Sunday, December 14, 2008

Filling flight data model database tables with data


Imagine you need to make a small demo of some BI functionality not depended of data type. All yo need is to have some data which can be used in your model. Where to get some data? For such a purpose it is convenient to use Data Model of SAP demo application SFLIGHT/flight data model or sometimes better know as BC_TRAVEL model. Data of this model are often used in SAP standard training courses of ABAP, Basis areas (e.g. courses of Internet Transaction Server, SAP Web/Application Server). Data model is delivered with Basis component in development package called SAPBC_DATAMODEL. In case you want to use it you need to run transaction BC_DATA_GEN and fill up its selection screen according your needs.

Find more information about Flight Model on help.sap.com.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dr. ABAP

I have found few interesting SAP notes  where a phrase “Dr. ABAP” is appearing in sections like “Additional key words” like in note 212462 or it is mentioned in comments on ABAP code correction attached to notes. I was wondering what this mysterious term of Dr. ABAP could imagine. Based on research I did on internet it seems that this was a kind of nickname of Mr. Axel Kurka former SAP guy who greatly contributed to development of ABAP engine, NetWeaver Application Server and lot of others SAP’s technologies. Axel is considered as one of ABAP fathers. His nickname was present in his articles published in “SAP Technical Journal” magazine (currently being published under name SAP Professional Journal).
Acknowledges of Axel’s work has been published in several SAP resources, e.g. by Mr. Andreas Blumenthal and Horst Keller in their article; on site Alte-SAP.de. Let me join them. Thank you Axel, RIP.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

BI book review I

I have done reading of Gary Nolan’s book: Efficient SAP NetWeaver BI Implementation and Project Management.  First of all this is my first non technical BI book. As I’m used to read mostly technology books, SAP notes, technical white papers, SDN forums, etc. That’s why this book was quite unique. Not so many technical issue discussed in detail - just to notification of them and few tips how to solved them and even avoid them.
As first BI project is introduced in all of its flavors and regardless of BI product release. It is clearly stated here what BW is and what is not, what to expect out of it, what makes project successful etc. Basically a term of “what it takes a BI project” and all kinds of BI projects are discussed here from all of its phases (project planning -> gathering and analyzing requirements -> development/build/testing -> preparing GoLive -> after GoLive). Author is utilizing his broad experience and describing all potential issues within project. From this point of view book is very useful.
Other helpful staff in book is examples of BI project deliverables like: standards documents, project plans, naming conventions, check lists, test scripts, etc.
For more details see book homepage at SAP Press or at Galileo Press.

Service Marketplace server’s connection


Having troubles while browsing service market place (also known as OSS)? Same with me; I usually start with http://service.sap.com; I log in via S-User ID and this redirects me to one of application servers which have hostnames like websmpXXX.sap-ag.de. Then sometimes some links are not working from this server – as server seems to be broken. This seems to be often caused by overloaded particular server websmpXXX. Server farm of OSS is suppose to be working with load balancing concept but this problem on some conditions still persists. Therefore it can be very quickly solved by switching to other server directly in URL path in your browser.
E.g. introduction page of OSS can be switched from websmp209 to websmp203.
Here’s list of few websmpXXX which are working:

F1 2008 championship winner


A winner of 2008 series of Formula 1 championship is known! It is Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. As SAP is a technology partner of the team it is SAP success as well. Company is joining congratulation to Lewis on their official pages. He won series of 2008 championship on 2nd of November 2008 at Interlagos Circuit, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Actually he did not win this match but he scored the best in overall tournament results.

SAP is a long term sponsor of F1; currently supporting Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One Racing Team. SAP is software provider for the team. You can learn more about their partnership at McLaren pages here and SAP’s pages here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Drag and Drop activation in RSA1

Functionality of Drag and Drop is very highly used within TA RSA1 – Administration Workbench of SAP BW. By this functionality you moving BW object via different InfoAreas, adding InfoObjects to InfoProviders, activating BW objects from Business Content etc. However this feature can be switched off and you getting information message saying:

Drag  Drop is switched off - switch on in RSADMIN/RSADMINSV
Message no. RSM1132

To enable it you need to maintain table RSADMINSV via e.g. TA SM30 and check out “Drag&Drop off” field.

Friday, October 31, 2008

SAP BI web reporting URLs

Usually end users are using SAP Portals (Enterprise Portal) or any other portal for accessing BI queries. You as a support consultant trying to solve incidents within queries often do not have a portal access therefore you need to access it via raw links or you use TA RSRT (Query monitor) in BI backend system to simulate query there. When user issue is linked with we reporting TA RSRT is not enough and most convenient way is to run query/query view/web template from via web browser. In order to obtain URLs it is good to start with TA RTST. In all versions of this TA you can choose a way how query data is displayed: LIST – classic raw ABAP report layout, BEx Analyzer – MS Excel layout and HTML – web reporting layout. In case you opt for HTML and execute some report, you can afterwards get a URL for this report. 



This functionality allows you to get this URL and run query or other query via URL easily.



If you ran your NetWeaver BI system on both AS stacks: ABAP and JAVA you have a web reporting in 2 favors:
ABAP web and JAVA web



URLs are different for those 2 stacks:


ABAP:

Query:
http://machine:port/SAP/BW/BEX?INFOCUBE=put_infoprovider_here&QUERY=put_query_name_here

Web template:
http://machine:port/SAP/BW/BEX?INFOCUBE=put_infoprovider_here&TEMPLATE_ID=put_your_web_tmpl_here

BEx "Report Designer" report:
ABAP Stack seems to be is not supporting "Report Designer's" report as following URL doesn't work for me:
http://machine:port/SAP/BW/BEX?INFOCUBE=put_infoprovider_here&REPORT=report_name_created_in_BEx_ReportDesigner


Broadcaster:


JAVA:
General format of URL:

<PORTAL_PROTOCOL>://<PORTAL_SERVER>:<PORTAL_PORT> /<bi_launcher>?<param>=<value>

e.g. http(s)://machine:port/irj/servlet/prt/portal/prtroot/pcd!3aportal_content!2fcom.sap.pct!2fplatform_add_ons!2fcom.sap.ip.bi!2fiViews!2fcom.sap.ip.bi.bex?QUERY=put_query_name_here

Query:
param = QUERY

Web template:
param = TEMPLATE_ID

Query view in workbook:
param = QUERY_VIEW

Query view:
param = SOURCE_VIEW

Enterprise report (BEx "Report Designer" report:): 
param = REPORT

Workbook:
param = WBID

XCELSIUS DASHBOARD
param = DASHBOARD

Bookmark:
param = BOOKMARK_ID

Link to JAVA Portal, where you can choose query:

http(s)://machine:port/irj/servlet/prt/portal/prtroot/pcd!3aportal_content!2fcom.sap.pct!2fplatform_add_ons!2fcom.sap.ip.bi!
2fiViews!2fcom.sap.ip.bi.bex

- update 27.02.2017 - 
more JAVA stack related parameters added

- update 16.12.2015 - 
See post related to "ABAP web reporting URL parameters" as well.

Link to documentation:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Resetting buffers: TAs $*


There is a pair of SAP transactions which might be used when you need to reset data from SAP database tables temporarily stored in buffers. Actually those codes are not real transactions but so called OK fields that are able to be entered in field of transaction within SAP GUI.



/$TAB RSADMIN      refreshes buffers for specific tables e.g. RSADMIN
/$TAB                    refreshes all table buffers + the program buffer
/$SYNC                 refreshes all table buffers, except the program buffer


After successful execution of those transactions you are suppose to get messages like:

All buffers were reset
Message no. 00012

TAB buffer reset
Message no. 00044

Monday, October 27, 2008

SAP into Teradata acquisition?

It is been a while a rumor is spreading over web regarding SAP is willing into Teradata acquisition. SAP would strengthen it data warehousing products portfolio where have a big share others pure data warehousing companies like SAS. Over last year’s acquisition war with IBM, when SAP got Business Objects and IBM got Cognos it seems that that it strikes back. Teradata is currently very proud to be independed as its spin off from NCR Corp in October 2007. Of course they would to stay as they are – independed. On other hand SAP has recently announced big freeze that would possibly mean share holder of SAP do not want to spend any additional money in today’s financials crisis but they can be on opposite side as the current markets very low rates and it might worth to invest in acquisition.
Teradata is well known for its massively parallel processing system. It has its own database system (DBMS). It is very fast and very suitable for very large size of databases. Formerly they had a hardware portfolio of products as well. Still they offering they brand of disk arrays. They invited so called AMP Access Module Processor – a common discrete chunks distributed evenly among the database in order to read it very fast. Before AMP was hardware; now it is a software component.
Let see what future will bring and how data warehousing companies compete between each other, how ORACLE, SAP, IBM, TERADATA, SAS, SYBASE etc.
-         update on 16/05/2009 –
It is been one and half a year since I wrote this post and things are getting closer. Recently (around end of April) SAP and Teradata announced agreement to provide SAP NetWeaver BW+ on the Teradata environment (database). In terms of this integration SAP BI portfolio including BW and BusinessObjects software will be co operable with Teradata Active Enterprise Data Warehouse solutions. SAP BW will be running natively on Teradata database platform. By this agreement we can assume that SAP’s intent to acquire Teradata is over or it is just another step to get into it.
See here on what else SAP is cooperating with Teradata.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

TAs RSPC*


Process chain functionality of SAP BI is very important from application maintenance point if view. It does automate data loading furthermore it visualizes, controls and monitor loads. Within SAP BI SAP NetWeaver 7.0 (former NW 2004s) there is a set of RSPC* transactions dedicated to process chains as follows:

 

RSPC Process Chain Maintenance, basic transaction
RSPC1 Process Chain Display, Displaying one PChain only
 



RSPC1_NOLOG Process Chain Maintenance, Log displaying of one PChain only
RSPC2 Process Chain via Process, Displays process types available for PChains

 


RSPCM Monitor daily process chains
RSPCP Process Log, Display of log for a process
 





RSPC_RESTART        Restart Process Chain Run




Saturday, October 25, 2008

Activating scripting in SAP GUI


In order to use scripting within SAP GUI you need to activate several settings. First one is on level of your SAP application server by instance profile parameter:
sapgui/user_scripting = TRUE
This parameter is set to false by default. You can do this modification via TA RZ11. Afterward make sure you have set scripting as enabled in your SAP GUI settings; menu “Customize local layout (ALT+F12)” -> Options -> tab strip: Scripting -> check “Enable scripting”:
 







For system notification of running scripts, set up in your SAP Configuration window in Windows Control panel ->“Notify when script attaches to running GUI”:

















To enable GuiXT functionality: SAP GUI settings; menu “Customize local layout (ALT+F12)” ->“Activate GuiXT”:

 

Few interesting facts about SAP as company

 
Despite today’s not very optimistic times caused by financial crises worldwide and recent SAP’s announcement about behaving very costly efficient – means Big Freeze I would like to share some interesting facts about SAP. Basically SAP is world’s largest business application software company and 3rd largest independent software provider globally and…
Basis facts: //as of Jan-Jun 2008



  • 96.400+ installation of SAP software
  • 75.000+ companies run SAP
  • 51.602 SAP employees:
    • According regions:
      • EMEA: 26.563
      • APAC: 11.143
      • NAFTA: 13.896
    • According functional areas:
      • Software & Services: 6.651
      • Professional services: 14.057
      • R&D: 15.148
      • Sales & Marketing: 10.815
      • G & A: 3.367
      • Infrastructure: 1.564
  • Nationalities represented worldwide: 100
  • Nationalities represented at Walldorf: 88
  • Top 5 nationalities at Walldorf office: German, British, American, Indian, Russian
  • Average age: 37
  • Percentage of employee over 50: 5%
  • Average length of company affiliation: 5.3 years
  • Attrition rate: 1.8%
  • Percentage of women: 30%
  • Percentage of female people managers: 18%
  • Org. structure:
    • Office of the co-CEOs: H.KAGERMANN, L. APOTHEKER Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe (as of 7th of Feb 2010)
      • Research & Breakthrough Innovation: P. ZENCKE
      • Products: no designated person as of S.AGASSI departure
      • Production:  C. HEINRICH
      • Global Service &  Support: G. OSWALD
      • Customer Solutions & Operations (CSO): L. APOTHEKER
    • Finance & Administration: W. BRANDT (CFO)
    • Human Resources & Processes: C. HEINRICH
  • 12 million users in 120+ countries
  • 1.600+ Partners
  • 180.000 SAP partner certificates
  • 10.000 developers within SAP company
  • 10 international SAP Labs (Development Sites):
    • EMEA: Germany (Walldorf), France (Sophia Antipolis), Bulgaria (Sofia, Hungary (Budapest), Israel (Ra’anana)
    • APAC: India (Bangalore), Japan (Tokyo), China (Shanghai)
    • NAFTA: USA (Palo Alto), Canada (Montreal)

Furthermore I would not forget mention few words about SAP culture. Within SAP internal there is no exact dress code introduced; it is expected that everybody is dressed mannerly. Formal dress expected within business meetings with customers and for consulting people on-site location of course. SAP is well know for employing people with strong academic backgrounds like PHDs and professors to strengthen their R&D. SAP is famous for its patents as well.

-      Update 02/13/2010 – SAP is returning to co-CEO model as Apotheker stepped down as CEO. Co-CEOs are now Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe. See details here.

- Update 07/22/2013 - Return  back to 1 CEO structure. In May 2014 Bill McDermott will be lifted to sole CEO position while Jim Hagemann Snabe will step down as co-CEO and will serve in supervisory board.

- Update 05/04/2014 - Dr. Vishal Sikka member of SAP executive board left SAP for personal reasons. He will be replaced by Robert Enslin and Bernd Leukert in the executive board. In addition Leukert will be leading SAP global development organization.

- Update 07/07/2014 - Due to driving its global effort SAP changed its  legal form to a European Company (Societas Europaea, SE) from AG.



Sunday, October 5, 2008

TA RSRT, RSRT1, RSRT2 difference?


Query Monitor is very useful tool used to analyzing problems with BI queries. You can very quickly find out how healthy your queries are and so on. Tool is accessible with transaction RSRT but there are 2 more transactions: RSRT1 and RSRT2. Difference between RSRT and RSRT1 is that via RSRT1 you can run Query views as well. What differentiate RSRT2 against two others is not clear to me. Somebody got an idea?

RSRT:


RSRT1:


RSRT2:


To complete this post I’m adding some more TAs related to Query Monitor:
RSRT Start of the report monitor
RSRT1 Start of the Report Monitor
RSRT2 Start of the Report Monitor
RSRTQ BWT: Query Definition (check of query definition)
RSRTRACE Set trace configuration
RSRTRACETEST Trace tool configuration

Read more on thsi topic in 2nd part of this article:
TA RSRT, RSRT1, RSRT2 differences? (Part 2)