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SAP Business Objects technology in Healthcare (Part 2 – Crystal Reports)

1. Introduction

Continuing our series from Using SAP Business Objects technology in Healthcare (Part 1) on how to use SAP Business Objects technology in healthcare this blog further describes how to create the Crystal reports based on the existing BI queries for healthcare. 

The Hospital InfoArea in the SAP Business Information Warehouse provides the user with predefined Business Content for hospitals. This contains healthcare topics and contents tailored to the needs of a hospital, including multiple key figures and characteristics for hospital-specific reporting. This document helps the user in implementing the existing BI queries in the crystal reports which will help the developers and modelers to design interactive reports.

2. Install the following softwares

The following softwares needs to be installed in order to use the existing BI queries in the crystal reports. 

i. Crystal Reports 2008 software.

1. Go to

2. Navigate to Installations and Upgrades.

3. Click Entry by Application Group.

4. Click SAP BusinessObjects packages and products.

5. Click Crystal Reports.

6. Click Crystal Reports 2008 V1.

7. Click Installation.

ii. BusinessObjects Integration for SAP Solutions XI 3.1

This kit provides the user with the ability to use SAP BW variables that appear as parameters in Crystal Reports.

1. Go to

2. Navigate to Installations and Upgrades.

3. Click Entry by Application Group.

4. Click SAP BusinessObjects packages and products.

5. Click BusinessObjects Integration for SAP.

6. Click BusinessObjects Integration for SAP XI 3.1.

7. Click Installation

3. Process to use the Existing BI queries for Crystal Reports

The following steps describes in detail on how to to use the SAP BI queries data in the crystal reports. Click on the link below to know each section in detail. 


1. SAP BI Metadata in Crystal Reports

2. Dimension and Characteristics

3. Introduction to SAP Toolbar…

4. Creating new Report using existing BI query….

5. Key Benefits of using Crystal Reports


Now let us go through these steps one by one in detail. The detailed steps are explained as below.

3.1 SAP BI Metadata in Crystal Reports

In this chapter we will understand the different BI query elements. The table below shows how SAP BI metadata is used in Crystal Reports.


BI Query element Crystal Reports designer element
Characteristic Separate fields for key and description per characteristic.
Hierarchy Fields representing a parent-child relationship.
Keyfigure Measure element in a grouping called Keyfigure. Each Keyfigure can have up to three elements: numeric value, unit, and formatted value.
Calculated Keyfigure Measure element in the folder Keyfigure. (Information about the details of the calculated keyfigure is not available in Crystal Reports.)
Restricted Keyfigure Measure element in the folder Keyfigure (Information about the details of the restricted keyfigure is not available in Crystal Reports.)
Filter Filters will be applied to the underlying query but are not visible in the Crystal Reports designer.
Navigational attribute Separate fields for key and description per navigational attribute.
Display attribute Each display attribute becomes one field in the field explorer. The display attributes are grouped together with the actual characteristic.
SAP variables Parameters.


3.2 Dimension and Characteristics

In this chapter we will understand in detail about the dimensions and characteristics. The image below shows a sample of Healthcare SAP BI query in the BEx Query Designer. The rows of this query include several characteristics and the columns several keyfigures.




When you build a Crystal Report on top of such an SAP BI query, the following elements will be displayed in the crystal reports as shown below:

  • Each characteristic in the query will result in an element in the field explorer with a key and a description item (Example: Patient case and Institution).                      
  • In addition each characteristic will also generate a Node ID and a Parent Node ID which can be used for hierarchical reporting.                         
  • Each characteristic will also generate a Member Unique Name field which represents the technical key value.




3.2.1 Keyfigures, Units, and Currencies

Each keyfigure used in an SAP BI query can have up to three elements:

  • Numeric value of the keyfigure.
  • Unit or currency information.
  • Formatted value, representing the user-specific formatting.



Each key figure is represented with a field in a group called Measures.

• In case the key figure is configured in SAP BI with a unit, an additional field will be added representing the unit information.

• The Formatted Value represents the numeric value, formatted as a string value following the user-specific formatting settings.

The Help files for ‘Hospital General’ infoarea queries can be foun in the path mentioned below.

3.3 Introduction to SAP Toolbar…

When the user installs the “BusinessObjects Integration for SAP Solutions XI 3.1” as described in the introduction, the SAP toolbar will be installed in the Menu bar as shown below.


The SAP specific toolbar and the SAP specific menu items offer the user the typical SAP open and save dialogs. These menu items are also used in the Business Explorer which allow the user to store the Crystal Report object directly into SAP BI roles.


The following table gives a brief introduction of all available menu options of the SAP toolbar:


3.4 Creating new Report using existing BI query…


Now let us understand how we can create the new crystal report using the existing BI queries. The process is as described below.


i. Select the BW MDX driver.

1. Start Crystal Reports Designer (Start > Programs > Crystal Reports 2008 > Crystal Reports 2008).

2. Select the menu SAP > Settings

3. Set the check box Use MDX Driver with support for Multiple structures.

4. Click OK.

Note: It is highly recommended to use the BW MDX driver as the BW query driver is an older version. The MDX driver supports the multiple structures of a BI query. Also it supports the display of attributes. BW MDX is a newer version of the query driver which is much faster and efficient than the older query driver.

ii. Select the menu SAP > Create New Report from a Query



iii. Select the SAP server from the SAP Logon.



iv. Enter the login details 


Enter the required Login details: Client, User, Password, and Language. Click OK.


v. Open the BI Query


The SAP standard open/save dialog will show up and offer the user to select a query from the roles or InfoAreas.


vi. SAP BI Query displayed in the crystal report (Characteristics and Keyfigures) 


For this report I am using a SAP BI Query based on the cube 0HC_C37_Q0001 (Case-Related Costs on Basis of Case-Based Orders) with the following characteristics:
–        Admitting Dept. OU

And the following key figures
–        Actual Revenue
–        Actual Costs
–        Actual Costs/Actual Revenues
The Initail screen in the crystal reports after selecting the query is displayed as below.   


Now you want to change the Initial Setup and show only the description of the characteristic and the key figures of the BEx query.
 –          Select the menu File > Options > Database and set the option “‘Show Description’

Now the Field Explorer will show SAP metadata instead of the technical name for the fields.


vii. Design the Report

 Drag ‘Admitting Dept. OU’, ‘Actual Costs’, ‘Actual Revenue’ and ‘Variance Actual Costs/Actual Revenues’ into the Details section of the Design tab. An object frame appears with the Arrow cursor as you drag the field onto the report:

–          The object frame represents the object you have just selected for placement.
–          The size of the object frame approximates the size of the data in the field selected.
–          Move the object frame as far to the left as you can in the Details section. If you move the field too far to the left, the Arrow cursor turns into a Stop cursor, indicating that you cannot drag the field that far. Keep in mind that you cannot place any objects outside the page margin.

The Design Tab should look similar to this:


viii. View the Report


Click Print Preview (Ctrl + R) on the Standard toolbar (or View -> Print Preview in the menu) to activate the Preview tab. The Enter Values dialog appears
Note: The first time you preview a report, you must select Print Preview to activate the Preview tab. The Preview tab appears to the right of the Design tab. You can then switch between designing and previewing the report by clicking the corresponding tab.

Select the Required Values fro, the ‘Available List’ or click on the check box ‘Set to Null’ on the bottom right corner to select all the values.


The system populates the Preview tab based on your selections. The screen should look similar to this:

Note: The report can be configured in such a way to highlight the Negative values. In the below report the negative value is highlighted in red.


ix. Completed final format of the crystal report


5. Key Benefits of using Crystal Reports


  • Simplicity and ease of use.
  • The report design interface is extremely user friendly and accommodating for users of different skill levels. 
  • The Crystal Reports application is extremely visual based, allowing users to intuitively construct reports with the support of several Explorers or development components per se… Figure below shows such an example…  


  • Crystal Reports also supports such industry and technology standards as Extensible Markup Language (XML)Open Database Connectivity (ODBC),

  • In addition to adhering to such data connectivity standards, Crystal Reports can also support virtually any application (Web or Windows) and device (PDAs and cell phones). This makes Crystal Reports a very flexible solution for organizations and developers who need to support a wide range of specific information delivery requirements.
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        Author's profile photo Ingo Hilgefort
        Ingo Hilgefort

        great steps. I hope the three links will help:

        Getting started

        here you can find lots of material on how do start with BusinessObjects.

        Software / Installation

        here you find all the details on where you can get the software and the keycodes.

        Content Library

        here you can find Crystal Reports examples - including Healthcare reports based on standard BI Content queries.


        Author's profile photo Former Member
        Former Member
        Thanks Ingo for your feedback. These steps are really good and helpful.....
        Author's profile photo Former Member
        Former Member
        The screen shots mentioned in this blog are not visible. Please check and correct the links.