Custom Data Slices Protect Your BI Integrated Planning Data

  • by Shailesh Unny, Senior Consultant, BearingPoint
  • March 9, 2009
You can use a custom data slice and standard exit functionality to create a data slice that you can lock and unlock. This allows the person responsible for BI Integrated Planning (BI-IP) configuration to set up a BI-IP layout in which users cannot update data cells manually. Sample code is included
Key Concept

A data slice contains information about the data contained in InfoCubes. They protect the data in real-time InfoCubes from changes made through a planning layout. You use data slices in BI Integrated Planning (BI-IP) to lock data cells from being edited. You can read more about data slices by going to http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw70/helpdata/en/43/1c3d3f31b70701e10000000a422035/frameset.htm.

Frequently during BI Integrated Planning (BI-IP) implementations, I have come across scenarios with different security requirements for the same data set based on who is working with the data. In other cases, companies want to enforce consistency in how data is modified. For example, you might not want to allow users to edit certain data cells, but you might want them to be able to access and edit other functions.

This requirement could occur in various situations:

  • In the direct expense entry screen in cost center planning, you want to show all cost elements. However, you cannot directly enter some expenses and want to calculate them using a function. For example, salary should be driven off of headcount planning. Users should only be able to edit headcount numbers, whereas salary numbers should be calculated using a formula.

  • You have a demarcation in a layout in which users enter some data manually while the system enters other numbers using an automated process — for example, known expenses attributable to a specific characteristic versus unknown expenses arrived at using an allocation rule. Users should not be able to edit the function-calculated numbers.

  • You have a planning layout with a mixture of plan and actuals. The actuals data should be locked for user input. However, you have multiple plan scenarios. You want the user to be able to copy all the data (plan and actuals) to a new scenario, and then work with the new data set with the same restriction in place. The copy function needs to skip the data slice.

I’ll show you a method to implement a switchable data slice that allows the person configuring the layouts and functions to control when the system uses or ignores the data slice. The method uses custom ABAP exit functionality with logic built in for a data slice. This logic defines the data cells that should be locked for user entry when the data slice is switched on. The data slice class includes buffering to improve performance. The addition of a small piece of code allows you to control when the system calls the logic for locking cells. I will build a couple of functions to turn the data slice on and off. You then can include these functions in BI-IP planning sequences. In this manner you can control in the background when the data slice locks cells for input or when the cells are unlocked.

This allows users to build a data slice that is easily extensible without modifying standard data slice tables. Because the slices are controlled by a function, you can easily control what data is protected for what specific use case. You can extend this concept to have multiple layers of data slices for which you can set the locking layer by layer.

Shailesh Unny

Shailesh Unny is a technology architect with more than eight years of BI experience, primarily focusing on translating business requirements into effective functional and technical specifications. He has extensive experience in data modeling, design, configuration, and performance tuning of BI systems. He has also helped adapt SAP’s standard offerings to implement several specific customer requirements. Shailesh is currently involved with working on BI-Integrated Planning and SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation solutions in the SAP NetWeaver BW 7.0 environment.

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