SAP Analytics Cloud - Live access to external data

SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is the standard tool for analysing data, especially in the SAP world. It is often necessary to include additional external data sources in analyses and to integrate and process their data in real-time. This expands the analysis spectrum and can provide new insights for upcoming decisions, but in many cases it is a technical challenge.

With the connection of the SAC to the harmonization layer from denodo, biX Consulting offers a solution which significantly extends the possibility of integrating heterogeneous data sources. The solution also takes the aspects of data governance into particular account, i.e. the use of existing authorization management from SAP BW, no persistence of external data in the SAC, and the possibility of multi-user access.

SAC and R-Server

The SAC offers the possibility to integrate an R-Server and to extend it with own modules. From the R-Server it is in turn possible to access other systems. This access is realised by using suitable drivers such as JDBC.

In this scenario, the R-server performs like a hub function. For example, it is possible to transfer data filters from SAC via the R-Server to the downstream systems. It is also possible to pre-calculate data using statistical methods or to realise complex visualisation.

R-Server and denodo

The denodo data virtualisation platform plays a central role. It controls access to distributed systems and thus enables harmonised access to data by the R-server. For instance, denodo converts external web services into views, which can then be read out of the R-Server using SQL tools. Technically, the R-server and denodo are connected via a LAN connection or via the Internet.

Data supplier for live SAC access

To enable access to the external data with a SAC Live Data Connection, the data from the R-server will be stored in the SAP Business Warehouse. For this purpose, SAP BW can use advanced Data Store Objects (aDSO) to persist the data and uses composite providers and queries to visualise the reports for live access from the SAC.

Via live access, it is possible to execute queries in SAP Business Warehouse (BW) in real time, hence without additional persistence in the cloud. If data in SAP BW is changed, the display elements of the SAC are thus also refreshed.

Multi-user access is enabled by filtering the data on requesting users and using the authorisation system of SAP BW.

Extension of the analysis possibilities in SAC by integrating external data at runtime

Technical requirements

  • R-Server with connection SAC and denodo
  • R-Server module for persisting data
  • R-Server modules for interface interactions


The solution developed by biX Consulting provides a central access point to external and internal data using the denodo infrastructure. No upload of data to SAP cloud is required. The data to be integrated can be requested by the user in SAC. The persistence of the external data and the data harmonised by support of the denodo platform takes place in SAP BW, from where it can be read and visualised in SAC. Multi-user accesses are possible. No further software licences are required for the SAC live connection.


Frank Liebrand
Head of Sales