Many of our cutomers are using Microsoft Teams (MS Teams) for their collaboration and coordination across different business processes. Additionally the SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is used by many of those to create meaningful dashboards and stories for reporting and controlling purposes or to create powerful planning applications.
Though the SAC already provides tools for collaboration, I thought about if it was possible to combine the power of both tools in order to provide an integrated solution for reporting and planning access with direct utilization of enhanced collaboration functionalities from the daily business workflow.
The goal was to provide interactive access to the stories, dashboards, analytical and planning applications and planning workflows, developed in the SAC from within MS Teams through dedicated channel access.
Sounds great, does it? You may be surprised, that there is a very easy and straight forward way for such a use case, which comes with zero coding effort for the integration part.
Please note: The following described procedure is not officially supported by the SAP and by SAP Analytics Cloud as Microsoft Teams is not part of the system requirements (can be found here). Therefore please try this at your own risk and in case of issues, please do not get in touch with SAP support.
In order to integrate SAC into MS Teams, you need the following components
- Access to a SAC tenant
- Access to a MS Teams environment with a desktop client
Prepare MS Teams
We will start the process from the MS Teams side. To be able to create a channel, you need a team. You can either use an existing one or create a new one. This can be done from your Teams menu.
By default, a “General” Channel will be created with a new team. You can either use this channel or create a new one. Inside that channel, create a new tab and select the tab type “URL”. After selecting the tab type, a configuration window for the tab appears. Leave this open for now.
Select SAC Content
Now it is time to select the content, you want to integrate into your MS Teams channel. For that, switch to your chrome browser and access the SAC tenant, you are using for your applications. Log on with your user credentials and navigate to the story or application you want to integrate. Open the story and click on the share button. In the pop-up window, copy the share link to your clipboard.
Integrate SAC Content to your URL tab
With the link copied to you clipboard, switch back to your MS Teams instance. Paste the link to the URL field and provide a name for your tab. In case you want the other team members to be informed about the creation of the new tab, check the option, otherwise uncheck it. Click on Save to finally create the tab.
After saving, you should initially see the log on screen from your SAC tenant. You can log on using you usual credentials.
Depending on the design and model of your selected story or application, the process after log on may differ.
- If your story contains live data connections, you will be asked to authenticate against your source system via a MS Teams prompt. Type in your credentials for your source system and submit. After submitting your correct credentials, the corresponding data will be loaded and the story or application will be populated as designed.
- If your story is only consiting of aquired data models, you will not need to authenticate again. Instead the dashboard will directly be shown with the stored data.
Congratulations, you just integrated your story into a MS Teams channel with the embedded story being fully dynamical and flexible to user interaction!
Every user with access to the team and the tab can now access the story undergoing individual SAC (and source system) authentication. This means, your data is safe against unwanted access, as no user cedentials are shared.
By now, it seems that only “username and password” authorization seems to work, i experienced mixed feedback on SSO but was not able to set it up by myself, yet. I cannot tell about future SSO functionality, as this whole embedded approach is not officially supported by the SAP Analytics Cloud, so improvements or extensions on this approach cannot be expected. Please also note, that it seems, that only the story associated with the link you used for embedding the SAC content into MS Teams will be enabled for use. Opening another story from within that window will not work.
Besides the restricted possibilities, I hope, that this straight forward way of providing an integrated view on your SAC stories an application from within MS Teams can be useful for you. In case of questions or feedback, please comment on that blog post. I will be happy to get in touch with you.