How to Update Existing Excel Documents with SAP NetWeaver BW Report Data

  • by Witold Drozdzynski, SAP Java Architect and Developer
  • April 29, 2011
Discover the benefits of using Microsoft Excel for SAP NetWeaver BW data. See how to populate existing Excel documents with fresh data from SAP NetWeaver BW.
Key Concept
You can reuse existing technologies such as multi-dimensional expressions (MDX), Apache POI library, SAP Java Connector (SAP JCo), and ABAP. You can combine those technologies to make it possible to transfer data from SAP NetWeaver BW to existing Microsoft Excel documents. The use of MDX allows you to reuse InfoCubes and queries in the SAP NetWeaver BW system.

Microsoft Excel allows you to use formulas and other functionalities for further data manipulation. As a result, people who analyze large amounts of data prefer to use Excel. Sometimes Excel documents used for data analysis are developed to a very sophisticated level with many complicated formulas, references, and macros.

However, when you develop reports on this data, it can be extremely complicated to reuse the existing Excel documents. If you have several Excel documents that are the destination for data from SAP NetWeaver BW, it is impossible to develop a report using SAP NetWeaver BW functionality.

The first time I was asked to transfer an SAP NetWeaver BW report to an Excel document, I found it to be a risky and inefficient process. The Excel documents had complicated data structures (e.g., multiple sheets and formulas) and contained charts. The destination Excel document had to be updated frequently with data, so an SAP NetWeaver BW report was used to retrieve the data. Somehow, the data from the report had to be transferred to the Excel document — this operation was repeated daily.

To transfer the data to the Excel document, I had to convert, copy, and paste the data each time the SAP NetWeaver BW report was generated. I called the report manually and copied selected ranges of data from the report into appropriate cells of the destination Excel document. This process took hours and ran the risk of human error.

Witold Drozdzynski

Witold Drozdzynski studied computer science and has worked for several years as a Java Web application architect and developer at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence and Capgemini. Since 2007, Witold has worked on SAP projects. His main areas of expertise are SAP NetWeaver Portal, J2EE applications, SAP NetWeaver BW, and integration of SAP with external systems (Web and standalone applications).

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