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Reporting tool selection

Hi Community,

I would like to highlight Some common mistakes we tend to make for report tool selection (Web Intelligence & Crystal reports)

Problem 1: Hundreds of pages in SAP Business Object Web Intelligence

some of the users are more comfortable working in excel and handling detail level of data,

Once we finalize SAP Web Intelligence as our tool based on the business requirement/need ad hoc analysis and interactive reporting

what the expectation of user is to show thousands of rows of detail level data in web intelligence report

Web Intelligence is capable of doing Ad hoc Analysis ->YES, 🙂

Interactive Reporting -> YES , 🙂

Ability to Bring Thousands of Rows of Data -> YES 🙁

But Thinking about practicality How can we navigate thousands/hundreds of pages in Internet Browser 🙁

What is the right tool ?

If possible split the requirement to satisfy through SAP Business Objects Analysis edition for Microsoft office for familiar user experience and SAP Web Intelligence for more ad hoc and interactive reporting 🙂

Problem 2: Using Crystal reports for data extraction

Some users develop complex crystal report schedule it to folder in file system as excel format (data dump), this data is extracted through macros for another report processing, 🙁

What is the right way of doing it?

Data Extraction should be avoided through crystal reports, use intended ETL tool for the Extraction Transformation and Loading in to DB, If Final reporting  requirement is pixel perfect, high formatting then crystal report is the right tool 🙂

Problem 3: Integrating BO with BEx and need of detailed/granular organization wide data and overcoming data retrieval limitation

(Requirement 1: Need to send summarized values in PDF and do ad hoc analysis)

Some users requires to see detail level of data with all objects in BEx with multi level hierarchy enabled which brings huge volume of data and cause data limit error

Alternative approach

Splitting the Detail data based on key groups and showing summarized data based on groups header, thus avoiding to load all detail data at once

To view the detail level for each group we can use open document linked to each group header, which in turn pass prompts to web Intelligence to display detailed data only relevant to that group and with another open document we can navigate back to crystal reports

Tool Selection

Design Crystal Reports to show summarized data based on key groups or business areas, and

using open document to integrate Crystal reports for Enterprise and SAP BO Web Intelligence

From Crystal reports users can  navigate to Web Intelligence to view detail level data for that group by passing prompts


1) Summarized Data in crystal reports can be scheduled to mail as PDF for Executives

2) Detailed reporting through Web Intelligence can be consumed by Middle Management with some ad hoc analysis

These Problem and Requirement are for example purpose only

  Please share/Comment on your Ideas, Problem faced in tool selection and how it is solved so that it will be very useful for Reporting community

I will add it to the list and please do suggest for all BI reporting tools

Use the tool selection guide to choose your reporting tool wisely, think in the shoes of user 🙂 and also think about right way of doing it 🙂

Some useful links

Selecting the Right SAP Business Objects BI Client Product Based on your requirement for SAP BW customers – By Ingo Hilgefort

SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 – Selecting the Right BI Tool

Choosing the Right  SAP Business Objects BI Client – By Blair Wheadon (Updated October 2013)

Choosing the Right SAP BusinessObjects BI Client

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
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      Comment on your Ideas, Problem faced in tool selection and how it is solved so that it will be very useful for Reporting community 

      I will add it to the list and please do suggest for all BI reporting tools