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How-to Guide SAP EPM

How To Use Comments
Version 1.00 – March 2009

Applicable Releases: EPM BPC 5.1 Microsoft & EPM BPC 7 Microsoft

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1 Scenario
This “How to Guide” will focus on the fundamentals of creating, modifying and reporting on the Comments functionality within BPC. Comments are used within BPC as a vehicle for submitting, storing and retrieving text commentary that is associated with BPC data cells or unstructured data elements. It allows users to annotate data so that other users can view the comments associated with a particular data point. Comments can also be provided based on a series of data such as a specific report or a content library document which is not current view driven.

2 Introduction
Comments is a fully integrated function within BPC for Excel, BPC for Word, BPC for PowerPoint and BPC Web, meaning it can be entered and viewed from within any interface that manages data. Its functionality works alongside other BPC data submission/retrieval functions and can be retrieved from all areas of BPC. The comments allow users to annotate the data so other users can view the supporting information. The comment functions include the following: Comment Manager interface makes it easy to search and report on comments Create ad-hoc reports and extract to Excel through Reporting Services Can be assigned priority and keywords for setting search criteria Flexible for either partial or fully – qualified metadata Reports contain full history of comment Secured by member access Define cell-based formulas in Excel to retrieve and send (EvCOM) This guide will provide step by step procedures on the various functions of Comments within EPM BPC for versions 5.1 and 7 for Microsoft.

3 Security Setup for Comments
Setting up security: Under Task Profiles, the PrimaryAdmin has the default functional task of ManageComments. Based on their interface within each particular application set, the PrimaryAdmin can also be assigned the additional interface task of AddComment. An Administrator that has been set up as been set up as the SystemAdmin has no default functional tasks that pertain to Comments, but they be assigned the available tasks of AddComment and ManageComments by the PrimaryAdmin. An individual that has been set up as a User would be assigned the task of AddComment if deemed appropriate by the Primary or System Administrator.

4 Adding Comments
Comments can be added through the Action Pane or by using the EvCOM functionality. In this example the steps will show how to add a Comment through the Action Pane. The Add comment link is available on any action pane where the context of the page allows for entry of comments. For BPC Web, this includes live reports or input schedules, and in BPC for Excel, the Add comment link is available in reports and input schedules. Steps to add a comment: 1. Within BPC for Excel, open the report or input schedule to which a comment needs to be added. 2. After the report or input schedule has opened, click on the “Add new comment” task from the Report State Action Pane. 3. This will bring the user to the “Enter a New Comment” Action Pane, where the user is required to select the context of the comment from a choice of the three following options: a. The active report or schedule – This option is only available when a live report or input schedule is open. The comment will get applied to the data region associated cell. b. The active current view – This option applies the comment to the current view shown in the action pane. c. Custom current view – Option allows the user to specify specific current view associated with the comment. If this option is selected the “Comment for these CV Values:” area of the action pane becomes available for use. The user selects the Application, as well as each dimension and memberid for each dimension selected, to which they need the comment applied to. If a dimension is left unselected, the memberids for that dimension will be ignored for this comment. 4. Click the button which takes the user to Step 2 of “Enter a New Comment”. 5. Select the priority of the comment from the drop down menu, in the “What is the priority of the comment?” section of the action pane. The priority choices are: Critical, High, Medium, Low, and No Priority. Note: When reporting on comments, they are shown in priority level order. 6. The next section is “What keyword do you want to associate with this comment?” This should be a meaningful word (up to 30 characters) that helps the user organize and search the comments as the database grows. 7. The final step is to add the comment’s content which can be up to 256 characters long. 8. Click the button, a dialog box will appear stating the comment has been stored in the database.

5 Viewing Comments
Within an open live report or input schedule, a user can view any comments that have been added to that report. They can also view comments associated with a specific cell within the report or input schedule, or view comments that may have been added for a specific view.

To view a comment/s: 1. After opening a live report or input schedule, select View comment from the Report State action pane. 2. The 1st of 3 View Comments panes will open, each of which contain short questions to be answered by the user. The first is, “What is the context of your comments search?” a. The active report or schedule cell – which will return comments associated with that cell. b. The active current view – which returns comments associated with the active current view. c. Custom current view – returns comments from a different view than the one that is active. When this option is selected, the area in the action pane below “Search on these CV values:” is available for selection. This allows the user to return a comment for a specific member or all members of any dimension within the application. If a dimension choice is left unselected, the members for that dimension are ignored and comments for any member of that particular dimension will be returned. 3. Click the button, which brings the user to the second View Comments action pane. 4. The next question is “Do you want to include comment history?” – If you would like to see all comments that have been made, based on the selection criteria from the prior question, select the “Show comment history” checkbox. Leave the box unselected to return only the most recent comment that meets the selected criteria. 5. “Comments with what priority” – Returns comments associated with the priority or priorities that the user selects. 6. “Do you want to search on a comment keyword” – Searches for comment based on keyword (up to 30 characters). Only comments that match this keyword will be returned in the search. 7. Click the button, which brings the user to the third View Comments action pane. 8. The first question on the 3rd action pane is “Comments from what origin?” – Choices are: a. Comments from anyone – This selection will return all comments that were entered by any user, including yourself. b. Comments from myself – This selection will return the comments that only you entered. c. Comments from another – This selection will return comments added by a specific user. Choosing this selection will open a dialog box listing users and you need to select the particular user/s whose added comments you need to view. 9. The last criteria for searching on comments is, “Do you want to search comments by a date range?” If you would like to return comments from a particular date range, click the “Search by date range” check box, and then use the From and To drop down lists to specify the desired date range. 10. Click the button, at which time the Comments Summary Page will open.

6 Comments Summary Page

After adding comments or choosing your view, the user can display them in the comments summary page. If a comment was newly added, the summary page contains the newly added comment data region, as well as the comment entry made to the database. If other comments exist for the same data region, they will also appear here. If the user defined several view options, all associated comments are displayed. The summary page contains 2 tables: Data Regions with Comments, and Comments for the Selected Data Region. The Data Regions with Comments table displays the dimensions of the application in the table header, and the dimension members for the data region where there is a corresponding comment in its rows. The Comments for the Selected Data Region table has 5 different options in its table header. They are: Option Comment Description Displays the entire comment. If you are the originator of the comment, or have administrator rights, you have ability to modify the comment directly in the cell. Note: Be sure to select “Update Comments” in the action pane when completed. Displays priority of the comment. If you are the originator of the comment, or have administrator rights, you have the ability to change priority from the drop down list. Note: Be sure to select “Update Comments” in the action pane when completed. Displays keyword associated with the comment. If you are the originator of the comment, or have administrator rights, you can modify the key word by typing directly into this cell. Note: Be sure to select “Update comments” in the action pane when completed. Displays the comments originator. Displays the date the comment was saved to the database. If comment has been updated, then updated date appears.



Originator Date

Other Options on the Comments Summary Page View Comment Options action pane: Add a new comment – Will take the user back through the steps described in the Steps to add a Comment above, beginning with step 3. Report on comments – Will take the user back through the steps described in the View a Comment/s section above, beginning with step 2. Delete selected comments - To the left of each comment listed in the Comments for the Selected Data Region table is an empty box. If you are the originator of the comment, or an administrator, you can put a check next to a comment you would like to delete. Then select the Delete selected comments option, after which a confirmation box will appear. After selecting “Yes” the comment you deleted will be removed. Update comments – If you are the originator, or an administrator, and in the Comments for the Selected Data Region you modified either the Comment, the Priority, or Keyword cell, select Update comments to ensure the modification has been made to the database.

Changing the Display criteria - If you want to change the criteria displayed in the summary page, you can click on the words “Display criteria” in the upper left hand corner of the screen. This will change the action pane taking the user back through the steps described in the View a Comment/s section above, beginning with step 2. The following screen shot is a sample of a Comments Summary Page:

7 Reporting on Comments
From the Getting Started – BPC for Excel action pane which appears after opening BPC for Excel, select Open System Reports. Select Comments Report from the list of Application Reports in the System Reports action pane. The Report Parameters table is displayed with the following options available to be filled in: Option Start Date Start Time End Date End Time BPC User History Priority Description The start date for the query. The start time for the query. The end date for the query. The end time for the query. An optional user name to report on. Leave blank to report on comments from all users. Check if all history for the comment is to be included in report. All – Report on all priority level comments. Critical – Only report on Critical level comments. High – Only report on High level comments. Medium – Only report on Medium level comments. Low – Only report on Low level comments. No priority – Only report on No priority level comments.

Dimension n1 to nx Set Orientation

Optional member values for specific data regions. Leave boxes blank to report on all possible values. Portrait – Report in portrait layout. Landscape – Report in landscape layout.

When the table parameters set up has been completed, select the green check mark in the action pane and the BPC Commentary Report is generated. The following screen shots show the table parameters, and a sample Commentary Report that has been generated for one comment:

8 BPC “Ev” Functionality relating to Comments
EvCOM References another cell and sends its value, a textual comment, to the database. Syntax: EvCOM(CommentRange, AppName, Member1, Member2, etc) Parameter CommentRange AppName [dim:]member1-n Description The cell reference of the input cell. The name of the application. Specify as many members that you want. Any dimension that is not specified in the formula is taken from the current view. Note: If the same member name is used in more than one dimension, you must specify the dimension name. Syntax to be used is: “dimension:member”.

Example: EvCOM(D16,”FINANCE”,”SALARY”,”ACTUAL”,”Jan2009” In the above example, the textual comment in cell D16 is loaded into the Finance Application, the Salary Account, the Actual Category, and for the Time Period January 2009. EvCGP – Get Partial Comment Retrieves comments based on a partially qualified current view. Members not specified in the function are ignored. The comments returned were added to the database using each of one of the specified members, [ALL], or [None]. Syntax: EvCGP(AppName, Member1, Member2, etc) Parameter AppName Member1-n Description The name of the application. The ID of the member from which to get associated comments.

EvCGT – Get Comment Retrieves comments for a fully specified current view. Members not specified in the function are taken from the current view. The comments returned were added to the database using each of one of the specified members or [ALL]. Syntax: EvCGT(AppName, Member1, Member2, etc) Parameter AppName Member1-n Description The name of the application. The ID of the member from which to get associated comments.

9 Exporting Comments
The following screen shots provide the steps required to export comments to a file. The export process begins within Reporting Services at the Report Directory, as shown below:

Reporting Services Server – Report Directory

The above screen shot shows a list of all application sets with reports on this server. The application set circled on the right hand side of the screen contains a comment that we want to export. Click on that application set, and the following screen shot appears:

The above screen shot displays the applications within the app set, as well as the audit and security reports that have been set up for this app set. To continue this export we will select the Finance application which is circled above. The result is as follows:

The above screen shot is similar to the Reports Parameter table discussed earlier. For this table, the user needs to fill in the start and end dates, as well as the priority level to extract. In this case we are extracting ALL. When completed, select View Report from the right hand side of the screen.

A report is generated for the user so that you can check the results prior to the extract. In this example we have only one comment which matches the criteria we set, so only one comment is to be exported. The next step is to select the format of the file for the Export.

As seen in the above screen shot, there are 6 different file formats the Export can be sent to. They are XML file with report data; CSV (comma delimited); TIFF file; Acrobat (PDF) file; Web archive; and Excel. Once the user selects the file format they want to have the Export in, the Export option to the right of the format drop down menu will become available. Select “Export”, then name the export file and select the directory to which it will be saved, and the Export process is complete.