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SAP and BOBJ Front End Integration

Since SAP decided to integrate with BOBJ there is lot of speculation and potential implementation dilemmas around this subject as to how would this work. In this regards to get a clear understanding, I would like to discuss here how the existing SAP front end tools integrate with the future BOBJ front end tools with its independent time horizon limits and the approach moving ahead. I would also like to give you heads-up on some of the SAP front end tools which would get replaced by BOBJ front end tools and the existing SAP front end tools available for migration.There are significant changes involved around the overall product however; I would like to concentrate prima-facie on the front end related changes this time. 

To begin with the first slide, it shows Business objects Roadmap and it’s offering with its respective time horizon.

image                                                                            image

Note – Products not explicitly mentioned here continue on their existing roadmap.Examples (not a complete list) are SAP Net Weaver BI (EDW), SAP NetWeaverBIA, SAP Net Weaver Composition Environment & VC, Business Objects Rapid Marts, etc. 

This slide is the most important of all the slides, it give the 360 degree front end integration overview of SAP with BOBJ. As per my school of thought our memory keeps sharp image of the objects which we see at a glance and hence I pursued combining all the key points on one slide rather than keeping them separated, to avoid confusion created so far with the myriad tools


                                                  KEY POINTS


Enterprise Reporting
OLAP Analysis
Query Designer
Adhoc Reporting
Report Designer
to be used for Enterprise Reporting
PIONEER  to be used for OLAP analysis
Replaced Tools –
BEx Analyzer
BEx Web Analyzer
BEx Query Designer is not affected by the roadmap. It remains a central tool for SAP NetWeaver BI customers
Web Intelligence to be used for Adhoc Reporting
Universe architecture design
to be used for report design
Replaced Tools –
Bex Report Designer
Xcelcius + to be used for dashboards.
Replaced Tools –
Web Application Designer
Crystal Report  to be used for highly formatted reporting such as management reports or legal reports
The connectivity of Crystal Reports to SAP NW BI is achieved using NW BI’s MDX based OLAP BAPI when accessing InfoCubes and queries.

Connectivity to Data Store objects works via Open SQL driver

Pioneer will combine Voyager’s intuitive user interface with the powerful OLAP capabilities of today’s Bex OLAP tools
It will be available as web client as well as Excel client with tight integration between the two.
Pioneer DONT need Universe
Migration will be provided later on from BEx Analyzer/ BEx Web Analyzer to the Pioneer Analysis client
All BOBJ tools can or will consume BEx queries either directly (Pioneer, Voyager, Crystal, Xcelsius) or via OLAP universe (WebI)
Self-service reporting
and analysis,autonomy
From IT.
Simple user interface
Designed for masses
Combine data from
SAP and non SAP in a
Single Report
Sits on top of Business
Objects Universes.
Universes connect to SAP Net weaver BI via OLAP BAPI

Access objects –
Bex Queries
SAP BI InfoCubes
SAP Multiprovider

No access to DSO

BEx Report Designer 7.1, last release in 2008, maximum maintenance until 2016
No Migration of  report designer to CR or CR lite products
Visual Composer will pick-up further Web Application Design features both in the design- as well as in the runtime, in order to support modeling, running & personalization of composites with seamlessly embedded Business Intelligence
It is planned that Visual Composer provides capabilities to embed and call Enterprise Reports (Crystal Reports), Xcelsius Dashboards and the Pioneer Web/Excel client directly from within Visual Composer Models


Important Notes-Bex Query Designer- no Replacement.All BOBJ tools can or will utilize Bex queries either directly (Pioneer, Voyager, Crystal, Xcelsius) or via OLAP universe (WebI) built using Bex Query Designer.
Voyager – It is the intermediate tool before the Pioneer is released.As per SAP, for selected areas, such as web- & Excel based OLAP analysis, it will still be beneficial to leverage BEx Analyzer & BEx Web Analyzer for new projects as they provide superior OLAP features compared to Business Object Voyager.Hence I am not discussing in detail about the voyager architecture however, voyager customers will be able to migrate to Pioneer.
Universe – They are limited to one source per Universe at this point, but in some cases multiple Universes may be accessed by Webi, Voyager, or Polestar. A Universe is limited to 1 GB of  metadata now, which limits the size and complexity of projects. SAP also recommends connecting a Universe to BI through a BEx Query now, for purposes of performance and avoiding problems with hierarchies, navigational attributes, and a few others.   Now that we have learnt the new BOBJ tools and its integration coupled points with SAP, let us have a close look at some of the migration overview and possible options.SAP comes with 2 offerings primarily-

  • Base offering
  • Premium Offering

Below snapshot shows the products available with Base and Premium offerings  

SAP Tools
BOBJ Tools
Base Package
Premium Package
Bex Analyzer
Bex Web Analyzer
Bex Report Designer
Crystal Reports
Bex Query Designer
Bex Web Application Designer
Visual Composer




If you want to start new projects SAP recommends to evaluate and use the Business Object premium packages. For selected areas, such as web- & Excel based OLAP analysis, it will still be beneficial to leverage BEx Analyzer & BEx Web Analyzer for new projects as they provide superior OLAP features compared to Business Object Voyager. Projects requiring an Excel OLAP Integration should be carried out with BEx Analyzer until Pioneer arrives.f you are already experienced with the BEx Web Applications Designer, and want to build heavy weight BI Web applications, you can still do this using BEx Web Application Designer, but please evaluate Visual Composer in NW Composition Environment 7.1.1, as VC/CE tools will be the go-to solutions for design of web-based, composite applications in the future. 

Key Takeaways –

1) Enterprise Reporting – Crystal Reports

            Connects to almost everything, including ECC. Nice tool for super users and IT programmers.

2) OLAP Analysis – PIONEER

Bex analyzer, Bex Web analyzer, Report designer to be replaced by Business Objects tool called PIONEER. No need of Universe for building reports using Pioneer.

3) Bex Query Designer – No Replacement

BEx Query Designer is not affected by the roadmap. It remains a central tool for SAP Net Weaver BI customers.

4) Bex Report Designer 7.1 – Crystal Light product

             Last release in 2008, maximum maintenance until 2016, to be replaced with Crystal Light product

5) Adhoc analysis –  Web Intelligence (WebI) tool

            Access SAP via Universe ,connects to BI InfoCubes, BI MultiProviders, and BEx Queries, but not DSOs.It cannot for larger complex projects. In 2009 it will be improved to multiple sources (more than one Infocube, etc).

6) Dashboard – Xcelcius Tool

             Existing Dashboard reporting tools to be replaced by Business objects tool Xcelcius + .
Connectivity to SAP is through Crystal Reports or Web Intelligence. Nice tool for End Users,especially future releases .

SAP and BOBJ more insights-



Chetan Patel’s SDN Profile –

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