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Author's profile photo Eric Zeugner

Integration of SAP Analytics Cloud Stories into Microsoft Teams

Introduction

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.

Let´s start!

 

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.

 

Prerequisites

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.

Create%20a%20team%20in%20MS%20Teams

Create a team in MS Teams

 

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.

Create%20an%20URL%20tab%20on%20your%20channel

Create an URL tab on your channel

 

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.

Copy%20the%20share%20link%20to%20the%20story%20or%20application

Copy the share link to the story or application

 

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.

Maintain%20the%20URL%20tab%20parameters

Maintain the URL tab parameters

 

After saving, you should initially see the log on screen from your SAC tenant. You can log on using you usual credentials.

Log%20on%20to%20SAC%20from%20within%20Teams

Log on to SAC from within Teams

 

 

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.

Authentication%20window%20for%20live%20data%20connections

Authentication window for live data connections

  • 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!

Populated%20story%20within%20MS%20Teams

Populated story within MS Teams

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.

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      11 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Ashish Tiwari
      Ashish Tiwari

      Does this approach has limitations when embedded in teams?

      Author's profile photo Eric Zeugner
      Eric Zeugner
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Ashish,

      regarding functionalities of the SAC, I could not find a limitation so far. I was able to use the view and the design mode just as in Chrome. This is also true for aquired models (import connection) as well as live models (direct connection). For SSO, in my setup the user is still asked for the source system credentials, but this may be due to my current IdP settings, which I could not yet check in detail.

       

      Kind regards

      Eric

      Author's profile photo Romain Brie
      Romain Brie

      Hi Eric,

       

      We have SSO in place for SAC with live BW models and it does not ask for Credentials. The link in MS Teams seems to be working well but it shows error "Cannot Connect to the system view". Is this is a bug? Also i am assuming this feature only works on Report by report basis. Meaning i cannot jumpt to other report,right?

       

      King Regards

      Author's profile photo Eric Zeugner
      Eric Zeugner
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Romain,

      thank you for testing it with your SSO configuration, glad it works with a proper IdP setup!

      I also experienced the error message in further testing, but I could not notice a negative side effect, since the connection to the data source is still established and can be used. So this seems to be a bug, that may be caused by some connectivity hiccups. Mabe SAP could do something here in the future, if they had a closer look that integration scenario.

      For Live Data connections it indeed seems to be the case, that currently the feature works on a report by report basis. That would result in a best practice advise to link a URL tab in your Teams to a specific reports or dashboards and use it to integrate those with one URL tab each. Switching between Reports should then be done in Teams by selecting a different URL tab, rather than navigating in SAC though the folder structure. Integrating the base URL of your SAC tenant to the URL tab would not be advised way at the moment.

      This of course only holds true for live data connections. In my test I could switch between import model based stories from withing the same URL tab without any issues.

       

      Kind regards

      Eric

       

      Author's profile photo Bjørn Winther Nielsen
      Bjørn Winther Nielsen

      Hi Eric

      Just tried out the above, sadly it's not working for us when using BW live connection having SSO.

      Getting SAC to start is ok, but there is a small SSO popup in regards to the BW live connection in the story which doesn't stay inside MS Teams, but goes to the browser and thereby the story fails the connection.

      Wondering if there is a setting in MS teams to allow for popups and stay in MS teams...

      Br

      Bjørn

      Author's profile photo Vegard Norstein
      Vegard Norstein

      Hi,

       

      We also have an SSO and I'm not able to load the data in MS Teams. The page loads, but not the data. I get the following error message:

       

      Cannot connect to remote system: view:[_SYS_BIC][t.6][C8u3a0bvl6u626rzdw6l5c20ow]
      Correlation ID: 11357748-2041-4927-8304-286676045319
      Br,
      Vegard
      Author's profile photo Henry Banks
      Henry Banks

      Hi Vegard Norstein

      Do you know, does it make a difference if you have your VPN connected to the corporate domain?

      As an alternative proof point,  are you in a position to be able to check this end-to-end when using a SAC Live connection of type "Tunnel"  ? (cloud connector is required on-premise here)

       

      Regards

      H

      Author's profile photo Vegard Norstein
      Vegard Norstein

      Hi Henry,

       

      I've tried both with and without the VPN connection (which is connected to our corporate domain). I get the same result with or without the VPN - the page loads but not the data.

      I'm not in such a position but I can forward the message to the IT administration / Applications experts.

      I haven't tried it on-premise yet, as I'm stuck on home office these days.

       

      Best regards,

      Vegard

      Author's profile photo YANNICK SANTONA
      YANNICK SANTONA

      Hi Eric,

       

      It is a great functionality however it is possible to identify the page of SAP Analytics Cloud Stories ?

      For exemple, if we want to arrive directly on the fourth page of a SAP Analytics Cloud Story.

      Thanks.

      Author's profile photo Eric Zeugner
      Eric Zeugner
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Yannick,

      I am glad you like it. Sure you can!

      For that, you should open the story and then copy the link from the URL (it is the same for all pages).

      You can add the page as an additional URL parameter before inserting it to MS Teams.

      So when your link looks like this:

      https://<yourtenant>/sap/fpa/ui/tenants/a327/app.html#;view_id=story;storyId=5D425AF6D7BC8F303EE42F0D19B9D3EC

      you can add the page by doing this. In this case, I want to jump to page 2:

      https://<yourtenant>/sap/fpa/ui/tenants/a327/app.html#;view_id=story;storyId=5D425AF6D7BC8F303EE42F0D19B9D3EC;page=2

      When opening the link, it will direct you to the second page of your story.

       

      Kind regards,

      Eric

      Author's profile photo Cengiz Gueler
      Cengiz Gueler

      Hi Eric,
      I have the same problem as mentioned above.

      We need the integration of SAC-Stories in Microsoft-Teams, for HANA- and BW-Live-Connections connected with SAML/SSO. When storing an SAC-URL of a story in a MS Teams tab, it should work and should not bring up Cors-Connection errors.

      I have integrated a SAC story as URL-Link in MS-Teams tab, which consumes a HANA-Calculation-View, which is connected with SAC via HANA-Live-Connection and SAML/SSO.

      After trying to execute, I do get an Cors. error.

      A soon as I change the connection from SAML/SSO to User/Password, I do get a prompt to enter my HANA-DB-User-Credentials and it works without any problems.

      I also have created a ticket at SAP-Marketplace, but they told me, that "Currently, integration of SAC with MS Teams is not supported".

      For this, today I created an inprovement request, which needs sufficient votes so that could implementedby SAP.
      Here is the link:  Improvement Request Details - Customer Influence (sap.com)

      Best regards

      Cengiz