SAP BO – Using BEx variables in your workspace
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In this section, we will review how SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP is able to leverage the BEx variables from you BEx queries. First, we will recap the level of support for the different type of variables and then we will continue by creating workspaces using BEx queries with variables.
Before we start creating a workspace, we first need to create a BEx query with variables. In our example, we will use a BEx Query based on the MultiProvider 0D_NW_M01 of the SAP NetWeaver Demo model.
The BEx Query contains the following characteristics in the Rows:
The BEx Query contains the following characteristics in the Free Characteristics:
Sold to Party
Calendar Year / Month
In addition, the BEx query is using the following Key Figures:
Open Order Quantity
The BEx query also contains the following BEx variables:
An optional single value BEx variable for characteristic Country.
A mandatory multiple single value BEx variable for a characteristic Calendar Year. An optional interval BEx variable for characteristic Calendar Year / Month.
We now know how our BEx query for this activity looks like, so let’s take a look at how SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP is able to support the BEx variables.
In the following table (see Table 5.1) you can see that SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP does support all the different types of variables available in a BEx query.
Table 5.1: Support for BEx Variables
When it comes to the variable processing types, SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP is also able to fully support all the available options (see Figure 5.2).
Table 5.2: Variable Processing Type
SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP is able to support all of the different representation options, with one exception, which is the option to offer the user the Contains Pattern operator as part of the Selection Option variable.
Table 5.3: Variable Representation Options
As you can see in Table 5.3, SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP is able to support most of the variable functionality which you know from the SAP BEx Web Analyzer. As of SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP release 4.0 with Service Pack 04 there are two major limitations in the area of variables, which is the missing support for Variable Variants and the missing support for Variable Personalization. Variable Variants is planned to be supported with the upcoming release 4.1 for SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP. Variable Personalization is not part of the 4.1 release, but it is being looked at for a future release.
Table 5.4: Support for Variable Functionality
Table 5.5: Support for Variable Functionality
So far, we have clarified which of the available functionality, when it comes to BEx variables, is supported by SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP and which of such functionality is not supported. In the next couple of steps, we will use the BEx query with variables and create a new workspace in SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP to see the usage of BEx variables in our very own workspace.
- Open the BI Launchpad via Start > All Programs > SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.0 > SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform > SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform Java BI Launchpad.
2. Logon with your SAP credentials and the SAP authentication for your SAP NetWeaver BW system.
3. Select the menu Applications.
4. Select Analysis, Edition for OLAP. In the next step, you are presented with the list of available OLAP Connections.
5. Select the connection we created previously pointing to your SAP NetWeaver BW system.
6. Click Next. You are now receiving the list of available BEx queries. You can also use the tab Find to search for specific queries.
7. Select the BEx Query with the BEx variables, which we created previously, and click OK.
Figure 5.31 Prompting UI in Analysis, edition for OLAP
Because the underlying BEx query contains a set of variables, SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP is prompting you so that you can fill in the values before the data is shown in the cross tab (see Figure 5.31).
As part of the prompting UI the user can select some actions available in the top right corner, which allows the user to quickly perform actions such as making all optional prompts visible or to hide the prompt summary (see Figure 5.32).
Figure 5.32 Actions in the prompting UI
You can also identify in the screenshot above, that all mandatory prompts are flagged with a “*” in front of the prompting text to indicate that the prompt is mandatory – here shown for the prompt for characteristic Calendar Years with the prompting text “Please select the Years” (see Figure 5.33).
Figure 5.33 Mandatory Prompts
8. Navigate to the prompt for the Calendar Years by clicking the prompting text (see Figure 5.34).
Figure 5.34 Analysis Prompting UI
9. Click on the Member Selector and you will be shown the list of available members for the prompt.
10. Select all available years.
11. Click OK.
12. In your workspace, you can now use the Refresh button available in the data panel to refresh the data and to confirm or change any of the prompt values (see Figure 5.35).
Figure 5.35 Data Panel
SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP does support most of the functionality that you know from products such as SAP BEx Analyzer or SAP BEx Web Analyzer. The functionality to merge variables (being able to combine variables from multiple BEx queries) is not available in SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP so far (SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 Service Pack 04), but is planned for the release of SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP 4.1. In case you are using multiple BEx queries with identical BEx variables (identical based on the technical names), so far your user will receive a prompting UI with variables showing per BEx query, but the ability to merge variables is planned for the release 4.1 (RampUp planned for Q2 2013).
In this section, we reviewed the support of SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP for BEx variables as part of the underlying BEx queries. In the next section, we will take a look at the hierarchical capabilities of SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP.