Tag Archives: SAP BO

SAP BusinessObjects Information Design Tool review

Since BI4 has been released a new tool for the semantic layer has been introduced; the Information Design Tool (IDT). This tool is likely to replace the Universe Design Tool (UDT) in the future. In version 4 Explorer (Polestar) will only work on Universes created with the IDT and the Query Browser of Dashboard Design (Xcelsius) will also only work on Universes created with the IDT.

I’ve spent a few days on the tutorials and the tool itself, in this post my findings.

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Failing Adaptive Processing Server

Lately I’ve been working with the new version of BusinessObjects, BI4. In a previous post I already covered a bit on the migration process from XI 3.1 to the BI4 platform. From there, most of my attention has gone to working with Web Intelligence. Soon I encountered a problem with charts not showing up, or displaying red crosses. After some research I found it had something to do with a failing Adaptive Processing Server. I installed patch 8 which did not solve the problem, and then patch 9 which also did not solve the problem.

Ultimately I removed some services from the AdaptiveProcessingServer which solved my problem. In this post I’ll explain what I did en how to do it.

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Universes in SAP BusinessObjects

The BusinessObjects universe is a business representation of organization’s data that helps end users access data autonomously using common business terms and it isolates business users from the technical details of the databases where source data is stored. Universes are made up of objects and classes that are mapped to the source data in the database and accessed through queries and reports.

Users retrieve data using descriptive terms used in the business environment with the company’s business terminology.

Universe is a semantic layer that maps complex data into descriptive business terms used across the organization, such as product, customer, region, revenue, margin or costs.

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Upgrading from XI 3.1 to SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform 4.0

I’ve been working on a test-upgrade from BO XI 3.1 to SAP BO4. Here’s what I did, and my findings so far. I haven’t tested the outcomes thoroughly yet, so I might miss some flaws, and I might accuse some errors to the upgrade process while they might be caused by some other factor(s).

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Setup security in BusinessObjects XI 3.1

This article:

Is about setting up security in the Central Management Console (CMC)

Is best used in combination with a demo environment of BO XI 3.1

Is intended for BOBJ system administrators

Expects you to know basic browser functions. Security model knowledge is an advantage

Aims to enable you to perform security related administrative tasks in the CMC

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Year to date comparison with previous year.

Everyone will once want to compare values from the beginning of a year until ‘a certain date’ with values from the exact same period but then from the previous year until ‘that certain date a year ago’. I found this youtube video where RimGeurts explains how to do this with BusinessObject Web Intelligence.

Year to date WebI

The screencapture is an excellent ‘how to’ guide to make a year to date (YTD) comparison based on an input date field. In this post I make an addition in case you don’t have a date but a month- or fiscal period code (like ‘201106’, or ‘FP201012’).

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BI maintains a flat organization and continuous growth for AME

At my previous employer (AME) we were interviewed by the Association for Dutch SAP users (VNSG). The interview was about the BI implementation we did at AME in 2010. The article in dutch can be found here. The rationale behind implementing BI was in my opinion very powerful, and the implementation was very efficient. Here are a few quotes from the article:

We want to use Business Intelligence as tool to ensure that all of our people work at their optimum productivity. By opening up the BI portal each individual employee should see their relevant personalized information. By instantly sharing (real time) information we’re creating high involvement of employees.

Because the organization goes through a learning curve in the new way of working the need for dynamic information arises. To bring more insight we wanted a solution that we can maintain and extend ourselves. In our technological roadmap SAP BusinessObjects was the right choice. Because of the tight timetable and the pursuit of standardization, we searched for a suitable partner, who could provide a solution for translating the SAP tables to a good data warehouse model. We came in contact with NewFrontiers, they had a ready-made solution for the extraction of data from SAP ERP.

Everyone at AME is now able, depending on his personalized portal, to see exactly how the business progresses and how the state of affairs as development, quality, logistics and costs are doing. The hardest part however is yet to come, technically it is now completely done, but organizationally is only starting now. The project must not get stuck at the IT department. It should be “self-evident” for everyone to take action based on BI.

The original article can be found here: http://www.vnsg.nl/userfiles/File/Pdf_mei%202011.pdf#page=10

The solution from NewFrontiers is called NemisFs. At my new employer I continue to work with this product, so there will be more posts from me on this in the future.

How to create a pareto chart in BOBJ WebI

The purpose of the Pareto chart is to highlight the most important among a (typically large) set of factors. In quality control, it often represents the most common sources of defects, the highest occurring type of defect, or the most frequent reasons for customer complaints, and so on. Wilkinson (2006) devised an algorithm for producing statistically-based acceptance limits (similar to confidence intervals) for each bar in the Pareto chart. Continue reading