What is the Data Marketplace?
With the 2022.02 update, SAP has introduced the “Data Marketplace” in the SAP Datasphere (former Data Warehouse Cloud). This new functional feature makes it possible to easily load external data into the SAP Datasphere. External data in this context refers to data that cannot be extracted from the company’s own systems, but rather comes from external sources (e.g. business partner information for a B2B process or commercial and non-commercial data providers). The Data Marketplace should not be confused with Business Content, which automatically ends up in SAP Content Space. This means that, with the Data Marketplace, only content (i.e. pure data in tables) and no models, such as views, DataFlows or reports, are made available.
The direct integration of the SAP Data Marketplace into the SAP Datasphere means that no APIs are required for connectivity, and no FlatFile uploads to the system are required. Instead, the selected data is loaded directly into the pre-selected Space via Remote Tables.
Various types of resources are offered through the Data Marketplace. In addition to the freely accessible resources, there are also licensed resources, i.e. resources that can only be unlocked with a previously purchased (or otherwise obtained) license, as well as resources that are only unlocked upon request. This enables companies to set up a simple transmission path, either internally or for B2B business processes with external partners. A resource can contain different numbers of tables and data contents. Depending on the type of data and selected setting when subscribing to the resource, it can be loaded once or periodically. Regularly updated resources can be loaded manually by the subscriber. The option to automatically distribute these updates to all consumers of this resource is currently not yet selectable.
At present, the SAP Data Marketplace contains over 2,000 different resources offered by various providers in a wide range of subject areas. Thus, in the search for a suitable resource, several filters can be set on SAP applications (e.g. Analytics, ERP & Finance, etc.), data categories (e.g. health care data or financial and economic data), industries (e.g. healthcare, public sectors, etc.) and other criteria.
Data Consumer in the SAP Data Marketplace
The first step as a data consumer is, of course, to find the right resource for the use case in question. When you select the “Landing Page” menu, a selection of the most popular products and data providers at present is displayed as a suggestion. Using the normal search menu, you can navigate through all the resources offered with the help of the various filter settings.
In this example, we are looking for a resource that provides us with master data information about the ISO codes of countries, so that we can join a table of country names with a table containing only country codes in our SAP Datasphere.
This freely available resource is exactly what we were looking for. When selecting the product, further information, as well as sample data, are displayed.
For publicly available products, the import can be started immediately by clicking the “Load for free” button. In case of a licensed resource or a resource yet to be released, the button is named differently accordingly, and either a license key has to be entered or the corresponding resource has to be requested from the data provider before it can be loaded into the own SAP Datasphere.
After selecting a valid Space in the following screen, in which this resource must not be contained yet, the tables contained there are created and the data is loaded.
The “My Data Products” menu item can be used to track the progress of this installation and also to determine information regarding older installations. Likewise, this menu item provides maintenance and de-installation of all loaded resources from the SAP Data Marketplace.
After successful loading, the tables contained in the product are included in the selected Space, and can be used in the data model.
In addition to the master data on the countries ISO codes just presented, the SAP Data Marketplace offers a large number of other products (approx. 2,400), which cover all possible business areas and provide valuable additional information. Thus, among other things, current information on the Covid-19 pandemic can be integrated into the SAP Datasphere on both a regional and global level.
Likewise, there are already products dedicated to another current topic, CO2 emissions.
In the market and consumer area alone, there are over 100 freely available products that provide different statistics.
Data Provider in the SAP Data Marketplace
In addition to the Data Consumer role, each SAP Datasphere licensee may also serve as a Data Provider. It is irrelevant as to whether this role is taken commercially, for freely available products or as part of a B2B process. Even if you do not have an SAP Datasphere license or do not use the SAP Datasphere for your own data warehousing purposes, SAP offers a licensing model that allows you to act as a data provider in the Data Marketplace. In addition to the data to be provided, the user requires a data provider profile, which contains the contact details, as well as further information about the published product(s) (e.g. for which industry, data categories, etc.). After that, the product listing can be created, which should contain a description of the offered products, the delivery information, as well as the commercial conditions. In addition, release information is maintained for regularly updated products, and license information for products with restricted access.
With the Data Marketplace, SAP has created the possibility to integrate publicly available information into a proprietary data model with a few clicks, without having to perform additional programming tasks or tedious FlatFile uploads. As soon as the automated updates are available, it is ensured that this external information is always up to date. Until then, data updates still have to be imported manually via the Marketplace. In addition to enriching your own reporting, the Marketplace also offers commercial opportunities as a data provider, and provides a simple interface for B2B processes to exchange data securely within or across companies. The ever-growing number of providers and products is a sure indicator that this tool has found its permanent place in the SAP Datasphere, and will continue to play an important role.