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Web Intelligence reports over bex: Best design practices

Hi All,

It has been quite some time since I have been working with building WebI reports based on Bex queries and I am still trying to guage the value add that customers derive from webI over Bex.

In traditional data warehousing systems, Web Intelligence works perfect and has been able to provide a self service reporting system for the users.

With Bex, the most of the self service features are already fulfilled. Is Business Objects destined to be just a presentation layer over the Bex queries?

With BO 4.0 and the subsequent BICS connectivity, many features of Bex become limited as do the features of WebI.

I came upon a discussion already

http://scn.sap.com/message/13481313

which discusses this issue but I would like to get some views and understanding on the advantages I can communicate to the customer that web intelligence has over bex.

Thanks and regards,

Vinayak

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3 Answers

  • Best Answer
    Sep 13, 2012 at 01:20 PM

    As implicitly said in the other post,  SAP BW has evolved over 40 years and it is only after the acquisition of BusinessObjects in 2008 that the developers of both lines of product could seriously work openly with each other. This brought to a huge improvement with BICS but we can't expect to have all the features available in WebI in such a short span of time. At the same time we can't expect Web  Intelligence to become something it wasn't intended to be.

    In  regards to the selling points: the main advantage of WebI with BICS connectivity is that you create BEx queries and make them available for the report designers to create documents out of them.

    You have the advantage of the RFC connectivity which is faster and more powerful than the legacy OLAP UNV would provide.

    At the same time the report designers must be aware of the limitations otherwise they end up scratching their heads when trying to do something that is not possible or not supported (may work but inconsistently)

    These are my 2 cents

    Thanks and regards

    Simone

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    • Hi Vinayak,

      I also feel  like there are lot of challengs a consultant will face while taking a Bex query to WEBI.

      But One good thing that I like in WEBI is the merge dimension concept thru which they are able to merge many BEx  queries  to a single WEBI document.

      I also feel like SAP is also trying hard to solve all these integration issues and the GA of designer studio, exclusively when BW is the datasource, are all evidences of that initiative.

      Prabhith

  • Jan 26, 2013 at 06:59 PM


    Hi All,


    Check out for my new document in SDN on the topic ----

    Points to be considered while integrating BW Bex queries with BO Webi


    http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-35444


    Br,

    Prabhith\

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  • Jan 21, 2013 at 04:02 AM

    We are working on finding meaningful use of bi 4.0 tools on top of BEx queries. Although BEx is a great tool but it certainly has some limitations when trying to build flexible reporting for users, specially users that are not expert analysts. Unfortunately webi reporting while solving some of BEx limitations introduces a few new ones. Specially some stuff that works well in BEx can be hard in Webi. Anyway here are some of my experiences using BICS

    Webi allows me to build formulas using characteristics which can be hard in BEx e.g concatenating five description columns or a new column to display rating=good if score > 95

    Grouping data and formatting to display multiple tables under one group. Example project as a group with two tables below it- one for schedule data and one for budget. Now you can create a report for 10 projects organized neatly in groups

    I would not discount the Gloss either

    URL links to other bi reports is helpful too

    So not exactly advocate reporting as advertised but still an improvement over BEx

    Biggest problems I have seen are slower performance and selection screens are less flexible.

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