Where’s My Data?

So you have SAP’s SaaS Learning module and you’re extra happy with it. But now that you’ve moved off premise into the cloud, your shiny business intelligence tool is starving for data. There’s no easy way to pull bulk data out of SAP’s cloud Learning offering available in the user interface, and some of the other out-of-box offerings are problematic:

  • Integration center doesn’t support the Learning module specific data.
  • Reports are clunky and can suffer from performance and size problems as the amount of data you need to pull increases.
  • Things like search result saving is a manual effort.

What do you do?

Enter Data Services

SAP offers data services as a separate contract offering. Data services include “packages” of available tables from the Learning database, which include a significant portion of the database objects. You select the packages with the tables you need for your integration. These objects are then delivered as delimited exported files on a regular basis. 

Typically, you will receive a full export to begin the process and then a daily delta file for each table in the packages you requested. Full exports are then available on a request basis by submitting a ticket to SAP, and they are useful for “truing up” at the end of whatever period may be relevant for your business needs.

Now What Do I Do?

While your specific implementation details will be driven by your in-house technology and business needs, the major steps can be broken down into broad areas as seen below.

  • The Delivery – The files generated by SAP are delivered to your assigned SAP SFTP site. You will need to retrieve them somehow and if relevant, decrypt them.
  • The Consumption – You will then need to get the data into your target system with a tool like Oracle sqlldr or something similar. You may wish to preprocess the data a bit to make sure formatting, delimiters, and the like are suitable for your environment.
  • The Considerations – Keep in mind these are direct exports of data. So if you have carriage returns in your feeds, internationalization of any data, or any other elements that may affect your import, ensure those things are accounted for in your integration plans.

Hopefully the data services options will help prime the pump for any integration, reporting, or business intelligence data issues you may face with your adoption of SAP’s Learning module.

Chris Olive

Chris Olive serves as the Chief Architect for the GP Strategies Enterprise Technology Solutions group. Chris is responsible for the research and development of new technologies in the human resource management space including: integrations, mobile applications, social and informal learning, and knowledge content management. His client experience includes the Boston Scientific, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Chris has a BS in Computer Science and Creative Writing from Loyola College and an MS in Computer Information Systems with a Security concentration from Boston University.

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