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Business Objects 4.0 Tips and tricks

While working with BI 4.0, we encountered many situations where we had to be creative and had to do research. Here are some of the things that we found. Wanted to share with everybody.  Please do share any new things found or feedback.

Page Mode:

By default the document mode doesn’t show page cut offs that would appear while printing the document. Choose the ‘Page Mode’ button on the bottom right hand part of the screen to see the print preview mode. The report looks like Microsoft word as well which is a preferred format for some users.

If the report has wide tables, the default view is better than page mode since large reports can be cut off in page mode and put on another page.

How to select  # (Unassigned) as a parameter value.In the list of values on the parameter box, Search does not show # (blank or unassigned) as value to choose from. To find the # (Unassigned) value you have to search in keys for #. Once you perform this search you will find ‘Not assigned’ as a value to choose from.

Query Stripping:
Use query stripping to improve the report runtime performance and avoid errors due to large data extraction. If you enable query stripping in just one spot it doesn’t work. To enable query stripping there are 2 checkboxes you have to check.

  1. In Data Access àData Providers à Edit à Query Properties à Enable query stripping
  2. In Document Summary à Edit à Enable query stripping:

Applying standard template to the webi reports

Unlike BEx, WebI doesn’t have the option to create new reports from a template. Therefore we found the best option was to create a base template, save it and use that template for adding new data sources and graphs for new reports.

Applying Company Branding the BI Launch Pad

We found this article to be very useful in applying company branding to our BI Launch Pad. It has very detailed steps to change headers, logos, and other important changes.

Implement single sign on

Implement this 5 step single sign-on process for users so they no longer have to manually log on. This note only applies to BI 4.0 on top of a Unix or Linux environment.

Use SAP note 1636349

Choosing multiple values in parameter box

Use ‘Multiple single values’ type variable in BEX instead of ‘selection option’ because selection option only lets you select a range not single values outside of that range. Multiple single values will allow you to select as many single values as you want in the prompt.

Use WebI instead of Simple Xcelsius dashboards

Webi can be used as an interactive dashboard and have input controls for users to quickly slice and dice the data.  For simple dashboards, we have found it to be a better solution than Xcelsius (Dashboards).

WebI on SAP ECC queries using a universe (capability since Feature Pack 3) – nice graphical output from r/3 queries

Quick access to report documentation

Create a ‘help’ folder in the BI Launchpad for storing documentation and reference guides on using and accessing BO tools or reports.

BO server sizing issue

SAP documentation states there is a 16GB RAM minimum for a BOBJ system but we found that to not be sufficient. In our experience we found that 26GB was needed for a properly working system. In our experience having less than 26GB resulted in WebI giving us a lot of memory related errors primarily due to insufficient server hardware.

Structure organization in BEx Query is important

While building a webI crosstab, we were getting #unavailable error for key figures. In Bex query, we have 2 structures, Key Figure structure and Time structure both under columns. We had to put Key Figure structure above time structure and then the #unavailable error goes away.  /wp-content/uploads/2013/09/image_281042.pngStrange but true.

How to Auto adjust column width on a WebI report table:  Select all the columns of the table and then double click on a column separator (similarly to excel) and it will auto adjust the column width to data in the column. Save the report. Next time, when the report is refreshed, it will automatically readjust based on the output data.

There is not separate setting to do this.

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