Marco Kretschmann
Author: Marco Kretschmann

Delta - efficient data extraction at the push of a button

For comprehensive analyses of SAP data, data extraction alone often takes several hours or days. Those who regularly generate the same reports can save a lot of time by using delta data extraction. We explain what is behind the technology and how dab users can use it.   

(Not only) A Must for Continuous Monitoring 

Analyses should affect the performance of the ERP system to a minimum. However, the extraction of larger SAP tables in particular can lead to disruptive delays in operation. 

SAP tables whose extraction is particularly resource-intensive:

  • Double payments
  • Master data changes
  • Sales price & conditions analysis
  • GL Entry Testing

This becomes a particular problem for recurring analyses such as those performed in Continuous Monitoring. Here, the delta download can reduce the amount of data to be extracted to a minimum. If you want to track payments without business partners or payments to critical countries on a regular basis, without the delta option you would have to extract the full SAP tables for each analysis, even though a small percentage of the data records may have changed from one month to the next. With the delta download, you extract only the difference in the data - which significantly speeds up the extraction process.

Challenges of manual delta extraction

However, many analysis applications do not support delta extraction as a standard feature. While manual programming of such extraction logic is possible, it requires know-how and cannot be implemented "just like that". This is because in order for the correct data to be recognized as a difference, the system must detect four types of changes: 

  • New data records added (e.g., addition of new documents or entries in change tables)
  • Moved data records (e.g., moving a transaction row from the open items table to the cleared items table)
  • Changed data records (e.g. editing existing documents or master data)
  • Deleted data records (e.g. deletion of sales documents)

Depending on these use cases, different logics have to be programmed for this. An universally valid extraction logic does not exist. 

Another complicating factor is that some data records do not contain time stamps and their chronological classification must be determined by checking related SAP tables. Those who do not know exactly how to proceed here run the risk of including errors in the logic.This is particularly problematic, as the inconsistencies are no longer noticeable in further processing and the end user would not immediately recognize the falsified analysis results as such.

dab and Delta: The right logic at the push of a button

Until now, we at dab have developed individual delta logics for our customers on request, so that users did not have to work out the extraction logic themselves. However, the time and cost required for this is relatively high.

From now on, customers will benefit from delta extraction at the push of a button. For dab:neXus, we will offer delta download as an integrated add-on package in the future. You can activate the function with just a few clicks, and without having to acquire in-depth SAP know-how yourself. The delta package feature is one of the simplest, but most effective measures to reduce data extraction time and speed up analysis processes and that without compromising the quality of the results. 

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