A Virtual Data Model (VDM) is a conceptual representation of data that is defined and managed virtually, without the need for physical persistence. In the context of SAP HANA and SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP), a Virtual Data Model is often associated with the creation of analytical or reporting views that are defined and modeled in a virtual layer rather than being stored physically in a database.
Key Characteristics of Virtual Data Models:
VDM provides a logical representation of data structures and relationships, allowing users to create meaningful views without the need for physical data duplication.
Abstraction from Physical Storage:
Unlike traditional data models that require physical storage of data, VDM abstracts the underlying physical storage details. Users can define and manipulate data virtually without being concerned about where the data is stored.
Aggregation and Transformation:
VDM allows for the aggregation and transformation of data in a flexible and dynamic manner. It enables users to define calculations, aggregations, and filters without altering the underlying physical data.
Benefits of Virtual Data Models:
Real-Time Data Access:
VDM enables real-time data access by allowing users to create virtual views that fetch data directly from the source systems. This is especially beneficial for analytical and reporting scenarios where up-to-date information is crucial.
Reduced Data Redundancy:
Since VDM operates without the need for physical data duplication, it helps reduce data redundancy. Users can create different views on the same underlying data without replicating it, leading to better data consistency.
Flexibility and Adaptability:
Virtual Data Models provide flexibility in adapting to changing business requirements. Users can easily create or modify virtual views to meet new reporting or analytical needs without significant changes to the underlying data structures.
VDM allows for centralized modeling of data views. This centralized approach makes it easier to manage and maintain data models, ensuring consistency across different reporting and analytical applications.
Virtual Data Models can contribute to improved performance in scenarios where real-time data access is critical. By avoiding the need to store redundant data, it reduces the overhead associated with data maintenance.
Simplified Data Integration:
VDM simplifies data integration by allowing users to create virtual views that seamlessly integrate data from different source systems. This is particularly advantageous in heterogeneous landscapes with diverse data sources.
Enhanced Data Governance:
With VDM, organizations can enforce data governance policies at the virtual layer, ensuring that data is modeled, accessed, and used in accordance with established governance standards.
Adoption of Modern Architectures:
VDM aligns with modern data architectures, such as data virtualization, and supports the decoupling of data presentation from storage. This aligns well with the principles of agility and scalability in modern data management.
In summary, Virtual Data Models provide a flexible and efficient way to represent and access data in SAP HANA and SAP BTP environments. They contribute to real-time access, reduced redundancy, and improved flexibility in adapting to changing business needs.