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How to Upload Flat Files

August 14, 2019

Dr. Dorothea Walter Dr. Dorothea Walter
Dorothea is a Solution & Product Marketing Senior Specialist and Instructional Designer at SAP.

Many data warehousing projects use flat files to import data. A flat file is a file that does not contain links to other files or is a non-relational database. It stands on its own, for instance, like a single text-only file. Flat files only serve as a bare means of storing table information, but do not hold any relations between the tables included within them. The most common flat files are .txt and .csv files.

So, how do you upload flat files and create data sets in SAP Data Warehouse Cloud?

1) Once you’ve created a Space, go to the Data Builder.

2) Select Import/Upload File on the top right.

3) You’ll be prompted to select which file you’d like to upload. You can upload files directly from your desktop, for example.

4) A screen with the details of your flat file content will appear. This represents the table columns in your file. For instance, this one shows Product ID, Product, Cost, Amount, and Customer ID.

5) Now, you want to check whether the columns are correctly and smartly defined. For example, the product ID is an integer (INT), while the product itself is a String or VARCHAR (STR).

This step is really important as a preparation for modifying the Semantic Layer during the Data Modeling.

6) After completing this step, you can build a data model. Click New Graphical View.

7) Pull your tables to the data view screen. Model like you would with any other data set. You can join two data sets from flat files, for instance. From here, it’s data modeling as usual…

8) When you now click on OUTPUT and view the Properties, you’ll see that your columns show measures and dimensions. This will help you define what you’ll want to see in the Data Story.

9) For more information on How to Create a Story, click on the link on the Learning site.


Here are some more data types: