Business Explorer and SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer

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This Document Provides Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About:


How is BI data integrated into the visual composer tool?

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer is shipped with a visual composer BI kit that can access SAP and non-SAP data (including OLAP and relational data) via the BI Java connectors. For example, with the BI kit you can take an analytical report from SAP NetWeaver BI and integrate it with transactional data from an ERP system.

The visual composer BI kit lets you integrate SAP NetWeaver BI data via:

  • XML for Analysis (XMLA), a generic MDX-based Web Service

  • a Web Service based on the result set of a given business explorer (BEx) tool query

  • embedding a given BEx Web application into an iFrame

The kit also supports direct integration of BI data with BAPI (OLTP) data into a single application. In addition to integrating SAP NetWeaver BI data, the Visual Composer kit supports real-time access to non-SAP applications and business intelligence environments.

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Does the visual composer tool contain cockpits that support SAP NetWeaver BI business planning and simulation (BP&S) services?

No, in order to build planning awareness applications you have to use the BEx Web Application Designer 7.0 tool. In future, you will be able to build planning-awareness applications with the Visual Composer tool.

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Will SAP deliver predefined queries and KPIs for the Visual Composer tool to be used for certain industries and roles?

Analytical applications that are visual composer models will be based on SAP NetWeaver BI business content, BAPI interfaces, and other appropriate connections to SAP and non-SAP environments. SAP will continue to deliver and enhance BI business content via business content add-ons for SAP NetWeaver BI.

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What is the technical landscape for SAP Analytics? How does it impact TCO? What release of SAP NetWeaver Portal and SAP NetWeaver BI business warehouse functions and are required for SAP Analytics?

The minimal portal requirement is SAP NetWeaver Portal '04 on the service pack stack level, available at the first release of SAP Analytics, most likely SPS 14. Further landscape requirements depend on the specific data sources used in the applications. For direct native access to SAP NetWeaver BI business warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BI) functions, SAP BW 3.5 or higher will be required. XMLA-based access is also possible with SAP BW 3.1C or higher.

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Is the visual composer tool part of the IT scenario "Enterprise Reporting, Query & Analysis" in the SAP NetWeaver 2004s release?

Yes, this scenario deals with all aspects of designing, interacting, and distributing SAP NetWeaver BI data including the use of the visual composer tool as a design time.

One of the five variants is called "Modelling BI data with the Visual Composer" and describes in detail the capabilities of the visual composer BI kit. The other four variants are "Query, Reporting & Analysis", "Ad-Hoc Query", "Information Broadcasting", and "Excel Integration."

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What is the road map for the BEx Web application designer?

At the moment BEx Web applications can be embedded into Visual Composer models. In the 2004s release of SAP NetWeaver, SAP NetWeaver BI provides a new version of the BEx Web application designer that offers many new features for code-free application development and business user support. In the long run (two to three years) BEx Web application designer capabilities will be merged into the visual composer tool. For details go to SAP Net Weaver: Business Explorer & Visual Composer (ppt).

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What is the road map for the remaining tools in the SAP NetWeaver BI suite of BEx products (BEx analyzer, BEx Web, and so forth)?

The remaining BEx tools will be further developed:

  • In the release of SAP NetWeaver 2004s, SAP NetWeaver BI will have a new BEx query designer to better support business users in creating BEx queries.

  • It will also have a new BEx analyzer (an Excel add-on) with many new features to better support business users working in Excel. Additionally, Excel Integration via the BEx analyzer will remain a major focus area of future developments.

  • The release of SAP NetWeaver 2004s will have a new BEx Web analyzer tool in order to create ad-hoc queries on SAP NetWeaver BI and non-SAP data.

  • In addition, it will offer a BEx report designer to create state-of-the-art formatted reports.

  • And it will offer a new BEx broadcaster version to support, for example, PDF-based distribution and printing services. For details go to SAP Net Weaver: Business Explorer & Visual Composer (ppt).

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What will happen to the SAP NetWeaver BI pattern designer, at the moment only available on the SAP Developer Network?

The pattern designer tool will be completely integrated into the SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer in 2006. To access it now, go to the SAP Developer Network.

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Will future releases of SAP NetWeaver BI support BEx Web application designer, and will there be a migration from BEx Web application to visual composer applications?

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer allows services-oriented composition of analytical applications and the embedding of information into tasks, processes, and applications.

These types of applications will be different from applications build with the BEx Web application designer, which will integrate any type of information (transactional, structured, and unstructured).

SAP NetWeaver BI will be flexible enough to support BI-only applications built with the Web Application designer as well as to provide the platform for visual composer applications. In future releases of SAP NetWeaver BI, customers will still be able to work with the Web Application designer but will see a trend (within the next two to three years) away from pure BI application towards building new applications leveraging the capabilities of the visual composer. In any case, they will be able to embed BEx Web applications into models built with the visual composer.

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What will happen to the SAP NetWeaver BI authorization and security concept?

There are no changes necessary. The SAP NetWeaver BI authorizations are used one-to-one when modelling BI data within the Visual Composer tool and also when end-users interact with an SAP NetWeaver BI-based application.

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What will happen to information broadcasting?

Information broadcasting, like all other SAP NetWeaver BI analytical and planning services, will be made available for Visual Composer models as well within the mid-term.

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