Monday, January 28, 2013

WebI hints

Today just very briefly about few things in WebI I recently observed:

1. Re-ordering sequence of several tabs within Webi: Sometimes it may happen that you create several tabs in your WebI. Afterwards you realize that sequence of them is not correct according your user requirements. You can reorder your tabs anytime in Page setup menu -> Move report:

2. Changing your WebI page orientation: similarly to point no 1 sometimes you need to change page orientation. Functionality is available within same menu:  Page setup menu -> Page-> Landscape/Portrait:

3. Landing tab of webi: In case you have several tabs in your WebI. You may want to set one of them to be opened as “default” once user is accessing it. So far I;m not aware that there is possibility ot set so called ”landing tab”. However what is working (at least in my case) is following: Stay in design mode of your WebI on the tab that you want to set as landing one. Then save your WebI. Once you access itthe webi the tab which you stayed in for last time before the saving will be the opening one. This will also apply when you transport the WebI into another system.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What will be BEx replacement?

Actually question should be what is BEx replacement? This is due to upcoming end of maintenance of BEx. Also customers are considering this and they are slowly moving towards replacing BEx by other reporting tool. What I experienced so far at different customers following are options when you would decide to go for non-SAP provenience tool:

Microstrategy, Cognos, QlikView, Tableau

If you would go for SAP provenience tool this would be mostly about BusinessObjects portfolio. From these tools most similar to Bex is toll called SAP BusinessObjects Analysis. There is a huge similarity because Analysis same as BEx Analyzer are encapsulated into MS Excel as add-ins. Furthermore almost all features of BEx are supported although SAP claims that Analysis is not BEx replacement. I assume this is mostly they want to leave open doors to other BusinessObjects tool which customer can choose from. 

There are two separate editions of Analyses available. First is edition for Microsoft Office supporting PowerPoint and Excel. It is called SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office (abbreviation AO, SMP component: BI-RA-AO-XLA Excel Addin, Secondary Components: BI-RA-AO-PPA Powerpoint Addin). 2nd there is a web version which is called SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP.

Few words about history of the tool: Analysis came with SAP’s acquisition of BusinessObjects. After this acquisition it got the name "Voyager" – its OLAP version. During consolidation of BO tools and their integrating into SAP portfolio the name was changed to "Pioneer". Which was tool combining Voyager’s user interface with OLAP capabilities of BEx. Afterwards new name was chosen "Advanced Analysis" which got finally shortened to simply "Analysis."

What are the objects that you can in this tool report on? Those are BEx Queries, query views and BW InfoProvider as data sources. There is a so called “ribbon” available with AO functions in MS Excel. From the ribbon following functions are available: 

  • Data Source – you can open data provider here called data source (e.g. BEx query)
  • Undo – un/redo last actions
  • Data Analysis – invoke prompt (a.k.a. selection screen), filter/sort/ data, create local calculations
  • Display - do formatting, totaling
  • Insert Component – like charts
  • Tools – further formulas/calculations maintenance
  • Planning - optional
  • Design Panel – design your local report layout (add characteristic or key figure – here called measure)
  • Settings
Where to download it? -> Support Packages and Patches -> Browse Download Catalog -> SAP BusinessObjects portfolio -> SBOP ANALYSIS MS OFFICE

Useful links related to Analysis:

General information about SAP BusinessObjects Analysis can also be found in SDN:
1476674 - SBOP ADV. ANALYSIS OFFICE - First Customer Shipment(FCS)
1466118 - Hardware & Software requirements for Advanced Analysis
1518359 - SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Office Release schedule
1786370 - Which version of Advance Analysis for MS Office (32xbit and 64xbit) to download
1740317 - Analysis Office 1.3: Release Note for SP 5
1779713 - Analysis Office 1.3: Release Note for 4 hotfix 1
1740316 - Analysis Office 1.3: Release Note for 4
1740315 - Analysis Office 1.3: Release Note for 3
1740314 - Analysis Office 1.3: Release Note for SP 2
1740313 - Analysis Office 1.3: Release Note for SP 01
1739153 - SAP BW Backend requirements for Analysis Office 1.3
1698669 - Analysis Office 1.2: Release Note for SP 8
1739684 - Analysis Office 1.2: Release Note for SP 7 hotfix 1
1698668 - Analysis Office 1.2: Release Note for SP 7
1698667 - Analysis Office 1.2: Release Note for SP 6

PS: In case of BEx Web Application Designer (WAD); here replacement’s well: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio (formerly SAP ZEN). For info on its installation see here.

BS7 i2010

B7 i??? What? What this code is all about? Let’s start with explanation of BS short. BS stands for Business Suite. This is more less clear for everybody who is involved in world of SAP. BS is SAP’s flagship software solution. It basically comprises of different applications covering all the functions of organizations. By those applications are meant following: ERP (ERP as it-self is called ECC (Enterprise Core Component) with all the components like: FI, CO, SD, LO, HR, LO) followed by SCM, CRM, SRM and PLM.

Where came number 7 from? Most likely it is a version number. Yes currently we have this most actual version. However speaking about the versions it is usually tricky coming to SAP software.
SAP Business Suite has so far following version:

  • SAP Business Suite 2005 SR3 (SAP ERP 6.0 SR3, SAP CRM 5.0 SR3, SAP SRM 5.0 SR3, SAP SCM 5.0 SR3)
  • SAP Business Suite 7 (SAP ERP 6.0 EHP4, SAP CRM 7.0, SAP SRM 7.0, SAP SCM 7.0) on SAP NetWeaver 7.0 with enhancement package 1
So far all clear I assume. So what is this small in followed by version no 7? It actually stands for innovations. Therefore you can came across following more version of SAP Business Suite:
  • SAP Business Suite 7i 2010 (SAP ERP 6.0 EHP5, SAP CRM 7.0 EHP1, SAP SRM 7.0 EHP1, SAP SCM 7.0 EHP1) on SAP NetWeaver 7.0 with enhancement package 2
  • SAP Business Suite 7i 2011 (SAP ERP 6.0 EHP6, SAP CRM 7.0 EHP2, SAP SRM 7.0 EHP2, SAP SCM 7.0 EHP2) on SAP NetWeaver 7.0 with enhancement package 3
You might be curios what are those innovations within SAP Business Suite? To explore them follow shortcut link /findinnovation on SMP.
Generally speaking BS is just umbrella term for applications that are (see above) included in BS.

From technical point of view you always have to see what are versions of applications/components and what version of NetWeaver it is powered on.
Regarding “innovation” point of view BS includes all the new functionalities which are being delivered via Enhancement Package strategy.

For online documentation of Business Suite refer here.

Funniest SAP notes ever 6

Today I’m depicting one BW note which on 1st sight may not any sense at all. However there must be SAP Notes referring to this one. Nevertheless I would expect at least short notice in this one about its purpose – not just there is no symptom.

Other post from this series:

-      Update 26/02/2013 –
I got more clue about “There is no symptom.” notes. Actually they are meant as auxiliary notes which are referred by other Notes. Anyway as name of this note says “This SAP Note does not contain an error correction” it is very tricky to image what is this all about :-)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Possibilities of SAP BW/BI monitoring

Some time ago I blogged about EEM - End-User Experience Monitoring. This was a part of technical monitoring and alerting functionalities of SAP Solution Manager. You may not to wonder but Solution Manager has broader functionalities when it comes to system’s monitoring. As this blog is related mostly to BW/BI let’s focus further on monitoring of SAP BW and BusinessObjects’s BI systems. In short there are capabilities to monitor following as per BO or BW:

  • BO WebAppSystems
  • BO Server Systems
  • BW ABAP/Java Systems
  • BO Jobs Monitor
  • BW Process Chain Monitor
  • BW Report/Query/template Monitor
To start customizing of these functionalities see transaction SOLMAN_SETUP in Solution Manager system.

Notice that these functionalities are available as of SAP Solution Manager 7.1 SP 1 and it supports BusinessObjects’s environments based on XI 3.1 and BOE 4.0.

For more information see following (login to SMP needed):

Debugging of BEx’s text variables

I was recently dealing a lot with text variables in BEx’s queries. I found very useful an SDN’s how to paper written by SMP’s support consultant Ricardo de Azeredo Rosa. Ricardo is mentioning how to debug BEx text variables in particular the one based on replacement path. The gist of debugging is to catch ABAP code in FM called: RRSV_CHAVL_TO_VALUE_CONVERT. By this you can easily realize what is happening with your text variable. Why it is getting strange content (e.g. very famous # sign). It is very useful while dealing with variable offsets and other not very known features of BEx.  
Enjoy reading of this how to paper.

As this is my first blog post in New Year 2013 I wish you all of my readers happy and prosperous new year MMXIII.