SAP NetWeaver 2004s – what is new? Dr. Bjarne Berg Lenoir-Rhyne College [email_address]
Time is running out….
Why NW 2004s?
Let us take a look at some of the major new features of version 2004s:
Web Application Designer
BEx Query Designer
BEx Report Designer
New ETL Interface
BPS Integrated Planning
Real-time data warehousing
BEx Web Analyzer
We will now take a quick look at these features
Web Application Designer gets better
The Web Application Designer is improved with new chart types (Heat Map, GANTT & Milestone Trend Analysis), as well as new layout elements such as ‘tab strips’.
WAD also has new step-by-step wizards for maps, command editing to create Web API Commands and charts, as well as a simplified wizard for layout elements such as radio buttons, action buttons etc. This reduce the amount of custom coding required with the help of Command wizards, Auto complete and support for HTML tags. WAD is a key tool for all SAP BI shops and in NW2004s the tool is simplified and more powerful. New: integration with NW 2004s BEx Report Designer.
BI Accellerator for 2004s
The SAP BI accelerator makes query response time 50-10,000 faster.
You use process chains to maintain the HPA engine after each data load
Both HP and IBM have standard solutions ranging from $32K to $200K+ that can be installed and tested in as little as 2-4 weeks SAP NW 2004s BI HPA Engine/Adaptive Computing Data Acquisition InfoCubes Analytic Engine SAP BW Any tool
Dictionary-based, smart compression using integers
High parallel data access / horizontal partitioning
Column-based data storage & access/vertical table decomposition
New Broadcaster features of BI 2004s New Object Types You can broadcast BEx query views and formatted reports (“reports”) in addition to Web applications, queries and workbooks. Reports are a new BEx object type developed within the new BEx Report Designer tool. New Output Formats New output formats are based on the distribution type you select. But, you now can broadcast web documents as PDF files.
New Broadcaster features of BI 2004s New Distribution Types You can broadcast to any printer using Adobe’s PDF, Printer Common Language (psl) or Post Script (ps). (hint: Set up the printers under tools CCMS print). You to broadcast user-specific information based on attributes in the master data attributes using a distribution list in BI (bursting of emails). The information can be controlled by the system so that users only see data related to them.
New Broadcaster features of BI 2004s Exception broadcasting is now available in the Broadcaster. Create the exceptions in the query designer and select distribution type in the broadcaster. You can also use additional distributions types (subordinate) and create rules for when the exception report is “monitored”/executed. Exceptions can be based on single events or levels of any performance measure. You can use multiple distribution type to create a setting that broadcasts many channels (i.e. the printer and the portal). NOTE: To manage all alerts and workflow tasks from a single location, an alert is integrated with the portal’s universal worklist the “central alert framework” of NW application server.
New Broadcaster features of BI 2004s To increase the performance of key queries, you can fill the OLAP Cache, or the MDX Cache. This is useful if you have large numbers of users accessing a query, or you have a query that accesses a high volume of data. The Fill Precalculation Store distribution type allows you to precalculate Web templates, and the Precalculate Value Set option you to fill pre-calculated value set variables with values for characteristic values. The pre-calculated value sets are then available as variable values in BEx queries. SAP Dec. 2005: Old Reporting Agent scenarios still run in NetWeaver 2004s. However, the Reporting Agent will not be developed any further and is removed from the 2004s Workbench. You can now only reach the Reporting Agent using transaction code REPORTING_AGENT BREAKING NEWS: Reporting agent “goes-away”. The old Reporting Agent you could pre-calculate the data of a template and access it through the URL . It could not broadcast queries, workbooks or web templates by email or to KM folders.
BEx Query Designer gets a needed ‘facelift’
The 3.5x BEx Query Designer
Note: The NW2004s BEx Query Designer This new property pane makes it easier to format and control displays than in the past.
BEx Report Designer is here!!
This new tool was created to simplify the formatting of reports and fix many of the printing issues in previous versions of BW.
We now get color control, header-footer control and many new features such as location control of cells and integration of pictures, charts and fixed text.
For many, this tool may reduce the need for 3 rd party tools to address structured reports. Source: SAP AG, 2006
New Remodeling Tool Box
In older BW versions, if you forgot to include a field in your infocube, the rework was quite substantial and often involved reloading the infocube as well.
NW 2004s goes a long way to address the complaints that BW is a hard to maintain environment with ‘forever’ fixed models. Source: SAP AG, Richard Brown, Aug. 2006 In NW2004s you get a new tool to add characteristics and key figures to your model.
Better security features
There are many new security features in NW 2004s, and a conversion is needed (all or nothing).
Role menus are displayed in the portal and passwords becomes case sensitive.
Authorizations are fundamental building blocks of the new reporting concept and security contains both the data value and hierarchy restrictions. The new security can be built using new “RSECADMIN” transaction ASUG Security Upgrade by Eric Dwyer, Nike: http://www.asug.com/client_files/Calendar/Upload/EA1_upgrade_bw_security_2.ppt Source: SAP AG
More Authorization Objects You get the ability to use much lower security granularity for developers and users!! Source: SAP AG July 2006 Authorization objects for the Data Warehousing Workbench: S_RS_DS: For the DataSource or its sub objects (NW2004s) S_RS_ISNEW: For new InfoSources or their sub objects (NW 2004s) S_RS_DTP: For the data transfer process and its sub objects S_RS_TR: For transformation rules and their sub objects S_RS_CTT: For currency translation types S_RS_UOM: For quantity conversion types S_RS_THJT: For key date derivation types S_RS_PLENQ: Authorizations for maintaining or displaying the lock settings S_RS_RST: Authorization object for the RS trace tool S_RS_PC: For process chains S_RS_OHDEST: Open Hub Destination Authorization objects for the Business Explorer: S_RS_DAS: For Data Access Services S_RS_BTMP: For BEx Web templates S_RS_BEXTX: Authorizations for the maintenance of BEx texts Authorization objects for the Admin of analysis authorizations S_RSEC: Authorization for assignment and administration of analysis authorizations S_RS_AUTH: Authorization object to include analysis authorizations in roles Changed Authorization Objects: S_RS_ADMWB (Data Warehousing Workbench: Objects): New sub objects: CONT_ACT – Installing Business Content; USE_DND - Drag & Drop to InfoAreas and application components; CNG_RUN - Attribute change run
Upgrading to NW2004s Security More Great Details about the Security Upgrade at : http://csc-studentweb.lrc.edu/ swp/Berg/Articles/ 2004S_Authorizations.pdf (Source: Amelia Lo, SAP) SAP has created an ABAP migration tool to help you upgrade security in NW 2004s. To access it, goto transaction code SA38, and execute migration program RSEC_MIGRATION. About 80% of you security setup is expected to make it using this tool. i.e. customer exit variables for the object 0TCTAUTHH does not migrate, and you will have to manually reassign all hierarchy nodes. While you upgrade, the old security is left intact and you can switch back if absolutely needed (IMG setting). Plan to test…test..and test…
Better interface for ETL Design SAP NetWeaver 2004s has a new and better GUI and formula editors to write complex transfer rules, update rules and data mapping. On a typical DW project, 40-60% of project effort will be spent on data integration, transformation and loads (used to be higher when tools were more immature).
BPS Integrated Planning
You can now create planning templates using the web based planning wizard to create models using patterns in the data (tool: “Road map Pattern”). Queries based on aggregation levels can now also write back to the InfoProvider
1 2 3 4 5 6 InfoProvider Aggregation Level Planning Sequence Planning Function Filter Pattern Source: SAP AG, 2006
New PDF Print
You can also use the PDF to create reports based on BEx web applications, queries and reports using the Adobe DS (comes with NW2004s).
The only Gotchas.. Your users now need to install Acrobat Reader
( free at http://www.adobe.com/ products/acrobat/readstep2.html ).
The PDF document can also be Broadcasted through BEx Broadcaster
The PDF options allows companies to protect reports from changes by employees by taking a ‘snapshot’ of the data regardless of subsequent updates to the data warehouse. Risks: no link back to SAP BW is needed and security is not validated.
BEx web Analyzer integrates Excel
The Excel integration in the BEx analyzer is far better.
Unlike the old days of dynamic HTML, you can now use the BEx analyzer more like a real application without refreshing the whole page every time you click on something (this is due to the Java component in NW2004s)
Source: SAP AG, 2006 News: BEx browser goes away in NW2004s
Real-time Data warehousing gets better
NW 2004s has more features for updates that does not follow the typical asynchronomous (batch) updates. This include:
1. We can use XML to fill the PSA directly
2. Daemon-based update from delta queue (BW API)
3. Daemon-based update of the ODS and minimal logging
Note: XML documents creates many tags that will slow down large dataloads due to the size of each XML record (relatively large) However, it works great for smaller streams of data.
Drag-and Drop in BeX web Analyzer
Unlike the old days of dynamic HTML, you can now use the web analyzer more like a real application without refreshing the whole page every time you click on something.
I.e. You can drag a characteristics into a filter area and automatically filter on that value, and you can also drag it into a column header or a a row.
Building conditions and activating them was often confusing in earlier versions and exception based reporting was sometimes not easy to create for beginning users. NW2004s has now simplified this with more wizards that helps users to build this step-by-step.
BEx web analyzer is a better user tool than in the past. You now get the best world of Java & the web instead of the more ‘clunky’ user experience related to Dynamic HTML
Some hints on the upgrade – client, engines and usage types
We are in a transition period, when some items of NW2004s are separate engines, some are clients, and other are usage types.
Key question: is you organization committed to java and the new NW2004s direction?
-- if so, go java ‘all the way’..
Source: SAP Installable software units May 2006 Note: standard system copy and SAP migration tools have no standard support for splitting or merging systems with different usage types
Unicode has been available since BW version 3.5.1. and is now highly recommended as part of the upgrade (hint web application designer is now also unicode compliant).