Thursday, December 20, 2007

How-to... Load a File into SAP NetWeaver BI Integrated Planning (Part 1)

Hello Everyone,

it has finally arrived. The brand new how-to paper for loading files into BI Integrated Planning is available!


Version 2.1 of the solution has been released. Please see Part 2 of the blog for download.

Business Scenario

If you are using SAP NetWeaver BI Integrated Planning you quite often have the requirement to load external data into your planning application. Typically data is loaded into SAP NetWeaver BI using the data staging functionality. However, you are looking for an easier way to upload data from a file that can be performed by business planners.

The how-to paper describes a solution that allows business planners to load a file directly into their planning application using a web browser. The following screen shows the user interface. The planner is prompted for the file name and simply chooses "Upload". The system will load the file and validate its content. If there are no errors the planner can save the changes. The newly loaded data is immediately available in planning applications and queries.

Screen Shots

The first screen shot shows the starting point for the upload. The variable - in this case "Planning Version" - are rendered based on variables you define in the filter. Typically you would include some organizational criteria like cost center, too. Then simply enter the selection criteria, pick a file name to load, and click "Upload".

Upload Begin

Now the system will load the file from the PC and process it with a planning function. This includes various consistency checks and optional conversions. Also all characteristics relationships will be processes at this time (validation and derivations). In the log you can see how many records where loaded.

Upload Middle

Finally, you can choose to "Save" the changes or "Undo" the load in case of you want to start over.

Upload Finish

Additional Features
  • Various file formats: tab-delimited, fixed length, or XML
  • Various code pages: Unicode, UTF-8, UTF-16, and other code pages
  • Option for overwriting of or appending to existing data including delta mode
  • Text files with or without header line
  • Conversion of numbers and dates according to user settings
  • Conversion of characteristic value according to conversion routine (for example ALPHA conversion or external to internal material numbers)
  • Conversion of amounts according to currency format configuration
  • Flexible definition of fields and field order in upload file
  • Support for virus scanning (if installed with SAP NetWeaver)

After the initial implementation there are no program changes required in order to use these features. All options can be configured using the Planning Modeler.

Your Feedback

I hope you enjoy the new solution. In case of problems, please shoot me an e-mail. If you have requests for enhancements or ideas for additional features please post them as comments to this blog.

Bug Fixes

Previously published program errors have been fixed in version 2.1 of the solution. Please see Part 2 of the blog for additional information.

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