How Greene Tweed replicated SAP data to Microsoft Azure


Manufacturing company Greene Tweed needed speedy access to real-time data for efficient data analysis

For more than 150 years, Greene Tweed has developed materials and engineered high-performance solutions for critical applications in the automotive, aerospace, energy, semiconductor, oil and gas, life sciences, defense and other industries. Headquartered in Lansdale, Pennsylvania and active across the world, its products include O-rings, gaskets, other sealing products, coatings and connectors that are designed to cope with extreme temperature and are used in 90{aa282f308afcc222aaa21b0478c79e01a8fedd01972e2180867097bd93930f22} of commercial aircraft. Greene Tweed has been using SAP for more than 20 years and the data it holds is critical to running the whole organization. However, the many different extraction methods used for business reporting were slow, increased system overhead and delivered inconsistent data. As a result, data-driven initiatives they wanted to implement in the future such as AI-enabled operations, drives for efficiency and predictive analytics projects looked doubtful.

There was a need to standardize their data and find extraction methods that ensured those data was always accurate, consistent and trustworthy. “SAP is our single source of truth on almost everything and we only have one instance that runs our environment worldwide. Every time we reach into SAP and pull data we are putting stress on the system,” says David Hufnagle, Manager of Enterprise Data and Analytics, Greene Tweed.

Quick delivery of analytics-ready data

Greene Tweed moved to cloud on Microsoft Azure with Synapse analytics services. Having used Qlik analytics solutions since 2016, the company decided that Qlik Data Integration (QDI) was the best way to replicate their data from SAP to Azure. The QDI platform uses Change Data Capture (CDC) to efficiently analyze source systems like SAP to identify any new changes in the data, then captures only the changes, conforms the data and delivers it to target cloud systems like Azure Synapse. This CDC functionality delivers analytics-ready data from a wide range of sources to data warehouses and lakes, streaming and cloud platforms.

“The big benefit of QDI was the ability to pull data not just from transparent tables in SAP but also from other entities like cluster tables which are really hard to extract out of SAP,” says Hufnagle. “The fact that QDI had the dynamic drive overlay (DDO) and the metadata available to navigate those objects was a big plus.”

Low latency for huge data volumes

Utilizing CDC automation, change data is pulled from SAP to Azure Synapse and loaded every into Greene Tweed’s Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) environment. Seventy-seven million records in more than a hundred tables are replicated using QDI and the longest replication latency is 2.5 minutes.

“The biggest advantage we have seen so far is the times to develop analytics on the data from SAP have been cut to 70{aa282f308afcc222aaa21b0478c79e01a8fedd01972e2180867097bd93930f22} of previous because we do not have to write extracts anymore,” says Hufnagle. “We don’t have to write a logical layer because we have already incorporated that. It’s just a matter of going and grabbing the data. We’re quicker at getting things done because using data extracts from the cloud is faster than from SAP. “As we are rolling into this cloud environment using Qlik Data Integration, it’s all about the ability to use data to drive change through our organization. Qlik and Azure Synapse gives us the tools to do that.”

This article is sponsored by Qlik

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