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Q #1) What is SAP business objects?

SAP Business Objects is a business intelligence tool that provides the combination of
analysis, reporting and querying intended to find instant answers to the business related
questions and help management improve their decision-making process.

Q #2) Throw some light on your experience in SAP BO with respect to your project
work.
I worked for a US based health-care distributor who delivers pharmaceuticals to various
retails and institutional providers across North America. Depending upon the sales
made, the company offers different kinds of rebates to its customers.

Broadly speaking, the aim of our project was to build a rebate calculation application for
the company through which we can calculate rebates accurately and present real-time
state of the system to the business so that losses incurred on inaccurate rebate
calculation are minimized and decision making can be improved by viewing more
realistic reports.

This was an agile project & I was involved in the development team of the scrum.

My tasks were bringing data into SAP HANA system from various sources and develop
data models over this data. Then, over the calculation views created in SAP HANA, I
used to build universes in IDT depicting different scenarios needed for reporting.

And finally, I used to build reports in SAP Business Objects utilizing these universes.
These reports were the end product of our project. The top management used to
consume these reports for better decision-making.

For building these reports, I used webi rich client – SAP Business Objects 4.0.

Q #3) How the tools under SAP Business objects are categorized?
We have the SAP BO platform on the top. We have different tools under SAP BO
platform. Below is the categorization:
 SAP BO BI 4.0 – This is for business objects reporting.
 SAP BO DS 4.0 – It is an EIM tool for SAP. Under this, we have:
 Data migration projects
 ETL (for data warehousing projects)
 SAP BO PB: This is for business planning and legal consolidation. It is an EPM
tool of SAP.
Q #4) What are the bunch of tools available under business objects 4.0 platform?
We have the following type of tools under SAP BO BI 4.0:
 Administrator tools
 Business User tools – Business user tools are the ones intended for a business
user (example –HR manager or a financial manager of any organization) which
help them to view and manage business reports to aid them in a decision-making
process.
 Data manager tools – They are used to design a sematic layer between the
designer tool and its source of data.
 Designer tools – It provides the facility to design a query based on your
reporting requirement.
The below image shows a glimpse of the above categorization:

(Note: Click on any image for enlarged view)


Important Note: Webi is both a business user tool as well as a designer tool.
Q #5) What is BI launch pad?
Alternative question: A business user wants to view a webi report. How will he
achieve this?
This can be achieved through BI launch pad.

BI launch pad is a SAP BO BI 4.0 business user tool used for broadcasting the reports.
It provides an interface to the SAP BO business intelligence platform repository that
enables us to navigate to view & manage our business intelligence documents. It is a
web based application/portal from where we can access the reports and organize the
reports as per our need.

The images below show exactly how the BI launch pad looks like:
Q #6) What URL do you use for opening BI launch pad?
Below is the URL we use for BI launch pad:

HTTP://localhost:8080/BOE/BI
Q #7) How do you access Webi?
We open Webi through BI launch pad as shown in the image below:
Under ‘My applications’, we have several applications enlisted. You can click on the red
& blue webi icon as shown in the above figure and start using the app.

Q #8) What is a client tool? / Why webi is referred as a client tool?


Webi is referred as a client tool because it can connect to the business objects main
server (CMS). When we launch the tool, we have the option to connect to business
object server. It asks for the ‘system name’ which is nothing but the BO server.

Every tool under SAP BO is capable of connecting to the business object repository.
That is why these tools are referred as client tools.
Q #9) Explain the categorization of SAP Business object client tools.
SAP BO client tools are divided into two parts:
 Business object desktop tools: These are also called as window-based tools.
They can be launched from the windows environment. Let’s say, we have IDT
(Information design tool), UDT (Universe design tool), live office, etc. We cannot
launch them from web/ BI launch pad. For example, if you need to launch UDT,
you will open it through windows like this:
 Business object web client tools: These are the tools which can be launched
from BI launch pad. They are browser based tools. For example, Business
objects explorer, analysis edition for OLAP, etc.
Important Note: Webi is a web based as well as a window-based tool.
Q #10) Why webi is called as a business user tool as well as a designer tool at the
same time?
The reason behind this is that a business user can log into web intelligence and view
reports and if they want to create simple reports on ad-hoc basis then that is also
possible.

Webi is a very simple tool to use. A business user can open a report from the BO
repository and can also generate the report by just selecting the universe, run a query
on top of it and getting their final report as a result.

Q #11) From where do we design the queries needed for reports?


We design the queries from query panel. We don’t need to write the complex queries
here. We just have to drag & drop the column and functions and the queries are
generated accordingly in the background. Below is an image showing how a query panel
looks like:

Q #12) What is the result of a query?


The result of the query is the final report. A report is a business representation of the
data.

Q #13) One of the major stakeholder’s need is to visualize data for better decision
making. Which SAP BO tool would you choose in this case?
We would choose SAP BO Dashboards in this scenario.

Q #14) The business user’s need is to get ad-hoc questions answered and interact
with information. Which SAP BO tool would you choose in this case?
We can go with webi in this scenario.

Q #15) If a business needs highly formatted reports, which tool would you
choose?
We would go with ‘SAP crystal reports for enterprise’ in this case as it gives very
powerful formatting options.

Q #16) What are the different type of connections available?


There are three different kinds of connections available:
 Personal connection
 Shared connection
 Secured connection
Personal connection is the one which can be used by you only i.e. this connection is
available to only the user who creates it. No other user has access to use this
connection. We have a PDAC.LSI file where the connection details are kept in case of a
personal connection.

Next, comes is the shared connection where all the users can access the connection.
We have a shared server in this case and the connection details are kept in SDAC.LSI
file.

The limitation of shared connection is that we can’t establish rights & permissions over
the objects. Also, we cannot export the universe to a central repository in case we are
using a shared connection.

The last type of connection available is secured connection which can be shared
between the users and we can also set rights & permissions in CMS (central
management server). in this case.

Additionally, we can export the universe to a central repository in case we are using a
secured connection. Secure connections are saved in the repository.

Q #17) Which of the connection did you use in your project and why?
In my project, we were using secured connection as we were working in a team and also
the reports had to be shared between the cross-functional team.

We had to create BO reports over the IDT universe and publish these reports. When it
comes to a live project, the secured connection is the best kind of connection to use
because here we can limit the access to different users. Also, secured connection can
be accessed from different servers.
The last and main reason of using secured connection is that since it is saved in a
repository, so if your requirement is to publish the reports over repository, you will have
to use a secured connection.

Q #18) Explain your idea of a Universe in BO and its relevance with the
assignments you have worked upon.
A universe is a logical layer between backend and a front end of the reporting. It is a
metadata layer which isolates the technical complexities of the source system from
business user/report developer.

In the universe, the required attributes and measures are picked up from the backend
and arranged in a way we want to use them further for reporting. In my project, we used
to create IDT universe on top of calculation views developed in HANA. These IDT
universes were further utilized to create BO reports.

Q #19) With what extension the universes get created in IDT?


In IDT, the universes get created with “.unx” extension. It is stored in the form of a file.

Q #20) How the universes created in IDT are made available in BO?
Once universe is created, we publish the universe using a secured connection and then
import the universe in BO to make a report on top of it.

Q #21) What made you choose webi over other reporting tools?
The reason for opting webi was its user-friendly interface, the better way of
presentations, ad-hoc analysis and advanced reporting capabilities. These features are
lacking in other reporting tools like crystal reports, BeX analyzer, and WAD.

Question #22) Have you ever encountered the scenario of a chasm trap? If yes,
what is the way to resolve it as per your suggestion?
Yes, I did encounter the scenario of a chasm trap in one of my assignments.

In a universe based upon a dimensional schema, we could have a dimension table


joined with 2 fact tables so that both of them are one-to-many joins (F >- D -< F).

In such a situation, if we have a tendency to drag a measure from each of the fact tables
in conjunction with attributes from dimension table, the value of the measures within the
fact tables are inflated.

This condition is understood as chasm trap. The chasm trap shows you misleading
figures in the report which can impact management decision making. Thus, the condition
of chasm trap should be avoided/resolved.

To resolve chasm trap: Go to Universe Parameters -> SQL -> Multiple paths -> check
the options – ‘multiple SQL statements for each context’ and ‘multiple SQL statements
for each measure’. And uncheck the option – ‘allow selection of multiple contexts’.
Q #23) What do you mean by a fan trap and how would it be resolved?
In a universe structure, we might have three tables joined in such a manner that the
first table contains a one to many join with the second table which successively contains
a one to many join with the third table (A -< B -< C). ]

In such a state of affairs, if a measure is contained within the second table


and it’s dragged in conjunction with any dimension from the third table, the value of
the measure is going to be inflated. Such a condition is thought as a fan trap.

A fan trap is resolved by making an alias of the second table and shaping contexts so
that, the conventional table is joined solely with the first table, whereas the alias is joined
with both the first and the third table. We’d take second table’s measure solely from the
conventional table and alternative dimensions of the second table from the alias table.

Q #24) What are the methods available in SAP BO to do the multidimensional


analysis?
We have two such methods in BO:
 Slice and Dice method
 Drill down method
Q #25) If you want to find immediate answers to business questions, which tool
you would go with?
We will go with business objects explorer in this case. It acts like a business objects
search engine. We can search anything through a keyword search box in the explorer
and all the information spaces appear in the result where that particular keyword exists.

Q #26) In BO 3.1, we had ‘dashboard builder’. What is the nomenclature for the
same in BO BI 4.0?
It is called as ‘BI workspaces’ in BO BI 4.0 platform.

Q #27) Do you have any idea about Live Office?


There are many users who are comfortable in using only Microsoft office products. They
need business reports in Microsoft office products like Microsoft excel and all. For those
users, we have SAP BO Live office tool.

Q #28) We have a lot of tools available under business objects platform. Will a
company have to purchase the entire suite or does the SAP provides a way for
organizations to buy only the tools which are needed?
No, it is not necessary for a company to buy all the tools that come under SAP BO
platform. SAP provides the customization packages under which the company can buy
only the tools which are needed.

Q #29) What can be different data sources for BO reports?


The different data source scan is SAP BW, OLAP, application database, customer
database, Text file, XML file and Web service.

Q #30) What is the difference between UDT and IDT?


The universes which are designed in UDT are UNV universes whereas the universes
which are designed in IDT are UNX universes. In UDT we don’t have multi-resource
universes enabled whereas in IDT we have this option. IDT is enhanced and more
organized as compared to UDT.

Q #31) Does crystal reports can be built on top of UDT?


No, the tools like crystal report for Enterprises, Dashboards, BO explorer does not
support UNV universe (designed by UDT). It supports only UNX universe (designed by
IDT). Web Intelligence is the only tool which supports both the universes – UNV and
UNX.

Conclusion
Before you step into SAP BO interview, you should have a very clear understanding of
the SAP BO platform, the categories of tools it offers and how these tools are
interrelated. You should be able to explain the end to end process of reporting.

You should also have an idea of pros and cons of different SAP BO tools, the kind of
requirements they serve and which tool to use for what purpose. There will always be
questions coming from Universe and webi. So, these two topics should also be well-
prepared.