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On Tuesday we had another great SCN & ASUG SAP BI Webinar, this time on the topic “How to Select the Right BI Tool for Your Environment”.

We did not have enough time to answer all the questions and we promised that we will answer them all, so here you can see the Q&A from the webinar.

In case you missed the webinar you can take a look at the recording here.

Our next webinar is only a few days away:

Molson Coors Runs Analytics Solutions from SAP

Date                  Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Time                  8:00 AM PDT

Speaker           Alexandre Rivet-Papagiannidis, SAP BI Senior Front-End Solution Designer, Molson Coors

Register here for the upcoming webinar and follow #SAPBIWebinar on twitter for future updates.

Webinar Q&A – How to Select the Right BI Tool for Your Environment:

This Q&A below and SAP’s strategy and possible future developments are subject to change and may be changed by SAP at any time for any reason without notice. This document is provided without a warranty of any kind either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement.


Question: Could you share more details on the possibilities of predictive analysis?

Answer:

You can find further details on Predictive Analysis following the link in SDN:

http://scn.sap.com/community/businessobjects-predictive-analysis

Question: Hello, where would the existing BW tools (BEx Analyzer, BEx Web Reports, etc.) fit in this spectrum?

Answer:

  • SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office is the premium success for SAP BusinessExplorer (BEx) Analyzer
  • SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP is the premium success for SAP BusinessExplorer (BEx) Web Analyzer
  • SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio is the upcoming premium success for the SAP Web Application Designer (WAD)

I hope you can see based on where the premium successor fit in the spectrum, where the current BEx tools would fit.

Question: What was the previous name of “Design Studio”? I do not recognize the product.

Answer:

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio was previously referred to as Project ZEN or as SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for application design and is the upcoming premium successor for the SAP Web Application Designer

Question: The previous slide had IT as content creator for Design Studio but you just mentioned business analyst creating as well

Answer

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio is mainly focusing on IT as the group creating the content. A power user surely can pick up necessary skills but will have to accept that the focus of SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio is for IT to create the content and that SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio is a developer focused environment.

Question: Can you give us some more details on why SAP BW customers should use Zen instead of BOBJ Dashboards?

Answer:

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio is already in its first release fully integrated with SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP HANA and is able to leverage the existing meta-data, for example from your existing BEx queries.

You can find further details on the strategic direction in the area of dashboarding following these links:

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboarding Strategy and Statement of Direction – April 2012

http://blogs.sap.com/analytics/2012/04/17/the-future-of-dashboards-strategy-and-direction/

Follow up questions to the Dashboarding Statement of Direction

Question: What is the advises, when the customer – handles BW and non BW Datawarehouses – would like to manage cross analysis in SAPBO reporting tools based on different DWH

Answer:

For the requirement to combine data from SAP NetWeaver BW and other data source there are several solutions available. Combining the data could be solved in the data warehouse layer or could be done in form of a multi-source Universe. As mentioned in a previous answer the semantic layer is currently support by Crystal Reports for Enterprise, Web Intelligence, Dashboards, Explorer, and Visual Intelligence but not by the Analysis Suite.

Question: Will Zen Integrate with BPC in addition to BW-IP?

Answer:

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio is currently planned to integrate with SAP NetWeaver BW-IP.

You can find further details on the roadmap for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio here:

http://service.sap.com/roadmaps

You can find further details on the strategic direction in the area of dashboarding following these links:

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboarding Strategy and Statement of Direction – April 2012

http://blogs.sap.com/analytics/2012/04/17/the-future-of-dashboards-strategy-and-direction/

Follow up questions to the Dashboarding Statement of Direction

Question: Has printing of Analysis (web) been improved?

Answer:

SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP has strong exporting capabilities allowing you to export your workbooks into a PDF format.

 
 

Question: We want to develop an Enterprise Semantic Layer to harmonize internal BW data and external data. Universes enable this but only Webi and Crystal support OLAP Universes and there’s no MSU support. What advice would you give? Integrate with BODS?

Answer:

Currently the semantic layer is support by Crystal Reports for Enterprise, Web Intelligence, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, Visual Intelligence, and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer but not by the Analysis Suite.

Question: Our company has been using BEx queries as data source. Is it recommended that we continue to use BEx queries as data sources or should we consider creating universes for users to use in the BI tools? Any advantages of using a Universe as opposed to query

Answer:

The recommended approach is to leverage the direct connectivity based on the BEx queries. You can build a relational Universe based on InfoProviders, but you will not be able to leverage elements such as restricted or calculated key figures by using the relational Universe. The relational Universe approach allows you to create a multi-source Universe, whereas the direct connectivity based on the BEx query provides you the richer meta-data set from the BEx query.

Question: Why is Visual Intelligence not included in “comparing product capabilities?

Answer

Visual Intelligence just recently added the connectivity towards SAP BusinessObjects BI4 Universes (UNX) and the material will be updated shortly to also show now how Visual Intelligence compares to the other clients.

Question: Does Business Objects still have Print Form Function?

Answer:

This is a functionality which was possible in Desktop Intelligence. Right now the Web Intelligence SDK does not offer such functionality.

You can find more details on the SDK roadmap here (slide 18):

https://service.sap.com/~sapidb/011000358700000650752012E.pdf

and you also should take a look at session AP105 at SAP TechED.

Question: How is Web Intelligence more «self service» than Explorer or even Visual intelligence? (slide 34)

Answer:

With Web Intelligence you can provide your user an environment to change existing reports or to completely create new reports. With SAP BusinessObjects Explorer you also have the need for the Information Space which normally is being setup by IT.

Question: can you create an SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP report and make it available in analysis office and/or the opposite?

Answer:

SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP and SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office are able to save a Analysis View (similar to a BEx query view) and are also able to use a Analysis View as source for a new report. In this way you could save a Analysis View in SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP and use this Analysis View then in SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office to create a new workbook. 
 

Question: When will Design Studio be general available?

Answer:

It is currently planned to have general availability for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio in Q4 2012.

You can find further details on the strategic direction in the area of dashboarding following these links:

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboarding Strategy and Statement of Direction – April 2012

http://blogs.sap.com/analytics/2012/04/17/the-future-of-dashboards-strategy-and-direction/

Follow up questions to the Dashboarding Statement of Direction

Question: What is the recommended approach to access SAP NetWeaver BW data using Visual Intelligence?

Answer: 

SAP Visual Intelligence in its latest release does support the SAP BusinessObjects BI4 Universes (UNX) and in that way is able to use a relational Universe on top of SAP NetWeaver BW InfoProvider.

Question: Is there a plan to enable access to relational sources or Universes with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio?

Answer:

As part of the longer term roadmap SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio will offer the functionality to connect to other data source.

You can find further details on the strategic direction in the area of dashboarding following these links:

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboarding Strategy and Statement of Direction – April 2012

http://blogs.sap.com/analytics/2012/04/17/the-future-of-dashboards-strategy-and-direction/

Follow up questions to the Dashboarding Statement of Direction
 

Question: Do we need separate license for ZEN if we had already purchased BOBJ suite?

Answer:

The exact licensing terms and conditions will be made available as soon as the product becomes available.

Question: Can we create a SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office report and make it shareable to other tools?

Answer:

SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office is able to save a Analysis View (similar to a BEx query view) and Crystal Reports for Enterprise, Web Intelligence, and SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP are able to use the save Analysis View to create a new report.

Question: We have BI 4.0 enterprise. How can we receive SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio (ZEN)?

Answer:

The exact licensing terms and conditions will be made available as soon as the product becomes available. It is currently planned that SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio becomes available in Q4 2012.

Question: you mentioned the Integrated Planning functionality/integration of Design studio. But it isn´t availale yet, right? is planned for next support packges…?

Answer:

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio is currently planned to integrate with SAP NetWeaver BW-IP.

You can find further details on the roadmap for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio here:

http://service.sap.com/roadmaps

You can find further details on the strategic direction in the area of dashboarding following these links:

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboarding Strategy and Statement of Direction – April 2012

http://blogs.sap.com/analytics/2012/04/17/the-future-of-dashboards-strategy-and-direction/

Follow up questions to the Dashboarding Statement of Direction

Question: Is there a possibility for users to, when scrolling through several BO reports, be able to mark and/or temporarily store characteristic values for later reuse, for example to use them as a report filter or within a planning function?

Answer:

The BI clients as part of the SAP BusinessObjects BI suite are able to export the information in the reports and you also can use standard functionality as a copy and paste. In regards to an integration with planning you could use SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office integrated with SAP NetWeaver BW-IP (Integrated Planning).

Question: Does a Crystal Report built on a Universe on BW Data vs a BEX query leverage BWA?

Answer:

Crystal Reports for Enterprise is able to leverage a relational Universe based on InfoProvider or a direct connectivity based on the BEx queries – both of those connectivity options are leveraging BWA.

Question: You had mentioned ‘Visual Intelligence’? Is this a separate tool similar to web intelligence?

Answer:

Visual Intelligence is a product which has been released in Q2 2012 and is a desktop based environment which allows the user to analyze and enrich corporate data.

Question: What do you do when most Analyst users are using BEX reports as flatfile source data to Microsoft Access models. We want to roll out BI 4.0 but how to sell the changeover.

Answer:

In a situation where people tend to export the information outside of your corporate DWH solution it is important to explain to the users the value of trusted information and it is important to understand the reason for exporting it; perhaps the user needs to combine multiple source and perhaps a different BI client offering such functionality would also reduce the need to export the information.

Question: Which mobile app will be able to leverage the Design Studio reports? The SAP BO Mobile which leverages Webi and CR now?

Answer:

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio is planned to integrate with SAP Mobile BI, which is currently delivering Crystal Reports and Web Intelligence based content.

You can find further details on the strategic direction in the area of dashboarding following these links:

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboarding Strategy and Statement of Direction – April 2012

http://blogs.sap.com/analytics/2012/04/17/the-future-of-dashboards-strategy-and-direction/

Follow up questions to the Dashboarding Statement of Direction

Question: Can we create a dashboard that uses a website as a datasource (RSS) by using some kind of webservice?

Answer:

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards does not have such a data connection out-of-the-box but the samples for the SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards SDK also include a sample application showing how to read a RSS feed.

Question: Would Design Studio replace Dashboards in the future?

Answer:

You can find further details on the strategic direction in the area of dashboarding following these links:

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboarding Strategy and Statement of Direction – April 2012

http://blogs.sap.com/analytics/2012/04/17/the-future-of-dashboards-strategy-and-direction/

Follow up questions to the Dashboarding Statement of Direction

Question: Can we use BOBJ reporting tools directly on top of BPC cubes. We need real time forecast data in our reportts, therfore we don’t want to use retraction. We also prefer to use BOBJ tools rather than EPM 10 reporting.

Answer:

You can find the details in SAP Note 1730125 and you also might want to look at session AP108 at SAP TechED 2012.

Question: Which tools are best for scheduled delivery – if the users want the results in Excel

Answer:

Right now Crystal Reports for Enterprise and Web Intelligence have the strongest integrations with the scheduling and publication capabilities of the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.

Question: Is live office end of life?

Answer:

Live Office is part of the SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 Suite and there is no plan for an end of life.

Question: Would Explorer Workspaces not need to be created by IT or you are expecting the business users to create it.

Answer:

Correct – Creating Information Spaces for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is normally a task from an IT role.

Question: Will Visual Intelligence support OLAP Universes?

Answer

The most up-to-date list of support platforms, including the supported data sources, is always available on http://service.sap.com/bosap-support

Question: Which has better drill down or filtering functionality- WebI or Dashboard?

Answer

I would not compare the drill down functionality between Web Intelligence and Dashboards necessarily with the goal to say that one of the drill down functionalities is “better’. Web Intelligence and Dashboards are BI clients with a very different focus (Ad Hoc reporting / Dashboarding). Both products are offering a drill down functionality.

Question: How well do multi-source universes scale? For instance, joining sales order-delivery-billing documents X millions of records in each.

Answer

When it comes to the performance and scalability of the data federation engine you can look into the following material:

http://help.sap.com/businessobject/product_guides/boexir4/en/xi4_dfat_guide_en.pdf (Chapter 3)

Question: When will Explorer be available to directly connect to SAP BW (relational access only works for 3.x but not for 4.0)?

Answer:

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is able to leverage the relational Universes in SAP BusinessObjects BI4 and in that able to support SAP BW InfoProvider as a data source

Question: Does multi-souce universe support both OLAP and relational data sources? (If not what’s the best practice to combine these).

Answer:

Currently the multi-source Universe does not provide the ability to combine relational data sources with true multi-dimensional data sources in a single Universe.

Question: Which is the Platform, that can show all the different Reporting-Documents from the Bex-/BO-Tools (Enterprise Portal, NWBC, BOE, …)?

Answer:

The SAP BusinessObjects BI suite has BI clients which are web based (for example SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP or Web Intelligence) and also is offering clients which are desktop based clients (for example Visual Intelligence or SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office). All web based content can be used leveraging the viewing applications from the BI clients but can also be viewed using OpenDocument (a generic viewing application). Using OpenDocument you can integrate the actual viewing of the content of all web based content into the SAP Enterprise Portal or into the NW Business Client.

Question: KMU’s needs a cost-effective solution without additional server landscape (BOE). That means, that the documents of the frontend-tools (Queries, Excel-Workbook, Webtemplates etc.) must be saved inside the BW-Server. Is this possible with the new tools?

Answer:

Your SAP BusinessObjects BI platform is your BI platform for sharing and storing the BI content. Only SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office is offering in the upcoming release (1.3) the option to save a workbook directly into SAP NetWeaver BW. All capabilities such as scheduling (broadcasting) are based on the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.

Question: Can you talk a little more on the “Zen” product package? And how this compare to the existing tools on BO 4.0? will that be BO 5.0?

You can find further details on the strategic direction in the area of dashboarding and SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio following these links:

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboarding Strategy and Statement of Direction – April 2012

http://blogs.sap.com/analytics/2012/04/17/the-future-of-dashboards-strategy-and-direction/

Follow up questions to the Dashboarding Statement of Direction

Question: Will dashboards HTML5 capability support dashboards created in previous releases?

Answer:

You can find the details on the HTML5 support for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards as part of the roadmap for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards which is available on http://service.sap.com/roadmaps.

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9 Comments

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  1. Mikhail Budilov

    Good blog, thank you Ingo.

    Question: Is there any plans to add support unx universes to SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office ?

    We still doesn’t have any Excel based BO BI-client that support BO BI 4.x universes.

    Answer: ???

    (0) 
  2. Blair Watson

    Excellent presentation (as usual) Ingo.  I realize I can watch the recording again, but would you be willing to share the presentation slides as well?

    (0) 
          1. Runali Ghosh

            After registering i only got a message saying you will receive an email prior to the event. If I click on Take a Look at the recording here link above it keeps showing me the registration page.

            (0) 

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