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

SAP BI product name shake-up: the 2017 edition

Posted by on May 26, 2017

Another year, another set of product names for our beloved SAP BI tools. Seemingly out of nowhere a list of new names were presented last week at the SAPPHIRENOW event in Orlando FL. Even after all the name changes we had in the past 10 years (‘member Xcelsius?), this still came a bit as a surprise for me.

So let’s have a look at what happened here. First it seems like the whole BI portfolio is now recognized as SAP Analytics. Apparently it was named SAP BusinessObjects Analytics before (I always thought it was ‘SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence’, but that could be because I’m mostly focussing on the BI part of the tools), but this makes sense. The old BI terminology is probably seen as too limited, as the current and future analytics will go way beyond only internal data and usage scenarios. Of course the bigger change is that SAP continues to ditch the BusinessObjects brand: SAP BusinessObjects Cloud becomes SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP BusinessObjects Lumira will be SAP Lumira and SAP BusinessObjects Roambi just SAP Roambi.

Meanwhile, some of the more classic BusinessObjects tools keep their BusinessObjects brand: SAP BusinessObjects Web IntelligenceSAP BusinessObjects Enterprise. Analysis for Office loses the ‘for Office’ specification: SAP BusinessObjects Analysis. Following the conversion strategy this makes sense, as Analysis OLAP hasn’t been improved for a while and should be replaced by the Design Studio generic analysis template. Talking about Design Studio, which is not in the above photo, it is now labeled as SAP Analytics Design Studio (!!!) on Which, is a pretty insane name change at this point in time as the upcoming edition of the tool (only weeks away) will merge into Lumira 2.0 anyway. Talking about insane stuff, when I was browsing I also saw that SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) is still actively advertised. Madness.

Anyway, what I don’t understand is why SAP is keeping this BusinessObjects brand alive at all. Does it still have a value if all your major (new) tools are not using it? Maybe it’s for the non-SAPBW/HANA legacy customer base? But come on, it has been 10 years now since the acquisition and this is again (or still) a mess. Some tools have SAP Analytics in the name, some SAP BusinessObjects and some only SAP. I can’t wait for next year’s edition!

Posted in: Featured, SAP, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Lumira

SAP BI4.2 What’s New

Posted by on Oct 17, 2015

Some interesting What’s New slides on SAP BusinessObjects BI4.2 appeared this week. You can check the high-level info slides here, the slides with a bit more detail here, and if you are really hardcore you can find the 150 slides ultimate edition here.

You can also go through my tweets with all the highlights and my comments:

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Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects

SAP BI4: Override OLAP Connections in Promotion Management

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014

The Promotion Management corner in the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform CMC is still a bit of a strange place for us coming from the SAP BW world. I really like the fact that you can use a single promotion job to promote a report again and again after each change. In SAP BW that would require a new transport every time. But, something as the Overrides Settings is still a difficult to get through and set up. The official admin guide for the BI4 platform mentions it briefly, but does not explain it good enough.

Until we had this configured we had to manually reconnect each SAP BW BEx Query in a promoted Webi report. I wrote about this annoying situation before.

With an override setting on an OLAP Connection to a SAP BW system, we can make the connection change (or better: override) its settings when promoted, so it connects to the right source system. Say we have two SAP BusinessObjects Platforms (BOTest and BOProd) and two SAP BW systems (BWTest and BWProd). We want the OLAP Connection on the BOTest environment to connect with the BWTest system. The connection on the BOProd environment should connect to the BWProd system. So if we promote a Webi document that uses this OLAP Connection from BOTest to BOProd, the Webi should load data from BWProd after refreshing it on the BOProd environment.

Now, how can we set up this override thing?

1. Log in to the CMC of the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform that acts as the ‘source’ (where you want to promote from).

2. Make sure you have an OLAP Connection set up on your SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform. You can create this in OLAP Connections.

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Posted in: Knowledge sharing, SAP BusinessObjects

De Nederlandse BI Podcast – Episode 11: BO Simplification

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014

We recorded a very current edition of De Nederlandse BI Podcast, discussing the latest SAP blog by Jayne Landry on the future simplification of the SAP BusinessObjects BI product portfolio. Check the blog here.


You can find the show in iTunes, on our website or just use the Podcast player below to listen instantly.

Posted in: De Nederlandse BI Podcast, SAP BusinessObjects