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Author's profile photo Sreenivasulu Dasari

SAP BW is an OLAP vs. Relation connection

Hello Everyone,

There is confusion whether SAP BW is an OLAP source or relational source while creating universe in information design tool. So in this document I am explaining creating universe in IDT as BW Source can be considered as OLAP or Relation connection.

There is Difference between multi-Source enabled relational universe and dimensional universe.  Both the universe types are generated and
persisted on the SAP Business Objects repository and can therefore be shared or reused.  The type of universe you choose to create depends on your design and reporting needs.

Relational Connection

  • You can build a muli-source enabled universe based on SAP Net Weaver Source by creating a relational connection to the data source.
  • In the information design tool, you can create a Relational connection to connect SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) using the driver “SAP Java Connector (JCO)”.
  • Note that this type of connection can be created directly on the SAP Business Objects Business Intelligence (BI) platform, rather than being created locally and published to the platform     as a secured connection shortcut.
  • Relational connection gives the option of select Data foundation type based on the features supported by Single source or Multi Sources enabled. 
  • Want to combine SAP BW with other sources (SAP or non-SAP) and elements as hierarchies are not required  and Want to access DSO (fined grained reporting).
  • Relational Universes can be cached on the BI Platform allowing for higher performance when retrieving large amounts of BI Metadata (Info Cubes with lots of attributes and key calculated figures).

SAP Java Connector (JCO).png


OLAP connection

  • In the information design tool, you can create an OLAP connection to connect to SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW) using Business Intelligence Consumer Services (BICS) connectivity.


  • BICS connectivity is the recommended way for BI tools to connect to Business Explorer (BEx) queries on the SAP NetWeaver BW server.
  • OLAP connections to connect to an SAP NetWeaver BW data source based on a BW server, a cube, and a BEx query.
  • The OLAP connections you create in the information design tool are not supported by the universe design tool. Also, OLAP connections created in the universe design tool are not available for building universes in the information design tool.
  • BICS Client connections in SAP Business Objects query and reporting applications to connect directly to the BEx query. No business layer or universe is required to access BEx queries. We can directly select the BEx query as a data source.

SAP Business Objects BI 4.x & SAP NetWeaver BW – Relational Universe (UNX) vs. Direct Access (BICS)

BICS Vs Relational.png

BICS Vs Relational 1.png

  To get the CKF, RKF, Variables and Conditions…Etc. possible as workaround

BICS Vs Relational 2.png

I hope this will be useful for users creating universe backend as BW in IDT.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Good One..

      Author's profile photo Vincenzo Palmieri
      Vincenzo Palmieri

      Hi Sreenivasulu Dasari,
      thanks for your post.
      I need to provide to end users all the data contained in the BW DSO layer to produce self service reporting with maximum granularity. We're using BO 4.0 SP10 and we've created a relational connection with Jco but only one BW DSO can be selected; for each DSO we need to create a different connection . Why is not possible to insert different DSO's in the same connection? Is this the right solution to put togheter all the DSO's data? I think that we'll have performance issue! What's the best practice for this kind of scenario?

      Thanks in advance