Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas

What is new with SAP Integration BusinessObjects BI4.1 and BW? Part 2

Patrice Le Bihan presented this ASUG webcast this past week.  Patrice Le Bihan is part of the SAP Analytics Solution Management team and currently responsible for the SBO Analysis products as well as the SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP ERP integration topics.  BI4.1 is in ramp-up.  Note that the usual disclaimer applies that things are subject to change.

The previous blog covered how connect directly to BI ERP What is new with SAP Integration BI4.1 and SAP ERP?

This blog discusses how to connect directly to BW and will be in two parts.


Figure 1: Source: SAP

Over a year ago SAP published a statement of direction regarding Dashboarding where SAP will make Dashboards and Design Studio converge.

When it comes to BW, Design Studio is the favored tool.

New functionality for Dashboard 4.1 in BW is direct access to BEx Queries using variable values.


Figure 2: source: SAP

This is not part of the BI4.1 ramp-up but in SP1.  You have the option to bind variable values to cells.


Figure 3: Source: SAP

Web Intelligence improvements include better performance when working with BEx variables, member selection from a hierarchy based on relative depth, and reduction of #TOREFRESH and #UNAVAILABLE errors.

Significant performance improvements include report creation or edit an existing report with Web Intelligence or Crystal Reports for Enterprise on BEx queries, and refresh report with Web Intelligence or Crystal Reports for Enterprise on BEx queries with variables, said Patrice.


Figure 4: Source: SAP

BI4.0 starts with selecting the BEx query, then you see the query panel and this is where the response time can be longer than expected.  The select your objects, build query, click next/run, then it would display the variable screen, set the values, and then get to the report.

Figure 4 shows the changed BI4.1 sequence.  Select the BEx query, next you will see screen with mandatory variables, then see the query panel.  It allows SAP to retrieve the variables differently and less RFC calls to BW.

Figure 4 shows improved response time in BI4.1 but it depends on BW patch level, type of BEx queries, number of objects, hierarchies.


Figure 5: Source: SAP

Figure 5 shows the run-time improvements for Crystal Reports.

Users using reports with variables – when open the report, you are prompted for variables to run the report.

Patrice said they have seen performance improvements.


Figure 6: Source: SAP

In BI4 Web Intelligence, you open the query panel, then the variable screen is shown.

This has changed in BI4.1 with the variable screen shown first.

Figure 6 shows faster improvements on a BW 7.30 system.


Figure 7: Source: SAP

Similar to Crystal Reports, Figure 7 shows Web Intelligence leverages the run-time improvements with BEx Variables in BI4.1


Figure 8: Source: SAP

Another area for improvement is selection of members from a hierarchy.

SAP has added member selection based on relative depth – when you drag a hierarchy on the report – you can choose to select all descendants or only select 1, 2, 3 levels down.


Figure 9: Source: SAP

Figure 9 shows an example of relative depth


Figure 10: Source: SAP

Figure 10 shows the same is true for hierarchy variables; you define how many levels in the hierarchy and at run-time the user decides to run a different hierarchy, the report leverages the same depth


Figure 11: Source: SAP

Figure 11 shows an example of how 3 levels are kept even if a user sets a different hierarchy.

Relative depth to the member selection has been added to BI4.1

To be continued…more in another blog.

Now, for a related  ASUG advertisement 🙂

Join ASUG at SAP TechEd


  SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 with SAP BW and SAP ERP – Everything You Need in One Day

   (includes BW on HANA)

  Monday, October 21st

  8:30 am to 5:00 pm

  Cost: $595 ASUG members $695 non-ASUG Members

Join SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort for this pre-conference session.  It includes some exercises with BW on HANA.  Register today

Assigned Tags

      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Xavier Hacking
      Xavier Hacking

      Hi Tammy,

      Thanks for this overview. About the performance improvements in Webi 4.1, did they shown any real figures/proof of this? For example the loading time for 1 million records in 4.0 vs the time in 4.1 over the BICS connection?



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

      Only what was discussed in Figure 6 re: Web Intelligence performance.  He said alot of it depends too on the number of hierarchies, variables, etc. in the design.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Great Document

      Author's profile photo Rahul Chandra Kini
      Rahul Chandra Kini

      Hi Tammy,

      Figure6 - is it possible to give details on (*) see appendix for details on BW pre-requisites?

      I am interested in knowing specifically the BW 7.31 pre-requisites?



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

      Hello Rahul,

      Thank you for reading in detail

      The appendix refers to SAP Note 1870192

      Best regards,


      Author's profile photo Rahul Chandra Kini
      Rahul Chandra Kini

      Thanks for your response. But the note doesnt seem to have any details regarding the BW version pre-requisites in it.

      Is it just this note or is there like a bunch of other notes that explains about other improvements in BW7.3 as a pre-requisite for BI4.1?



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

      Rahul - for some reason the reply is not letting me paste a picture.

      This is the only other page in the Appendix, source: SAP:

      BW Pre-Requisites for “Design Time” improvement

      To fully benefit from the optimizations, you need SAP NetWeaver BW 7.30 SP08 or BW 7.31

      SP05, and the following SAP Notes:

      1771995 – Wrong hierarchy level

      1750788 – Meta data extension (contains a collection of extensions and fixes)

      1767351 – Missing meta data of characteristics in the fix filter - only relevant for characteristics that do not support drill down

      (i.e. are only in the fix filter of the query).

      1776999 – Sorting type of hierarchies is always "HIERARCHY" although it was changed in the query designer

      1777544 – Missing meta data of hierarchy node type attributes

      1778347 – Hierarchy node type attributes are not read

      1770434 – Correction for selection state of compound characteristics

      1762156 – Correction for nodes in selection space

      1776688 – Optimization for reading hierarchy nodes, too many hierarchy levels are read

      1798297 – Correction for issue found on Samsung queries

      1806813 – Correction for missing text for members used as default variable values

      1809517 – Correction for invalid variable order when retrieving the list of variables through the design time services

      1811124 – This note fixes the sorting of the of drill down characteristics returned by the design-time API so that it matches the

      runtime sorting

      1812142 – This note fixes the sorting of the hierarchies returned by the design-time API so that it matches the runtime sorting

      1817482 – This note adds the feature for the Design Time API to choose whether members should be read initially or not. By

      default, there are not read; this provides a performance enhancement for SL.

      Author's profile photo Rahul Chandra Kini
      Rahul Chandra Kini

      Thank you so much. I was looking for this exact information.

      Best Regards,