So — what does that mean? Why use the BI Java SDK instead of, say, BW’s Web Application Designer? After our announcement last week that we posted the SDK for download on SDN, an astute reader asked just that question in the BW forum.
The short answer is that the BI Java SDK is not a replacement for the Web Application Designer. It’s an additional tool for a different set of needs and perhaps for a different target user. Since it’s designed for Java developers, it gives you total freedom to do whatever you want with your data, and to visualize it however you want.
Let’s compare the two informally in a little table (note that I say ‘informally’ – this table by no means exhausts use cases or scenarios for either tool):
Web Application Designer
BI Java SDK
|Target user||BW content developer; no need to be an engineer||Java developer (with business intelligence questions to solve)|
|Ease-of-use||Easy to use||You need to be an engineer|
|Querying capabilities||Anything you can do with the Query Designer||Any query you can create yourself – supplemented by any calculations you may want to perform on top of it|
|Supported data sources||BW||Diverse OLAP and relational sources, BW and non-BW|
|Visualization||Full suite of Web items and stylesheets included so that your output automatically looks nice||You design it yourself – no limitations|
Now, having said that you need to be a Java engineer to use the BI Java SDK, you should know that we’ve designed it with ease-of-use in mind. This isn’t just a Java API with half-written Javadocs for you to fish around in on your own. We provide examples, a complete documentation set, and simplified command interfaces that help you build complicated MDX or SQL statements without having to write them from scratch. But that’s a different story (or at least a different blog).
For now, if you’re curious, bear in mind that you might consider the BI Java SDK as a solution if:
- The information you need for an analytical application is stored in BW, but is available only in disparate objects
- You do not have the time or budget to quickly develop an additional InfoProvider for one particular application
- BW does not offer the level of custom calculation or simulation capabilities you need
- You are a Java developer, and you wish to leverage this ability and the flexibility of custom application design together with the ease of integration and deployment of SAP’s NetWeaver
- You’d like to integrate data from both relational and multidimensional (OLAP) data sources into one application
- You want to create an analytical application involving data from a third-party data source
You can read about one particular business scenario in more detail in the BI Java SDK documentation set.
I hope that helps get you started with the BI Java SDK. Download it from the SDN downloads page, and let us know what you’re doing with it by posting to the Business Information Warehouse forum. Enjoy!