Tips and tricks for using SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence with SAP BW

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Orange County Convention Center Orlando, Florida | May 15-18, 2011

Tips and tricks for using SAP BusinessObjects

Web Intelligence with SAP BW

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Agenda

 Introduction

 System Landscape

 Advanced WebI Functionalities  Performance Considerations  Life Cycle Manager

 Security considerations

 Report Deployment Options

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Introduction

 WebI provides end to end self-service experience covering a range of users:

 Casual reporting users

 Ad-hoc reporting users

 Provides access to wide range of data sources:

 Relational source – Oracle, MS SQL Server etc.

 OLAP data sources – SAP BW, MSAS

 Personal dataproviders – Excel and CSV files

 Data connectivity is enabled via BOBJ Universe.

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Agenda

 Introduction

 System Landscape

 Advanced WebI Functionalities  Performance Considerations  Life Cycle Manager

 Security considerations

 Report Deployment Options

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System Landscape

 System landscape design:

 Different options are available for implementing BOE XI in your

landscape. Various factors like corporate standards for Software Platform, Web Server, DB, High availability requirements,

expected system load etc. should be considered while designing the BOE landscape.

 BOE XI Supports different Software Platforms, Databases and Web servers.

 Web Server can be separated from the application server.

 Tomcat, Weblogic, Websphere, SAP J2EE etc. are supported.

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System Landscape

 Highly recommended to size the BOE system prior to project start.

 Key considerations for sizing:

 Input:

 Report volume

 Number of concurrent users

 % break down of users types (Power user vs. Casual users etc.)

 Output:

 Number of CPUs (BOE licenses are usually CPU based and need to know this during the initial phase of the Project)

 Total amount of Memory

 Number of CMS, Processing servers and Job servers

 Link to BOE XI Sizing guide.

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System Landscape

BW BOE XI DEV QA DEV QA PROD PROD LCM

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System Landscape

 BOE XI Architecture

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System Landscape

 Technical Considerations:

 During the starting phase of the project make sure BOE XI

Support Packages and Fix Packs are up to date.

 Server and Client tools should be at same Support Package and Fix pack levels.

 Recommended Support Packages:

 BW 7.0 EHP 1 SPS 5 or higher

 BOE XI 3.1 SPS 3 FP 3.1 or higher

 Check for the latest OSS notes:

 http://service.sap.com/notes

 MDX Application Area - BW-BEX-OT-MDX

 BICS Application Area - BW-BEX-ET-WJR-BICS

 SAP IK – BI-BIP-IK

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Agenda

 Introduction

 System Landscape

 Advanced WebI Functionalities

 Performance Considerations  Life Cycle Manager

 Security considerations

 Report Deployment Options

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Input Controls

 WebI provides Input Controls which can be used for filtering report data.

 Provides easy to access to filter WebI report.

 Different types of controls are available for Measures and

Dimensions.

 Measures: Slider, Spinner and Entry Field

 Example: Use a slider to display all values greater than a threshold set from the slider, Sales Revenue > $1million etc.

 Dimension: Dropdown box, Input field, Radio button etc.

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Input Controls

 Input Controls can be added to the WebI document from the tab Input Controls  New  Select the Object and Type of Control.

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Scope of Analysis

 Scope of analysis let‟s you create pre-defined drilldown path within your WebI reports providing easy analysis functionality for the users.

 User can click on the high level object within the report to drilldown to the next level.

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Scope of Analysis

 Drilldown path can be pre-defined from Universe Designer  Tools  Hierarchies.

 Create a Custom Hierarchy selecting the objects and order of

drilldown.

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Merge Dimensions

 Merge dimension allows you to merge data from two different Universes.

 Relational and OLAP Universes could be used as source.

 For example data from a SAP BW based and MS SQL Server based

Universe could be combined into one single WebI document.

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Merge Dimension

 Accessible from the WebI toolbar.

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Merge Dimension

 Merging high volume data is not recommended as this will impact the performance of the report.

 Alternate options like storing the data within BW or using BOBJ

Data Federator should be considered for high volume data.

 Merge is possible only if Master data is consistent in both the systems.

 For example Merging Fiscal Period from BW and Calendar Month from MS SQL Server is not possible. System cannot determine a unique key to merge and also 001/2010 in BW could correspond to July 2010 in MS SQL Server.

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Query Stripping

 Query Stripping enables you to bring only the data which is required for the current WebI Report layout.

 Default design brings in all the objects available in the WebI

Query Panel.

 This could help improve the performance of the WebI Report.

 This setting is available only for OLAP Universe based reports.

 There is a known error with query stripping that will be fixed

with BOE XI 3.1 SPS 4. Check OSS note 1516054 for more details.

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Query Stripping

 This is similar to setting the “Read Mode” for the BW query.

 Setting need to be done at the WebI Query level and document

level.

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Custom Formula

 Custom Formula can be created using measures and Dimension.

 A custom field can be added to the WebI report comparing two

dimension field. BW currently doesn‟t provide the ability to create formula based on a dimension (Characteristic).

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Custom Formula

 Various operators are available: String, Boolean, Date etc.  Examples:

 Find date differences between two date fields or between the

report date and current date.

 Various business rules can be implemented at the WebI Report

level without having to make changes to the BW data model or underlying query.

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Drill down to BEx Web Reports

 You can use the Hyperlink function within WebI to drilldown from a WebI document to a BEx Web report.

 Parameters can be passed to the BEx Web report using the

standard BW BEx Web API.

 Link for BEx Web API documentation.

 URL Format for launching BEx query:

http://<bwserver>:50210/irj/servlet/prt/portal/prtroot/pcd:aportal_content/com.sap.pct/platform _add_ons/com.sap.ip.bi/iViews/com.sap.ip.bi.bex?query=<query ID>

 URL Format for launching BEx Query passing parameters:

http://<bwserver>:50210/irj/servlet/prt/portal/prtroot/pcd:aportal_content/com.sap.pct/platform _add_ons/com.sap.ip.bi/iViews/com.sap.ip.bi.bex?query=<query ID>&BI_COMMAND_1- BI_COMMAND_TYPE=SET_VARIABLES_STATEVARIABLE_VALUES-VARIABLE_VALUE_1-VARIABLE_TYPE=VARIABLE_INPUT_STRING &BI_COMMAND_1- VARIABLE_VALUES-VARIABLE_VALUE_1-VARIABLE_TYPE-VARIABLE_INPUT_STRING="+UserResponse("Year")+" &BI_COMMAND_1-VARIABLE_VALUES-VARIABLE_VALUE_1-VARIABLE=ZFYEAR 22

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Filter using display Attribute

 You can Filter a report using the “Display Attribute” of a Characteristic by adding it to the Query Filter area.

 This can be done by the report author without having to make any changes to the BW Data model.

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Agenda

 Introduction

 System Landscape

 Advanced WebI Functionalities

 Performance Considerations

 Life Cycle Manager

 Security considerations

 Report Deployment Options

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Performance Considerations

 Avoid use of Navigational attributes were ever possible.

 Navigational attribute requires an extra join during the report

execution and will affect the report performance.

 OLAP Universe is not designed to handle heavy data volume. For large volume reports consider workarounds:

 Split into smaller reports and provide hyperlinks via OpenDoc API.

 WebI Processing Servers can only handle upto max. 2 GB per report. Running very large reports which are beyond this limit will result in crashing the WebI Processing server.

 Consider creating a Relational Universe with BW using Data

Federator.

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Performance Considerations

 WebI Processing Server:

 Create more WebI Processing Servers and reduce the number of

connections per WebI Processing. This will help better load balancing of the servers.

 CMC  Servers  Server Categories  WebI Report

Processing Servers  Properties.

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Performance Considerations

 Consider to scheduling large reports during off-peak hours for off-line consumption.

 Latest Support Package on BW and BOE XI provides several performance related enhancements. Recommended Support Package levels:

 SAP BW EHP1 SPS 5

 BOE XI 3.1 SPS 3 FP 3.1

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Universe Design Considerations

 BOE Universe can be based on BW queries and Infoproviders.

 Create the Universe on a BW query to leverage the OLAP

functionalities (Restricted and Calculated Key Figures, BW Variables etc.) available within the BW Query Designer.

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Universe Design Considerations

 OLAP Universes are system generated and will bring in all the objects from the underlying BW Query.

 Hide the objects at the Universe level which are not required

within the WebI report. For instance 0PLANT has several attributes and not all of them will be used within the WebI

Reports. Hiding the attributes which are not required within the WebI report helps to keep the Universe clean and easier for the users.

 OLAP Universe generation Parameters can be set from Universe

 Designer  Tools  Options  OLAP

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Transaction MDXTEST

 Transaction MDXTEST can be used for executing MDX Statements within the SAP BW System.

 Either the MDX Statement can be hand written/pasted into the

execution area or can be generated using the system.

 Make sure to select „XML Mode‟ while doing the test, data returned from BOE XI from BW will be identical to the data from the results of „XML Mode‟.

 You can use the document below to enable logs on the BOE to view the MDX statement which gets executed.

http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/index?rid=/library/uuid/d0e1ec59-4bd0-2c10-c38b-e51393775064

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Agenda

 Introduction

 System Landscape

 Advanced WebI Functionalities  Performance Considerations

 Life Cycle Manager(LCM)

 Security considerations

 Report Deployment Options

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LCM

 LifeCycle Manager let‟s you move BOE XI Objects (Folders, WebI Documents, Universes etc.) within the landscape.

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LCM

 LCM also provides the option for Version management of BOE XI objects.

 Connection Mapping for the target SAP BW system can be maintained within LCM.

 LCM doesn‟t support SAP authentication.

 LCM is integrated to the BI platform as of BI 4.0.

 For BOE XI 3.1 requires a separate installation.

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Agenda

 Introduction

 System Landscape

 Advanced WebI Functionalities  Performance Considerations  Life Cycle Manager

 Security

 Report Deployment Options

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Security

 Different options are available for implementing security within BOE.

 It is critical to develop a clear security strategy.

 Main considerations:

 Is this a new BOE installation?

 Are there SAP and non-SAP users?

 What is the current report deployment option?

 What are the types of users who will need access to the reports?

 Power users, casual users etc.

 What is the best way to logically group the reports?

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Security

 BOE XI Supports different Authentication methods.

 Windows AD  Recommended if SAP BW and non-SAP BW users

requires access to the BOE system.

 LDAP

 SAP (requires SAP IK)

 Enterprise

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Security

 Recommended approach:

 Implement SSO between BOE XI and BW.

 Requires installing and configuring SAP Integration Kit and SNC

 Use Windows AD as the primary authentication mechanism.

User mapping between Windows AD User and SAP BW user can be maintained at the BOE level.

 Import Windows AD Groups/Users into BOE XI.

 Assign Folder level Security to access WebI Reports to the

Windows AD Group.

 Data level security will be maintained using SAP BW based

Analysis authorization.

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Security

 To import users in simple format (user id and not

systm~clnt\userid format) maintain Registry keys mentioned in OSS note 1343537. This helps user mapping with Windows AD.

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Security

 Security can be set at Group level or Individual user level.

 Based on the authentication method used groups could be

Windows AD Group, SAP BW Role etc.

 Best practice is to maintain the object security at the Group

level.

 Custom Access levels or Security objects can be created for

meeting security requirements which cannot be met using standard objects.

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Security

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 Various roles which will need to be defined within the BOE XI environment.

Access In CMC Designer Infoview WebI Data Federator

Administrators Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Security Yes No Yes Yes No

Universe Developer No Yes Yes Yes Yes

Report Developer No No Yes Yes No

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Agenda

 Introduction

 System Landscape

 Advanced WebI Functionalities  Performance Considerations  Life Cycle Manager

 Security considerations

 Report Deployment Options

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Report Deployment Options

 There are various options available for deploying BOBJ reports.

 Provide access via BOE Infoview

 Provide access via SAP EP (SSO Support is available).

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Report Deployment Options

 SAP EP Integration:

 You can create WebI report iViews as URL iViews or based on

SAP IK iView template (requires importing SAP IK iView template in the SAP EP system).

 Report access will be controlled using SAP EP iViews/Roles.

 URL Format:

http://BOE1.domain.com:8080/OpenDocument/opendoc/openDocu ment.jsp? iDocID=<doc id>

 Provide access to Infoview from SAP EP. Users logging into EP

will have the ability to view Infoview and launch reports from Infoview.

 Report access will be controlled using Infoview Folders.

 Better option for Power users who will need to create new WebI documents, schedule existing documents etc.

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Learning Points

 Advanced techniques within WebI to create User friendly reports.

 Options to implement security for a BOBJ/BW Implementation  System Landscape/technical considerations for BOBJ/BW

Implementation.

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Best Practices

 Prior to Project Implementation design a System landscape that works for your organization and perform a hardware sizing.

 Develop a clear security strategy for your BOE/BW implementation.

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Key Learnings

 Technical landscape design considerations  Advanced techniques within WebI.

 Different options and considerations for BOE security  Report deployment strategy.

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Questions

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