Using SAP’s Business Explorer
SAP’s Business Explorer (BEx) is the tool used by end-users for slicing and dicing data. One
should note that an individual company may be quite restrictive in allowing end-users access to BEx—to protect performance. A SAP BW cube on the UA’s z900 using DB2 as the SAP BW
engine will be used as a vehicle for you gain exposure to SAP’s business explorer (BEx). Christine Davis and graduate students have created what is referred to as the frozen foods cube. A short description of the data follows. Note the granularity—customer by product to the week
level. Thus, the granularity is at a summarized level. The cube is shown below and then discussed. Note that there are six dimensions in addition to the time dimension and that the fact table has quite a few entries.
This data is actual data derived from Tyson’s Frozen Foods COPA (Controlling and Profitability
Analysis) database from SAP’s R/3 product. This database allows the organization to study and Last Updated 8 July 2012 Page - 2 -
analyze the profitability of its product lines, customer channels and organizational units. The database has detailed cost breakdowns in over 50 key figures for such things as brokerage costs, freezer charges, product costs, special shipping charges, marketing and corporate costs, etc. The granularity of the data is to the customer by product by week level. The full dataset contains approximately 10 million rows and over 2 years of data. The data cube was designed to allow users and managers from any functional area in the company to understand and analyze the company’s operations for profitability improvement in their area. Managers can look at overall
profitability by a product line, a product, and channel, an organizational unit etc. They can also look at individual costs and make comparisons across product lines, channels, and organizational units.
Logon and getting to the BEx Analyzer
There are multiple ways to get to the BEx Analyzer. A couple of ways requires a normal SAP logon (icon on desktop or from Start menu).
Logon to SAP is as follows: From either Start;Programs;SAP Front End (or the SAP Logon
icon on the desktop), you get the following Logon dialog.
Ozark BW 3.5_900 is running on the UA z900 mainframe—this is the cube with which we wish
to work. Click this entry and then click the Log on button. The SAP logon screen opens to allow you to logon.
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Use Client 200 and enter you user
and password. Note that you can
change your password.
After logging on, there are a
couple of ways to get to the BEx
analyzer. One way is to fully
expand the Business Explorer tree
to get the window shown below.
Logon id and password
Double click RRMX - Analyzer—note that Excel opens and should include a SAP toolbar. SAP
uses Excel to serve as the front end. The SAP toolbar allows you to create queries that will be displayed in Excel and have additional manipulation functionality. Note that the SAP toolbar has tooltips; further, you will probably want to move the toolbar to your favorite location. In my case, I typically move the SAP toolbar to the top along with other Excel toolbars.
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Other ways to get to the BEx Analyzer
There are a couple of other ways to get to the BEx analyzer. If you work with SAP a lot, or take good notes, you will learn to use transaction codes to navigate SAP instead of the menus. The transaction code to get the BEx analyzer is /nrrmx. Thus, if you put this in the transaction code
in the processing text box and click the green check mark (another must while in SAP), Excel will be opened with the SAP toolbar. This is shown below.
Note that you can also get to the BEx Analyzer directly without first logging onto SAP. To do this, use the path: Start;Business Explorer; Business Explorer (SAP BW 3.X) ;Analyzer
(SAP BW 3.x) as shown below.
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Opening the BEx Analyzer using this approach gets you to the same place; however, because you have not logged on, when you try to create a query, a logon dialog will open and require you to logon. Some users prefer to use this approach although no general agreement exists as to the best way to invoke the BEx analyzer.
Creating a Query
Click the Open icon on the SAP toolbar and select Queries as shown below.
Selecting Queries opens the Select query window.
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New Query Button
Click the InfoAreas button to open
folders that may include infocubes
(cubes) that you can query
Click the InfoAreas button to open folders to locate Infocubes (cubes). For this case, a cube has already been created for you. For illustration purposes, use the Frozen Foods Incorporated Profitability Cube. Expanding the tree will list all the queries that have been created. To create a new query, click the New Query Button.
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Click the New Query Icon which opens Query Designer window. The Query Designer is divided into six sub areas:
1. Directory tree of the selected InfoCube
All available objects (key figures and dimensions) of the infocube display in the directory
tree in the left screen area of the Query Designer.
You define the columns of your report in this area.
You define the rows of your report in this area.
4. Free Characteristics
You transfer those characteristics into the free characteristics area that do not display in
the initial view of the results when you execute the query in the BEx Analyzer or on the
Web. You can then integrate these characteristics into the results through the navigation
steps. You can also use free characteristics for selecting filter values in the report. 5. Filter
The characteristics displayed in the filter appear neither in the drilldown nor as free
characteristics in the query analysis. These characteristics are only used as global filters
on the infocube data.
This area provides preview of the query results.
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