The reporting, analysis, and interpretation of business data is of central importance to a company in guaranteeing its competitive edge, optimizing processes, and enabling it to react quickly and in line with the market. With Business Intelligence (BI), SAP NetWeaver provides data warehousing functionality, a business intelligence platform, and a suite of business intelligence tools with which an enterprise can attain these goals. Relevant business information from productive SAP applications and all external data sources can be integrated, transformed, and consolidated in BI with the toolset provided. BI provides flexible reporting, analysis, and planning tools to support you in evaluating and interpreting data, as well as facilitating its distribution. Businesses are able to make well-founded decisions and determine target-orientated activities on the basis of this analysis.
The following figure shows where BI is positioned within SAP NetWeaver. In addition, the subareas that are covered by the BI documentation are listed. These are described in detail below.
Integration with Other SAP NetWeaver Components
BEx Information Broadcasting allows you to publish precalculated documents or online links containing business intelligence content to the portal. The Business Explorer portal role illustrates the various options that are available to you when working with content from BI in the portal. For more information, see Information Broadcasting.
The BEx Broadcaster, the BEx Web Application Designer, the BEx Query Designer, KM Content, SAP Role Uploads, and the Portal Content Studio are used to integrate BI contents into the portal. For more information, see Integrating BI Content into the Portal.
The documents and metadata created in BI (metadata documentation in particular) can be integrated using the repository manager in knowledge management. The BI Metadata Repository Manager is used within BEx Information Broadcasting. For more information, see BI Document Repository Manager and BI Metadata Repository Manager.
You can use SAP NetWeaver Exchange Infrastructure (SAP NetWeaver XI) to send data from SAP and non-SAP sources to BI. In BI, the data is placed in the delta queue where it is available for further integration and consolidation. Data transfer using SAP NetWeaver XI is SOAP-based. For more information, see Data Transfer Using SAP XI.
Integration with BI Content Add-On
With BI Content, SAP delivers preconfigured role and task-based information models and reporting scenarios for BI that are based on consistent metadata. BI Content provides selected roles within a company with the information they need to carry out their tasks. The information models delivered cover all business areas and integrate content from almost all SAP and selected external applications. For more information, see BI Content & BI Content Extensions.
Subareas of BI
Data warehousing in BI represents the integration, transformation, consolidation, cleanup, and storage of data. It also incorporates the extraction of data for analysis and interpretation. The data warehousing process includes data modeling, data extraction, and administration of the data warehouse management processes.
The central tool for data warehousing tasks in BI is the Data Warehousing Workbench.
The business intelligence platform serves as the technological infrastructure and offers various analytical technologies and functions. These include the Analytics Engine, the Metadata Repository, Business Planning and Simulation, and special analysis processes such as data mining.
The SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence Suite, the Business Explorer (BEx), provides flexible reporting and analysis tools for strategic analyses, operational reporting, and decision-making support within a business. These tools include query, reporting, and analysis functions. As an employee with access authorization you can evaluate past or current data on various levels of detail, and from different perspectives, not only on the Web but also in MS Excel.
You can use BEx Information Broadcasting to distribute Business Intelligence content from SAP BW by e-mail either as precalculated documents with historical data, or as links with live data. You can also publish it to the Enterprise Portal.
The Business Explorer allows a broad spectrum of users access to information in the SAP BW using the Enterprise Portal, the Intranet (Web application design) or mobile technologies.
● BI Java SDK
You use the BI Java SDK to create analytical applications with which you access both multidimensional (Online Analytical Processing or OLAP) and tabular (relational) data. You can also edit and display this data. BI Java Connectors, a group of four JCA-enabled (J2EE Connector Architecture) resource adapters, implement the BI Java SDK APIs and allow you to connect applications that you have created with the SDK to various data sources.
● Open Analysis Interfaces
The Open Analysis Interfaces make various interfaces available for connecting front-end tools from third-party providers.
● Web Design API
The Web Design API allows you to implement highly individual scenarios and demanding applications with customer-defined interface elements.