Transforming Your SAP Data with CDC and Azure Data Factory
Today’s diverse business and organizational needs require bespoke solutions offering extreme agility and flexibility for data-driven companies. Business leaders, data scientists, engineers, and users all want more capability out of their data sources, especially those SAP systems that have become critical for daily operations.
One of the best methods available for transforming your SAP data is through Azure Data Factory (ADF). This allows ETL collection of data sources from various SAP resources and combines them through custom pipelines, activities, data flows, and other actions created using an easy-to-understand graphical user interface (UI).
This eliminates the need for hiring a team of coding experts as ADF offers no-code/low-code solutions anyone on your team, from engineer to stakeholder, can utilize. As long as the overarching diagram of pipelines and various connectors is clear, then the transformation of raw or legacy data can move more efficiently based on this valuable SAP Azure integration resource.
Azure Data Factory Capabilities for SAP Data Integration
One of the key benefits of using ADF for SAP integration is the Change Detection Capture (CDC) feature. This allows two sets of data to reflect any changes in delta – meaning some information may have been updated, inserted into a source, or deleted from a dataset – requiring real-time reflection in the assets.
With the SAP Change Data Capture Connector, SAP systems that use Operational Data Provisioning (ODP) framework will be able to replicate delta and get updates in real-time. This helps support cleaner, more organized data management and governance, ensuring your resources are aligned with oversight and analytical tool formatting.
Creating that architecture does not take a great deal of research, thanks to the useful graphical UI. These specific capabilities, including lookup, copy, and other critical activities are all handled through the SAP Azure integration
Introducing the SAP CDC Linked Service for Azure Data Factory and Azure Synapse Analytic
With this new linked service, ADF provides SAP CDC connectors to:
- SAP BW Open Hub
- SAP Cloud for Customers
- SAP ECC
- SAP HANA
- SAP Table
- And other
These SAP Change Data Capture connectors improve the recording of any inserts, updates, or deletion transactions applied to various data resources. That includes if there is bulk data copying from one resource to another.
This is a massive benefit for modern cloud architectures due to the improved efficiency of moving data across a wider array of sources and applications, all while receiving real-time notifications concerning your assets.
You can then create pipelines outlining these linked services based on connectors and run any data assets through data flows that transform and unify the formatting of such resources for better insight and decision-making downstream. All it takes is a little preparation and setup to get started.
Prerequisites and Set-Up Readiness for SAP Change Data Capture Connector
In order to take advantage of the SAP Azure integration offered through the Azure Data Factory, some initial steps must be completed. This includes:
- Ensuring all SAP systems being utilized have the ODP framework.
- Have your team, engineers, scientists, or other users already familiar with different ADF concepts like integration runtimes, datasets, data flows, triggers, linked services, activities, and pipelines.
- Have a self-hosted integration runtime already set up for the connector to use.
- Get the SAP CDC linked service set up and running.
- Be sure to debut any issues the SAP CDC connector may have by first sending self-hosting integration runtime logs to the team at Microsoft.
- Have already seen or used monitoring of data extractions via SAP systems.
Luckily all of these steps are laid out in detail by Microsoft and include known issues that your team may come across during the prerequisite setup, like extending timeouts when facing large data sets or revolving inconsistent database triggers.
Azure CDC for SAP – Architecture Overview and Key Components
The entire purpose of the SAP Change Data Capture connector is to link SAP and Azure. On the SAP side, you have the SAP ODP that moves through the corresponding API over standard RFC modules to extra complete and raw SAP data based on delta instances.
On the Azure side, the ADF mapping of various data flows allows for complete data transformation supported by activities and pipelines. This ensures the output data is in the correct format you desire according to the needs of your organization, stakeholders, analytical tools, engineers, or other users.
This includes using storage destinations like Azure SQL Databases or Azure Synapse Analytics, and even Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 that collects SAP data compared to non-SAP data from various suites like Office365, Azure Databricks, etc
Essentially you are combining key components like:
- Pipelines – logical groups of the different activities you want to be performed during a task.
- Activities – some form of processing step outlined in your various pipeline(s).
- Datasets – the different types of data structures held within your data stores to reference what you want to be used during your activities.
- Linked Services – as mentioned above, the connection strings to external resources.
- Data Flows – using data transformation logic to ensure any and all data is formatted correctly.
- Integration Runtimes – offering a bridge that connects the various activities with the linked services, providing the compute environment where they are run or dispatched from.
- Triggers – what “sets off” a pipeline execution.
For example, a pipeline set up through the SAP Change Data Capture connector supports activities occurring on linked services. This then produces new data sets, which are, in turn, consumed and retrieved to update data assets.
Getting Started with a Prototype Approach
The beauty of Azure CDC for SAP is that everything is graphical. You don’t need extensive code knowledge to make the SAP data integration flow the way you want. That means attacking this architecture is much easier and can be reworked quickly.
It takes little effort to connect a single linked service and start prototyping a new data management approach. You can utilize a small fraction of your data resources, including false information used purely for the creation of new architecture. This way, many of the bugs, governance concerns, and common mistakes that may crop up during the SAP Azure integration are remedied before the floodgates are opened to more extensive resources.
Then, once you have ironed out the process, the scalability, agility, and flexibility of the system allow your team to quickly onboard more significant quantities of data from multiple connections.
Over time, you’ll receive updated resources allowing for more precise future insights based on the CDC being utilized. Your design is fully scalable, and your corrections and build will ensure proper validation – a significant benefit for data governance and security.
Change detection capture is an excellent resource to add to your data assets and architecture. Using Azure Data Factory and other SAP Azure integration allows your assets to be transformed, cleaned, and put through robust systems without the need for advanced coding knowledge. Everything can be completed using the easy-to-understand graphical interface.
This saves your organization time and money while making you far more agile, providing a competitive advantage now and into the future.