Terminology for using AO in combination with SAP NetWeaver BW

Espresso Tutorials

Fabian Bentz

96Excerpt from SAP BI Analysis Office – a Practical Guide by Jörg Böke

This chapter explains the terminology and basic settings for using AO in combination with SAP NetWeaver BW.With regard to terminology, there are some slight differences in the way SAP BEx and AO address SAP BW InfoObjects. For those of you who have been working with SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP BEx tools for several years, you are probably familiar with terms such as key figures, characteristics, and dimensions. They are the most common objects in SAP BW terminology.

However, unlike SAP, all other vendors, and even the inventors of data
warehousing such as Ralph Kimball, use the terms in a data warehouse
and its objects (such as cubes, etc.) in a different way. With AO, SAP is going back to the roots of data warehousing terminology. In all of the AO dialogs, the former SAP BEx terms are no longer

Table 3.1 highlights the differences between the old SAP BEx and the
new AO reporting terminology.

Table 3.1 SAP BEx and AO terminology comparison
Table 3.1: SAP BEx and AO terminology comparison

It is not that hard to learn the new terminology used in all of the AO graphical icons, dialogs, and context menus. The only item that you may struggle with is dimension. In SAP BO, as well as in most data warehouse solutions, dimensions are similar to BW characteristics, e. g.,

Instead of filtering or defining characteristics properties in AO, you filter
and define properties for members.

Instead of displaying totals for key figures, you display totals for
measures. This small burden is the only new thing that you need to learn
for AO when it comes to terminology.

Keep reading in SAP BI Analysis Office – a Practical Guide by Jörg Böke.

Many companies struggle with the ability to quickly and accurately create easy-to-read reports. This book systematically explains how you can leverage SAP Analysis Office (AO) to support your company’s reporting needs. AO combines the experience users had with Business Explorer (BEx) reporting over the last decade, with the additional pivoting functionality offered by Microsoft, along with standard Excel reports. Combining these functionalities, SAP created a powerful tool for your daily analysis as you will discover in this book. Tight integration with the SAP NetWeaver BW environment ensures that reporting users can access and refresh data. This book dives into:

– Installation and prerequisites
– Key functionality and detailed explanations like Analysis Excel pivot, ribbon, and context menus
– Enhanced reporting with API and Visual Basic (VBA)
– A comparison of Business Explorer (BEx) and Analysis Office (AO) functionality

Author Jörg Böke is the founder, managing director, and an SAP NetWeaver BW Senior Solution Architect at BIAnalyst GmbH & Co. KG in Lage, Germany. BIAnalyst specializes in consulting services for SAP BW/BO projects for top 50 Forbes list companies, as well as small companies running SAP NetWeaver BW. He worked with SAP in 1999 to create content extractors for SAP NetWeaver BW.