Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Empower Your End Users with Accurate BW Reports

Use standard BW functionality to show end users the accurate last load date and time for each report. This saves time for end users, who can see at a glance whether or not they need the report information.

Key Concept

A class is a type of ABAP program. In the context of my solution, I use the class to change the cell contents of the results table. More specifically, the class changes the cell content of the status characteristic. Instead of displaying the key code from the status ODS object, the table interface passes an image string that converts to an icon in the Web application.

In my example, BW creates a report to display the characteristic value as a traffic light icon (for example, a green traffic light instead of displaying the number 10). This helps the end users visualize the data in a more intuitive way.

End users at my company often ask, “How recent is the data that I see in my report?” They want to know when BW extracted data from its source systems. If you have developed Web-based reports, you may have seen the “status of data” information that you can include as part of a text element Web item.

However, this information has a number of limitations. First, users only see the information after they access the report. If you have not loaded the data into BW since the users last looked at the report, they can’t realize it until they’ve spent time to open the report. Secondly, complex BW system architecture involving ODS objects, Info- Cubes, and MultiProviders can make the SAP standard “status of data” option misleading.

For example, a MultiProvider can have many different InfoCubes from which it can access data. A BEx query built on this MultiProvider might only access data from some of these underlying InfoCubes. The SAP standard “status of data” information displays the date/time of the underlying InfoCube loaded the longest time ago. For example, InfoCube A was loaded on January 1, 2005, at 9:00, InfoCube B on January 9, 2005, at 7:00, and InfoCube C on January 9, 2005, at 9:00. Because InfoCube A contains no key figures for this BEx query, but is part of the MultiCube, the date and time that the user sees are incorrect (Figure 1).

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