Better Use of Web Intelligence Formulas Leads to Added Convenience

  • by Jim Brogden, Senior Consultant, Daugherty Business Solutions
  • June 9, 2011
Formulas, variables, and functions are important elements in SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence data analysis and report creation. The extensive set of functions used in combination with operators allows for the creation of complex, unique, and informative custom objects. The ability to add formulas and modify existing ones while viewing reports provides users with an increased level of convenience.
Key Concept

Formulas are statements written in the syntax of a chosen tool to produce a calculated result. These statements often contain a combination of data elements retrieved by queries, reporting functions, and reporting operators provided out of the box, as in BusinessObjects Web Intelligence. Variables are formulas or syntax statements that have been assigned a name, making it easier to reuse statements in various objects and report elements throughout a reporting document.

Writing formulas in SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence reports greatly expands the functionality and meaning of the data retrieved by queries. Business users and report writers can easily transform ad hoc query results and report data through the creation of formulas or variables. With the aid of more than 145 available reporting functions, users can write formulas while either editing or viewing reports. The freedom to alter row and column definitions while viewing a report is a convenient feature for business users as calculations and aggregations can still be applied to reports even when edit rights have not been granted. 


Users can save reports to their Favorites Folder in InfoView even if edit rights have not been granted.

In order to add or modify existing formulas while viewing a report, users must select the Interactive view format must within their Web Intelligence (also called WebI) preferences. To view or modify existing selections, click the Preferences button located in the upper right corner of InfoView in BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1

Jim Brogden

Jim Brogden is a senior consultant specializing in SAP BusinessObjects and data visualization for Daugherty Business Solutions in Atlanta, GA. He’s the lead author of the first official book dedicated to Web Intelligence covering version XI 3.1 and the SAP PRESS book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.0 – 2nd Edition, a blogger on, a BusinessObjects Certified Professional, award-winning Xcelsius dashboard designer, ASUG volunteer, and active contributor at SAP’s Idea Place. You may view Jim’s profile on LinkedIn at and follow him on Twitter @jhbrogdenjr.

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