Thursday, February 20, 2014

BW Modeling Tools (for SAP HANA BW)

Whole SAP development world is moving away of SAP GUI. This trend is obvious. ABAP developers can develop their programs in Eclipse for quite some time already. See details e.g. FAQs - ABAP Development Tools for Eclipse. SAP HANA Studio which supports developing of HANA’s artefacts like Attribute/Analytic/Calculation Views, DB schemas, tables, sequences, procedures, table types etc. is also based in Eclipse. It was obvious that soon or later BW will get also possibility of developing its objects outside native SAP GUI’s RSA1 transaction and/or outside BEx Query Designer tool.

I remember back in 2009 there were rumors that next “big tool of BW” will be based in Eclipse. Logically it should be successor of Visual Composer (VC) which was/is based in Eclipse also. After VC there is another tool SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio also based in Eclipse. Design Studio is tool for creation of analysis applications and dashboards based on BW/HANA/Universe based data sources for browsers and mobile devices.

On other hand purpose of BW Modeling Tools is to support modeling of BW’s InfoProviders such as "CompositeProvider" and "Open ODS View". CompProv and Open ODS Views are newly introduced objects which came with SAP NetWeaver 7.40 SP5. The tool further supports consumption of SAP HANA Views in BW Models.

In order to use the tool you need few plugins to be installed into the SAP HANA Studio:
  • ABAP Development Tools – current version 2.19
  • BW Modeling Tools –
Both can be downloaded from service.sap.com/swdc -> search for SAP HANA Studio
Installation guide for Modelling Tools is available on SMP here (S* ID required).
Personally I’m very looking forward to “united” developer IDE where all kin dof SAP objects can be developed. On other hand I think I’ll be nostalgic for all the transaction in SAP GUI like SE80, SE38/37 and so on.

PS: explanation of new terms:

CompProv – in this new type of object it is possible to merge data from classic BW InfoProviders with data from SAP HANA models using Union and Join or just merge BW data. See the details here.

You can only use this new CompositeProvider if you are using a SAP HANA database.
Open ODS Views – You can define BW data models using it for integration of existing BW objects (DataSources) without the need to create InfoObjects. Open ODS View represents BW metadata of BW structures. While not having InfoObjects high level of consistency of the data model is not guaranteed. On other hand you can change the model much more quickly comparing to the model with InfoObjects. Also it has no separate storage of master and transaction data. See the details here.

- Update 02/05/2016 –
BW Modeling Tools are usually referred by abbreviation BWMT

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Few words on table RSPOR_T_PORTAL – Portals connected to BW

This blog is originally posted on SCN:


This table is very important from portal access to BW system point of view. It stores the configuration information about connected portals. There may be several portals connected into one BW system. One of them must be marked as default one. There is information about logical destination of portal, its system name, prefixes of URL/Metadata Repository, etc. Table has other information when it comes to configuration of Report to report interface (RRI), Adobe Document Services (ADS), SAP Export Library, fonts and portal platform.

Customizing of the table is available via IMG path: SAP Reference IMG -> SAP NetWeaver -> SAP Business Information Warehouse -> Reporting-relevant Settings -> BEx Web -> Integration into the SAP Enterprise Portal -> Maintaining Portal-Server Settings for EP 6.0. In newer versions of BW 7.x this customizing entry is disabled and directly ABAP report RSPOR_SETUP shall be used as specified in customizing note “Settings for Integration with SAP EP 6.0” in TA SPRO.

Important Fields:

RFCDEST                    Logical Destination - RFC Destination to connect the portal from BW and vice versa. It is maintained in TA SM59. Format of the field can look like e.g.: __

SYSTEM_NAME         System Name in Portal System Landscape – Value for BW is usually „SAP_BW“

DEFAULT_PORTAL   Indicates Whether Entry Points to Standard Portal. Only one of several connected portals can be default. This is important for RRI functionality. Parameter RSPOR_DEFAULT_PORTAL needs to be added to user master record. See SAP Note 1818322 - RSPOR_T_PORTAL configuration in the context RRI

URL_PREFIX                         URL Prefix for Portal URLs – it is needed for the input help in BEx Information Broadcasting. BEx report uses URL prefix for iViews. Value usually is: http(s)://hostname:

KM_RM_PREFIX                   Prefix for BW Metadata Repository Manager (RM) – so called RM prefix for BW metadata.  It determines path in Knowledge Management (KM) used by BW metadata while accessing repository manager. Usage of the field is used e.g. when broadcasting: links to BEx objects in the portal are generated. Value usually is: /bw_metadata

CM_RM_PREF_META           Prefix for BI CM Repository for Metadata – IF documents for metadata are migrated to the portal KM (to a BI CM repository) the prefix is used. By this prefix BW checks if whether/where the documents were migrated. Value usually is: /bi_documents.

CM_RM_PREF_MAST           Prefix for BI CM Repository for Master Data – Same as above. But prefix is for master data.

CM_RM_PREF_TRAN           Prefix of BI CM Repository InfoProv. Data - Same as above. But prefix is for transactional data – data stored in InfoProviders.

SAP_EXPORT_LIB               Use SAP Export Library (PDF) – If you want to use BI Export Library for exporting of BW report’s output into the different format like PDF. In that case put X as value.

FONT_PATH                          Directory of Fonts – path to fonts if you are using BI Export Library. See field above. Also see SAP Note 1166921 - Default font not used when font path empty

ADS_HTTPS                          Use HTTPS for Adobe Document Services (PDF). In case of issues see SAP Note 1112378 - USE_HTTPS_FOR_ADS=X is not evaluated.

PORTFOLIO_PATH   Directory for "My Portfolio" - in BEx Web, value must include string "" -> see Note 1830507 - Directory of My portfolio field in rspor_t_portal table

DEFAULT_FONT        Standard Font –While using the BI Export Library this specifies default font to be used by the library.

PLATFORM              Runtime Platform – Either your portal is based on NetWeaver or BusinessObjects Enterprise. Values NW for NetWeaver or BOE for the other one.

Friday, February 7, 2014

SAP’s new programming language – RIVER

During last year SAP announced also one new programming language - SAP River. Let’s have a look what it is about. River is harvested partly on SAP acquisition of Coghead and Frictionless Commerce. Coghead contributed by foundation of web based platform to build and host custom online database applications. This mainly became part of "River" OnDemand platform. Frictionless Commerce contributed by its rapid application development platform.

Married by those two and years of development on top of that SAP came up with River. The River is rapid web based development platform based on the SAP HANA. From programming perspective it is programming model that allows end users to create light-weight applications using drag and drop tools. In connection to HANA; it generates all the HANA development artefacts for HANA.


On other hand there is RDL (River Definition Language). It is executable specification language that allows focus on what application does. It stays away from how the application’s requirement is realized on top of HANA.

To sum it up:

River (original or platform River) - cloud based platform for rapidly developing applications with Flex UI design time and default runtime. It offers REST API for exposing server functionality over it own UI can be built.

RDL - Started as a new language which embeds original River, as a design time paradigm. Later RDL changed embraced within HANA to enable HANA based applications.

Useful links:
sap-river.com – Try it live now!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

SAP BI Export Library

An export of BI report’s output into the different format like PDF is very common. Also SAP’s reporting frontend’s tools are offering that. In case of web reporting based on JAVA stack an export functionality of reports is done by this library. For example BEx Broadcaster is creating PDFs documents also by the library. The BI Export Library is an alternative to Adobe Document Services (ADS). However in contrast to ADS you can use the Export Library only within application based on JAVA Stack. Technically the Library is delivered within Business Intelligence Java Components (BI-JAVA) BI-BASE-S and BI-WEBAPP.

To enable using of the Library you need to maintain field SAP_EXPORT_LIB in table RSPOR_T_PORTAL via TA SM30. By default the Library delivers only font for export TrueType font "Arial Unicode J". If you want to use other fonts you need to put them as files into the folder. Then maintain the directory name into the same table in field FONT_PATH. You can maintain also default font by specifying it in field DEFAULT_FONT I the same table.

For more details see:
1112132 - The SAP BI Export Library

SMP Component: BW-BEX-ET-WJR-EXP Export Services and Printing

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Adobe Document Services (ADS)

ADS is used within SAP systems to enable form based processing of data. Functionalities of ADS can be called form both stacks of NetWeaver (JAVA and ABAAP) regardless the fact that ADS is running on JAVA stack of NW. Technology is supporting even interactive forms and they can be used even in offline mode. PDF that are generated by ADS can have possibility of annotating, digitally signing and can be embedded as attachments.

ADS is one of web services (AdobeDocumentServices*) build on top of JAVA stack. Refer to JAVA Stack URL: http://:port/wsnavigator to see all your services. The services of ADS are actually doing the job of forms processing. Either form is being created here (e.g. merging it from template and filling up with the data or extracting the data from XML format of the form and sending it back to app. The form can be developed in ABAP stack in TA SMARTFORMS and in JAVA stack in SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio. The application enables form is interactive. E.g. user input can be validated and therefore checked for its correctness.
The form like that with possibility of user interaction we call SAP Interactive Forms or SAP Interactive Forms by Adobe.

For more details see:

944221 - Troubleshooting if problems occur in forms processing

SMP Component: BC-SRV-FP Forms Processing

Monday, February 3, 2014

SAP for SEPA

This weekend an Super Bowl XLVIII took place in East Rutherford, NJ was an event which dominated in North America. In Europe on other hand over the weekend happened something else which for the people who were involved wasn’t that much fun as Super Bowl. Actually Single Euro Payments Area or SEPA went live in post of EU’s banks. The SEPA is payment integration initiative within European Union aiming to simplify cross border payments and enables cashless euro payments to subjects located anywhere in the European area. This is possible by using a single bank account and a single set of payment instruments. As SAP systems are heavily involved in banking industry there were changes required into those systems.

Changes in SAP software are related to many solutions and components. Here’s I’m briefly introducing some of SAP ECC components which relates to the changes:

CA-BK – Bank
FI-AR-AR-N - Financial Accounting -> Accounts Receivable -> Basic Functions -> Master Data
FI-AP-AP-B - Financial Accounting -> Accounts Payable -> Basic Functions -> Payment Program / Payment transfer (DE, JP, US)
FI-BL-PT-FO - Financial Accounting -> Bank-Related Accounting -> Payment Transactions -> Payment forms
FI-CAX - Financial Accounting -> Non-industry specific contract accounts receivable, payable
FS-CD - Financial Services -> Collections and Disbursements
IS-PS-CA - Industry-Specific Component Public Sector -> Public Sector Contract Accounting
IS-T-CA - Industry-Specific Component Telecommunications -> Contract Accounting
IS-U-CA - Industry-Specific Component Utilities -> Contract Accounts Receivable and Payable
HCM – Human Capital Management

To see all the information on SEPA related to the SAP see following site on SMP and Note:

1855795 - SEPA composite SAP Note: Customer Connection

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Intermediate Support Packages

With respect to SPS or SP (Support Package Stack) topic which is discussed here someone may heard also about Intermediate Support Packages (iSP). iSP is basically the same - a package of support packages and patches (de facto a collection of SAP Notes)  for a certain quarterly timed release. In case of some components of SAP software iSP were introduced like BW, PI (XI), etc.
What I understand that iSP is? Usually when there is a new particular SP released and there are some follow up SAP Notes related to that. These Notes have to be implemented manually by TA SNOTE. To prevent this intermediate Support Packages were introduced. So all the Notes released after SP release are packed into iSP.

In case or BW intermediate Support Package are dedicated to ABAP Stack and front-end (GUI) Support Packages. There is no iSP for BW JAVA Stack.

However in case of BW iSP were discontinued.  There are no longer delivered as of BW Support Package Stack 14.