How to Leverage Query Designer Features in the EPM Add-In on SAP BW InfoProviders

  • by Peter Jones, BI Solution Architect, M16 Solutions
  • February 11, 2015
Hone your ability to view financial data in an SAP system by using the SAP Business Explorer (BEx) Query Designer features and functionality in the SAP Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) add-in. Then view several financial reports to see the functionality in action.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will learn how to:

  • Use the BEx Query Designer to improve and increase the reporting capabilities available for the business user via a natural Excel front end.
  • Use the BEx Query Designer in conjunction with the EPM add-in to support the use of Calculated and Restricted Key figures that enhance the raw data from a BW InfoProvider.
  • Use the BEx Query Designer in conjunction with the EPM add-in to improve the overall display capabilities of the EPM add-in helping to restrict the number of characteristics and key figures available in the EPM add-in and allowing the use of filters to support default restrictions in the report.

Key Concept
The Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) add-in is known for its ability to read and use information from the SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) InfoProviders. However, there are other options such as using the underlying SAP Business Explorer (BEx) Query Designer definition for supporting the EPM add-in reporting. Therefore, you can increase your ability to access information from BW InfoProviders by using and creating BEx Query definitions on top of the SAP BW InfoProviders. This allows you to access InfoProviders that are not naturally accessible to the EPM add-in, but if you create a query definition using the BEx Query Designer on top of the InfoProvider, you can easily get to the data. This can offer a number of advantages, including but not limited to the use of calculated and restricted key figures, filtering features, hierarchies, and other options. One of the more significant aspects is that you can leverage the work done in the Query Designer against the flexibility of the EPM add-in and therefore offer the business user additional functionality. The EPM add-in became available at the same time as SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) 10.0 came on the scene. This was in the spring of 2011 and is currently only available via the EPM suite of products, but this year it will be integrated into the Analysis for Office Excel and therefore will be available as a standalone. For this to work, you will need to be on at a minimum the BEx Query Designer version 7.0 or above.
The SAP Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) add-in can be used against many of the different InfoProviders supported by SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW). As in many cases with SAP products, there are pros and cons to review before implementation. Regarding the EPM add-in, there are a number of features that are very business user friendly, but in other cases, the features available are limited or may not meet the needs of business users.

I review and show examples of some of the features and functionality of the EPM add-in that set it apart from the other reporting components in an SAP Business Intelligence (BI) system and make it a strong option in the analysis reporting area. As with other reporting components that are available in the SAP BI space such as SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence and SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Office and Crystal, you have the option to use the Business Explorer (BEx) Query Designer definition as a source of information. This goes for the EPM add-in as well.

I describe the additional features available via using the BEx Query Designer definition as a source for the EPM add-in versus using SAP BW InfoProviders directly. Using the EPM add-in as a reporting component with the BEx Query Designer definition as a source outside of the BPC area is a very new and not well understood or known approach to reporting from the native BW providers. The features to be highlighted are the use of the calculated key figures (CKFs) and restricted key figures (RKFs), hierarchies, filters, central control of sensitive calculations, and other features available in the BEx Query Designer that you can support in the EPM add-in. I also explain some reports that are the result of building them from the EPM add-in with the BEx Query Designer definition as a source, but the real strength of this reporting component comes with the flexibility and functionality that’s available once the report is complete.

Peter Jones

Peter Jones is a business intelligence solution architect in the areas of CO, EC, SAP BW, BI, BusinessObjects, Planning and Consolidation (BPC), and SEM for MI6 Solutions. He is certified in all these areas and is a subject-material expert for SEM, CO, BI, and BPC, with over 14 years of experience in these areas working for SAP and MI6 Solutions. Currently, he is involved in projects incorporating SAP BW 7.4, HANA, BPC 10.0, and EPM 10.0. He has consulted in all those areas for the last nine years. Peter was an SAP instructor for seven years and has written several books about SAP NetWeaver BW, FI/CO, and has recently revised his book about BPC Implementation to version 10.1. He is a contributor to Best Practices for Financial Reporting in SAP, an exclusive anthology of articles that delivers unparalleled guidance on how to optimize financial reporting processes with SAP applications.

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Comments

3/30/2017 2:23:32 PM
Peter Jones

It’s the same answer.

Here’s what to do, with more details:

a) Go into the EPM add-in (open up an Excel ss – the EPM should show up automatically)

b) Go to log on

c) Once the log on screen is up then click on the button to the right of the log-on field

d) Once in the next screen you have to CREATE a connection
1. Use the Local connection
2. BAPI connection
3. You will need to fill in some of the information such as the BW Server string, system ##, client, etc.
4. Click on connect
5. Then you can pick your BEX query from the list (remember to go into your BEX query and turn ON the parameter – OLE DB access – in the BEX query settings)
6. Once you pick your BEX query then you will be directed back to the main screen to log on.

e) Also remember to create a folder to store your connection(s) – that task is on the EPM connector as well.

Thanks, Pete
3/30/2017 12:33:26 PM
Ketul

Thanks Peter

Then what is the best way to access SAP BEX reports as I have installed EPM add in SP27 on my machine now.
3/30/2017 10:05:29 AM
Peter Jones

Ketul,

Thanks for your question.

Regretfully, the BEX query and the EPM Add-in are not that integrated – you can’t access the BEX query directly and then get into the EPM add-in. What you have to do is this:
a) Create a connection (Local probably) to access the BEX reports
b) In the creation of the connection you identify the BEX report to be viewed
c) Access the connection via the EPM connection manager
d) When you access that EPM connection that is linked to your BEX report – VIOLA you have your BEX report in the EPM Add-in

Please remember that you probably need to be on EPM add-in SP 27.
3/30/2017 9:31:25 AM
Ketul Raval

How can we access existing BEX reports after installing EPM add ins?

I do not see "Add-in" option when I open Bex analyzer after installing EPM.

Can you please advise?

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