Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Use Selective Deletion to Substitute InfoCube Characteristic Values

Become familiar with a method for substituting InfoCube characteristic values that avoids a full data reload: selective deletion.

Key Concept

The InfoCube is a model of a specific business scenario, so its content reflects the business environment. From time to time, BW teams are required to adjust an InfoCube’s content to a changed business environment. Substituting characteristic values to update the InfoCube is one such adjustment.

From time to time, BW teams are required to substitute the characteristic values of an InfoCube to adjust content based on a changed business situation. For example, you might have to substitute values caused by changes to the business environment such as a sales manager substitution, changes in product hierarchies, or data inconsistency.

In many cases, users choose to fully reload their data. However, this involves a long InfoCube downtime during which you delete incorrect data and load new data. Then the system recalculates aggregates. The InfoCube is unavailable during this process and the larger the InfoCube, the longer the downtime.

I propose two other approaches for substituting InfoCube characteristic values. The first is substitution with selective deletion. The second is substitution with reverse load, which I’ll explain in my other article in the July/August 2007 BW/BI Expert. In many cases they are much more effective compared to the traditional method.

Most of the routine situations are associated with static data InfoCubes that have been left unchanged for a long time. For instance, a sales budget InfoCube contains target monthly sales key figures for customer managers. The BW team prepares this InfoCube at the beginning of each year and leaves it alone all year. This InfoCube is usually used for plan-fact comparison reports.

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