SAP PowerDesigner is known to many as a powerful modeling tool. It plays a central role within SAP Financial Service Data Management (FSDM).

Thus, FSDM’s conceptual and physical data model is delivered in a PowerDesigner project. In addition, customer-specific extensions should be modeled with this tool and the required HANA CDS files generated.

Nevertheless, PowerDesigner is getting a bit long in the tooth. The power of the tool comes with some confusion.

The new kid on the block

With SAP Enterprise Architecture Designer (EAD or EA Designer), SAP offers a new web application that could succeed PowerDesigner. Especially the integration with git and the possibility to model and annotate Calculation Views and Flowgraphs provides an additional feature set for modeling HANA native SQL Data Warehouses.

It is still unclear if and when SAP will use EA Designer in the SAP FSDM context. Therefore, at this point we want to test how an interaction can already succeed at this stage.

First step: Connecting the EA Designer to the PowerDesigner

It is possible to use the SAP EA Designer Repository as PowerDesigner Repository.

First of all, PD and EAD are upgraded to the latest versions. Next, set the JAVA variable in PowerDesigner (and if not already done, also define theWindows PATH to Java\bin\). This should prevent ending up in a “Could not initialize JavaVM” error.

Maintaining the JAVA variables under “General Options

To subsequently connect to the EAD repository, log in with the xs client to the Space where the EAD xsa application was installed. Here the command xs env eadesigner-backend (alternatively use the information in the xsa cockpit retrieve).

Then, in the VCAP_SERVICES node, write down the values for “user”, “password” and “url”.

The next step in PowerDesigner under the menu item Repository – Repository Definitions create a new Connection Profile under the menu item Repository – Repository Definitions.

Property Description
Connection profile name Name for the connection
Directory Adopt proposal
Description Description
Connection type JDBC.
DBMS type SAP HANA.
User name “user” from xsa
JDBC driver class com.sap.db.jdbc.Driver.
JDBC connection URL “url” from xsa
JDBC driver jar files ngdbc.jar.

Connection Profile to EAD in PowerDesigner

Test connection successful !

As a result, you can connect to an EA Designer repository user and password (not the XSA user).

Second step: Loading the SAP FSDM data model into EA Designer

Uploading the FSDM PowerDesigner project to the EAD repository

Load SAP FSDM data model into EA Designer. And wait…. Even if the PowerDesigner seems to crash: After a few attempts and a lot of patience, the project was finally transferred.

The conceptual data model (CDM) is wonderful to view, browse, and reference from other diagrams in EA Designer.

FSDM CDM in the EAD view

However, the physical data model does not provide satisfactory results. The HANA HDI CDS definition of the PowerDesigner project does not seem to be fully compatible with the HANA HDI EA Designer model definition. Objects can be transferred, but the diagrams remain empty.

Customer extensions can also be transferred, but they are not fully compatible either. In addition, the functionality to model them analogous to the PowerDesigner procedure is missing. Here you would have to trick a bit and use the CDS Extensions model natively in the EAD.

The graphical representation of the FSDM PowerDesigner physical data model is not supported.

Third step: “Reverse Engineering” of the SAP FSDM WebIDE Template

Since the results from uploading the physical PowerDesigner project are not satisfactory, we try another approach. In EAD there is a possibility to import WebIDE projects.

To do this, create a new SAP HANA 2.0 HDI diagram in EA Designer and import the files directly from a git repository or via file upload.

“Reverse engineering” of the FSDM project with the CDS files for the physical data model.

A tip on the side: refrain from all memory-intensive operations and be patient….

And indeed, now the physical data model of FSDM is also available in EAD! However, with the catch that the Versioning tables are not correctly assigned.

FSDM PDM

Conclusion

With restrictions it is possible to transfer the SAP FSDM data model definitions of the PowerDesigner projects into the SAP EA Designer. However, satisfactory results cannot be expected without additional effort.

Nevertheless, it remains to be tested to what extent data lineage and governance (FlowGraph in data movement diagrams for ETL routes, inclusion of CalculationView definitions, linking and lineage across different diagram types) are easier to implement with EA Designer.

Dirk Vollmer is a specialist for the architecture and implementation of complex topics in the area of financial services. He combines detailed technical knowledge, business understanding and very good analytical skills in one person.

Dirk Vollmer

ADWEKO Consulting GmbH

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