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Component documentation Open Analysis Interfaces   Locate the document in its SAP Library structure


SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence provides an open architecture in many areas: You can extract data from various systems into a BI system and can evaluate this data for your reporting using various front-end tools.

The Business Explorer, the front-end component in BI, provides flexible reporting and analysis tools to support strategic analysis and decision making in your organization.

For more information, see:

      Query Design: BEx Query Designer

      Web Application Design: BEx Web Application Designer

      Analysis & Reporting: BEx Web Applications

      BEx Mobile Intelligence

      Analysis & Reporting: BEx Analyzer

      Collaboration & Distribution: Integration into the Enterprise Portal

The following interfaces are available to connect third-party front-end tools to BI:

      OLE DB for OLAP (ODBO)

      OLAP BAPI (Business Application Programming interface)

      XML for Analysis (XML/A)

All these interfaces are based on MDX (Multi-Dimensional Expressions). For more information, see MDX as Basis for the Interfaces.


The following graphic illustrates the integration of the interfaces in BI:

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text

Third-party front-end tools can send query requests to the MDX processor in the BI system via the available interfaces. This processor forwards the request to the OLAP processor. The OLAP processor accesses InfoProviders. These InfoProviders either contain the data objects themselves (InfoProviders of type target, such as InfoCube, DataStore object, and InfoObject), or reporting-relevant views of data objects (MultiProviders, VirtualProviders, InfoSet).


The following table provides an overview of the available interfaces:



XML for Analysis (XML/A)

Technical Basis

·         COM (Component Object Model) protocol 

·         MDX is query request language


·         RFC (Remote Function Call) protocol

·         MDX is query request language

·         XML is exchange format

·         HTTP/SOAP protocol

·         MDX is query request language


Driver installed on client system

Access library available from all SAP platforms


Platform Dependence

Only MS Windows platforms

All platforms supported by SAP

All platforms

Unicode Capability

Fully Unicode-enabled

The caller specifies the required Code Page when establishing the RFC connection.

Fully Unicode-enabled, by default UTF-8 (Unicode Transformation Format, 8 bit display).


As of SAP BW 1.2B

As of SAP BW 2.0A

As of SAP BW 3.0A

The following overview illustrates the options for accessing BI data using interfaces.

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text


Platform Dependence

The interface used depends on the platform: OLE DB for OLAP requires MS Windows, OLAP BAPI requires an SAP platform. XML for Analysis is platform independent.




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