Create Engaging, Error-Free Xcelsius Dashboards with SAP NetWeaver BW Queries

  • by Tony Harper, BI Capability Manager, Bluefin Solutions
  • June 3, 2009
By using a remote function module and the Web service wizard, you can enable Xcelsius to display data from SAP NetWeaver BW. Walk through each part of the process step by step. Annotated code for the remote function module is included as a download to help you get started more quickly.
Key Concept

Web services are the building blocks that underpin service-oriented architecture. They allow external applications to consume SAP functions and processes without custom coding. For example, you can use a Web service to expose an SAP NetWeaver BW query to the Xcelsius visualization application to create dashboards.

Many organizations are waking up to the power of presenting key performance indicators (KPIs) in a dashboard or cockpit format. I have been involved in projects in which my team and I have developed dashboards to present sales, financial, productivity, and HR performance indicators.

Dashboards are often used as part of a monthly or weekly reporting cycle such as a monthly financial reporting pack or weekly sales figures. Xcelsius is one such tool for this purpose. By providing direct access to the underlying data via an SAP NetWeaver BW query, you can reduce administration overhead and errors, ensuring quicker access to better quality data.

I’ll explain a method you can use to expose SAP NetWeaver BW queries in a Web service that can be consumed by Xcelsius. I used SAP NetWeaver BW 7.0, but Web services have been available since SAP BW 3.5. The SAP roadmap contains native support for SAP NetWeaver queries in later service packs. The benefit of this solution is that it only requires SAP NetWeaver BW and Xcelsius.

First I’ll show you how to create a remote function module to run a BEx query and flatten the results into a simple row and column table. Then I will walk you through the steps required to consume an SAP NetWeaver BW query in Xcelsius. Note that this article assumes that you are familiar with Xcelsius. For more information about using Xcelsius, refer to Anurag Barua’s article “Accelerate the Creation of Powerful Dashboards in Xcelsius,” which was posted to the BI Expert knowledgebase in November 2008.

Tony Harper

Tony Harper leads a global team of SAP consultants focused on delivering demonstrable value to organizations. His experience spans 13 years of industry consulting across all industry sectors. He is currently developing business intelligence propositions in the environmental arena. When not working, Tony enjoys spending time with his family and sailing.

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