Data Federation with SAP Asset Intelligence Network

With each day, the amount of data generated and consumed by organizations is increasing rapidly. At the same time, the need to view data with a single interface is becoming very important for organizations to derive sense out of it and build their products based on the result that their analytic strategies provide. Data Federation in general provides this unified view using data virtualization.

Some key benefits of data federation include:

–  Eliminating security challenges in providing access to multiple users across multiple systems.

–  Allows agility in terms of real time information access

–  Enables easy compliance to data strategies and restrictions.

In this blog post, I will discuss how SAP Asset Intelligence Network enables business partners on various data centers connect and collaborate using data federation.

Building on data federation’s benefits, SAP Asset Intelligence Network allows you to connect and collaborate with business partners on other data centers, in addition to your data center. Without data federation, you cannot view business partners with whom you can potentially collaborate if they are on a different data center than you. SAP Asset Intelligence Network seeks your consent to federate data across data centers located in different geographical locations. Depending on your consent preferences, you can collaborate and share data with the business partners on various data centers.

Providing%20data%20federation%20consent%20using%20the%20Application%20Settings%20app

Providing data federation consent using the Application Settings app

Source%20Data%20Center%20column%20to%20identify%20the%20data%20center%20of%20the%20Business%20Partner

Source Data Center column to identify the data center of a Business Partner

Once consent is provided, data is replicated from your source data center to the consented data centers. After the initial replication, any updates to the objects trigger replication across data centers. To understand this further, let us consider a business scenario where there are 2 business partners on two different data centers: BP1 on DC1 and BP2 on DC2.

BP1 has certain models, attribute groups and attributes that needs to be shared with BP2. Since they are on different data centers, to establish a connection, BP1 must provide data federation consent to DC2 and BP2 must provide data federation consent to DC1. Once consent is provided, BP1 establishes a connection with BP2. After BP1 and BP2 are connected, BP1 can share the required data with BP2. It is important to note that sharing the data is a prerequisite for data federation. A business partner may choose not to share certain data with other business partners. Hence, only when an object is explicitly shared, data federation happens.

When sharing objects with business partners,

  1. The data is shared with Read privileges. Even if BP1 shares the data with Write privileges, BP2 can access it only with Read privileges.
  2. Both the parent and child data are replicated. For example, when sharing a model template with specific attribute groups and attributes, both the parent and child attribute groups and attributes are federated across data centers.
  3. Once shared, any updates to the object gets federated automatically since data is already shared. However, if you add a new child to the parent object that is shared, you need to edit the share settings and share the new child objects explicitly in the source data center.

The objects that are currently supported for data federation are Business Partners, Models, Templates, and Documents.

In conclusion, SAP Asset Intelligence Network uses data federation to connect stakeholders and enables business operations across geographical locations. If you wish to know more about data federation in SAP Asset Intelligence Network and learn about the limitations of data federation, refer the latest version of the Application Help for SAP Asset Intelligence Network.

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