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Eric Schemer is the SAP Senior Director Product Management and on Monday, May 16th, he provided a great session on the SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Roadmap at ASUG Annual Conference.  The room last Monday was very full for this session; people were standing at the back of the room.  As with all roadmaps, the usual disclaimer applies and these are planned features, subject to change.

From the slides he posted, and my notes:


Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 shows today, what is in ramp-up and what is in the future. 

BI 4.0 has the focus areas of “all information, all people, and one platform”.   From the user side, interoperability is a key theme where an Analysis View can be consumed by Web Intelligence.  For Dashboards (former Xcelsius) the objective was to simplify the designer experience.


Figure 2 Direct Connectivity, Source: SAP

The right side of Figure 2 shows the “unified” connection of the BI Consumer Services (BICS) and the Universe is no longer required.  In fact, there is a transient universe in the background; you do not need to design or maintain a universe, but it is still there.  Analysis for OLAP and Office support all the BEx query features.


Figure 3 BI 4.0 Analysis Clients, Source: SAP


As Figure 3 shows, the BEx Web Application Designer (WAD) is still used today for planning applications. 


Figure 4 SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, MS Edition for Office Themes, Source: SAP

As Figure 4 shows, Analysis for Office has a new look-and-feel, with the Design Panel.  A question came from the audience about the new API features (to be discussed in Tuesday’s session) and in an upcoming (planned) blog.


Figure 5 Analysis for OLAP, Source: SAP

Figure 5 shows the tabbed toolbar, and the upper right shows the Auto Update button.  Auto Update is like the Pause-Refresh button in Analysis for Office – you pause the update to perform several navigation steps.

Figure 5 also shows the Layout Panel, where hierarchies can be dropped to define the analysis, and drop zones include row and column axes and the background filters.


Figure 6 – Scope of Analysis, Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows you can add charts to the workspaces .  The scope of analysis feature provides a “focused” analysis of your charts.


Figure 7 Interoperability, Source: SAP

Figure 7 shows one of the themes of BI 4.0 – interoperability.  You can save an analysis as an analysis view to share it among other applications such as Crystal Reports.  An Analysis View “is a saved navigation state of an analysis including applied filters, hierarchies and available metadata.”   An analysis created in Analysis can be exported as an Analysis View and imported into Web Intelligence for formatting.


Figure 8 Roadmap BI 4.x Analysis Clients, Source: SAP


The plan is for Analysis Application Design to be the premium alternative to the BEx WAD, as shown on the left side of Figure 8.


Figure 9 BusinessObjects Analysis, Edition for MS Office Roadmap, Source: SAP


Figure 9 shows today’s current state.  Today, Analysis for Office 1.1 will support a connection to HANA and write-back BW-IP integrated planning.  A future planned innovation is the dynamic grid.  A dynamic grid will keep formatted cells after refresh and during navigation.  The future direction was much discussed in Wednesday’s ASUG Analysis Influence council – report to report interface and publishing.


Figure 10 SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP Roadmap, Source: SAP

As Figure 10 shows, today Analysis for OLAP provides MSAS support and migration from Voyager.    In the future a designer product (SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Application Design)  will be offered providing similar capabilities as the BEx Web Application Designer.


Figure 11 SAP BusinessObjects, Edition for Application Design Planned Roadmap, Source: SAP


As shown in Figure 11, the plan for SAP BusinessObjects, Edition for Application Design (formerly known as “Analysis Studio”) is to provide Integrated Planning application building.  It will use BusinessObjects Enterprise as a platform and publish applications into InfoView.  It is based on Eclipse. 

Summary of Learnings, per Eric:

  • BI 4.0 has a greatly improved and unified user experience – both for occasional and power users
  • BI 4.0 significantly improves the access to data sources – particularly for BW by direct connectivity from all major clients BI clients to BEx queries
  • Analysis, edition for MS Office 1.1 (now in ramp-up) will support BW integrated planning (BW-IP) & HANA, and will take advantage of BI 4.0
  • SAP Business Objects Analysis will further evolve into a premium alternative for BExAnalyzer, BExWeb Analyzer & BExWeb Application Designer


I want to thank Eric Schemer, SAP, for providing a great session to ASUG and thank you to Alex Peter, SAP, for his detailed review and comments on my notes.


For more information on SAP BusinessObjects Analysis please visit the SCN Analysis page.

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