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The goal of information broadcasting is to distribute the right information, in the appropriate format, to the right people, through different channels, at the right time. With SAP BW 3.5 in SAP NetWeaver 2004, we saw the first information broadcasting capabilities delivered with the Business Explorer (BEx) tools in conjunction with the knowledge management capabilities of the SAP NetWeaver Portal. With the BEx Broadcaster in SAP NetWeaver 2004s, you have new types of objects that you can broadcast, new distribution types, and new output options that combine to better meet this goal. The Right Information – New Object Types You can now broadcast BEx query views and formatted reports (“reports”) in addition to Web applications, queries and workbooks. Reports are a new BEx object type developed within the new BEx Report Designer tool. The Appropriate Format – New Output Formats New output formats have also been added. As these output formats are based on the distribution type, I’ll discuss most of them in the next section about new distribution types. One important enhancement to the Broadcast Email and Broadcast to the Portal distribution types is the ability to distribute your Web documents as a PDF file. To The Right People, Through Different Channels, At The Right Time – New Distribution TypesBroadcast to the Printer:  This option allows you to broadcast to any printer based on Post Script (PS), Printer Common Language (PSL) or PDF. Printers can be set up in the SAP NetWeaver Application Server under Tools > CCMS > Print. The user’s default printer can be set up in the user profile as well. Broadcast Email (Bursting):  This option allows you to broadcast user-specific data based on the master data attributes stored in BI. Rather than requiring the BEx Broadcaster user to specify a distribution list, the system determines the recipients from the information available in the master data. Additionally, the recipient does not have to be a user in SAP NetWeaver 2004s to see only their “own” data, the system determines this from the definition in the system. For example, the cost center manager is assigned to the cost center in the system and therefore will receive only the data for that cost center. Broadcast According to Exceptions:  Exception broadcasting is now configured in the BEx Broadcaster. Exceptions are defined in the BEx Query Designer as before, and then the Broadcast According to Exceptions distribution type is selected in the BEx Broadcaster. The user then has a choice of a subordinate distribution type, for example, to send an email, send the exception to the portal, or create an alert. Further definition includes whether to initiate a broadcast if any exception occurs or if only a specific level of exception occurs. When the exception report is processed (on an ad-hoc, scheduled or event-driven basis), if an exception or specified exception level is identified, the broadcast will be triggered.  In the create an alert option, the BEx Broadcaster is integrated with the Central Alert Framework of the SAP NetWeaver AS and the Universal Worklist (UWL) of the SAP NetWeaver Portal. This allows central management of all alerts, from both BI and other sources, as well as a single point of access for the end user to alerts and other workflow tasks. Broadcast (Multi-Channel):  You can use this distribution type to create a setting that simultaneously broadcasts to email, to the portal and to the printer. Other: Other new distribution types are Fill Precalculation Store, Precalculate Value Set, Fill OLAP Cache, and Fill MDX Cache. These distribution types allow the BEx Broadcaster to replace the functions of the Reporting Agent. (Old Reporting Agent scenarios still run in SAP NetWeaver 2004s. However, the Reporting Agent will not be developed any further and is removed from the SAP NetWeaver 2004s Data Warehousing Workbench. You can now only reach the Reporting Agent using transaction code REPORTING_AGENT.) The Fill Precalculation Store distribution type allows you to precalculate Web templates, and the Precalculate Value Set option you to fill pre-calculated value set variables with values for characteristic values. The pre-calculated value sets are then available as variable values in BEx queries. With the Fill OLAP Cache, and Fill MDX Cache distribution types, you can warm up the OLAP and MDX cache with BEx queries.  For more information on information broadcasting and the other new capabilities of BI in SAP NetWeaver 2004s, see the SAP Service Marketplace at http://service.sap.com/bi, under the path SAP NetWeaver 2004s BI > BI Capabilities. The SAP NetWeaver 2004s documentation is also now available; you can find it at http://help.sap.com under the path Documentation > SAP NetWeaver.
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  1. Stéphane Beguin
    Hi,

    on my project, we are running on Netweaver 2004 SAP_BW 3.5 (SP15). My customers have quiet a lot of printing requirements : each month, they want to print (in one go)one query web template for a cost center hierarchy and they need to have a print-out of each and every Cost center and node making part of this hierarchy (hundreds od reports).

    The reporting agent functionalities are not good enough since the print-out layout is very bad. Would this requirement be possible if we upgrade to SN 2004s ?

    Thx a lot four your advice

    Stéphane Beguin
    + 32 475 95 35 76
    stephane.beguin@pv.be

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    1. Anonymous
      Hi Stephane,

      I certainly think it would be worth looking at. With SAP NetWeaver 2004s, you have a couple of options for improving formatting of Web outputs. You can use the PDF option for your query, or you can create an enterprise report from the query using the BEx Report Designer. If you view my blog “Simplified BEx Web Printing in SAP NetWeaver 2004s with PDF”, you can see an example of the PDF output. With the data bursting option in information broadcasting, you can process the query one time and produce separate reports based on attributes in the master data, which may be the solution to producing your separate reports. Of course, I can’t say for sure because I don’t know your specific requirements.

      You can find more information about the new information broadcasting features in the SAP Service Marketplace at service.sap.com/bi. Under the SAP NetWeaver 2004s BI path, you can find the process view of information broadcasting under the Enterprise Reporting, Query and Analysis path. Additionally, the documentation at help.sap.com has some more details about the new features.

      Regards,
      Katie

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  2. Chris Mason
    Dear Kathleen:
    I am using SAP BW 3.5 in preparation to upgrade from SAP BW 2.1.  I haven’t seen the option to Broadcast to Printer.  Does this option show up only if you add adobe distiller?  I’ve noticed that the help page titled “Print” doesn’t show up on our SAP BW 3.5 instance.  However, I see it on SAP help website.  Perhaps we have an older version.
    Sincerely,
    Chris Mason.
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    1. Anonymous
      Hi Chris,

      SAP BW 3.5 is part of SAP NetWeaver 2004. Unfotunately, the ability to broadcast directly to the printer is not delivered until the next release, SAP NetWeaver 2004s, which is currently in ramp-up and expected to be in mass shipment this summer.

      Regards,
      Katie

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  3. Vijeta Kambhampati
    Hi,
      Can you let me know, what is best system landscape for IB?
    Can you let us know which option is good on production environment?
    1) We are planning to install Pre Calculated service on production application servers. We don’t want install Pre cal service on database server.
    2) Install pre cal service on standalone server without application server components.
    Thanks
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    1. Anonymous
      Hi Vijeta,

      Those questions are best answered by my colleagues in consulting. I suggest you take a look at the BI Suite – Business Explorer to see if someone has posted a similar question, and, if not, post yours there. You’ll get great support from the experts there.

      Regards,
      Katie

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  4. Vijeta Kambhampati
    Hi Kathy,
       Is there any way, can I check Information broadcasting schedule other than from front end (WEB front end).
    We have lot of reports to schedule; it is really pain to go each and every IB setting to check the schedule of the report.
    Regards
    Kambhampati
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    1. Anonymous
      Hi Kambhampati,

      In SAP BW 3.5 (SAP NetWeaver 2004), there is only the normal batch job scheduling that you can check.

      With SAP NetWeaver 2004s, there is a new transaction rsrd_admin (or rsa1 -> Administration -> Broadcasting), where you can view your schedules.

      Regards,
      Katie

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  5. Paul Farrell
    For the scenario where a customer wants to schedule numerous (e.g., 100) simultaneous broadcasts, can the precalculation server support parallel processing so that one machine with multiple chips can be used rather than having to install the precalc server on multiple machines?
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    1. Anonymous
      Hi Paul,

      I am not a technical expert, so this question is best answered by my colleagues in consulting. I suggest you take a look at the BI Suite – Business Explorer to see if someone has posted a similar question, and, if not, post yours there. You’ll get great support from the experts there. (And more people are likely to see the answer, so we get better communication to the BI community.)

      Regards,
      Katie

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  6. Valérie RENEE
    Hi Cathy,

    We have got BW 3.5.
    Could you give some information about broadcasting engine and what function is included in it ? What part is it ?
    I wonder if there is any difference when using broadcasting in NW04 or in NW04s about SAP licence ?   
    Regards. Valerie.

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    1. Anonymous
      Hi Valerie,

      You can find details about information broadcasting in SAP BW 3.5 in the online help at http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw04/helpdata/en/start.htm. Additionally, in the SAP Service Marketplace at service.sap.com/bi, you can find a presentation in the “Media Library > Presentatons SAP BI/ SAP BW” folder and a high level description and automated demo in the “SAP BW 3.5” folder.

      There is no change in licensing associated with information broadcasting in either release.

      Regards,
      Katie

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  7. Peter Bennetto
    Hi Kathy,

    Nice blog. I read on sapnote 832713 that some web items will be removed in 2004s.  Particularily the Role item (CL_RSR_WWW_ITEM_MENU).  Our company relies on the role menu for all users to browse available web templates.  We don’t use portal.  When we migrate to 2004s, what will be the options to replace the role menu item?

    Thanks
    Peter

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    1. Anonymous
      Hi Peter,

      I’ll do my best to answer your question, but I want to remind you that it is best to post questions like these that are unrelated to the blog content to the appropriate forum. Others who might be interested in the same information probably won’t be looking for it here! (For this particular question, the BI Suite – Business Explorer is best UNLESS you are part of ramp-up, in which case I would use the SAP NetWeaver 2004s Ramp-Up forum.)

      Anyway, the first thing you need to know is that a portal is required for the new BEx Suite in SAP NetWeaver 2004s. However, this portal can be installed on the same server as the BI ABAP stack. You do not need to use this as your enterprise portal, you can just use it to organize your BI, or you can “hide” it. With the new BEx Suite, from the design tools, you would publish your queries and templates as links into folders in “My Portfolio” (similar to your favorites in BI) or to the “BEx Portfolio”, which contains public folders where a user’s view is determined by his or her role. These are delivered iViews in the portal.

      If you choose to hide the portal, you can determine the URL to launch My Portfolio or BEx Portfolio by opening the iView in the portal and selecting the “Open in New Window” option from the iView options. In the new window, you’ll see the URL and be able to provide this to your end users for direct access to the selected iView. In the same way, you can determine the URLs to launch the BEx Web Analyzer and BEx Broadcaster independent of the portal structure.

      Finally, keep in mind that we also deliver the SAP BW 3.x tools with SAP NetWeaver 2004s, and it is possible to use them in parallel with the new tools. If you have no need to use the new functionality for these templates, you could continue to use the your existing content and can even continue to update them as required using the “old” tools. Just keep in mind that the old tools/templates will work as before – you won’t be able, for example, to drag and drop columns in and out of a Web table item as you can now with the new “analysis” item.

      Regards,
      Katie

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      1. Peter Bennetto
        Thank you Katie, that clears it up considerably.  Unfortuately, having portal mandatory for BEx Suite will change our company’s policy on adopting 2004s by about 5 years.  We likely will not upgrade until 2010 or more.

        Peter

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  8. Tamara Robinson
    Hi, thank you for your information. I was wondering if you could possibly tell me if there are any questions/prerequisites I should be asking/taking in order to properly implement information broadcasting?

    Thanks,
    Tamara

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  9. Niriksha Amin
    Hi Kathleen

    I would like to know if we can restrict the use of Exception broadcasting depending on user role.

    Thanks

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    1. Anonymous
      Hi Niriksha,

      This would be restricted based on authorizations. If a user does not have S_RS_ADMWB  with RSADMWBOBJ=BR_SETTING, then they can only access the “end-user” functions of e-mailing, printing, or exporting to knowledge management in the portal.

      Regards,
      Katie

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  10. Scott Sweeny
    Hi Katie,

    I was wondering if you advise in terms of Filling the OLAP Cache.

    I have a number of queries that I want to cache the current week, plus the last 4 weeks, each night.

    I have the variable for current week working fine but how do I create offsets of this in the ‘Filling OLAP Cache’ in Info Broadcasting?

    Regards,

    Scot

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    1. Anonymous
      Hi Scot,

      Unfortunately, I have no experience with using this feature, so I can’t advise you. Have you tried posting your question at the “BI in SAP NetWeaver 2004s” forum?

      Regards,
      Katie

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  11. eren batu
    Hi Kathleen,

    Thanks for this nice blog.

    I wonder if we can assign multiple users to be emailed for one value. for example if i want to send the email for cost center A to multiple users can i use email bursting. if so how?

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  12. Rahul P
    Hi Kathleen,

    I am sending query to users, for few users i am getting problem and broadcasting to failed, showing following error.

    Error of type CERR_BCS occurred sending document ZWEBQUERY1.zip

    Error occurred during processing of framework class CL_RSRD_DISTRIBUTOR_MAIL, type DIST

    Could you please tell me how to solve this error.

    Thanks in advance,
    Venky

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    1. Anonymous
      Hi Venky,

      You need to continue to use OSS and the SAP support structure for product issues.

      Regards,
      Katie

      (0) 

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