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Last week I provided a 1 hour webinar to our ASUG customers on the Integration between your SAP systems and SAP BusinessObjects 4.0. Now I would like to use that as a starting point for a more detailed blog series showing all the changes in the products related to the integration of SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 and your SAP systems like SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP ERP (yes – we will get to SAP HANA as well).

 

Now lets start this series with Crystal Reports and the connectivity towards SAP NetWeaver BW.

 

the first item you will notice is, that as part of SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 there are two versions of Crystal Reports.

 

Crystal Reports 2011, which is very similar to Crystal Reports 2008 and Crystal Reports for Enterprise 4.0 which is the new Java based Crysal Reports Designer. In regards to the data connectivity there are some important differences.

 

 

 

Crystal Reports 2011 – as shown above – is providing the connectivity like Crystal Reports 2008, means there is connectivity towards your SAP NetWeaver BW system and there is connectivity towards you SAP ERP system.

 

 

 

Crystal Reports for Enterprise 4.0 is focusing on leveraging the semantic layer and the newly recommended connectivity based on the BI Consumer Services towards SAP NetWeaver BW.

 

Now for the next couple of steps I will focus on using the recommended approach – which is the connectivity via the BI Consumer Services – with Crystal Reports for Enterprise 4.0.

 

 

Before we can connect Crystal Reports to our BEx Query we first need to establis a connection in our SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise system. For doing so we first logon to the Central Management Console (CMC).

 

 

 

In the CMC we can then navigate to the OLAP Connections and create a new Connection towards our SAP NetWeaver BW system. These OLAP Connections are not only leveraged by Crystal Reports for Enterprise 4.0 but are also leverage by other tools like Web Intelligence, SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, and so on.

 

 

 

As part of the connection details we need to provide our SAP NetWeaver BW system details so that our SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise system can establish the connection (as shown above).

 

As soon as we click on the “Connect” option in the screen we are presented with the list of available InfoProvider and BEx Queries. We can no establish a connection towards the InfoProvider or a single Query. In our example we are selecting the InfoProvider for now.

 

 

Now we are starting Crystal Reports for Enterprise 4.0 and when selecting the option to create a new report we are being asked to logon to the SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise system.

 

 

 

Because this is the first time we are using the product we first of all need to define the details for our SAP BusinessObjects system.

 

 

 

Here we need to provide the details of our server name, the port and the context of where the web services of our SAP BusinessObjects system are being depoyed (as shown above).

 

As soon as we finished that step we can logon to the SAP BusinessObjects system and are then shown with the list of connections.

 

 

Now remember that we established a connection to the InfoProvider but actually would like to connect our report to a BEx query – and this is a huge improvement in the SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 stack; as soon as the user has selected the connection the user is presented with a complete list of BEx queries for this InfoProvider available to him.

 

 

 

We then can select the BEx query and are presented with the query panel to define the data request for our report. Now as part of the SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 stack you will recognize that this query panel is shared across the tools which also means that the tools share the same meta-data coming from SAP NetWeaver BW.

 

 

In the query panel we are shown all the characteristics and keyfigures retrieved from the underlying BEx query. In addition we are shown the available hierarchies – here shown as Country Hierarchy 1.

 

We can then define our query for the report …

 

 

… and then use the option to get a default report generated.

 

 

 

Now this was a quick rundown on how you can establish a connection towards your SAP NetWeaver BW system using Crystal Reports for Enterprise 4.0. In the next parts of this blog series we will look into the option to leverage hierarchies, conditions, and custom structures with Crystal Reports and also look at other client tools like Web Intelligence, SAP BusinessObjects Analysis as well as look at integration enhancements in areas like lifecycle management and user management.

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17 Comments

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  1. Mohammad Ali
    Hi Ingo,
    This is impressive. How about the transient provider (is it available in EHP5 of ECC) and transient universe (which EHP supports it in NW).

    Regards.
    Mohammad

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    1. Ingo Hilgefort Post author
      Hi,

      the transient Universe is something the SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 stack provides as connectivity on top of the SAP BEx Queries.

      The Transient Provider is something the SAP BusinessSuite stack provides to expose for example a InfoSet to the BI Client inside your BusinessSuite installation.

      something very different

      regards
      ingo

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          1. Mohammad Ali
            Thanks Ingo,
            The required info is not given directly in the PAM pdf, it’s available in the link within the doc on Page 15 (for those who may get lost searching for the SAP related patch info – it’s 7.01 SP6 for NW BW).

            In addition, also download the file CR2011 RTC Data Access v1 on the same page 15. It holds some important info re SAP notes (SAP servers required to have at least the above patch levels. The following correction notes should be applied to your SAP BW / SAP NetWeaver BI system: 1125433, 1161911, 1162349, 1162416, 1170323, 1230303 and 1007048. OSS Correction Note 1007048 requires a manual configuration step.)

            Hope this will help.
            Mohammad

            (0) 
            1. Ingo Hilgefort Post author
              Hi,

              that depends on with which platform document you start and all supported platforms for all products are listed on Service Marketplace.

              Ingo

              (0) 
  2. Sume Chau
    Hi Ingo,

    What is the minimum requirement to best utilize the capabilities of BO 4.0 in term of NW EHP1. We are on NW 7.00 EHP1 SPS07. We may go for NW 7.3 in fall so I would like to know from that perspective as well.

    Regards,
    SC

    (0) 
      1. Ingo Hilgefort Post author
        Hi,

        I mentioned earlier that all the supported platforms are available on Service Marketplace.

        The link you posted is the supported platforms for the BI Platform for Windows and it does mention several times the SAP NetWeaver stack – for example as a supported J2EE App Server.

        In case you looking for the data access part then you will also note that the PDF mentioned that you need to look for other supported platform files based on which BI client products you would like to use.

        Ingo

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    1. Mohammad Ali
      Hi SC,
      Check out the link “Sementic Layer Datasource” on P15 of the PAM pdf. This will open up the Excel file with various tabs. Go to 3rd tab in the excel sheet called “Relational Datasource (SL)” and “OLAP Datasources (SL)” filter the Vendor column by “SAP”. The next column is “Source” (NW BW) followed by “Source Version” (which is 7.01 SP6).
      Hope this helps.

      Regards.
      Mohammad

      (0) 
  3. RANDY CRELLER
    Ingo,

    Must you use 2 separate products Crystal Reports 2011 and Crystal Reports Enterprise 4.0 XI if you wish to access both  transactional data I.E. in the ECC via Data Federator, and BW data via BI Consumer Services?

    Are these products going to merge in the future?

    I.E. Will there be just one version of Crystal Reports that can access both Transactional Data in an SAP system like ECC and SAP BW data?

    (0) 
  4. Ralf Wolfgang Geithner
    Hi Ingo,

    thanks for this excellent howto. Helped me a lot.

    Still one addition: If you are using a SAP BW server GROUP instead of an individual server you have to enter the following data in the fields
    SERVER: 3-letter Server ID, e.g. “ABC”
    GROUP: Name of the server group, e.g. “PUBLIC”; can be determined when system connection is established via SAP Frontend.

    (0) 
  5. Parul Bhardwaj

    Hi Ingo,

    Thanks for nice document . We are on Crystal report for Enterpise now. I had added Infoprovider in CMC (OLAP Connection ) as suggested by you in doc.

    When I go to CR “SAP BExQuery” data source has been added but neither we areable to see the all Bex queries nor able to go ahead (Next button is still disable).

    Detail:

    ECC 6 EHP 5

    BI 7.3

    SAP BI 4.0 SP4 (Linus based server for BO)

    Plese suggest.

    (0) 

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