SAP TechEd 2019 Highlights

Posted by on Oct 18, 2019

I went to Las Vegas SAP TechEd 2019 a couple of weeks ago, of course focussing on all the new stuff for SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and the brand new SAP Data Warehouse Cloud (DWC). Let’s go through some highlights.

Embedded Analytics

Announced a long time ago already, but now shown for the first time: SAC as a completely integrated reporting and analysis solution with SAP cloud applications. With this it is instantly possible to use SAC on top of the data from the particular tool, with a live connectivity! For example: when using SAP Fieldglass, you can start up the built-in SAC instance and create a model on top of the Fieldglass tables to get data into a story. This new features will be part of the existing license for the cloud application, but only gives access to the BI features of SAC. In case you want to combine data from different sources or use predictive and planning features, you’ll need to switch to the “standalone” version of SAC. The goal is to have live connectors towards all the SAP cloud applications in the standalone SAC, although there were no timelines provided. The cloud offerings that will contain an embedded SAC first are SAP Fieldglass , SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.

SAP Analytics Cloud Mobile

The mobile solution for SAC is still lagging far behind the web version. There still is no Android app available (promised for end of 2019), there is no proper integration with the SAP Analytics Hub (Q2 2020) and the Analytics Designer apps don’t work (Q2 2020). On short, we can expect improvements in the areas of live prompts and SSO (no more double logins). SAP has a lot of work to do to catch up, especially as the mobile team has a lot of interesting ideas for future direction: there will be more emphasis on use cases and workflows where the users use the app to answer very specific questions (eventually via speech), instead of just loading and interacting with predefined reports. The vision is that the app would learn form this behavior and offer a timeline and push messages to provide information and insights in a more pro-active way.

SAP Data Warehouse Cloud

TechEd 2019 had a lot of attention for the new DWC, as it was mentioned in almost all sessions, including the keynote. I get the enthusiasm, especially when you combine the potential of this solution with “embedded SAC”, as this could give power users a complete toolset to setup their own mini data warehouse within a governed SAC ecosystem. With its direct (live) connectors to SAP and non-SAP source, a fully web-based cloud environment which is easily maintainable and scalable, and the reporting and analysis feature set of SAC this could be a serious alternative for all those local MS Excel/Access solutions that we still see a lot. The creation of a model in DWC is pretty simple (drag & drop) and does not require SQL knowledge. So in concept it looks great, but also here a lot of work still needs to be done before they can bring this to market.

In conclusion, this was pretty interesting convention and it is absolutely clear that the position of SAC within the full SAP ecosystem is only getting stronger.

Posted in: SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform

Relative OpenDocument links

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017

In the BI Platform each document and folder has its own direct Document Link. Via this OpenDocument concept the specific object can be opened instantly, without having to browse through the BI Launchpad. You can find the Document Link by right-clicking a document in BI Launchpad/CMC.

In addition, we can use this link to pass parameters between reports. This video explains how to do this in Design Studio:

Lately I got several questions on using OpenDocument links in Design Studio dashboards in the context of BI landscapes with multiple BI Platform installations, let’s say with separate Development, Test, Production systems. For example, what to do when a Design Studio dashboard needs to link to another dashboard?

If we just use the OpenDocument URL it will always reference to the object on a specific system (i.e. Production), independently of the installation the dashboard is running on. This will definitely lead to issues during development and testing, as the referenced object is on a different environment giving probably some unrelated results, and might even not be available or accessible at all!

The solution is pretty simple, but you just have to know this: Always use relative URLs instead of the full absolute URLs. This relative URL should look like: /BOE/OpenDocument/opendoc/openDocument.jsp?sIDType=CUID&iDocID=<CUID>

So it’s basically the OpenDocument Link without the http://<server>:<port> part. This setup will also reuse a session on the BI Platform, saving login time and platform resources.

Posted in: Knowledge sharing, SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio