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Microsoft Power BI and SAP BW Data Warehouse Connectivity step by step:

On March 24, 2016, Microsoft Power BI team did a commendable job by releasing the preview of the functionality to connect to SAP BW Data Warehouse Cube directly from within Power BI Desktop. We were successful in Connecting to the SAP BW Data Warehouse and this document basically gives a step by step demo of connecting to SAP BW since this is a new feature.

Prerequisites:

1. Before going further in this document please make sure that you have downloaded and installed the most recent version of Microsoft Power BI Desktop tool from Here (Version: 2.33.4337.281 64-bit (March, 2016)   )

2.Make Sure to activate the new preview feature by navigating to Menu–> Options –> Preview Features  and checking the SAP BusinessWarehouse Connector option as shown below.

SCN10.jpg

3.  Download the most Recent version of librfc32.dll 64-bit version from Support Packages and Patches | SAP Support Portal , take your Basis Admin’s help.Place the file in your systems C:\Windows\System32 location .

4.  Download the latest Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Service Pack 1 from here

5. Make sure that Your Basis Administrator has disabled the Single Sign On option for your user account and enabled the Logon using Username/Password option.


Step: 1 Click on the Get Data option and browse to below Location

Database –> SAP Business Warehouse Server

SCN2.jpg

                                                                Figure 1

Step: 2

Provide the Server credentials of your SAP BW system that you are going to log in. If you are not aware of the details, contact your Basis Administrator.

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SCN3.jpg

                                                            Figure 2

Step: 3

The system prompts for the User name and Password. Provide the SAP BW server login details provided to you by Basis Administrator (See Prerequisite # 2 above)


SCN4.jpg

                                                          Figure 3


Step: 4

Once the logon credentials are verified, we get the Navigator as below and can access all the Cubes (Essentially the BEx Queries underneath)

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                                                                 Figure 4

You can select the Key Figures and Characteristics from the Cube/BEx Query and start building your Dashboards/Reports now.


Side Notes:

  1. 1. Accessing the Data Source Credentials:

Currently the system asks for the Login Credentials only once at the time of login and then saves them to the Data Source as Settings. You can follow the below steps to go and edit the settings.



i) Navigate to the Data Source Settings from the menu as shown in below screenshot


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                                                       Figure 5

ii) Search for your SAP BW server name in the Data source settings and select the Edit option.


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  As shown above (Figure 6), the Data Source setting has two settings.

Credentials: Clicking the Edit button on the Credentials screen gives you the option to change the User name and Password as shown below.

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Privacy Level: Which has the below options

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Once you have changed the settings press done and close the window and reconnect to the Server again to providing the server details to access the SAP Cube with new credentials


Issues yet to be resolved:

        1)    The current version does not provide any option to enable the Single- Sign on for logging in to SAP BW system, which                    may hinder in the complete adoption of this feature as most organizations have Single- Sign on as a policy.

        2)    The Credential option is a very basic one and can have more options similar to the Web Data source Settings option as                   shown below :

SCN9.jpg



Hope this document will be helpful .Any comments, suggestions are welcome.

Thanks

Vinay

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36 Comments

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  1. Søren Ejlersen

    Thanks for sharing. This feature is long waited.

    I get an error saying ‘Select one of the installed language’ when trying to connect to our BW system. Does anyone know how to fix this? We only have EN and DE installed as logon languages to our BW system

    (0) 
      1. Søren Ejlersen

        Thanks for the note Vinay. Might be relevant but what is the default logon language that the SAP BW connector in PowerBI desktop uses? I am not able to specify language for login anywhere in the connector.

        (0) 
        1. Vinay KB Post author

          Hi Søren

               I was looking at the Language setting in Power BI Desktop and came across this setting. Can you please check what is your current setting ?

          Navigate to Options–> Data Load –> Locale

          Hopefully this helps .

          Thanks

          Vinay

          SCN11.jpg

          (0) 
          1. Søren Ejlersen

            Hi Vinay,

            My default was danish but tried switching to both english and german and it still gave the same error. Both are languages we have installed according to the note. I noticed that every time I restart PowerBI desktop it defaults to danish locale – guess it picks it up from Windows.

            (0) 
  2. E. Schoonderwoerd

    Thanks for sharing Vinay! I was able to connect to our SAP BW and I can see InfoCubes with chars and keyfigs. I’m not seeing any BEx queries, though.

    Also I’m not able to see any navigational attributes. Can you confirm that these are not available yet?

    Rg. Erwin

    (0) 
  3. Senthilkumar VP

    @vinay : do you have any idea where the power bi desktop connect hassle free to the sap bw system. as long as there are some issue while connection. getting the error message as displayed. FU_NOT_FOUNT.jpg

    (0) 
  4. Rama Murthy Pvss

    Hi Vinay,

    When we are trying to connect but we are encountering this error as shown below. We have followed all the steps mentioned in the blog above –

    unable to connect.PNG

    (0) 
  5. Pierre COHEN

    Hi Vinay,

    Could you please detail the way to select, download and install on my PC the right “librfc32.dll 64-bit version”

    I have still the following Error :

    Capture.PNG

    Your help will be highly appreciated

    (0) 
  6. Prithviraj Kerthi

    Hi Vinay,

    Thanks for the step by step doc…on successful connection to BW, I could see list of infocubes and Bex queries….however my concern/observation is all Bex queries related to selected infocube OR all DSOs are not listed in the Navigator screen. Could locate only few DSOs/infocubes, inspite they are available in the backend/SAP BW.

    Can you please share your comment on this…

    Thanks

    Prithvi

    (0) 
  7. Senthilkumar VP

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wko9F0nwzxY&feature=youtu.be

    Hi All ,

    I would like to know basis information usage of Power BI on Top of BW and HANA and SAP Business Object Cloud ( Cloud for analytics )

    I Believe this product is not matured as long as connecting SAP BW and HANA. Since its doesn’t support variable fully and security as this is on cloud.

    There are some issue like FU_NOT_FOUND which I saw in the Power BI Forum on BW Connector which is not addressed so far ?

    Will this be an Enterprise reporting ? Since its on cloud and  How about the security profile and Authorization ? How many customers are using the Power BI ?

    Similar Product SAP Business Objects Cloud ( Cloud for analytics ) comes with same user interface like Power BI also its connects to all the SAP Sources ( ERP , BW , HANA , success factor ) with Analytics and Planning model in built.

    Did anyone performed the evaluation and testing on this different Product ?

    Thanks for your valuable comments !

    (0) 
  8. Marc Bertrand

    Hi,

    I have windows 64 bit on my computer but running Power BI 32 bits, should I install the file librfc32.dll 32 bits ? The most recent version I found in the software download of SAP is “Support Package SAP KERNEL 6.10 32-BIT Windows Server on IA32 32bit #Database independent“, is it the correct one to put in the folder C:\Windows\System32 ?


    Thanks,

    Marc

    (0) 
    1. Sölvi Sigurjónsson

      Hi Marc,

      The latest version of Power BI does not rely on librfc32.dll.

      Instead for you to use the BW connector, you need to have SAP Client tools installed in your computer.

      If you have problems with the latest version of Power BI and still have SAP Client tools installed – make sure you have your dll files in correct folder (syswow64 or system32)

      (0) 
      1. Marc Bertrand

        Hi Sölvi,

        What is the SAP client tool you are referring to ? Do you speak about “SAP Data Services Client Tools 4.2 SP07” ?

        I have the Power BI desktop version 2.38.4491.282, that I have installed yesterday, so I guess it’s the last one.

        (0) 
          1. Marc Bertrand

            I have also SAP GUI and SAP business explorer installed, but I have only the files icudt34.dll, icuin34.dll and icuuc34.dll in the folder syswow64, not the other files. Do you know how I can get them ? I’m surprised to not have the same files than you even if I have both SAP GUI and SAP business explorer.

            (0) 
              1. Marc Bertrand

                My basis team was able to download SAP NW RFC SDK 7.20 -> Windows on x64 64bit, then I extracted the files from this SAR package and I pasted the 9 files you mentioned but I still have an error saying that there is a connection error. It’s in french, but if I translate, it says “Access to SAP Business Warehouse needs installation of SAP client tools, especially the most recent version of SAP Netweaver RFC. For more information, check Use the SAP BW Connector in Power BI Desktop | Microsoft Power BIPower BI BW connection issue.png

                I get this error message after entering my SAP BW system, user ID and password.

                (0) 
          2. Verol Thompson

            Only files icudt34.dll, icuin34.dll and icuuc34.dll are in the SYSWOW64 Folder (they were always there).
            I added all the files listed above in the System32 Folder. Power BI is using them, as I no longer get the error I used to get. But now I am getting an RFCOpenConnection Failure – Password and Name is correct.

            (0) 
  9. Corey Hallisey

    If you are upgrading from the version of PowerBI where BW-connectivity was a “preview” feature, you need to REMOVE the reference to the old LIBRFC32.DLL in your PATH environment variable.

    What we did is:

    1. Downloaded SAP NW RFC SDK 7.20 – Patch 40 from SAP Support (Search for SAP NW RFC SDK).

    2.  Expanded the SAR file to create the nwrfcsdk folder which contains all the files you need.

    3.  Copied the nwrfcsdk folder to C:\Program Files\sap  (because these are 64-bit libraries).

    3.  Updated the PATH environment variable to include  C:\Program Files\sap\nwrfcsdk\lib

    4.  Removed LIBRFC32.DLL from C:\windows\system32 (clean up the previous version).

    And then we could get PowerBI to connect to our BW.

    Hope this is helpful.

    (0) 
    1. Marc Bertrand

      Hi Corey,

      I’m not upgrading the version of Power BI, I have installed the last one directly.

      Where do you define the PATH environment variable in Power BI ? I don’t find it in the options.

      Marc

      (0) 
      1. Corey Hallisey

        Hi Mark.  You don’t have to define the PATH environment variable in PowerBI anywhere.  You define it on your PC. 

        On and Windows 7 PC:

        Right-click Computer > Properties > Advanced System Settings

        Click on “Environment variables”  

        Under System Variables at the bottom, find the variable “PATH”.  The PATH is usually a long list of directories.  At the end of the list, add the location of the nwrfcsdk folder.
        e,.g. C:\Program Files\sap\nwrfcsdk\lib

        PowerBI will automatically search the PATH on your PC to find the libraries it needs.

        Hope that helps!

        (0) 
        1. Marc Bertrand

          Hi Corey,

          Thanks for your help, I was able to change the variable on my laptop. Then I still got the error, but after 1 week and multiple restart, I was able to connect Power BI to SAP BW.

          What I noticed is that Power BI doesn’t display all the info providers of SAP BW and doesn’t display the key of the field value but the text, is there any option to display all the info providers and to display the key instead of the text ? By example, I selected an info provider, selected the field material group and it does display the text of the value “MRO spare parts” instead of displaying the key 8034.

          Marc

          (0) 
  10. Verol Thompson

    Hi Vinay, Marc, Corey, Solvi,

    I am getting the following  error, even though Name and Password is correct. Please help.

    Note:  I am connecting via VPN. Does that makes a difference?
    Thanks

    (0) 
  11. Rob Moore

    We gave up trying to connect BW to Power BI; it seems far too complicated for an Enterprise level product. In contrast Qlik & Tableau were able to connect to our BW system without any complexity at all just via the SAP GUI.

    (0) 
  12. Nicolas Le Jeune

    To request SSO in Power BI here is the link to vote : https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas/suggestions/15908233-single-sign-on-for-connection-to-sap-bw

     

    (0) 
  13. Alexandru Cotoara

    Hello,

     

    The “SAP Business Warehouse Connector” feature is not available in my Power BI Desktop.

    Is it because I’m using the free version and not the premium one?

    Please let me know if I’m missing something

     

    Thank you

    ALex

     

    (0) 

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