Sunday, October 28, 2012

Possibilities of BW projects documenting – Transformations

Some time ago I blogged about possibilities of BW BEx queries documenting. There are many other BW objects being developed during BW implementation that are also needed to be documented. In this post I focus on transformations. Following are the options to document transformation (TRFN) that I came across:  

1. BW metadata repository: It is available in TA RSA1 which you select particular TRFN and press F1 button. It open web browser with page generated out of web dynpro RSO_METADATA_REPOSITORY. You can either save this page in HTML format or embed it into your documentation as attached file. Other possibility is to just include URL link (e.g. http://host:port/SAP/BC/WEBDYNPRO/SAP/RSO_METADATA_ REPOSITORY?SAP-LANGUAGE=E&objvers=A&tlogo=TRFN&objnm= 0S75JWX2AOYX9XLI6D2TOKXH42ILYYNR ) to this page in your documentation.

2. Tabular overview: Functionality is available in TA RSA1: while you in display/change screen of TRFN choose Tabular overview from Extras menu. You get new pop up window with overview of all IOs used, Rules details, Start/End Routine. You can copy content of this window to your documentation via clipboard.

3. Save as picture: From display/change screen in TA RSA1 you have Save as picture functionality available. You can afterwards include this picture into your documentation.

SAP Forward Fit Plan

I recently blogged on topic of BusinessObjects software maintenance. Even though there is something more to be added. Speaking about BOBJ software there is so called Forward Fit Plan. Basically it is a matrix of particular patches and their path how they fit between different versions. You can easily realize what patch (feature pack) fits to what version of BOBJ software component. By component a particular BOBJ version (XI 3.1 or BI 4.0) is called as maintenance stream. 

Forward Fit Plan is available on SMP via following shortcut: /bosap-maintenance-schedule

Saturday, October 27, 2012

WebI’s query stripping

Query stripping is feature in WebI that is available on XI 3.1 SP3 and BI 4.0. Basically it does optimize a set of data fetch from underlying WebI’s document source. If this feature is on; only data (in WebI terminology: measures and dimensions) that is used in WebI document output is fetched. This reduces traffic between presentation level (WebI) and source of your data.
How to switch it on: it is possible to be enables in two levels: 1. Query level – under Query Properties there is flag enable query stripping 2. Document level – flag query stripping on Document Properties tab. You need to enable both levels otherwise query won’t be stripped.
Notice that query stripping feature is only available for OLAP sources (e.g. BEx queries, Universes). 

However there are few constrains while using stripping: It may happed that you will get a tag #Refresh displayed instead of data. This bug is supposed to be solved in BOW Fix Pack 4.2 see note 1585615. If you running into this problem even you have patched your system you need to switch off this feature. Also it may happen that your WebI variables won’t work and the tag #Refresh will be displayed instead. In that case also switch it off.

Few SAP notes on this topic:

1544129 - Query Stripping is disabled in Web Intelligence Report
1585615 - Getting #Refresh output in Web Intelligence documents when 'Query Stripping' is enabled
1724499 - Query Stripping show more than one results set in WebI report in BI 4.0.
1733949 - Activating query stripping in a Web Intelligence report without refreshing the report itself corrupts it

SDN wiki - Optimize query with Query Stripping in Web Intelligence


SAP’s HANA is slowly harvesting success among customers. This week SAP announced record results for 3rd quarter of 2012. HANA contributed with 3 digit growth. Even though; SAP is investing to promote HANA as well. This week I’ve seen full page advertisement in October 24th edition of Wall Street Journal. Same or similar ad was circulating in the same newspaper also in September this year.

PS: click here to see SAP’s ad in response to Oracle’s Exadata published earlier of this month.

- update 09-12-2012 - 

Another ad which was circulating in the same newspaper in October 2012:

- update 10-01-2013 - 

Ad introducing ERP on HANA followed by press teleconference called SAP Business Suite Powered by SAP HANA Reinvents the Real-Time Enterprise. So today is the day when SAP announced availability of their flagship product on HANA.

- update 26-02-2013 - 

Same ad for introducing ERP SAP Business Suite Powered by SAP HANA appeared in WSJ.

SMP components for BusinessObjects software

Similarly to other SAP’s software like BW also BusinessObjects (BOBJ or just BO) software has its own SAP Notes components on SMP. To be consistent with SMP terminology they are called Application Areas. They are all beginning with prefix BI. Just to name few main solutions - here they are:

BI-BIP Business intelligence platform
   BI-BIP-ADM User & server configuration, InfoView refresh, user rights
   BI-BIP-BIW BI Workspaces (Dashboard Builder)
   BI-BIP-CMC Central Management Console (CMC)
   BI-BIP-CRS SAP Crystal Reports Server
   BI-BIP-CS   Connection Server
   BI-BIP-IK    Integration; Integration kits for SAP, Baan, PeopleSoft, Siebel
   BI-BIP-INV  InfoView, BI launch pad
   BI-BIP-LCM  Lifecycle Management Console
   BI-BIP-LO   Live Office
   BI-BIP-MOB  Mobile Server
   BI-BIP-SRV BI platform servers, scheduling, publishing, migration, serv
   BI-BIP-TMT Translation management tool
   BI-BIP-UDT Universe Design Tool
   BI-BIP-UMT Upgrade management tool
   BI-BIP-VD   Visual difference
   BI-BIP-WDG BI platform widgets
BI-DD  Data Discovery

BI-DEV Business Intelligence Software Development Kits (SDKs)

BI-EDU Business intelligence education products

BI-OD  OnDemand offerings

BI-PRJ Self Service BI on HANA

BI-RA  Reporting, analysis, and dashboards
   BI-RA-AD    SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for application design
   BI-RA-AO    Analysis, edition for MS Office
   BI-RA-AWB Analysis, edition for OLAP (Web)
   BI-RA-BICS BI consumer services
   BI-RA-CR    SAP Crystal Reports, Business Views Manager
   BI-RA-CRV  SAP Crystal Reports Viewer
   BI-RA-DKI   Desktop Intelligence
   BI-RA-EBI   Edge BI (Business Intelligence)
   BI-RA-EXP  Polestar, Explorer
   BI-RA-IA     SAP Crystal Interactive Analysis, desktop edition
   BI-RA-MD   OLAP Intelligence, multidimensional databases
   BI-RA-ODA  OLAP Data Access Components
   BI-RA-PA    Predictive Analysis
   BI-RA-PRD  Predictive
   BI-RA-VOY  Voyager
   BI-RA-WBI  Web Intelligence
   BI-RA-XL    Dashboards and Presentation Design

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Software maintenance terminology in terms of BusinessObjects

SAP is not good in maintaining names for its software. We see very often changes (or XI->PI, etc.) in products names. Similarly also in case of integrating products originally developed outside of SAP and gained by acquisitions there are also issues. This time I just focus on terminology within software maintenance in terms of BusinessObjects’s products. Traditionally SAP’s software products based on NetWeaver are being patched by Support Packages (SP). In case of BusinessObjects there are more “packages”:

Service Pack (SP) – Complete program installation (a new software version).

Feature Pack (FP) or "patch" or a "hot fix" – term used in past. It was support pack with a number of new features. FP is finally contained in SP. Probably only used in ramp-up programs for new BOBJ software. This term should be abandoned going forward.

Fix Pack (FxP) - Used to identify patches on BOBJ’s BOE XI 3.X platform and earlier.  In version BI 4.0, SAP adopted standard SAP naming: Patches and Support Packs.  Not a full installation only partial installation delivering subset of SP. In BOBJ’s world while installing  FxP make sure you you install it over correct SP. If FxP releases for SP (full version) 8.00c.08.00, it would be numbered 8.00c.08.01.

Therefore don’t be confuse if you come across notes like following :-)

1602665 - SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite 4.0 Support Pack 2 Release Notes
1685879 - SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite 4.0 Feature Pack 3 Release Notes
1727458 - SAP BusinessObjects BI Suite 4.0 Support Pack 4 Release Notes