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Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

Key BI Challenges Innovations: BI Innovations Webcast, Part 1

Saurabh Abhyankar, SAP, presented this EMEA webcast this past week.  First the usual disclaimer applies that things for the future are subject to change. You can register to here the recording here and this is the  slide deck

Key BI Challenges to solve


Figure 1:  Source, SAP

Figure 1 shows key BI challenges, focusing on the people who use the products and that BI is about solving their problems

Business users want agility and look beyond here and now on their devices

Business users are not able to do what they want with data

IT wants to innovate the business

Business and IT are two groups trying to leverage analytics with different goals.


Figure 2: Source: SAP

Figure 2 shows the technology used to solve business requirements

Saurabh said that Hana changes the way people use business and analytics and provide real time information for the first time

You don’t need pre aggregation with real time, copy the data, index, etc.

Real time data on operational data


XCelsius was built with Flash

Also reporting before was with DHTML and Java applets

HTML5 gives one consistent way to build applications

As evolve, HTML5 gives a way to build the consistency


Mobility pushes the boundaries of BI beyond the masses

Small teams to adopt – can do it via the cloud to reduce the barrier to access BI Information


Figure 3: Source: SAP

Saurabh’s presentation focused on 4 areas shown in Figure 3

He started with Enterprise Platform BI Platform/SAP Hana, then with end user focuses such as the analyst, for self-service and exploration, end users for mobility.

What does platform mean? It is the enterprise BI platform and Hana platform, delivering the services needed for end user scenarios – modeling, meta data, semantic, scheduling.


Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows that Q4 of last year SP5 of BI4 was shipped, which included the first version of Mobile Dashboards

BI4.1 is planned for end of first half of 2013

Second half is B4.1 SP1 (planned)


Figure 5: Source: SAP

Figure 5 shows it is easier to upgrade to BI4 with the Desktop Intelligence Compatibility Pack,  which allows Desktop Intelligence customers to upgrade.  It has improved dependency checks in upgrade management tool

It also has an openness theme – open platform, multiple operating systems, multiple data sources

4.1 three things:

1) SDK’s and REST web services – automated conversion of UNX to UNV

2) data source enhancements Odata, web services

3) Collaboration with StreamWork

Figure 5 includes semantic layer optimizations for SAP


Figure 6: Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows the Desktop Intelligence Compatibility Pack, allowing Desktop Intelligence customers to upgrade to BI4

Desktop Intelligence didn’t ship with BI4

The product has been around since the 90’s

End of life announced has been announced but it created a migration block for customers

SAP set out to find solution, which is DCP.  DCP is an add on to DeskI 3.1 client that allows it to connect to BI4.1 CMS backend

For customers still using they can import .REP to BI4.1 and those users can open up those reports as previously


Figure 7: Source: SAP

Figure 7 shows how the BI portfolio connects to HANA

3 options:

Direct Access is most commonly used – highest performance, easy to use

  • Working with data models
  • Fast developments
  • Analysts scenarios
  • Visual Intelligence to discover Hana data

SQL Access

  • Provides most flexibility and requires SQL knowledge
  • Targeted for developers
  • Write a few specific queries

Universe Access

  • Consistent way for front-ends to access information


Figure 8: Source: SAP

Tools on left on Figure 8 can access the Information Models in SAP Hana

Hana stores data in tables in columnar storage

Hana Studio allows developers to model data in “user friendly” way in information models

Information models are a virtual view of the data


Figure 9: Source: SAP

Figure 9 shows Crystal Reports 2011 SQL based access is for those who understand SQL, typically a developer

Crystal Reports 2011 can access information models or the underlying tables


Figure 10: Source: SAP

Figure 10 shows the universe access provides a single view across the data

Part 2 is coming next, covering the front-end reporting tools.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thank you Tammy.

      BO BI still buggy and too complexity.

      Does BI 4.1 will be GA at the end of H1.2013 ?

      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author


      Thank you for reading.

      GA depends on ramp-up

      We heard in the ASUG November 4.1 webcast that ramp-up is planned for May



      Author's profile photo Waldemar Adams
      Waldemar Adams

      Since BI4 FP3 released May 2012 we already have a stable foundation for BI. No peak in support tickets anymore with 4x times+ company adoption.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for sharing the important slides from the webcast.

      However, i couldn't able to find much about  better BW-BO integration in the upcoming release BI 4.1?

      Please share your thoughts 🙂

      thank you and kind regards,


      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author


      Thank you for reading/commenting.

      There was an ASUG webcast that covered some SAP integration - please see Figure 12 of this blog:

      As we have more webcasts covering each 4.1 product I expect we'll here more about better BI-BW integration.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Interesting - in 4.1 will be implemented navigation path on Bex-reports?

      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Mikhail,

      I am not following your question; perhaps you could post it in the discussion area so others may respond?