To those who are looking for convincing reasons to move to BI 4.2, here is a feature list (based on our client needs)

1. DHTML Client parity

  • Support of Excel data source

BusinessObjects Platform 4.2 Excel Data Source

  • Conditional formatting

BusinessObjects Platform 4.2 Conditional Formatting

  • Ranking, Sub Queries and complex filters

BusinessObjects Platform 4.2 Ranking Sub-Queries

  • Format number

BusinessObjects Platform 4.2 Format Number

  • Change Source

BusinessObjects Platform 4.2 Change Source

  • Merged Variables

BusinessObjects Platform 4.2 Merged Variables

  • Reference

BusinessObjects Platform 4.2 Reference

  • Comments

BusinessObjects Platform 4.2 Comments

2. BI Commentary

One of the most welcomed feature and one that is requested multiple times in idea place (https://ideas.sap.com/D8678, https://ideas.sap.com/D7707, https://ideas.sap.com/D28334, https://ideas.sap.com/D16931, https://ideas.sap.com/D32131) is the BI commentary. This provides collaboration of the user community on the existing BI content, thereby enabling them to share their feedback either on the technical or business aspect of the BI content.

Please refer our earlier blog to understand how you can make use of Commentary feature along with BI Audit data https://visualbi.com/blogs/business-intelligence/extending-bi-4-2-commentary-feature-audit-schema/

3. Parallel Data Provider Refresh

As a performance improvement across the platform, we have an enhancement to refresh all the data sources in parallel. You can find the configuration for this across each tool as below:

  • In universe design tool and information design tool: Max Parallel Queries per connection parameter for relational connections.
  • In CMC and information design tool: Max Parallel Queries per connection parameter for OLAP connections.
  • In CMC: Max Parallel Queries per document parameter and enable/disable parallel queries for scheduling

4. Direct Access to HANA views & Online mode

  • Now you have the capability to create a Webi report on top of a HANA view directly instead of creating a universe and refer the view via a semantic layer. We can also connect the HANA view directly to get the online data which will be useful for any type of real time reporting.

BusinessObjects Platform 4.2 HANA Views

5. SAP BW specific Enhancements

  • Data load status of an BW Info provider – In the formula language, Query Summary (Status of Data) returns the SAP BW Info Provider’s last upload data.

BusinessObjects Platform 4.2 Data Load Status

  • SAP BW linked nodes are supported both for SAP BW direct access and UNX based on BW
  • Usage Statistics – When running a query on a universe based on a SAP BEx query, usage statistics are sent to SAP BW.

6. Sets

Sets are the pre-defined complex query filters designer at Business layer level. Sets can be exported in to repository and the set filter is applied as on when you use the associated universe for creation of reports against the universe. As of now only the following databases are supported for Sets

  • SAP HANA
  • IBM Netezza
  • SQL Server
  • Oracle

7.  Merge variables

Like the merge dimensions, now you can also use variables for merging different quesries involved in the particular WebI document. The provides you the flexibility to combine different data sets without even having the matching dimension objects.We can easily switch between the data sources. The following are the type of data sources which we can switch between.

8.  Change Source

If you have WebI report created on top of SAP BW directly, you can change the data source to point to SAP BW authored universe/SAP HANA direct access now. Only thing is you should have a same objects in both of the data sources.

  • From SAP BW Direct Access to SAP BW Authored Universe
  • From SAP BW Direct Access to SAP HANA Direct Access
  • From SAP HANA Authored Universe to SAP HANA Direct Access

9.  Custom Elements

Custom elements provide you the capability to reuse your existing data /chart/visualization into your Web Intelligence document. This enables you to reuse your existing already developed component to be reused as long as it complies with the custom elements standards. Please refer the blog below to understand more about custom elementshttps://blogs.sap.com/2016/03/15/how-to-build-a-custom-elements-service-for-sap-web-intelligence-42/

10.  CMS database access driver

Finally one of the most welcoming and the long awaited feature CMS database access driver which provides the capability to create reports on top of the metadata tables. Please refer our observation in this blog.

https://visualbi.com/blogs/sap-businessobjects/cms-database-data-access-driver-bi-4-2-sp3/

References

What’s New – Welcome to SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence platform 4.2 SP3 at: https://uacp2.hana.ondemand.com/viewer/#/09fe9f205ee047d48d58665649fc4fae/4.2.3/en-US/6121d85cee9440ac92fded89ddaae5e1.html

https://blogs.sap.com/2016/03/15/how-to-build-a-custom-elements-service-for-sap-web-intelligence-42/

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