Front-end / BI / BA / Analytics
Is it possible to use the HANA interfaces (SQL, MDX) for custom BI apps, or are these interfaces restricted to SAP BI suite (like BI4.x, Analysis Office) and Microsoft Excel?
SAP HANA SQL client interfaces (odbc, jdbc) are open for partners and customers to create custom apps like .Net or Java apps using these SQL interfaces for the HANA datamart in BW on HANA. SAP supports the SQL Scripts and BI and EIM vendors can go through the official SAP Certification to certify their BI tools on SAP HANA.
Third party BI clients certified for SAP BW are not automatically certified for the SAP HANA datamart. For the list of clients certified for SAPNetWeaver Business Warehouse 7.3, please check the partner certification page:
Which frontend tools are supported with BW on HANA? Which SAP BusinessObjects BI solutions are available for BW on HANA?
BW on HANA supports all traditional BW frontend applications as well as SAP BusinessObjects applications, including EPM 10.x. Some limitations apply with regard to add-ons, please see SAP note 1600929 for more details. All BI Clients that are certified for BW 7.3 will work with BW on HANA.
Does SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office, work with BW on HANA?
Yes, SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Microsoft Office 1.3 includes some interesting features to get the most out of BW 7.30 on HANA. The new feature BW Workspaces of BW 7.30 on HANA allows end users to combine own local data with corporate data under governance of IT. Analysis Office simplifies the workflow of uploading local data and making this data analyzable. The direct connectivity to HANA is extended by support of hierarchies and prompts. Please see the SAP CSA Customer Solution Adaption recording and presentation in this link.
Is there a way to consume BW data directly from the HANA database, i.e. not through BW's frontend layer but via direct access of the corresponding tables or views in the HANA database?
Yes, since BW 7.30 SP8 and HANA SPS05 BW data can be exposed natively in HANA as HANA views. This enables HANA-native consumption of BW data which was mainly introduced for data exploration and discovery services, e.g. SBO Explorer and Visual Intelligence. However, it is very important ti understand what this functionality provides and what it is intended for.
The linked document describes the positioning of this new functionality and what it should NOT be used for.
Please make sure to read through the corresponding section in this FAQ space.
Is there a recommendation or best practice from SAP wether to build analytics natively and directly in HANA versus BW?
There is white paper that has been released by SAP that describes this in detail and discusses the difference in building analytics directly on top of HANA with HANA native data models versus building more data warehouse type of analytics based on BW (on HANA) data models.
Does BW on HANA have an impact on BW's OLAP engine processing beyond 'just' faster database read times?
Absolutely. With HANA as the underlying database BW provides a an even more powerful option to define an OLAP query – i.e. the BEx query – by sending down the entire "processing graph" to HANA and allowing HANA to optimize and pipeline the individual processing steps, and
having the capability to assemble the partial results of the processing steps into the final (OLAP) result.
Have a look at this blog from Thomas Zurek which gives insight into BW's OLAP Compiler with BW on HANA. The second link shows a good example of it.
In another blog Klaus Nagel explains in detail how the FEMS work with BW on HANA. FEMS stands for German expression “Form EleMent Selektion” and is basically the BW-internal representation of the filter conditions for a restricted keyfigure and is used by BW to convert a row-based database result set to a cell format appropriate for a BI client.
As a follow up to this blog Klaus also discusses in another blog BW's query execution mode and what impact this has on FEMS, hierarchy aggregation, currency conversion, exception aggregation etc.
Is there a best practice for integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.x with SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (BW)?
Yes. Read this great blog from Ingo Hilgefort about this topic.
I heard of a new Eclipse based Query Designer version. Where can I find more information?
The new Eclipse based Query Designer was released with BW 7.4 SP9. There is a detailed blog explaining and showing this new feature.
Is there a way to check whether the OLAP functions in a BEx query are pushed down to HANA for processing?
Yes, there is a simple way of checking if push down to HANA is enabled and executed. See the following blog for all details and the settings you can make regarding this within a BEx query.