SAP has merged the EPM add-in with Analysis for office so that it is a single installation versus multiple installations. In this article, we will do a feature by feature comparison of both these tools to highlight the additional features that Analysis for office has to offer.

This article outlines the difference between the reporting Add-in tools in Analysis Office based on the BPC model created – Embedded model/IPAK as opposed to the classical model of BPC and explains how each of the functions in EPM add-in can be achieved in Analysis Add-in and the future road map of Analysis Add-in.

EPM Add-in and Analysis Add-in has been unified in Analysis for Office. Based on the model type the specific add-in is selected.

Analysis for Office Versus EPM Add-In Detailed Feature Comparison

BPC embedded models are connected to Analysis Plug-in and BPC classic models are connected to EPM Plug-in by default.

Going forward with BPC 10.1 and BPC 11.0 aka BW/4 BPC, the direction from SAP is to emphasize to the embedded model for both planning and consolidation for future developments.

Note: This is just the recommendation / guidance from SAP , but the current standard model is supported in BPC 11 and tools to convert standard to embedded models are slowly taking shape.

Analysis for Office Versus EPM Add-In Detailed Feature Comparison

Components available in Analysis Plug-in.

Analysis for Office Versus EPM Add-In Detailed Feature Comparison

Components available in EPM add-in.

Analysis for Office Versus EPM Add-In Detailed Feature Comparison
FeatureEPM Add-in (Standard)Analysis Add-in Embedded
ConnectionsConnections can be done to Standard Model of Business planning and consolidation.Connections to Embedded model can be done on a case by case basis. Refer note 2327742.There can be multiple active connections.Connections can be done to Embedded environments only.There can be multiple active connections. 
Save/OpenReports or Input forms can be saved either to·       Server Folder or·       LocalReports can be saved either in·       NetWeaver platform through roles·       BI platform to a specific folder·       Local
New Report/Edit ReportNew report can be created either by·       EPM Report Editor·       Entering members directly in the report·       EPM Pane·       Drag and drop from EPM pane,·       Copy and Paste.New report is created using the Bex query designer.To edit report, click on the launch query designer or Design Panel.
Enable Input Form/ReportSwitch between Input form/Report can be done either in Sheet options or in Report options in EPM Report Editor.Use as Input Form If this is checked, it acts an input form for planning else it’s a report with Read only.Switch between Input form/Report is done in Bex Query designer.Start Query in change Mode If this is checked, it acts an input form for planning else it’s a report with Read only.
Report FormattingEPM Formatting sheet can be used for report formatting. Also, Excel conditional formatting can be used.Format in analysis tab can be used for formatting. As in EPM Add-in Excel conditional formatting can be used.Additionally, Bex Exceptions can be used for report formatting.
Axis SharingMultiple reports can share the same axis using the Share Axis feature in Report editor.Combine option can be used to achieve this functionality to share axis among reports.
Data AnalysisExpand, Collapse, Keep and Exclude are done in Data Analysis group in EPM tab.Expand and Collapse can be done in Hierarchy group,Keep and Exclude can be done in Filter in Data analysis group.
Quick LinksQuick Links can be created from Tools option based on member or context or report.Links can be created based on a cell using the context menu of a cell.
Drill ThroughDrill Through to be activated in Business planning and Administration and used in EPM Drill Though.Work around of Drill Through can be achieved through RRI (Report to Report Interface) or Jump Query.
Report PublicationReport publication can be done through Collaboration group in EPM add-in.Publication of the reports can be done in BI launch pad.
Offline PlanningOffline Planning can be done through Report distribution and collection function in EPM.There is no provision for offline planning in AO. This functionality can be achieved through a work around.
Planning (Spread /Trend /Weight /Disaggregate)Planning functions such as Spread, Trend, Weight and Disaggregate are part of EPM Add-in Planning group.These functions are achieved through Planning functions.
CommentsComments can be inserted in the reports through EPM comments.EPM functions can be used to save and retrieve comments.Work around needs to be done to save comments in Analysis for office which includes new modelling to store comments data.
JournalsLanding of journals can be from EPM Journals button.This functionality is currently not available. Need to logon to web client to post journals.
FunctionsUse of EPM functions can be used to extend functionality in reports and input forms.Use of SAPGET functions can be used to enrich AO reports.
Design Studio ConnectionUse of EPM connectors and Use as source of data should be enabled, or Bex query on top of the model can be used to connect to Design Studio.Create Web Application can be used to launch Design Studio to transfer the current work book.

Future planned in Analysis Add-in includes Asymmetric reporting, embedded comments feature instead of having to work around.

Data Manger Add-in:

BPC Standard model user Data Manager Add-in to move data from a source to target and is achieved through Data manager packages.

In BPC embedded model, Data manager Add-in is not available and movement of data from source to target is through Process chains and Planning functions. We will visit these topics in detail in a subsequent blog to help differentiate how this can be achieved in an increasingly HANA world.

Got questions? Click here to get in touch.

  1. AO Help on SAP Help Portal (AO Plugin Userguide / EPM Plugin Userguide)
  3. Offline Planning –
  4. Comments in AO –

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