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BI Transformation Journey – Automated mass conversion from BEx to AO 2.X workbook

HI All,

As SAP customers are advancing their landscape towards BW/4HANA they will have to transition from their traditional BEx Reporting to the latest SAP Analytics offerings.

please refer to following blog for support and strategies – https://blogs.saphana.com/2017/04/11/sap-bw4hana-and-the-bexit-strategy/ and  https://blogs.sap.com/2016/10/13/sap-business-explorer-maintenance-support-policy/

In this blog I would like to highlight one such scenario where the BEx Workbooks would be replaced by SAP Business Objects Analysis for Microsoft Office (referred as AO).

One of the biggest hurdles most customer face today is to Migrate/Convert thousands of BEx workbook to Analysis for office. In the current state of things BEx workbooks has to be converted Manually one workbook after other from Analysis office as there is no Automated Mass conversion utility available.

This challenge provided us with an opportunity to build a utility/service which can help our customers to easily Migrate/Convert their BEx workbook to AO workbooks. We have enhanced the old version of the tool which was presented in https://blogs.sap.com/2014/05/21/migrationservice/ to latest version which can now convert the workbook to AO 2.x.

Installation and Setup:

We have a special install of analysis for office along with our code which will facilitate the conversion. this options will be integrated to the AO ribbon.

Process flow:

Features:

The utility provides the below options

1. Analyse different workbooks in the system  and categories based on number of query /datasource (ds) :

  • Simple : 1 ds
  • Normal : 2 -5 ds
  • complex : 6-15 ds
  • very complex : more than 15 ds

 

2. It gets the list of workbooks based on roles and allows user to convert the workbook and save with below options:

a. Options to save to different role.

b. Options to use prefix and suffix.

Current Limitation:

In the current version we only support save to NW platform, we are working on “Save to BI Platform” and will update the blog accordingly.

some of the limitation which are still being worked.

BEx Analyzer object Analysis object
Styles The style is not converted. The converted workbook is displayed with the default Analysis style set
Item: List of Conditions The list is not converted. The conditions are available as BEx conditions in Analysis and can be activated and deactivated with the menu
Item: List of Exceptions The list is not converted. The exceptions are available as Conditional Formatting in Analysis and can be activated and deactivated with the menu.
VBA API Customer-specific code is not converted, but it is available in the workbook after the conversion.
Navigation Pane No conversion. You can use the design panel in Analysis.
Item: Dropdown Box (displaying query views) No conversion.
Item: Button No conversion.

 

Developers:

  • Bhargav Malsani
  • Anish Shah
  • Victor Gabriel (old version)

Hopefully this will help our customer to move their BEx workbooks to AO faster and with very less effort.

Thanks for reading …

If you are interested in the tool and would like us to help you with conversion/migration please reach out to the your SAP Premium Engagement Contact – Engagement Architect/Technical Quality Manager

SAP COE Contacts:

Global/NA contact – Selvakumar Sithavan or Pavan Kumar Kandukuri

EMEA contact – Mike Luang-Khot

 

Thanks,

Bhargav

17 Comments
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  • Can you please provide an approx timeline when we can expect the feature to save to BO platform in this tool?

    If we are moving to AO , we would like to move to BO platform as this is the strategic direction from SAP.

     

    Thanks,

    Naveen.

    • Hi Naveen,

      Yes Save to BI Platform will be a important feature. unfortunately i don’t have a set timeline currently as it has several dependency.  Tentatively this should be available early September but this can change. I’ll update the blog as soon as i get more information regarding the same.

      Thanks,

      Bhargav

  • Hi Bhargav,

    Thanks for this post. This is very informative.  Do we need to buy this migration tool or it can be downloaded for free. We are planning to do a demo to show it to our partner. Can we have temporary access to the tool? Please advise.

    Thanks

    Sridhar

     

    • Hi Sridhar,

      Thanks for your interest. This is a combination of custom AO install along with our coding which is not available as a standard install. Unfortunately this is not available for download or buy, you will need to Engage SAP where we offer this as a Migration service.

       

      Thanks,

      Bhargav

      • Hi Bhargav,

        so this means in order to use this Mass converting solution for our customers, we need to install a custom AO on one of our/their machines and further implement a SAP note (for required coding) in their BW-System?

        Thank you,
        Martin

  •  

    Hi,

    I need the tool for mass converting AO workbooks saved to NW to AO workbooks saved to BI Platform (using BICS/OLAP connection defined in BI Platform).

    In that case the key is source (connection) conversion from NW to BIP OLAP connection.

    Have you something like that?

     

    Best regards,

    Marcin

    Marcin

  •  

    Hello,

    Thanks for this blog. Will this tool also work for Remote Conversion ? ( if BEx workbooks have to be converted to AFO 2.0 using Remote Conversion).

    Regards,

    Nirav Shah

  • Hi Bhargav,

    Thanks for this blog.

    We are also in the process of identifying the Bex workbooks for migration and availability of “Save to BI Platform” will helps us a lot.

    Is there an update on when this will be available.

    Regards,

    Sandeep

    • Hi Sandeep,

      Yes it supports save to BI Platform but in current version the connection points to BW GUI connection, pointing to BI platform OLAP connections is not complete.

      Thanks

      Pavan K

       

  • Hi Bhargav,

    Thanks for this blog.

    We are dealing with the procedure to get this service offering from our SAP Engagement.

    Could you let me know if there is a minimum BW version required to process this mass migration to AFO (we are in 7.01 SP15) ?

    Regards,

    Nicolas

    • Hi Nicolas, Minimum version is SAP BW 7.01 Support Package 11 or higher

      and SAP BEx 7.X Query Designer revision 570 or higher

       

      Looks like you are good.

       

      Thanks

      Pavan K