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In my previous blog I talked about enabling Crystal Reports as an alternative to display ALV lists. Now it’s time to talk about other, standard ways of displaying “results”. Let’s see for example what’s available for Sales and Distribution.



IMPORTANT UPDATE (September 23rd, 2014):

If you consider “experimenting” with this, please do so in a Sandbox first. The switch framework has a couple of restrictions (transport = all or nothing; some business functions cannot be “undone”, …). Also, if you upgraded to ECC 6 EHP6, please do check OSS notes on switch framework as an important OSS note (see 1808606 for a description) may be missing and will (possibly) cause problems down the road…

As a first step, we’ll need to activate certain “business functions”. We do so via transaction SFW5:

sfw5 - sd.JPG

The above screenshot is a little “simplification” as I only show what’s necessary to activate. In reality you’ll need to scroll down to the Folder ENTERPRISE_BUSINESS_FUNCTIONS first and then to the LOG_SD_ANALYTICS_01 entry.

In the Planned Status column you’ll see an empty checkbox (if the function is not activated yet – in our system it has been activated so it shows “Business func. will remain activated” instead). To activate this business function check this box, and then hit the “Activate Changes” button on top of the screen.

In a second step we have to activate the actual BI content. This can be done via transaction BSANLY_BI_ACTIVATION:

select business function.JPG

(if necessary) change the Business Category to “03 Business Functions”. Then select LOG_SD_ANALYTICS_01 and hiet “Activate…”. If you’re lucky, you won’t get the following screen:

sd - with errors.JPG

We’ve got all sorts of errors here… first, we had “issues” with our shared object memory being too short?!

shared memory.png

with accompanying short dumps

shared memory dumps.png

Initially, we “cleared” a couple of those shared object memory objects via transaction SHMM, but eventually we’ve changed the “abap/shared_objects_size_MB” parameter from 20 to 40MB (in transaction RZ11):


shared memory parameter.png

Secondly, we received messages about non-existing InfoProviders:

non-existing infoproviders.png

A bit strange as this is exactly what this transaction is supposed to install, right?!


Via some SCN posts we found that one can install a single ODP (Operational Data Provider) via ABAP program RODPS_LOAD_ACTIVATE_SINGLE. So, let’s do this for 0OPS_11_ITM.

activate single ODP.png

We repeated this for the other ODPs throwing errors and afterwards our log looked like this:

latest log.png

The TREX error can be ignored. The errors regarding the Dashboards can be solved by running this transaction (BSANLY_BI_ACTIVATION) again but for Business Category “99 Ohters”:

/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/dashboards_468194.png

We’re still missing the role SAP_QAP_BW_DASHBOARDS which is mentioned in the SAP help. We opened an incident at SAP for this and received an answer stating that the role was never intended to be delivered?! A work around is available via OSS 2001264.

So, let’s see what this “brings” us… assuming we only have the relevant roles for (Embedded Analytics for) Sales and Distribution (or at least no other role with “Hide Menu from NWBC” unchecked) you’ll see this:

nwbc start screen.JPG

The only relevant entry for now is the “Search and Analytics” one (the rest refers to POWLs which we’re not using… yet). So, let’s click on it

search and analytics.JPG

As you can see from the top of the screen this is merely a “launchpad” which is controlled via transaction LPD_CUST. Scroll down to Role = ISR, Instance = REP to see the customizing behind the above screen.

Let’s say we would like to see “Top 10 customers (based on incoming orders)”:

top 10 customers.JPG

In order to be able to display this, you need to “change” the settings in the launchpad. If you “follow” the documentation, you should call your embedded BI server “SAP_BI”, however in the launchpad you see this:

launchpad 1.JPG

click on the “Show Advanced (Optional) Parameters”

launchpad 2.JPG

by default this “Target App. Parameters” was set to: SYSTEM=SAP_BI_ECC_SALES&VARIABLE_SCREEN=X which will result in error messages if you called your system SAP_BI as per the documentation.

I’ll try to add more details on this SAP_BI system soon… one important thing I forgot to mention is that in order to get the above to work, you need your ECC system (in which you wish to use this Embedded Analytics scenario) linked to a Portal (which wasn’t the case for us).

EXTREMELY UNDESIRABLE SIDE EFFECT:

We just discovered a very undesirable side effect of installing these business functions. They do install “enhanced” DataSources… in this case a new version of 2LIS_11_VAHDR gets installed (amongst others) which includes NETWR as a standard field. We needed this field for our “normal” BW reporting so someone in the team transported the DataSource to QAS (while none of these Embedded Analytics transports were done yet – still in “development” phase) which didn’t work. We actually can’t seem to get the same version into QAS. Tables ROOSFIELD & TMCEXCFS are completely different too.

After a while I decided to look back at the activation of these business functions and double check the documentation (available via “I” icons in the customizing transaction) and found the following:

enhanced datasources.JPG

These business functions cannot be reversed either, so we don’t have any other option than to transport all of this. Unfortunately, that transport request seems to contain quite some DataSources (88 to be exact – 6 of which are LBWE) which we now have to double/triple/quadruple check 😡 ànd we need to take extreme caution with the 6 LBWE DataSources which are active in PRD.

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9 Comments

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  1. Christopher Walstra

    Hello Raf,

    Did you ever get a chance to add more details on the SAP_BI system naming?  We are trying to implement the steps above to configure the NWBC launchpad but are getting errors when we open the launchpad links.  I have tried adjusting the “System Alias” and the “Target App. Parameters” (since our system is not named SAP_BI) but that seems to have had no effect.  Would you advise that we change the name of our embedded BI server to be SAP_BI so that we correlate with the documentation?

    Also, we do not have our ECC system linked to a Portal, but is that a requirement if we are accessing the launchpad via NWBC?  I’m just hoping you could elaborate on your last point in the post.

    Thank you!

    -Chris

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    1. Raf Boudewijns

      Hey Chris,

      you definitely need a Portal if you are using launchpads (a launchpad is basically a “list” of portal urls)! We had to find out the hard way as well… as we didn’t have a portal linked to our development environment.

      Normally it’s sufficient to change the value for SYSTEM (in the Target App. Parameters) to what you have called your embedded BI server. So if you have called that “BW_EMBEDDED” for example, you should have SYSTEM=BW_EMBEDDED as a first part of the target application parameters.

      Cheers,

      Raf

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      1. Christopher Walstra

        Hi Raf,

        We do not have a Portal for this proof of concept and we do not plan on setting one up so it appears this configuration is not viable for us.  That’s unfortunate too because I thought I had read that we would need either NetWeaver Portal or NWBC, not both, but I must have been looking at the wrong help.sap.com documentation… oh well.

        Thank you for the reply!

        Regards,

        Chris

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        1. Raf Boudewijns

          Well, if you read very carefully, it’s written somewhere (but in fineprint and 1 line only). We were in the same situation as you guys, but the client decided to have a portal installed on the dev environment (especially for this by the way) as they were convinced this would be the way to go

          (meanwhile the project is on hold as I mentionned earlier).

          As long as you don’t use launchpads, you’ll be fine with just NWBC though. Unfortunately, most of the standard is based on launchpads.

          I haven’t had time to update my blog series, but I could put a short update tomorrow on how to make it work with a WebI report if that’s of any use to you? You could then create a WebI report on top of the existing BEx query/ies and display it via the WebI (you don’t need a portal to display the WebI).

          Let me know and I’ll put a short update on that tomorrow (end of business day here already).

          Cheers,

          Raf

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          1. Christopher Walstra

            It’s really too bad because the launchpads seemed like they would be exactly what we were looking for (as I said – “oh well”).  If you could provide an update regarding the WebI functionality that would be great!  I come from a BOBJ background so I’ve actually tried connecting WebI to the BEx queries from the BI content a bit but I didn’t get far down that path.  I’m interested to see what I haven’t tried yet so I will keep an eye out for your post.  Thank you very much 😀

            Regards,

            Chris

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          2. Christopher Walstra

            Hi again Raf,

            Thanks for posting your latest entry in this series (found here, for those interested) regarding WebI reports in the NWBC sidepanel.  I hope to step through the config this week and will update you with my progress.  I believe you mention in your post that you are headed for a break, so enjoy!

            Regards,

            Chris

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  2. Johannes Bacher

    Hey Raf,

    thanks for this excellent guide. A lot I have seen in other posts, but nowhere but here i found the reference to report RODPS_LOAD_ACTIVATE_SINGLE for activating single ODPs. I was close to giving in on this, and now with the help of your blog it works !

    Note: We run this scenario without Portal/J2EE stack, only on the ECC ABAP/HANA. great stuff i think ! For making the launchpads work i had to change the BI Query entries to version 2./3.x and the system alias to SAP_Localsystem.

    Regards,

    Johannes

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    1. Raf Boudewijns

      if you’re on HANA, you may want to go for HANA “Live” (if it’s still called that) instead of this “old” technology 😉

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