SAP BI 4.0 IDT universe have got too many good features and while comparing with SAP BO 3.2 universe. This post not exactly talks about the comparison but something like a best practice to develop IDT universe / how to overcome the issues of converted BO 3.2 universe to BI 4.0 IDT universe.
This is will be useful for the developer who are creating new IDT universe / will also help the developers who is converting the BO 3.2 or old versions to BI 4.0 IDT universes. I will list out all the issues and compatibility compared to BO 3.2 and I am not really provided the exact point to point comparison between these 2 versions.
1. You can use multiple sources in IDT universe which replaces the linked universe concept in IDT
2. Single project can have multiple universes (Business Layer).
3. Universe connection properties have an option to check database table values which can help the developer to understand the data and create the joins between tables.
4. Data Foundation is nothing but universe Structure in 3.2 or old versions and this is the place where can create join, cardinality, context for your universe. IDT data foundation got variety of new futures and I have listed them below.
a. View Pane – The Data Foundation view pane contains tables and joins. Master contains tables and joins that are connected with each other in a logical manner.
b. Properties Pane – Properties pane defines properties of each object (table, join, Derived tables). Also you can find the complete table structure in Properties pane columns section.
c. Browsing pane – Using the browsing pane, you can work on different elements in data foundation like connections, Data Foundation, Aliases and Contexts, LOVs and parameters.
d. Insert View – A custom data foundation view is a subset of the data foundation Master view. We can use views when we are editing a data foundation that contains many tables, and we are interested in working with a subset of tables. We can define multiple custom views for the data foundation.
e. Insert Comment – Comment is a note that you can place anywhere in a data foundation view.
f. Family – A family is a set of display parameters that can be used to visually group tables of the same type. For example, you might define different families for fact and dimension tables. You can export and import family definitions. Export creates a file in a local folder that can be shared between different users of the information design tool. When you assign a table to a family, the table acquires the display attributes of the family in the current view and all data foundation views where the table is present.
g. Save view as Image – This option helps you to take a snapshot of your universe structure (view pane) and it can be allowed to save only in PNG format.
h. Search – Search can be limited in several ways and enter text to search for in the filter text box and Select connections, table types, column types, families, and contexts in the respective lists. Once the search is completed the tables that match the search criteria are highlighted in the data foundation view.
5. Business Layer is nothing but Class & Objects section in 3.2 or old versions. In IDT class is renamed to Folder and objects have only Dimension & Measures. There is no detail object concept in IDT. Instead of detail object, you can create Attributes (dimension & Measures) and an attribute is an object attached to a parent object that provides additional descriptive information about the parent. Attributes can be defined for dimensions, measures, hierarchies, and levels. Condition object renamed to Filter and will be displayed with objects (same as like Webi query panel view).
a. Copy Paste does not work as is for folder / object edit and only right click copy /paste option is available in IDT which consume more developer efforts in universe design. Example, each object should have the brief description which will define the details of the object and each time if you want get copy / past, you have to right click and do copy / paste. It won’t work like Ctrl +C / Ctrl +V.
b. Each folder / Object have 3 three state
i. Active − This is default state of an object and objects are available in the query panel.
ii. Hidden − These objects are valid but are hidden in the query panel.
iii. Deprecated − These objects are not valid and hidden.
c. @select / @where function need to use complete folder structure in IDT whereas 3.2 / universe design tool uses last immediate class to refer the objects.
6. Queries – Queries is nothing but Query Panel (tools – Query Panel) in universe designer / 3.2 versions and in IDT it’s a separate resource.
IDT queries can be saved like other attributes and it will be helpful for the future unit testing and also you can find / analyses the data in queries itself.
7. Parameters and List of Values – The parameter editor can be started from the business layer or data foundation editor tabs. Parameters inserted in the data foundation are inherited by any business layer based on the data foundation. These parameters cannot be edited in the business layer. You must edit them in the data foundation. The Index aware prompt checkbox must be cleared before you can select Set default values.
8. Navigation Path – Navigation path is used to define the hierarchy which can help to setup the drill path used in SAP Business Objects reporting tools. A drill path is a list of drillable business objects that allow a report analyst to drill down on a dimension. Navigation path can den be defined as custom / can be used as default.
9. In SAP BO 3.2 / universe design tool, you can save he universe (complete details like Class, objects, joins, tables, context) into to PDF file which can be used to analyze the contexts from universe. This save to PDF option is not available in IDT.
I have covered as much as possible from IDT perspective and feel free to add your comments on this.