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In this article, we compare the features of Web Intelligence (WebI) and Desktop Intelligence (DeskI) in order to help users convert documents from DeskI to WebI. In general, most of the functions in DeskI have been covered by WebI in the new release of BI4.0 and can be converted. However, there are some functions that require workarounds in WebI. The first section shows a basic overview of all the features for DeskI and WebI. The proceeding sections explain the changes in more detail.
Comprehensive feature comparison between Desktop Intelligence and Web Intelligence
the feature exists or can have a different workflow
the feature exists partially, has a different workflow or have workarounds
the feature does not exist but a different workflow or workaround exist
the feature does not exist
Features that cannot be converted
|WebI 4.2 SP03||Future Direction|
Features that are partially converted
|Planned for future release|
Features that are fully converted but with changes
|Planned for future release|
|Planned for future release|
Comparison of usability features
#Adding subtotal and percentage of total on the Rank definition panel
|Planned for future release|
|Planned for future release|
New features in WebI
Features that have no workarounds in DeskI
Features which there is no workaround in DeskI
Input Controls (quick filters)
Track Data Change
Server Side Ranking as a Query Filter
Drill over the Web
Advanced Charting capabilities (CVOM)
Hierarchical Navigation (Dimensional SL)
Enhanced Copy / Paste
|BI Variants (saved selections for the Prompts)|
|Visualization Extension (Custom Elements)|
|Parallel Queries (Data Providers) refresh|
WebI new Data sources
Support for SAP data sources
Support for Dimensional UNX
Support for Multi-Source UNX
BICS Connectivity for BEx Queries
|Support BW/BEx authored universe (.unx)|
|SAP HANA Direct Access|
|SAP HANA Online mode|
|Support HANA CDS view and S4/HANA|
Analysis Views (Interoperability with SAP BusinessObjects Analysis)
1. Features that cannot be converted
Not all the DeskI documents can be converted with the Report Conversion Tool(RCT). The level of conversion depends on the features that are used in the original report. Desktop Intelligence features that are not (yet) available in Web Intelligence are not converted. In these section, we will list the types of DeskI features can not converted, and describe the workaround in WebI on how to accomplish the functionality in different way.
OLAP data provider
DeskI used to support several types of OLAP data provider.
In WebI, users may create documents against OLAP provider using OLAP universes. Especially in 4.0 release, you may create reports on top of dimensional semantic layer, which is very powerful to leverage OLAP functionalities. The DeskI documents based on OLAP data provider cannot be converted, and you need to create a UNX universe and then create documents based on the universe.
XML as data provider
|DeskI||In DeskI, XML can be data provider directly.|
|WebI||DeskI document based on XML could not be converted with RCT. |
In WebI, you may use the universe which is made against XML via third party Database drivers, you may refer to the following articles:
1. Querying XML data through a Universe https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/11419
2. Querying XML data with Oracle through the semantic layer https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/11424
3. Consume Web services, Query XML files & columns with IBM DB2 https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/11428
Another option is to use the Custom Data Provider Plug-in which provides a framework to develop your own data provider, therefore allows you to consume potentially any data provider into Web Intelligence. The Developer Guide posted at http://help.sap.com/businessobject/product_guides/boexir31SP2/en/xi31_sp2_cdp_dev_en.pdf goes in more details.
Visual Basic Data Provider
|DeskI||In DeskI, you can create report on Visual Basic data provider directly.|
|WebI||DeskI documents based on Visual Basic Data Provider could not be converted. Anyway, you can use the Custom Data Provider Plug-in which provides a framework to develop your own data provider, therefore allows you to consume potentially any data provider into Web Intelligence. The Developer Guide posted at http://help.sap.com/businessobject/product_guides/boexir31SP2/en/xi31_sp2_cdp_dev_en.pdf goes in more details. Essentially this should allow Visual Basic Data Providers developed for Deski to be re-used in Webi.|
|DeskI||In DeskI, Free-hand SQL(FHSQL) can be used directly as data source.|
|WebI||DeskI documents based on Free-handSQL can be fully converted to WebI since BI4.1 SP06. |
The only restriction is that free-hand SQL data providers in Web Intelligence must be based on secured connections, while DeskI supports both personal and secured connections for free-hand SQL data providers.
Filter with a Calculation operand
In DeskI, you can define calculation in the query panel. For example, below is a query generated when the calculation operand is used:
This type of DeskI document is not converted. WebI doesn't have this shortcut, but can make it through query-on-query.
Query 2 is:
That is to find the MAX value from the first query, and use it to create a filter in the second query.
User defined objects
|DeskI||In DeskI, the use case is for power users to effectively add variables to universe objects (reusable variables across reports). With the feature, you may alter the way to use objects brought from the universe, e.g.: add text string to output from database, change universe definition from Dimension to Measure or Detail.|
|WebI||Document with User defined objects can not be converted. You may create same objects in the underlying universe, and replace the user objects in DeskI, then do the conversion. |
To accomplish similar functionalities, in WebI:
1. you can create variables for a given dimension that change its qualification to dimmension, detail, measure
2. you can filter on source data with variables.
3. you can also simply copy paste formula for a variable from one document to another.
|Starting WebIntelligence 4.2 SP02, end-users can use the functionnality SHARED ELEMENTS to share their custom variables between users.|
Save option with protection password
|DeskI||In DeskI, you can set protection password and write reservation password in the save option panel.|
|WebI||WebI does't support this kind of protection, instead, the protection of WebI is based on the authentication with CMS. The DeskI documents with protection password or write reservation password would fail to be converted. You may manually remove the password from the document prior to the conversion.|
|Besides, when a DeskI document contains variable that references another variable that cannot be converted, then the ducument cannot be converted. You need to manually modify the variable accordingly prior to the conversion.|
2. Features that are partially converted
The same task can be accomplished in different ways in DeskI and WebI. In this section, we give a list of these features and how they work in both DeskI and WebI.
Automatic refresh setting
|DeskI||DeskI documents can have the Automatic refresh setting at the document level.|
|WebI||WebI relies on the BI Launch Pad(Infoview) to schedule the refresh, during conversion, the refresh setting is removed. After conversion, you can schedule the refresh on the BI Launch Pad.|
|Available in Web Intelligence 4.1 and 4.2 : developers can create en EXTENSION POINT based on the REST APIs WEB SERVICES to fulfill this equirement.|
Scope of analysis with filter on a measure
In DeskI, when the query contains both "scope of analysis" and "aggregate filter", the dimension of analysis scope participates in the Having filter, see below example:
WebI generates the query in a different way:
When converting the document with Report conversion tool, the query is changed to WebI's way. The query from WebI is actually based on most use cases, since the query in DeskI somehow doesn't return data which is desired for users.
|DeskI||In DeskI, you may leverage context operators in a formula such as Where, In|
|WebI||The document is partially converted, and the variables contains context operator are deleted during conversion. Anyway in WebI, most of the context operators are available, and users can re-create these variables, except the operator "In Currentpage". Besides, in WebI the "Where" clause can support more operators such as Inlist, > and <.|
Variance and Variance percentage calculation
|DeskI||In DeskI, this is a shortcut to calculates the difference between two selected values.|
|WebI||Documents contain the calculation can be partially converted. During conversion, the calculation is removed. In WebI, instead of using the crosstab, choose vertical or horizontal table, leave one dimension as original, change the other dimension into a series of variables like [Revenue] where ([City]="City1"), [Revenue] where ([City]="City2"), create a variable like [Revenue] where ([City]="City1") - [Revenue] where ([City]="City2") to calculate the Variance. Eventually the horizontal or vertical table would display what the crosstab displays with the desired Variance calculation.|
Complex Filter using condition in a formula
|DeskI||In DeskI, this enables formulas to define if filter applied or not. The workflow is: right-click on table, format filters, define, add a variable, define. Users can create formula like "show me all data where varA < varB" with the feature.|
|WebI||Documents contain the formula can be partially converted. The filter is deleted during conversion. In WebI, use variable to do the same, the workflow is: firstly create a variable like "varC = if (varA < varB) then 1 else 2", then add a filter like "varC = 1".|
Block and global filter
|DeskI||In DeskI, on the "Format filters" panel, you can drag and drop filters among multiple blocks or make it as global filter.|
|WebI||During the conversion, complex block and global filter could be removed in some cases. Regarding the usability, in WebI, you cannot drag and drop filters among multiple blocks and globale, you need to recreate filter for different blocks manually. Another approach is to use input control, which provides flexibility to choose the range of filter.|
|Starting Web Intelligence 4.1 SP06 and included into 4.2 SP02 : we have added the functionnality GLOBAL INPUT CONTROL.|
Filter applied on a measure in a block
|DeskI||DeskI can filter a measure in a block.|
During conversion the filter is removed. You may add the filter after conversion, or use input control to apply the filter in a different way.
Same-level Break on multiple dimensions
In DeskI, when defining a break, you can apply breaks of multiple columns within one single level.
During conversion, the setting is removed. In WebI, this can be done by using formatting options. For examples, you can firstly add two breaks, in the "Manage breaks" window, enable the break header and foot for one break, disable them for the other.
Break on an object not in the block
In DeskI, you can break a block on a column which is not part of the block.
The break is removed during the conversion. In WebI, a workaround is to create a section with the column which is not part of the block, then remove the section label.
In DeskI, when defining the break, you can choose break values among the list of value of the break dimension. For example, when the dimension <City> contains values of DC, Boston and Seattle, you can make a break only on the value "DC", and make other values not affected by the break.
The break is removed during the conversion. In WebI, same views can be accomplished in a different way through formula functions. For example, create a variable as: =If ([City]="DC") Then "DC" Else "Other cities", then set section on the variable, and remove the section label to make the variable invisible.
DeskI has functions which are not corresponding to functions in WebI, including: ApplicationValue, BlockNumber, CurrentPage, GetProfileNumber, GetProfileString, Hyperlink, OLAPQueryDescription, PageInSection.
Duing conversion, these functions are replaced with RepFormula("original_syntax"). Besides, the function CountAll is changed to WebI syntex as Count([object_name]; IncludeEmpty; All); and the function "MultiCube" is renamed to "ForceMerge".
Sort on an object not in the block
In DeskI, to sort a block on a column which is not part of the block, you need to add dimension which is not part of the block as a break, in the break definition, disable the break header and footer, then the invisible break behaves like a sort in the table.
The sort is removed during the conversion. On 4.0 release, you can add the extra column to the table, do the sorting, then hide the column.
Dual axes line chart
In DeskI, you may have Dual Y-axes line charts, which display units for different measures, which is done by enabling the Secondary (Y) Axis in the "Axes and Gridlines" window.
Web Intelligence is now on par with DeskI. With XI3.1, you had to create separate chart. With BI4.1, WebI addresses few remaining charting deltas compared to Deski including dual axes line chart, and introduces many new chart types which are not found in DeskI.
Multiple groups chart
DeskI can have multiple groups on a single chart. In the Chart Format window, you can add additional groups, each group can have different chart type.
After conversion, only the first group appears as WebI doesn't support multiple groups on a single chart.
Automate & Extend functionality via VBA macros
In DeskI, VBA can be used for windows applications, not web-based applications.
|WebI||During conversion the VBA macros are deleted. |
VBA Macros were mostly used to perform publishing workflows that are now handled "out-of-the-box" by the platform
Besides, there are many customization possibilities in WebIntelligence. You can create your own function in order to use it in the Formula language seamlessly using Calculation Extension Points. You can customize how you want WebIntelligence reports to behave using the ReportEngine SDK. You can customize the WebIntelligence Report viewer using the Extension Points. You can create your own custom data provider using the Custom Data Source Framework. For all the use cases, below is the list of solutions and corresponding document links:
1. Creation of external function (custom functions visible in the WebIntelligence Formula language) http://help.sap.com/businessobject/product_guides/boexir31SP2/en/xi31_sp2_webi_calc_ext_en.pdf
2. Customization of WebIntelligence Reports processing (document processing, prompts, drill, report elements etc...) using the ReportEngine SDK (JAVA and .NET)
. Sample Code http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/boc/samples?rid=/webcontent/uuid/30e2b6d2-2784-2b10-59b6-95b2d8c50a02
. REBEAN Object Model: http://help.sap.com/javadocs/boe/xi/re/en/index.html
3. Customization of WebIntelligence Reports interface using Extension Points (DHTML, Java Report Panel, WRC)
RIG Podcast and Blogs: http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/18429, http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/20858, http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/weblogs?blog=/pub/wlg/17696
4. Creation of custom Data Providers: WebIntelligence Custom Data Source (CDS) Framework is a plug-in framework that facilitates creation of a data provider on custom data sources that could be consumed by Web Intelligence Rich Client.
. Documentation : http://help.sap.com/businessobject/product_guides/boexir31SP2/en/xi31_sp2_cdp_dev_en.pdf
Across Edge Display settings in crosstabs
In DeskI, you can configure the Fold and Show header/footer setting of Across Edge Display in crosstabs.
During conversion, the setting is removed.
Page break header/footer
In DeskI, you can define the Page break header/footer.
During conversion, the setting is removed.
With Report Conversion Tool(RCT), besides the partially converted documents, you may also have partially published documents. Partially published documents happen when the RCT can not find the associated universe during the conversion. The partially published documents can still be opened and viewed, but they are not refreshable.
3. Features that are fully converted but with changes
Some changes may appear when the document is converted because of WebI accomplishing the same functionality in a different way compared to DeskI. In this section, we will list all changes which might exist on the converted documents.
The same functionality has been available in Web Intelligence since BI4.1 SP02, so this feature is now fully converted by the report conversion tool.
In DeskI, you may fold/unfold tables, sections and breaks.
In WebI, to fold/unfold vertically is delivered starting from XI3.1 SP2. After conversion, all the report elements are unfolded.
Sort on query
In DeskI, you can apply sort at the query level.
WebI doesn't apply sort at the query level, during the conversion the sort on query is removed. Anyway, you can apply the sort at the report level.
Retrieve the top N rows
In deski, you can apply sort when designing the query, and also set the count of rows to retrieve partial results at the query option panel. With combining these two features, you can retrieve top N rows for a dimension.
In WebI, you can choose count of rows to retrieve, but can not apply sort at the query level, so you can not do the retrieve top N directly. Anyway, you can leverage Rank ability instead. During conversion, the sort is lost, you need to apply sort at the report level.
Option of "Delete trailing blanks"
DeskI users rely on this on the query panel for enabling synchronization.
The option is lost during conversion. For WebI, this should be done at the universe level, but for local sources, you have to edit cells containing trailing blanks. On 4.0 release, you can do "merge on variable" which will enable deleting the leading/trailing blanks then merging in the report.
Option of "Do not retrieve data"
In DeskI, this helps you to build the report structure without retrieving the data.
The option is lost during conversion. In WebI, you can accomplish the behavior in a different approach. Beside the "Close" button on the Edit query panel, there is an arrow, click on the arrow, you will find two options: one is "Apply changes and close", the other is "Revert changes and close". If you choose the first one, you go to the edit report mode, and you can build the report structure without retrieving the data.
Option of "Do not generate SQL before running"
This is a setting in DeskI when defining the query.
The setting is removed during conversion. In WebI, there is a option: "Use custom SQL", which also prevents the edited SQL from being overwritten.
Filter on a formula
In DeskI, you can apply Filter on a formula.
In WebI, you can create a variable and apply the filter on the variable, during comversion, a variable is created and the filter is applied to the variable automatically.
Windows OLE objects
DeskI can contain Windows OLE objects.
WebI doesn't support it, during conversion, the OLE objects are changed into GIF format.
In DeskI, the embeded picture is stored in TIFF format.
During conversion, the static picture is converted to GIF format.
DeskI supports dynamic Picture, forr example, path computed at runtime or using "Read as pictures" properties.
During conversion, the dynamic picture is deleted. But, you can recreate the same dynamic bahavior by using the "Format cell / Appearance" settings
Page setup options
In DeskI, you may setup the page options for each document.
During conversion, original page setup options are lost and default Web Intelligence page options are applied.
DeskI's date format is a little bit different from that of WebI.
During conversion, the date is changed to an equivalent Web Intelligence format according to the mappings.
In DeskI, you can have cells shading with gray scale and pattern.
During conversion, the shading is removed. In webi you can use background images for similar effect. Any background image can be added to the cell.
In DeskI, you can define the description for each variable.
During conversion, the description is removed. As a workaround, you can create another variable to store the description, or put the description in a free-standing cell.
User defined grouping of values in a variable
In DeskI, users can create custom groupings. For example, when the dimension City has list of value: New York,DC,Los Angeles,Seattle, you can create a variable with two value:"East cities"(which includes New York and DC)and "West cities"(which includes Los Angeles and Seattle).
|WebI||The same feature is now available in Web Intelligence (since BI4.1 SP02), so this feature is fully converted by the report conversion tool.|
Series color in Charts
In DeskI, you can define the color for data series.
During conversion, the original relationship between a series and its color is lost.
|This functionnality has been added into 4.1 SP06 and is included into the 4.2 release. After conversion, the end-user can re-apply the color to the data serie.|
Stored Procedure as data provider
In DeskI, you can use stored Procedure as data provider directly.
For WebI, you need to create universe based on stored Procedure, then create create report on top of the universe. Actually, creating universe on Stored Procedure which is much preferred by IT and Administrator people. During conversion, a DeskI document based on stored procedure is converted into two parts, one is a universe based on the stored procedure, the other is a WebI document based on the new generated universe.
In DeskI, like the feature of multiple column in Microsoft Word, you can display a narrow table in multiple columns within one page. (Workflow: Right-Click on a table > Table Format > General > Columns
In WebI, there is not direct feature, a possible workaround is with index number and filters, as long as the amount of data is not fluctuating too much. For example, when creating two columns within each page, first, duplicate the table, make the first table display rows with odd row index number, make the second table display rows with even row index number.
Relative position by setting negative number
In DeskI, you can set position of tables/charts related to other tables, charts by setting negative numbers. And it enables a bit more flexibility for some report layout tasks.
In WebI, negative number on relative position is not allowed, but you can use the other table/chart as reference to set positive numbers relative position.
Center across page
In DeskI, you can enables cells, tables, charts to be centered relative to page edges.
In WebI, you need to manually set it.
Conditional hide section, table/chart, cell, dimension
In DeskI, this enables hiding content based on thresholds.
In WebI, on XI3.1, there is workaround that columns can be hidden by using Alerters, when condition true (set always true) then apply formula to swap object in that same column. BI 4.0 release provides the conditional hiding functionality.
4. Comparison of usability features
This section compares the different usability features of DeskI and WebI. The usability features affect the ways of report authoring and consuming but they do not affect the conversion.
In DeskI, the feature data manager provides the following functions:
|WebI||For WebI, Data manager feature is delivered in 4.0. Furthermore, the query summary that can be even displayed and printed in a report. For scheduling refresh, WebI makes it through Inforview.|
When multiple data providers share the same universe, the universe is factorized and referenced only once in the document. Hence changing the universe of one Data Provider to another changes it for all Data Providers (given it was factorized).
In WebI, you need to switch universes one by one on each Data Provider.
Formula Editor usability
In DeskI, the formula editor is context-sensitive, operators change according to the variables picked, which may help to guide formula creation.
WebI is more static. Anyway, WebI users benefit from auto-complete the object/function based on first few characters for much faster creation, lowers likelihood of misspellings, also the help box doesn't let you launch help on operators (e.g. where clause). DeskI has the usability edge for formula creating, but both have certain advantages depending on the workflow and the ways functions are used.
Invoke List of Value(LOV) in Formula editor
In DeskI, it is a usability feature for adding items to "in list" operator.
In WebI, type in manually, or simply capture LOV as copy paste from report output to formula dialog.
Personal List of Values
Personal List of Values(LOVs) are created in the universe, but can also be done from within a Deski report.
In WebI, you may edit the list of value at the universe level.
In DeskI, you may create User-defined hierarchies to override the default ones from universe.
For WebI, the hierarchies(aka. navigation path in 4.0 release) are defined centrally in universe, then the business users who consume the universes don't have to understand data structure on the database layer. Anyway, you can always simply drag in relevant details instead of drill, or build formulas to display hierarchies in different ways. Alternatively, in 4.0 WebI will support true hierarchies defined in OLAP data source.
Predefined custom sort by days of week, month
In DeskI, this is shortcut for arranging common time dimensions (days, months)
WebI can do manually with up/down "arrows".
Adding subtotal and percentage of total on the Rank definition panel
In DeskI, it is a shortcut for adding subtotal and percentage of totalcontent to table on the Rank definition panel.
In webi, you have to define formula.
Scale to page when printing
In DeskI, this helps users to print content onto one page
In WebI there is no workaround on XI3.l. The feature is available on BI 4.0 release.
Search in document
DeskI can find: specific values in large document
WebI can find: specific values in the same page and display the total occurances. To search in the whole document, use "page content" in quick display mode to display up to 1000 rows per virtual page then users can search for keywords. And administrator can increase the default max rows per "virtual page" allowable to enables less page scrolling.
Split window pane to freeze headers
In DeskI, the feature is useful for navigating very large tables
WebI doesn't suport it. In WebI 3.1 SP2 and greater, you may apply a workaround to make the table header displayed when browsing a large table, that is to use input control to scroll by row index number.
|This functionnality is available stating Web Intelligence 4.1 SP02 and is included into 4.2.|
In deskI, templates enable Query results to be poured into formatted reports.
In WebI, you can define default style for corporate graphical charter.
In DeskI, you have to go to multiple places (Slice and Dice panel shows sorts, breaks,filters)
In WebI, structure view indicates if blocks have filters/sorts/breaks & positioning and enables sizing sections. It is time-saving features for full time authors.
You may refresh universe in DeskI, this requires the end-user to know that the universe should be refreshed.
WebI doesn't support it since universe authors typically refresh the universe themselves.
Image scaling over the web
Deski supports image scaling.
WebI Rich client supports it, but web-based Webi doesn't enable it due to an issue with HTML to handle images over the web.
In DeskI, you have to create them from scratch.
In WebI, it is shortcut for reusing complicated variables if you only need to change a small part.
View overall report structure map
In DeskI, you have to view structure report by report, not all-in-one presentation of report elements.
In WebI, may view overall report structure map for ease of maintenance (view structure, calculations/variables, filters). It's dHTML only for now.
In DeskI, you have to delete and recreate in order to change the prompt order.
In WebI, you can change the order of prompts.
User experience for prompts
DeskI does enable keyboard entry, no search for DeskI Prompt List of values, must select from list.
WebI enables: Cleaner graphical user experience for prompts, search in List of Values (+match case option), type unique value option instead of search long list.
Change object qualification for personal data
In Deski, you have to alter incoming excel to redefine the number type in Excel
In WebI, you can change object qualification for personal data. This is necessary for enabling synchronization displays.
Synchronized Data Providers
In DeskI, you have to click and scroll for each object to see if another object might be synchronized with it.
In WebI, to define Synchronized Data Providers, you can view all in one window, view synchronized values, add new object to synchronization list, etc. This is a superior user experience for managing complex synchronization within a document.
Copy/paste tables as text into Office document
In Deski, you have to save entire report as Excel to be able to reuse a specific table.
In WebI, you can copy/paste tables as text into Office document, or drag and drop either table or chart into Office. It is common task for business users to pull out parts of a report as needed to put into Office applications.
Save report to my computer as HTML
In DeskI, you can save the document as HTML format.
Webi is by default over the web, so saving content specifically to HTML is not requested. WebI can save in csv format which addresses the vast majority of workflows. In 4.0, WebI will enable copy/paste between WebI and Office with formatting.
Save report to my computer as CSV (data)
DeskI can not save report data to CSV, but can save data from each Data Provider to CSV file from Data manager.
WebI can save data from each Data provider, moreover WebI can save as csv from report side that will save all Data Providers in a report into one csv file.
Save report to my computer as TXT
In DeskI, you can save report to my computer as TXT
Webi can save as csv which addresses vast majority of workflows. Then CSV can be overwritten to replace comma with a different delimiter.
|Starting Web Intelligence 4.1 and included into 4.2: en-users can do an EXPORT TO TXT.|
Save report to my computer as RTF
In DeskI, you can save report to my computer as RTF, and keep formatting of table and values.
Webi can save as csv, or save as Excel to keep the formatting. These address vast majority of workflows. In 4.0, WebI will enable copy/paste between WebI and Office with formatting.
Publishing delivery rules
Delivery rules affect how documents in publications are processed and distributed. When you set delivery rules on documents, you indicate that the publication will be delivered to recipients only if the content in the documents meets certain conditions. For DeskI documents, you can specify a formula expression. You can also set a delivery rule based on whether the personalized publication contains any data.
WebI doesn't support the publishing delivery rule. Anyway the Crystal report is an option if you need the functionality.
During Publishing, the data in documents is refreshed against data sources and personalized before the publication is delivered to recipients. This combined process is known as "report bursting". DeskI has the option of "One database fetch for each batch of recipients", this report bursting method uses the data source log on credentials of the publisher to refresh data. The batches are based on the personalization values you specified for the recipients.
WebI publication with dynamic recipient only has two options: "One database fetch for all recipients" and "One database fetch per recipient".
Send by email in Excel, PDF, CSV format
Deski can send .rep by email, for other format, cannot send directly from DeskI user interface.
In WebI, you can send document by email in Excel, PDF, and CSV format. This is a shortcut for rich client users.
Schedule to printer
Deski can schedule output to a printer.
In WebI, you can schedule to PDF against an unmanaged disk and write a script to send the PDF to a printer.
Export to XML
DeskI can export the data provider to XML format
WebI doesn't support it directly, but you can accomplish it with Extension Point.
5. Optimizing converted documents
Some tasks in DeskI were made easier to accomplish in WebI. This section lists the functions that were optimized in WebI.
Create custom formula functions
In DeskI, possible via VBA but not integrated the same way and not available for all clients at once via server.
It is very well integrated within WebI, new functions appear directly as functions in formula editor.
DeskI doesn't support optional prompt, a workaround is to select all values in prompts, which is much less performant.
In WebI, when a prompt is set as optional, when the prompt is not answered, WebI refines the query by removing the filter.
In DeskI, you have to accomplish it through formatting tricks.
In WebI, it is a common formatting feature. The workflow is to right-Click on the cells you want to merge and select "Merge".
Ranking in Queries (aka database ranking)
DeskI cannot do it within Query, you have to rank within report or use a combination of query sort and defining row limits.
In Webi, you can do it as long as the underlying Database supports it.
Show/hide table when empty
In DeskI, you have to use manually created conditional formatting.
In BI 4.0, this feature is available out-of-the-box. In XI3.l, you have to use the Show when empty check box
Support for Measure aggregation delegated to Database
In Deski, you have to retrieve grouping sets from different levels of hierarchy, then synchronize on common dimension. Otherwise, it leads to DeskI not handling some kinds of aggregation such as ratios very well and generating wrong results.
WebI supports the feature known as smart measures.
Define relative/absolute positioning to single cells
DeskI doesn't support this, you can fake this by using tables as single cells and getting rid of the body cells to keep just the header.
In WebI, you can do it, it is needed for creating sophisticated report layouts.
Ranking cumulative sum
In DeskI, you need use formula to rank cumulative sum.
In WebI, you have direct support for this common analysis view.
Table setting for alternative row colors
In Deski, you have to use alerters to conditionally format the rows to accomplish this.
In WebI, It is default setting for ease of reading.
Alerter on multiple conditions
In DeskI, an alerter can only contain one object, if you want to create an alerter like: <Revenue> < 5000) and (<Expenses> > 500, you have to use an extra variable, the steps are:
In WebI, an alerter can contain conditions on multiple objects, so no additional local variable is required. After the document is converted into WebI, you may modify it and optimize the alerter accordingly.
Besides, WebI provides many new features which there is no way to accomplish in DeskI, including Input control, track data change, drill over the web, database sampling, publish as Web services, etc. They greatly change the ways of report authoring and consuming. For example, you used to create multiple reports in DeskI to analyze different scenarios, with the input control in WebI, you only need to create a single report which enables users to drive their "personalized" content views.
In summary, most of DeskI documents can be converted to WebI. For the DeskI features which there are not equivalent ones in WebI, you can refer to the article to apply workarounds to accomplish the functionality in different way. And you can optimize the converted documents with the powerful features which WebI provides exclusively.
I don't understand the last part , Deski not supporting operator OR
Select Column1, Column2, Column3
if I'm not wrong Deski does support that operator.
Thanks PadawanGirl, your are right. I just deleted this part accordingly.
Nice table. However, I'm confused by row 1 : OLAP data provider ... DeskI doesn't have this feature
the full-client Reporter hasn't had this functionality since 5.1.x
I checked the user guide, DeskI used to support OLAP conections in 6.5 release. But deprecated them these years.
Unknown User (102vvdpf2)
It's wonderful conversion tips and tricks and thanks for sharing.
Unknown User (eb43q5j)
I agree, without this functionality (save/export to html format on wibi). We can not migrate our reports DESKI. SAP must add this functionality quickly in current version XI3.1 to satisfy all uses. Else, we continue to use DESKI even if is not supported in XI4.0
Intresting and Very helpful
It's about Duplicate variables in BI4 , I checked and it doesn't exist: right click on the variable , all we have is Edit Rename Remove , no Duplicate as it used to exist in Webi XI3.
Certain features that were available with BO Reporter V4.x are still not included in Webi XI 4.0 (Aurora). The formula editor in webi is not intuitive as in Deski ; where in Deski the cursor shows you what parenthesis is expected next, where in the inclusion of an If then Else statement you can select values of a LOV and don’t have to type it manually (error prone), where you can define a formula in its context etc.. Those and many other relevant points that would be basic to an advanced report writer are still not included in Webi.
What about filling the gaps like the use of macro's (very much in use for advanced scheduling workflows) , schedule to print , publishing delivery rules?
To conclude there are actions within a reporting workflow that are not noted down as a feature, where in certain scenarios Deski can handle those and Webi cant.. i.e. advanced formula placed in footer of folded table break, those calculations work with deski but not for webi.
Andreas J A Schneider
Would be nice if this would be upgradee taking into consideration the SAP BI BusObjects 4.0 SP4 capabilities of Webi, which does include FeaturePack 3, such as: coloring of chart lines or pie segmants etc. including line width, etc.
Andreas J A Schneider
Automatic conversion of Freehand-SQL Deski documents is supported resulting in a universe with derived tables and a Webi document, this is available via RCT since XI 3.x Please, can you update your list
I asked the owners of the impacted product areas to update the article with recent information. Stay tuned.
I'm using the latest version of the RCT to convert Deski from R3 SP3. I'm having the following error: "Across options for crosstabs are not available in Web Intelligence"
-> I don't see this in the comparison list. Can this be added please? Thanks.
With the planned release of BI4.1 SP5 later this year, we will add Freehand SQL for WebI.. Read more in : http://scn.sap.com/community/businessobjects-web-intelligence/blog/2014/09/29/freehand-sql-fhsql-is-coming-to-web-intelligence
Great Stuff ...!
Andreas J A Schneider
Wishing this entry was updated, e.g. it is now possible to convert Freehand-SQL Deski reports to Webi (without having to resort to universe with derived tables)