Following the “Ingo Lights” to see the Road to BI 4.0 SAP Integration
SAP Mentor Initiative Ingo Hilgefort, SAP Director of Customer, Insight & Action (CIA), provided a webcast last week on SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 SAP Integration Update Webcast to the America’s SAP User Group (ASUG). The general disclaimer on all BI 4.0 is that it is still in ramp-up and things are subject to change.
In this webcast, Ingo reviewed data connectivity with an SAP landscape, Solution Manager (SolMan) and how it integrates with BusinessObjects, hosting BEx Web apps and surface content in portal.
Here is a picture of the overall landscape:
Data Federator 3.1 can have an XI 3.1 Universe hosted in a 4.0 environment so until you decide to migrate you can keep it as a 3.1 universe. Red items above supported with WebI, Live Office, and Query as a Web Service.
If you are using WebI on BW can you deploy 4.0 environment you can use your existing OLAP XI 3.1 Universe inside 4.0 environment with WebI, Live Office, and Query as a Web Service.
The 4.0 Semantic Layer can be used with Crystal, WebI, Live Office, Xcelsius and BusinessObjects Explorer. The only option not working on the Semantic Layer in the 4.0 release is Analysis.
BI Consumer Services (BICS) option/transient universe is the recommended path in the 4.0 release as it provides connectivity to the BI client tools on top of queries without having to build a Universe. This is why it is called a transient universe
Where’s HANA? HANA will be covered in the March 2nd webcast.
In 4.0 there are 2 versions of Crystal Reports – Crystal Reports for Enterprise and Crystal 2011. The reason for this is the rebuilt Crystal Reports Designer is based on Java so Crystal for Enterprise is the new Crystal Designer, supporting direct connectivity to the transient universe and the 4.0 Semantic Layer.
For those using Crystal already with ECC, there are no lines going in at this time to ERP; this is planned for the 4.1 timeframe.
If you are using Crystal for ERP/ECC, it might be better to use Crystal 2011, which offers all the connections that CR 2008 has today. Then in 4.1 you could move to Crystal Enterprise.
For those using Crystal with BW the recommendation is to use the Crystal for Enterprise for direct connectivity against the BEx Query.
Only Analysis and Xcelsius provide you access to those filters – you are able to see the filters that are predefined in the query; in Crystal the filters get applied but the person who uses the reports would not be able to define what filters have been applied in the backend.
In Crystal the variables become dynamic inside the Crystal designer. Text variables are now supported in 4.0 release. With structures there is a huge step forward – in 3.1 you can access structures but you cannot select sub-elements – financial structure with 50 elements – right now you cannot select just 20 of these for your report but now possible in 4.0 release.
How it looks in the tool. Left is Crystal , right is WebI:
In Crystal you are asked which connection you would like to use
In WebI you are asked which connection you would like to use in BW
Crystal – queries from BW systems
Right – queries from BW systems
Step 3: Select the query
You select the definition of what pieces of Bex query you would like to see in the report is shared across the tools – the UI cuts across all tools
3 main areas of Solution Manager:
1) technical reporting – how system is doing
2) technical monitoring
3) end to end root cause – why is system slow, error message
Solution Manager is an integrated solution and SAP wanted to integrate BusinessObjects into Solution Manager.
Supportability Integration Points:
- CTS + Integration
- SAP Passport and Unified tracing – switch on tracing in BO landscape – user names – who generated traces and when
- Solution Manager Configuration – system landscape directory – can save configuration changes in tool
- SLD (System Landscape Directory)
- Central dynamic Trace switch
- Activity / Resource Monitoring
- AppSight Instrumentation
- Introscope Instrumentation
- Single user trace – can activate
- Administration read only role
- Remote Access – remote support for BusinessObjects landscape
You can see the time stamp of changes, and compare QA with production, and see configuration – are they still matching, compare to history and see how changes over time.
For customers on BusinessObjects side and not running any SAP application – use similar capabilities – “Solution Manager hosted in the cloud”. This contains Early watch alerts – system and hardware configuration, and root cause analysis.
This is using two technologies:
1) BW: CTS and STMS to transport items
2) BusinessObjects: LifeCycle Manager – a web based tool – package to move from DEV to QA to production
Change(s) made in SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 Development system
1. Collect objects – Lifecycle Manager used to collect objects
2. Collect changed objects & any required internal dependencies into “Promotion Job” – Associate any external dependencies with the promotion job (e.g. BEx Queries)
3. Assign Promotion Job to Transport Request
4. Export to CTS+ consolidation environment
- Transport Request is being released. CTS+ transports objects via Transport Routes to various Transport nodes (destination systems)
- Lifecycle Manager import plug-in called at destination & changes committed to destination system (>> SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise 4.0)
- All objects committed with administrator credentials
- Overrides to database connections are applied based on override table at destination system
- Related objects (e.g. BW) committed to appropriate destination as well
For this you need BusinessObjects 4.0 in DEV and QA
LCM 4.0 needs to be deployed on a Java application server
NetWeaver 7.20 Java Server
You can host existing BEx web application as part of the BusinessObjects environment.
You can have a pure ABAP environment on SAP side pointing BusinessObjects environment to BW system and hosting the WAD files as part of the BO environment.
Inside the BI Launch Pad (new name for InfoView) on top of Crystal, XCelsius, an item called BEx Web application and integrate them in the InfoView environment
Customers were looking to integrate the Infoview functionality inside the SAP portal
as the 3.1 release is not designed to work inside frames.
4.0 –there are two options to integrate:
1) template BI launchpad into the SAP portal
2) if integrate content to pages – build an iView – can browse the repository
Existing KM integration does not go away
Today we need the BI java on the BW side to leverage BICS.
In 4.0, the BI Java dependency is removed, with the BICS is moving to the BusinessObjects environment.
On the right of the above, we can have a pure ABAP BW system without BI Java part (XC 2008 and 4.0 still needs BI Java for direct connectivity – on the list for the 4.1 release to remove the BI Java dependency for Xcelsius)
What does this all mean?
If you want to host BEx WAD in BI platform, there is no need for BI Java stack.
For data connectivity with 4.1 you are in a position to have a complete ABAP stack.
Due to the missing SAP Portal component there are limitations on functionalities in SBOP 4.0:
- No Knowledge Management, i. e. no operations involving document are possible
- Adobe Document Services (ADS) is not available (PDF generation is done via own SAP library)
- Report-Report-Interface is not possible
- On the BI Platform, the BEx WAD Runtime does not support Information Broadcasting
- Multiple Backend (ABAP) BW system is not supported
- Single Sign On is not supported (planned for SP02)
Also, Information Broadcasting relies on BI Java
The following is a Subset of Question & Answer:
Q: Is there a course/certification SAP offering regarding BO 4.0-SAP Integration or is this only a SAP service provided?
A: No official training on 4.0 as it is in ramp-up
Q: What do I need in BW to keep supporting Universal DataConnect (UDC) when Java stack is moved to BO?
A. Still need BI java stack
Q: Is CTS + optional or mandatory for the 4.0 LCM process?
A. Optional – on top of 4.0 of LCM offering
Q: To have the BEx Queries directly into WEBI what Kind of connection we need to create in BOBJ CMC. Is it an OLAP Connection?
A. Connections are OLAP (old Voyager connection)
Q. Will RRI functionality to sap standard r/3 reports be built into BusinessObjects 4.0 products?
A. On the list for future version.
Q. With the SAP integration kit gone, how is connectivity configured?
A. Not a separate install, as it is part of the core installation
ASUG thanks Ingo Hilgefort for a great webcast; feedback online has been very positive. We also thank Ingo for setting up all of these great BI 4.0 webcasts. We have *six* more BI 4.0 webinars coming, one on HANA, plus *10* for EIM 4.0.
Ingo will be blogging with more details about the above in the coming weeks.