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Author's profile photo Ingo Hilgefort

Dear aBI – Offline Reporting with SAP BusinessObjects

As part of the BI Expert teams for the “Dear aBI”  gives advice on Business Intelligence, here another set of answers to some of the questions that have been put forward.


David from Houston is asking the following question:


I have an offline reporting requirement for which I’m trying to determine options.


The particulars:

 – Salesdata stored in SAP BW; very large volumes (10’s millions records monthly)

– More than 100 district managers (DMs) globally 


– The DM typically works in the field, in many cases without access to internet, so they need to be able to download their district’s sales data to their laptop and be able to slice-and-dice (filter, aggregate, etc.) the data 


– We initially looked at using SAP Information Broadcaster to generate an excel file with pivots, but we exceeded the 750K cell limit. 


– We have BO XI 3.1


– Effectively, we need to be able to download a ‘cube’ of data for offline analysis. 


Would Crystal with Xcelsius be an option?


Would scheduling of Web Intelligence reports and use of Web Intelligence Rich client be an option (or would the volumes be too much)?  .

So “in a nutshell” your requirement is about large volumes of data, offline available by still offering user interactivity.


Offline reporting as part of the SAP BusinessObjects BI portfolio is limiting the list of tools to three choices:


  • Crystal Reports Viewer
  • SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office
  • Web Intelligence Rich Client


Here my thought process:


You might wonder why I did not include Xcelsius here, but you are listing a very large amount of data here and Xcelsius is not designed to provide you an offline reporting capability with several hundred thousand rows of information.


Now SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office as of release SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 has not been integrated with the publication functionality (which is the counterpart of the Information broadcasting on the SAP BusinessObjects platform) and therefore SAP BusinessObjects Analsysis, edition for Microsoft Office is not an option right now either.


This leaves us with Crystal Reports and Web Intelligence.


Both products are integrated with the SAP NetWeaver BW system with what is being referred to as “server side trust” and this provides you the option to setup a publication process against the SAP NetWeaver BW system using a password-less / impersonation process for the imported SAP roles.


For the details of this process take a look at the Installation Guide for the SAP BusinessObjects Integration Kit for SAP – Chapter 5.


Now after you configured the actual publication process you might want to then send out the result as a report with data via eMail to the recipients and the users can use either the Web Intelligence Rich Client or the Crystal Reports Offline Viewer for analyzing the information.


This leaves the devision : are we going to use Crystal Reports or Web Intelligence and this really depends on what kind of capabilities the user should have in terms of navigation; perhaps you want to take a look at this presentation for further details.


So to summarize:


  • Configure your SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise system with server side trust towards the SAP NetWeaver BW system
  • Setup a publication process for your SAP users inside the SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise system and distribute the result as report file
  • leverage either Crystal Reports Offline Viewer or Web Intelligence Rich Client for viewing the result.


I hope that I was able to provide some help and guidance on this topic. In case there is a need for further clarifications feel free to reach out to me.



For further details on how to submit your questions to the BI Experts take a look at the wiki pages.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Hello Ingo,

      I'm really interested in using the SAP BO for our offline reporting requirements. Do you have any how to paper, how a solution within SAP BO could be implemented?

      Many thanks,