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SAP options for connecting dashboards to data sources: Universes & BEX query tip from Xcelsius Bootcamp

by The Tip Doctor

August 27, 2012

This tip is from the session ‘Connecting Your Dashboard to Back-End Data Sources: A Comprehensive Guide,’ presented at Xcelsius Dashboards Bootcamp  by Roy Wells(@rgwbobj) of Decision First Technologies.

This session – one of the 3 days of sessions presented by dashboard experts including Bjarne Berg, Miko Yuk and others - covers specific steps and advice on connecting live data to your dashboards and selecting the right connection types.

In addition to reviewing managing non-SAP connections (Excel Data Maps, Generic Web services, Flash Vars), Roy Wells covers SAP BusinessObjects Conenctions in detail, including step-by-step instructions for adding a query in the Query Browser.

Here are some tips on Query Browser Connections, new  in 4.0, for connecting Universes and BX queries:

Overview of SAP Business Objects Connections

Provided Out of the Box:

  • New in 4.0: Query Browser Connections
    • Universes or BEX Queries
  • Web Service Que ry (formerly Query as a Web Service)
  • Live Office Connection
  • Crystal Reports Connection
  • SAP NetWeaver BW Connection

Available as an Add-On:

  • SAP EPM 7.5 Extended Analytics Analyzer

Query Browser Connections (Query Browser):

  • Authored directly in the Dashboard tool
  • Drag and Drop query design
  • Supports BEX queries and UNX Universes
  • Direct preview of data at design time
  • Many components now allow direct binding of query data to component without passing data through Excel layer
  • Much improved developer productivity
  • Easier ongoing maintenance
  • No client side aggregation, your query must match the desired display when using direct binding
    • ? Can lead to many queries

Query Browser Connections: Advantages

  • No additional tools required
  • Direct binding to visual components
  • Reduced development complexity
  • Good Performance

Query Browser Connections: Disadvantages

  • Lack of client side projection means many queries
  • No Merged Dimensions or Report Level Variables

If you’re not in Chicago this week, you can still catch Bootcamp sessions in Amsterdam this October or in Washington DC this November. For more details on Xcelsius Dashboards Bootcamp, visit

You'll also find Xcelsius resources on Insider Learning Network with bootcamp speakers, including questios from past online Xcelsius Forums with Dr. Berg and a panel of Xcelsius Bootcamp experts.

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