Table of Contents
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High Level presentation on SDN
- What do I need in my landscape to get Xcelsius and the new BICS conectivity working ?
Refer to this article of the series : prerequisites to Xcelsius and SAP NetWeaver BW Connection
- Is Xcelsius leveraging ICM Cache ?
No. ICM (Internet Communication Manager) is a web server running on the ABAP backend. Xcelsius is using BICS, a web service which sits on the Java backend (similar to what BEx Web Analyzer is using).
- How is it related to BEx Web Runtime?
The connectivity requires the SWF file (Xcelsius dashboard) to be hosted by BEx Web Runtime to allow data access. Therefore there is no offline capabilities, no Xcelsius Designer Preview, no embedding into PDF/PPT, no direct access from InfoView.
- Can the Xcelsius dashboard be displayed on SAP Enterprise Portal?
Of course This can be done with "Bex Web Application" iView. See BOpedia article on this topic for details.
- Can the Xcelsius dashboard be displayed on BOE InfoView?
Not as a SWF file like with the QaaWS or Live Office connectivity because it requires BEx Web Runtime. However you can use URL objects and use the BEx Web Runtime URL. The user will get prompted for his NW EP credentials though.
- Can the Xcelsius dashboard be displayed on a 3rd party dashboard (Sharepoint)?
Yes, by using the BEx Web Runtime URL and implementing SSO between the third party portal and NetWeaver Portal.
- Why are the Dashboard or Data Preview functionalities not available at design time?
The data is only accessible when the SWF file is executed within BEx Web Runtime, therefore you need to publish the dashboard to BW first and view via BEx Web Runtime. See question on BEx Web Runtime.
Trick to make the design easier : execute the query in BEx Web, then export to Excel and import spreadsheet to Xcelsius, beware the header rows are different with BICS and BEx Web when designing your dashboard
- Were there any special Xcelsius vizualisation component added for BEx query browsing?
No, but all existing components can be leveraged. See question below on hierarchies and tree control.
- Are navigation links / bookmarks available like in BEx Web Analyzer?
No, bookmarking is not available at this time, however you can obviously influence the default view of the dashboard.
- Can I add my own Flash Variables ?
No, the use of FlashVars is limited with the SAP NetWeaver BI Connection. There are existing "built-in" Flash Variables that you can use but the custom variables are not supported and cannot be added as of today.
Existing FlashVars include :
- the end point URL "BICSWS_ENDPOINT"
- the dashboard language "BICSWS_LANGUAGE"
- decimal, thousand, date and time separator characters : "BICSWS_DECIMAL", "BICSWS_THOUSANDSEPARATOR", "BICSWS_DATESEPARATOR", "BICSWS_TIMESEPARATOR"
BW as a data source
- Does this connectivity leverage BW authorizations like row level security for data personalization?
Absolutely. This is one of the main features of this connectivity : all BW authorizations are kept and fully leveraged.
- Can we get to the BW data directly via the infoCube or do we need a query?
You do need a query. When connecting to a system from Xcelsius, you can only browse and select a query or a query view.
- Does the Bex query need to be turned on for access via ODBO ?
No, the query does not need to be shared for external ODBO OLAP access. Of course, if the same query is to be used for OLAP BAPI access via WebI Intelligence, Voyager and Crystal, etc, then you might want to enable this.
- Can Xcelsius make use of BWA, aggregates, and cache?
Yes, as it is transparent to Xcelsius (it only sees the BEx query). It will indirectly leverages BWA like any other BEx query execution, but there is no direct access to it like e.g SBO Explorer's BIA index access.
- Can hierachies be leveraged?
loaded question... Not natively as Xcelsius does not have a tree component allowing to expand / collapse hierarchies. However add-ons developed by partners do exist with such component and seem to be working (mixed feedback on them, obviously not supported by SAP). Xcelsius is not an OLAP browsing tool in any case, so this has to be handled very carefully.
- Can an Xcelsius dashboard show data from more than one BW source (example: 2 infoCubes) at once?
Yes, you can have multiple connections (BEx queries) to a single BW server. Under the Data Manager, you define multiple SAP Netweaver BI connections against e.g multiple MDX queries, however as mentioned, currently there is only one SAP server connection object per dashboard - so all the defined connections will be to one SAP server (BW logical system).
- Can the BEx query be built on a infoCube, multiProvider, infoSet, or DSO?
Yes. The Xcelsius dashboard only sees a BEx query (or query view). The query itself can be built on any type of InfoProvider.
- Can the BEx query utilize variables? If so, can they prompt the user for data entry from the Xcelsius dashboard?
Yes, all variable types are supported and mandatory variables will prompt the user for data entry unless set with a default value in the query definition or dashboard.
- Will the Xcelsius dashboard inherit the sorting as done in the BEx query or are other options possible in Xcelsius itself?
Yes, sorting defined in the query is preserved when the result set is retrieved in Xcelsius. It can then be presented as is or differently depending on the visualization component that is chosen. Most list components in Xcelsius offer the ability to sort dynamically, that is part of the interactivity features users like.
- What about the possibility of retrieving "Result rows" from the BEx query. Can this result row be inherited (and reused) in an Xcelsius dashboard? By having such option, we could bypass all kind of own custom summaries in Excel itself.
Yes, result rows are retrieved by Xcelsius if specified so in the BEx query. Xcelsius is essentially getting the same result set than BEx Web Analyzer. Additionally, you can override within Xcelsius the rows / columns view defined in the BEx query. By default, it is getting the same view, but it can be changed, adding or removing rows, columns with the set of free characteristics, key figures retrieved from the query.
Other data sources
- Can it work with non SAP data sources?
Technically feasible but not tested and not recommended. BOE with Live Office or QaaWS is the recommended approach for non SAP data sources.
- Does it work with POA applications?
This connector is not meant to build dashboard on top of POA applications. There is another POA specific connector.
- Does this new connectivity change the licensing?
This is a technical integration that does not change the licensing. Contact your account executive for more details.