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Alex Peter of SAP provided an ASUG Webcast on June 14th regarding what is new in SAP BusinessObjects Analysis MS Edition for Office, Release 1.1, which is now in Ramp-up.

First, Alex provided an overview of Analysis, discussed in previous blogs.  Note the usual disclaimer applies and plans are subject to change.


Figure 1 – What about BEx? Source: SAP

There is no migration yet for BEx Analyzer Workbooks with Analysis.  SAP is working on that.  You can still use BEx as shown in Figure 1.


Figure 2: Source: SAP

Figure 2 shows usability, integrate into Excel framework and focus on the Business User whereas the BEx Analyzer was developed as an IT tool.  As an example for color coding you needed to do it in the BEx Query Designer.

New innovation includes PowerPoint integration.  The API concept is integrated into Excel, using VBA and Analysis functions to apply filters, drilldowns and planning functions.  In the future they will open into other clients such as Microsoft Analysis Services to unify the clients.


Figure 3 – Roadmap, Source: SAP

Today’s solution usability is key, PowerPoint add-in, Integrated Planning, and HANA support. 

As shown in Figure 3, the short-term plans for 1 year: the intention is to release every 6 to 9 months to deliver new innovations and obtain user feedback.  Release 1.2 is planned in October; it is a small release and includes planning enhancements like cell locking and prompt improvements.  The future release will include platform improvement enhancements such Report to Report Interface (RRI), broadcasting, variants, personalization – it depends on the platform. 

A planned innovation is the Custom Local Hierarchy which is your own custom hierarchy; this feature is not available in BEx Analyzer.

Dynamic Grid is keeping formatting, coloring, new lines whenever you navigate with the grid.


Figure 4 News in Release 1.1, Source: SAP


Release 1.1 is all about Integrated BW Planning.  The focus was on usability, and ad hoc planning (different than BEx Analyzer).  Analysis works on top of HANA, but does not work with HANA hierarchies yet.  This release supports BI 4.0 with the Analysis view schema and single sign-on.

The API has been extended significantly, including drill state and execute planning.  The save work without data is a security requirement for many companies.


Figure 5: Input Ready Planning Query, Source: SAP


Figure 5 shows sales for 2009, 2010 and you can enter planned values for 2011.


Figure 6: Planning Ribbon, Source: SAP

Release 1.1 has a planning ribbon (see above).  The Save Data allows you to save planning data back to the database, recalculate to recalculate the sums.


Figure 7, Source: SAP

Figure 7 shows how the workbook can add planning functions from the Components tab on the Display panel.


Figure 8, Source: SAP

This planning function copies from sales 2010 to the plan figures.  This is a way to do ad hoc planning without creating a planning function button.


Figure 9 – Filtering, Source: SAP

Figure 9 shows you can filter on a planning function.


Figure 10 – Help, Source: SAP

According to Alex, chances are you will still want to create a button.  For that, go to the help as shown above to execute the specific planning function, copy the syntax and then go back to Analysis. 


Figure 11 VBA, Source: SAP

Copy and paste the syntax from the Help to the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).


Figure 12 Results of Clicking the Button, Source: SAP

Figure 12 shows the results of clicking the button; values are copied from 2010 to plan 2011 for the material group 202 from the planning filter.


Figure 13 – Store Default Workbook, Source: SAP

Figure 13 shows where you can store your default workbook such as your company logo.

Alex said they are currently developing the 1.2 release.

Question & Answer from the Webcast:
Q: How does the performance through MS Office Analysis compare to connecting to the InfoCubes using MS Excel PowerPivot?  What other advantages are there to using Analysis over using the free PowerPivot option available in Excel 2010
A: PowerPivot is an MDX client and can use MDX on BW (in memory client engine)
Value add of Analysis – do native hierarchies, time dependent hierarchies  – the business using BW in background – planning, and currency conversion.  More business advantages. Tight integration into BW.
Q: Broadcasting capability with BOBJ Analysis, edition for MS Office ?
A: Part of platform features  – not yet in Analysis; Platform release next year use publishing features of BI platform
Q: How different from Advanced Analysis?
A: Simply a name change
Q:Do you have to buy the whole BusinessObjects suite or can you buy Advanced Analysis separately as a replacement for BEX
A: Talk to sales rep/account rep
Q:Is this compatiable with Office 2010
A: Yes it works with Office 2010

Q: How is Analysis licensed? Not in sense of money, but what is a licensing model and control (license keys)?
A: There are no license keys; at this point in time, it is part of the BI Package license.

Q:Is Analysis included in the SAP Business Objects Enterprise 4 package?
A: Analysis Office is currently part of the BI Package and follows that package’s license model, so they would need to license the BI Package engine, along with Analysis named users.

Q:What advantages (aside from planning integration) does this have over the existing BEx Analyzer in BI 7?
A: Use both tools, Low effort to do training, Better usability, Analysis has PowerPoint Integration

Q: Analysis can also connect to BOBJ universes, correct?
A: No, Analysis Office can only connect to BW (queries, query views, InfoProviders) and HANA (analytic views)
Q: Can we do adhoc calculations using cells with dynamic link back to the data during refreshes?
A: Yes, that works when refreshing. But you might run into issues when navigating

Q:  Does the analysis saves the snapshot of data and then run the reporting data or does it work at runtime like BEx please?
A: It is an online client, it accesses only the data that is needed for the current navigation state … and it reads BW again when navigating.
Q: When will Broadcasting become available AND what is the future of Precalculation server?
A: Precalculation server is part of BEx and the same maintenance strategy applies. “Broadcasting” for Analysis is planned to be based on BI platform publishing. We plan to include that in the release that is planned for H1 2012.
Q: Does this support hierarchies?
A: Yes

Thank you Alex Peter for supporting ASUG with this great webcast. I hope you will consider meeting Alex in person at SAP TechED in Las Vegas, September 12-16th.


Related Blogs and Information:

Experiences of a Ramp-up Customer of SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, MS Edition for Office, Version 1.1

SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Clients Feedback Survey

What’s new in Analysis 1.1, edition for Microsoft Office?

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