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Using Design Studio with SAP HANA end to end-Part 2

This is part 2 of this blog post, you can find the first part here: Using Design Studio with SAP HANA end to end-Part 1

After taking a look at how we can connect locally to SAP HANA in the first part of this blog post, we will now take a look how we can connect through the BI Platform and use some HANA features like hierarchies in a Design Studio Application.

Here our overall plan:

  1. Create an OLAP Connection to SAP HANA in the BI Repository
  2. Using HANA Hierarchies and HANA Variables in Design Studio
  3. Mobilize the Design Studio Application

1. Create an OLAP Connection to SAP HANA in the BI Repository

In order to create en OLAP Connection, navigate to the Central Management Console (CMC), and go to OLAP Connections, and from there create a new connection to SAP HANA:


Note: Single Sign-On will be supported in BI4.1 as noted in the Design Studio Designer Guide. A step by step guide about configuring SSO from BI4 to SAP HANA can be found in following blog post by M. van Foeken:

BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.1 – Setting up an SSO connection to SAP HANA to utilize in Design Studio 1.1

After creating the OLAP connection in the CMC, we open Design Studio, create a new application and select the newly created connection:


Note that in the screenshot above there is also one connection to SAP HANA that has been created within the Information Design Tool (IDT), while it is technically possible to use this connection, the recommendation is to create the connection within the CMC. It is also possible to create an OLAP connection directly to a calculation view, this is represented by the first entry in the screenshot above. Do keep in mind that it has to be an OLAP connection for use in Design Studio though. Other BI Tools like SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office or Explorer are able to leverage a relational connection to SAP HANA.

2. Using HANA Hierarchies and HANA Variables in Design Studio

After selecting a connection we are presented a list of analytical and calculation views:


The selected calculation view contains a mandatory variable (Variable_1), therefore a prompt will appear right away:


Note that the calculation view also contains an optional Input Parameter (InputParameter_1) with a default value that is being surfaced in Design Studio. After providing a value for the mandatory variable, I edit the initial view of the datasource, which has all key figures added by default, but no dimensions (similar behaviour compared to connecting to a SAP BW InfoProvider). I navigate to a HANA Hierarchy and activate it, afterwards you can also set the “Expand to Level” property:


The hierarchy above is a level hierarchy. Parent child hierarchies are generally speaking supported as well.

The sorting of variables is respected in the prompts dialog. Initially I defined following sorting order:


After altering the sorting in the calculation view, I can either close and re-open Design Studio, or I can hit “Clear Cached Logon Credentials” in the Design Studio preferences Dialog. Afterwards, the new sorting order is surfaced in the prompts dialog in Design Studio:


Afterwards we can create a simple Design Studio application.

3. Mobilize the Design Studio Application

This is the last and fastest step. Just assign the Design Studio application to the mobile category in order to offer the application on a mobile device. Here a screenshot from the application on an iPad 3:


The Design Studio application contains a pagebook component, by swiping to the right on the iPad (or activating the checkbox), we can jump to a second page where we can enjoy the filtering capabilities of the filter panel component:


Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed this introducction into using Design Studio with SAP HANA.

Other interesting blogs on Design Studio & SAP HANA:

How To: Update SAP HANA table using XS – a simple demo by Murali Balreddy

Design Studio 1.1 – Using an OLAP SSO connection on the BI 4.1 platform to SAP HANA by M. van Foeken

My experience with SAP BO Design Studio on HANA by Muralikrishnan E

Traffic Controller with SAP Design Studio on HANA…(designed for fun) by Muralikrishnan E

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  • I am using Design Studio 1.4 and I cannot get any optional input parameters to pop up within the DataSource initial view screen. Did you have to do anything special to achieve this?



    • Looks like this is only an issue with Scripted Calc Views in HANA. No matter what I do, making the input parameter mandatory or not, DS will not recognize it.

      However, when I use a Graphical Calc View it works fine. Seems buggy.



      • Hi,

        This does not sound familiar to me at all, we have been using input parameters in scripted Calcviews without problems.. Does the input parameter work when previewing the view in HANA Studio?


        • Thanks for the response. It does work in Studio no problem.

          The issue here was that it didn’t pop up for me initially. I did not realize that I had to select Application/Show Prompts in order to get the dialog to display.



  • Hi,

    Thanks for the blog. I tried to create a cross tab report based on hana calculation view.

    I have created a level based hierarchies at the view side. When i try to activate the hierarchy at Design studio side, the hierarchy getting activated at lease child instead of first parent node. Could some one let me know what could be the issue or i need to change any thing at the hierarchy side?

  • Hello,

    I step 1 above, I created a HANA connection in CMC, but when I get to Design Studio, I do not see the new connection.  I tried logging out/logging back in, clicking the “Reload Connections” button, etc.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you,


  • Great write up thank you. We’re using BOBJ4.2, and when creating the OLAP Connection using a parameratised calc view, we get an error – can’t connect to HANA server. Is this specific to 4.2 do you know?

  • Hi ,

       I am new to Design studio. i am facing connection issue to hana from design studio .i have set preferred startup mode in design studio preference as bi platform and when trying to add data source from design studio local,error pops up saying failed to connect Hana. cannot connect jdbc:sap;\\hana.. .. can you tell me what could be the problem with this to be fixed 

    • You need to install the HANA driver on your local machine if you are using a local OLAP connection to HANA. Use the HANA Client installer and this will install the drivers for you.

      If you are using DS 1.6 latest service pack SP2, I would recommend you to use HANA HTTP connection. This does not require any driver installation.

      • Any tips on performance optimzation when using CALC Views with Hierarchies in SAP HANA via DesignStudio (http or OLAP connection)?

        We are encountering some severe performance hits after activating hierarchies..