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.
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.
SAP Analytics Cloud version 2019.14 introduces a new cool feature: the Data Analyzer. With the Data Analyzer we can instantly report on BEx Queries in SAP Analytics Cloud, without having to create a model first (don’t panic, HANA views are also on the roadmap). For those who have used the Lumira Designer “Generic Analysis Template” or the BEx Web Analyzer this will all look very familiar. So time to check it out in a short video!
In this video I give an introduction to the upcoming Application Design feature in SAP Analytics Cloud, including several ways to filter a chart using the new App Design widgets and scripts.
In this video I give a walkthrough of Roambi on SAP Analytics Cloud. Roambi is SAP’s mobile first solution for BI and is a separate app in addition to the already existing SAP Analytics Cloud Mobile app. The latter one supports SAC stories and digital boardrooms, while Roambi has its own document format based on predefined templates.
In this video I demonstrate the Roambi Pulse template. Full availability of Roambi and all its templates is expected later in 2019.
I recently got quite some questions about the new Application Design feature in SAP Analytics Cloud, especially its position in relation to SAP Lumira Designer (Design Studio). I understand that all this may raise some questions with SAP BI customers that haven’t hopped on the SAC train yet or are just starting with their orientation on cloud solutions. So let’s bring some clarity here by starting from the beginning.
Application Design is part of the SAP Analytics Cloud platform and gives you the possibility to offer centrally governed analytical applications, created by professional application designers. These applications range from simple dashboards with just a few charts or tables to complex applications with custom layouts and interactivity options created with scripts.
With the option to use custom scripts the applications go a big step further than the SAP Analytics Cloud stories. That’s also why the stories are positioned to be (also) created by business users, while the applications are solely built by application designers. Eventually, the idea is to be able to integrate and combine features coming from the whole SAC platform in applications. For example, an application could visualize a live data source (BI), run a predictive scenario and offer planning capabilities to update data based on this.