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Analyze SAP Data in R

Create data visualizations and use high-performance statistical functions to analyze SAP data in Microsoft R Open.

Access SAP data with pure R script and standard SQL. You can use the CData ODBC Driver for SAP and the RODBC package to work with remote SAP data in R. By using the CData Driver, you are leveraging a driver written for industry-proven standards to access your data in the popular, open-source R language. This article shows how to use the driver to execute SQL queries to SAP data and visualize SAP data in R.

Install R

You can complement the driver's performance gains from multi-threading and managed code by running the multithreaded Microsoft R Open or by running R linked with the BLAS/LAPACK libraries. This article uses Microsoft R Open (MRO).

Connect to SAP as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to SAP follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

You can connect to SAP systems using either librfc32.dll, librfc32u.dll, NetWeaver, or Web Services (SOAP). Set the ConnectionType connection property to CLASSIC (librfc32.dll), CLASSIC_UNICODE (librfc32u.dll), NETWEAVER, or SOAP.

If you are using the SOAP interface, set the Client, RFCUrl, SystemNumber, User, and Password properties, under the Authentication section.

Otherwise, set Host, User, Password, Client, and SystemNumber.

Note: We do not distribute the librfc32.dll or other SAP assemblies. You must find them from your SAP installation and install them on your machine.

For more information, see this guide on obtaining the connection properties needed to connect to any SAP system.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

Windows

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for SAP in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData SAPERP Source] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for SAP Description = My Description Host = sap.mydomain.com User = EXT90033 Password = xxx Client = 800 System Number = 09 ConnectionType = Classic Location = C:\\mysapschemafolder

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Load the RODBC Package

To use the driver, download the RODBC package. In RStudio, click Tools -> Install Packages and enter RODBC in the Packages box.

After installing the RODBC package, the following line loads the package:

library(RODBC)

Note: This article uses RODBC version 1.3-12. Using Microsoft R Open, you can test with the same version, using the checkpoint capabilities of Microsoft's MRAN repository. The checkpoint command enables you to install packages from a snapshot of the CRAN repository, hosted on the MRAN repository. The snapshot taken Jan. 1, 2016 contains version 1.3-12.

library(checkpoint) checkpoint("2016-01-01")

Connect to SAP Data as an ODBC Data Source

You can connect to a DSN in R with the following line:

conn <- odbcConnect("CData SAPERP Source")

Schema Discovery

The driver models SAP APIs as relational tables, views, and stored procedures. Use the following line to retrieve the list of tables:

sqlTables(conn)

Execute SQL Queries

Use the sqlQuery function to execute any SQL query supported by the SAP API.

mara <- sqlQuery(conn, "SELECT MANDT, MBRSH FROM MARA", believeNRows=FALSE, rows_at_time=1)

You can view the results in a data viewer window with the following command:

View(mara)

Plot SAP Data

You can now analyze SAP data with any of the data visualization packages available in the CRAN repository. You can create simple bar plots with the built-in bar plot function:

par(las=2,ps=10,mar=c(5,15,4,2)) barplot(mara$MBRSH, main="SAP MARA", names.arg = mara$MANDT, horiz=TRUE)