What’s New in SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, Edition for Microsoft Office?

  • by Ingo Hilgefort, Vice President of Product Management, Visual BI Solutions
  • October 5, 2016
Learn about enhancements that come with the release of SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office, versions 2.2 and 2.3.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will:

  • Gain an overview of the enhancements to the BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office, 2.2 and 2.3 releases
  • Learn the reasons for upgrading BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office, to the latest release
  • Get step-by-step instructions for how to use these new features in your own SAP landscape
Key Concept
SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office, is the successor to Business Explorer (BEx) Analyzer. It also now combines the enterprise performance management (EPM) plug-in for SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation (BPC)-based deployments. It is part of the overall SAP BusinessObjects BI toolset and is the only tool that enables developers to provide users with an experience inside the Microsoft Office environment.

This is a short summary of the new capabilities of BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office, (from here on simply referred to as Analysis Office) versions 2.2 and 2.3, offering a quick introduction to the new functionalities offered. In addition, I review the new product roadmap to help you better understand what you can expect in the next releases for Analysis Office. I also provide some step-by-step instructions for how you can best use these new features.

An Overview of SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, Edition for Microsoft Office

Analysis Office is SAP’s flagship product for integrating BI capabilities into the Microsoft Office environment. It provides access to information stored in SAP BW and SAP HANA to your users who work in the Microsoft Office environment.

Figure 1 shows how SAP presents Analysis Office to their customers. Notice that Analysis Office is positioned as an environment for the Microsoft Office suite.


Figure 1
Analysis Office overview

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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Comments

1/14/2016 10:19:46 AM
Abhi Singh

Ned - Thanks for clarifying. The youtube video is helpful in understanding how to connect HANA CDS views to BW. It seems with embedded BW we can now directly create BEx queries on top of CDS views.

My understanding by attending TechEd session BA214 – Reporting with SAP S/4HANA:
From Operational Reporting to Insight-to-
Action is that S4 HANA 1511 and beyond will use ABAP based CDS views for Operational reporting. I think it's now known as S/4 HANA Analytics (formerly HANA Live)
1/14/2016 8:26:43 AM
Author, Ned Falk

Thanks for your nice comments. To answer your questions:

1. How hard is developing Virtual and Transient InfoProviders on top of HANA live CDS views in S4 HANA system from an effort standpoint?

To answer question #1, I think you are mixing up terms. I don’t think HANA Live uses CDS views, I think they are Calculation views. CDS views is a new thing, but creating BW objects (better to use the newest Open ODS view for virtual access) on HANA calculation views is easy. You can access the new CDS views directly from the reporting tools (like a query) I think. Go here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L62xku7BbQ.


2. Are they a must have or can Bex query designer also directly access CDS-based HANA Live views?

NO (but I have not used CDS views live yet).


3. Can embedded BW address data warehousing scenarios such as Slowly Changing Dimensions [be used] for history preservation?

If you use these features you may need to persist the data--then you are making the embedded BW a real BW, not a fake pass thru. But it may be OK to do this for limited uses.


4. With S4 HANA, would it be possible to bypass the embedded BW layer and access the SQL run-time HANA views directly from BOBJ tools? As you know, in the past there have been challenges with WebI and Lumira integration with BW. I am trying to see if we can still bypass the BW layer in S4.

Yes, SAP HANA Live normally is used direct, but the main big premise of this article was to get access to the Query Designer so that the business people can use the tool they know and not mess with the views!

Ned
1/13/2016 10:38:43 PM
Abhi Singh

Ned - Thanks for sharing this insightful article. Very helpful.

I have a few follow-up questions:
1) How hard is developing Virtual and Transient InfoProviders on top of HANA live CDS views in S4 HANA system from an effort standpoint? Are they a must have or can Bex query designer also directly access CDS based HANA Live views?
2) Can embedded BW address data warehousing scenarios such as Slowly Changing Dimensions for history preservation?
3) With S4 HANA, would it be possible to bypass the embedded BW layer and access the SQL run-time HANA views directly from BOBJ tools. As you know, in the past there have been challenges with WebI and Lumira integration with BW. I am trying to see if we can still bypass the BW layer in S4.

Thanks again.

Abhi

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