Modify Web Reports with the BW Table Interface

  • by Joerg Boeke, Independent BW Senior Consultant and Solution Architect
  • September 1, 2004
Many tools are available for creating Web templates, but they offer little help when it comes to modifying data in a report or formatting cells. The author introduces you to a little-known interface that allows you to create object-oriented classes to enhance and modify your Web reports. He offers some ABAP and HTML code to modify a report so it will display special graphics in individual cells along with data.
Key Concept
The table interface allows users to modify ABAP-based object-oriented classes for use with Web templates. The table interface can be employed for making modifications in a presentation as well as in specific data sets.

While many of you probably use Web BW reporting either to perform testing or in your productive environment, or for both, you may not know about the table interface and how it works. Like a user exit offers a point of entry for additional coding, the table interface allows you to modify, change, or enhance data using HTML and ABAP programming.

Although the cell editor enhancement in the Query Builder in BW 3.x allows you to modify data in any specific report cell, the table interface allows you to modify any part of your query result in the Web environment. Access is permitted before the data is displayed in an Internet browser and you can manipulate any part of a report including formatting such as row or column headers. Changes also can be made to content using new calculations, by adding new information, or via hyperlinks that reference more detailed information, graphics, pictures, etc.

The best part of the table interface is that it works exactly the same with BW 2.x and BW 3.x systems. Because it requires adding some HTML and ABAP coding, however, you should be familiar with each program before attempting to make report modifications via the table interface.

The Table Interface in Action

This simple example illustrates how you can enhance a report with the table interface. When displaying your company’s sales data in a Web report, wouldn’t it be great to add a small graphical indicator such as an arrow showing that sales went up or down compared to another period? The table interface allows you to place this type of graphic into individual report cells.

You can directly load Microsoft Word documents, pictures, and other files as master data attributes in BW 3.x. Flagging a file when maintaining your InfoObjects and master data and uploading the pictures, documents, etc. allows BW to display the same document symbol in all lines selected. With the table interface, you can offer a “live” thumbnail graphic instead of displaying the same static placeholder in each individual line of your reports. An up-to-date picture is retrieved from graphics stored at the master data level instead of a small document symbol.

Joerg Boeke

Joerg Boeke is an SAP NetWeaver BW solution architect and senior consultant working with BIAnalyst GmbH & Co.KG, with 19 years experience in SAP NetWeaver BW, having worked on it since SAP BW 1.2A. He offers significant expertise in the SAP NetWeaver BW reporting area, including design, data integration, data visualization, performance optimization, and the cleanup of existing SAP NetWeaver BW systems. He is the author of SAP BW 7.x Reporting - Visualize your data.

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