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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

BI4 and SAP Hana – ASUG Webcast

Patrice Le Bihan and Pierpaolo VEZZOSI of SAP provided this webcast to ASUG yesterday.  Patrice did the presentation while Pierpaolo answered most of the 50 questions, which is amazing since the webcast was only 60 minutes yesterday.

Patrice provided these pre-requisites for this webcast if this is the first time you have heard of BI4 on Hana:

SAP BI on Hana tutorial – a short animation

Overview of BI4 Capabilities on SAP Hana

Improvements of BI4 SP4 on HANA


BI Clients on HANA

Selecting the Right BI Client

Landscape Considerations

More Information

Intention is to give you what you need to know before you start a project today.

Which BI clients connect to Hana?  How do you select the right BI client on Hana?

BI Clients on Hana


Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 is a familiar slide.  Each BI client has a purpose.  SAP likes to categorize in three groups.

There is no change in the positioning in tools for #SAP Hana.  Hana is a datasource for these clients.  Some support multi-sources such as Web Intelligence – so you can mix data from Hana and another data source.

Hana is a fast data source, large volume of data and calculating it on the fly.

It doesn’t change the purpose or design or target of the audience.

You can calculate on the fly real-time data with those KPI’s using SAP Hana


Figure 2: Source: SAP

Figure 2 shows connectivity.

If you have these tools you can connect to Hana today; how they connect to Hana varies.

Discovery & Analysis tools connect to Hana views via JDBC or ODBC

With Dashboards & Applications, Design Studio can connect to view or tables

Dashboards can connect via a universe as well.

During the presentation Patrice had demonstrations of Analysis OLAP  and Design Studio against SAP Hana.

Select the Right BI Client

How to select the right BI client – does not change

Hana makes it faster in terms of access to day

Why and how does not change.

Several questions you should ask yourself and your users before you standardize on a BI client.


Figure 3: Source: SAP

Where is the content consumed?

On the left of Figure 3 you see desktop applications, in the middle of the left you see the web browser and on the bottom left you have mobile.

If you are targeting mobile audience the options are at the bottom

If you are targeting desktop business analyst, you look at the first row as options.


Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows that you cannot create content from the mobile device as the mobile device doesn’t offer the experience to create a dashboard; it is more about consuming content


Figure 5: Source: SAP

Figure 5 shows product capabilities.  Each of the tools is designed for a specific audience.

Highly formatted reports are for Crystal Reports.  You can achieve same output with Web Intelligence but it will take longer.

Hierarchical capabilities – many tools support but will not reach true OLAP support such as Analysis or Design Studio.

Explorer and Visual Intelligence are about search and discovery.

Only Visual Intelligence can upload data to Hana.  This is more of a back end function but Visual Intelligence allows the business user to upload data.

Patrice said to spend time on this slide.


Figure 6: Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows something SAP gets a lot of questions.  Analysis tools are the best for hierarchy reports on the front end.  Note that with Hana,  Crystal,  Web Intelligence and Dashboards do not support hierarchies.

Most tools support variables

Landscape Considerations


Figure 7: Source: SAP

BI4 supports all revisions of Hana 1.0 as shown in Figure 7

Patrice said you will benefit from the latest as it has more capabilities.

BI4 embeds Hana JDBC so you do not need to manually install JDBC client.


Figure 8: Source: SAP

Hana SP5 offers have 3 options for authentication with #BI4 – Kerberos, SSL, direct authentication (Hana passwords are stored in Hana)

BI4 does not support SAML currently; this is being worked on

Kerberos is the only option for single sign on and external authentication; works for some tools but not all as shown in Figure 8.

Secured Connections via SSL via ODBC JDBC is supported for most but not all the tools.

For more information on Security (provided by Patrice):

Single Sign-On to HANA with BI 4.0

Secured Connections to HANA from BI 4.0

More Information

More BI4 links, provided by Patrice:

Getting Started with SAP BusinessObjects BI Solutions:

BI4 Upgrade Resources:

How to Select the Right BI Tool for Your Environment:

SBOP BI 4.0 eLearning product tutorials:

Road Maps on SAP Service Marketplace:

SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 Documentation:

Hana 1.0 Information:

SAP HANA Documentation :

System tables and SQL reference for HANA:

SAP HANA Developer Guide:

HANA Academy Implementation Resources:

BI4 with SAP Hana (links provided by Patrice):

Best Practices for Optimal Data Models in SAP HANA and Analytics in SBO BI 4.0:

About Web Intelligence on SAP HANA

Frequently Asked Questions:

Best Practices document:

About relational universes on SAP HANA

Best Practices for Relational Universes:

Best Practices for Universe creation on SAP HANA:

Using SAP HANA Variables with SBO BI 4.0:

Tutorials on how to use Crystal Reports on HANA:

Using an SQL command to find Top N values:

Using a SQL Expression:

Creating Crystal Reports using HANA tables:

Creating Crystal Reports using HANA views:

Creating Crystal Reports using data generated within a Stored Procedure:

Using Crystal Reports with SAP HANA Analytics Foundation:

Subset of Question & Answer:

There were 50+ questions in this webcast – only a subset are shown below:

Q:  How does XS development for custom front ends play with this?

  A:  At this moment XS is not relevant for BI4.0 tools


Q:  Is there a performance difference from using BI 3.1 Universe & Webi versus BI4 UNV & Webi 4?

  A:  There should not be a difference but UNX in BI4.0 are evolving to encompass HANA functionality which will not be availble in XI3 UNV (e.g. automatic support of variables)


Q:  Is there a place from where we could get big data files like FLIGHT DATA you have demoed etc?

The data set used during this demo is accessible to everyone from

Direct link to download data by year/month:


Q:  Is there a performance difference using a recommended client for e.g. BOBJ versus another custom JDBC

  A:  Performance depends on how the clients queries HANA. If the client pushes complexity down to the HANA engine, if the client retrieves the smallest quantity of data. The BOBJ tools are being optimized to take into account all these functionalities on HANA


Q:  Could you speak about working with non-SAP sources which may add pieces of the data household to be regarded

  A:  Non-SAP data was demonstrated today – the airline – downloaded from the web – .CSV loaded to Hana


Q:  UNV vs UNX usage

  A:  UNVs are maintained but not improved. UNX is the technology to use going forward


Link to Tweetdoc

My thanks to Patrice and Pierpaolo for this webcast and thanks to ASUG volunteers Noel Hollis (@DatabaseFairy) and Allison Levine (@GigaJiga) for their tweets.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Tammy, thanks for posting this!! It's a great one stop shop to answer many questions about the analytics tool set for all levels!

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      The news on SAP HANA Hierarchies + Web Intelligence is disappointing! Hierarchical data display in Webi 4.0 is amazing, but we need it from SAP HANA ASAP...