What is the difference between data on SAP R/3 and data on SAP Business Information Warehouse or, as it's now called, NetWeaver Business Intelligence?
SAP R/3 is a transactional system and BW (or NetWeaver BI) is a data warehouse system. Data on R/3, which is an online transaction processing (OLTP) system, is used for day-to-day business operations and is highly normalized. BW data is used for analysis, and most of it is aggregated and de-normalized.
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