Dear aBI: When should we phase out BEx?
In response to the “Dear aBI” promotion as part of the SAP BI community, the following are some answers to some of the questions that have been submitted.
BI Wiz from Calgary asks the following:
I work for Oil & Gas industry we are using SAP BW and BEx reporting and there is a new initiative to explore SAP Roadmap and try to use BOBJ tools so I would like to know when SAP is phasing out BEx tool and which tools should we use instead of BEx for SAP ERP as well as SAP BW reporting.
Dear BI Wiz,
According to SAP TechED session BI 102, which you can watch for free, BEx version 7.0 is still alive. At SAP TechED Las Vegas, there were several comments that “BEx is not dead”.
Here is what was stated at SAP TechED and this SDN link which discusses BEx Maintenance :
BEx 7.x continues to be delivered with the next SAP NetWeaver BW releases. Currently there is no planned end of life. The maintenance period is renewed with every major BW release.
BEx 3.5 is part of BW 3.5/SAP NetWeaver 04 and the maintenance cycle is coupled to this release (see SAP note 1410878 – SMP Login required). As BEx 3.5 is also compatible with a BW 7.0 backend and had been delivered with BW 7.0, SAP will maintain BEx 3.5 functionality within BW 7.0 and subsequent releases until the end of BW 7.0 maintenance cycle. Maintenance is not extended with BW 7.30 or other future releases. Please note that full PAM support of BEx 3.5 cannot be granted by SAP – as Microsoft has removed, e.g., support for some components within Windows 7 that had been used by BEx Web Application Designer 3.5. “
Regarding which tools should we use instead of BEx for SAP ERP as well as SAP BW reporting, it depends on what your business use case is. If you are interested SAP’s “premium alternative to BEx Analyzer” you may be interested in Advanced Analysis for Office. At the link provided, we have created several e-learnings for you to familiarize yourself with this product.
My personal experience with BusinessObjects Advanced Analysis for Office is that it is easy to use, easy to install, and works great with SAP BW. Right now it doesn’t offer the variant or scheduling functionality but that is slated to come next year with a software patch.
At this time, the only BusinessObjects tool that offers ERP reporting functionality is Crystal Reports. Typical uses for Crystal are for “pixel perfect” formatted enterprise reporting. Xcelsius SP3 can be used for dashboard reporting with BW (without BusinessObjects Enterprise) if you have BI-Java installed.
To learn more about when to use when see Ingo Hilgefort’s blog page or his personal blog has several interesting links and whitepapers as well. I also recommend his SAP Press Book, Reporting & Analytics Using SAP BusinessObjects. This great book offers reviews financial, human resources, and sales requirements and matches them to each BusinessObjects tool.
I also recommend reviewing the BusinessObjects Solution architecture page. This will help you review the BusinessObjects portfolio as part of your ECC and data warehousing landscape.
Additionally, I suggest contacting your SAP account manager about the possibility of doing a proof of concept for BusinessObjects products. I borrowed this idea based on an ASUG Annual Conference presentation given by Deb Masdea, Coca Cola. Below is a sample reporting assessment template that Coca Cola completed when doing their BusinessObjects proof of concept:
We hope this helps you in getting starting evaluating BusinessObjects products with BW.
Stewals from Ireland asks:
Would you be able to tell me if advanced Analytics is part of the Edge package / will be part of the Edge package please?
I attended an ASUG BusinessObjects Edge webcast in September and asked if OLAP tools were part of the Edge suite and at the time SAP told me “no”. As Advanced Analysis is an OLAP tool, it is likely not included. I cannot speak to the future roadmap for Edge.
“Dear aBI” gives advice on Business Intelligence to learn more about the Dear BI initiative of the SAP BusinessObjects community.
Also, BusinessObjects Edge includes the ability to connect to OLAP data sources from Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence, etc. so you can leverage your investment in OLAP with the tools currently available (albiet not as nicely as you can with XI 4.0)
Hope this helps!
Thanks for sharing this valuable information.
Good to find out that Bex is still going to be supported . I am from BW background and is being using this for quite sometime now but yes the future focus has to be on learning BO Reporting tools.