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In my meetings with customers, I hear a lot of questions with the same common theme – the new solutions and features introduced over the past 12-18 months have made it challenging to determine which tool is appropriate for their situation.

I usually have 2 questions back to customers like this: ‘What are your use cases’ and ‘What are your data sources’?  This blog will focus on the data source angle.

Note: These are suggestions only and not hard-and-fast recommendations. Your needs may dictate a solution different from what’s suggested here.  This should be seen as a starting point only.


Suggested Solutions for a SAP NetWeaver BW Landscape

This includes SAP NetWeaver BW powered by SAP HANA.

Discovery and Analysis

  • SAP BusinessObjects Analysis

  • SAP BusinessObjects Explorer and SAP Visual Intelligence can be used under certain conditions when using BW on HANA with BW 7.3.  See this document for more details.

Dashboards and Applications

  • SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

Reporting

  • SAP Crystal Reports
  • SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence

The Analysis editions and Design Studio are focused on being premium alternatives to the SAP NetWever BEx solution set.  The Analysis solutions include an add-in for Microsoft Office, and a web based UI.  If you’re currently using the BEx tools, then these three solutions are where you should start.

Reporting can be SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence, SAP Crystal Reports, or both, depending on your requirement for self-service adhoc reporting compared to traditional production reporting.

Suggested Solutions for an Agnostic (Non SAP) Landscape

Discovery and Analysis

  • SAP BusinessObjects Explorer
  • SAP Visual Intelligence
  • SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP

Dashboards and Applications

  • SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards

Reporting

  • SAP Crystal Reports
  • SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence

BI using Traditional relational and OLAP databases can be best addressed with this subset of the BI suite.   Analysis, edition for OLAP supports Microsoft Analysis Services and we plan to add support for Essbase in the future.

Suggested Solutions for an SAP HANA Landscape

Discovery and Analysis

  • SAP BusinessObjects Analysis
  • SAP BusinessObjects Explorer
  • SAP Visual Intelligence

Dashboards and Applications

  • SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

Reporting

  • SAP Crystal Reports
  • SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence

When using SAP HANA as a full use database (and not just as an accelerator for BW), we can add SAP Visual Intelligence as a recommended solution, otherwise this subset is very similar to what we recommend for SAP NetWeaver BW.

SAP Visual Intelligence is ideal for accessing SAP HANA data because it can consume large analytic and calculation views without downloading all the data.  This enables access to huge data volumes while retaining the ease of use of the desktop Visual Intelligence solution.

The Future

In the future, you can expect the portfolio to continue to converge and simplify.  We have already released a statement of direction stating our intention to converge the Dashboards and Design Studio solutions into one.  We will continue to work to simplify our offerings and make them easier to understand, easier to use, and faster to deliver value.

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