Connecting SAP BusinessObjects BI4.0 client tools on SAP HANA

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1 Connecting SAP BusinessObjects BI4.0 client tools on SAP HANA Applies to: This article applies to SAP HANA 1.0 SPS4, SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0 SP4 client tools, SAP Business Objects Analysis Office 1.3 and SAP Visual Intelligence Summary In this document we will present how various SAP BusinessObjects BI4.0 client tools connect to SAP HANA. The target audience is users who want to connect their BI environment to SAP HANA and who need a basic understanding of the supported configurations and the available technologies. Links to the available documentation are provided at in the Related Links section. In this document we will use SAP HANA as a data source for data marts, we are not discussing the access of SAP BW on HANA. Due to the fast rate at which enhancements are being added in SAP HANA and in the latest client tools, this document is continuously updated. To be sure you are referring to the most up to date version review the document history and related links for the online version of this document. Author: Pierpaolo Vezzosi Company: SAP Created on: November 5th, 2012 Author s Bio Pierpaolo Vezzosi is solution manager for business intelligence on HANA and the semantic layer. Since joining the company in 2000 he s held a variety of roles such as alliances manager, offshore manager and product manager. Pierpaolo holds a master s of science in Aeronautics and Space Engineering. He currently resides in France and works out of the SAP Labs Paris SAP AG 1

2 Table of Contents 1. General information on SAP HANA... 4 SAP HANA as a database for BI data marts... 4 HANA access methods Creating shared connections to SAP HANA... 6 Connection details... 6 Creating a shared relational connection from the information design tool... 6 Creating a shared OLAP connection from the CMC SAP Visual Intelligence Connection details Connection examples Supported functionality SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Edition for Microsoft Office Connection details Connection examples Using a shared connectivity Connection examples Using a local ODBC connectivity Supported functionality SAP BusinessObjects Analysis OLAP Connection details Connection examples Supported functionality SAP Crystal Reports Connection details Connection examples Supported functionality SAP BusinessObjects Explorer Connection details Connection examples Supported functionality Universes on SAP HANA Connection details Connection examples Supported functionality SAP BusinessObjects WebIntelligence Connection details Connection examples Supported functionality SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards Connection details Connection examples Supported functionality SAP AG 2

3 11. SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise Connection details Connection examples Supported functionality Summary of connection methods Related Content Copyright SAP AG 3

4 1. General information on SAP HANA SAP HANA is an SAP appliance containing an in-memory columnar database which enables a fast processing of huge volumes of data. Thanks to the SAP HANA technology it is now possible to store large quantities of data and access them in real time with high performance and with a minimal IT effort for optimization. The SAP HANA technology is very well suited for BI and the SAP BusinessObjects BI4.0 suite of applications has a great technology fit to make the most benefit out of the SAP HANA functionalities. In this document we will provide information on connecting to SAP HANA from the BI4.0 client tools and will explain the basic workflows which have to be performed on each client to connect. SAP HANA as a database for BI data marts SAP HANA is a database which physically stores data in memory and in a columnar format. When accessing SAP HANA, the physical storage of data is obviously hidden and client tools will see a logical storage of the information based on tables and SQL views. On top of those tables and SQL views it is also possible (and recommended) to define Information models. Those models are business representations and/or complex calculations, defined on top of the data stored in tables. The information models are ready and optimized to be consumed by client tools. The models are defined using the HANA Studio application. In summary, the following artifacts are available when running queries on HANA: Row based tables Tables whose data is stored with a row by row storage mechanism, not a columnar one. Row based tables have a slower read time and are not usually well suited for BI Column based tables Tables whose data is stored in columnar format. SQL views Logical views of data stored in tables based on SQL expressions Analytical views Information models defined on one or many columnar tables and SQL views which represents a business context. Analytical views can contain hierarchical information, currency exchange information and other business relevant functionalities Calculation views Information models defined as a complex calculation on one or more tables, SQL views and Analytical views (e.g. the combination of facts coming from multiple Analytical views or a predictive model on data stored in tables or other information models) SAP AG 4

5 For sake of completeness, two other artifacts are available for query: Attribute views and Stored Procedures. We are not going to cover their usage in this document as Attribute views are mainly an internal model used to define Analytical Views and Stored Procedures would require a longer explanation which goes outside of the scope of this document.. HANA access methods SAP HANA provides public ODBC and a JDBC access technologies to data. All SAP BusinessObjects BI4.0 install packages provide the necessary middleware to connect to SAP HANA. Various BI4.0 client tools directly embed in their workflow the definition of the connection so that the final user is not exposed to any technical choice or difficulty when it comes to connecting to SAP HANA. For those clients, the user will just have to provide the HANA server name, a user ID and a password; the client tool will take care of the technical instantiation of the connection. In the following sections we will detail how each client connects to HANA and what are the necessary steps to perform. To help understanding how client tools access SAP HANA we will define three types of methods provided to retrieve data: Direct access: the client tool embeds the drivers to connect to HANA and doesn t require any configuration or code writing to access the data. Universe access: the client tools accesses HANA via a universe. All configuration and scripting will be done at the universe level. Free hand SQL access: the client tools embeds the driver but the tool user will have to perform some SQL scripting in order to retrieve data from HANA 2012 SAP AG 5

6 2. Creating shared connections to SAP HANA Some BI4.0 client tools will be able to retrieve a connection to SAP HANA already defined in the BI platform. In the following sections we will describe how to create such a connection and make it available for the client tools. Connection details The SAP HANA connection can be either based on ODBC or on JDBC. In the following example we will explain how to create a connection based on JDBC as it requires fewer manipulations and is portable to more platforms and client tools. Shared connections just open a way to get to the HANA data; each client tools will use them for its specific needs (e.g. connecting to tables or views for universes, connecting to views for other tools, using SQL, MDX or BICS technology etc.). Creating a shared relational connection from the information design tool After launching the information design tool, you should open a project and in a folder create a new relational connection and provide a name for it 2012 SAP AG 6

7 You will have to choose the appropriate connection middleware, in this case an SAP HANA connection using a JDBC driver Finally you should provide the user name, password and the server name with its port. You can test the validity of the connection directly from this page Technical information: how to calculate the port number from the HANA instance number? When connecting to a HANA machine you will need to know either the instance number or the port number. There is a simple relationship between the two: if the instance number is XX, the port number will be 3XX15. E.g. an instance number 01 will be on port The connection is now saved in the local information design tool project SAP AG 7

8 From the same interface, in the Show Values tab, it is possible to immediately run SQL queries onto the HANA database to check if you can see data correctly. In order to share the connection for all client tools, you have to publish it to a CMS server. To do so, right click on the connection in the local project and select to publish it to a repository SAP AG 8

9 Then you select a BI platform server and publish the connection in one folder. The connection is now available for all tools enabled to browse the BI platform for it (Information design tool for building universes-, Analysis Office, Explorer) SAP AG 9

10 Creating a shared OLAP connection from the CMC The shared OLAP connections are always created through the CMC internface. Once connected to the CMC you should navigate to the OLAP Connections page and create a new connection In the new connection definition page, select SAP HANA as a provider, then enter the server name and port number. Technical information: how to calculate the port number from the HANA instance number? When connecting to a HANA machine you will need to know either the instance number or the port number. There is a simple relationship between the two: if the instance number is XX, the port number will be 3XX15. E.g. an instance number 01 will be on port SAP AG 10

11 In this page it is possible to define a common username and password for all users using this connection by setting the Authentication method to predefined. The standard prompt authentication will request a username and password whenever the connection is used. Saving the connection will make it available for client tools able to read it. 3. SAP Visual Intelligence The information of this section is updated to SAP Visual Intelligence Connection details SAP Visual Intelligence provides an embedded connectivity which can access HANA information models. No SQL or other code has to be written to connect to HANA and retrieve data. SAP Visual Intelligence provides two ways to connect to SAP HANA. Online: the data always resides on HANA and each action (e.g. filtering, slicing, etc.) sends a new query to the database. Only the data that has to be displayed is returned to the client tool Offline: the data is retrieved from SAP HANA into the client tool. All actions are performed on the local storage of data. The user can refresh the data from HANA when necessary. Technical information: this connectivity is using a JDBC driver which is provided and which doesn t require any configuration. The usage of the JDBC driver is fully transparent to the user Connection examples Both online and offline connections require the same information to connect to HANA. From the Visual Intelligence interface select the creation of a New Document based on a SAP HANA connection SAP AG 11

12 Then just enter the server name, its instance number, a user name and a password. Once this information is entered correctly, the UI will display a list of HANA information models which can be used as source. Supported functionality SAP Visual Intelligence can connect to any type of information model (Analytical views, Calculation views). SAP Visual Intelligence can upload data into SAP HANA and automatically create an Analytical View out of it. 4. SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Edition for Microsoft Office The information provided in this section is updated to the SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Edition for Microsoft Office release 1.3. ( Analysis Office from now on) Connection details Analysis Office connects to SAP HANA always via an ODBC layer. It is necessary hence to install the HANA ODBC middleware on the local machine where the tool is running. The HANA middleware has to be of the same bit version than Analysis office: 32 bit or 64 bit. The definition of the connection can rely either on the local ODBC middleware or on a shared relational or OLAP connectivity defined on a BI platform server. When using a shared connectivity, the only action to perform is to login to the BI platform server and the select the requested connectivity. In order to access SAP HANA with a local connectivity, it is necessary to set up the appropriate middleware in the Microsoft Windows 32bit or 64bit ODBC driver managers following the example provided in the next section. Once the ODBC connection is in place or the shared connectivity is selected, no more scripting is necessary to connect to HANA from the Analysis Office client SAP AG 12

13 Analysis Office will connect to the SAP HANA Information models (Analytical views, calculation views). Technical information: the ODBC or JDBC connections are used by an SAP own technology for multidimensional data access called BICS; it is correct to say that Analysis Office uses BICS to access SAP HANA. The BICS layer is completely transparent to the end user, the only action required is the configuration of the ODBC driver or the retrieval of the JDBC shared connection. Connection examples Using a shared connectivity If you want to use a shared connectivity, the only action is to add a new source using the Insert button You will be asked to connect to a BI platform server to retrieve the information Note : the connection is retrieved through the BI platform web service interface. The usual format of the hyperlink of that interface is: SAP AG 13

14 Once connected, the list of HANA shared connectivity available on the server is presented. Connection examples Using a local ODBC connectivity Connecting via a local ODBC middleware requires a setup step in the local ODBC manager. From Windows, make sure you start the correct ODBC driver manager (file name for the 32bit version: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\odbcad32.exe; file name for the 64bit version: C:\Windows\System32\odbcad32.exe). In the ODBC manager System DSN tab add a new connection using the HDBODBC32 or HDBODBC64 middleware and add the appropriate server name and port information 2012 SAP AG 14

15 Technical information: how to calculate the port number from the HANA instance number? When connecting to a HANA machine you will need to know either the instance number or the port number. There is a simple relationship between the two: if the instance number is XX, the port number will be 3XX15. E.g. an instance number 01 will be on port The ODBC manager will request a user name and password to test the connection to the HANA machine. Once the ODBC connection has been defined it is possible to launch Analysis Office and select the newly added source using the Insert button You can skip the step of the connection to the BI platform and you will be presented with the list of available local connections SAP AG 15

16 Supported functionality As of release 1.3.0, Analysis Office supports HANA hierarchies, variables and input parameters. When an information model requires an input value, a prompt will be exposed to the user. Analysis Offices enables write back to HANA for planning purposes. 5. SAP BusinessObjects Analysis OLAP The information presented here is updated to the BI4.0 SP4 SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for OLAP edition (from now on Analysis OLAP ). Connection details Analysis OLAP can connect to HANA through a shared OLAP connection defined via the CMC interface. Analysis OLAP connects to HANA information models. Once the connection has been chosen, there is no additional scripting necessary to access and analyze the data SAP AG 16

17 Technical information: Analysis OLAP will use the BICS technology to access HANA. This technology is completely transparent for the final user. Connection examples Analysis OLAP will use a shared OLAP connection to access HANA. To set up such a connection you should read the previous section about creating an OLAP connection from the CMC. When launching the Analysis OLAP application you will be presented with a list of the available shared OLAP connections: When the connection is chosen, the user will be presented with the list of available information models (if the choice was not already done when creating the connection in the CMC) 2012 SAP AG 17

18 Supported functionality As of BI4.0 SP4, Analysis OLAP supports HANA variable, input parameters and hierarchies in Analytical Views. 6. SAP Crystal Reports 2011 The information in this section is updated to SAP Crystal Reports 2011 SP4. Connection details Crystal Reports can connect to HANA using a local JDBC or ODBC connection to SAP HANA. The tool will connect to any HANA artefact available in the HANA catalog: tables, SQL views, information models, stored procedures. Once the connection defined, the report designer will have to either select the HANA artefacts needed for the report or write an SQL sentence to request data. In most cases, namely when connecting to information models, the SQL sentence is better suited to retrieve data. The HANA SQL syntax for information models has some specific model constraint. The syntax automatically generated by Crystal Reports might not be in line with such constraints, hence the suggestion to manually define the SQL sentence. Note: Queries to HANA Analytical Views are processed by an optimized engine which works under specific constraints. Queries with at least a measure must have the measure aggregation function in the Select clause and must group by all other dimensions; queries without measures must issue a Select Distinct statement. For queries with measures, using Crystal Reports 2011 there is an option in the database menu called Perform Grouping On Server which will generate GROUP BY SQL if the report is structured correctly: + No fields in the Details area + Create a Group for each Attribute in the report + Create a Summary at Group level for each Measure in the report In some cases, namely when connecting to tables, the automatic tool to generate joins, the SQL and the report selection will be sufficient SAP AG 18

19 Connection examples In the following example we provide a workflow for an ODBC connection to HANA. The SAP HANA connection via ODBC has to be defined in the Windows 32bit ODBC driver manager, please follow the instructions presented for SAP BusinessObjects Analysis for Office in a previous section. Once the middleware is correctly set up you should launch Crystal Reports, create a new report and select a new ODBC connection. After selecting the database connection defined in the Windows ODBC manager you will be prompted for user name and password. Once the identity verified, it will be possible to select the tables and/or information models to use in the report. All the information models will appear under the _SYS_BIC views catalog SAP AG 19

20 If instead of selecting the table or information model you want to access by writing an SQL sentence, you should choose Add Command in the above screen. Supported functionality The access to SAP HANA is made via free hand SQL syntax hence, whatever can be requested and returned via SQL is available. Namely, HANA variables and input parameters as well as multilingual information can be passed in the SQL. Hierarchies can be requested with SQL but the report rendering will not be automatically hierarchical. 7. SAP BusinessObjects Explorer The information provided in this section is updated to the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer release 4.0 SP4 Connection details SAP BusinessObjects Explorer ( Explorer from now on) connects to HANA using a relational connection shared on the BI Platform. To define such a connection please read the section Creating a shared connection to SAP HANA. Explorer will connect to Information models. Once connected to an information model there will be no need for coding or additional scripting to retrieve the data. Technical note: Explorer is using an SQL technology based on JDBC to connect to SAP HANA. The JDBC layer and the SQL code are completely hidden from the final user. Connection examples Explorer will use a shared relational connection defined on the CMS. This connection will have to be defined in the IDT and published on the CMS server onto which the Explorer server is running. After publishing the connection, following the information provided in the Create a shared relational connection section, you can log in into the Explorer system and select the Manage spaces button SAP AG 20

21 The page containing all avaialble connections for Explorer will open. Select the HANA connection you want to use, and after unfolding it, select the information model you want to explore and click the New button. You are now connected to the HANA information model and you will be directed to the page where you can create an infomation space. Supported functionality In BI4.0 SP4, Explorer is able to connect to any information model and supports HANA variables and input parameters. It also supports multilingual data functionality. 8. Universes on SAP HANA Some client tools benefit of a common interface exposing only business concepts when connecting to HANA. This interface is built with a Universe model. The definition of a universe is beyond the scope of this document. Information on how to build a universe can be found in various documents listed in the appendix SAP AG 21

22 Specific information on how to build a universe on SAP HANA can be found in the document Best practices: Creating a universe on SAP HANA at this link: Often, when defining a universe on SAP HANA you ll be expected to pass parameters. You will find the necessary information to pass values in the document Using SAP HANA variables with SAP BusinessObjects BI4.0 (at this link: Connection details Universes can be built both on HANA tables, information models and stored procedures defining a view. In order to connect to HANA, a universe has to be defined on top of either a local connection or a shared connection defined in the information design tool. The universe model will use the SQL language to retrieve information from HANA. Connection examples In order to connect to SAP HANA, the universe will need a local project connection or a shortcut to a shared connection on a server. In the section Creating a shared connection to SAP HANA we have seen how to create a local connection in the information design tool and how to publish it. Reusing an existing shared connection in a universe requires a few additional steps which will create a local shortcut to the server based connectivity. In the information design tool you will have to right click on the shared connection you want to use for a universe and select to create a relational connection shortcut SAP AG 22

23 Then you will select a local project and a folder where to save the connection shortcut The shortcut is now saved in your local project Notice that the local connection has a CNX etension, while the shortcut to the shared connection has a CNS extension. It is possible now to create a data foundation based on the local or on the shared connection. To do so and complete the definition of the universe, please read the appropriate material or watch some viewlets at this link: Supported functionality Universes can access tables, information models and stored procedures which define a view. It is possible to use HANA variables and input parameters using the universe derived table functionality. Language settings can be defined passing the correct locale parameter to SAP HANA SAP AG 23

24 9. SAP BusinessObjects WebIntelligence This information is updated to the release BI4.0 SP4. Connection details WebIntelligence connects to HANA via a universe. Once the universe is chosen there is no additional scripting or coding required from the final user. Universes can be either stored on the BI platform or locally on the end user machine (in this second scenario, the user will have the WebIntelligence Rich Client application installed). Thanks to the universe connection, WebIntelligence can retrieve data from tables and information models. Connection examples Once a universe has been defined, the only task to perform in WebIntelligence is to select it from the list of available ones SAP AG 24

25 Please note that, as one goal of the universe is to hide the database to the user, there is no indication whatsoever that the universe is built on top of a HANA database (unless this information has been voluntarily added in the universe title or description by the designer). Supported functionality WebIntelligence supports all functionalities supported by the semantic layer technology via a universe: HANA variables and input parameters, multilingual information, SSO. 10. SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards This information is updated to SAP BusinessObjects BI4.0 SP4 Dashboards Connection details Dashboards connects to HANA via a universe. Once the universe is chosen there is no additional scripting or coding required from the final user. Available universes have to be stored on the BI platform. Thanks to the universe connection, Dashboards can retrieve data from tables and information models SAP AG 25

26 Connection examples Once created a new empty dashboard you have to add a query to it using the Query Browser left tab You will be asked to authenticate to a BI platform server. Once connected to the BI platform you have to select the universe connecting to the HANA database 2012 SAP AG 26

27 Please note that, as one goal of the universe is to hide the database to the user, there is no indication whatsoever that the universe is built on top of a HANA database (unless this information has been voluntarily added in the universe title or description by the designer). After the universe has been selected you will have to define the query which will be used by the dashboard objects. Once the query executed it is possible to link its results to the dashboard component. Each time the query is refreshed, the components will show the latest value available in SAP HANA. Supported functionality Dashboards supports all functionalities supported by the semantic layer technology via a universe: HANA variables and input parameters, multilingual information, SSO SAP AG 27

28 11. SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise The information in this section is updated to SAP Crystal Reports for Enterprise BI4.0 SP4. Connection details Crystal Reports for Enterprise can connect to HANA via a universe or via a relational connection (shared or local) to tables or information models. Available universes have to be stored on the BI platform. Crystal Reports for Enterprise can retrieve data from HANA tables and information models The HANA SQL syntax for information models has some specific model constraint. The syntax automatically generated by Crystal Reports for Enterprise might not be in line with such constraints, hence the suggestion to use a Universe when connecting to a HANA information model rather than the direct access technology. Connection examples After creating a new blank report you will have to choose where the data source information will be found SAP AG 28

29 Selecting the Business Intelligence platform you will be able to choose a universe or a shared relational connection to SAP HANA. Selecting the Connection by vendor page you wil be able to chose a locally defined connection to SAP HANA SAP AG 29

30 In case a local connection or shared connection is chosen, a wizard will ask you to select the tables or information models you want to use in the report. Please note that the Information models are all located under the _SYS_BIC views catalog Supported functionality Crystal Reports enterprise supports all functionalities available via universes when connecting from the semantic layer (HANA variables, input parameters, multi-lingual information, SSO) SAP AG 30

31 When connecting directly with a relational connection, only basic SQL functionality is available (no variables or parameters, no multi-lingual settings). Because of SQL constraints, in some situations when connecting to Analytical Views with the direct access technology, there will be an error message returned SAP AG 31

32 12. Summary of connection methods In BI4.0 SP4, connections to HANA will be have to be defined in the following places: Local connection Shared connection Universe ODBC JDBC OLAP Relational Visual intelligence X X(1) Analysis for Office X X X Analysis for OLAP X X Crystal Reports 2011 X Crystal Reports for Enterprise X X X X WebIntelligence Dashboards X X Explorer X X(1) (1) Possible but not recommended (it can be used e.g. for multi-source queries, where one source is HANA) 13. Related Content Universe best practices on SAP HANA: Information design tool tutorials: BI on HANA basic tutorial: Tutorials on most client tools (and specific tutorials on BI4.0 on HANA): SAP AG 32

33 14. Copyright Copyright 2012 SAP AG. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or for any purpose without the express permission of SAP AG. The information contained herein may be changed without prior notice. Some software products marketed by SAP AG and its distributors contain proprietary software compyounts of other software vendors. Microsoft, Windows, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. IBM, DB2, DB2 Universal Database, System i, System i5, System p, System p5, System x, System z, System z10, System z9, z10, z9, iseries, pseries, xseries, zseries, eserver, z/vm, z/os, i5/os, S/390, OS/390, OS/400, AS/400, S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server, PowerVM, Power Architecture, POWER6+, POWER6, POWER5+, POWER5, POWER, OpenPower, PowerPC, BatchPipes, BladeCenter, System Storage, GPFS, HACMP, RETAIN, DB2 Connect, RACF, Redbooks, OS/2, Parallel Sysplex, MVS/ESA, AIX, Intelligent Miner, WebSphere, Netfinity, Tivoli and Informix are trademarks or registered trademarks of IBM Corporation. Linux is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, PostScript, and Reader are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation. UNIX, X/Open, OSF/1, and Motif are registered trademarks of the Open Group. Citrix, ICA, Program Neighborhood, MetaFrame, WinFrame, VideoFrame, and MultiWin are trademarks or registered trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. HTML, XML, XHTML and W3C are trademarks or registered trademarks of W3C, World Wide Web Consortium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Java is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation. JavaScript is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation, used under license for technology invented and implemented by Netscape. SAP, R/3, SAP NetWeaver, Duet, PartnerEdge, ByDesign, SAP Business ByDesign, and other SAP products and services mentiyoud herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and other countries. Business Objects and the Business Objects logo, BusinessObjects, Crystal Reports, Crystal Decisions, Web Intelligence, Xcelsius, and other Business Objects products and services mentiyoud herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Business Objects S.A. in the United States and in other countries. Business Objects is an SAP company. All other product and service names mentiyoud are the trademarks of their respective companies. Data contained in this document serves informational purposes only. National product specifications may vary. These materials are subject to change without notice. These materials are provided by SAP AG and its affiliated companies ("SAP Group") for informational purposes only, without representation or warranty of any kind, and SAP Group shall not be liable for errors or omissions with respect to the materials. The only warranties for SAP Group products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services, if any. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty SAP AG 33

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