An Overview Of The Latest Data Sources In SAP BI 4.3

It was already a few years since the release of SAP BI 4.3. It brought an overhaul on its already jam-packed features that offers flexibility in the users. With the release of SAP BI SP02, the tool has gotten a lot of improvements and SAP BI is slowly opening its door to more and more sources that allows users to do more in bridging the gap between in-house, file-based, and cloud data.

Since the introduce of SAP BOBJ into the market, SAP BI has been focused to be used with in-house data sources. If you have a data source that is from an external source, you need to do additional steps for you to incorporate your data to these external sources.

SAP BI 4.3 SP03

Released December 2021, the latest iteration of SAP BI added support for one of the most popular Cloud Drive in the market: Google.

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Figure 1: Google Sheet as a data source for Web Intelligence

Other Cloud Support that was added was the ability of a specific scheduled reports to be saved in Cloud Storage, for now it is Google Drive.

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Figure 2: Google Drive as a Destination for Scheduling

The introduction of Cloud Support for Google is a positive sign that SAP BI will bring support to others due to the new way of companies are adopting to the new normal of working: Hybrid Workspace. Unlike before that companies are solely reliable to Virtual Private Network (or VPN) to connect to the system to their job. This option can now allow users to use Cloud Storage as an alternate in case they need it.

OData

SAP BI is also adopting a new data source that is only available previously on SAP Analytics Cloud: OData Service

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Figure 3: OData Web Services as a Data Source

OData or Open-Data is a protocol allowing users to use data using RESTful API. This became a standard in exchanging data complexity utilizing builds from HTTP, JSON, and others to address and access information.

SAP is utilizing this in SAP Analytics Cloud and now, SAP BI.

Enhanced Query Panel

In the past, users are adamant of using a file-based data source because of its lack of features like Query Filter. Users are either discouraged to use it and scrap it altogether or some rely on workarounds like uploading an excel file in SAP Business Warehouse, which can be tedious in some cases.

But with the release of BI 4.3 SP 2, users can now take advantage of the full functionality of the Query Panel even if it is a local source.

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Figure 4: Query Panel for Excel Data Source

Link: https://blogs.sap.com/2021/12/08/sap-bi-4.3-sp2-whats-new-in-web-intelligence-and-semantic-layer/

The enhanced Query Panel not only breaks the distinction of Local file and Database but also allows flexibility to users to create ad-hoc Web Intelligence reports with ease.

Note: For Local files uploaded in the BI Launchpad still requires users to have permission to the file in order for them to reload the data in the Web Intelligence document.

Modification of Source Object Flexibility in Webi

In SAP BI Web Intelligence 4.3 SP2 added a hefty feature: Properties Tab. This allows users to modify the object property without going to the data source, query panel, or IDT (Information Design Tool) to change it.

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Figure 5: Changing Data Object Property in Webi

Link: https://blogs.sap.com/2021/12/08/sap-bi-4.3-sp2-whats-new-in-web-intelligence-and-semantic-layer/

Users can now utilize Data Types like High Precision in the tool without modifying it in IDT.

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