Integrate Crystal Reports with SAP NetWeaver BI for Enhanced Report Formatting

  • by Ingo Hilgefort, Vice President of Product Management, Visual BI Solutions
  • January 1, 2009
Find out which type of data connectivity is available for SAP NetWeaver BI and Crystal Reports. Then see how you can use the BW MDX connectivity to design a report in Crystal Reports that includes groups, hierarchies, and net sales data from SAP NetWeaver BI.
Key Concept
Crystal Reports allows you to use your SAP ERP and SAP NetWeaver BI data to build a wide range of formatted reports, from a report fulfilling legal requirements to financial reports to reports with end-user interactivity. On the SAP NetWeaver BI side, Crystal Reports offers data connectivity with BI InfoCubes and BI queries, as well as within the DataStore object layer. On the SAP ERP side, Crystal Reports offers data connectivity with classic InfoSets, ABAP functions, SAP queries, tables, and clusters.

Many people who currently have SAP NetWeaver BI and BusinessObjects software, such as Crystal Reports and Xcelsius, ask how they can use these applications today to create optimized reports. In a series of articles, I will explain some of the major capabilities that are currently available for companies that have SAP NetWeaver BI and BusinessObjects. Part 1 focuses on Crystal Reports.

When you look at the integrated BI roadmap between SAP and Business Objects, an SAP company, you will see that Crystal Reports becomes the leading tool for enterprise reporting as part of your SAP landscape. Going forward, it will replace BEx Report Designer but more importantly, you can use Crystal Reports on top of SAP NetWeaver BI and SAP ERP now.

I will explain which types of data connectivity are available today and what this connectivity looks like in a real-use case. Upcoming articles will focus on Web Intelligence, Xcelsius, and Polestar. Discussion of the details of the combined roadmap of SAP and Business Objects is outside the scope of this article. However, I will point out important aspects of the overall strategy going forward when necessary. (For more information about the roadmap, refer to Davin Wilfrid's article, “Get Smart: What You Need to Know About SAP and Business Objects BI Tools,” which was posted to the BI Expert knowledgebase in December 2008.)

Ingo Hilgefort

Ingo Hilgefort started his career in 1999 with Seagate Software/Crystal Decisions as a trainer and consultant. He moved to Walldorf for Crystal Decisions at the end of 2000, and worked with the SAP NetWeaver BW development team integrating Crystal Reports with SAP NetWeaver BW. He then relocated to Vancouver in 2004, and worked as a product manager/program manager (in engineering) on the integration of BusinessObjects products with SAP products. Ingo's focus is now on the integration of the SAP BusinessObjects BI suite with  SAP landscapes, such as SAP BW and SAP BW on SAP HANA, focusing on end-to-end integration scenarios. In addition to his experience as a product manager and in his engineering roles, Ingo has been involved in architecting and delivering deployments of SAP BusinessObjects software in combination with SAP software for a number of global customers, and has been recognized by the SAP Community as an SAP Mentor for SAP BusinessObjects- and SAP integration-related topics. Currently, Ingo is the Vice President of Product Management and Product Strategy at Visual BI Solutions, working on extensions to SAP’s product offering such as SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP Lumira. You may follow him on Twitter at @ihilgefort.

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