What’s new in SAP BI 4.1

SAP Business Objects Business Intelligence suite is a comprehensive set of tools for transforming your data into useful information and delivering it to the people who need it most.

SAP BO Business Intelligence Suite 4.1 introduces the following enhancements:

System Configuration Wizard – The wizard makes it easier than ever to get your system up and running by guiding you through a set of essential post-installation configuration steps (helps administrators to configure SAP BO BI platform).

SAP Jam – SAP Jam is a new collaboration tool that helps you connect your customers, partners, and employees with information, applications, and processes for social networking and applications, in the office or while mobile.

SAP HANA Business Layer Wizard – This wizard automatically creates a data foundation and business layer based on selected SAP HANA views.

SAP BO Design Studio – Analysis, edition for OLAP integration with SAP BO Design Studio helps, after you create a work space in Analysis based on SAP BW or SAP HANA data, you can export it as a Design Studio analysis application for flexible use by mobile or desktop users.

Support for right-to-left display – To enable right-to-left support, ensure that you perform a full installation instead of an update installation. For many components of SAP BO Business Intelligence Suite 4.1, you can now add support for some languages that read right-to-left, such as Arabic.

SAP BO Analysis & edition for OLAP
SAP BO Analysis, edition for OLAP is a powerful, web-based OLAP analysis tool that helps you gain insight into business data and make intelligent decisions that impact corporate performance. Below is the new / changed functionalists in Analysis, edition for OLAP:

New analysis functions
1. Custom Groups
Custom groups allow you to combine multiple members from one or more hierarchies belonging to the same dimension into a single group. You can add the group to the crosstab as a member of an existing hierarchy that it is based on, or view it as a separate hierarchy.

2. Export to Analysis Application
Once you created a workspace in Analysis based on SAP BW or SAP HANA data, you can export it as a Design Studio analysis application for flexible use by mobile or desktop users. Users can sort, drill, and change the members of background filters for an analysis application.

3. Waterfall Charts
Waterfall charts, which can help you to illustrate a series of positive and negative changes across a single row, are now available in Analysis. Waterfall charts are also known as bridge charts.

4. Filter by measure extended to new data sources
Except SAP HANA, you can apply filters by measures for all types of data sources.

5. Enhanced conditional formatting for SAP BW
You can now view and apply conditional formatting to individual data cells, row headers, or column headers. You can also define conditional formatting to display on a different measure than the one that the condition is based on.

6. Expand to level
The Expand to Level function is now available for hierarchies in the crosstab. It allows you to quickly drill the entire hierarchy to a specific level

7. Jumplinks to Web Intelligence reports
In Web Intelligence reports you can create jumplinks which will allow you to open a related report from a column header, row header, or crosstab cell.

Prompt functionality enhancements

1. Prompt dialog box
The Prompts dialog box has been redesigned to make it easier to access prompts for all connections in the same window.

• View required or optional prompts.
• Expand all optional prompts.
• Merge prompts to ensure that the same value is applied across all appropriate queries.
• Specify default prompt values for a workspace.
• Use SAP variants to set prompt values for SAP BW variables.
• Save prompt values with the workspace. The next time you open the workspace, the data source’s default prompt values are filled with the values you specified in the Prompts dialog box.

2. SAP variants
SAP variants are sets of saved values for SAP BW query prompts.

3. Parameterized OpenDocument URLs
OpenDocument URLs, which allow you to view an Analysis workspace without logging into the BI launch pad, can now include parameters that set prompt values for the workspace. Using parameterized OpenDocument URLs, you can open an Analysis workspace directly without being prompted for SAP variable values.

Improved SAP integration

1. Report-Report Interface
Analysis workspaces that use SAP BW data sources now support the Report-Report Interface (RRI). If RRI links have been configured for the SAP BW data used in a crosstab, you can jump from the crosstab to the RRI targets (for example, reports, other BEx queries, ABAP transactions, and web addresses). RRI targets can be context-sensitive, so that the target report reflects the member that you right-clicked in the crosstab.

2. BEx conditions
Analysis workspaces that use SAP BW data sources now support conditions defined in SAP NetWeaver Business Explorer (BEx). If BEx conditions have been configured for the SAP BW data used in a crosstab, you can filter the data by enabling or disabling the conditions. By default, they are enabled.

3. Default BW filters
In an analysis based on SAP BW data, you can now view and edit characteristic filters defined in SAP NetWeaver Business Explorer (BEx).

4. HANA Single Sign-on
Analysis, edition for OLAP now supports single sign-on (SSO) connections to SAP HANA data sources using SAML to authenticate users.

Support for additional data sources
1. Essbase – You can now create connections to Oracle Essbase data sources.

BI Platform

1. Bundled CMS database
Sybase SQL Anywhere is now the default, bundled database server for the CMS and Auditing Data Store.

2. Bundled Tomcat application server
Tomcat 7.0 is now the default, bundled web application server.

3. Upgrade Management Tool
• All third-party users and groups are mapped properly at the end of the migration.
• Added automated checking of required services.
• Replaces existing server tracing parameters with sap_log_level and sap_trace_level

4. Server States
In the event of a service failure, the server state will reflect the failure by changing to “Started with Errors”. Or, in the case of all services failing, the server state will change to “Failed”.

5. Single sign-on to SAP HANA using SAML
You can configure single sign-on (SSO) for SAP HANA database connections. SSO is implemented using SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language).

6. Web Intelligence customization
You can customize the appearance of Web Intelligence user interface elements based on user groups. For example, you can hide whole toolbars or specific items in a toolbar, for a specific user group.

7. Multitenancy Management Tool
The Multitenancy Management Tool is a Java-based provisioning application that is used to create tenants for a multitenant BI platform deployment based on templates created in the CMC and through the properties file settings.
• UNX is now supported.
• Tenant IDs are now recorded in auditing records.
• The tenantConcurrentUserLimit parameter has been added to the properties file as well as the CMC interface to allow you to set the maximum number of logins per tenant.

8. Promotion Management (Changed from Life Cycle Management)
• Renamed life cycle management to promotion management.
• Added WinAD support for promotion management.
• Version management and promotion management now support new content types: Analytical Application, Information Steward, Design Studio, and Desktop Intelligence.

9. Collaboration with SAP Jam
Collaboration was expanded in Business Intelligence (BI) platform to include the SAP Jam application. SAP Jam connects your customers, partners, and employees with information, applications, and processes for social networking and applications, in the office or while mobile.

10. Integration Option for Microsoft SharePoint documentation
Documentation for the Integration Option for Microsoft SharePoint software has been revamped.

Crystal Reports

The SAP Crystal Reports products include SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise, SAP Crystal Reports 2013 viewer, and SAP Crystal Reports 2013.

• Streamlined report design
• Improvements to data sources
• Mobile and viewer support
• OEM and developer feature

Dashboards
SAP BO Dashboards is data visualization software that lets you create and export interactive dashboards from Excel spreadsheets or other external data sources such as BEx queries. These data sources are linked to various components on the dashboard,
• Enhanced support for using dashboards on mobile devices.
• Improved functionality in the Objects Browser and Components browser.
• Mobile-specific improvements to the Dashboards Component SDK.
• Support for accessibility.

BI Platform – Data Access

Data Sources
• OData 2.0 data sources, including services to SAP systems provided by SAP NetWeaver Gateway
• XML documents
• Web services with WSDL 1.1
• The BI platform allows the use of DataDirect ODBC 7.0 drivers for MS SQL Server connections on UNIX.

Single Sign-On (SSO)
You can now connect to Teradata 13 and Teradata 14 & Sybase IQ 15 databases by using single sign-on authentication.
The BI platform uses either Windows AD with Kerberos or the SAML protocol to process single sign-on on connections to the SAP HANA 1.0 database.

SAP HANA Connections
• You can create connections to the new SPS 05 release of the SAP HANA 1.0 database.
• You can create OLAP connections to the SAP HANA database.
• You can create connections that use the SSL protocol to the SAP HANA database.
• You can create connections to the SAP HANA database through ODBC on 64-bit UNIX operating systems.
• You can retrieve data from the SAP HANA database by executing stored procedures through JDBC or ODBC.

SAP ERP Connections
The SAP ERP driver provides a simplified mapping of ABAP function parameters to optional input columns.

Deprecated Connection Types
Existing connections to the following data sources continue to work but you cannot create new connections to them:
• DB2 for z/OS v8, DB2 UDB v8, and DB2 v9.1
• GreenPlum 3
• MS Access 2003, MS Excel 2003, MS SQL Server 2005, and MS Analysis Services 2005
• Progress OpenEdge 10
• Sybase IQ 12.7, Sybase ASE 15, and Sybase SQL Anywhere 10

Desktop Intelligence in BI 4.1
You can migrate Desktop Intelligence documents from XI R2 and XI 3.1 to BI 4.1 using the Upgrade Management Tool(UMT). And now, you can view the Desktop Intelligence documents, which are currently in the BI 4.1 platform using the Desktop Intelligence Compatibility Pack(DCP). DCP is available in XI 3.1 Fix Pack 6.1 and later versions.

SAP BO Explorer
SAP BO Explorer is a data discovery application that allows you to retrieve answers to your business questions from corporate data quickly and directly. You use a powerful search engine to find relevant data that is held within consistent and meaningful datasets called Information Spaces.
• SAP BO Explorer now allows you to access universes in both the .UNV and .UNX (relational sources only) formats.
• SAP BO Explorer now supports SAML Single Sign-On (SSO) and SSO Kerberos.
• SAP BO Explorer now provides keyboard accessibility for both Information Spaces and Exploration Views.

Information Design Tool (IDT)
The information design tool is an SAP BO metadata design environment that enables a designer to extract, define, and manipulate metadata from relational and OLAP sources to create and deploy SAP BO universes. Below sections describe the new and enhanced features in the information design tool available in SAP BO BI platform 4.1.
• Data federation layer
• Migrate universes to SAP HANA
• Help for new information design tool users
• Data foundation enhancements
• Enhancements to relational universes on SAP HANA
• Enhancements to relational universes on SAP ERP
• Business layer enhancements
• Local Projects View enhancements
• Query stripping (new for relational universes)
• Connections for new data sources and new connection parameters
• Security profile setting for OLAP replacement connections

SAP BO Mobile

Below are new functional capabilities that have been introduced in the Mobile server on the SAP BO BI platform 4.1.
• Server Package does not include MobileOTA14.war – The mobile server package no longer includes the MobileOTA14.war file (for BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows 6.1 client applications). You can access this WAR file through SMP.
• Support for sample Mobile server documents
• Mobile server support on Unix OS
• View Mobile client audit files
• Dedicated folder for Mobile server logs
• Security Policies feature with Mobile Configuration server

Report Conversion Tool (RCT)
RCT has some added functionality in BI 4.1 platform.
• Capability to Convert Document Instances – RCT now will allow to convert scheduled report instances.
• Hosting source (Desktop Intelligence) documents on the target 4.1 platform – Your XI 3.1 and XI R2 Desktop Intelligence (.rep) source reports can now be hosted on the SAP BO BI platform 4.1. The Report Conversion Tool in BI 4.1 can have a 4.1 CMS as its source and publish the converted reports (.wid) to the same 4.1 CMS as the target.

Webi Intelligence Reports (Webi)
Web Intelligence is a query, reporting, and analysis tool used to build reports from relational and OLAP data sources and to analyze data using features such as filters, conditional formatting, and data tracking. Below are the update / new changes in Webi reports.
• Improved user documentation for users analyzing Web Intelligence documents
• Customizable Web Intelligence application interface
• Table headers, columns and rows can be frozen
• Custom color palettes and color assignment in charts
• Enhanced object merging in the Available Objects list
• Merged hierarchies can be used in reports
• The Member Selector in the Query Panel allows you to define hierarchy depth
• Auto-refresh is available at the server and document level
• Query stripping support for relational data sources
• Right-to-left alignment in Web Intelligence
• Documents can be saved in CSV format in an archive file
• Improved behavior regarding the #UNAVAILABLE message
• Enhanced Web Intelligence RESTful services SDK
• Report header and footer properties have been reorganized
• Enhanced universe support

Web Intelligence usability enhancements

  • You can fold and unfold tables in Reading mode in the Web Intelligence HTML interface.
  • An object value selector is now available in the Formula Editor. When you are editing a formula that contains an object that has a list of values, you can display the available values by double-clicking values in the Available Objects pane. This makes the List of Values selector appear and you select the values you want to use in the Formula Editor.
  • In the toolbar above the Side panel, there is now an Edit data provider button that allows easier access to the Query Panel.
  • In the Query Panel, you can now execute a newly-added query without having to refresh all existing queries.
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