This blog will be focused on integrating SAP functionalities with Power BI. SAP is currently the most used ERP software on the market that offers a centralised system for organisations to manage their operations. across multiple departments (sales, finance, logistics, accounting, etc.)
Despite the fact that SAP has its own cloud platform, it is possible for a client to request a SAP database to be migrated in Azure, or simply imported/queries into Power BI.
Importing data from SAP into Power BI is not as straightforward and importing data from Excel. Depending on the specific type of the SAP system, server and module (SAP HANA, SAP Business One, SAP Business Objects, etc.), certain ODBC drivers, packages and patches must be installed. There are a couple of ways to connect SAP to Power BI via ODBC, SAP HANA Database, SAP Business Warehouse Application Server and SAP Business Warehouse Message Server. To avoid confusion, we need to be completely sure about the type of SAP instance we would like to connect to.
Conceptually, the process of connecting Power BI to SAP, is the following:
Get Data → SAP HANA Database/SAP Business Warehouse Application Server/SAP Business Warehouse Message Server → Provide Username and Password/Server name/Database name depending on the connection type (Windows or Database).
For the connection to be successful, we need to make sure that the HDBODBC driver is installed. This can be found here. After we install this driver, a successful connection to SAP would look like this:
All in all, integrating SAP with Power BI is a powerful solution. It could give your business a more granular view of department data, a better way to visualize it, and more insights. This is far better for management purposes than simply viewing the data in an Excel spreadsheet.