Errors after promoting BI4 reports with BEx query data sources

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013

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)

webi_change_datasource_1

webi_change_datasource_2

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:

Read More

Posted in: Knowledge sharing, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP BW

Book review: 100 Things You Should Know about Reporting with SAP Crystal Reports

Posted by on Nov 9, 2012

100 Things You Should Know about Reporting with SAP Crystal Reports by Coy Yonce has been on the market for over a year, but really hasn’t gotten a lot of attention yet. Maybe the reason is that Crystal Reports isn’t that new and interesting anymore compared to the other SAP BusinessObjects tools and solutions like HANA. Also there are already a lot of books published on Crystal Reports in the past 10 years. In the past months I had to create a series of Crystal Reports in a very short timespan so I decided to pick this book up for some quick tips that could save me some time.

The approach of the ‘100 Things’ series is very different from other SAP books. It won’t teach you the very basics of report creation and it won’t discuss every menu option available. Instead it covers 100 very practical tasks you might want to achieve in Crystal Reports and it shows you the steps to get them done. I like this approach, which falls within the same philosophy we used in our SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 cookbook. This means that some level of experience in using Crystal Reports is required.

I’ve been working with the ‘newer’ SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise 4.0 which is mainly aimed at report creation on top of SAP BW. This book is written for SAP Crystal Reports 2011 but I guess that over 90% of the material is usable in the Enterprise version without a problem.

Each tip starts with a short introduction or case to explain the purpose and goal of the tip. Next you are taken through the steps and code. I think that about 70% of the tips use some kind of code, but in most cases these are single line statements that are not that complex, so don’t worry. A tip covers 2 to 4 pages.

Some of the tips that I found interesting are:

  • Suppressing duplicate rows
  • Designing a cover page
  • Creating a formula to calculate an average/minimum while ignoring zero values
  • Showing visual indicators
  • Creating tool tips
  • Formatting dates in a chart
  • Creating effective report templates

Also there are a bunch of tips that go beyond the standard Crystal Reports functionality and show some nice third-party solutions you can use in Crystal Reports, for example to create barcodes and QR-codes in your report.  The final 5 tips talk about monitoring and improving report performance.

So if you find yourself Googling a lot to make your Crystal Reports better you should really check out the table of contents of this book. If there is one tip in it you can use immediately I think this book is already worth the money.

100 Things You Should Know about Reporting with SAP Crystal Reports by Coy Yonce, ISBN 978-1592293902.

 

Posted in: Books, Review, SAP BusinessObjects

New Book: Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.x with SAP NetWeaver

Posted by on Jan 1, 2012

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

Bye bye Xcelsius, Hello SAP Crystal Solutions?

Bye bye Xcelsius, Hello SAP Crystal Solutions?
Posted by on May 24, 2010

Last week SAP introduced a new product name for its reporting and dashboarding tooling portfolio: SAP Crystal Solutions. Unfortunately the Xcelsius brand name will completely disappear. Xcelsius Present will be SAP Crystal Presentation Design and Xcelsius Engage should be called SAP Crystal Dashboard Design Personal Edition from now on.

Uh right. Why didn’t they just name it SAP Crystal Xcelsius?

In the table below an overview of the old and new names is shown:

Old Name

New Name

Crystal Reports SAP Crystal Reports
Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2010 SAP Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2010
Crystal Reports for Eclipse SAP Crystal Reports for Eclipse
Crystal Reports Viewer SAP Crystal Reports viewer
Crystal Reports Server SAP Crystal Reports Server
Crystal Reports Visual Advantage SAP Crystal Reports Dashboard Design package
Crystal Reports Developer Advantage SAP Crystal Reports runtime server license
Xcelsius Present SAP Crystal Presentation Design
Xcelsius Engage SAP Crystal Dashboard Design, personal edition

Get more information from this blog.

Posted in: SAP, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, Xcelsius

SAP TechEd video: Ingo Hilgefort interview

SAP TechEd video: Ingo Hilgefort interview
Posted by on Dec 17, 2009

In this short TechEd ’09 video Ingo Hilgefort is being interviewed on integrating BusinessObjects with the SAP world, covering the SAP BusinessObjects/SDN community and his book on this subject.

Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects