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This article summarizes the Web Intelligence and Semantic Layer enhancements released in SAP BI 4.2 Support Package 5. It also quickly covers some enhancements of the BI Platform tools.

Many enhancements were introduced in SAP BI 4.2 and its Support Packages (see here for more details). Today, we continue these enhancements and even innovation efforts of Web Intelligence and the Semantic Layer in SAP BI 4.2 SP5 focusing on the following areas:

  • Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer
  • Web Intelligence Java/HTML Parity
  • Web Intelligence Analysis and Reporting
  • Web Intelligence Query
  • Web Intelligence Schedule
  • Web Intelligence Security
  • Web Intelligence Samples
  • Information Design Tool
  • BI Sets
  • Supported Data Sources
  • Web Intelligence and Semantic Layer SDK
  • Report Conversion Tool
  • BI Platform

Vidéos: Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer, Web Intelligence, Information Design Tool, Sets.

Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer

The first version of Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer has been released in SAP BI 4.2 SP4. In SAP BI 4.2 SP5, the following enhancements have been added to Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer:

Comments

The Comments side panel has been introduced and you can:

  • Add a comment to a cell, a table or a chart
  • Edit a comment
  • Contribute to an existing comment thread
  • Delete a comment 

Comments Side Panel

Fold/Unfold

You can fold and unfold breaks, sections and tables by switching into Fold mode with the Enable folding actions command that can be accessed via the More… button of the toolbar.

Enable Folding Actions Command

Compared to the HTML or Java Applet clients, the user interface has been simplified. The fold/unfold controls being directly located in the section, table or break, and no longer in the report’s margins, it is easier to find them and identify to which section, table or break they apply (request 116929).

In fold mode, icons appear beside the section, table or break. Click these icons to fold/unfold the section, table or break. On cross-tables, a sub-menu opens allowing you to decide to fold horizontally or vertically.

Fold/Unfold Icons on Sections and Breaks

Export To

The following additional Export options are now available:

  • For PDF and XLSX export, you can select the reports to export and all export options (DPI for image quality, …) you can select when exporting in the HTML or Java Applet clients.
  • You can export to HTML (request 106475). This export is available only in the Interactive Viewer, and not in other Web Intelligence clients (HTML, Java Applet and Rich Client). You can select the reports to export. The headers and footers are not exported.
  • The generated files (including the HTML, some pictures…) are saved in a ZIP file.

Export To Dialog Box

Document Exported in HTML

Save As

The Save As dialog box has been enhanced and now supports the following parameters in the Advanced Options tab:

  • Refresh on open
  • Permanent regional formatting
  • Save document with comments
  • Personal and corporate categories to assign to the document

Save As Dialog Box

Charts Interactivity

In SAP BI 4.2 SP4, charts are displayed as pictures in Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer. In SAP BI 4.2 SP5, charts are displayed in HTML; which allows some interactivity with them:

  • When you hover your mouse over a data point, a tooltip opens with its value;
  • If you select a data point, actions are available for element linking;
  • You can drill on a dimension.

If an Element Linking has been defined for a chart, when clicking it, the linked report elements are filtered with the values you’ve clicked. Click a second time on it to remove this filter (request 100449).

Tooltip displayed on chart

OpenDoc URL

By default, when you use the /opendoc URL to open a Web Intelligence document:

  • If you call it from Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer, the document is opened in Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer;
  • If you call it from the Web Intelligence HTML client or Java applet, the document is opened in the client defined in user’s Preferences for viewing (HTML or Java Applet).

The sViewer option, that can take the value fiori, html or applet, has been introduced to modify this behavior in the following situations:

  • If you call it from the Web Intelligence HTML client or the Java Applet, you can use sViewer=html or sViewer=applet to force the Web Intelligence HTML or Applet. However, sViewer=fiori is not supported.
  • If you call it from Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer, you can use sViewer=html to force the Web Intelligence HTML, for example for documents that require capabilities not yet supported in Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer.

When you call it from Web Intelligence Rich Client or by an explicit URL (you may have shared by email), this sViewer parameter can be used to define the client to use: HTML, Applet or Interactive Viewer. For URLs that do not use the sViewer parameter, you can define in the classic BI launch pad, in user’s Web Intelligence’s preferences, to force the usage of the Interactive Viewer.

View Option in User’s Preferences

Touch Compatible

In SAP BI 4.2 SP5, the Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer runs on touch devices laptop or mobiles (such as iPad). Depending on the touch device features, some gestures are different from the ones used for classic screens: a right-click corresponds to a long tap and hovering over screen elements to display tooltips and other details is not possible.

Comparison Table

The following table compares Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer capabilities in SAP BI 4.2 SP4 and SP5 with the Web Intelligence HTML or Java Applet reader.

Features HTML/Java Viewer 4.2 SP5 Interactive Viewer 4.2 SP4 Interactive Viewer 4.2 SP5
Report selection Yes, via tabs Yes, via drop-down menu Yes, via drop-down menu
Section navigation Yes Yes Yes
Document summary Yes Yes, only parameters related to reading Yes, only parameters related to reading
Print document summary Yes No No
Status Bar Yes N/A N/A
Extensions Yes No No
Charts Yes Yes, displayed as pictures Yes, displayed as HTML
Custom elements Yes Yes, pictures format supported Yes, HTML and pictures format supported
Freeze headers Yes No No
Undo/Redo Yes No Yes
Expand/collapse hierarchies Yes Yes, only for current child Yes, only for current child
Fold/Unfold breaks, sections and tables Yes No Yes
Input controls and groups of input controls Yes Yes (in Filter Bar) Yes (in Filter Bar)
User Prompt Input Yes Yes (in Filter Bar) Yes (in Filter Bar)
Drill Filters Yes Yes (in Filter Bar) if already enabled Yes (in Filter Bar) if already enabled
Element Linking Yes Yes Yes
Ranking No Yes Yes
Sorting No Yes Yes
Go to Page/ Previous Page/Next Page Yes Yes Yes
First Page/Last Page Yes No Yes
Zoom Yes Yes Yes
Quick Display Mode/Page Mode Yes Yes Yes
Find Yes Via browser’s Find only Via browser’s Find only
Refresh all data providers Yes Yes Yes
Refresh one data provider Yes No No
Prompts Yes Yes Yes
BI Variants Yes Yes Yes
Track changes Yes Yes, if already enabled Yes, if already enabled
Change “Track Changes” parameters Yes No No
Save, Save As Yes Yes Yes
Export XLS Yes No No
Export XLSX Yes Yes, only the current report and no option Yes
Export PDF Yes Yes, only the current report and no option Yes
Export TXT, CSV Yes No No
Export HTML No No Yes
Print Yes in Java Applet Via export to PDF Via export to PDF
Send to Yes Yes Yes
SAP HANA Online Yes Yes Yes
Schedule (*): Recurrence, Events, Scheduling, Server Group, Destinations Yes Yes Yes
Schedule: Formats WID, XLSX, PDF, CSV (data), TXT WID, XLSX, PDF, CSV (data), TXT WID, XLSX, PDF, CSV (data), CSV (reports), TXT, HTML
Schedule: Prompts Yes No Yes
Schedule: Caching Yes No No
Schedule: Delivery Rules Yes No Yes
Publication Yes No No
Touch compatible No No Yes
Opendoc URL N/A No parameter to change client Depending on situation, sViewer parameter can force HTML, Applet or Interactive Viewer.

(*) Schedule: in classic BI launch pad for Web Intelligence HTML/Applet; in new BI launch pad for Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer

Web Intelligence DHTML / Java Parity

In Web Intelligence HTML, you can select multiple report elements using Ctrl-Click and apply the same parameters to the selected report elements at a time. For example, you can:

  • Quickly align report elements at the top of a report or define a relative position for them at the same time;
  • Define a common border for all selected report elements;
  • Hide and unhide them, by selecting Format from the right menu, then Hide always in the General tab;
  • Resize several selected charts via Format/General Width & Height;
  • Or define their background color via the Background option of the right Format menu or directly from the toolbar.

Web Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

Breaks

Two new break types are available:

  • Value-based breaks: They allow you to add breaks for specific object values you have selected (request 104210). It can be useful to break an object for values only to which an aggregation applies.
  • Same-level break: Same-level break allows you to break a table for several objects on the same line (request 132227).

These breaks can be defined in Design mode, when defining the break’s properties.

Value Based Break

Same Level Break

Hierarchy: Children First

When you display a hierarchy, you can select to display the parent node on top of the hierarchy, as it is the case today, or reverse this order by displaying children nodes first (request 104239).

This option is set in Design mode, by changing the Parent first / Children first option in the Manage Sort dialog box.

It can apply vertically or horizontally.

Hierarchy Order

SAP HANA flattening mode

The flattening mode has been implemented for other OLAP sources (MSAS, SAP BW,…) in previous releases. In SAP BI 4.2 SP5, it is available for SAP HANA, but only for level-based hierarchies (it is not supported for parent-child hierarchies).

In Design mode, in the Available Objects pane, the corresponding dimensions are displayed under SAP HANA hierarchies; this allows you to select these objects for your report, rather than the entire hierarchy.

Charts

A new compact size legend is available for measure-based coloring charts.

Compact Legend

The geo map default settings have been modified for better readability.

Choropleth Chart Default Settings

Export to

The HTML format is available for export, but only in Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer (see above).

When exporting data provider content to CSV, objects with the same name are prefixed with the name of the folder that contains them.

Web Intelligence Query

Delete Trailing Blank

In the Query Panel, by clicking Query Properties and then selecting the Delete trailing blanks checkbox, you can remove extra spaces after the values returned by relational or multidimensional universe data sources (request 105808).

Delete Trailing Blanks Option in Query Properties

User’s Preferences

In HTML, some Query Panel settings are saved in the BI Platform repository and re-used when you open the Query Panel the next time.

  • Maximized Query Panel (request 119934)
  • Show/Hide Preview Data (request 137706)
  • Show/Hide Objects Filters

Custom SQL

You can perform a change source on a query based on a custom SQL.

In a query based on a custom SQL, if you edit your query in the Query Panel and add an object in the query, a warning message is displayed to let you know that the SQL has been automatically regenerated and replaces your custom SQL (request 101343).

Custom SQL Change Warning

Support of Prompted Filters Based on Sets

If you have created temporal sets and use them in a Web Intelligence query as filters, you can now set the periods to be offered to users via prompts.

Web Intelligence Schedule

Delivery Rules

Delivery Rules have been introduced when you schedule Web Intelligence documents (request 100988). In the new Delivery Rules pane, you can decide to select delivery rules that avoid the document to be sent to: Inbox, SMTP, File System, SFTP, FTP if:

  • The document contains no data;
  • The document has been partially refreshed.

These rules can be independently activated by selecting the corresponding checkbox. An inactivated delivery rule is not tested.

Delivery Rules in classic BI Launch Pad

Delivery Rules in new BI Launch Pad

For each delivery rule, you can select what result status is returned for the instance if the delivery rule is not met:

  • Warning, a new status introduced in SAP BI 4.2 SP5 and available only for Web Intelligence
  • Failed

These delivery rules and this new Warning status are available in both the classic and new BI Launch Pad.

Different Schedule Statuses

Supported Formats

New formats are supported when scheduling a Web Intelligence documents:

  • HTML Archive (requests 101589, 133179), an archive containing HTML files for each selected document report.
  • CSV Archive (request 122204), an archive containing CSV files for each selected document report.

These formats are available when scheduling from the classic BI launch pad, the new BI launch pad or the CMC.

Web Intelligence Schedule Formats in classic BI Launch Pad

Web Intelligence Schedule Formats in new BI Launch Pad

Schedule Prompts in New BI Launch Pad

In the new BI Launch Pad, Web Intelligence schedule now supports prompts.

Web Intelligence Schedule Prompts in new BI Launch Pad

Web Intelligence Transversal Security

Authorized HTML Elements

In the CMC, as the BI Platform administrator, you can define what HTML elements Web Intelligence HTML or Interactive Viewer interprets if a document contains cells with the Read as HTML or Read as Hyperlink properties.

In the Applications > Web Intelligence > Properties, you set three radio-buttons under the JavaScript section.

  • The first option Disable JavaScript and enable hyperlinks and only HTML elements used by Web Intelligence enables only the HTML elements required for Web Intelligence to run
  • The second option Enable only HTML elements defined in Authorized HTML Elements page enables only the HTML elements and attributes listed in the Authorized HTML elements page
  • The third option Enable hyperlinks, JavaScript, and all HTML elements enables all HTML elements.

Web Intelligence JavaScript Options in CMC

In the CMC, the Authorized HTML Elements page contains by default all HTML elements and attributes required by Web Intelligence to run. If you select the second option in the Web Intelligence JavaScript properties, then all elements or attributes not listed in this page are removed from cells with Read as HTML or Read as Hyperlink properties before Web Intelligence interprets the HTML to display them.

You can explicitly add elements or attributes in this list. You can also remove some, but this is not recommended. To reset the default page, you can click Reset in the toolbar.

Authorized HTML Elements Page in CMC

Export to CSV

During export to CSV, cells that start with =, +, – or @ character are prefixed with a space in order to prevent Excel from interpreting these cells content as commands to run.

Web Intelligence Samples

And last but not the least, samples resources have been enhanced:

  • Years in Efashion.mdb span from 2014 to 2016 now;
  • New Web Intelligence samples are available in the Web Intelligence Samples folder;
  • The existing ones have been reworked, renamed and share the same look and feel.

New Web Intelligence Sample

All samples are now identified with a ZZ_ prefix to avoid confusion with your own documents.

Information Design Tool

Several enhancements have been performed in the information design tool to ease the designer’s work.

Context Management

Managing joins in context has been simplified:

  • This panel is always in Edit mode (hence the Edit graphically button to edit the context is no longer there) ;
  • The join’s statuses (Included, Excluded or Neutral) are displayed in the first column. You can filter the ones to display by clicking the icons in the toolbar or by entering a text in the Filter bar. You can sort these joins by status or expression. To do so click the corresponding column header.
  • You can double-click a join to toggle it to Included, Excluded or Neutral.

In both the data foundation schema and the joins panel, you can select several joins with Ctrl-Click. Then in the contextual right menu, you can find the commands to include, exclude or ignore the join in the current context, all contexts or a specific context (request 108010).

Multiple Joins Selection In Data Foundation Schema

Filtering Joins By Name And Statuses

Multiple Joins Selection In Joins List

Sort Objects Alphabetically

In the Contents tab of the folder editor, you can automatically sort objects in the folder, rather than doing it manually (request 101019) by using the two new buttons displayed at the right of the Folder Contents list:

  • The first button sorts the folder content;
  • The second button sorts the folder content and also its sub-folders.

Business Layer Objects Sort Buttons in Contents Tab

This Contents tab is also available at the business layer level now. Hence this sort can be done from the business layer top root.

In the Information Design Tool > Business Layer Editor section of the Preferences dialog box, you can select to display as follows:

  • Folders and objects in alphabetical order, whatever their type is ;
  • The folders in alphabetical order, then the objects in alphabetical order (default option) ;
  • The objects in alphabetical order, then the folders in alphabetical order.

Business Layer Objects Sort Options

This sort is not dynamic:

  • When a new object is added, it is not automatically sorted.
  • When used in the Web Intelligence Query Panel, translated objects are not sorted based on their translation but on their order in the information design tool.

Show SQL

In the formula editor, you can select the Show SQL button to display the SELECT or WHERE definition of an object used in @SELECT or @WHERE clause (request 105493). When this button is enabled, the editor switches to Reading mode. Select this button again to display the object name and return to edit mode.

If the referenced object also uses @SELECT or an @WHERE for its definition, then the number of parenthesis around the SQL indicates the number of indirections.

Show SQL

Mandatory Filters Icons

Mandatory filters applied on universe or on folder are displayed with a different icon in the universe business layer (request 128088) to allow you to easily identify them.

Mandatory Filters Icons

A mandatory BI Set applied on a universe is also displayed with a different icon.

Objects Sorted Alphabetically

In the past, several dialog boxes were not displaying objects in alphabetical order, making it difficult to find a specific object. These flaws have been corrected:

  • When publishing or retrieving universes (requests 144056, 120207) ;
  • In the security editor, when selecting the replacement connection (request 132705).

List of Values from Derived Table

You can now create a list of values from a derived table (request 141699).

As the derived tables are not listed in the dialog box, you must use the @derivedtable function to explicitly reference the derived table.

Creating a List Of Values From a Derived Table

This fix has also been released in:

  • SAP BI 4.2 SP3 Patch 8
  • SAP BI 4.2 SP4 Patch 2

Repair Broken References

For business layers, a new command Repair broken references is available in the Actions menu.

Repair Broken References Menu

This command can be used to repair the business layer structure when the data foundation was modified. For example, if you delete and then recreate a derived or alias table in the data foundation, this command relinks all objects of the business layer (including list of values, prompts…) to the table, provided it was recreated with the same name.

Lock/Unlock Universe

You can lock a universe in the BI Platform repository by:

  • Explicitly selecting the universe and in the contextual menu, clicking Lock ;
  • Selecting the Lock Universe checkbox when retrieving a universe.

Lock Universe in Retrieve Universe Dialog Box

Unlock Universe Command

When a universe is locked, its icon displays a lock and other users cannot republish a new version of this universe.

The universe can be unlocked either by the user who has locked it or the administrator who can select the Unlock Universe command from the contextual menu.

When a locked universe is promoted from one repository to another one, note that it is locked in the target repository.

Cloned Environment Support

If you use cloned environments to duplicate BI landscapes and have environments for Development, Test and Production purposes, these cloned environments are now supported by the information design tool.

These cloned CMS repositories have the same GUID. To differentiate them, you need to give them different names. When you retrieve a resource from a repository, the retrieved resource is properly attached to the CMS repository it has been retrieved from.

Session Description

When creating or opening a predefined session, you can add a description in the Description text field. When you hover your mouse over the session, a tooltip pops-up displaying this description.

Predefined Session Description

Hovering Mouse over Predefined Session

Retrieve Universe Folder Name

You have two naming options for the folder to which the universe is locally retrieved. In Preferences > Information Design Tool > Publish / Retrieve, you can choose between two naming options for this folder:

  • retrieval-<date-time>: this is the default option ;
  • <universename>-<date-time>: this is a new option in SAP BI 4.2 SP5.

Retrieve Universe Preferences

DateTime Conversion

In SAP BI 4.2 SP4 Patch 1, a new conversion option has been added for the conversion of a universe created with the universe design tool (UNV) into a universe supported by the information design tool (UNX). This option can be used to convert Date into Date or Date Time. It can be set in the Convert universe section of the Preferences dialog box.

This option has been ported in SAP BI 4.2 SP5.

Convert Universe Preferences

SAP BW Multidimensional Universe: Support of Filters Business Security Profile

When you create a business security profile on a multidimensional universe based on a SAP BEx query, you can now define a Filters business security profile. This security was already available for other multidimensional universes. It allows you to select a member filter in one of the data source hierarchies and to assign it to users or groups of users.

SAP HANA

In the data foundation of a relational universe created from a SAP HANA view, when setting SAP HANA variables, you can now set the Keep last values option to keep the previous values during refresh.

Keep Last Values Option in HANA Data Foundation

SAP HANA 2.0 is supported through new dedicated wizards, one for relational connections and one for OLAP connections:

SAP HANA 2.0 Relational Connection Wizard

SAP HANA 2.0 OLAP Connection Wizard

BI Sets

Composite Keys

Subjects can be created based on composite keys. When selecting the dimension that defines your subjects, you can select several objects used as keys for the subject. This is useful when a subject relies on several keys, a composite key.

Selecting Subject Keys Objects

Database Schema

You can select in which database schema sets are materialized, i.e. you can enter the database schema qualifier and owner in the Database tab of the Set Containers Management dialog box. It Is useful to confine set data in a dedicated schema.

Database Qualifier and Owner for Sets Materialization

This can be used to set different security levels:

  • The reporting database, requiring only a reading access
  • The materialization sets schema, requiring read and write privileges

Sampling

When defining a step during the creation of a set, you can use only a sample of the returned dataset.

This sample can be defined in all steps wizard, once you have selected the initial dataset. The sample size can be defined by percentage or by explicit member number.

The members to keep in this sample can be randomly chosen but you can also use the following two criteria:

  • You can rank them through one or several object(s);
  • You can stratify them through other objects. This criterion guarantees that the resulting sample distribution will be proportionate to the initial dataset regarding the objects used to stratify the sample.

Click Preview to get a few statistics on the sampled dataset. For each value in the displayed table:

  • Count is the number of values in the initial dataset;
  • Sample is the number of values after the sample;
  • Distrib % is the distribution of the set population in the initial dataset, if stratification has been applied;
  • Sample % is the ratio of the sample population compared to the set population.

Sampling the Set Values For a Visual Data Step

Use Sets as Filters in Query Panel Step

When defining a step in the Query Panel Step Wizard, you can use already defined sets to filter the set. The filters, based on these steps, now appear in the universe outline and you can use them as query filters. This is an alternative to sets on set and allows you to build sets on existing assets. It is particularly useful when subqueries are required.

Filters Based on Sets Used in Query Panel Step

Frozen Sets

This option prevents sets from being rebuilt and structurally changed. It freezes the set’s content. For exemple, sets for past marketing campaigns can be frozen so they are no more altered. Only a frozen set’s name or description can be modified.

Frozen Set

Temporal Sets

Several new options are available to manage temporal sets.

When you edit a temporal set, in the Time tab:

  • When you edit a temporal set, the Limited temporal option allows you to purge Leaver members out of a certain time window. This option can be used if you have long history records and need to only focus on the last ones;
  • A new Build Options section is available with the following options:
    • Allow editing of steps after the set is built allows to control temporal set edition and prevent inconsistencies in the set history.
    • Stop at current period: To prevent from materializing in the future (ie, after the current period).
    • Allow multiple processing in current period: To rebuild the current period.
    • Custom base period: This option allows to change the first materialization period, if the default period, i.e. the first calendar period, does not fit the use case.

Temporal Set Time Properties

In the Manage Build History dialog box that opens when you click Temporal Management… to materialize the auto-fill temporal set, you can select what periods must be removed and rebuilt when the set is purged. You can do this via the Rollback and Auto-Fill options. This is useful to rebuild incomplete periods and restore the history.

Rollback and Auto-Fill Options

Supported Data Sources

The following data sources are now supported by Connection Server / universes :

  • Apache Hive 2.0, 2.1;
  • Cloudera Impala 2.7;
  • Amazon EMR Hive 5.8.0 (Hive 2.1);
  • HP Vertica 8;
  • DB2 for LUW 11.1;
  • DB2 for zOS 12;
  • Progress OpenEdge 11.6;
  • MSFT Excel 2016, MSFT Access 2016;
  • MSFT Parallel Datawarehouse;
  • Oracle 12c R2;
  • Oracle Exadata 12;
  • PostgreSQL 9.6;
  • Hortonworks 2.5;
  • MaxDB 7.9;
  • Teradata 16.

The following data sources are no longer supported by Connection Server / universes :

  • Apache Hive up to 0.13 (included);
  • HP Vertica 6.1;
  • DB2 for i 6.1;
  • DB2 for LUW 10.0;
  • MSFT Excel 2007;
  • MSFT SQL Server 2008 R2;
  • PostgreSQL 9.2;
  • SQLAnywhere 12;
  • Sybase IQ 15.4;
  • Teradata 14, 14.10.

The complete list of supported data sources can be found in the Product Availability Matrix.

Web Intelligence and Semantic Layer SDK

Web Intelligence REST WS

The following APIs have been released in the Web Intelligence REST Web Services :

  • Add, edit, delete comments;
  • Schedule delivery rules;
  • Schedule to CSV archive and schedule to HTML archive;
  • New options supported in Save As;
  • The index.html template used for export to HTML has been updated;
  • Support of same level breaks and value-based breaks;
  • Export report element of type custom element as a picture;
  • Get/Set variable description.

You can deploy REST Web Services outside of the Web Application Container Server (WACS) by explicitly deploying REST web applications on application servers.

Semantic Layer Java SDK

The following methods have been added to the Semantic Layer Java SDK :

  • You can change a data foundation connection without having to load the previous connection into memory. This was the case before SAP BI 4.2 SP5 and if the connection is not valid, the connection cannot be changed.
  • A new attribute HighPrecisionDecimal is available for Measure. It is exposed through:
    • Measure.getHighPrecisionDecimal;
    • Measure.setHighPrecisionDecimal.
  • A new attribute SetCustomNavigationPath is available for business layers. This attribute defines which navigation path to use: the default or the custom one you have defined.
  • For UNV to UNX conversion, a new method convertUniverse is available for conversion. It takes a
  • ConversionOptions object as parameter. It contains possible options for conversion:
    • setConversionDateType to convert Date values to a DataTime or a Date;
    • setPromptConverted to convert prompts to prompt objects or to keep the @prompt;
    • setCoreUniversesIncluded to force core universe to be duplicated into derived universe;
    • setOverwritten to overwrite a universe if it already exists.

The previous conversions methods are still supported but are declared as being deprecated.

  • You can order business layer views. This order is the order of the business layer in the BusinessLayer.BusinessLayerView list.

Report Conversion Tool

The Report Conversion Tool has been improved to support features now supported by Web Intelligence.  Some changes have also been done to improve the conversion rate:

  • Values-based breaks and same-level breaks are converted.
  • Breaks and tables are converted identically fold or unfold.
  • In the query, the delete trailing blanks option is converted.
  • Filters with a calculation operand are converted using custom SQL.
  • Filters applied on a measure in a block are converted.
  • Desktop Intelligence date formats are identically converted. If needed, a custom date format is created in Web Intelligence to ensure the format remains identical

All these new supported conversions return a Successful status and are audited.

Some new events have also been added into the conversion audit for features whose conversion was not audited:

  • In charts, color for data series that are not kept: Partial.
  • Embedded BMP and TIFF pictures that are converted as GIF pictures: Successful.

BI Platform

New BI Launch Pad

The new BI Launch Pad has been improved as follows :

  • A warning for Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is displayed when you log via both, the classic and the new BI launch pad. Users can skip them during their next logins by clicking a checkbox.

Data  Protection Warning

  • The user name is displayed in the BI launch pad header.
  • In the Home page, a new section, My recently Run, is available in the drop-down menu to display your last scheduled instances.
  • The objects you have selected as Favorites are displayed with a star to easily identify them.
  • The Document list mode (Folder content, History instances, Schedule…) has been enhanced with the ability to sort, filter, refresh… document names.

Document List In New BI Launch Pad

  • You can set a picture to a category.
  • A new Expired status is available for scheduling of scheduled content of any kind (including Web Intelligence documents). This new status is displayed when a schedule is restarted after its expiration date. It was introduced so that such schedules do not get mixed up with schedules that actually failed.
  • When clicking a document, the original document or its latest instance is displayed depending on the Smart View option set in the CMC, i.e. Applications > Web Intelligence > Preferences.
  • New security rights have been added to secure schedule destinations.

New Security Rights

Promotion Management Wizard and Upgrade Management Tool

In SAP BI 4.2 SP5, a new standalone application has been released to enable massive copying of BI Platform repository content (more details can be found here).

It supports the following workflows:

  • Promotion of content from one repository to another one;
  • Export of repository content to LCMBIAR;
  • Import of LCMBIAR content to a repository

This client application runs on Windows and Linux. It must be installed and run on the server-side. On Linux however, you can use the X11 server (X Window) and run it from Windows or macOS.

Scenario Selection in the Promotion Manager

It is expected to be faster than the CMC version, easier than the Command Line Interface (CLI). It supports full and selective repository promotion, with a scalability being limited by the server RAM.

This Promotion Management Wizard comes also with a new SDK to programmatically run promotions.

The Upgrade Management Tool (GUI) is also supported on Linux.

BI Administration Console

A new administration tool, named BI Administration Console, is available to automate repetitive tasks across several landscapes.

For example, supported workflows cover:

  • Document refresh
  • Change document’s ownership
  • Web Intelligence change source

BI Administration Console

The sample provided in SAP BI 4.2 SP4 for Web Intelligence change source (see here) will no longer be released, as this capability is now officially supported in BI Administration Console.

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44 Comments

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  1. Manikandan Elumalai

    This is impressive Christian AH-SOON great to see below features. Definitely a great valueadd.

    • Authorized HTML elements
    • LOV from Derived table
    • Repair Broken References
    • Lock/Unlock Universe (Like we had in UDT)
    • Cloned Environment Support and finally
    • BI Administration Console

    But not clear with SmartView. What is really changing here?

    When clicking a document, the original document or its latest instance is displayed depending on the Smart View option set in the CMC, i.e. Applications > Web Intelligence > Preferences

     

    Thanks

    Mani

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    1. Christian AH-SOON Post author

      Thank you

      The Smart View was already used in classic BI launch pad, but not new BI launch pad. It is the case now in SAP BI 4.2 SP5.

      Note that in the new BI launch pad, Web Intelligence behavior has been slightly modified to align with Crystal Report’s one.  If the last instance has failed, it opens the latest successful instance and not the original document, as this is the case in classic BI launch pad.

      Regards

      Christian

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    1. Christian AH-SOON Post author

      Hi

      As long as you have a Promotion Management Wizard installed with a 4.2 SP5, you can use it to connect to a SAP 4.x BI Platform repository and export its content.

      You may promote SP3 or SP4 content to SP5.

      However trying to promote to a lower version (SP5 to SP3 or SP4) may not work properly for InfoObjects that do not support forward compatibility.

      I think these same rules apply  in CMC Promotion Management.

      Regards

      Christian

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  2. Darren Smith

    Wow, this is a surprisingly large number of enhancements for this release! Thanks for putting this together, it’s very useful. I have some questions…

    1. Does the new promotion management wizard support promotion of instances, like the UMT does?

    2. Is the default WebI Modify Tool still “Applet”? Or is there a way of setting this in the new BI Administration tool?

    There’s lots of exciting enhancements there, I’ll look forward to trying them out.

    Darren

     

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    1. Christian AH-SOON Post author

      Hi Darren,

      Glad you like it. To answer your questions:

      • Yes, you’ll have the option to promote all instances, no instance or only the recurring instances.
      • Default client for Modify will be HTML.

      Regards

      Christian

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      1. Dallas Marks

        No specific need, but some of our larger enterprise customers freak out whenever security flaws are found in older versions. We do appreciate that SAP more frequently updates Tomcat on SP releases rather than making us wait for major releases. It would be nice to see SAP commit to something > 8.5.13 but <= 8.5.23 between now and 4.2 SP5 GA.

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  3. Atul Divekar

     

    Lots of improvement… I am using BO from 6.1 version and day by day this product is more and more getting mature..

    In BI Administration Console it is possible to bulk Change document’s ownership and Web Intelligence change source.. It will be good to have because it is common someone left organization and then we need to change ownership of their reports to other users.

     

    Regards,

    Atul Divekar.

     

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    1. Christian AH-SOON Post author

      Hi Flavio,

      I’ve added in the article a screenshot of the warning displayed when a user logs into new BI launch pad. This warning will continue to pop-up until the user select the checkbox. This warning is also displayed in classic BI launch pad and Web Intelligence Rich Client.

      Regards

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      1. Grace Zhang

        Hi Christian,

         

        I would like to know how we can prevent the GDPR dialog box at the first time displaying BI Launch Pad? Or SDK avaliable?

        As user reported, if they embed BI Launch Pad into a viewer or a smaller page, the GDPR box will fill out all the window, and they need scroll mouse quite a way to find the “no next time” check box.

        So would like to find a way to disable this box.

         

        Regards,

        Grace

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        1. Christian AH-SOON Post author

          Hi Grace,

          Today, there is no plan to remove this message. It has been added on purpose so it can be read and validated by all users.

          There is also no public SDK available to disable it.

          Regards

          Christian

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  4. Alfons Gonzalez Comas

    Great job guys! But I think that is mandatory to replace current BIWS based on SOAP (used to share webi report content) by some kind of rest odata based api. Do you think this will possible soon?

     

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    1. Christian AH-SOON Post author

      Hi Alfons,

      We do have REST WS to retrieve report element content. It does not yet support Odata, but this is indeed something we have in our backlog. There is no available release date for the moment.

      Regards

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  5. Atul Divekar

    In BI Administration Console it is possible to bulk Change document’s ownership and Web Intelligence change source.. It will be good to have because it is common someone left organization and then we need to change ownership of their reports to other users.

     

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  6. Roopa Puranik

    I installed 42 SP5 and testing the new chart features and I don’t see the following working in WEBI. Is this feature only in the interactive viewer i.e /BOE/BILaunchpad?

    Chart interactivity: If an Element Linking has been defined for a chart, when clicking it, the linked report elements are filtered with the values you’ve clicked. Click a second time on it to remove this filter (request 100449).

    If so, you have to “RIGHT CLICK” on the bar in the chart to filter the linked chart. I wish you could just click on the BAR to filter..!!

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    1. Nicolas MOUREY

      Hi,

       

      In fact in the Web (Fiori) Interractive Viewer, you can switch from standard to advanced mode:

       

      In Standard mode: the following actions are direct: Drill, Filter on Element Linking, Drill focus for hierarchies.

      In Advanced mode, we offer more actions (sorting, ranking…): to prevent gesture conflict and avoid unexpectated actions all actions are available using the contextual menu (right click).

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  7. Javi Puig Diaz

    Dear Christian AH-SOON,

     

    Can you comment a bit further about the “touch” capabilities?

    I understand this is a Windows Browser with touch (like the new Windows Tablet PCs All in One) am I correct?

    The reason I ask you is because on the PAM there is no “Safari for iOS” nor “Chrome for iOS/Android” listed so I suspect on traditional Mobile Devices like iOS iPhones or iPads and Adnroid Mobile/Tablet… we still need to use the SAP BI Mobile App.

    Please let us know if the intentions of the new touch capabilities is intended for mobile browsers too, or if it’s just for Windows laptops with touch screens?

    Thank you!

    Javi

    SAP Product Support

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    1. Christian AH-SOON Post author

      Hi Javi,

      In Web Intelligence Interactive Viewer, we’ve done special effort to support touch devices and special gestures (swipe, zoom, long tap…)

      It is working fine on any browser (Safari/iOS, Chrome/Android), since this is HTML5.

      However, it is not explicitly listed in the PAM since the whole SAP BI Platform does not support iOS/Android.

      Regards

      Christian

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  8. Mirko Nowotzin

     

    Hi Christian,

    We cannot find the new SP05 feature of delivery rules for Web Intelligence instances.
    Could you please clarify how to activate / enable this functionality?

    Thanks and regards,
    Mirko

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    1. Christian AH-SOON Post author

      Hi Mirko,

      There is indeed a defect that should be corrected soon: the Delivery Rules panel  is not displayed when you upgrade from a previous version. If you do a new installation, then this panel is properly displayed.

      Regards

      Christian

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  9. Yves Wittouck

    Hi Christiaan,

     

    In the new version in applet mode it no longer possible to copy and paste the content from Web Intelligence to Excel or Outlook.  It changes to an image in stead of a table or cells.

    Is this planned for the next patch?

    Kind regards,

    Yves Wittouck

     

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  10. Ashok Thiruvenkatam

    Hi Christian,

    The sViewer=fiori doesn’t do the trick when I tried launching the webi report from Portal using OpenDocument URL. Is there any additional setting or parameter that I need to worry about ?

    Ashok

     

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