Monday, December 22, 2008

InfoObjects - where it all starts

InfoObjects are the smallest pieces in SAP BW puzzle. They are used to describe business information and processes. Typical examples of InfoObjects are: Customer Name, Region, Currency, Revenue, Fiscal year.

There are five types of SAP BW InfoObjects: Key figures, Characteristics, Unit characteristics, Time characteristics, and Technical characteristics.
The following picture illustrates the different InfoObject types and their examples.
InfoObject types

Key figures

Key figures describe numeric information that are reported on in a query. The most popular types of key figures are:
  • Quantity - numeric values with associated unit of measure;
  • Amount - numeric values with associated currency;
  • Date - enable date computation;
  • Time - enable time computations;
  • Number;
  • Integer.


Characteristics describe business objects in BW like products, customers, employee, and attributes like color, material, company code. They enable us to set select criteria during which we display required data.

Unit characteristics

Unit characteristics provide a meaning of key figures values, stores currencies or units of measure (e.g., currency unit, value unit).

Time characteristics

Time characteristics describe time reference of business events. They build the time dimension - obligatory part of InfoCube. The complete time characteristics (clearly assigned to a point in time) provided by SAP: calendar day (0CALDAY), calendar week (0CALWEEK), calendar month (0CALMONTH), calendar quarter (0CALQUARTER), calendar year (0CALYEAR), fiscal year (0FISCYEAR), and fiscal period (0FISCPER). Incomplete time characteristics: CALMONTH2, 0CALQUART1, 0HALFYEAR1, 0WEEKDAY1, 0FISCPER3.

Technical characteristics

Technical characteristics have administrative purposes (e.g., stores request ID, change ID).

InfoObjects catalogs

SAP BW InfoObjects are stored in InfoObjects catalogs, separately Key figures and Characteristics (all types). Usually there are two InfoObjects catalogs (for Key figures and Characteristics) defined for every business context in SAP BW implementation.

Detailed information on particular InfoObject you can find in the Modeling area of the Data Warehousing Workbench (TCode: RSA1 -> Modeling -> InfoObjects).


Anonymous said...

very important material.. thanks uploader... plz keep all the materials required in sap bi/bw..

arbo amodi said...

Thank you soo much, you make me understand InfoObjects easily.

Anonymous said...

Very simple and understandable. Thanks, this helped a lot.

Nrusingha Acharya said...

Excellent Description with example
I had a head ache to under stand this topic, but you made it so easy .

Thanks a lot.