Why is SAP Business Objects 4.0 a better platform for SAP BW?
The following article will outline the key reasons that SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 (BOE 4.0) is a better BI solution for companies that want to integrate with SAP BW. This information is widely available on the internet but my goal with this article is to supply a concise and simple listing. SAP BW customers will see significant improvements in the integration of the products, the scalability and the performance of the queries in BOE 4.0.
In XI 3.1 the integration between SAP BusinessObjects and SAP BW was simply a first attempt and it offered no real advantages over the integration kits available by other BI vendors. In BOE 4.0 this is no longer the case. SAP has made significant strides in improving the integration. The following list will highlight the integration enhancements.
- Web Intelligence (Webi) reports can now directly bind to BEx queries. A Business Objects universe is no longer needed to connect Web Intelligence reports to BW data. This will significantly reduce the time required to develop Webi reports by simplifying the process in connecting to BW.
- Crystal Reports for Enterprise can now directly bind to BEx queries. You no longer need to setup complex connectors or develop a universe to connect to BW data. Again, this will significantly reduce the time required to develop Crystal Reports by simplifying the process in connecting to BW.
- Xcelsius Dashboards can connect directly to the BW BICS layer eliminating the need to setup content in BusinessObjects. This interface will bypass the BusinessObjects processing layer entirely, increasing the performance by eliminating redundant reprocessing of the data.
- BOE 4.0 offers more options to simplify SAP user authentication and SAP BW Single Sign On. The authentication mechanisms are now native to the BOE 4.0 platform reducing the time required to install and configure SAP authentication. In addition there are new options allowing for trusted authentication via SSL certificates.
- BOE 4.0 Interactive Analysis for OLAP can connect directly to BW BEx to provide traditional OLAP style reporting. Having an OLAP style client tool will give users additional options for analyzing their data.
Scalability and Performance:
In XI 3.1 the integration with SAP BW was not well optimized. In addition the SAP BusinessObjects platform was limited by the use of 32-bit processes. The following list will outline the key enhancements to BOE 4.0 that provide better scalability and performance.
- The Business Intelligence Consumer Services (BICS) is now utilized to allow access to the BW Data. This service will enhance the integration and allow more options to reduce the data set size that has to be passed from BW to BusinessObjects. SAP has also developed special API’s that will result in a 100 – 300 % increase in performance compared to XI 3.1. While this sounds very simplistic, this architectural change is very significant. However the technical reasons are too complex for this discussion. I will try and provide this information in future articles.
- The BusinessObjects platform is now 64-bit. This allows the BOE 4.0 Java based services, which interface with BW, to address a significantly larger memory space. The previous XI 3.1 32-bit architecture was limited to less than 2 GB. As a result, larger or more complex datasets would fail to execute and result in unrecoverable failures in the BusinessObjects XI 3.1 platform.