Take the Challenge Out of BEx Report Formatting: It’s Easier than You Think

  • by Stuart Chambers, BI Consultant, Innogence
  • June 1, 2009
Companies often want their reports to have a certain look and feel. Using an example of formatting your BEx reports so that negative numbers appear red, find out how you can easily modify your report parameters. You can use this three-step process for other reporting needs, such as changing the exception icon.
Key Concept

Analysis Web item parameter modification modules allow BEx Web Application Designer (BEx Web AD) developers increased control over Analysis Web item behavior. In SAP BW 3.x, this control was previously available through Web Design APIs. However, in SAP NetWeaver BW 7.0, SAP provides standard modification modules that you can insert in the XHTML of a BEx Web AD template, allowing rapid and intuitive manipulation of Analysis Web items.

Satisfying end-user formatting requirements in BEx Web Application Designer (BEx Web AD) can be a difficult task. Every business has different standards that it must adhere to, and each division often has specific needs and wants. It’s not uncommon to see an end user very unhappy with a BEx Web AD template — not because of the data quality, but because the template’s usual colors, column widths, and exception symbols are not present.

With Web Design API for tables no longer in use, SAP now provides parameter modification modules for Analysis Web items to enable the modification of the standard table structure and cells. You control these modules by adjusting the parameters within them. By following this basic methodology in the following three steps, you can successfully implement an Analysis Web item modification.

Step 1. Identify the module that satisfies your formatting requirements

Step 2. Define the module in the Analysis Web item modification parameter

Step 3. Adjust the module-specific parameters to control the Web Analysis item display

I use the example of setting up Analysis Web items to automatically change negative numbers to red, and show you how you can tailor the result to your specific requirements. My example applies to SAP NetWeaver BW 7.0 Support Package 7, Patch 1, Revision 473. The functionality may not be available with earlier versions. You can use standard SAP modules to modify the Analysis Web item display.

Stuart Chambers

Stuart Chambers is currently a technical team lead for Innogence, Australia’s largest SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP BusinessObjects consulting firm. During the previous three years, Stuart has worked with many of Australia’s top FMCG and business services organizations on both BI Greenfields and enhancement projects. His previous project was recently awarded “Best Business Intelligence Solution Implementation” by SAP. During this time, Stuart has developed a particular interest in front-end design and developing strategies for successful BW project delivery. Stuart is SAP NetWeaver BW certified, has completed a masters of Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (SAP) degree from Victoria University (2007 – “Most Outstanding Student”), and a bachelor of commerce, economics and commercial law degree from Deakin University. Prior to working in the BW field, Stuart was a FI-CO power user in the music industry in the UK.

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