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First impressions on Advanced Analysis, Microsoft Office Edition


Since mid of June, 2010, Advanced Analytics, Microsoft Office Edition is in Ramp-up.

I installed it on my client PC with a German Excel 2007 version. I have also BEx 3.5 and BEx 7.0 installed on this machine. Installation was very easy and simple. Parallel installation of Advanced Analysis is no problem.

After installation you will find in your Start menu a new program group “SAP Business Objects”. In this program group you find 2 entries:

0.1. Advanced Analysis for Microsoft Excel

0.2. Advanced Analysis for Microsoft Powerpoint

For now let’s have a look on  Advanced Analysis for Microsoft Excel

If you start it, Microsoft Excel will be started and you will find a new menu entry “Advanced Analysis”. Additionally in the main menu of Excel you will find two new entries “Save Workbook” and “Open Workbook”. With these buttons you can save your workbook to your BO Enterprise Server and open it from there. Of course you can save your workbook on your local file system also. For that purpose use the Save button from Excel.

If you open  “Advanced Analysis” menu you will find new buttons in a ribbon bar.



If you have a blank excel sheet, only the buttons “Einfügen” (Insert), “Anzeigen” (Display), “Aktualisierung unterbrechen” (stop refresh), “Einstellungen” (Settings), “Formatvorlagen” (style sheets) and “Hilfe” (help) are active.

So you will start inserting a query or cube data into your sheet. You press the button “Einfügen” and you will be asked for login. First you will be asked to logon to your BO Enterprise server. There you enter your credentials plus a URL of Web Service. The URL should look like that: http://<your BO Server>:8080/dswsbobje/services/Session

You can  step over it, if you want to connect to your SAP BW system directly. For this purpose press button “Überspringen” (step over)

To connect to your BO Server and choose from existing datasources, e.g. queries or cubes, you have to define BW connections on the BO enterprise server. On my Enterprise server is now BW connection defined so I step over and connect to BW system.



Here you see the infoareas on your system and you can walk through to the query or cube that you want to use. After choosing and executing the query, you will se the results in a table like in the picture below.



On the right side you can see the navigation panel. Here you can slice and dice, filter, drill-drown, select, all what you need to analse your data. To drilldown you double click on the characteristics. To filter expand the characteristics and choose the value you want to keep as filter forexample.

A short function overview of the buttons:

“Alle aktualisieren” (refresh all) refreshes all queries embedded in this workbook. Drilldowns and filters are kept.

“Rückgängig” (Undo) undo the last actions. That’s comparable to step back to previous navigation step in BEx Analyserf. But: There is no button go back to start. That’s a big difference to Business Explorer Analyzer!

“Eingabeaufforderungen” (input values) change the variable values from your query.

“Filtern” (Filter) forces to suppress zeros in columns and / or rows.

“Sortieren” (sort) you first choose the characteristic and then sort the values ascending or descending.

“Hierarchie” (Hierarchy) expands your hierarchy to a defined level or expand hierarchy in rows or in columns.

“Berechnungen” (calculations) adds dynamic calculations, like accumulated sums, averages, Olympic ranks and others to your workbook.

“Achsen vertauschen” (swap axes) allows to swap axes

“Bedingte Formatierung” (conditioned formatting) allows to define exceptions as you know it from BEx Analyser. Now you can also display arrows or trend symbols, not just different colours. It’s pretty the same function as from standard Excel functionality.  It’s no longer necessary to define exceptions in your query. You will define it in the frontend, in these workbooks only where you need it.

“Elementanziege” (element display) you define whether you weant to display key, text, key and text for the characteristics.

“Kennzahlenanzeige” (key figure display) you define display of key figures, like formats, scale factors or currency calculations.

“Ergebnisse”  (result lines) you can define position of the result lines and for which characteristics you want to display result lines at all. Result lines defiened in the query will be used as default.

“Diagramm “ (chart) allows to display the query as chart. You can choose from all standard excel chart types and embed them in your workbook.

“Info-Feld” (information field) allows you to add information fields, like query name, variables or date of last update.

“Filter” (filter) allows to add a filter line to your workbook for the characteristics in your query. So you can dynamically filter your data.

“Anzeigen” (display) forces to update the workbook with every change you made.

“”Aktualisierung unterbrechen” (stop refresh) stop refresh of query. You can make changes to your filters, drill-down, exceptions, data will not be updated. It will be updated if you switch to display

“Einstellungen” (Settings) allows to define user-settings and support settings. In user settings you define how many history entries will be kept. In support settings you define the trace level and folder for log files.

“Formatvorlagen” (style sheets) allows you to save, import, export style sheets. E.g. you can display the data in your company colours if you define an appropriate style sheet and import it to Advanced Analysis.

“Hilfe” (help) gives you help documentation, version information but also statistics information about the runtime of your query. A very cool feature! The run time information looks like that:



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    • I didn’t compare runtime to the old BEX. It was a very simple query with only a few data. But I will examine this area in more details in next weeks.


  • nice comment.
    It looks like a combination between OLEDB for SAP BW and Bexfuncions and of course the Pivottechnologies. In all of theese functions you can swap to formula-modus.

    My expericance in Bex was, that the hole queryresult must be local to use a flexible BexGetdata (now SAPGETDATA) functions.
    This is typical for MOLAP Application.

    Is there a new behavior concerning dataprovider and local cache. I think this is the same question as bevor.

    Thx again for your information

    • thx roland for your comment.
      In my tests it looks like all data will be cached locally. If you change the query and refresh in Advanced Analysis, the changes of the query will not be shown. You have to close Advanced Analysis and reopen the query ( or datasource ) and then you will seee the changes.


  • Hello Jürgen,

    great blog.
    I just have a question about the connection between the BO Server and the BW. Do you need Universe to connect the BO Server to the BW? Or is it like in Crystal Reports that all available data sources will be shown?
    What are possible data sources?

    Best regards

    • Hi Constantin,
      your questions:
      >Do you need Universe to connect the BO Server to the BW?
      No, you don’T need to have universes. AA can access queries directly or even infoproviders. It is like in Crystal Reports all availabel datasources will be shown and you can choose if you connect on datasources on BOE or on SAP direct.


  • Nice article but I have few questions:
    – It is an add-in like BEx but do we need to pay separate license fee for it?
    -Other than having data from the disparate source systems in single workbook, what is something that it can offer to outsmart BEx Analyzer?
    – This appears in the future roadmap of SAP but do you think it will replace the BEx analyzer completely?

    Please revert soon as I am really keen on exploring Advanced Analysis.


    • Hi Gajendra,
      your questions:
      >It is an add-in like BEx but do we need to pay separate license fee for it?
      Yes, it is an add-in like BEx. For separate license fees ask your license manager. I can’t give any general answer.
      >Other than having data from the disparate source systems in single workbook, what is something that it can offer to outsmart BEx Analyzer?
      It offers a better integrity with Excel, for my experience it is a bit faster and easier to handle than BEx. But the really hard question is still, why should you migrate from BEx to Advanced Analysis, where I don’T have an answer now.
      >This appears in the future roadmap of SAP but do you think it will replace the BEx analyzer completely?
      No, I can’t imagime, that Advanced Analysis will be replacing BEx soon. It will take a while and maybe some other features to push customers forward to AA.


  • Hi,
    Just starting to look at Analysis 1.1 have couple of questions that hopefully you can clarify?

    1. No place to save report variants? Do you know if this is possible?
    2. Can Analysis drill to R3 or ODS? Similar functionality in the GOTO in Bex
    3. Also in Bex you can perform a currency conversion. Didn’t see this in Analysis