How to Connect SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 Web Intelligence to an SAP HANA Database Using Direct and Online Access Methods

  • by Shreekant W. Shiralkar, Global Head, SAP Analytics CoE, Tata Consultancy
  • Deepak Sawant , Leader of SAP BW Center of Excellence, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.
  • Jyoti Jain, Associate at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.
  • February 21, 2017
Learn about two new data access options, SAP HANA Direct Access and SAP HANA Online, introduced with SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 for SAP HANA. Learn a step-by-step procedure for creating connections between Web Intelligence with SAP HANA views using these new options.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will learn:

  • Two new data access options for connecting SAP BusinessObjects 4.2 Web Intelligence with SAP HANA
  • A step-by-step process for connecting the SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence client tool to SAP HANA views
Key Concept

A Universe is the semantic layer that resides between the database and end user, providing business representation to the technical data structures. A Transient Universe is the Universe automatically created by Java Business Intelligence Consumer Services (BICS) based on the source data structure.

With the release of SAP BusinessObjects 4.2, Web Intelligence can now connect to SAP HANA in two ways. These options are:

  • SAP HANA Direct Access
  • SAP HANA Online

SAP HANA Direct Access

SAP HANA Direct Access allows you to use SAP HANA views as the data source for creating Web Intelligence documents without having to create a universe on top of the SAP HANA view. SAP HANA Direct Access can be created on SAP HANA using secured relational or Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) connections defined in the SAP BusinessObjects system. These connections allow you to use either the Multi-Dimensional Expression (MDX) script language (in OLAP connections) or SQL (in relational connections). This data access also allows parallel refreshing of queries.


The SAP HANA Online option only supports relational connections for creating Web Intelligence documents, thus limiting the use of SAP HANA hierarchies created in SAP HANA views. It leverages the power of the SAP HANA database by enabling and delegating functions, calculations, and operations to the SAP HANA database, thus, resulting in faster interactions between Web Intelligence and SAP HANA. SAP HANA Online therefore provides better performance for data fetch and rendering, but restricts the use of parallel refreshing of queries.

Fundamentally, any source connection for SAP BusinessObjects tools is either an OLAP connection or a relational connection.

How to Create an OLAP Connection to SAP HANA

This section illustrates a step-by-step procedure for creating an OLAP connection. OLAP connections can be created by accessing the SAP BusinessObjects Information Design Tool or the Central Management Console (CMC).

Shreekant W. Shiralkar

Shreekant W. Shiralkar is a senior management professional with experience on leading and managing business functions as well as technology consulting. He has authored best selling books and published many white papers on technology. He also holds patents for innovations. Presently he is global head of the SAP Analytics Centre of Excellence at Tata Consultancy.

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Deepak Sawant

Deepak Sawant is an SAP analytics professional with 16 years of experience designing, developing, and maintaining large and complex BI programs for a variety of Fortune 500 companies. He played a key role in the design, development, and deployment of business analytic solutions in financials, supply chain, product costing, production, and planning functions. Deepak has performed multiple roles in technology consulting, delivery management, pre-sales, and operations management for leading organizations, namely Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., IBM, Reliance Industries, and Wockhardt Group. Currently he is leading the SAP BW Center of Excellence at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., where he has been instrumental in establishing innovative consulting service offerings.

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Jyoti Jain

Jyoti Jain is an associate at Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., with 10 years of experience in IT, primarily serving the banking, manufacturing, life-science, and travel and hospitality industries. She is part of Tata Consultancy Services’ SAP Center of Excellence and is engaged in architecting and designing solutions on the SAP BusinessObjects platform.

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