T2S Blog: Lightning-fast labeling with SAP HANA and One2Label

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HANA is SAP’s in-memory data platform that is deployable on-premise or in the cloud. It is a revolutionary platform that is best suited for performing real-time analytics, and developing and deploying real-time applications. One2Label is one of these real-time applications.

One2Label (O2L) is a centralized web-based data-driven label management solution that connects directly to SAP systems. O2L handles all labeling-related processes and is currently in use in the chemicals and food sector, both characterized by complex regulations and customer-specific label requirements.

One2Label now also supports HANA (S/4). This article explains how One2Label utilizes SAP HANA Core Data Services (CDS) to access SAP data and generates a label using that data. CDS is recent SAP technology that relies on the open standard OData and the SAP Gateway to expose data to applications.

Online connection One2Label – SAP HANA (S/4)

One2Label connects to SAP HANA using the One2Label OData web service. This web service resides in the SAP gateway on the SAP application server and handles all data traffic between One2Label and SAP HANA.

Once One2Label has consumed the appropriate web service methods, it delivers the data elements retrieved from SAP HANA to the rule engine, which takes care of the business logic necessary to generate the label.

Figure:
Schematic view of the real-time data driven SAP HANA /One2Label labeling process.

A practical example:

We would like to create a label for a material that is registered in SAP.

The label should contain the name of the material as well as a barcode representing its EAN number. Both these pieces of information are available in SAP HANA and are exposed by the One2Label OData web service. One2Label accesses the One2Label OData service on SAP HANA and bundles the information before passing it to the rule engine.

Labeling made easy by the rule engine

The rule engine deals with the complexities of creating the label. Based on the label management configuration registered in One2Label, it determines the size of the layout, possible transformations of the information, and the placement of the information on the label canvas.

In our example, after combining this with the data from SAP HANA, the rule engine first creates a label canvas with a specific size, say 100x200mm. It then positions the material name at the location specified by the layout and finally encodes the EAN number into an EAN13 barcode. The obtained information is subsequently passed to the rendering engine, which generates the label output and returns a preview to the user.

Simple adjustments

Because acetone is a hazardous material, we would like to see the required hazard pictograms appear on the label.

Again, the combination of rule engine and data from SAP HANA makes this easy to achieve. All we need to do is to create a rule in One2label that evaluates the “hazardous” status of the material.

Data received from SAP HANA – alone or in combination with data maintained in One2Label itself – tells the rule engine that the material is indeed hazardous, and what hazard pictograms and statements are required on the label. Which results in the label as depicted.

Fast and adaptable label management with SAP HANA and One2Label

This principle of dynamically instructing the rendering engine based on data in SAP HANA can be extended to a virtually unlimited number of scenarios and offers an amazing amount of versatility. It also enables swift and precise modifications to labels.

It is, however, important to realize the drawback of this versatility, if not managed carefully it can lead to complexity. The more data on the label that is dynamically constructed, the more difficult it becomes to understand and determine how the label was created.

Looking for the optimal balance between flexibility and control?

We have developed a standard procedure to determine just that. Analyzing your company’s current processes and labels will tell us what will work for your organization, helping you make the right selection for your labeling needs.

Would you like to know more? Leave your details or call us +31 (0) 180 54 51 51.