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SAP integration kit which came out after the BusinessObjects acquisition by SAP had lot of expectations and yes it came quite close to match them. Consultants new to BI-BOBJ integration arena got the initial impression that it would take significant effort and time to install it and would require lot of configuration. But if all things are in place then it takes only 30-60 minutes to install the kit.

Actually BusinessObjects has got Integration Kit for every major ERP software solutions like SAP, BAAN, PeopleSoft, Siebel, etc. What Integration Kit does is very simple- it provides BusinessObjects suite of products the connectivity to these solutions so that BOBJ products can work on the data in the respective systems.

Though Integration Kit comes with many components and functionalities here I would be discussing only the database drivers. In future I will be posting other details about SAP Integration kit in my blogs. There are six database drivers which come with the Integration Kit for SAP Solutions, which provide connectivity to the SAP data-

1) Open SQL Driver: It provides easy and direct access to the SAP transparent tables, Views, pool tables and cluster tables. It also provides connectivity to the ABAP functions and data clusters. So no more ABAP development needed for reporting off tables in ECC system. One can now easily create printer pretty reports using Crystal on top of tables or functions with quick turnaround time. This driver has got very strong utility and caters to wide range of audience.  

2) Infoset Driver: One can report on the R/3 Infosets or ABAP queries through this driver. Thus as the logic is already built inside these components one can just reuse them and build a formatted report in Crystal. One should create Crystal reports on top of Infosets or Queries wherever applicable as that way Crystal doesn’t have to perform the task of collecting and filtering the data, rather it just does the formatting and display. I am not suggesting that Crystal can’t do the same but it would be more efficient this way. Also one can reuse the existing Infosets and queries reducing the development time for Crystal reports.

3) BW Query Driver: This driver is very tightly integrated with Crystal and provides the connectivity to BW queries. Though one can easily create report on the BW queries, it lacks some features which are provided in MDX Query Driver described below.

4) BW MDX Query Driver: It provides additional flexibility when one wants to report BW cubes or queries. One can create report on queries with multiple structures and can also directly access the BW cubes. I would always recommend using this driver for reporting on BW Query.

5) DSO Driver: The Data Store Objects driver allows one to report on the DSO objects directly instead of going through the queries. It is very useful as it exposes the detailed reporting layer in BW to the Crystal Reports. Though one has to be careful about using this driver if there is need for master data attributes in the report.

6) OLAP BAPI driver: This driver is used for reporting on multidimensional data in BW. For example Voyager uses this driver for multidimensional reporting on top of BW cubes. This is the only reporting tool in BOBJ suite of products which can do the multidimensional reporting hence the driver is a must for multidimensional reporting.

Please feel free to post questions on any specific driver and its utility.

Thanks,

Amit Bhatnagar

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9 Comments

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  1. marty sam
    Hi Amit,
    I followed all of your blogs and I think you are the only one who can answer my questions below,appreciate if you can please spend sometime thinking and replying your best here

    1)If there are BW structural changes in Bex query or MultiProvider, the universe should be able to refresh structure while maintaining customizations and compatibility with Webi reports ,is it possible and how.
    2)Does Universe support renaming objects to business friendly names
    3)List of values should leverage the BW definition (show only authorized values, all values, or in fact table, etc). Filters or prompts on single or multiple universes return a subset of data while being intuitive to users
    3)Universe should leverage data types defined in BW (dates, char, num, decimal) and behaviors (aggregation, scale)
    4)Users should only access data that they are authorized by SAP roles
    5)Sensitive BW attributes or key figures should not be shown for those without access
    6)A Webi report will show or hide an object depending on if the user is authorized to see it
    7)Users should only sign on to SAP portal and not be asked for logon credentials again.
    8)Users should be able to save their report (save to local computer or save back to portal) and print their reports.There should be a workflow to retrieve their saved report on the portal
    9)Opening BusinessObjects content from the SAP portal should have consistent layout, user friendly look, and seamless
    10)Compare relative performance of Bex query vs universe
    11)How does WebI report perform against high data volume InfoProvider
    12)How does WebI report perform with high data volume result set
    13)How does Webi perform if the user executes report over hour
    14)are there any idle timeouts,how to overcome
    15)Whats the experience for workstations without the Java runtime and prerequisites

    Thanks

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    1. Amit Bhatnagar Post author
      Hi Marty, Thanks for the kind words. I have tried to answer the questions which were clear and could be answered in words.

      1)If there are BW structural changes in Bex query or MultiProvider, the universe should be able to refresh structure while maintaining customizations and compatibility with Webi reports ,is it possible and how.- Yes possible. There is Refesh Universe functionality in the Designer (Update OLAP Universe Wizard) to refresh the the structure (you can select not to overwrite the customizations).
      2)Does Universe support renaming objects to business friendly names- yes
      3)List of values should leverage the BW definition (show only authorized values, all values, or in fact table, etc). Filters or prompts on single or multiple universes return a subset of data while being intuitive to users- Yes
      3)Universe should leverage data types defined in BW (dates, char, num, decimal) and behaviors (aggregation, scale). To some extent yes. Universe internally creates uids to maps to query elements which brings in another layer.
      4)Users should only access data that they are authorized by SAP roles. yes if security configured that way.
      5)Sensitive BW attributes or key figures should not be shown for those without access. It depends upon how security is configured.
      6)A Webi report will show or hide an object depending on if the user is authorized to see it.
      7)Users should only sign on to SAP portal and not be asked for logon credentials again. If SSO  is configured than portal and BOBJ infoview communicates seamlessly.
      8)Users should be able to save their report (save to local computer or save back to portal) and print their reports.There should be a workflow to retrieve their saved report on the portal- I do not know about such workflow.
      9)Opening BusinessObjects content from the SAP portal should have consistent layout, user friendly look, and seamless. – yes, SSO and other settings needed.
      10)Compare relative performance of Bex query vs universe- question not clear.
      11)How does WebI report perform against high data volume InfoProvider- depends upon how many elements are there in webi and filters.
      12)How does WebI report perform with high data volume result set- not good.
      13)How does Webi perform if the user executes report over hour- question not clear.
      14)are there any idle timeouts,how to overcome- one can configre settings on CMC
      15)Whats the experience for workstations without the Java runtime and prerequisites- if it is html based then performance is bad.

      Regards,
      Amit

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  2. Amit Tandon
    Hi Amit,

    I am referring to your point 4) BW MDX Query Driver.

    You mention that we can create report on BW queries and also DIRECTLY access the BW cubes.

    When you say Directly access the cubes, do you mean that we DO NOT need to create Universes on top of cubes anymore?

    Please clarify.
    Thanks.
    AT

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      1. Amit Tandon
        Thanks!

        Also, Is it true for Web-I too?

        I mean, can we use MDX Query Driver for Web-I reporting as well..or is it mandatory to go through the trouble of creating Universes for each cube/multicube?

        (I heard SAP is working on eliminating the Universe building layer…may be the Product Pioneer…I am not too sure about it. You may pls share your knowledge if you know something about this too)

        Thanks again!
        AT

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        1. Ingo Hilgefort
          Hi Amit,

          Web Intelligence does require the Universe and if you look at the roadmap you will recognize that the strategy is to have all tools on top of what is called the dimensional semantic layer.

          regards
          Ingo Hilgefort

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        2. Amit Bhatnagar Post author
          No Amit, for Webi you do require a Universe (have to live with the trouble 🙂 )

          And as far as I know, SAP is not working to eliminate the Universe Building layer. Pioneer will work on queries/query views (as BEX Analyzer used to work). Though additionally BW 7.01 Info providers will also be able to act as datasource to Pioneer.
          Will update you if I get any additonal information on same.

          -Amit Bhatnagar

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  3. Jaime Humberto Jimenez
    According with the SAP BW help, independent of the Multidimensional Interface used to read data from BW (OLE DB for OLAP (ODBO), OLAP BAPI or XML for Analysis (XML/A)), each call pass through two different porcessors (MDX Processor and OLAP Processor) before even going to the DataBase.
    The first processor to be called in any request is the MDX Processor, then the OLAP Processor (For this case, please assume I do not have  BWA – Accelerator).
    Each processor has the possibility to read from its own Cache (MDX Cache, OLAP Cache).
    The questions I have are:
    1. Will those interfaces read the MDX Cache?
    2. If yes, how can I check that it has been read?
    Thanks in advance,
    Jaime H. Jimenez
    (0) 

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