Review of the PBS Information Day 2016

Many thanks to all attendees of the annual PBS Information Day! All of you – speakers, customers, partners or participants – contributed very much to the great event success.

For the 25th company anniversary, the event was hosted exactly on the foundation date, the 1st of July, in Bensheim, where PBS had been started. In the pleasant "Alleehotel EUROPA", participants learnt many news about PBS software and had multiple options to discuss all details related to PBS software with peers, PBS partners and developers.
To start the event, founder and CEO Dipl.-Math. Günther Reichling cheerfully welcomed more than 100 attendees who made their way to the anniversary event in Bensheim. In a short review, Mr. Reichling spoke about the beginning of the PBS software development as a start-up in the typical garage company style. After rapid initial success, PBS Software GmbH can now look back to 25 years history of add-on development in the area of SAP data archiving, Information Lifecycle Management, compliant storage and system decommissioning. With its new add-on developments for nearline storage, PBS is very well positioned for future challenges.

Analytical Information Lifecycle Management

In his keynote "Analytical Information Lifecycle Management", Prof. Dr. Detlev Steinbinder gave a short review on the 25-year company history and did not miss to thank all employees, customers and partner companies for the many years of good and fruitful cooperation. After a brief overview on the wide PBS product portfolio, he spoke about the future developments and plans for the next coming years. The alignment of SAP’s strategy towards one database resp. one platform – here SAP S/4HANA and SAP BW on HANA – will have a big influence on respective PBS developments. Especially when migrating to S/4HANA and system decommissioning projects being aligned with this, customers need adequate solutions to control and reduce related operating costs. At the same time, important and valuable application data must be kept fully accessible. PBS is well prepared for such challenges and offers corresponding solutions already today! The analysis of application data independent and outside of SAP systems or without a data warehouse system becomes increasingly important. Within a live demo, Detlev Steinbinder impressingly demonstrated, how PBS solutions extract SAP application data into a nearline database and subsequently this data is analysed by third-party tools such as IBM Cognos or IBM SPSS. Only the rapid analysis of all application data, whether stored in the initial database or an archive, makes such data really usable. Take a look into Steinbinder‘s presentation!

News for Data Management and Data Aging

 "Data Management for the SAP Business Suite and SAP S/4HANA" was the topic for Robert Wassermann, SAP SE. He explained the data aging concept and its implementation for the SAP Business Suite and SAP S/4HANA. Robert highlighted the importance of such concepts to reduce the data footprint and optimize the storage usage in the in-memory platform, SAP HANA. Data archiving is and remains the basis for successful data management , regardless of platform. For further details, please see Robert Wassermann’s presentation.

SAP NLS Update 2016

Roland Kramer, also SAP SE, enhanced the remarks of his colleague with related news of SAP BW. He clearly pointed out that Nearline Storage for SAP BW forms a strong team with SAP IQ and HANA. Also in SAP BW, consistent data lifecycle management is very important, especially for the migration to SAP BW on HANA and the new release level SAP BW 7.50. Roland Kramer presented several SAP BW innovations and stressed that the PBS solution CBW for SAP NLS enhances SAP BW with many important features. Thus: "SAP BW and PBS CBW for SAP NLS – a strong team”.

Back to the Future

 "Back to the future" said Walter Steffen. The integration of historical application data into new SAP landscapes was the centre of his presentation. In a brief overview, Walter pointed out that the challenges have not changed during the 25-year history of PBS – in spite of changing technologies and requirements: The effective analysis of historical and current application data is and remains the dominant issue, especially on the background of technological changes and legal regulations. With dedicated examples from practice, Walter Steffen showed very clearly which tasks need to be addressed by SAP users and how the PBS solutions will help them to address these.

15 Years Cooperation between ComSol and PBS

15 years cooperation (in German only) tie PBS Software GmbH and ComSol AG. Bernd Hellgardt, ComSol AG’s CEO, illustrated in this presentation how an effective Data Management Roadmap looks like. ComSol AG has successfully analysed customer’s SAP landscapes in more than 300 data archiving projects and implemented appropriate PBS solutions in close cooperation with the customer – whether SAP ERP or SAP BW, ADK-based archiving, nearline storage, migration to SAP BW on HANA or S/4HANA. Bernd Hellgardt especially underlined the actual benefit of PBS solutions for his customers.

Data Archiving and Usage of PBS Solutions at SWM

After lunch, Hans Wolferseder of "Stadtwerke München (SWM)”, the largest German municipal utility and one the largest German energy provider, reported on the necessity and benefits of data archiving (in German only). Since 2001, SWM has been running its productive SAP environment. In addition to classical SAP modules, they have been using IS-U for energy providers since 2003 and SAP Business Warehouse. A rapid growth of the database volume had been recognized very early. Rather soon it became obvious that only data archiving and data avoidance would allow reducing and controlling the data volume effectively. However, it is absolutely mandatory to keep retrieval access to archived data to fulfill the various legal requirements. To achieve this, SWM has been using numerous PBS archive add ons, including CISU for the supply industry, CUSTOM for customer-specific objects and CBW for the Business Warehouse – altogether a package covering all requirements. Check Hans Wolferseder’s presentation to see how SWM managed multiple challenges of data archiving successfully with PBS solutions.

New PBS ContentLink Developments

Subsequently, Gernot Reichling presented some news on the PBS ContentLink development under the topic "Compliant archiving on-premise or in the cloud". He also gave an overview on features and functions of PBS ContentLink, the interface solution to connect SAP systems with compliant storage platforms. He emphasized that PBS ContentLink supports the SAP ArchiveLink protocol as well as the SAP-specific WebDAV 3.0. Retention values can be implemented directly by means of PBS Content Link. The storage of the data and files is realized either on-premise in a certified storage system or directly into a cloud of the major suppliers. The communication between the SAP system, the PBS ContentLink interface and the storage system is encrypted. Additionally, as Gernot Reichling pointed out, encryption is now possible for the data and files themselves. For this, PBS Content Link communicates this with a hardware security module (HSM). Another brand new development is the integration of PBS ContentLink with Hadoop.

PBS CBW NLS in Practice

In the last presentation of this year's Information Day, Stefan Weickum addressed "Tips for efficient use of CBW NLS". He informed about the PBS CBW product range, demonstrating both the core functions and specifial features of the PBS-individual components. Moreover, he introduced two brand-new developments, the Data Transfer Cockpit and the Straggler Management, which both extend the PBS CBW NLS functionality significantly. In a practical example, he clearly showed how the query performance can be accelerated many times by the PBS-specific snapshot technique for master data and hierarchies.