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BW Connection Level for Reporting Tools

Feb 23, 2017 at 07:29 PM

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Former Member

Does anyone know of a list somewhere that shows all the reporting tools in BusinessObjects (and maybe even other tools, such as Microsoft PowerBI), along with which level in BW they can connect to (Cube vs. BEx query, etc.)? For example, Analysis for OLAP can connect to cubes or BEx queries, but WebI can only connect to BEx queries (unless going through a universe).

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3 Answers

Denis Konovalov
Feb 23, 2017 at 07:56 PM
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PAM, supported platforms guide in its semantic layer attachment has this information for all BI tools.

https://apps.support.sap.com/sap(bD1lbiZjPTAwMQ==)/support/pam/pam.html?smpsrv=https%3a%2f%2fwebsmp109.sap-ag.de#ts=1&pvnr=73555000100900000046&pt=g%7Cd

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Former Member

Thanks, but I get an "Authorization Denied" message using that link.

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weird, me too :) got to love sap web sites....
try this one then :

https://support.sap.com/content/dam/library/ssp/infopages/pam-essentials/TIP/BI%20Platform/BI%20Platform%204.1/SAP%20BusinessObjects%20BI%204%201%20Supported%20Platforms%20(PAM).pdf

You can get to this page from support.sap.com under Release, Upgrade and Maintenance info and then Product Availability Matrix.
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Former Member
Denis Konovalov

This helps, but it doesn't give the whole picture. Aside from going through universes, I am looking more for the tools that can connect directly with BW.

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Semantic layer attachments covers all BOE tools. Both UNV and UNX universes as well as all other possible connections to BW.
Are you sure you looked thru all tabs and both CR docs ?

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Former Member
Denis Konovalov

Yes, I am sure. The semantic layer document only talks about universes, and the CR documents only talk about Crystal Reports (either 2013 or Crystal Reports for Enterprise). In my original example, I said that Analysis for OLAP can connect directly with cubes or BEx queries, while WebI can only connect directly to BEx queries (neither of these examples have anything to do with universes, I'm just referring to direct connections with BW); but none of those three documents specifies that information (unless I'm missing it somewhere). That's the type of information I'm looking for; which tools can only access BW at the query level, and which tools can access BW at lower levels (cubes, DSOs, multiproviders, etc.).

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Page 19 of the PDF has this exact information.
Details in KBA

https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/0001869560

Also , Analysis, edition for MSFT Office PAM -

https://support.sap.com/content/dam/library/ssp/infopages/pam-essentials/SBOP_Analysis_MS_24.pdf

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John Hawk Feb 28, 2017 at 07:17 PM
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Hi Nick,

Some context may be useful. BW queries use two different protocols: BICS and MDX

MDX:

The MDX protocol is used by almost all BI Vendors. By clicking on the "Make externally available" flag in the query, the MDX protocol makes data available to MicroStrategy, Birst, Tableau and well as BusinessObjects. Processing is "heavy" in the application layer of BW. (FYI: last time I checked, Tableau's "seamless integration" to BW was superior to all others, including BusinessObjects.Direct connections to BW InfoProviders remains problematic.

BICS:

BICS is the protocol that that BW uses in its native queries to communicate directly with the databases, The latest version of BusinessObjects (4.2) also can use the BICS protocal to force processing to the database layer. This is a key differentiator from using BusinessObjects vs. other vendors on HANA. The ability to use BICS enables the HANA database to force more processing down to the HANA database layer and leverage HANA's advantages most effectively. To my knowledge, other vendors do not yet use the BICS protocol. BusinessObjects still needs the "Make externally available" flag in the BW query checked, but the back end is smart enough to use the BICS protocol instead of the BICS protocol. Direct connections to BW InfoProviders remains problematic.

Summary:

Selecting a BI Vendor requires a trade off between ease of use, ease of set up, and performance. For example, MicroStrategy has "raving fans" for ease of use and functionally, requires more set up of its semantic layer, but has reasonable performance on HANA using the MDX protocol.

Let me know if this helped!

John Hawk

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Former Member Feb 28, 2017 at 09:16 PM
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Thanks for all the information provided by Denis and John. However, since I was not able to find a list anywhere, I just opened each tool that is available to me, and tested each one to see what layers within BW I could connect to. So for now, I have the information I need.

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