloud, but the data warehouse cloud solution that is coming up is quite different. I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.
    SP
    SAP Enterprise Services Specialist at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    Stable, scalable and easy to maintain

    What is our primary use case?

    The solution is used for the reporting on various dashboards for analytical purposes.

    Pros and Cons

    • "The solution is easier to maintain than traditional SAP products."
    • "The solution does occasionally get a few bugs, but this is typical for any product."

    What other advice do I have?

    We are SAP partners. The solution is deployed on a scale-out environment, which involves five nodes of 1TB each. We have four worker nodes and one standby node. I'm not the consumer of this product. I'm an administrator of it. I'm basically supporting this project but I'm not the actual customer. I would definitely recommend the solution. It is the way forward if an organization is already in the SAP ecosystem. It's good to adapt to it sooner rather than later. I would definitely advise companies to implement it. I would rate the solution nine out of ten.
    NM
    IT Director at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Used for ERP with good financial costing and material management features

    What is our primary use case?

    The primary use case of this solution is for our ERP purposes.

    Pros and Cons

    • "From an ERP point of view and a functionality point of view, it works very well. The benefits are in that of financial costing and material management."
    • "In the next release, I would like to see their BI component introduced with a mobile version, as it is not currently present."

    What other advice do I have?

    I would look at the Cloud option. Although the Cloud is not mature enough at this time, people who are planning to deploy this solution perhaps a year down the road may benefit from it. The Cloud may be something they would want to consider. I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.
    JY
    Deputy Manager with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Calculates big data and has predictive analysis memory

    What is our primary use case?

    1.We use it to generate operational analysis for our internal operations, for example, HR analysis, financial analysis, etc. 2.We use SAP BW4HANA to calculate data and feed to Tableau / SAP BO to visualize data.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It can calculate data in detail. Before we could not calculate financial documents and accountant documents in detail, we could not do it at a document level but now we can. This is the most important feature. It also has predictive analysis memory."
    • "Not a ten because it's expensive and its ecosystem is not very open."

    What other advice do I have?

    I would recommend SAP BW/4HANA. I would rate it an eight out of ten. Not a ten because it's expensive and its ecosystem is not very open.
    See 3 more SAP BW4HANA Reviews
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    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free SAP BW4HANA Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.