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BusinessObjects and SAP Part 5

In case you missed the first parts of my blog series I have included the links to them here:

BusinessObjects and SAP Part I

BusinessObjects and SAP Part 2

BusinessObjects and SAP Part 3

BusinessObjects and SAP Part 4


In my previous blogs I did focus on how Crystal Reports can leverage data from a SAP BW or from a SAP R/3 system.

In the next couple of blogs I will focus on how simple it is to use Web Intelligence on top of SAP BW.


Web Intelligence is able to leverage SAP BW queries and SAP BW cubes. This connectivity is using the OLAP BAPI interface to build universes.


Universes allow the user to create a rich semantic layer (metadata) on top of the underlying datasource and share this data representation with all users.


To be able to use Web Intelligence I first have to build a new Universe based on the SAP BW query.

To build the universe I have first to create a new connection based on the SAP BW connection type.



In the next step I need to provide the details of the SAP server

The option “Authentication Mode” allows to specify the type of authentication that will be used for this connection. I am able to specify to use a specific user and password or to use Single-Sign-On.

In the next screen I am able to browse all available cubes and queries from the BW System.


After I selected my query I can build the universe. The Universe Designer is retrieving all available metadata from the SAP BW system and is creating a new Universe.


I will try to explain how the universe is matching the objects from SAP BW based on a concrete example.


This query contains several characteristics in the rows, several keyfigures in the columns and a filter for the characteristic Country (value = USA).


A new Universe based on this query looks like shown in the image below.


  • The cube dimensions are resulting in a class in the OLAP Universe (for example, cube dimension Customer shown in the image).
  • Each characteristic from the query results in a class with a dimension and one or more detail objects.
  • Each characteristic is represented by a Level 0 and a Level 1 object in the universe, where the Level 0 object represents the aggregated view on this characteristic (representing the “All” member from the underlying cube).
  • Each characteristic is also represented by one to several detail object (shown as green objects in the image) representing the key value, short, medium and long description, and the display attributes for the characteristic.




  • Each key figure is represented with a measure object in a class Key Figures.
  • In the case the keyfigure is configured in SAP BW with a unit, an additional dimension object will be added representing the unit information (in my example the Order Amount Unit).
  • The formatted value represents the numeric value formatted as a string value, following the user-specific formatting settings.




 After I create the new universe, I can export the universe to the BusinessObjects Enterprise platform. After doing so I am able to use Web Intelligence to create a new report.


I am starting InfoView and use the SAP authentication method so that I can use my SAP credentials and will be able to achieve Single-Sign-On.

In InfoView I start Web Intelligence and select the universe I just created.

In Web Intelligence I can use all components from the universe to create a query and a report. The query defines which data is being retrieved from the BW system and the report defines the layout.



In the area Query Filters I can create additional filters for this report.


After executing the query the data is presented to me in the report.




I hope that this short description gave you a good overview on how a Universe and Web Intelligence can leverage SAP BW queries.

The products I used for this are :

  • BusinessObjects Enterprise XI Release 3.0
  • Web Intelligence XI Release 3.0
  • BusinessObjects Integration for SAP Solutions XI Release 3.0 


In the following blogs I will go into more details on hierarchies, variables, attributes, and structures and how they will be leveraged in the universe.

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  • Hi, Ingo

    Thanks for your information here.
    As you mentioned above, Universe can be built on both SAP Cubes and BW Query.

    I know how to connect Cubes, but I can NOT find where to build connection with BW Query.

    Can you please inspire me the details on this?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi,
      after configuring the server details you should see a OLAP Browser showing the cubes and when opening up the folder for your cube you should see all the queries.

      if not – make sure the query is “realesed for external access” in the query properties in the query designer


  • Hi,
    I would like to know how BO handles Hierarchies and master data ? Also if it provides functionality like RRI to an R/3 transaction system.


    • Hi Balaji,

      could you elaborate a little bit more what exactly you looking for ?

      Based on the BW query we can use all the hierarchies and master data.


  • Hi Ingo,

    great information in all your blogs.  Since the Web Intelligence tool can access both Cubes and Queries the following question arises.  Is there an advantage using one over the other (cubes vs queries)?  Is there a performance issue that needs to be taking into consideration?  I am trying to understand why you would create a query if the tool can access the cube directly. 

  • Are all master data attributes, restricted & calculated key figures, variables, etc available if the Universe is defined on a cube instead of a query?  Also, what about BW security on query naming conventions when a BW query is not being executed?
    • Hi,
      in case you connect to a BW cube directly you would lose the following items right now:

      – Navigational Attributes
      – Restricted keyfigures
      – Calculated Keyfigures


      • What about the related variables?  If you connect directly to an infoprovider from BO would you still have access to these?  I assume not.


  • I appreciate the indo on using Bus Obj with BW.  I’ve seen the Roadmap document about what Netweaver BI tools will be replaced by BO tools. 

    We just completed an upgrade to BI 7.0 but are still using 3.5 fronend tools. The big question that I have not seen answered anywhere, and I hear many SAP customers in the same position ask, is this – if SAP is replacing a BI 7.0 feature, e.g. such as the Formatted Reporting with Crystal Base?

    I understand some BO tools may be part of a premium bundle, but which BO tools would be included at no charge as part of my existing licensing, and when can I order them?  Or will there be additional licensing costs to get a replacement BO component?

  • Ingo,

    how should we work out how many object need to be navigable or display?  Should we have more navigable for BO or more display for BO?

    What are the pros/cons of each?

    Many thanks

  • Hi Ingo,

    Thanks for the information on the integration of BO and BW. However, I cannot find anywhere a complete set of preconditions and versions necessary to connect BO and BW. We are currently working with BW 3.5 and want to connect an existing BO to provide reporting with BO. Is this possible and what technical preconditions are necessary?

    Unfortunately, the information I could find is on such a high level that it can mean all or nothing.
    Would you – from a more technical and consultant’s point of view recommend this connection?

    Thanks and best regards,

  • wonderful work , ingo.
    It has helped us a lot in understanding the roadmap.
    now i’m more clear on it.

    i just had few more questions.
    My client is already having all the reports built in SAP BI. but he is keen on moving to SAP BO to standized all reporting.
    how much would be additional efforts say in % or any other unit for
    creating a SAP BO query directly over a SAP BI infocube
    creating a SAP BO query over a SAP BI Query.

    i know it is difficult to comment on this. but just a guess work.

    moreover , i already have a SAP BI license, & also a BO XI license. But do i need additional license for having this SAP BI-BO integration kit.


      • Hello Ingo,

        I am a newbie to BO and have gone through several blogs of yours. They are really helpful.

        I want to use Universe designer, but I dont have the universe designer client executables to connect to the server. I have installed SAP Integration kit (Client version) but dont see that in my start menu.

        Here is what I have in my laptop

        > Crystal reports 2008 viewer
        > BOBJ Client
        > BOBJ Integration kit.

        What other software should I install at the client machine to access Universe designer?


  • hi hingo

    when we fetch data from other databases to universe in business objects we create & design schema,and when we fetch data from sap-bi creating schema in universe required or not? clarify me


  • Hi Ingo,

      I have a problem (BO XI R3 + BW 7).
    Cannot get the list of Infocubes in folder $Infocube of Universe Designer while creating connection to BW, only queries are visible.

    Are there any specific settings required in order to get access to the Infocubes?


        • Hi,
          I meant the forums here in SDN. There is a large set of BusinessObjects related forums and one of them is the Integration Kit for SAP. Its easier to follow up and share issues / resolutions there.


          • Thank you, but I did revise the forums and anybody answer my question, I don´t found nothing. I did the conection, however cannot get the list of infocubes in $INFOCUBE. Could you mind to answer my doubt please?. I need help…
            Thank you so much and excuse for my insistence.
  • Dear

    I have been reading your blogs great information on BO and SAP integration.

    Can you please throw some light on SAP ERP integration with BO Web Intelligence.

    Garre, Ravi Kumar V R

    • Hi Ravi,

      Crystal Report is able to report on top of R/3 today already.
      see here:
      BusinessObjects and SAP Part 4

      Web Intelligence does not have a direct connectivity on top of SAP ERP today but one of the possible options could be to use the option to deploy a RapidMart

      hope this helps

  • Thanks for this, very helpfull.

    However in addition to the comment posted her before, what about bierachies. For example in this example the customer (0CUSTOMER) in SAP-BI has a hierarchy on Customer Group (0CUST_GRP1 ..5)? How does BO import this in it’s Universe, and how does this look like in Webi?


  • Hi, Ingo!  In your series, you do not mention issues with SAP dates coming across.  We have two scenarios:  One, dates that have a datatype of date will parse in the universe, but will give driver not capable when used in WebI.  Two, dates set with date datatype parse correctly and can be queried in WebI, but return incorrect results.  I suspect that we need to modify the data access files in order to accurately convert SAP dates (which by default come into the universe as Character) to a date datatype.  If this is the case, are there sample sapen.prm and sap.sbo files to ensure appropriate settings?

    Thanks so much!

    • hi Robin,

      I would suggest you open a entry in the forum for the SAP Integration Kit. The date does come across assuming you have an InfoObject defined as a date characteristics but would still suggest you open a case in the forum so that we can go through more details.


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  • Hi Ingo,

    I talked to Edy Sadelli, he said the best integrated package now is Netweaver 7.0 EHP1 SP2 <==> Business Objects XI 3.1 SP2, LA Fix 2. Where can I find the Business Objects XI 3.1 SP2, LA Fix 2? Has it been release yet? I could not find it on SAP Service Marketplace.

    Best Regards,

    • hi Saurabh,

      I would suggest you enter your question into the corresponding SDN forum and I am sure people will provide an answer

      Ingo Hilgefort

  • Hello Ingo,

    I am following all of your Blog on BusinessObjects. They are excellent and clearly understandable.

    I am performing an hands-on with your examples listed above. I have few questions..hope you can answer..

    > Should we create new connections for each query we have in the BI system?
    > How to update the License keys in the client machines after they expire? Unlike in the server side, we have CMC to update license keys, I dont see a way to update in client machines (Until these days, we have been using only the temporary license.. sorry for that)


    • Hi,
      in general it is better to ask these type of questions in the forums.

      > Should we create new connections for each query we have in the BI system?

      >> Yes

      > How to update the License keys in the client machines after they expire? Unlike in the server side, we have CMC to update license keys, I dont see a way to update in client machines (Until these days, we have been using only the temporary license.. sorry for that)

      Take a look at note 1199799


      • Hi Ingo,
                Its a Pleasure talking to you, have a problem with the Hierarchy Variable defined in BEx for 3 hierarchies defined in BEx query,In BEx analyzer the Variable is avaialble in the user selections and he can select any Hierarchy out of the three But the problem seems to be with Universe where i have created a Universe on top of this BEx Query but could not find the Hierarchy variable So in the WEBI Report the user is not getting the option of selecting the required Hierarchy.

        I could find these type of problems in the Forums and the solution given is to implement the OSS Note 1007048,But we are already on the Release SAPKW70021.Could you please help me out in this Problem which is very critical.

        Now that after implementing OSS Note 1007048 i can see the Hierarchy Varaible reflected in the Universe with L02 and under that i find two Objects LOV HierDept Hierarchy and LOV HierDept Hierarchy Base which are hided,Can you please explain why they are hided.

        Also the Hierarchy i have defined in BEx is ATS Tops which are having three departments Dept22,Dept23 and Dept24,So if i select this Hierarchy it should display only the values for Dept22,Dept23 and Dept24.It is coming fine in BEx query analyzer but the Problem seems to be with WEBI where even though i have selected ATS Tops iam getting all the Departments present in another Hierarchy.Can the Hierarchies variable defined in BEx be reflected in the same way to WEBI.

        If so Can you please explain the process.My Email Id is

        Thank you very much,

        • Hi Pradeep,

          I would suggest that you post your questions into the corresponding SDN forums and I am sure people will provide you with their view and help.

          Ingo Hilgefort

          • Hi Ingo,
                   Thank you very much for your reply,i have posted this query in the Forums and could not get the suitable solution.It would be great if you can just tell me whether this is really feasible in WEBI or need to go for Crystal Reports.

            Thanks & Regards,

  • Hello Ingo,

    Is there any problem in create an universe based on a Query from a Multicube? I tried to do this and it doesn’t work.


    • Hi,

      no problem. Queries on MultiProviders are supported. In case you are facing an issue I would suggest you open an entry in the corresponding forums.

      Ingo Hilgefort