Today we had an ASUG webcast covering Best Practices and Additional Visualization Options for SAP Design Studio with Visual BI’s Ingo Hilgefort who is a SAP Mentor and an ASUG Volunteer.
Starting with the data sources, Ingo said they often receive questions from customers
Figure 1: Source: Visual BI
What are the main items I need to watch out? One of the main things that impacts performance is the underlying data and how much you load
You should only load what you really need. If your dashboard contains multiple pages and tabs the person who consumes only sees the first tab so there is no point in loading all the data sources up front.
Move data sources that are not present on initial page to background processing so they can keep loading and present your dashboard to your user.
If you do that, you want to make sure you are adding logic to the dashboard so it is not loaded twice. If you have 2 pages or 2 tabs, and switches between so on event you want to check that the data is already loaded.
Design Studio loads data in sequence; no parallel loading. This is planned for 1.5 around SAPPHIRENOW
Figure 2: Source: Visual BI
The next part is around query design; not just for Design Studio.
Figure 2 shows you should properties “Use Selection of Structure Members” and the query read mode so data is read as you navigate
For calculations such as actual minus budget use the query’s calculated key figure
For large data volumes, configure the safety belt; default is 500K cells but configure what you feel comfortable with.
Figure 3: Source: Visual BI
With display attributes, you can show in prompting. This is important that means they are loaded and this may not be needed – which of display attributes do you need?
There is a BADI to limit volume of data from the input screen. See the note in Figure 3.
Figure 4: Source: Visual BI
Design Studio has 3 options for you to filter data, shown in Figure 4
You can use variables in the case of BEx Query and set values for those variables
You can set a filter – e.g. dimension country to value US
The setDataSelection is specific “my bar chart should use measure revenue for the year 2014”
They are ordered in terms of impact of performance
Variables have the highest impact on performance (a negative impact)
The reason – if a dashboard has 2 BEx queries with variables, and you are passing values, it impacts both queries
Figure 5: Source: Visual BI
Customers worry too late about sizing. If you are using SAP BI4.x as a platform, it follows the sizing guidelines in Figure 5
You want to take a look; BI4 in general is memory hungry
Sizing doesn’t mean just throw hardware, but configure the system memory settings
You want to have your own APS on BusinessObjects so the server is configured for Design Studio and allocate memory
Session parameters default is 15 sessions – you want to be sure you configure to the right value
If you allocate a Design Studio APS – for 20-25 users you want to allocate 8 GB but it depends on how large the Design Studio applications are. See note listed in Figure 5.
You can start the profiling in local mode and it explains where the time is being spent – time on BW, Java layer – see the blogs above.
Figure 6: Source: Visual BI
If you want to allocate more memory on your client, see blogs on Figure 6 that explain the settings
Figure 7: Source: Visual BI
Figure 7 shows the data selection feature that comes with Design Studio out of the box with the least performance impact
On the right you see 4 key figures and posting periods; by default your chart will show everything your data source provides. You can use the data selection tool to limit what the chart shows
This allows you to re-use one data source for multiple charts
Figure 8: Source: Visual BI
Figure 8 shows a Visual BI extension called the Data Utility allowing you to select a dimension or member
Standard tool doesn’t allow you to select both
This would allow you not to have different data sources for a different slice of data
Two dimensions, pick dimension, pick measure and the chart will show what you are referring to
Figure 9: Source: Visual BI
Figure 9 shows how Design Studio is executing item. First it initializes data sources, then executes on variable initialization – this is where you want to pass default values.
The third step is the prompt dialog
Then the application is initialized and on Startup event to pass in items
Items are rendered and then the background processing starts.
Background processing can be used to offload items you don’t need in the initial load of the dashboard
Figure 10: Source: Visual BI
Figure 10 shows the important notes for Design Studio
There are central notes for the add-ons, semantic layer and the release schedule. Note # 4 includes performance tips and tricks. Note #3 shows how you can do your own analysis if there is a problem.
To be continued…
For ASUG members the webcast recording and slides are at URL: https://www.asug.com/discussions/docs/DOC-40407 (ASUG logon required)
Next ASUG SAP Design Studio Webcast is March 18: