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Definition

A hierarchy is a set of data members arranged in levels or parent-child relationships
For example, a [Geography] hierarchy might contain the [Country], [State] and [City] levels
Hierarchies produce hierarchical columns in the result set produced by the query.
You can expand the items in the hierarchy to explore its data.
For example, you can expand the [California] level in a [Geography] hierarchy to explore data related to California.
You can select which members appear in the result set by using the Member Selector.
In hierarchical data sources, hierarchies are associated with a dimension and appear beneath the dimension with which they are associated in the list of available objects.

How they work

They normally come from hierarchical data defined at database level and accessed through OLAP Universes or BEx queries.
When accessing RDBMS sources they are commonly called hierarchies, but technically they are navigational paths.

Best practices - How to's

Accessing SAP Hierarchies in Webi with Opendocument and REBEAN

http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/x/84DwCg

Impact of a BEx query change to universes and WebI documents

http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/x/0wt9DQ

Web Intelligence 4.0 and time-dependent hierarchies

http://scn.sap.com/community/bi-platform/businessobjects-bi-for-sap/blog/2011/03/14/sap-integration-update-part-8--web-intelligence-40-and-time-dependent-hierarchies

SAP Notes on "Consulting" Category. Application Area-BW-BEX-OT-F4

http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/x/lAFaDQ

Differences in SAP-BI (BEx) and BO Reports

http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/x/DQTNDw

 

Known Issues

BI 4.0 SP05

ADAPT01643457

Hide hierarchy objects in Webi BOE SP2+14 it was working now after system was upgraded to 16 & 17 is not available

ADAPT01643989

BW Hierarchy Node value selected in a prompt shows full path in HTML viewer, only the value in all other viewers/editors

ADAPT01644836

"Incorrect results in Window of ""Ambiguous Hierarchy for Drill"" in Web View mode."

ADAPT01645440

hierarchy display in WebI

ADAPT01645890

Hierarchical node default selection for variables are not supported by DSL

ADAPT01658395

Not able to see Calculated Key Figure (CKF) under hierarchy structure

ADAPT01658831

Hierarchy issue with Patch 4.2

ADAPT01668149

Cannot run duplicated queries containing hierarchical objects

 

Useful KBs, Notes

 

1493030

Webi report filters based on hierarchies display all values when none are expected

1622057

Error: "An internal error occured while calling 'processDPCommandsEx' API. (Error: ERR_WIS_30270) (WIS 30270)" when refreshing WEBI report with a hierarchy object.

1741518

DHTML viewer: Hierarchy node variable LOV non-responsive in a Webi report

1744552

'List of values for current prompt requires value for following prompts' in prompt in WebI coming from a BEx hierarchy node variable.

1670437

BEx hierarchy variable is displayed in a flat list instead of in a tree hierarchy structure in Webi prompt

1686754

Linked nodes of an SAP BW Hierarchy are not supported in Webi (accessing BEx query via BICS) in BI4.0

1601371

Cannot select any node as prompt answer for prompt on hierarchy object in a Webi report

1760647

In WebI 4 how to change the display of hierarchy nodes and hierarchy node values in a prompt generated from a hierarchy node variable

1440912

WebI reports incorrect after BW 7.1.5 upgrade: Cannot drill below Level 5 of Hierarchy

1407617

Sort order of hierarchy node members is not the same in WebIntelligence as the source system (SAP R/3, SAP BW)

1827674 

Unable to apply a Custom Sort on Hierarchical Dimensions 

1694760Hierarchy expansion behavior set at BEx query level does not replicate in BI Launchpad

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q.: Is it possible to display parent levels at the bottom of the results (by default they are at the top) i.e.:
instead of

USA $400
Florida $100
Texas $100
Wisconsin $100

Florida $100
Texas $100
Wisconsin $100
USA $400

A: No, at present the order is predefined and cannot be customized