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Connecting Microsoft BI with SAP

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As an SAP customer, you have decided to incorporate Microsoft Business Intelligence into your Business Intelligence (BI) landscape. Congratulations! Not only have you made an excellent decision but you have also joined a club that – judging by the number of visitors to our website – is recruiting more members by the day.

To get the most out of your investments in Microsoft BI and SAP you will need to choose a suitable method for connecting Microsoft’s Excel PowerPivot add-in with SAP.

You could of course develop your own solution (perhaps using a tool such as SAP NetWeaver Gateway) or you could invest in one of a number of commercially available solutions developed by software vendors.

Most of the commercially available solutions require a 2-stage approach to integrating PowerPivot and SAP. By, “2-stage” integration I am referring to a solution in which the data is for example initially loaded into MS Excel using Business Objects Analysis or the OLE DB for SAP BW connector (stage 1) before being uploaded into PowerPivot (stage 2).

When we designed the DVW PowerPivot Connector for SAP, we wanted to streamline this process using a 1-stage integration approach and load data directly from SAP into PowerPivot in a single configurable step. Once implemented you can automate the data load process using Microsoft SharePoint.

We also looked to create a solution that had the lightest possible footprint on your SAP system, required little or no on-going involvement from IT post-installation and would enable two key objectives of Microsoft BI i.e. self-service BI and flexible reporting.

The following seven PowerPivot SAP data feed connectors are available in the premium version of the connector:

  • Basic SAP Table Extract (no SAP authorization check)
  • Premium SAP Table Extract
  • BW Query
  • BW InfoProvider (including InfoCube, Data Store Object (DSO), InfoSet,  Virtual Cube & Hybrid Cube)
  • Table Metadata
  • Query Metadata
  • InfoProvider Metadata

The User can parameterize extracts from all seven connectors and standard SAP authorization checks are applied when using the Premium SAP Table Extract, BW Query and BW InfoProvider connectors. This ensures that a User can only access data that they have authorization to access.

If you are an SAP customer and would like to see whether Microsoft BI and the PowerPivot Connector for SAP is right for you and your business we have a couple of options:

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Darron Walton is co-founder and Managing Director of De Villiers Walton. His consulting interests currently focus on sales, service and marketing. He has a particular interest in SAP’s CRM, E-Commerce and cloud solutions including Business ByDesign and Cloud for Customer.


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