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"Strategic" difference between WebReports and BI SDK ?

Hi everybody,

I come from an EP background and touched BW integration in a current project. Looking at the architectural integration between these two components actually increased my confusion. Why ? BW offers a number of different ways to provide client applications with its information (XMLA, WebReports, iViews, BI SDK, BEx Analyzer, ... and probably a lot more)

My question now is: what is/will be the "strategic" way to get BW content into EP ? And more specifically I do not yet understand how to differentiate between a WebReport/BW iView and a regular EP iView that retrieves BW data via the BI SDK (apart from the obvious technological differences).

I have a specific question that caused me to look into this issue: it seems to be a challenge to create a WebReport in such a way that numeric values are mapped to traffic light icons (critical values should show up as a red traffic light). The immediate answer from our BW guy was to color the font of the number accordingly (red/yellow/green).

That seemed like a basic feature and I was surprised to learn that this is quite tricky to accomplish with the

Web Application Designer. Now, does that mean that BW WebReports are "only" intended for basic tasks and more advanced stuff should be done with EP iViews/BI SDK ? Or is the BI SDK targeted at a different usage scenario ?

I am curious to hear from BW Experts what purpose the BI SDK will serve.



PS. I hope this is the right forum for a newbie question.

PPS. I like the BI SDK (natural for an EP/J2EE guy, I suppose....)

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    author's profile photo Former Member
    Former Member
    Posted on Jan 14, 2005 at 07:32 AM

    Lieber Heiko,

    Here are some differences and complementary features that help you to decide, when you use BW Web Reports and when the BI SDK:

    - if you need heavy navigation features (drilldown, report-report interface), then use BW Web Reports

    - if you need maps or charts with drilldown, then use BW Web Reports

    - if you need data from sources other than BW, like other datawarehouses or relational systems and hevay drilldown or maps or charting-functionality, then use BW Web Reports and e.g. remote-Infocubes

    - if you just need data from any source with not much navigation function, then use BI SDK

    - if you need very special types of visualisation controls, which BW does not offer, then perhaps BI SDK is a good choice

    - if you use Visual composer and need context information, use BI SDK

    BTW: if you want to have signal lights, that's easy too. Create Exceptions and conditions on your query and you can see them either as signal lights in the web item "Alert Monitor" or as coloured cells in the webreports. If you even want to change in a BW web report the value to an icon, then you can use the Table-Interface to maniputlate the appearance of your table and cell-contents.

    I would say that the standard-way of getting BW data into EP is through webreports. Rendering of the report is done by BW. If you need "fancy" stuff (depending on the fancieness of course), use BW reports plus table interface or get everything via the BI SDK and do the rendering with your controls.

    BW Web Reports contain in fact fullblown functionality and are not -to quote your words - "intended for basic tasks", there is quite some power (some might say "too much power") behind them.


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    • Former Member

      Hallo Mario,

      like Shan you have confirmed my suspicion that WebReports should do the job in most cases. What remains, though, is to acquire a deeper understanding of both technologies to be able to select the right approach (more work ahead...)

      Thanks for the hint regarding the traffic lights. We'll try it out.



  • author's profile photo Former Member
    Former Member
    Posted on Jan 13, 2005 at 01:43 PM


    What is the BW version? In case it is BW35, the BEx Broadcaster publishes them in EP.



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  • Posted on Jan 14, 2005 at 01:42 AM

    Hi Heiko,

    BI SDK(Software Development Kit) helps you to create custom application. I think that is the fundamental difference bewteen BW web report and BI SDK (as its name can tell).

    If you are totally satisfied with BW Web Report, probably you will never have a chance to use BI Java SDK, which is a happy situation to be in. But if you have your custom requirement ('custom' requirement means the requirement not covered by BW Web Application Design, Web API, table interface ...), you will be happy to have BI Java SDK.

    It is the software development kit for BW, you have the ultimate flexibility to visualize the data, manipulate the data, by writing some code.

    Ofcourse BW Web Report can do lots of advanced stuff, I think it pretty much depending on your requirement, if your requirement is covered by BW Web report, you should do it with BW Web report; if not, BI Java SDK is the choice.

    Hope this helps.


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