How to Use BICS to Connect SAP BusinessObjects Client Tools to SAP BW (Part 1)

  • 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.
  • October 24, 2016
Learn how the Business Intelligence Consumer Services (BICS) connection works internally, and connects Business Explorer (BEx) Queries to SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 client tools.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will learn:

  • What the Business Intelligence Consumer Services (BICS) connection is, and its two types: Java BICS and ABAP BICS
  • How the BICS connection works
Key Concept

Business Intelligence Consumer Services (BICS) is an optimized data access protocol used within SAP systems. It connects SAP BW Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) sources, such as BEx Queries and InfoProviders, with SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 client tools. 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 BICS based on the SAP BW OLAP source.

Universes that are manually created using the Information Design Tool (IDT) are saved in the SAP BusinessObjects repository with the file extension UNX, whereas Universes created using the Universe Design Tool are saved in SAP BusinessObjects repository with the file extension UNV.

The Adaptive Processing Server (APS) is one of the core servers in the BusinessObjects platform; it hosts services responsible for processing requests from a variety of data sources. The Dimensional Semantic Layer (DSL) Bridge is hosted in the APS in the BusinessObjects platform and helps to establish BICS connectivity between BusinessObjects Web Intelligence and SAP BW.

SAP BusinessObjects and SAP Business Warehouse (BW) technology are evolving at a rapid pace. Enterprise architecture has to keep pace with this evolution and integrate new applications and products to meet changing business needs. The traditional methods for integrating or connecting the two platforms are being replaced by new, more efficient methods. Performance, advanced feature support, and flexibility are the primary objectives of these new connection methods. In this article, we take a deep-dive look at Business Intelligence Consumer Services (BICS)—how it works and how to use it to connect SAP Business Objects reporting tools to SAP BW.

Note
The detailed, step-by-step instructions that show you the process for setting up connectivity between SAP BusinessObjects client tools (Web Intelligence, Design Studio, and BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office—from here on, simply referred to as Analysis Office) and SAP BW Business Explorer (BEx) Queries, will be covered in the second article of this two-part series.

First, here’s a brief overview of the SAP BusinessObjects platform and its client tools.

The SAP BusinessObjects Platform

SAP BusinessObjects is an enterprise reporting platform comprised of a suite of tools used across business units. It provides ease and flexibility of usage to business users for accessing data on the go or offline. BusinessObjects give business users self-service options and access to data via various tools. There are various tools under its product portfolio catering to a variety of users’ interests and scenarios. The portfolio is distributed as follows: Reporting, Dashboarding, and Self-Service Analysis. This broad portfolio offers a wide range of options to the users to choose the appropriate tool for different information analysis scenarios.

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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