Analysis for Office
At the end of 2019 SAP suddenly introduced a completely new addition to the SAP Analytics Cloud suite: SAP Analytics Cloud for Office. I’ve had a quick look at the beta version of this Excel add-in and it – obviously – looks a lot like our good old SAP Analysis Office. Apparently the decision was made to create a new Excel add-in from scratch specifically for SAC.
From what I’ve seen, there are at least two major differences in the foundations of this tool: First, the installation of this SAC for Office is done via the built-in MS Office store. That means that you can easily push this add-in to all Excel installations within your organization. Also think about what this means for the distribution of updates: this is not necessary anymore as the users will always run the latest version of the software from the MS Office store! Second: this add-in not only works within your ‘on-premise’ Excel installation on your Windows laptop, but also in online Office 365 plus – and I’ve waited over 10 years for this – on the Mac! Awesome!!
So check out the video where I show a very minimal demo. As this is just the very first beta, don’t expect much. For live HANA/BW connectivity you still need to use SAP Analysis Office 2.8 for example. Also, there is still no integrated SAC repository option to easily store and open your workbooks on the SAC platform. Looking at the roadmap, the focus for the first half of 2020 is on Planning.Posted in: Analysis for Office, SAP Analytics Cloud
In the below video I give a quick run-through of how the use SAP Analysis Office in combination with SAP Analytics Cloud. Not only can we use SAP Analytics Cloud models as a data source in SAP Analysis Office, we can also store the workbooks on SAP Analytics Cloud. Even better, we can open them from there, and make SAP Analysis Office refresh them for us without having to enter user credentials again! As you’ll see, the current integration is still very basic, but hey, we’re getting there. In the video I’m using SAP Analysis Office 2.6, but it should also work with version 2.5.
- Create Analysis Office Workbook with SAP Analytics Cloud Model as a data source.
- Store Analysis Office Workbook on SAP Analytics Cloud.
- Open Analysis Office Workbook from SAP Analytics Cloud.
With all the buzz around the big upcoming Lumira 2 release, you would almost forget that there are other SAP BI tools in the market as well. For example Analysis for Office: the successor of the good old BEx Analyzer. For some reason these tools have never been a very popular topic to write about. This is somewhat strange, as Analysis for Office, and even BEx Analyzer, are still extremely popular under SAP BI customers and therefor widely used besides the ’newer’ front-end tools.
Analysis for Office is not a difficult tool to learn, but it has a lot of hidden, unknown and even misunderstood features that are very useful for data analysts. My head still explodes when I see somebody using Analysis for Office to ‘download’ all the data into Excel, manually copy/paste the results to different tabs, and starts applying Excel filters, sorting etc. So there is absolutely a need for guidance here.
Luckily, Tobias Meyer published SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Office – The Comprehensive Guide last year on version 2.3, and this year an updated version on Analysis for Office 2.4. The book covers all the features that Analysis for Office (both the Excel and PowerPoint versions) offers in detail, but goes a lot further than that. Ever heard about Shortcut properties for the Analysis for Office add-on launcher?
Analysis for Office, Books
We are in process of moving a lot of Analysis for Office (AfO) workbooks from a SAP BW environment to the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform. Besides storing the workbooks on BI Platform, we of course want to use the OLAP connection on the BI Platform to connect to BW, instead of using the direct – locally defined – connection from AfO to BW.
AfO has a nice feature to quickly swap source systems, but it is a bit hidden. We are using Analysis for Office 2.3 by the way.
1. Open the workbook you want to migrate. Make sure your workbook is not connected to the BW system. Display the Design Panel, go to the Components tab and select your workbook. Right-click to Log Off.Analysis for Office, Knowledge sharing