How to Use the Report Signage Parameter in the EPM Add-In on BW InfoProviders

  • by Peter Jones, BI Solution Architect, M16 Solutions
  • December 31, 2013
Hone your ability to view financial data in an SAP system by using the report signage parameter in the SAP Enterprise Performance Management add-in.

If you review the reporting components that are available in the SAP BI space, you see that most toolsets enable you to display data, specifically financial data, by using two approaches. You can use data that is stored in tables in the system (InfoProviders in SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse [SAP NetWeaver BW]), and therefore see the information based on the way it is posted, or you can use an approach that switches the information to a more business user-friendly view of the data.

I call this business user-friendly view the ability to see the data with a report signage view. Looking at financial information you see that the format of the data stored in the InfoCube definitely makes sense for the financial person, but it is a bit more challenging for the regular users or for printing and more statutory reporting requirements.

I use the term InfoCube, but I am referencing all tables, including DataStore Objects (DSOs) and other new SAP NetWeaver BW 7.3 InfoProviders, such as the Semantic Partition Objects (SPOs).

The reason for this is that financial information is stored with signs that are a bit different from the types of signs that users are accustomed to seeing. What I mean is that information that is based on revenue or income has a negative sign applied, and the expenses are stored as a positive sign. If the base data stored in the InfoProvider is used for reporting, it would mean that the business user would be seeing a negative sign on Net Income, and this would identify that the company is profitable rather than a positive. To help align the view of financial data with the more user-friendly approach of having Net Income be displayed as a positive if a company is profitable, SAP has developed multiple approaches to allowing the business user to switch from one view to another in a report process.


Peter Jones

Peter Jones is a business intelligence solution architect in the areas of CO, EC, SAP BW, BI, BusinessObjects, Planning and Consolidation (BPC), and SEM for MI6 Solutions. He is certified in all these areas and is a subject-material expert for SEM, CO, BI, and BPC, with over 14 years of experience in these areas working for SAP and MI6 Solutions. Currently, he is involved in projects incorporating SAP BW 7.4, HANA, BPC 10.0, and EPM 10.0. He has consulted in all those areas for the last nine years. Peter was an SAP instructor for seven years and has written several books about SAP NetWeaver BW, FI/CO, and has recently revised his book about BPC Implementation to version 10.1. He is a contributor to Best Practices for Financial Reporting in SAP, an exclusive anthology of articles that delivers unparalleled guidance on how to optimize financial reporting processes with SAP applications.

See more by this author


1/7/2014 7:40:22 AM

Peter Jones' answers to your queries are as follows:

Is the sample BW cube used in the article a BPC back end or a BW cube populated with non-BPC data?

Answer: This is a BW cube with BW data – this functionality is based on BW objects only – no BPC objects including models or dimensions.

Is the concurrency a requirement of BW hierarchy and EPM add-in for BPC data only?

Answer: This information is for BW hierarchies and EPM add-in, not BPC data at all – BW data for this example

Is the EPM add-in reverse sign property needed?

Answer: Yes, the EPM add-in reverse sign property is the business users' ability to turn this function on or off – if the reverse sign property is not used, then the configuration on the BW hierarchy will not be activated.

For BW data, we need to have both hierarchy and EPM add-in properties turned on? What happens if we have a BW dimension without hierarchy? Would the EPM add-in reverse sign work for a flat BW dimension?

Answer: No, this functionality is only for the BW hierarchy. It’s required to be able to turn on the reverse sign parameter in the hierarchy structure for this to work. If you have a flat BW dimension – one without a hierarchy – then you would need to either (a.) have a BEX query supporting the source of data so that you can use the features in the BEX query to integrate with EPM or (b.) create a CKF that would affect the values of the dimension and be able to be displayed in the EPM add-in.
1/6/2014 11:54:46 AM

Another Great piece from Mr. Peter Jones.
A couple of items for further clarification: 1) the sample BW cube used in the article: is it a BPC backend or a BW cube populated with non-bpc data ?

2) The concurrency requirement of BW hierarchy and EPM add-in: For BPC data, only EPM add-in reverse sign property is needed ? For BW data, we need to have both hierarchy and EPM add-in properties turned on ? What happens if we have a BW dimension without hierarchy? would the EPM add-in reverse sign work for a flat BW dimension ?

Thanks a lot. Looking forward to more...

Please log in to post a comment.

To learn more about subscription access to premium content, click here.