SAP ECC OCF Connector: Install and Configure

Alation Cloud Service Applies to Alation Cloud Service instances of Alation

Customer Managed Applies to customer-managed instances of Alation


Install Alation Rala

Alation will provide the Alation Rala installer and its documentation, including:

  • Getting Started Guide—System requirements and steps to install the product.

  • User Guide—Detailed information on the Alation Rala functionality.

Using the Alation Rala documentation, install Alation Rala on a local machine in your network that can reach your SAP server.


To install and use Alation Rala, you will require the involvement of a team of personnel across your organization. You will need to provide:

  • A Windows machine to install Alation Rala.

  • A database for storing the extracted metadata.

  • Access to SAP for Alation Rala to extract the metadata stored in the data dictionary.

Extract Metadata with Alation Rala

Use Alation Rala to extract the metadata from SAP and export it to JSON files. Make sure that the exported JSON files contain all the metadata that you want to catalog in Alation.

Provide Storage for the Exported Files

Place the exported JSON files onto an available storage system system and provide access to Alation. The storage system you choose to host the files must allow network connectivity to the Alation server. Alation supports Amazon S3, Azure Storage, and Windows SMB as storage options.

Provide Access to Alation


Azure Storage

Grant the account you are using in Alation the read access to the storage container storing the JSON files.

Alation expects the following information to connect:

  • Azure Storage account name

  • Azure Storage key

  • Azure Storage container name

  • Azure Storage folder name

Amazon S3

Create an Amazon S3 user with these permissions:

  • s3:GetObject on the bucket that stores the JSON exports—Required to perform extraction

  • s3:ListBucket on the bucket that stores the JSON exports—Required to perform extraction

  • s3:ListAllMyBuckets—Required to perform the Test Connection check when configuring the connection in Alation

Alation expects the following information to connect:

  • Bucket name

  • Folder prefix

  • User secret access key

  • User access key ID

  • AWS region

Windows SMB

Create a file share user with the Read access to the directories with the JSON exports.

Alation expects the following information to connect:

  • The DNS/IP address of the SMB machine

  • SMB share name

  • Folder name

  • SMB file share user

  • SMB file share password

Configuration in Alation

STEP 1: Install the Connector

Alation On-Prem


Installation of OCF connectors requires Alation Connector Manager to be installed as a prerequisite.

  1. If this has not been done on your instance, install Alation Connector Manager: Install Alation Connector Manager.

  2. Make sure that the OCF connector Zip file that you received from Alation is available on your local machine.

  3. Install the connector on the Connectors Dashboard page using the steps in Manage Connectors.

Alation Cloud Service


If your storage system is Windows SMB, use Alation Agent to connect. Other supported storage systems—Amazon S3 and Azure Storage—do not require Alation Agent.

Using Alation Agent

If connecting with the Alation Agent, create a Support ticket with Alation to ensure that Alation Agent is enabled on your cloud instance and that Alation Connector Manager is up and running. You will receive access to the Alation Customer Portal to download the Alation Agent installer.

To install the connector:

  1. Install Alation Agent using the information in Alation Agent.

  2. Install the OCF connector on Alation Agent.

Connecting Without Alation Agent

On Alation Service Cloud instances, the Alation Connector Manager is available by default.

To install the connector:

  1. Make sure that the OCF connector Zip file that you received from Alation is available on your local machine.

  2. Install the connector on the Connectors Dashboard page using the steps in Manage Connectors.

STEP 2: Create and Configure a New Data Source

In Alation, add a new data source:

  1. Log in to Alation as a Server Admin.

  2. Expand the Apps menu on the right of the main toolbar and select Sources.

  3. On the Sources page, click +Add on the top right of the page and in the list that opens, click Data Source. This will open the Add a Data Source wizard.

  4. On the first screen of the wizard, specify a name for your data source, assign additional Data Source Admins, if necessary, and click the Continue Setup button on the bottom. The Add a Data Source screen will open.

  5. On the Add a Data Source screen, the only field you should populate is Database Type. From the Database Type dropdown, select the connector name. After that you will be navigated to the Settings page of your new data source.


    Agent-based connectors will have the Agent name appended to the connector name.

The name of this connector is SAP ECC Connector.

Access Tab

On the Access tab, set the data source visibility using these options:

  • Public Data Source—The data source will be visible to all users of the catalog.

  • Private Data Source—The data source will be visible to the users allowed access to the data source by Data Source Admins.

You can add new Data Source Admin users in the Data Source Admins section.

General Settings


This section describes configuring settings for credentials and connection information stored in the Alation database. If your organization has configured Azure KeyVault or AWS Secrets Manager to hold such information, the user interface for the General Settings page will change to include the following icons to the right of most options:


By default, the database icon is selected, as shown. In the vault case, instead of the actual credential information, you enter the ID of the secret. See Configure Secrets for OCF Connector Settings for details.

Application Settings

Not applicable to this data source.

Connector Settings

Configure connection to the storage platform where the exported JSON files are available under the appropriate section.

Azure Storage Configuration



Azure Storage Account Name

Specify the Azure Storage account name to connect to Azure Storage from Alation.

Azure Storage Key

Specify the key for your Azure Storage account name for Alation to connect to Azure Storage.

Azure Storage Container Name

Specify the container name.

Azure Storage Folder Name

Specify the folder name that stores the JSON files.

Windows SMB Network Storage Configuration



DNS/IP Address

Specify the IP address of the SMB storage machine.

SMB Share name

Specify the SMB share name.

Folder name

Specify the folder name.

SMB file share user

Specify the SMB file share username.

SMB file share password

Specify the user’s password.

Amazon S3




Specify the bucket name.

Folder Prefix

Specify the folder prefix if using a prefix.

User Access key ID

Specify the access key ID for the S3 user you’re using to connect from Alation.

User Secret Access key

Specify the secret access key.

AWS Region

Specify the AWS region of the account that contains the bucket.

Logging and Extraction Configuration

Select the logging level for the connector logs and save the values by clicking Save in this section. The available log levels are based on the Log4j framework.



Log level

Select the log level to generate logs. The available options are INFO, DEBUG, WARN, TRACE, ERROR, FATAL, ALL.

Obfuscate Literals

Not applicable to this data source.

Test Connection

Under Test Connection, click Test to validate network connectivity.

Metadata Extraction

After providing the connection information, configure extraction on the Metadata Extraction tab.


MDE from an SAP ECC data source will utilize memory resources on the Alation instance relative to the size of the source JSON files to be ingested. During MDE, Alation loads the source asset and relation files to memory for processing. The asset names, asset types, and attribute metadata in the JSON files are mapped onto Alation objects—schema, table, column—and direct lineage data is calculated.

Application Settings

Under Application Settings, you can enable or disable the Raw Metadata Dump or Replay feature.

Enable Raw Metadata Dump or Replay—The options in this drop list can be used to dump the extracted metadata into files in order to debug extraction issues before ingesting metadata into Alation. This feature can be used during testing to intercept issues with MDE. It breaks extraction into two steps:

  • first, the extracted metadata can be dumped into files and viewed

  • second, the metadata from the files can be ingested into Alation.

It is recommended to enable this feature only for MDE debugging purposes. The use of this feature requires access to the backend of the Alation server.

  • Off—Default. Disables Raw Metadata Dump or Replay. Extracted metadata is ingested into Alation.

  • Enable Raw Metadata Dump—Select this option to save the extracted metadata into a folder. The metadata dump will be saved in four files (attribute.dump, function.dump, schema.dump, table.dump) in the folder opt/alation/site/tmp/ inside Alation shell.

  • Enable Ingestion Replay—Select this option to ingest the metadata from the files into Alation.

Selective Extraction

Selective extraction is not supported.

Alation performs full extraction of metadata from the JSON files available on a storage system. Every time you run extraction, Alation overwrites the previously extracted metadata with the metadata in the JSON files that are currently available in the storage folder or bucket.

Automated Extraction

If you wish to automatically update the metadata in the catalog, under Automated and Manual Extraction, enable the Enable Automated Extraction toggle and select the day and time when metadata must be extracted. The metadata extraction will be automatically scheduled to run at the selected day and time.

Incremental extraction is not supported. Every time the scheduled MDE job runs, Alation performs a full extraction from the JSON files, overwriting the previously extracted metadata.

Performing Extraction

Click Run Extraction Now under Automated and Manual Extraction to extract metadata. The status of the extraction action is logged in the Extraction Job Status table at the bottom of the page.


Refer to Troubleshooting.