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Author's profile photo Adem Baykal

iPad-Scenario: How to write back data from SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards into SAP BW – HR Demo description (Video added)


I would like to share something with you what I have built together with my colleagues Kalyan Verma (who is in my eyes one of the most talented dashboard designers) and Boris von Chrzanowski (Bruce Lee in SAP BW) for a demo showcase which was shown on a customer event. The audience was very impressed about the result and what can be reached with SAP BusinessObjects by using “standard” functionality. We have created a HR Dashboard in the Family and Career area which should give HR departments the possibility to enter missing formation’s regarding to employee master data in a nice dashboard. Information’s like birthday of children, parental leaves can be entered. Even existing information’s can be changed – e.g. duration of a parental leave will be corrected. After all entries are finished, the results in another general overview dashboard will change.

The solution allows to write back data entries from the end users into SAP BW by using a dashboard created with SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (XCelsius) – and the most wonderful part is, that it also works on the iPad by using the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile App. We have built the solution in that way, that it also works with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Office. Of course with some smaller efforts it would work in other BusinessObjects BI Clients.

One of the main requirements was, to use SAP BW as data foundation. It would work also with native SAP HANA but that will be described in another blog.

So what we have used to create our solution:

  • SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse
  • A Virtual InfoProvider
  • A DSO
  • A simple BEx Query with Input Variables (to transport entries into DB)
  • SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards to create the dashboards
  • SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform to save and publish the dashboards
  • SAP BusinessObjects Mobile App (to show the entry and the overview dashboard)

Architecture Overview:


Lets see how the solution works:

Please note. The shown data is demo data and not real data! The screens comes directly from the iPad ๐Ÿ™‚

1. We start with the entry mask on the iPad:


2. An employee will be selected:


3. We select the employee with ID “D07”. The data refresh fetches data from SAP BW:


4. Employee “D07” has only 1 child. But we have a notification that a new baby was born and there was a parental leave. We can use an edit button to enter change mode:


5. A popup opens with existing data and the possibility to enter new data:


6. So now we enter the birthday of child 2 and the duration of the parental leave:


7. We have built in a quality check if the entry of the end user makes sense. Without successful check the data cant saved to SAP BW:


8. Now the data in SAP BW will be updated:


9. In the next step the dashboard reads the data again from SAP BW:


10. You will notice that the data is now shown in the dashboard. Additionally the number of children is changed and also the total duration:


11. The data on the initial information sheet of the employee is also updated:


12. We can add new information to SAP BW. That’s great. But we can also change existing data. Let’s see how this works with employee “D01”. We want to change the duration in months for child 1:


13. After activating the change button we can do changes:


14. We change the duration from 1 to 5 months:


15. We can now check the entry and start the writing process:


16. The dashboard is updating the data in SAP BW:


17. And refreshes the updated content:


18. We can see that the writing process was successful:


19. And now something very cool. As anything we enter has been written to SAP BW, we can see in real time all changes in a general overview dashboard. Depending on our entries, the amount of mothers and fathers will change. Even the statistics regarding to the children changes:


You can an do a lot of things. We can change the architecture design of the solution in that way, that we can write directly in an ETL process to “load” data into an InfoCube instead of writing directly in a DSO. You can also write back information into an SAP ERP system or if requested, you can start a stored procedure in SAP HANA to write back the data into a HANA table and many more things. Just keep in mind, that you can do nice things with SAP BusinessObjects Clients on top of different sources, if you have the right resource’s. We have created a second demo for board members and executives for a very special case. If I find the time, I will create a blog for that ๐Ÿ™‚


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      Author's profile photo Harish Allachervu
      Harish Allachervu

      cool stuff.... ๐Ÿ˜‰



      Author's profile photo Tammy Powlas
      Tammy Powlas

      Nice screen shots and thank you for sharing

      I recommend moving this blog to the Dashboards space or BusinessObjects for BI space - that way interested members can locate it more easily.

      Author's profile photo Rodrigo Silveira
      Rodrigo Silveira

      Nice post !

      What is meaning of "BEx Query with Input Variables as interface" ?

      Is a new feature of Bex Query or you developed a ABAP Web Services from Bex query ?


      Rodrigo S.

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Rodrigo, thanks.

      Yes we used a simple ABAP logic together with the Virtual Provider.

      On this Virtual Provider we have created a read/write BEx query with input ready BEx Variables (prompts) on the corresponding characteristics. So the BEx query is nothing more than a way to transport the entries from the end user to the database and of course a way to show the changed values in the dashboards.

      We used this way, as we have some other actual data stored in different InfoCubes and the main goal is to combine all data at the end in one query (based on a MultiProvider).
      On SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards side we have no service or anything. We use the common query browser in the Dashboards Designer, where we map the prompts directly to some fields. In version 2.0 we will simplify it a little bit more. We will make a step by step guide so anyone can see that it is no rocket science and conversion to Design Studio is on the way ๐Ÿ™‚

      Best regards


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello Adem,

      This is an excellent usage of Dashboards. Can you please elaborate, what is the component used in the Dashboard, to trigger the save option of Input Enabled Query.

      Thanks and Regards,


      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Vikram, yes I will share that here. You will see the Screenshots from the dashboards.



      Author's profile photo Ramesh Jothimani
      Ramesh Jothimani

      Hi Adem,

      Could you please share me the step that how you achieved it.



      Ramesh Jothimani

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member


      Thanks for this sharing. We have a requirement to input data from dashboard, and this looks like exactly what we need.

      Can you please share the steps or some documents about how you did this? I know you use input ready query, but still don't know how to trigger it from dashboard. And in which step did abap code do the magic?

      Thanks again for your sharing.


      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Marianne, sorry Iย do not checkย this blog regularly as it is a quite old one.
      Anyhow the scenario is still available. I need to check this.
      But did you managed it to write back? Do you want to write back to SAP BW or SAP HANA?
      Just contact me via email and I will check my documentation.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Dear Adem,

      No, I haven't successfully done this one and really need some help. >"<

      But I can't find your email. (My is

      I've tried to write some custom exit variable to get input value and write it to DSO in CMOD.

      However, I can't find a way to put it in dashboard.

      If I use BICS, those input variable will show when dashboard is executed, which is wrong. I want those variable get values from dashboard's cell and controlled by button.

      If I use bw query in query browser, it just can't pop out other queries' prompt, which is neccessary for display the initial screen of this dashboard.

      I don't know what to do now...It will be GREAT help if you can provide some documents to show how you do this. Really, thanks a lot in advance.

      Author's profile photo Darwin Agustin
      Darwin Agustin

      Dear Adem,

      I need help regarding query input variables. how did you address this error 'Value 'XXXXX[XXXXX]' is not valid for variable XXXX'? I'm using Virtual Cube using FM. But I have that error when inputting value in query prompt. The infoobject has no MasterData.

      Thank you,