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Author's profile photo William MARCY

Enabling Comments in Web Intelligence Reports using Input Controls

Applies to

Web Intelligence

SAP BusinessObjects XI 3.1 SP3 Minimum

SAP BI Platform 4.x


Available for all versions of SAP BI Platform, Web Intelligence Input Controls allows users to create their own functionalities for the user interface. In order to demonstrate the power of this feature, we found a workaround requested by a lot of our customers : the ability to add comments to a Web Intelligence report. This tutorial describes how to use the “Add Comment” Input Control.

Steps to reproduce

This demonstration was made with Web Intelligence 4.1 SP1. It assumes that you’ve already log in BI Launch Pad and launch Web Intelligence application.

1 – Create an empty variable in your document to write and store your comment as below.



2 – Create an empty cell and fix it into your report where you want to insert your comment area.

blank cell.png

Tips : Be careful to your cell format if the comment is too long, you must enable wrap text. Choose also a specific format to identify the comment area.

tips wrap.png

3 – Insert your new variable into the cell


4 – Create an Input Control in order to write comment. This control will be a text area, it means there’s no dependancy inside : just a result.




Final Result

When you show the left panel and add text to your Input Control, then click “OK” or “Enter” key and the comment area xill be updated ! You can also use this workaround to manage targets in your Web Intelligence document at the end of any tables. Each target will be linked to an empty variable wich will be updated by an Input Control displyed on the left panel fur the end-user.


So, when a customer tells you that Web Intelligence cannot support comment, you’ll answer : YES WE CAN !

Next time, you’ll see blog entries about “How to” guide to better manage your BI deployment and better use your BI applications. Stay tuned !


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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I assume this comment is not getting persisted ?

      Or did i miss something ?

      Author's profile photo William MARCY
      William MARCY
      Blog Post Author

      The comment is stored in your document. When you save the document, the comment stays until you change the value in your Input Control.

      To make persistent comment, you've to enter value in your Input Control and then hide the left panel with "personnalization" in CMC.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi William,

      I do understand that we can personalize "report map", "Doc Summary" , "input ocntrol" at left panel for custome user group in CMC.

      Can I set default that whenever a user open webi document . only "Input control panel " should display first (by default).

      Any work around ?


      Author's profile photo William MARCY
      William MARCY
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Parul,

      You can hide parts of side panel to show only Input Controls using "Personnalization" with right clic on an user group in CMC !

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      yes , that's true. Customisation is possible we can chosse various panels in CMC for particular user group.

      Can we make any of the panel to show by default for particular user\user group.

      When ever user open  report in view mode they can see that panel first instead of doc summary.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Good Idea!  Thanks for sharing ....Keep posting

      Author's profile photo Abhijit Ingale
      Abhijit Ingale

      Hi William,

      This is very innovative solution.

      One query that I have here is, can we have multiple users put their comments in this and have it appear like a chat transcript on the report. We can have user enter date and name while putting comments but can we show that chat transcript (showing new comment on new line)?



      Author's profile photo Vishal P
      Vishal P

      Hi William,

      we would be pleased if you could tell us in case of multiple users posted their comments/opinions on a Webi 4.0 document and can save all of them.

      Author's profile photo William MARCY
      William MARCY
      Blog Post Author


      Unfortunately no. Webi can't save the comment for a specific user like a "favorite".

      However, if you want to use personal comment dedicated to one user on one and single document, you can use SAP Design Studio.

      Design Studio can save personal data and personal view included comment area with "Favorite" option or "bookmark".

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi William,

      Nice Trick to Show Commentary !! in the webi reports.

      Do we have anything similar in SAP Design Studio ?, I shall need to explore



      Author's profile photo William MARCY
      William MARCY
      Blog Post Author

      Comments will come in next release of SAP BI Platform 4.2 at the end of the year according to SAP.

      In future SP of BI 4.2, we'll be able to set comments on a specific cell for a specific user or view with an "Excel like" capability.

      Author's profile photo Bar Nadir
      Bar Nadir

      Nice thank you,

      do you have also a solution that how users can add a comment for each line items individually in a given table report?