This Document Provides Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About:
Which types of Reporting and Analyis interfaces does SAP NetWeaver BI support?
SAP BW 3.x supports 3 different frontend interfaces:
Note that OLAP BAPI and OLE DB for OLAP are also supported for SAP BW 2.x.
What is the difference of these three interfaces?
What do the three interfaces have in common?
If performance of the three interfaces is comparable, why does the performance of different frontend tools can differ significantly?
This might be due to the way the frontend tool accesses and displays the data. If only the data, which is relevant for a specific query navigation step, is read from the SAP NetWeaver BI, the response time of the SAP NetWeaver BI server is virtually the same - no matter which interface is used.
Note also that reporting and analysis interfaces are not designed for mass volume, e.g. the extraction of a complete InfoCube. For this purpose, dedicated interfaces like Open Hub Service should be used.
Does SAP NetWeaver BI support the whole OLE DB for OLAP specification?
SAP NetWeaver BI supports 100% of the mandatory part of the specification. In addition, large parts of the non-mandatory part are implemented.
Are SAP NetWeaver BI hierarchies and variables supported with the reporting and analysis interfaces?
Yes, but not every 3rd party vendor has implemented the feature yet.
Are SAP NetWeaver BI variants supported by any of the interfaces?
No. Variants are a client-side concept and cannot be part of the data access API.
What interface does Crystal Reports use?
In the cooperation with our software partner Crystal Decisions, we developed an additional interface. This is an API for data access that is similar to the OLAP BAPI. It differs in the way of data selection via a simplified MDX statement. The result is handed back as a string. In addition, there is the possibility for storing documents. This interface is only for usage by Crystal.
Certifications for OLE DB for OLAP and OLAP BAPI exist. Is there also a certification for the XMLA interface?
SAP NetWeaver BI offers another certification scenario through the XML for analysis (XMLA) interface for its frontend partners. For details please contact Markus Pfeffer (firstname.lastname@example.org). Information can also be found at http://www.sap.com/partners/icc/scenarios/bi/.
Some frontend tools use direct SQL access to the SAP NetWeaver BI database tables. What is your statement on this?
See FAQ Partner issues.
Why does SAP BI not provide an SQL editor for SAP NetWeaver BI end users?
SAP BI provides design time tools that enable users to model their business requirements into queries and generate the underlying SQL statements automatically. The benefit is two-fold:
The direct access to the Analytical engine (without using the BEx design time tools) is possible through MDX (MultiDimensional eXpression) and one of the three supported OLAP interfaces: OLAP BAPI, OLE DB for OLAP and XML for Analysis.
Data manipulation using SQL is also possible at several points in time: at staging time via transformation rules; when the data is already in the SAP BI, you can use the Analysis Process Designer and its standard transformations or ABAP routines. During query runtime, virtual key figures and characteristics can be added that can be filled based on customer-specific ABAP routines.