The launch of Google Cloud Cortex Framework, a set of reference architectures, packaged services, deployment templates, and accelerators for AI/ML, has enabled organizations to reap the full benefits of cloud innovation and bring about their desired business outcomes while removing much of the hassle and expense associated with complex cloud projects.
Yet, before a company can leverage Cortex Framework, data professionals need to get their business-critical data into a place where it can easily use cloud analytical services — a process that is not without complexity. To ensure a speedy and successful implementation, enterprises will require a solution that can manage complex, high volume data needs, such as Fivetran Local Data Processing – a Google Cloud Cortex Framework foundational partner.
Cortex Framework offers companies the means to begin leveraging data, so they can drive important business decisions without dedicating time, money and their valuable attention into building custom solutions from scratch.
SAP meets the cloud
Not surprisingly, Google Cloud Cortex Framework debuted with a sharp focus on helping businesses expand analytical SAP use cases into Google Cloud. SAP’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is seemingly ubiquitous in business. According to SAP, more than 90% of the world’s 500 largest enterprises rely on the software maker’s ERP to power vital business processes.
The company’s ERP suite has continuously evolved from the era of data centers into the present cloud era, and because of that, as well as its wide applicability and flexibility, managing SAP data can be complex. For example, a current SAP ECC installation features a jaw-dropping 135,000 database tables.
Another significant hurdle is that performing the best data analysis often requires the integration of ERP data with data from a host of different sources, such as marketing, website analytics, IoT, and social media.
Replicating for BigQuery
Local Data Processing, originally branded as HVR when acquired by Fivetran in 2021, simplifies the process of SAP data replication into BigQuery, Google’s fully-managed, serverless warehouse. Local Data Processing automatically creates tables using compatible data types, and both the initial data loading and subsequent incremental updates take advantage of best practices to efficiently process changes without putting a strain on the source database. For example, an out-of-the-box transformation can turn physical deletes in SAP into soft deletes in BigQuery, simplifying downstream processing.
How LDP makes the magic happen
Following an initial one-time extraction of the data, Fivetran Local Data Processing enables teams to keep data in sync by replicating changes asynchronously into the target — with no direct impact on ERP transactions. To accomplish this, LDP employs log-based change data capture (CDC), widely considered to be the least-intrusive method for tracking incremental database changes with no data loss.
For an SAP ERP source, LDP supports:
- Log-based CDC for databases running SAP, including Oracle, IBM DB2 (LUW, iSeries and z/OS), SQL Server, Sybase (SAP ASE) and SAP HANA.
- Decoding of cluster, pool and long-text tables. To minimize the load on the SAP ERP environment, the decoding is performed downstream, with no reliance on SAP ABAP code.
- Full support for custom Z-tables and columns.
- Module-based table selection, with relevant tables listed based on the SAP module.
- Connectivity both through SAP NetWeaver or with direct SQL-level access.
What all this means is that the partnership between Google Cloud Cortex Framework and Fivetran helps organizations speed up business outcomes, reduce hassles and complexities and enable efficiencies that surpass what existing processes allow.
A cloudy future is a bright one
The race to bring about digital transformation will continue to heat up. The cloud has become a critical part of this process, making it one of the most important technological trends in business. Considering that most new analytical environments are deployed in the cloud, moving to the cloud is a key part of being able to leverage data for insight.
Once you’ve used Fivetran Local Data Processing to move SAP data into BigQuery, you can immediately start analyzing the data and surfacing insights leveraging Cortex Framework. Google has equipped BigQuery with the ability to provide large-scale analytics through built-in features like BI and machine learning capabilities.
By providing infinite scalability and combining that with a low-risk, pay-only-for-what-you-use model, BigQuery and Google Cloud Cortex Framework provide an attractive value proposition for companies that want to leverage their SAP data.
Learn more about how Fivetran can help you supercharge your SAP data and achieve broader insights for your business.