Thursday, October 21, 2010

miniSAP homepage

I wrote already several blog posts related to miniSAP or in other words test version of SAP software. Just to mention some of them:

Some other terms used to refer to miniSAP are Sneak Preview, Test Drive, Preview Version, Trial Version, Technology TestDrive, Technology Preview.
After you installed it you get initial license valid for 30 days. You might wonder where to register your installation in order to get it running for longer period. That’s because normally you have just those 30 days in which your miniSAP installation will be running until license expires. There is an SAP site dedicated to license request and by this site you get a key which allows you 90 days more of enjoying miniSAP. same as this: same as following page:
point to this site:
where you make license request.

P.S. Please notice that main page for all SAP evaluation software is located @SDN:

Maximum number of sessions in SAP GUI

User are from time to time wondering about how many simultaneous sessions in SAP GUI they can have. It was even surprising to me when I got this question when I did my SAP BW certification :-). There is also funny point that for some people to be efficient while working is enough to have 2-3 sessions as maximum. On other hand there are people who need at least 7-8 session to get some job to be done :-)

Anyway let clear this doubt out. Basically the number of session depends on version of SAP Application Server or let say SAP Basis is your SAP installation based on. It is like following in very old version of Basis like 4.6X the maximum number was 6, then in WAS versions 6.XX the max no is 10 and finally in AS 7.XX it is 16.

You might wonder that for example you running WAS 6.10 and you experienced situation it is was not possible to open 7 not even 10 session in parallel. Well, in that case you SAP administrator had limited this. There is system profile parameter by which the limitation is possible. The parameter is called rdisp/max_alt_modes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A legacy of SAP TEchEd 2010 – Berlin

Again it is same as every year. I had no opportunity to attend this year TechEd – European part hold in Berlin last week (12-14th of October 2010). However I tried to absorb information as it was available virtually at site. Even I was able to see some of my friends on videos e.g. from Demo Jam. So what was so hot and excited about this year TechEd? There were few things..

1.    Introduction of SAP NetWeaver 7.3: As said in official statement SAP back in  defending of its platform as NetWeaver. Fuzzy and unclear care of NetWeaver by SAP which was followed by not recommending of NetWeaver to be used for customers by industry analysts; we see that NetWeaver is back at full of power.

2.    Innovation without disruption: Vishal Sikka used this term referring to turning existing SAP technology into new level while NetWeaver is not only integrating people, data, and processes but it does in real-time and without disruption. Meaning that current SAP landscapes can be either upgraded in that non disruptive way; can be moved into the could – complementing existing on-premise solutions; or can be used in “mobile style” using SAP/ Sybase Unwired Platform.
3.    3 focus areas: Mobility, In-memory analytics applications, cloud computing. The most interesting for is In-memory initiative. SAP calls this initiative as HANA - High-Performance Analytic Appliance. The aim is to turn more portions of data from its traditional storage like disk arrays into the operational memory of servers. Another point is that data here will be combined from different types (transactional and analytics) and from different sources. Data is suppose to be organized and accessed in columnar database style. Solution will be delivered in form of appliance as e.g. existing BW Accelerating is delivered. You can read what HANA is going to be all about in case of BW here.

I’m sure there were plenty of other important things to be seen, discussed etc. One day maybe I experience TechEd personally :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How long BEx report in Excel can be?

Only 64k rows? I used to hear an requirement from my customers regarding BW report’s length very often.  There are several reasons why BW reports should not be that long but usually customers resist in it and simply they want to see all rows that report can produce. Therefore from this viewpoint a limitation in MS Excel 2003 (and its predecessors) of displaying in particular 65.536 rows is seen as obstacle. Once new MS Excel 2007 came to the market (in 2007) it was assumable that since this limit is overcame up to 1,048,576 rows it has impact on BW reporting as well. However if you see e.g. on SDN what people are saying regarding this limitation; there are still doubts how many rows can be displayed. Those can be eye witnessed e.g. here, here or here. At the time I’m was researching what’s the matter really is I came into the conclusion that only with BW 7.x limitation of 65k rows is overcome. Unfortunately I was wrong. To be really sure I did few test which I’m going to introduced further in this blog post.

I prepared scenario with one very simple BW report without any selection screen based on demo cube ZD_SALES. I filled this cube with approximately 100k of records. I placed this cube and whole its data flow into BW based on version 7.0. I used SAP GUI version 7.2 and MS Excel 2007 together with whole Office 2007 installed on my laptop. Test query was comprised with just 4 columns. To be really sure that there is no aggregation in place Document Number was always unique in my test data loaded into cube.

As a first trial; I relied on transaction RSRT and I ran my report in Query Display mode = List. In this mode on MS Excel formatting is in not place so we can assume that we get all of data out of cube in our report. As seen on screenshot we have also total lines displayed. Therefore all rows from cube are displayed.

Later I continued with BEx Analyzer as Add-In in MS Excel 2007. From the very top; report looked good. All the columns were displayed. I started to be eager that time  just to see all 100k in my Excel…

But surprise! The report suddenly stops at (and surprise again) 65.536th row. :(

Even I’m running BEx Analyzer based on the newest SAP GUI 7.2, even I’m using BW 7.0 as backend even my MS Excel is version of 2010 I’m still not able to get more than 65k records.
What to do next? I tried to find some information on OSS. There are notes like 1411545 - BExAnalyzer: safety belt for large result sets and 1499986 - BExAnalyzer: safety belt default value does not work which suggest to set parameter called ANALYZER_LIMIT_DEF into table RSADMIN. However after setting it my report got me only 65k records.

Hmm, ok, again no luck. What about trying to google it up? Finally there is OSS’s wiki post bringing some light on this issue. It says that limitation of 65k is due to the functionality which is exporting the data from SAP systems in general. It is called XXL Export and it cares of generic export of any list data object into the MS Excel. Also is written here that this functionality is not planned to be changed. Ok, game seemed to be over for me that time. Moreover I found interesting discussion in this SDN forum post. User posted reply from SAP OSS related to this. It is stated the same as in wiki post: “The excel file can have maximum 65536 rows. You cannot select more than this amount of rows using excel.” SAP is explaining within this that there are practical reasons for this limit. They stressing out point that BEx is not a tool of mass data extraction etc.
Game over, this time for real. But what would be the other option how to get avoid this limitation. At the moment following options came to my mind:

1.    Usage of  web reporting for export of more than 65k rows. According the note: 1127156 - Safety belt: Result set is too large, in BW version 7.x it I possible to set parameters that would allow such a massive export of data.

2.    Functionality of OpenHubs. Data can be placed directly into the files (e.g. in CSV format) on application server. Be careful here OpenHubs are specially licensed and by using it there are additional fees.

3.    Coding of custom ABAP report which runs BW query and gets all its output and saves it in the flat files.

I completely realize that those options are not based on BEx Query Analyzer nor even in MS Excel but I cannot see any other option at the moment.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Features of SAP BW 7.3

Thinking about upgrade to 7.3? Assessing it? Searching for pros/cons? Need reasoning to management? Let me briefly summarize all the exciting new features of new SAP BW 7.3:

·         Scalable data models with built-in Semantic Partitioned Object (SPO)
·         Optimized load performance for DataStore Objects and Master Data
·         Enhanced built-in analytical capabilities for SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator
·         BWA-based reporting on Data Store Objects (via Hybridprovider)
·         Query as an InfoProvider enabled for mass data handling
·         Optimized integration of SAP BusinessObjects BI Tools Xcelsius, WebI
·         Tighter integration with SAP BusinessObjects Data Services
·         Tighter Integration with SAP BusinessObjects Metadata Management
·         Combining real-time transactional data with historical data via HybridProvider
·         Smarter data flow modeling with remarkably reduced manual effort
·         Hierarchies integrated into SAP NetWeaver BW 7.x data flow
·         Flexible modeling environment for analytical indices
·         ABAP based Planning Modeler w/o requiring a Java stack
·         Faster system set-up with a wizard-based system configuration
·         Enhanced monitoring capabilities with new content for SAP NetWeaver BW
·         Administration Cockpit and integration in SAP Solution Manager
·         Data Transfer Process supports data extraction from MultiProviders
·         Enhanced Usability of BW Administration Cockpit through Xcelsius Integration of monitors
·         Mass Change function for authorizations

Beta version of SAP BW 7.3 was available for selected partners around July 2010. Ramp Up program is suppose to start in middle of October 2010. 

Check out official SAP information on SDN.