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BI 4.1 and BusinessObjects Analysis – What Is New

by Dr. Berg

October 25, 2013

My team and I have been using BI 4.1 for about 2 months.  In that time, we’ve had a chance to test some of the exciting new features of BI 4.1.  Today we’re going to tell you about the changes and new features of in SAP BusinessObjects Analysis.

Improved SAP BW 7.x Integration

There have been several enhancements made to the Prompt functionality in Analysis, including an enhanced Prompt Dialog which enables easier processing of large numbers of prompts, prompt merging, and manual entry of prompt values. 

Values for prompts can be set within the Prompt Dialog.  The BEx Query designer defines prompts as variables, and these are considered parameters of a BW query which are populated with values when a query is inserted as a data source in a worksheet.  Once the variable values have been defined, the crosstab populates with data based on the values that are selected.

When a query with variables is inserted into a worksheet, the prompting dialog will then appear automatically.  If there are no variables that are prepared for input into the query that is serving as the data source, the prompting dialog will consequently be disabled.

Enhanced Prompt Dialog in Analysis

New Waterfall Charts 

Waterfall charts can be created based on both hierarchical and non-hierarchical data and help highlight fluctuations relative to a single row of data, as shown below:

New Waterfall Charts

Sharing of Work

Sharing capabilities have been augmented, offering the ability to export to Design Studio which enables rendering on mobile devices. Content can seamlessly be shared throughout an organization and this gives business analysts the ability to disseminate data through “mini” applications.

Integration and Expansion of Data Platforms Supported

In BI 4.1, Analysis now features improved platform support including compatibility with Oracle Essbase 11, Oracle OLAP 11g (4.1 SP1), and Teradata OLAP (via XMLA). These add to a list that already includes the following:

  • SAP BW
  • SSAS 2008
  • SSAS 2012
  • BPC, PCM, FC

In terms of custom grouping, this allows for the combining and sharing of members of Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services and Oracle Essbase hierarchies. It is also possible to filter by a measure for Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services and Oracle Essbase. These are really cool features that many will look forward to use when analyzing financial data in Hyperion and see how it relates to data in other sources.

Increased support for SAP HANA

In addition, the SAP HANA integration now also offers support for hierarchies and prompts. For hierarchies, this includes both the calculation and analytical views and both level and parent-child types. Single Sign-On (SSO) is also supported, based on SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language).


SAP has done a great job with fixing minor nuisance issues in Analysis, while adding significant features that users will find very helpful. We therefore recommend all our clients to go to 4.1 this fall, or plan for upgrades early next year.


Dr. Berg

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