Analysis for Office is our premium alternative to BEx Analyzer. But what does that mean?
A premium alternative is not a replacement. Our objective is not to create a feature-by-feature replacement of BEx Analyzer. Our objective is create the best possible Excel client for SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP HANA, and this means there will be differences between how the two products behave.
But why should customers adopt Analysis for Office? At a high level, there are 3 reasons:
1) It’s more usable
2) It’s more functional
3) It works with your existing BEx Queries and BW InfoCubes today
But what exactly do we mean by that? This blog will drill down in to the details..
First, we’ll start with major new features and functions in SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Office, compared to BEx Analyzer.
Note that the following table is not an exhaustive list of differences. There are many other differences that are too granular to mention here.
|Analysis for Office Feature||In BEx Analyzer?||Comments|
|Create iOS or Web based analytic applications||No||One-step integration with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio allows Analysis for Office workbooks to be consumed over the web or on iOS devices. Mobile consumption requires the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.|
|Microsoft PowerPoint Integration||No||Add live, refreshable tables to PowerPoint|
|Multi-step Undo / Redo||No||Multi-step undo / redo of data analysis and workbook design steps. BEx Analyzer can go to the prior step, or back to the state at the start of the session.|
|Support for BW Workspaces||No||BW Workspaces allow you to securely upload personal data and combine it with data stored in BW|
|Support for SAP HANA||No||Support for connecting to SAP HANA analysis views.|
|Use multiple data sources from the same system||No||Multiple connections to the same system are supported in a single workbook – HANA views, BEx queries, and BW Infocubes.|
|Design Panel||No||The Design Panel contains the Analysis, Components, and Information tabs. These tabs are used to define analyses, view dimensions, hierarchies, and attributes, and view component properties. A layout section (columns, rows, filters) offers an alternate way of defining the layout of data without dragging selections directly onto the crosstab.|
|Hierarchy option: show levels||No||Option to hide certain levels from hierarchy display.|
|Set expansion direction for hierarchies on rows / columns||No||Parent members above/left of or below/right of child members.|
|Conditional Formatting (Exceptions in runtime)||No|
|Refresh Data Sources Individually||No||BEx 7 requires all the data sources in a workbook to be refreshed at once. Analysis Office enables both ‘Refresh All’ and the ability to refresh specific data sources.|
But when doing a comparison, that’s only half the job. We also need to critically examine the functionality in BEx Analyzer to see if it’s available in Analysis for Office. The following table shows the areas where Analysis Office offers less functionality than BEx Analyzer.
|BEx Analyzer Feature||In Analysis for Office?||Comments|
|Local Formulas||Partial||Calculations in Analysis. Analysis supports simple calculated measures (+, -, *, /, percentage share and percentage difference). This is a subset of the formulas possible in SAP BEx Analyzer. Parity is planned for a future release.|
|Calculations in key figure properties||Partial||
Dynamic calculations on single measure in Analysis for Office. Analysis for Office supports dynamic calculations:
The following calculations are not possible in Analysis but in BEx Analyzer:
|Presentation Options for Dimensions / Characteristics||Partial||No separate presentation options exist for hierarchy node types in Analysis Office; they are inherited from the dimensions’ presentation.|
|Result set access mode||Partial||Ability to show master data without booked data (NULL values). Not supported in Analysis directly, but can be defined in SAP BEx Query Designer.|
|Variable Personalization||No||Planned for a future release.|
|Favorite Filters||No||Planned for a future release.|
Finally, here are the platform dependent features and functions that require the SAP NetWeaver platform for SAP BEx Analyzer, or the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform for Analysis for Office:
|Feature / Function||Analysis for Office||Comments|
|Report-to-report interface||Yes||Introduced in Analysis for Office 1.3|
|Distribution of workbooks / broadcasting||Partial||Available with a support pack on Analysis Office 1.4 and requires the BI Platform 4.1.|
|Precalculation of workbooks / scheduling of workspaces||No|
|BW document integration||No||Can add comments to data cells and store within workspace / workbook.|
As you can see Analysis for Office is clearly a premium alternative to BEx Analyzer.
To learn more, view the tutorials here or contact your SAP partner or account executive.