SAP, OWB and the database
By Jean-Pierre Dijcks on Aug 11, 2008
Forgot to add this to the SAP blog post... while we are doing all this stuff on the SAP system, many people wonder if this only works on SAP on Oracle Database.
The beauty of using ABAP and SAP JCO components is that it does not matter! To OWB it is completely irrelevant what source database is used underneath SAP R/3. It all works outside of the database and there is no SQL being used whatsoever. That makes the solution so nice and so comfortable for SAP administrators. It is all in SAP, adhering to SAP rules and using SAP code.
So whether SAP runs on SQL Server, DB2 or Oracle (or anything else), you can use OWB to extract data from SAP.
Now, if SAP runs on Oracle, and not many people know this, you can treat the system as Oracle as well. So you can do what many (or most) other ETL tools do and go to the SQL layer. Not a problem. However I would recommend not to do this, and any ETL tool that uses SQL to access SAP is destined to become a problem. SQL looks at database tables, not pool and cluster tables. These are SAP constructs, not database constructs. Some of the most important tables in SAP are non-transparent (e.g. pool or cluster). OWB approaches these tables using ABAP so it can extract from them, no problem!