Closing the gap with Analysis for Office 2.8 SP9
For quite some time now SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office, edition for SAP Analytics Cloud has been available to all SAP Analytics Cloud users for data driven spreadsheet analytics. And this is great because Analysis for Office is a great solution for this. However, the edition for SAP Analytics Cloud was missing one feature that most customers were asking for: access to the workbooks stored in the BW or BI repositories.
With support package 9 (released since June 2021) this gap is be closed and, even better, the workflow to access BW queries in Analysis for Office, edition for SAP Analytics Cloud, was simplified and the conversion of BEx workbooks is now also included. This blog post gives you a glance at what changed and how it helps you.
So far SAP BW queries could only be accessed via SAP Analytics Cloud and the live connections defined there. So users had to connect to SAP Analytics Cloud, choose a live connection and only then were able to pick a query or a provider to analyze (see this blog post for more details)
With the upcoming SP9 this will change: the edition for SAP Analytics Cloud will work just like the standard Analysis version: you connect directly to BW (or BI platform) without using the live connections defined in SAP Analytics Cloud).
In order to check whether the user actually has a SAP Analytics Cloud subscription, a connection to one SAP Analytics Cloud tenant must still be configured. This connection is only used to verify the subscription and Analysis for Office can be configured to save the connection so that the check is done without any user interaction.
Access to BW/BI repositories
While it is great to analyze BW queries in Analysis for adhoc analysis, the most common use case are Analysis for Office workbooks with layouts, multiple sheets, … and those workbooks shall be stored in a central repository. That’s usually BW or the BI platform and with SP9 you can now access those repositories directly:
This function provides the full integration with your existing repositories or the basis for building your new repository in case you are not using Analysis for Office yet.
And one additional remark regarding repositories: Analysis power users will usually open their workbooks using the direct access to the BW/BI repository. But you should consider adding Analysis for Office workbooks to the SAP Analytics Cloud Catalog. This enables all users to find all relevant reports/stories/… in one central place. You can achieve this by creating content links in SAP Analytics Cloud pointing to the workbook in SAP BI or BW.
BEx workbook conversion
The final new functionality is the addition of the BEx workbook conversion option to the edition for SAP Analytics Cloud. If you are currently using the good old BEx analyzer and want to migrate to Analysis for office, you can do this with SAP Analytics Cloud and the included Analysis for Office.
With these new functionalities in SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office, edition for SAP Analytics Cloud we have closed the gap! It allows customers to move from BEx Analyzer to Analysis for Office with SAP Analytics Cloud only and no need to add the BI solution. And this is especially important due to the limitation regarding Microsoft Office versions.
And using SAP Analytics Cloud and the included Analysis for Office edition is a great approach to modernize your reports: add Analysis for Office to support spreadsheet reporting and use the option to introduce modern and visualized reports with SAP Analytics Cloud stories.