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Author's profile photo Adem Baykal

Analyse your data live with SAP Analytics Cloud on SAP BW on HANA & SAP BW/4HANA (Part 2)

Blog series content (Part 2)

Please note, that this is “Part 2” of a blog series. I strongly recommend that you read “Part 1” first, before you continue with this blog, because it shows some basics about SAP Analytics Cloud and the live connection. In addition it shows already a few great features you should know.

Part 1: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/01/08/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana/

Part 2: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/03/10/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana-part-2/

Part 3: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/06/11/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana-part-3/

Part 4: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/11/24/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana-part-4/

Part 5: In progress

Now let’s start with “Part 2”

 

Agenda

  • Introduction & Additional notes
  • Custom ordering of measures in Tables based on a live connection
  • Export Story based on SAP BW Live Data to PowerPoint using story filters
  • Linking SAP BW Variables in SAC
  • Custom Hierarchies/Groups for SAP BW Live
  • Display of images in tables based on SAP BW XXL attributes information
  • Show/Hide display attributes from characteristic InfoObjects
  • Generic Hyperlink Example: Using hyperlink to SAP S/4HANA to provide more context to your
  • end users
  • Universal Display Hierarchy (UDH) Support in SAP Analytics Cloud
  • Using SAP Analytics Cloud Search to Insight with your SAP BW live data
  • Bookmark the current state of a story in SAP Analytics Cloud
  • SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP BW Queries using 2 structures in live mode (Detailes Explanation)!

Introduction & Additional notes

As mentioned already, this is “Part 2” of a blog series. I strongly recommend that you read “Part 1” first, before you continue with this blog, because it shows some basics about SAP Analytics Cloud and the live connection. In addition it shows already a few great features you should know.

Part 1: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/01/08/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana/

Part 2: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/03/10/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana-part-2/

Part 3: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/06/11/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana-part-3/

Part 4: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/11/24/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana-part-4/

Part 5: In progress

As shown in the previous blog, one of the main reasons customers select SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) on SAP BW is the fact, that they can consume 1:1 the SAP BW queries with all their elements (e.g. structures, hierarchies, variables, variants, global key figures) including the underlying authorizations & roles. There is no need to change the SAP BW queries for special reporting purposes as we can leave them as is. This helps IT & Business Departments to consume all existing SAP BW content without changes – no data extraction, no data silos, just plug & play.

But let’s do a short wrap up first. Like in the first blog, you need to have a SAP BW query with all relevant key figures (measures) and characteristics (dimensions). After setting up the live connection from SAP Analytics Cloud to SAP BW, all SAP BW queries can be accessed “directly” and a “live model“can be created in SAP Analytics Cloud based on a specific SAP BW query. This model can be used to build stories with nice visualizations. To run the dashboard and to access the data you need of course the authorization for SAP BW (user and password plus underlying roles in BW). It just works plug & play.

In addition, please note that the live connection to a SAP on-premise system also covers SAP S/4HANA. Especially here you connect the same way like to an SAP BW system (e.g. SAP BW/4HANA). For further informations please have a look on the SAP Analytics Cloud product page: https://www.sapanalytics.cloud/learning/data-connections/

If we talk about the live connection from SAP Analytics to SAP BW (e.g. SAP BW/4HANA), you need to know that the data stays on-premise and will not be transferred into the cloud. It just stays where it is and that is a really great feature of SAP Analytics Cloud!

And now let’s start to continue where we stopped in the first part of this blog. I will show you now some additional features which are really powerful when used in SAP Analytics Cloud stories based on a SAP BW/4HANA live connection. In this case I have used a SAP BW/4HANA 2.0 SP4 system to leverage as much as possible from new SAC features.

If you want to know which new features are available for your SAP BW system, please check SAP Note 2715030 (https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2715030).

In addition please have a look into SAP Note 2541557 (https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2541557). It contains all information’s about the SAP Note Analyzer and the XML file with the notes, which “needs” to be imported into the SAP BW backend to get the best experience.

Custom ordering of measures in Tables based on a live connection

If you show tables based on SAP BW live models, often there is a need to change the order of measures. This feature can easily be accessed in the designer and works also if you want to change the order of measures based on a live model in SAC when having a SAP BW query with 2 structures.

Standard BW Query in the underlying SAC live model:

BW Query with two structures in the underlying SAC live model:

Export Story based on SAP BW Live Data to PowerPoint using story filters

With 2020.04 we’ve released the ability to export a story to Microsoft PowerPoint, allowing users to easily include stories in their presentations and streamline their workflow. Each exported story page will be one image on a PowerPoint slide. This feature has the same capabilities and limitations as exporting stories to PDF or Google Slides. But there is one interesting thing you should know about this feature – you can start a batch export by story filters. In the next example you can see, that I create a PowerPoint export and SAC should also consider my filters on the dimension distribution channel.

Linking SAP BW Variables in SAC

If your story has e.g. two models based on SAP BW queries which contains variables, you can link the SAP BW variables so that changing one variable in a model will update the data from the other model as well. In the following video we have data from two SAP BW queries, and you will see how this nice feature works.

Custom Hierarchies/Groups for SAP BW Live

Story designers want to organize members of different dimension groups. When working on a story, you can define custom hierarchies on BW dimensions. These hierarchies can be used in charts, tables, input controls, and filters. The definition of a new hierarchy always starts from the flat dimension and changing the Variables will reset all custom hierarchies.

Please note that this new feature requires BW 7.5 SP16 and notes 2865887, 2865929.

Now let’s see how this works.

Display of images in tables based on SAP BW XXL attributes information

Please note that on SAC side this is planned to be available in 2021. Please check the Roadmap Explorer SAP Analytics Cloud for more details.

You noticed this feature already also in the SAP note 27150230 as “Display of images in table based on BW XXL attributes”: https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2715030

Let’s have a look how this look like. It is possible to logically assign XXL attributes to a BW characteristic InfoObject. Based on the MIME type selected, the system can interpret the XXL attribute as an audio file, a video file, text, or an image. XXL attributes first must be defined as an XXL InfoObject type before being available as XXL attributes for other characteristics.

You can make use of the information’s stored in an XXL attribute and use them in SAC tables – to be clearer: in my example I want to show product pictures stored in an XXL attribute which is assigned to a BW characteristic InfoObject (here product).

I will not show all relevant steps which are needed but you simply need to create an XXL attribute with the corresponding Data & Mime Type.

Next you must assign it to the relevant BW characteristic InfoObject.

Switch to the master data maintenance view for your BW characteristic InfoObject.

You can now upload your pictures to the relevant characteristic values.

In SAP Analytics Cloud you just need to add a table to your story, activate the XXL attribute and activate the “beta table” view. You will immediately see the pictures directly from SAP BW/4HANA. Start exploring your data, create some filters and the view will change. Fully dynamic. Of course, there are other options instead of uploading pictures, but this is the easiest and fastest way.

Now let’s see how this looks in SAC:

Show/Hide display attributes from characteristic InfoObjects

A characteristic InfoObject in SAP BW can have display attributes which contains additional information’s. For example you can have the customer number as a characteristic and e.g. add the customer location, customer segment in the backend to this characteristic as attributes. You can usually activate attributes in the SAP BW query and they will be shown – e.g. in SAP Analysis Office. It is also possible to activate these attributes in SAP Analytic Cloud as well. In the following video you will see how I show/hide the display attributes colour and product group for the characteristic product.

Generic Hyperlink Example: Using hyperlink to SAP S/4HANA to provide more context to your end users

When creating a story in SAP Analytics Cloud, you may want to hyperlink to another story, a specific page in your story, or to a website. This can be a great way to provide more context to the message you’re trying to convey ( https://www.sapanalytics.cloud/resources-hyperlinking/ ). So far so good but did you know that you can apply selected dimension as filter when connecting to a page within your story or a different story within your SAP Analytics Cloud environment?

As mentioned above you can also create a hyperlink to an external URL, which can be any jump target – e.g. a transaction in SAP S/4HANA. And the interesting point is, that you can even pass any value provided within your SAC model in the hyperlink URL to parametrize your target application.

In the following video you can see how we use a bar in a bar chart to select a sales order and then I will jump to a SAP S/4HANA transaction to see details about this sales order. No scripting needed and anyone can make use of this great feature.

Universal Display Hierarchy (UDH) Support in SAP Analytics Cloud

Universal Display Hierarchy (UDH) is a SAP BW Query setting concept that allows two or more dimensions defined in the row or columns to be displayed hierarchically.

This is a setting that can be activated in the rows and/or columns. You can even set the default expansion level of the hierarchy display. And this is again one of the many SAP BW Query features, which is supported by SAP Analytics Cloud. In the next video you will see a SAP BW query in SAP Analytics Cloud, where the setting is activated in the rows. Now instead of showing all dimensions (characteristic) in the rows you will see this hierarchical view. By the way – this is also working with SAP BE queries using two structures.

Using SAP Analytics Cloud Search to Insight with your SAP BW live data

Search to Insight is a natural language query interface used to query data.

While working with indexed models based on acquired and SAP HANA, SAP S/4HANA, and SAP BW live data, you can query Search to Insight to get quick answers to questions and incorporate these insights into a story.

You can ask questions such as:

  • Sales for a specified year or quarter.
  • Sales for a region or two regions by priority.
  • Compare Actuals versus Forecasted values for a specified measure in a specific time period.

The Search to Insight interface can identify and auto-complete intended dimension names, dimension values, and measure names with assisted recognition to display accurate results.

In an SAC live model you need to create an index before you can use this model in Seaech to Insights. This function can be found in the model preferences.

Bookmark the current state of a story in SAP Analytics Cloud

You can create bookmarks in SAP Analytics Cloud to save different states of a story.

For example, you have several pages in your story that have filters, input controls, or prompts applied to them. You don’t want to spend time resetting all of them each time you want to see a different scenario. You would like to open the story, see one scenario, and then quickly switch to another scenario. You can even create global bookmarks so that anyone who can view the story can also see the different scenarios.

This feature was available already last year but it works also well, when using SAP BW live models.

SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP BW Queries using 2 structures in live mode (Detailes Explanation)!

In part 1 of the blog I have provided a few details about how to access SAP BW queries using two structures. Even a video was shown as an example. Let me repeat at least the basics again as this is a really important topic.

Structures are objects that you define in the BW Query design environment. A structure forms the basic framework of the axes in a table (rows or columns). It consists of structural components. We differentiate between key figure structures and characteristic structures. Structural components of key figure structures are always based on the key figure selections (basic key figures, restricted key figures, and calculated key figures). Characteristic structural components cannot contain key figure selections. The setup of the structure determines the sequence and number of key figures or characteristic values in the columns and rows of the query. You can also navigate through the structures in the executed query. Additionally you can also set filters for them. If you are using two structures (for example, a key figure structure in the columns and a characteristic structure in the rows), a table with fixed cell definitions is created.

And exactly here SAP Analytics Cloud shows its powerful capabilities, as its able to read and work with BW Queries using two structures easily. Even formula collisions or hidden cells will be considered.

Anyhow one detail is important to know which I have not mentioned in the first blog. If your SAP BW query contains two structures, the cell editor becomes available. But what does this mean?

The cell definition is a useful functionality within a SAP BW Query which helps us to uniquely define each cell that is present at the intersection of two structures. The term cell for the function Defining Exception Cells should not be confused with the term cell in Microsoft Excel. The formulas or selection conditions that you define for a cell always take effect at the intersection between two structural components.

Cell-specific definitions allow you to define explicit formulas and selection conditions for cells as well as implicit cell definitions. This means that you can override implicitly created cell values. This function allows you to design much more detailed queries.

In addition, you can define cells that have no direct relationship to the structural components. These cells are not displayed and serve as containers for help selections or help formulas.

Anyhow this is all considered when having a SAP BW query with 2 structures which contains cells.

These were a few new examples and explanations and there are of course many more possibilities with SAP Analytics Cloud on SAP BW on HANA or SAP BW/4HANA. To learn more, please have a look into our strong roadmap and check our SAP Analytics Cloud product page under https://www.sapanalytics.cloud/ for more information’s & details.

As mentioned in the introduction, I plan a few SAC blogs. This one was the second!

Part 1: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/01/08/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana/

Part 2: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/03/10/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana-part-2/

Part 3: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/06/11/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana-part-3/

Part 4: https://blogs.sap.com/2020/11/24/analyse-your-data-live-with-sap-analytics-cloud-on-sap-bw-on-hana-sap-bw-4hana-part-4/

Part 5: In progress.

Cheers

Adem Baykal

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      26 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Vineet Gupta
      Vineet Gupta

      Great collection of all the cool things SAC can do on top of BW on HANA. We are just starting on this journey and the blogs will be very helpful. SAC help is great, but here you find things everyone needs and all in one place.

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for the nice feedback Vineet ? I will continue to share interesting features!
      In case of any questions just contact me. Enjoy your journey with SAC.

      Author's profile photo Iver van de Zand
      Iver van de Zand

      absolutely stunning blog with some much useful information !! Thanks Adem

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for the great feedback Iver. There is so much more to show but I need to focus a little bit.
      Part 3 will come in April and the topics are more or less fixed 🙂

      Author's profile photo Ian Grange
      Ian Grange

      Comprehensive & clear - very useful! Thanks Adem.

      Author's profile photo Parminder Singh
      Parminder Singh

      Since this is fairly new thread, I like to know any one have run into REFRESH or AUTOREFRESH issue?    We have a SAC Model/APP on Bex Query with BW LIVE connection (BW7.5 SP10). When we first log in with user ID/Passwd, the APP refreshes fine.  We have configured AUTO-REFRESH with 30 sec cycle which is NOT working, nor if we refresh manually. If we logout/log back in, then APP refreshes. And the same works if we use a HANA view. We have an OSS message open but so far no luck.

      BTW, we upgraded sandbox to 7.5SP17, still same issue so we are thinking something in cloud is causing. We are on: 

      006

      2020.4.5

      67127858724c75c4fbdd22f57912231a34dcb055
      Thu Feb 27 2020 22:04:21+0100
      1.00.202004.01.1581080906

      Thanks in advance.

       

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Parminder, Please contact me e.g. via community message and send me the OSS message no.
      Thanks in advance

      Adem

      Author's profile photo Erdem Pekcan
      Erdem Pekcan

      Another nice article!

      Did you have a chance to try "Custom Hierarchies/Groups for BW Live"?

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Erdem,

      Thanks for the feeback!!!

      Custom Hierarchies/Groups for SAP BW Live has been added to this blog.
      There are a coupple of features on the roadmap which I really like and would love to show in this blog series.

      Best,

      Adem

       

      Author's profile photo Pawel Ogrodnik
      Pawel Ogrodnik

      Hi Adem,

      Thanks for a great blog.

      Could you share if there are any SAC wave prerequisites for Display of images in tables based on SAP BW XXL attributes functionality?

      We are testing in our sanbox tenant on wave 2020.7 and BW 7.50 SP17

      We performed the steps you described in the blog, uploaded picture to BLOB XXL attribute, but when we try to display it in SAC with beta table selector checked we can see only URL like:

      https://[bw_server_path]/sap/bw/ina/GetXXLValue/v1/catalog/infoobjects/ZIOXXXXX/xxls/ZXXLATR/data/0000000012

      When we pasted this link to web browser, picture is displayed properly, so BW steps were performed correctly. It looks that something is missing on SAC side.

      Best Regards,

      Pawel

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Pawel,

      Please check the corresponding section of the blog which I have updated already.

      Best,

      Adem

      Author's profile photo Elke Zeimetz
      Elke Zeimetz

      Hi Pawel,

       

      I have the same problem - when trying to display the xxl attribute in SAC with beta table, I can see only URL like you described:
      https://<BW-SERVER-PATH>/sap/bw/ina/GetXXLValue/v1/catalog/infoobjects/ZTEST1/xxls/ZZIMAGE01/data/01

      When I copy this URL in a separate browser window, the picture ist displayed properly.

       

      Have you solved the issue and how?

       

      Best Regards,

      Elke

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Elke,

      Please contact me via community message (three dots top right) to share some more details with me.

      Best Regards

      Adem

      Author's profile photo Elke Zeimetz
      Elke Zeimetz

      Hi Adem,

      I cannot create a new chat with you. I think, you have to follow me so that I can do this?

      Best Regards,

      Elke

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Elke,

      I was able to use the community chat via: https://messages.sap.com/#/messages/

      Followed you also as well. Hope that works now.

      Best Regards

      Adem

      Author's profile photo Maciej Galica
      Maciej Galica

      ​Dear Adem, dear Pawel, dear Elke,

      I try to use the functionality Display of images in tables based on SAP BW XXL attributes in SAC as well. When I try to display the image in SAC I get only the URL link similar as in your examples.

      However, when I copy the URL to web browser, I get the message “not found”. Could you please advise, which prerequisite needs to be met on the BW side to display the images?

      We have activated the GETXXLValue service in SICF under /default_host/sap/bw/ina path but it does not solve our problem.

      Thank you in advance and kind regards

      Maciej

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Dear Maciej,

      Sorry for the late response but I was on vacation.

      This feature has been postponed to QRC 04.2021.

      But you can check the following SAP note regarding to this topic:

      https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/3040936

      But I have another question. You write that you get a "not found" error if you enter the full link (to the picture) into the browser. There seems to be an another issue as you should see the picture in your browser anyhow by using the link. You have uploaded the pictures, right?

      Best regards,

      Adem

      Author's profile photo sudheer keerthipati
      sudheer keerthipati

      Good one Adem??

      Thanks,

      Sudheer

      Author's profile photo Saif Khan
      Saif Khan

      Hi Adem,

      I have created a custom hierarchy and show it in story and save it.

      Whenever I am changing any variable value, the custom hierarchy gone and the default hierarchy has been set to dimension.

       

      Is there anyway we can save the custom hierarchy so that it will not gone if there is any variable change?

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Saif,

      Thanks for your feedback. I've tested this with my blog demo and can't reproduce it.
      I would suggest that you create a ticket to report this behaviour.

      In addtion please feel free to contact me via community message (three dots top right) to share some more details.

      Best regards

      Adem

       

      Author's profile photo Saif Khan
      Saif Khan

      Hi Adem,

       

      I am not able to chat with you .I suppose, you need to follow me. Could you please do the same so that I can explain you my issue in more detail.

       

      Thanks,

      Saif Khan

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Saif,

      I did but it seems that you need to maintain your profile settings.
      I had a quick chat today with another community member and there it was possible.
      Please check your settings again.

      Best,

      Adem

      Author's profile photo Druce tan
      Druce tan

      Great article! i also went through until part 4. How can SAC consume BeX queries from within S/4's embedded BW? our system can consume the CDS views but we cannot see the BeX queries

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Druce,

      Thanks for the feedback. I will continue with this series soon.

      Regarding your question. Can you please check the Connection Guides:

      https://saphanajourney.com/sap-analytics-cloud/data-connections/

      There is a link to the help with more details:

      In the help you will see then the requested information's:

      https://help.sap.com/viewer/00f68c2e08b941f081002fd3691d86a7/release/en-US/d2a1edf7cda74315a2c5052de8a3a4eb.html

      Hope that helps.

      Best regards,

      Adem

      Author's profile photo Junwoo Park
      Junwoo Park

      Hello Adem,

      Thank you for your great article.

      Does the live data connection support the data of SFSF Time Management like working time, employee time, timeoff.

       

      Leo.

      Author's profile photo Adem Baykal
      Adem Baykal
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Junwoo, Sorry I was on vacation and were able to answer now.
      No this is not possible. Unfortunately there is no live connection available at the moment to SFSF.

      Best regards,

      Adem