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BusinessObjects BI for SAP

23 Posts authored by: Tammy Powlas



Working with ASUG Headquarters, fellow ASUG volunteers, and some great SAP points of contact like Peter McNulty, I am excited to announce the ASUG Annual Pre-Conference sessions are back, and to quote ESPN's Mike & Mike - "we're back and better than ever".





Here are the details:

Where: Orlando, Florida

When: Monday, June 2nd


For a complete list visit ASUG Preconference Seminars


I hope you join us for this hands-on session:


SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1, SAP BW, and SAP BW on HANA - All in One Day

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) 4.1 is the latest suite release from SAP and offers a broad set of BI tools to choose from. Each tool has its own special focus in the area of reporting and analytics. This full-day, hands-on seminar is a series of activities focused on SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 products in combination with SAP BW, BW on HANA, and SAP ERP. Attendees will learn to use the different products from the SAP BusinessObjects BI suite 4.1 in combination with SAP data.



The session will provide you with hands-on experience for the following products:

Web Intelligence

SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office

SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

SAP Lumira Desktop and SAP Lumira Cloud

SAP Predictive Analysis

SAP BusinessObjects Mobile BI


ASUG has been offering this workshop and direct quotes from past workshops attendees are as follows:


"Great session, really a thorough view to the BOBJ solutions.   Ingo is great presenting information and bringing real life examples"

"Ingo is a rock star professional who knows all things BI"

"Cannot expect more from this day! It was just great!"

"Highly recommended"


If you follow SCN like I do, you know that there are several questions on the above products, and ASUG has assembled a team of experts to help you answer your questions, for a full day.


Could this be you, pictured below?


Photo from previous ASUG pre-con - by SAP photographer


Register today


See you there?

It is hard to believe but this is SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort's 11th book: Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI with SAP NetWeaver (3rd Edition) - SAP PRESS Bookstore. - see New SAP Press Book - Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI with SAP NetWeaver (3rd Edition)


This is the third edition of his first book, Integrating SAP Business Objects XI 3.1 BI Tools with SAP NetWeaver which was released back in 2009.  I recall back in 2009 how impressed I was with his step-by-step instructions and how he tells you what works and what doesn't work.  The same is true for this third edition.


The first edition of the book helped us integrate BusinessObjects XI 3.1 with SAP.  It was a tremendous help with Crystal authorizations with SAP ERP and the other tools.  The second edition of the book helped us upgrade to BI4.0 SP4.  The current book will help you continue this journey to BI4.1.  The second version is listed as a BI Pattern book.


This book is available now from SAP-Press and it covers BI4.1 with SAP BW and ERP.  It also covers newer products including Lumira and Design Studioingo1.


You can buy the book in electronic format or hardback format.  The first book had 258 pages.  This version has more than twice that at 545 pages.  It not only includes all the BI clients but also a chapter on integration with CTS and the NetWeaver portal.


Even if you are an expert in one BI client, I recommend this book to learn how to use all the other BI clients with SAP.  SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office, SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office along with Crystal, Web Intelligence, BusinessObjects Explorer are covered


He covers how to use BusinessObjects Explorer with SAP NetWeaver BW Powered by SAP HANA as well.  How do you create a Universe on top of ERP?  This is covered on page 196 of the book.  I memorized this from the previous version as this is how I learned this.


On SCN, everyday, there are questions about BICS connectivity, especially with SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence - I encourage those on SCN to check out the book.  Ingo has high standards for books, blogs, presentations and this book is no exception.  It was edited by the great Kelly Weaver


Related Information

On a non-SAP note, Ingo volunteers in his spare time for Critter Cares, a charity in Canada that works with mammals. This charity is one of the semi-finalists in a fund-raising campaign so if Ingo has helped you (as he has helped me on numerous occasions) please support Ingo and vote here.


Additionally Ingo his presenting at BI 2014 in March in Orlando > consider registering for this event.  On December 11th he is giving a BI4 / BW on HANA webcast which is open to everyone (EMEA friendly time) - register here.

Patrice Le Bihan presented this ASUG webcast this past week.  Patrice Le Bihan is part of the SAP Analytics Solution Management team and currently responsible for the SBO Analysis products as well as the SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP ERP integration topics.  BI4.1 is in ramp-up.  Note that the usual disclaimer applies that things are subject to change.

The previous blog covered how connect directly to BI ERP What is new with SAP Integration BI4.1 and SAP ERP?


This blog discusses how to connect directly to BW and will be in two parts.  Part 1 was here What is new with SAP Integration BusinessObjects BI4.1 and BW?  Part 2


Web Intelligence on BW…continued


Figure 1: Source: SAP


Figure 1 shows the #TOREFRESH error, which is the message for the user that user had to refresh report again for the back end system to process the calculation – delegated measures.


BI4.1 brings an auto-fresh concept so the user doesn’t have to run report again.  Setting is on the CMC and available application wide.


If you edit the report and bring in measure, get results, and then create a chart and bring a characteristic to measure, in BI4.0 you see #TOREFRESH message but in BI4.1 it will auto-refresh


Figure 2: Source: SAP


Figure 2 shows another message #unavailable.


Unavailable message showed when calculations/formulas on the characteristic but now in BI4.1 it gets resolved, displaying the delegated measure.


This applies to use case of formatting a date, string manipulation.



Figure 3: Source: SAP


If you adjust the context of the calculation as shown in Figure 3 you will still see the #unavailable message and you will need to use a work around.


This applies to use case of formatting a date, string manipulation.



Figure 4: Source: SAP


Figure 4 shows SAP is bringing back the option to build Explorer Info Spaces on OLAP universe (.UNV), which was available in XI 3.1


This applies to use case of formatting a date, string manipulation.



Figure 5: Source: SAP


Figure 5 shows for Analysis, edition for OLAP, they added new functionality to connect more to BEx queries.


This applies to use case of formatting a date, string manipulation.



Figure 6: Source: SAP


Figure 6 shows a UI change when create a Workspace


In BI4.0 you see the list of BEx queries first and the search was in a second tab


For systems that have thousands of BEx queries it could take several seconds


In BI4.1 you start with a search screen so you can search for your BEx query.


Figure 7: Source: SAP

Figure 7 shows key takeaways.  SAP wanted to ease the upgrade path from XI 3.1 to BI4x


Links provided:

Support Matrix for SAP NetWeaver BW

SAP Note 1869560: https://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1869560

Notification of an upcoming planned change around “Expand to Level”

SAP Note 1870192: https://service.sap.com/sap/support/notes/1870192

Question & Answer

Q: We see an increase in making SAP (Source System) data available via universes. Is this connection recommended for quick fix reports or can be used for high data volume standard reporting?

A: It depends on your system and how it is tuned.  ERP reporting is best against small amounts/low volumes of data.‑


Q: Any support for Hierarchies if we go with IDT universe approach using JCO relational relational universes built on cubes/multi-provider for WEBI consumption...

A: It won't have a parent-child hierarchy since it is a relational SQL access - rows‑

Q: What is the difference between design studio and lumira?

A: Design Studio is for professionally authored dashboards / developers while Lumira is for self service/analysts‑


Q: Why Lumira is not supported for BW? when will it be available? what's the technical constraint?

A: Being worked on - it is coming - likely have a phased approach with different connectivity options.


Q: What is the roadmap for BICS to work with Lumira? This is for non HANA BW systems.

A: Answered in previous question - being worked on in a phased approach‑


Q: Analysis OLAP export to Design studio, does the filter panel in the demo comes with every table automatically?

A: It is optional with the crosstab - 4 different analyses - can select each what comes over in export‑


Q: Same question for Explorer. We want BICS for All tools.

A: BICS is internal mechanics, plumbing; BICS on its own doesn't add value...interested in tools


Q: Quickly if you could just let us know, what would be the migration path from BI 4.0 SP 6 to BI 4.1? Is it big or quick?

A: Going from 4.0 to 4.1 is an in-place upgrade‑



Now, for a related  ASUG advertisement


Join ASUG at SAP TechEd


  SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 with SAP BW and SAP ERP – Everything You Need in One Day

   (includes BW on HANA)

  Monday, October 21st

  8:30 am to 5:00 pm

  Cost: $595 ASUG members $695 non-ASUG Members

Join SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort for this pre-conference session.  It includes some exercises with BW on HANA.  Register today

Patrice Le Bihan presented this ASUG webcast this past week.  Patrice Le Bihan is part of the SAP Analytics Solution Management team and currently responsible for the SBO Analysis products as well as the SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP ERP integration topics.  BI4.1 is in ramp-up.  Note that the usual disclaimer applies that things are subject to change.

The previous blog covered how connect directly to BI ERP What is new with SAP Integration BI4.1 and SAP ERP?


This blog discusses how to connect directly to BW and will be in two parts.



Figure 1: Source: SAP


Over a year ago SAP published a statement of direction regarding Dashboarding where SAP will make Dashboards and Design Studio converge.


When it comes to BW, Design Studio is the favored tool.


New functionality for Dashboard 4.1 in BW is direct access to BEx Queries using variable values.



Figure 2: source: SAP


This is not part of the BI4.1 ramp-up but in SP1.  You have the option to bind variable values to cells.



Figure 3: Source: SAP


Web Intelligence improvements include better performance when working with BEx variables, member selection from a hierarchy based on relative depth, and reduction of #TOREFRESH and #UNAVAILABLE errors.


Significant performance improvements include report creation or edit an existing report with Web Intelligence or Crystal Reports for Enterprise on BEx queries, and refresh report with Web Intelligence or Crystal Reports for Enterprise on BEx queries with variables, said Patrice.



Figure 4: Source: SAP


BI4.0 starts with selecting the BEx query, then you see the query panel and this is where the response time can be longer than expected.  The select your objects, build query, click next/run, then it would display the variable screen, set the values, and then get to the report.


Figure 4 shows the changed BI4.1 sequence.  Select the BEx query, next you will see screen with mandatory variables, then see the query panel.  It allows SAP to retrieve the variables differently and less RFC calls to BW.


Figure 4 shows improved response time in BI4.1 but it depends on BW patch level, type of BEx queries, number of objects, hierarchies.



Figure 5: Source: SAP


Figure 5 shows the run-time improvements for Crystal Reports.


Users using reports with variables – when open the report, you are prompted for variables to run the report.


Patrice said they have seen performance improvements.



Figure 6: Source: SAP


In BI4 Web Intelligence, you open the query panel, then the variable screen is shown.


This has changed in BI4.1 with the variable screen shown first.


Figure 6 shows faster improvements on a BW 7.30 system.



Figure 7: Source: SAP


Similar to Crystal Reports, Figure 7 shows Web Intelligence leverages the run-time improvements with BEx Variables in BI4.1



Figure 8: Source: SAP


Another area for improvement is selection of members from a hierarchy.


SAP has added member selection based on relative depth – when you drag a hierarchy on the report – you can choose to select all descendants or only select 1, 2, 3 levels down.



Figure 9: Source: SAP


Figure 9 shows an example of relative depth



Figure 10: Source: SAP



Figure 10 shows the same is true for hierarchy variables; you define how many levels in the hierarchy and at run-time the user decides to run a different hierarchy, the report leverages the same depth



Figure 11: Source: SAP


Figure 11 shows an example of how 3 levels are kept even if a user sets a different hierarchy.


Relative depth to the member selection has been added to BI4.1


To be continued…more in another blog.


Now, for a related  ASUG advertisement


Join ASUG at SAP TechEd



  SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 with SAP BW and SAP ERP – Everything You Need in One Day

   (includes BW on HANA)

  Monday, October 21st

  8:30 am to 5:00 pm

  Cost: $595 ASUG members $695 non-ASUG Members

Join SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort for this pre-conference session.  It includes some exercises with BW on HANA.  Register today


Patrice Le Bihan presented this to ASUG yesterday.  Patrice Le Bihan is part of the SAP Analytics Solution Management team and currently responsible for the SBO Analysis products as well as the SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP ERP integration topics.


BI4.1 is now in ramp-up.  Patrice reviewed how to connect directly to BI ERP.  The second half is how connect to BW (separate blog.



Figure 1: Source: SAP


Figure 1 represents the different connectivity options between the tools, showing direct access.


Lumira Desktop can connect directly to ERP system against ERP InfoSets.



Figure 2: Source: SAP


Figure 2 shows the interface with Lumira using Freehand SQL against the SAP ERP InfoSet.  This is with 1.0.11 Lumira Desktop.


They are working on adding support for SAP queries and ABAP function modules.



Figure 3: Source: SAP


Figure 3 shows authored access, which means you need an UNX universe that will connect to ERP system. It will look like another relational source and add semantics on top of your SAP ERP system.  It exists today in BI4.0 but in BI4.1 has some improvements



Figure 4: Source: SAP


Figure 4 shows in BI4.1 SAP has added join detection.



Figure 5: Source: SAP


Figure 5 shows joins are detected with primary key/foreign key relationships in the data foundation of the Information Design Tool.


The ABAP functions, etc. appear as tables and then you create the business layer.



Figure 6: Source: SAP


Figure 6 shows improvements in Input Columns


Parameters are mapped as input columns.


This exists in BI4.0 but improvements have been made in interface


Figure 6 shows the 3 options to improve the UI


Figure 7: Source: SAP


Figure 7 shows the integrity check will now detect unresolved mandatory input column. If you select a multi-value prompt (not supported) this will be detected.


Figure 8: Source: SAP


Figure 8 shows BI4.1 has support for optional parameters.


Prior to BI4.1 prompts were all mandatory, even if optional in SAP ERP.


Part 2 of this blog will focus on the BW connectivity against BI4.1

SAP’s Ingo Hilgefort provided this ASUG webcast last month and also shared his slides on SCN at An Introduction to SAP BusinessObjects BI4 for SAP BW and SAP ERP


Rather than give notes slide by slide, I am highlighting just a few slides, and including Question & Answer.

  • BI4 with ERP
  • BI4 with BW
  • Question and Answer
  • SAP TechEd /ASUG Promotion


The usual disclaimer applies, things are subject to change.




Figure 1: Source: SAP


Figure 1 shows the connections with BI universes and SAP ERP.  To clarify, the infoSets shown are ERP, not BW infosets.


Today you can connect BI4 universes to ABAP Queries and functions


On the top, most of the BI4 clients can use the universes except Analysis Office, OLAP and Design Studio.



Figure 2: Source: SAP


A second option to connect to SAP ERP data is the transient provider.  Your ERP system has a BI client that you can activate.  You can expose classic infoset as a BI provider and connect with a BEx Query. 


Figure 2 shows that most of the BI tools can leverage the BEx query except BusinessObjects Explorer and Lumira.



Figure 3: Source: SAP


Another option is integration with ABAP List Viewer.


It is a grid control to leverage for the existing ABAP reports inside ERP system, starting with Ehp5 SAP offers SAP integration with Crystal 2011 and ABAP ALV.


Figure 3 shows another option to output in Crystal Reports.  It comes for “free” with Ehp5.



Figure 4: Source: SAP


Figure 4 shows “HANA Live”, providing preconfigured content for HANA reporting.  It provides preconfigured HANA analytical views and BI content on top of analytical views.


SAP BI4 and BW

You can integrate BI4 with Solution Manager, CTS environment, and in combination with ABAP transports.



Figure 5: Source: SAP


Some customers like the universe as they can rename objects but others prefer to connect directly to BEx Query.


BI4 can connect directly to BEx queries without creating a universe.  Ingo said connecting directly to the BEx query gives you the most metadata, hierarchical support, and that is why SAP recommends connecting directly to BEx query.



Figure 6: Source: SAP


Figure 6 shows the option of a multisource universe – it is relational, and connects to the InfoProvider level in BW and not BEx query.


The universe won’t give you access to restricted or calculated key figure.


On the left is the direct access layer, discussed before to connect to BEx query.


The far right points to HANA.


Lumira does not have direct connectivity to BEx query.  Two products that integrate with BW on HANA are Lumira and BusinessObjects Explorer. If you want to use Lumira with BW data the recommended approach is to use BW on HANA, pointing it to an analytical model.


Often customers treat it mutually exclusive and he says they are not mutually exclusive.  Most reports should use BEx query as you want to see hierarchies.  But you might have scenarios where you want to combine BW with something else – ERP, Hadoop or third party data – then you do need a multi-source universe.  Then you do not need to model the data, load the data as the multi-source concept can work and expose it to BI4 layer.


Figure 7: Source: SAP


If you are using BW and new to BI4, Ingo suggests starting with Analysis Office and Analysis OLAP.


The next step is to go to Mobile and mobilizing your data.  This is where Design Studio comes in as it gives you HTML5 as a mobile application.


If you want to expand your BI footprint, and go beyond classical BI scenario – you can use Explorer with Exploration views using Exploration workflows, giving the business user an environment to build their own dashboards.


The next to move beyond classical BI is BW on HANA with products like Predictive Analysis and Lumira.

Question and Answer


Q: Is Lumira an 'in-memory' tool?

A: It is both a desktop tool and a cloud-based tool; SAP HANA can be used as a data source‑


Q: Can it be compared with like Tibco spotfire?

A: If you are comparing the Data Discovery & Visualization - then yes - similar categories‑


Q: I see Crystal Reports connecting directly to ERP (ECC) on the slide. Is that CR-2013 or CR4E..? What method is used for that direct-connection to ERP data..?

A: On the Direct access slide Crystal 2013 connects directly to SAP ERP InfoSets, tables, and functions green dashed line.  Crystal for Enterprise Connects using the transient provider similar to Dashboards, Web Intelligence, etc.‑


Q: Can we create a Universe in BI4 using DSO from BW? What is the workflow?

A: Yes, you can create a universe against an BW InfoProvider (includes DSO) - you can search SCN for the steps or check the help at help.sap.com ‑


Q: Is there any PERFORMANCE improvement (eg. # of Object/Instance Limits) improved by using CTS method - rather than the LCM/PM tool (which has capacity problems)..?

A: LCM needs to generate package, and package is handed over to CTS‑


Q: Will there be a pre-conference day at SBOUC2013..?

A: No, there is no pre-con at BOUC‑


Q: Do you have an instruction using BO LCM to migrate/transport BW Crystal report from DEV to QA to Prod.

A: Yes - go to Install & Admin guides for BI4 - take a look - Crystal for Enterprise.  Crystal 2011 - part of Crystal 2011 documentation‑


Q: Is the direct access to transactional data also possible for CRM, SRM , GTS ?

A: Yes, that is possible - when we talk about CRM is like an ERP box technology-wise. When say we have a universe inside ERP - can be CRM system.‑


Q: What components need to be licenses to use an ABAP function or Infoset in a BI tool?

A: Depends on the tool - if you want to use Crystal 2013/2011 - you would need a license for that, for BI4 - those are different licenses - recommend talking to your account executive‑


Q: So Crystal report saved into SAP BW and transport and publish back to BO environment (as migration process)?  so how LCM can be used in between?  The admin or Crystal report 2011 documentation didn't mention the use of LCM

A: Assume CR 2011 - you are saving reports into BW & transport from BW DEV to BW QA and then to Platform - do not need LCM - but you can still use it - ‑


Q: One of the advantages of using the BEx queries instead of universe was access to hierarchies..what were the others?

A: Huge advantage - all BI tools can use BEx tools - not all BI tools can use universe.  Custom structures are another advantage -‑


Q: To connect a CRM system to universe - what release is necessary?

A: Universe connects back to 46c - so should work with CRM


Q: Regarding the optimum parameters for Sizing, do we have a recommended parameters / any SDN url where we could keep an eye on parameters you just suggested Bridge memory allocation

A: Yes, will include sizing in links to recording- sap.com/bisizing link with the tool and guidance‑


Q: Will it be addressed in future versions to get the ECC tables in the universe to build webi reports? ( No HANA in our case)

A: No exact timeline; aware customers want to talk to universe via tables...consider using classic infoset instead today‑


Q: how the BW connection get configured to point to QA BW for Webi/Universe and Crystal Report if I use LCM to migrate the contents from DEV to QA

A: take a look at concept of overwrites in LCM which you can configure‑



Related links provided by Ingo:

SAP BusinessObjects BI4.x - Comparing interface options to SAP NetWeaver BW & SAP NetWeaver BW on SAP HANA


Best Practices for Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.x with SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) and SAP  ERP


SAP BusinessObjects BI4 - Supported BEx Query Elements


BI Sizing Information:  www.sap.com/bisizing


SAP TechEd / ASUG Promotion


Consider joining Ingo in Las Vegas for an ASUG SAP TechEd Pre-conference session on Monday, October 21st


ALL DAY | HANDS-ON: SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 with SAP BW and SAP ERP – Everything You Need in One Day


It will also include working with BI4.1 on BW and  BW on HANA.  You'll come away with step-by-step instructions on how to use the tools where you work.

On Sunday, ASUG had several pre-conference sessions.  I attended SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort's BI4 Feature Pack 3 Tools in a Day hands-on session.  This session was sold-out, which is even more amazing given it was Mother's Day here in the U.S.  By far this was the best pre-conference session I have ever attended as everything went smoothly.  At the end of the day, attendees gave Ingo a huge applause; one attendee told me that the high quality of Ingo's materials was worth the price of attending.


I want to thank Ingo for doing all of this; his plane the day before was delayed and he did not get to the hotel until 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning (the day of the session).  Next I want to thank SAP's Tamotsu Nagata for assisting Ingo; if there was a question, he was there.  Tamotsu flew in from Japan.  Mike Seblani, SAP, was on hand as well to answer detailed questions about Crystal Reports.


Crystal Reports

First up was Crystal Reports.  Crystal Reports 2011 is an upgrade from Crystal Reports 2008.  Crystal Reports for Enterprise, which comes with the BI4 platform, is a java based tool.  Ingo said with Feature Pack 3, customers should consider Crystal Reports for Enterprise as it allows you to build a universe on top of ECC (InfoSets, ABAP functions, not transparent tables).  A really nice feature of Crystal for Enterprise is the smart guidelines.  Ingo's usual question came up - should you connect to the BEx query or the cube?  One attendee responded with "BEx query, for security".  Crystal Reports 2011 can "talk" to the ECC transparent tables but Crystal Reports for Enterprise Feature Pack 3 cannot.  An attendee asked if Crystal for Enterprise supported zero suppression; it does not but Analysis Office does.


Who designs Crystal Reports?  The answer was usually IT does this.  Discussion ensued around the types of reports for Crystal - highly formatted, financial and balance sheet statements that are static.



Attendees working on their Crystal exercises.


Web Intelligence

Ingo asked "who tried to replace BEx with Web Intelligence?"  A few hands were raised.  Ingo advises attendees not to try this, as Web Intelligence is not a multi-dimensional product.  He said you can use a hierarchy with Web Intelligence but there are limitations.  An attendee wanted to understand the difference for when you would use Web Intelligence over Crystal.  Someone responded that with Crystal, the report consumer is not changing the report.  With Crystal you need to build into the report if you want a consumer to change it (e.g. sort controls).   Web Intelligence is designed so the end user can build and change their own reports.


A discussion also took place surrounding the ability to use multi-source universes in BI4; the key is to link the data in the right way.  Ingo also explained that the universe talks to BW in a relational way so you won't have the calculated key figures, etc.  Ingo also talked about the new BI4 FP3 features such as waterfall charts and being able to assign your own colors.

With BI4 FP3, Web Intelligence can talk to ECC via the universe. BEx query conditions are supported in Web Intelligence which means it gets all the data from the BEx query.  Ingo also talked about the query stripping option to help performance.  Part of the hands-on Web Intelligence exercises was to track changes using a time-dependent hierarchy. 




ASUG Volunteer Joyce Butler during a pre-con break.

Dashboards (Xcelsius)

In BI4, Dashboards can now be audited.  BI4 removed the need for a spreadsheet by having a connection to the semantic layer.


Ingo recommended that everyone take a step back before building a dashboard and check out the Stephen Few books.  Ingo said for those BW BEx Web Application Designer customers who have not moved to BI4 Dashboards should consider SAP Zen, which is an eclipse-based environment for building dashboards (planned beta is June).  Go to http://service.sap.com/roadmap (SMP logon required) to see SAP Roadmaps.


Who builds dashboards?  Mostly IT does this but in some places the business does this as well.


Picture of attendees busy doing their dashboard exercises.



Analysis Office

Analysis Office is the counterpart to BEx Analyzer.  Ingo explained it is a huge step forward in terms of usability.  If you know how to do Excel pivot tables, you can use this tool.  Analysis Office will work against BEx 3.5 or 7.0 queries.  Discussion occurred of how long BEx will stay - BEx query is not going away, and BEx Analyzer was shipped with BW 730.  In response to a question Ingo said you can have multiple queries against a BEx workbook.  You can start a lean deployment of Analysis Office without the BI platform.


On one of Ingo's slides he had a translation of BEx elements to Analysis Office:

BEx                    Analysis Office

Key Figure          Measure

Characteristic     Dimension

Variable               Prompt

Char. Value          Member


BEx Analyzer and Analysis Office can "coexist" but both cannot be active in Excel at the same time.  Since Analysis Office uses the Excel charting engine and Excel does not offer waterfall charts, Analysis Office cannot do waterfall charts either.



Picture of attendees doing their Analysis Office exercises.  Since the tool is easy to use, attendees had very few questions.


Analysis OLAP

Analysis OLAP (sometimes called Analysis Web) is the successor to Voyager.  It has a conditional formatting preview feature and an auto update feature (works like pause refresh in Analysis Office).  The focused analysis feature is new in Feature Pack 3.  It also has a nice export to PDF feature which you can use to print the report.


Last exercise of the day was BusinessObjects Explorer.  During this time, we got to create Exploration Views.  An attendee had downloaded BusinessObjects Explorer to his iPad during class and then got to see his Exploration Views on the iPad which was very impressive.



If you didn't get a chance to attend, consider attending BI2012 in Europe where Ingo will do some hands-on sessions.  Ingo is also doing hands-on sessions at Mastering SAP BI in Australia in August.


I also recommend these BI4 Feature Pack 3 SAP Press books by Ingo Hilgefort:


Reporting and Analysis with SAP BusinessObjects (2nd Edition)


Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.x with SAP NetWeaver

Since January, ASUG Volunteers have reviewed hundreds of abstracts to select for ASUG Annual Conference on their own time.  I am thankful to everyone who took the time to submit abstracts and also grateful to the group of ASUG Volunteers who have worked on this conference.


For the third year in a row, we have produced this ASUG BI Annual Conference Community brochure, to help attendees review and select sessions.  On the first page we have pictures of the volunteers in the ASUG BI Community so you can see the faces of the community.  I neglected to include ASUG Volunteer Sarang Deshpande, who is the Program Chair for the BITI Team's BusinessObjects & Administration SIG, but this year he worked with the BI Community on Annual Conference (my apologies to him). 


In the ASUG BI Community, the content selection was very difficult has we received over 350 abstracts but could only select 50.  Last year's conference we received valuable feedback that we should include more customer stories and I am glad to say that we have done this, featuring content from these companies:


  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Eby-Brown
  • Charmer Sunbelt Group
  • Globe and Mail (Canada)
  • Coca Cola
  • Kellogg's
  • Dell
  • Zausner Foods
  • Dow Corning, and more


Additionally with SAP Hana and BW 730, along with the new BI4, we were fortunate to include SAP submissions from the #SAPRunsSAP team, SAP Product and Solution Management.  The presentations were reviewed by ASUG volunteers to ensure quality content.  Additionally we have three ASUG Community Lounge sessions and nine ASUG Influence Council sessions.


The last few pages include our busy upcoming webcast schedule.  We have tried to include all areas of face to face events, networking, education and influence.  I hope you take advantage of the education and influence sessions coming to ASUG Annual Conference over the next few days.  I hope you check out the brochure today.

Yesterday, April 13th, was the 2nd annual SAP Inside Track Chicago, this year co-located with ASUG Chicago Chapter meeting.  What an amazing turnout we had!  It was great to see the number of people who attended plus high quality of the sessions and the great questions that were asked.


First up, SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort provided a 2 hour hands-on session with Web Intelligence BI4 Feature Pack 3 and Analysis Office.    In this hands-on session, attendees  learned about Query Stripping in Web Intelligence, creating a hierarchical Web Intelligence report with BEx query as a data source,  data tracking and more about Analysis Office.


At the same time, SAP Mentor Thomas Jung provided a SAP Hana lecture session to a packed room.



Attendees are rapt in attention, listening to SAP Mentor Thomas Jung talk about SAP Hana.


We had an Ask the BI Expert Town Hall with Ingo Hilgefort where attendees asked Ingo their BI SAP Integration questions. 



Also during this time, Thomas Jung conducted a hands-on ABAP NetWeaver Business Client Hands-on session


Photo by Bhanu Gupta

At the end of the hands-on sessions we had drawings for free SAP Press books (kindly donated by SAP Press). Winners were very happy to receive such great books:



Several attendees told me how much they liked the SAP Press books.

So much else was going on during this time – parallel ASUG sessions from customers such as Kellogg’s, Harley Davidson and SAP.  I want to thank everyone who attended, thank SAP Press for their generous donations of books and especially to Bhanu Gupta, who organized both the ASUG Chicago Chapter meeting and the SAP Inside Track.  She was up the night before until 1:00 A.M. in the morning, fixing the agendas.  I want to also thank Harper Community College who provided excellent on-site support.


If you were unable to attend this session in person I hope you will consider attending ASUG Annual Conference May 13-16 in Orlando, where Ingo Hilgefort has a full-day hands on BI 4 Feature Pack 3 with some great materials.



The 2012 ASUG Annual Conference is getting closer each day (May 13-18). With so many sessions to choose from, your ASUG Volunteers have selected these sessions, highlighting the integration of the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform and BI clients with SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC).  


Additionally, there are two pre Conference sessions on Sunday May 13th related to this theme as well:

BusinessObjects Business Intelligence (BI) 4 Feature Pack 3 Tools - in a Single Day

Full-Day Seminar
Sunday, May 13, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
$495.00 ASUG Member/$595.00 Non-Member

Led by Ingo Hilgefort, Director, Solution Management, SAP Canada

SAP BusinessObjects Data Services in an SAP Environment - Deep Dive

Half-Day Seminar
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
$295.00 ASUG member


The 2012 ASUG Annual Conference is once again co-located with SAPPHIRE® NOW, May 13 - 16 in Orlando, Florida, at the Orange County Convention Center. The following is a snapshot of the education sessions hosted by the ASUG BI Community and its related Special Interest Groups (schedule and sessions are subject to change):


Monday, May 14, 2012


10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Achieve real-time financial and operational reporting with SAP Crystal Reports 2011& SAP ERP

12:30 p.m. - 01:30 p.m.

SAP Business Objects Analysis, the premium alternative to SAP Business Explorer (BEx)

12:30 p.m. - 01:30 p.m.

Mobile Analytics Strategy and Implementation at Eli Lilly

01:45 p.m. - 02:45 p.m.

Best Practices for integrating SAP BI 4.0 with SAP (BW) and SAP ERP

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Using SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, Edition for Microsoft Office, for OLAP Reporting against SAP

01:45 p.m. - 02:45 p.m.

SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 - SAP Integration Update

01:45 p.m. - 02:45 p.m.

SAP BusinessObjects Data Services in an SAP Landscape

03:00 p.m. - 04:00 p.m.

Zausner Foods Implements SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 as Part of Long-term BI Strategy

04:45 p.m. - 05:15 p.m.

Learn how to perform operational reporting off SAP ECC data with SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 FP03

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

ASUG SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Influence Council Update

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

SAP Runs SAP NetWeaver BW powered by HANA - Experiences, Roadmap, and Strategy

01:45 p.m. - 02:45 p.m.

Introduction to SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, Edition for OLAP

01:45 p.m. - 02:45 p.m.

Tips and tricks using SAP Web Intelligence 4.0 on top of SAP Netweaver BW data.

01:45 p.m. - 02:45 p.m.

SAP BusinessObjects BI Integration with SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse and SAP ERP Influence Council

03:00 p.m. - 04:00 p.m.

Strategies for Selecting the Right BI Client Product Based on Your Own Requirements

Don’t miss these Community Lounges hosted by ASUG Volunteers Derek Loranca and Joyce Butler:

Tuesday: May 15 12:15-1:15: BEx Quo Vadis? (Where is BEx Going)

Join SAP BEx/Analysis Product Owner Eric Schemer to find out the future of BEx.

Tuesday: May 15 4-5 pm : Ask a SAP Mentor Community Lounge Session

Ask a SAP Mentor Community Lounge Session – come with your most pressing SAP BI/ERP/BW/BusinessObjects Integration questions and ask SAP Expert Ingo Hilgefort

Wednesday, May 16 – noon Web Intelligence/BW Round Table

Come ask SAP Solution Management your most pressing BW/Web Intelligence questions


Additionally, several hours of sessions will be offered on SAP Hana and BW, including customer stories.

Register Now for the 2012 ASUG Annual Conference


See you in May in Orlando.

SAP's definition is as follows:

“InfoProvider that allows analysis and reporting with BI Tools (including BW OLAP functionalities) on top of an application (SAP Business Suite).  It is not modeled in Data Warehousing Workbench of BW and the data is not replicated”


With enhancement package 5, you have the capability of activating a BI client inside your ERP system.  This will provide you the capability of reporting on tables inside your ERP system to some of the BusinessObjects tools.  The source of the data is a classic SAP InfoSet, which must be client independent.

Once you have activated the BI client inside ECC, you can go to RSA1 inside your ERP system.  See  Figure 1 below.


Figure 1: BW inside ERP

Note that the actual data used in the transient providers is not stored in the InfoObjects.


Figure 2: Source: SAP, Ingo Hilgefort

Figure 2 shows that the Direct Access/BICS method is used.  This will give you capability to expose classic infoset to BI system – direct line, no data modeling involved, only expose infoset and create a BEx Query on top of InfoSet – no data provider or modeling is necessary.  Tools such as Dashboards, Analysis Office, Crystal for Enterprise are available for reporting in your ECC system.

Visit this page for more information on system landscape types.

Here are the steps to do this:

1) Activate the BI Client in your ECC system (note you must be on enhancement package 5)

Run program RSRTS_ACTIVATE_R3IS to activate the BI client

2) Create your InfoSet using the SQ02 transaction inside ECC (must be a Global / client independent infoset)

3) Set the property of the InfoSet to release using transaction SQBWPROP


You will be prompted for a Workbench transport.

4) Create a BusinessExplorer Query against this InfoSet.  This will serve as a datasource to the BI/BusinessObjects Tools

5) Run your choice of BusinessObjects tools shown in Figure 2 using the BEx Query from Step 4 as a data source.

This example uses BusinessObjects Analysis Edition for MS Office.  See below.


Figure 3

Figure 3 shows the BEx Query is the data source to Analysis Office.  The BEx Query was created against the classic ECC InfoSet.


Interested in learning more?  We will be covering this at ASUG Annual Conference 2012 in May.

So with BI 4 Feature Pack 3 now in ramp-up, I thought I would pull together all my feature pack 3 blogs and provide a high level summary, based on the many webcasts I have attended.  Note as all the blogs have stated, things are subject to change and the usual disclaimer applies.  As some of these sessions dated back to August 2011, please note that not features may be there in the ramp-up version.

BusinessObjects Explorer:


Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 shows high level summary features for BusinessObjects Explorer.  The biggest buzz is on Exploration Views and geospatial analysis.


BI Launch Pad and Workspaces


Figure 2: Source: SAP

Figure 2 shows the StreamWork integration with the BI launch pad.


Figure 3: Source: SAP

Figure 3 covers Crystal for Enterprise and one key new feature is the Report to Report Interface.




Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows Feature Pack 3 enhancements for Dashboards, featuring the unified query support.  SAP says "Insight to Action" allows closing the loop on a business process from a BI client to an external target.  This feature is available for Crystal and Dashboards in Feature Pack 3.

Web Intelligence


Figure 5: Source: SAP

Figure 5 shows Feature Pack 3 enhancements for Web Intelligence, including improved hierarchy support and Web Intelligence Rich Client Quick launch.

Analysis, Edition for OLAP


Figure 6: Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows improvements for Analysis OLAP, including improved support for BW and focused analysis feature.

I am skipping Analysis Office, as it is platform independent and not reliant on a BI platform.

Semantic Layer


Figure 7: Source: SAP

Figure 7 shows HANA optimization, and probably the best feature for ERP customers is the ability to access ECC via the semantic layer.

SAP Integration


Figure 8: Source: SAP

Figure 8 shows SAP Integration improvements with Feature Pack 3.  My favorite "fix" is the enhanced scaling factor support.

Multi-source universe access to SAP ECC should be interesting.

BI Platform


Figure 9: Source: SAP

Figure 9 shows BI Platform improvements, including a better upgrade experience.


Figure 10: Source: SAP

Figure 10 shows improvements in Life Cycle Management and monitoring.  ASUG has an upcoming webcast to cover these Feature Pack 3 enhancements in more detail.



Figure 11: Source SAP

Figure 11 shows improvements in SDK.  This was discussed at BI 2012 and ASUG has an upcoming webcast on this to cover this in more detail.


Figure 12: Source: SAP

Figure 12 shows OEM enablement.

As all the webcasts stated, things were subject to change, and many of these took place last year.

If you are interested in more future directions past enhancement package 3, I encourage you to attend ASUG Annual Conference, where SAP is giving an ASUG session titled "The Future of Business Intelligence", with SAP's Ty Miller. 

For more details on Feature Pack 3, I highly recommend Ingo Hilgefort's SAP Press books:

Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.x with SAP NetWeaver

  - a review by Gary Hooker says "It is a no-brainer - just get it. It will save you heaps of time and effort!" - I completely agree!

Reporting and Analysis with SAP BusinessObjects (2nd Edition)

Also, Ingo will be giving a full day hands on session on the BI 4 Feature Pack 3 tools on May 13 at an ASUG Annual Conference pre-conference session.  See here for more information and register today!

Related Blog Links:

Analysis Feature Pack 3
Dashboard Feature Pack 3
SAP Integration
Web Intelligence Feature Pack 3
BI Platform Feature Pack 3
BusinessObjects Explorer Feature Pack 3
SAP HANA with BI4 Feature Pack 3
General Summary
Semantic Layer / HANA


I thank all the SAP speakers for sharing their time and information.

Patrice Le Bihan, SAP, provided this ASUG webcast this past week on BI4 Feature Pack 3 (FP 3) with SAP Hana.  As usual, anything presented is subject to change.




Patrice said this webcast was a continuation of FEATURED EVENTSconducted last October (recording available to all).




Data connectivity options


Analysis, exploration and reporting


Landscape Considerations


Appendix: Security


More information




Data Connectivity Options:


Figure 1: Source: SAP


Figure 1 shows what is possible today with BI4 GA version and the different client tools.


Figure 2, Source: SAP


Figure 2 shows what is available in Feature Pack 3 with HANA highlighted in red.


The main enhancement is Analysis OLAP, part of BI 4, will support HANA. 


Semantic layer has some modeling improvement experience, security, authentication, single sign-on.


Crystal for Enterprise will have direct access to data sources like Crystal 2011/CR 2008 and you will be able to connect directly to SAP Hana without need for universe.


Figure 2 shows SAP HANA database as standalone.


Figure 3, Source: SAP


Figure 3 shows BW shows powered by HANA.  HANA is the underlying database for BW.  All reporting scenarios with BW work except SBO Explorer; SBO Explorer doesn’t go directly against BW (will start in HANA 1 SPS04, planned).




Analysis, Exploration and Reporting


Figure 4: Source: SAP


Feature Pack 3 and BI 4 GA shares the same approach


Figure 4 shows that Analytical Models are built like cubes in BW.  You build model views in HANA studio and these are available for reporting dimensionally or relational (flat) way


Second approach (“Classical Models”) has several fact tables and the traditional universe is a good fit.


Figure 5: Source: SAP


Figure 5 shows building model views in SAP Hana studio


Attribute views, analytic views, and optionally calculated views for modeling can be built.


Views are then available in Analysis Office/OLAP, SBO Explorer, or MS Excel.  What is new in FP 3 is Analysis OLAP can now be used.


Figure 6, Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows FP3 in SBO Explorer


Exploration views allow you to combine multiple visualizations in one screen.  Support for time dimensions.


For SAP Hana, you will have variable support at design time – adding a variable on a view.  End user does not see variables but the InfoSpace designer will.


Figure 7, Source: SAP


Figure 7 shows Analysis OLAP new features


It requires BI4 platform and you can access Analytic and Calculation views in SAP Hana.  It supports HANA views. 


Analysis OLAP and HANA does not support variables or hierarchies yet but it is coming.


Key functionalities – navigate / build – ability to have focused analysis and split into 2 frames with a time slider to work on a smaller subset of data. 


You can bring multiple Hana views into a workspace, from multiple hana systems, and do a side by side analysis.


You cannot merge datasets inside same cross table but you can do side-by-side analysis.

Right now only Excel supports hierarchies.


Figure 8, Source: SAP


Figure 8 shows relational approaches.  Patrice said it comes down to what you are familiar with and tools you have in your organization and audience


On the right, you can connect directly to HANA Analytic Calc views/tables from Crystal 2011/2008 and with FP3 Crystal for Enterprise connects directly


On the left, first you model the universe from the Information Design Tool, publish to repository and from their you consume universe from Web Intelligence, Dashboards, Crystal for Enterprise.  “Model once, consume often”.


Figure 9, Source: SAP

With BI4 GA you can only access tables.


With FP3, you can access analytic and calculation views via ODBC/JDBC and browse the catalog.


Use case for CR for HANA does not change; you are looking at highly formatted reports for mass publication.


Figure 10, Source: SAP


Figure 10 shows Crystal for Enterprise.


You do not have to model a universe; Crystal for Enterprise will have direct access to SAP HANA.  You will have the option of using local connection or use a secured connection on BI 4 repository. 


Figure 11: Source: SAP


Views will be accessed in relational manner; talking SQL to HANA


Main improvement was to simplify and make modeling experience easier.


Data connection default array fetch from 5 to 1000.


Also they added a property for JDBC ODBC driver properties.


Top right of Figure 11 shows you can display by view type, and the related icons.  You can also search the name. 


You do not need edit SQL definition of measure and use the context menu to change its aggregation function.


Landscape Considerations


Figure 12: Source: SAP


You can now use the HANA database as a repository for BI 4 and audit database as shown in Figure 12.  This is a deployment option with FP3.


See the patching update in Figure 12.




Figure 13, Source: SAP


SSO authentication with Kerberos delegation, valid for Linux and Windows platforms only, Web Intelligence, Dashboards, Explorer, and Crystal Reports


Analysis OLAP does not support this.


Figure 14: Source: SAP


Figure 14 shows  that SAP Hana supports 2 types of authentication.  Internal authentication – user IDs and password is stored in Hana.


External authentication means the user ID is external and password check is performed by that directory.


FP3 supports second method as well now.


Figure 15: Source: SAP


Figure 15 shows all tools support internal security authentication.




More Information:


Patrice provided these links:


SAP HANA Public Documentation


SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 Documentation 


ASUG Webinar of SBO BI 4.0 FP3  (ASUG logon required)


Overview of SBO BI 4.0 on SAP HANA


Best Practices for Optimal Data Models in SAP HANA and Analytics in SBO BI 4.0


Best Practices for Universe creation on SAP HANA


Patrice will be presenting at ASUG Annual Conference in May where you can meet him in person.



For the seventh year, the ASUG Annual Conference will be co-located with SAPPHIRE May 14-16th in Orlando, Florida. Once again this year, the one registration fee gives you access to both events.

Register today!  Registration discounts ends March 23rd.

Some highlights to consider adding to your agenda:

2012 ASUG Annual Pre-Conference BI 4 Feature Pack 3 Hands-on Tools in a Day

Date: Sunday, May 13, 2012
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET
Cost: $495 ASUG Members, $595 non-ASUG Members

Join SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort  and ASUG BI Volunteers for this pre-conference session.  SAP BI4 Feature Pack 3 is offering you a broad set of BI tools to choose from. Each tool has its own special focus in the area of reporting and analytics. This workshop is a series of hands-on labs focused on BI4 Feature Pack 3 products and connectivity to SAP. In this workshop you will learn to use the different tools from SAP BusinessObjects 4 Feature Pack 3 in combination with your SAP data. In addition you will learn to how to use a set of common criteria to select the right tool for the right job.

Presentation Overview
·    Part 1: Crystal Reports
·    Part 2: Web Intelligence
·    Part 3: Dashboards (formerly known as XCelsius)
·    Part 4: SAP BusinessObjects Explorer
·    Part 5: Analysis - both OLAP and Office Editions

Registration is limited so reserve your seat here.

2012 ASUG Annual Pre-Conference SAP BusinessObjects Data Services in an SAP Environment

Half-Day Seminar
Date: Sunday, May 13, 2012
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET
Cost: $295.00 ASUG Member/$395.00 Non-Member

This deep dive starts with a discussion of the various connection points and data movement methods that exist across the SAP landscape, including SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (PI), SAP Legacy System Migration Workbench (LSMW), SAP Landscape Transformation (SLT), SAP BusinessObjects Data Services, etc. Learn how all these methods fit together. After establishing context, presenters will drill down into SAP BusinessObjects Data Services in and across various SAP environments. The session will explore the value that can be achieved with a single underlying data management infrastructure to move, improve, and govern data.

Presenters will discuss how data services works with and supports enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), SAP HANA, business information warehouse, business intelligence, master data management and master data governance by using scenarios and demonstrations.

Process Observer Technical Implementation Workshop

Half-Day Seminar
Sunday, May 13, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
$295.00 ASUG Member/$395.00 Non-Member

This workshop will discuss the new Business Suite component Process Observer and detail how the process's monitoring and analytics for suite’s core processes is done. Presenters will discuss Process Observer's technology and architecture, set up a process definition with KPIs for the Process Observer with advanced features such as federation, change document support and Business Rules Framework (BRF). The available extension techniques will be discussed and demonstrated. The analytical capabilities based on data sources and Operational Data Provisioning (ODP) will be used and some analytical reporting based on BEx Web Analyzer will be built.

Experience from current customer projects will be related and specific questions and use-cases of participants may be discussed.  Join SAP Mentor Peter McNulty for this session.

ASUG Community Lounge Sessions

Consider adding the following community lounge sessions to your agenda.  Community lounge sessions offer face-to-face meetings and "ask the experts" round tables.

Ask A SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort 

Date: Tuesday, May 15 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Come ask expert SAP Press author Ingo Hilgefort your questions and receive in-depth advice.


SAP Business Explorer (BEx) – Quo Vadis?

Date: Tuesday, May 15 from 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

In this session Eric Schemer, Product Manager of Business Explorer (BEx) and SAP’s new Analysis portfolio will discuss options and recommendations for BEx customers with regards to next steps. The BEx Suite today caters for over 4 million BW users worldwide in over 14,000 implementations. The BEx products have been developed over 13 years and offer a very feature rich integration into BW. Customers are faced with a multitude of issues when defining their BI tool strategies beyond BEx. In an open Q&A forum Eric will discuss general questions on this matter and offer insight and recommendations based on the latest product developments @SAP.



Don't forget to add Van Halen to your agenda too.

We hope to see you in Orlando in May.

Duncan Dortants,  Active Global Support, SAP, provided this ASUG webcast on Crystal Reports with SAP Tracing, intended to provide tips for enabling trace features on an SAP back end, allowing you to analyze these traces.  He reviewed the various drivers available, how to enable traces for drivers, tips and tricks on how to analyze traces, and how use this against meaningful searches




What are the drivers

Analyze traces


Crystal Reports


Figure 1: Source: SAP


Figure 1 shows 4 drivers available with BW and some against ECC

BW MDX Query driver is the driver that Crystal uses against BEx Queries and Cubes

The other 3 drivers – can be used against BW and ECC systems – specifically against underlying database clusters and InfoSets


How turn on traces?


Figure 2: Source: SAP

Figure 2 shows the Windows 64 bit registry location.  It can be used for other operation system versions as well.

Figure 2 above shows that 2 keys are set:

1)      SAP folder holds TraceDir  - what location for trace files to go to

2)      Change Trace from no to Yes – sample above shows BW MDX Query Driver –same applies to other drivers


How to Analyze Traces


Figure 3, Source: SAP


Example is OpenSQL driver trace; this applies to the others.  Figure 3 above shows Timestamp and ThreadID.  Two values can be important if want to filter on a specific ThreadID and see how long specific thread can be run.  You can have multiple threads going.


Figure 4, Source: SAP


Figure 4 shows logon handle or connection string.  Client, language, user name to see connection used

Open SQL will go through a series of functions that all start with a /CRYSTAL – part of the Crystal namespace.


Figure 5, Source: SAP


Figure 5 shows the /CRYSTAL/GET_OSQL_TABLE_INFO function against SFLIGHT table on BW server (same steps can be shown on an ECC backend).


Figure 6: Source: SAP


On the backend (BW or ECC), go to transaction SE37, which is the function builder on SAP system  - to call these same functions

In this example in Figure 6, the table parameter is SFLIGHT.  When you execute, you get the run time which Duncan said is valuable.  Figure 6 shows the function returns 14 fields

If run traces, you can use that to compare against SAP back end to see if data is valid.  Figure 6 shows that it took only 20 microseconds to run this function module.

Duncan said this was a good way of comparing the trace on the backend for analyzing long run time performance problems

MDX Driver


Figure 7: Source: SAP


Figure 7 shows the Timestamp and ThreadID  and that trace is enabled and the language used


Figure 8, Source: SAP


Figure 8 shows the select statement starts with MDX Query String, SELECT

The bottom line shows a cell limitation of one million which is a 7.01 BW limitation – later versions do not have that limitation, according to Duncan.


Figure 9: Source, SAP


Figure 9 shows that you can manually execute by going to MDXTEST, enter catalog and cube, copy and paste select statement and run it and it will give you sample data on what is returned.


Figure 10: Source, SAP


Sample data is returned and it is limited to what it will show.  If it ran successfully – means XI, Crystal and BW select is correct.


Related OSS Notes

1541104 – Enabling Crystal Report tracing

1235111 – Enabling MDX/MDA tracing

1609534 – Enabling BICs (SAPJCO tracing)


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