We are in process of moving a lot of Analysis for Office (AfO) workbooks from a SAP BW environment to the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform. Besides storing the workbooks on BI Platform, we of course want to use the OLAP connection on the BI Platform to connect to BW, instead of using the direct – locally defined – connection from AfO to BW.
AfO has a nice feature to quickly swap source systems, but it is a bit hidden. We are using Analysis for Office 2.3 by the way.
1. Open the workbook you want to migrate. Make sure your workbook is not connected to the BW system. Display the Design Panel, go to the Components tab and select your workbook. Right-click to Log Off.Analysis for Office, Knowledge sharing
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
This week we got access to the beta program for one of the new upcoming SAP BI tools: SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Edition for Application Design, codename ZEN. I played around with it for about an hour to get a quick first impression and to see how fast I would be able to create my first ZEN app with some interactivity.
If you haven’t heard about ZEN before you should check the following blogposts:
The user guide gives the following definition of ZEN:
SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for application design enables application designers to create analysis applications and dashboards for browsers and mobile devices on top of BW and SAP HANA data sources. It is the product of choice when full support for BW and HANA data models and engine capabilities is required. The product offers a design tool that allows you to create applications in an easy and intuitive way without the need for native HTML and iPad UI programming skills.
Looking at the SAP BI tools, the features of the current BEx Web Application Designer (WAD) and SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) will be merged into this one tool (to rule them all!). Note that ZEN is now in beta, ramp-up is planned for end 2012 and it will be general availability not before the middle of 2013!! So we have enough time to learn about this new tool.
The ZEN software installer required me to install Internet Explorer 9 on my Windows 7 VM. This could lead to some problems in production environments that are using WAD, since WAD only works well with Internet Explorer 8. At one of my current projects we now also have this problem after upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 with IE9. Check SAP note 1635870 for more info on this issue.
Setting up the connection to the SAP BW system was easy; just copy-pasting the settings from the SAP logon settings. There is no ‘check connection’ option, so you have to execute the app to check if your settings are correct. Interesting is the option to create multiple SAP BW and SAP HANA connections. Also it seems like you don’t need a live connection to work on an app. In WAD this was required.
The program looks a bit like WAD and Xcelsius, with several components to choose from on the left, a canvas in the middle and on the right the properties of the selected component.
Knowledge sharing, New technology, Preview, SAP, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, ZEN
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