Basic Interview Questions and Answers
- What is ERP? – ERP is a package with the techniques and concepts for the integrated management of business as a whole, for effective use of management resources, to improve the efficiency of an enterprise. Initially, ERP was targeted for manufacturing industry mainly for planning and managing core business like production and financial market. As the growth and merits of ERP package ERP software is designed for basic process of a company from manufacturing to small shops with a target of integrating information across the company.
- Different types of ERP? – SAP, BAAN, JD Edwards, Oracle Financials, Siebel, PeopleSoft. Among all the ERP’s most of the companies implemented or trying to implement SAP because of number of advantages aver other ERP packages.
- What is SAP? – SAP is the name of the company founded in 1972 under the German name (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) is the leading ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software package.
- Explain the concept of “Business Content” in SAP Business Information Warehouse? – Business Content is a pre-configured set of role and task-relevant information models based on consistent Metadata in the SAP Business Information Warehouse. Business Content provides selected roles within a company with the information they need to carry out their tasks. These information models essentially contain roles, workbooks, queries, InfoSources, InfoCubes, key figures, characteristics, update rules and extractors for SAP R/3, mySAP.com Business Applications and other selected applications.
- Why do you usually choose to implement SAP? – There are number of technical reasons numbers of companies are planning to implement SAP. It’s highly configurable, highly secure data handling, min data redundancy, max data consistency, you can capitalize on economics of sales like purchasing, tight integration-cross function.
- Can BW run without a SAP R/3 implementation? – Certainly. You can run BW without R/3 implementation. You can use pre-defined business content in BW using your non-SAP data. Here you simply need to map the transfer structures associated with BW data sources (InfoCubes, ODS tables) to the inbound data files or use 3rd part tool to connect your flat files and other data sources and load data in BW. Several third party ETL products such as Acta, Infomatica, DataStage and others will have been certified to load data in BW.
- What is IDES? – International Demonstration and Education System. A sample application provided for faster learning and implementation.
- What is WF and its importance? – Business Work Flow: Tool for automatic control and execution of cross-application processes. This involves coordinating the persons involved, the work steps required, the data, which needs to be processed (business objects). The main advantage is reduction in throughput times and the costs involved in managing business processes. Transparency and quality are enhanced by its use.
- What is SAP R/3? – A third generation set of highly integrated software modules that performs common business function based on multinational leading practice. Takes care of any enterprise however diverse in operation, spread over the world. In R/3 system all the three servers like presentation, application server and database server are located at different system.
- What are presentation, application and database servers in SAP R/3? – The application layer of an R/3 System is made up of the application servers and the message server. Application programs in an R/3 System are run on application servers. The application servers communicate with the presentation components, the database, and also with each other, using the message server. All the data are stored in a centralized server. This server is called database server.
- What should be the approach for writing a BDC program? – Convert the legacy system data to a flat file and convert flat file into internal table. Transfer the flat file into sap system called “sap data transfer”. Call transaction(Write the program explicitly) or create sessions (sessions are created and processed ,if success data will transfer).
- Explain open SQL vs native SQL? – ABAP Native SQL allows you to include database-specific SQL statements in an ABAP program. Most ABAP programs containing database-specific SQL statements do not run with different databases. If different databases are involved, use Open SQL. To execute ABAP Native SQL in an ABAP program, use the statement EXEC. Open SQL (Subset of standard SQL statements), allows you to access all database tables available in the R/3 System, regardless of the manufacturer. To avoid conflicts between database tables and to keep ABAP programs independent from the database system used, SAP has generated its own set of SQL statements known as Open SQL.
- What are datasets? – The sequential files (processed on application server) are called datasets. They are used for file handling in SAP.
- What are internal tables check table, value table, and transparent table? – Internal table: It is a standard data type object, which exists only during the runtime of the program. Check table: Check table will be at field level checking. Value table: Value table will be at domain level checking ex: scarr table is check table for carrid. Transparent table: – Exists with the same structure both in dictionary as well as in database exactly with the same data and fields.
- What are the major benefits of reporting with BW over R/3? Would it be sufficient just to Web-enable R/3 Reports? – Performance — Heavy reporting along with regular OLTP transactions can produce a lot of load both on the R/3 and the database (cpu, memory, disks, etc). Just take a look at the load put on your system during a month end, quarter end, or year-end — now imagine that occurring even more frequently. Data analysis — BW uses a Data Warehouse and OLAP concepts for storing and analyzing data, where R/3 was designed for transaction processing. With a lot of work you can get the same analysis out of R/3 but most likely would be easier from a BW.
- How can an ERP such as SAP help a business owner learn more about how business operates? – In order to use an ERP system, a
business person must understand the business processes and how they work together from one functional area to the other. This knowledge gives the student a much deeper understanding of how a business operates. Using SAP as a tool to learn about ERP systems will require that the
people understand the business processes and how they integrate.
- What is the difference between OLAP and Data Mining? – OLAP – On line Analytical processing is a reporting tool configured to understand your database schema ,composition facts and dimensions . By simple point-n-clicking, a user can run any number of canned or user-designed reports without having to know anything of SQL or the schema. Because of that prior configuration, the OLAP engine “builds” and executes the appropriate SQL. Mining is to build the application to specifically look at detailed analyses, often algorithmic; even more often misappropriate called “reporting.
- What is “Extended Star Schema” and how did it emerge? – The Star Schema consists of the Dimension Tables and the Fact Table. The Master Data related tables are kept in separate tables, which has reference to the characteristics in the dimension table(s). These separate tables for master data is termed as the Extended Star Schema.
- Define Meta data, Master data and Transaction data – Meta Data: Data that describes the structure of data or MetaObjects is called Metadata. In other words data about data is known as Meta Data. Master Data: Master data is data that remains unchanged over a long period of time. It contains information that is always needed in the same way. Characteristics can bear master data in BW. With master data you are dealing with attributes, texts or hierarchies. Transaction data: Data relating to the day-to-day transactions is the Transaction data.
- Name some drawbacks of SAP – Interfaces are huge problem, Determine where master data resides, Expensive, very complex, demands highly trained staff, lengthy implementation time.
- What is Bex? – Bex stands for Business Explorer. Bex enables end user to locate reports, view reports, analyze information and can execute queries. The queries in workbook can be saved to there respective roles in the Bex browser. Bex has the following components: Bex Browser, Bex analyzer, Bex Map, Bex Web.
- What are variables? – Variables are parameters of a query that are set in the parameter query definition and are not filled with values until the queries are inserted into workbooks. There are different types of variables which are used in different application: Characteristics variables, Hierarchies and hierarchy node, Texts, Formulas, Processing types, User entry/Default type, Replacement Path.
- What is AWB?. What is its purpose? – AWB stands for Administrator WorkBench. AWB is a tool for controlling, monitoring and maintaining all the processes connected with data staging and processing in the business information warehousing.
- What is the significance of ODS in BIW? – An ODS Object serves to store consolidated and debugged transaction data on a document level (atomic level). It describes a consolidated data set from one or more InfoSources. This dataset can be analyzed with a BEx Query or InfoSet Query. The data of an ODS Object can be updated with a delta update into InfoCubes and/or other ODS Objects in the same system or across systems. In contrast to multi-dimensional data storage with InfoCubes, the data in ODS Objects is stored in transparent, flat database tables.
- What are the different types of source system? – SAP R/3 Source Systems, SAP BW, Flat Files and External Systems.
- What is Extractor? – Extractors is a data retrieval mechanisms in the SAP source system. Which can fill the extract structure of a data source with the data from the SAP source system data sets. The extractor may be able to supply data to more fields than exist in the extract structure.