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This is part 4 of an ASUG webcast covering what is new with the Semantic Layer BI4.1 and the Information Design Tool.

Pierpaolo Vezzosi provided this ASUG webcast earlier this month.  Part 1 is here

Part 2 covering SAP ERP and BW is here

Part 3 covering SAP Hana the Semantic Layer is here

Please note the usual disclaimer applies that anything new and what is discussed below is subject to change and the usual disclaimer applies.



Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 shows new SDK features in BI4.1 including creating a universe from scratch in BI4.1 SDK.

You can create new applications (targeting the OEM market)

New Usability


Figure 2: Source: SAP

Figure 2 shows a new welcome screen with the Information Design Tool in BI4.1

On the upper right includes the online tutorials

On the left there is a new universe wizard to help you create a universe from scratch

In the middle is the recent resources


Figure 3: Source: SAP

Figure 3 shows the universe wizard functionality


Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows the new find/search functionality within the project.


Q: Will you be releasing for BOBJ EDGE Customers  at the same time or will there be a delay for EDGE customers as there has been in the past?

A: Yes, BOBJ Edge 4.1 and BI 4.1 will be released at the same time.

Q: For federation, is all the data pulled from both sources before the join is applied ? how is the performance ?

A: Actually, there is a specific algorithm to decide which data gets pulled from which source first, and gets applied as a filter on the other data source, so performance is optimized.

Q: When adding a federated table to the data foundation layer, do you take a performance hit on other non-federated tables in the data  foundation layer?

A: The integration of federated tables in the data foundation layer is done by the data foundation user. It will not impact the non-federated tables.

Q: In BI 4.1 , can we build one universe against multidimensional sources like OLAP or Essbase cubes? In BO R3.1 we had the limitation to build one universe against one dimension?

How the new version handles multidimensional sources like Essbase?

A: Yes, with BI 4.0 or BI 4.1, you can build a unx universe on top of an OLAP source such as Essbase 11. I am not aware of the limitation about BO 3.1.

A: The new version (BI 4.0 or 4.1) handles Essbase 11 natively. The access is through MDX and there is full support for Essbase hierarchies.

Q: what’s the difference to federation between 4.0 & 4.1 release ?

  A: The most notable difference has been presented by Pierpaolo. It is the federation layer.

Q: will we be able to connect to a unx universe in live office?

  A: Connection to UNX universes (IDT ones) will not be supported by Live Office in BI 4.1.

  A: As a FYI, we welcome two new BI clients consuming UNX universes as part of BI 4.1. SAP Visual Intelligence and SAP Predictive Analysis.

Q: In BI 4.1 , can we build one universe against multidimensional sources like OLAP or Essbase cubes? In BO R3.1 we had the limitation to build one universe against one dimension?

How the new version handles multidimensional sources like Essbase?

  A: Yes, with BI 4.0 or BI 4.1, you can build a unx universe on top of an OLAP source such as Essbase 11. I am not aware of the limitation about BO 3.1.

Q: Can we create unx universe on SAP BW cube or BEx query in 4.1?

  A: You can create an UNX universe on BW InfoProviders today; PPaolo’s slide shows in 4.1 you can create a relational connect to BW730 query

Q: so in BI4 all the dimensions of an OLAP cube shows in one universe? and there is no need to build one universe for each dimension?

  A: Yes. In BI4, one universe covers all Essbase dimensions.

  A: We have added an extra step when the user creates the Essbase Business Layer so that the user specifies which dimension of the Essbase cube does contain the measures (aka the accounts dimension)

Q: is it in Java SDK or COM Based SDK?

  A: The BI 4.1 SL authoring SDK is a Java SDK.

Q: Does 4.1 UNX SDK support changing content of UNX objects – SELECT, Name, Hide/Show Flag? And is SDK in Java or VB?

  A: The SDK is JAVA. For the other question stay tuned. We will complete the answer in minutes.

  A: yes it does support  changing content of UNX objects – SELECT, Name, Hide/Show Flag.

  A: also the WHERE clause of course

Q: In the info design tool user guide 10.7.11, Inserting and editing hierarchy levels it says – Levels can be inserted into hierarchies in OLAP business layers only.  Is it true that we cannot create hierarchy levels on a relational universe (other than LOV)

  A: Yes, it is true.

Q: are there any plan to integrate BEx generation into the IDT?

  A: No, this is not planned at this time.

Q: can we define user exits in the new sematic layer?

  A: No. Not yet available.

If you have more questions regarding BI4.1 hopefully you will join ASUG on May 13th for BI4.1 Hands-on ASUG Pre-conference – register at

Our thanks to Pierpaolo for another great ASUG webcast.

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    Hi Tammy – informative post.

    I have a question that I’ve put on SCN and to my TrustedBI colleague.

    One of our divisions has Infor BWP (Lawson BI) and would like to leverage launch pad.  We will need to connect IDT into these tables.  It will be on SQL.

    1 – Is a relational connection the only option?

    2 – or, can IDT support Lawson OLAP? (I want to stop the other team from creating the Lawson version of BEx queries if we can’t use them from IDT)

    Thanks (and apologies if this is the wrong area to ask this question, I can’t seem to get a 100% answer anywhere!)


    1. Tammy Powlas Post author

      Hello Matt,

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      I am not that familiar with Lawson (sorry)

      I see you have already posted this as a question in the Semantic Layer space.

      You can see in Figure 3 that the IDT does support OLAP




        I see figure 3 has OLAP, and I currently use this today for connecting to SAP with BICS middleware.  However, shouldn’t I see Lawson / Infor OLAP Middleware Driver?

        (Currently for OLAP, I just see Microsoft Analysis services (xmla), Oracle, SAP, SAP BOBJ FI consolidation…)

        Are there other middleware drivers I need to install (or does the client tools installation take care of all of them?)

        Thanks Tammy,


          1. MATTHEW BROWN

            Sounds good.  The main reason I’m curious is b/c I don’t want the Lawson team creating business logic in a query tool similar to SAP BEx if IDT/CMC (olap connections) can’t leverage it. 

            We are moving forward assuming that in the worst case we can connect to the Lawson (Infor BPW) tables with relational SQL drivers, and then build business logic with SQL.  See any flaws with that approach? 

            I was told that Lawson had an OEM relationship with BusinessObjects and that they created something called LBI, which delivered BI content through Crystal Reports.  They were then purchased by Infor…after that the trail has gone cold…

            1. Tammy Powlas Post author

              Hi Matt – I am slightly confused by your comment – BEx? BEx to me means SAP BW

              BI4 & BI4.1 does support BEx using OLAP connections in the CMC (not using the IDT to create the universe).

              I am not an IDT expert but I don’t see an issue going down the relational path other than not being able to take advantage of OLAP features.



              1. MATTHEW BROWN

                apologies for the confusion –

                BEx to me is SAP BW also. 

                I was referring to something comparable to BEx that might exist in Lawson BPW (some type of OLAP query tool)… If that exists, then CMC/IDT couldn’t connect.

                And if that’s the case, our Lawson team should focus on populating the cubes and not writing queries.  The queries/business logic would need to be written in the unx layer within IDT.

                It seems like a relational connection for all 3rd party – non SAP ERPS, not on Oracle is the only option?

                Thanks Tammy,


                1. Tammy Powlas Post author

                  On the surface I would say yes but for sure I am not an IDT relational expert.  I hope other experts chime in with expertise on your discussion.




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