SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

3157462 - Time dimension from a live BW data source appear to be treated as string dimension in SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC)


The symptoms include (but are not limited to) the following common examples:

  1. When sorting a Time dimension in SAC Charts from a live BW data source, the Time dimension shows "Ascending to Descending" in the Sort menu instead of "Earliest to Latest", and sorting exhibits an alphabetic sort on the Time member descriptions.
  2. When creating a Variance on Time in SAC Charts, the dimension does not appear in the drop-down for Version/Time.
  3. When creating a Time Series chart, the Time dimension does not appear in the Time Axis or all levels of the Time dimension are not selectable in this chart type.
  4. When creating Time Range filter, the Time dimension is not selectable or some levels do not appear.


  • SAP Analytics Cloud (Enterprise) 2020.12.10


SAC needs to have the full set of Time dimensions (that are part of the Virtual Time Hierarchy) to be part of the Query definition, either as Navigation Attributes, or as Free-Dimensions (Free Characteristic section of the Query Designer). For example to be able to use Hierarchy 0YEA_MON_DAY, the following are also needed to be part of the query definition: 0CALYEAR, 0CALMONTH and 0CALDAY. SAC requires the type of a dimension to be that of DATS or a reference to 0DATE for it to be treated specially as Time.

If the date dimension has a level-based hierarchy defined correctly this enables the dimension to be treated as Time even in a Flat Representation (including, but not limited for Sort order) rather than a dimension that is ordered alphabetically by member descriptions.

When defining the query definition, the lowest level (i.e., the finest granularity) refers to the dimension on which the hierarchy is defined. For instance, ALL hierarchies under a "Day" dimension should end with the "Day" level. For example 0CALDAY is in the Query definition, then only the Virtual Time Hierarchies that end with Day consumed from the backend. Alternatively, if the hierarchy has a lowest level of granularity at the month level ("0YEA_MON"), then 0CALYEAR and 0CALMONTH would be needed, with the latter representing the lowest level of granularity needed.


In order for SAC to treat a dimension from a live BW data source as Time, the following steps are required:

  1. The BW Virtual Time Hierarchy feature is required with such Hierarchies active in the BW system:
  2. The Information Access Layer (InA) also needs to be able consume the Time dimension as a Level Based Hierarchy, so please ensure that SAP NOTE 2637157 - INA: Support time level hierarchies is implemented as well:

See Also

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