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BI 4 on HANA-Part 4: Creating shared dimensional (OLAP) connections to SAP HANA

Dimensional  connections (also called OLAP connections) are used to connect to SAP HANA information models and fully benefit of their hierarchical metadata and hierarchical calculations.

Those connections are used by Crystal Reports Enterprise, Analysis OLAP, Analysis for Office and Design Studio.

Those connections can be created locally in some client tools or can be created in the Information Design Tool and directly in the CMC to be shared across the whole applications connecting to the BI 4 platform.

In this article you will see how to create and share an OLAP connection from those two enviroments.

Creating a shared secured OLAP connection from Information Design Tool

To add a OLAP connection to HANA you launch Information Design Tool and in a project folder select to create a New OLAP Connection as shown below

After giving a name to the conenction you select the SAP HANA client middleware in the list

In the following page you set up the usual information about the machine address, port, username and password (or other authentication options such as using the user credentials stored in the BI platform or an SSO mechanism)

The big difference comes in the following page of the connection wizard: you can predefine (or not) an information model associated to this connection.

If you specify a cube (an information model) then the client tools using this connections will automatically connect to that model (and only to it).

If you don’t specify a cube then the client tool will ask the user to select a cube from the list of information models accessible to the user at query time.

As in the previous article where we described relational connections, you click finish, save the connection and then publish it to a BI platform server.

Creating a shared secured OLAP connection from the CMC

You can also create a shared OLAP connection through the the CMC interface.

Once connected to the CMC you should navigate to the OLAP Connections page and create a new connection

In the new connection definition page, select SAP HANA as a provider, then enter the server name and port number.

If you know the HANA instance number (say XX) then the port number is 3XX15. E.g. an instance number 01 is on port 30115.

In this page it is possible to define a common username and password for all users using this connection by setting the Authentication method to predefined.

The standard ‘prompt’ authentication requests a username and password whenever the connection is used. The ‘prompt’ authentication mode can be chosen only from the CMC interface and is not avaialble in the Information Design Tool.

Saving the connection makes it available for client tools able to read it.

Summary and tips

In this article you have seen how to define OLAP connections with the Information Design Tool and the CMC. The recommendation is to define them using the Information Design Tool as the CMC approach is used mainly for Analysis OLAP where the 'prompt' authorization mechanism is supported.

Client tools are going to use the information available in the OLAP connection but might be using it in different ways (e.g. Crystal Reports for Enterprise uses it to define an MDX based connection while Analysis Office uses it to start a connection using an own SAP technology).

I hope this article was useful!

You can go back to the list of available articles here: SAP BusinessObjects BI 4 on SAP HANA

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