Transporting (or promoting) objects in the SAP BusinessObjects BI4 environment is still a bit weird for those (like me) originally coming from the SAP BW world. The Lifecycle Manager (LCM) webapp somehow doesn’t feel as robust as the Transport Management System in SAP, but in the end it does the same thing of course.
This week a colleague ran into some errors after promoting his new Web Intelligence and Crystal Reports from our BI4 development environment to the production environment. His reports were created on SAP BW BEx query data sources.
Update: We finally figured out how to work with Override Settings for OLAP Connections to solve this issue. Check the blog post here.
First let’s have a look at the Web Intelligence report. After the promotion he was able to open the Web Intelligence report, but when refreshing the data the following errors appeared:
Errors when trying to refresh the current report.
The universe generation using the resource id has failed. (WIS 00000)
The solution to this issue is quite easy but you just have to know this somehow I guess: You have to manually reconnect each SAP BW BEx query with the Web Intelligence report.
Yes, this just feels odd. We are used to the Transport Management System to take care of these things. Also I think it’s a bit strange to standard having to edit reports in a production environment, just to make them work. On the other hand, if you only have one BI4 environment on top of multiple SAP BW environments, it might be useful to have the ability to change the data sources of a report to connect to a different system.
Anyway, to fix this just follow the next easy steps:Knowledge sharing, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP BW
Let’s have a look at another SAP BI book that SAP Press released this year: SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP BusinessObjects – The Comprehensive Guide. SAP Press is on a great streak and later this year we can expect even more releases from them on HANA, Web Intelligence, ABAP for BW, SAP BusinessObjects Administration and Security.
But, let’s go back to the SAP BW/BO Comprehensive Guide. My first thought when I unwrapped this book was: “Wow, this one is FAT!” Look at it; almost 800 pages! Like most of the SAP Press books this one text-intensive with a 75/25 text to picture ratio so this would take some time to go cover to cover.
I got a bit worried when I scanned the topic list. This book discusses the whole (!) SAP Business Intelligence spectrum. This is SAP BW en SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform (including Data Services) for the backend, and for the frontend the BEx tools (Query Designer, Analyzer, Web Analyzer, Web Application Designer) and the complete SAP BusinessObjects portfolio (Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports, Analysis, Dashboards, Explorer). Even BW Integrated Planning and SAP SEM-BCS have their own chapter. This is a whole lot of content to cover, even in a 800 pager.
They left the horrible BEx Report Designer (yes it still exists somewhere!) out of scope and at the time of writing Visual Intelligence and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio weren’t that far in development. HANA and SAP Mobile are mentioned a few times but not really discussed in detail. By the way this book is updated up to SAP BW 7.3 and SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0.
After reading it I feel a bit confused. It is not clear what the real purpose of this book is and what should be the right audience for this publication? Let me take you through it.
It starts of in the first part with an introduction to the business intelligence and its concepts (“What is BI, what is a Data Warehouse etc.) and introduces the BW and BI4.0 platforms and their features. This ‘overview’ part is written on a level that is understandable for newbies or managers without any knowledge of the SAP BI world they might be entering.Books, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP BW
At my current project we are using SAP BW and its Open Hub Destination (Open Hub) object to create a number of flat file interfaces to export data from SAP BW to other systems. An Open Hub creates a comma separated value (CSV) file which can be placed on a local directory or on an application server. The Open Hub uses a standard transformation and DTP to transform and load data from an InfoCube, DSO or InfoObject. If you are exporting to an application server you can also use Process Chains for scheduling.
Now we got this fancy old-school requirement to create an interface in which the files should be fixed length instead of CSV. Great. Since the Open Hub uses a mandatory separator (the comma, or in most cases a semicolon) to separate the fields and it does not have any options to determine the exact position of each field in a record in the file, a workaround is needed to make this work.
Update: Thomas Brandt mentioned in the comments below this post that with SAP BW 7.3 it now is possible to export to CSV, ASCII and XML. Check SAP Help for more info. If your BW hasn’t been upgraded to 7.3 you can still use the workaround.
In this example I will create an Open Hub called ZFIXED on top of the 0PERSON InfoObject which generates a fixed length file. The file will contain 4 fields according to the specs below:
- Person, position 1 to 10;
- City, position 11 to 20;
- Country, position 21 to 30;
- Date of birth, position 31 to 38.
Let’s see how this works:Knowledge sharing, SAP BW
SAP Press recently released Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.x with SAP NetWeaver by Ingo Hilgefort. This book is the successor to the 2009 Integrating SAP Business Objects XI 3.1 BI Tools with SAP NetWeaver and is now updated with content on the latest SAP BusinessObjects 4 (BI4) release.
In this book Hilgefort explains how we can setup the (new) BI4 platform on top of a SAP BW or SAP ECC environment. He does this by covering the complete implementation cycle: First he goes through the installation steps for the SAP BusinessObjects server and client tools (Crystal Reports, Dashboards, Live Office, Analysis and the BI Platform Client tools like the Universe Designer and the Information Design Tool). This is done in a very detailed step-by-step manner, discussing every installer screen that will appear in the process. This really is very helpful the first time you have to do this! This extremely detailed approach is followed throughout the whole book.
Each front-end tool has a chapter dedicated to it in which the several data connectivity scenarios are discussed for the specific tool. These chapters all have the following approach: First all possible connectivity options are discussed. As you can see the overview figure for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) now really has become art. 🙂
Next the supported and unsupported SAP BW elements are shown in a table for each connectivity option. Also a metadata mapping is given for the BEx Query elements, showing for example how a navigational attribute or variable is treated by the front-end tool. I also like the translations of the terms used in SAP BusinessObjects, like Key figure becomes Measure and Variable is called Prompt. All these overviews make things very clear.
To get you started these chapters all have a Create your first report section, that shows you step-by-step how you can create a simple report with each tool and how to set up the several connections. Again, a lot of screenshots are used here so even if you haven’t worked with some of the tools yet, you will learn fast on how to configure the data connection. Good stuff!
Live Office and BI Web Services (QaaWS) haven’t been forgotten. There roles have become less important with the new connectivity options in BI4 but they can still be used. Hilgefort discusses this situation and shows how to use them in combination with Dashboards. The book finishes with chapters on report publications and SAP Portal integration, which makes this book very very complete.
Just like all the other books written by Ingo Hilgefort you really should pick up this one! Not only as a reference guide but also to go through the step-by-step sections to get a good understanding of the several connectivity options when integration BI4 with SAP. Also make sure you check his site/blog which is totally dedicated to the SAP BI integration subject.Posted in: Books, Knowledge sharing, New technology, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, SAP BW
SAP really is on a roll this month, publishing just another how-to guide on Xcelsius and SAP BW. This time the HTG covers the creation of authorization objects/roles that are required to view/create/change/deploy Xcelsius dashboards. This is now possible with the new authorization object for Xcelsius dashboards: “S_RS_XCLS”.
You can get this HTG here.Posted in: Knowledge sharing, SAP, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, SAP BW, Xcelsius