S4/HANA for Group Reporting first critics

  1. Critical points

The impression of the new tool was good. A more deep dive brings up, what is not a surprise. The lessons are not learned.

  1. User friendly interface is still missing
  2. Surely, for a ECCS or SEM BCS client this is better, for clients with Hyperion, BPC, BO FC this is a step back
    1. User interface for maintaining is a mess
    2. Ownership and legder concept, takes flexibility away
      1. Why do I need a ledger to make a new consolidation scope, simulation etc….? I hope this will be strongly improved.
      2. Why is it not possible to add own property fields like in FC or BPC?
    3. Its obvious not step forward:
      1. It´s 90% ECCS
      2. 10 % try to get flexibility in, stucked to the 100% accounting driven approach, surely no wonder
      3. Outcome of the investments into outlooksoft and cartesis (BO) are not recognized in the software
      4. If developers from BPC or BO FC would have had influence, it would look fully different
      5. Items like historical masterdata are not seen
      6. Audit Trail like BOFC is missing
      7. A dedicated reporting engine, who gives ad hoc reporting like BO FC, is not existing

If the client is using S4/HANA and the masterdata in FI, the benefit of drill down to the transactions can be a main reason. If a client likes the classical sap approach of consolidation, its the best choice to stay and use Group Reporting. If not, the integration is less important, or maybe even not possible, BPC 11 is on BW4/HANA an alternative to evaluate instead of a different vendor.

But the full integration is in some circumstances not possible. For example, if the source S4 Moduls are not delivering all details for FI and consolidation. I saw this with FI-CA (FICA) with big data. The data amount / volume was to high from FI-CA to FI and CO. The result is that transactions are summarized and details is gone, like invoice, open or paid, partner (IC).

Total integration is gone, same with CO. Details like business partner, segment, profit center are gone or not possible.

Not to mention the performance of Analytics Cloud.

The workaround is a data ware house for example with SAP BW4/HANA. If I need a DWH to get all my data together in one place, why not using BPC 11.0 on BW4/Hana, either with embedded model or even standard classical consolidation model.

I will prepare a comparison of functions and write about a starter kit with BPC 11.0 consolidation.

Implementierung SAP S4/HANA for Group Reporting

Die Erfahrungen im Jahr 2019 Mai sind noch eher gering mit der Implementierung von S4/HANA for Group Reporting in 1809.

Es sind anscheinend einige Grundfunktionen noch nicht im Release enthalten, z.B. eine dedizierte Besitzanteilverwaltung (Ownership).

Kleiner rechtlicher Hinweis:

R.S.V.P Management Solutions GmbH ist offizieller Reseller von SAP, insofern sind Wir wahrscheinlich berechtigt, Screenshots aus der Software oder der offiziellen SAP Web Seite zu benutzten. Alle Web Seiten Screenshots sind von der https://help.sap.com Seite oder aus offiziellen SAP Dokumenten, die als “public” deklariert sind. Wir als Partner der SAP berechtigt sind, diese zu benutzen.

Folgende Funktionen sind offiziell bereits implementiert:

  1. Datensammlung, Echtzeit (ACDOCA S4HANA), Datei Upload, Manuelle Eingabe und eine API
  2. Währungsumrechnung CTD und periodisch
  3. Historische Umrechnung und Rundungsregeln
  4. Validierungsmonitor
  5. Manuelle Journal Buchung
  6. Eliminierungen über die Eliminierungstypen (ähnlich BPC und Fc Konten getrieben) plus Abstimmberichte
  7. Konsoliderung von Beteiligungen
  8. Berichtswesen über SAC, Fiori
  9. On the fly regeln für z.B. Cashflow Berechnung
  10. Plankonsolidierung aus der ACDOCP inklusive SAC
  11. Prozessverwaltung und Steuerung
  1. Vorraussetzungen für Group Reporting

Installation von Group Reporting

Der Umfang der Lösung ist festzulegen (scope of the solution)

Building blocks sind zu installieren

Aktivierung der Applikation

2. Erste Schritte zur Implementierung

Wie in anderen Lösungen ist der Kontenrahmen die grundlegende Ebene zur Parametrisierung der Konsolidierung:

  1. Übernahme der Best Practise Konfiguration
  2. Definition der Ledger, die über die jeweilige Konzernwährung und Konzernkreise zu bestimmen (Y1 EUR und Y2 für USD) (Fühlt sich etwas zu kompliziert an, das geht auch einfacher…)
  3. Festlegung des Mappings auf den Kontenrahmen (geht auch im S4 FI)
  4. Solange der Buchungskreis im S4 FI die gleiche ID hat, kann die direkte Übernahme aus den S4 Tabellen genutzt werden

Hinweis:Das Hochladen von Entities und Konzernkreisen ist nicht möglich

3. Kontenrahmen

Der Kontenrahmen ist der Punkt in dem ich die Währungsumrechnung, Vorzeichen, Eliminierungsregeln und die Aufrissdefinition ( welche Zusatzdimensionen liegen unter dem Konto) vornehme.

4. Starter Kit (Vordefinierte Inhalte)

Auf der Seite : https://help.sap.com/viewer/S4HANA1809_FI_Statement_Items_Documentation

finden sich die Inhalte der Vorkonfiguration.

Wie man hier lesen kann sind die Bestandteile vorhanden:

  1. Bilanzstruktur
  2. GuV Struktur
  3. Statistische Konten

Copyright SAP

5. Tansaktiontypes

Für die Neulinge in der Group Reporting und S4 Hana Welt sind diese Transaktionstyps wichtig und zu erklären. Man geht in der SAP S4 Welt von einer Buchungssatz basierten Konsolidierung aus. Nicht von einer Konten / Bewegungsart/ Partner etc. basierten Logik. Grundsätzlich geht dieses in Group Reporting auch. Aber, es werden immer Dokumente und Buchungen generiert. Der vielleicht eher amerikanische Weg, ich kippe Daten in eine Datenbank, rechne um, aggregiere, eliminiere und geben Anpassungen in einer Spalte in Excel ein, geht so nicht direkt.

Ich denke, dass man mit etwas Kreativität dieses auch in Group Reporting hinbekommt. Dann müsste man vielleicht die Vorkonfiguration weglassen. Das Ganze einfacher aufsetzen.

Das Regelwerk vom Group Reporting gibt eine ähnliche Arbeitsweise wie das FC oder BPC her. Auch wenn nicht alle Konsolidierungsmethoden implementiert sind, wird man auch hier eine Lösung finden.

Beim FC (ehemals Cartesis) war es immer schwieriger einfache Konsolidierung mit wenig Aufwand zu implementieren, in BPC umgekehrt, das Einfache ging schnell, komplexe Sachverhalte gingen ohne Script oder Abap nicht.

Im Augenblick fühlt sich Group Reporting eher komplex an, wenn man den Standard nicht will.

Copyright SAP

Die Bewegungstypen, auch bereits im BPC RTC versucht umzusetzen, steuern entweder:

  1. Operationale Sachverhalte (Trennung AHK und AFA)
  2. Währungsumrechnung (differenziert nach Anfang, Veränderung, Endbestand etc.)
  3. Konsolidierungssachverhalte (Konzernkreisveränderungen, Beteiligung, Erstkonsolidierung oder Endkonsolidierung)

Hinter diesen Typen stecken dann wieder Regeln und oder automatische Buchungen.

to be continued……

SAP BPC FC SEM-BCS ECCS End of support 2025

One thing is good, the users know which versions of their consolidation products they want to keep alive. If this will happen, what consequences will this have to users and to the market. I have put my experience of S4/HANA projects together with my experience as SAP consultant and partner. I am personally not happy with the development in the SAP portfolio, surely nobody cares. Because of not growing up in the SAP universe, I am maybe more critical. Seeing how bad the acquisitions of Outlooksoft and Cartesis were treated, how many deals as a partner were lost, because of wrong positioning, changing from FC to BPC, instead of offering the best for the right client. Misunderstanding the best client profile for each solution. Generally I saw a big chance in having solutions for different consolidation cultures:

  1. SEM BCS for fully SAP driven clients with a separate consolidation department, Group Reporting as the replacement
  2. BO FC (Cartesis) for integrated internal and external reporting, powerfull, mature, almost no scripting, fast, reliable and transparent
  3. BPC for more American way of consolidation, less detail, focus on cashflow, KPI´s, p&l, fast easy data entry, full excel driven with planning, reporting and integrated into ECC 6.0 and S4

SAP was never able to position this tools correctly and successful

Let´s have a look what is going in the SAP environment. Last year SAP brought out a new software called “Group Reporting”. Formerly known as cloud consolidation. Which will be available as Group Reporting on premise (local installation) or as cloud version with different roadmaps.

The marketing papers of SAP explain´s that SAP has brought the good things together from FC, BPC, ECCS, SEM-BCS. How did this happen?

The owners of SAP (everybody who has shares) want a growth in the SAP market share value, it is obvious that software vendor shares are higher rated from the analyst, if the vendor is offering cloud solutions.

Result of this:

  • every cloud enabled product is pushed in the development
  • resources from non cloud solutions were massively reduced
  • the development has put 2 years ago the old ECCS code as part of the cloud consolidation solution into the cloud
  • SAP is still a German company, were the splitt of controlling and accounting is quite common in clients finance department

The outcome we see now:

  1. Again 2 solutions for planning and consolidation on group level
  2. The idea to consolidate transactions and do group consolidation based on accounting standard is back
  3. Walldorf does not understand the global need of more controlling enabled consolidation engines
  4. One of the founders of SAP said, “If i want to make innovations, I not make it in Waldorf”
  5. The people at SAP in Walldorf have never excepted the bought solutions like FC or BPC. They only sucked the new collegues for their own personal needs, of keeping SEM BCS and ECCS alive in Group Reporting

Typically in the legal consolidation domain, SAP has not learned from the last 30 years, when they lost a lot of clients to vendors like Hyperion, Tagetik, IBM etc. Who offered solutions to either full fill controlling and accounting needs. And by the way have reporting solution which are integrated, flexible and fast. We will see, if the “unfinished death star” can shoot or not.

The problem is, that:

  1. A high amount of clients have implemented SAP BPC, as told, in S4/HANA in the last 2-3 years. Real time consolidation is stopped by the development. Why?
  2. They stopped to enhance the BPC optimized for S4/HANA with Version 10.1.
  3. BPC on BW4/Hana goes a different roadmap is already in Version 11.0 available and 12 is announced. If I see the landscape of S4/HANA and still the need of having Bw4/HANA with BPC 11.0 inside, a very fast standalone planning, reporting and consolidation solution (nobody really wants to sell, maybe again misunderstood). A good tool for a workaround, if the promised total integration of S4/HANA doesn´t work. Why not use this database/ enterprise performance management tool? In one case SAP CO and FI in S4/HANA were not able to deliver a profit on segments, because of missing data detail. With SAP BPC on BW4/HANA no problem, but the client didn´t licensed the BW4/HANA.
  4. SAP analytics cloud is not fully ready to go-live. Using Lumira in the meantime can be a solution.
  5. SAP development wants to get rid of the BW layer and the DSO technology. But Group reporting is using this technology ???? In a meeting the IT department said: “you can not use BPC standard, we don´t want DSO”, but as I know Group Reporting uses DSO and not ADSO…. ???
  6. A classical SAP client in Germany, in the DSAG universe, BW as DATA Warehouse, BEX analyzer etc. as reporting engines, is fully happy with BW4/HANA, old CO and FI stuff is still working in S4, period “0” in consolidation for opening values, periodic consolidation (no ctd), faster then BW, SAP delivers the content for consolidation, they can make changes to rules, and still updates. But what will happen to the users, who have a fast integrated reporting and planning solution?
  7. In Planning processes the modern approach goes away from detailed, slow, many resources blocking, planing approach. The modern planning solution takes the actuals, move them forward by drivers, or by a system, using informations about market and clients, and it calculates the estimate automatically. Only new markets, products etc. are planned manually. I need a fast snapshot of the actuals and a fast planning

Do I need an integrated system with two products, one for consolidation and one for planning or one for both

In Planning processes the modern approach goes away from detailed, slow, many resources blocking, planing approach. The modern planning solution takes the actuals, move them forward by drivers, or by a system, using informations about market and clients, and it calculates the estimate automatically. Only new markets, products etc. are planned manually. I need a fast snapshot of the actuals and a fast planning engine, with easy to maintain simulations, rules etc.

In consolidation, the clients who make “fast close”, don´t have time to look into transactions, accounting details. They need fast and unified processes to consolidate a cashflow, p&l and balance sheet in 5 days. Does is make sense:

Not to use Group Reporting, Analytics Cloud and BPC?

Can it be, for some clients, better to use BPC for BW4/Hana?

By the way, some friends of mine have successfully implemented Real time consolidation in S4/HANA projects.

Risk/Hope:

  • The risk is, that SAP falls back in the Enterprise Performance Management market, clients can be unhappy, who never used BW
  • They open again the clients for competitors, who don´t want two solutions, or even three (BPC, SAC, Group Reporting).
  • The queries design as SAP idea is still needed in S4/HANA, I don´t think this is user friendly and self service BI
  • Having the same situation like before 2007, user unfriendly, no harmonised solution, barriers between controlling and accounting.
  • the promised total integration is for several clients far away. if you are no able to integrate all transactions details into SAP FI (ACDOC A) you will not drill down from group reporting into the source data
  • If client need to cut out data details, because FI and CO are not capable or getting too slow, the integration is gone. A data ware house in BW4/Hana can be a workaround, with BPC on top and consuming the S4/Hana data. As architects in S4 prefers the Bw4/HANA as archive system, why not using for planning and consolidation?
  • Group Reporting means:
    • periodic consolidation (does everybody like this)
    • period “0” means only one opening for a whole year?
    • only one trigger per account for eliminations..
    • integration of non sap entities?
    • is the standard of consolidation rules fitting, if not, how can I get the standard out?

I am open to discuss and change my opinion about the development. In the german market, Group Reporting will be the Standard. Will it be the only SAP solution in future?

Enhance your Dashboard (based on BPC Data) by using selectors and the “writeback-function” of the EPM Connector

This article explains how to enhance your dashboard (based on BPC Data) built using SAP Dashboard Design (formerly Xcelsius) with functions to filter data to be shown based on selection criteria and with the “writeback-function” to write changed data back to the BPC Server. It shows how to use the BPC EPM-Connector (an Add-On for SAP Dashboard Design) to enhance the functionality of the dashboard with those features.

The SAP BPC product version referred in this article is SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation 10.0, version for SAP NetWeaver.

This article follows on from my previous one on “How to use the EPM Connector to visualize BPC Data via Dashboard Design”

1    Business Scenario

In this scenario, the business wants to be able to filter the data shown on the dashboard according to some given parameters and submit a new request to the BPC Server for live data based on its selection. Another feature the business wants to have is the possibility to write back the data changed on the dashboard (for example via a simulation) to the BPC Server.

Those functions are provided by the EPM Connector brought by the EPM Add-In for Excel which is installed as Add-On for SAP Dashboard Design (formerly called Xcelsius).

2    Software Versions

The following software are required (only to build the dashboard):

  1. SAP Dashboard Design SP06 Patch 01
  2. SAP BPC 10 EPM Add-In SP14 Patch 02
  3. EPM Connector of EPM Add-In, (add-On for Dashboard Design, located in the EPM Add-In installation folder)
  4. SAP BPC 10 ODBO Client
  5. Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package(x86)

All software (except for the Microsoft Visual C++ component) can be downloaded from the SAP Service Marketplace. It is suggested to always apply the latest support package for each software component.

3    Steps to enhance your dashboard with filters for data selection

The assumption is made that you follow the steps described in the post “How to use the EPM Connector to visualize BPC Data via Dashboard Design” and end up with a dashboard similar to the one on the figure below:

bild00

1-      Prepare your sheet with an area for the dynamic filters of the EPM connection

Define on your sheet an area consisting of two columns for each of the dimensions TIME and PRODUCT. The first column is for the member name and the second for the member ID. This area will be used later on for the definition of the dynamic filters of the EPM Connection.

bild03

2-      Configure the EPM connection

Having defined your EPM Connection like describe in the Post on “How –to…” you can enhance this connection by configuring dynamic filters.

Click the button next to “Dynamic filters” and bind it to the area in the sheet where you define the dynamic filters then click “OK”.

bild04

3-      Prepare the input values for the filters

Prepare the input values for the filters on your sheet for each dimension to filter on. The area is constituted of 2 columns (one for the name and the other for the ID) for the member values of the dimension.

Tip: You can first use the “Retrieve Dimension Members” operation to retrieve members for those dimensions in two columns, one for the names and the other for the unique IDs.

bild01 bild02

4-      Define the selector component on your dashboard layout

On your dashboard layout, drag and drop the selector components (combo box) for each of your filter. Then configure the component accordingly.

pic19

Click on the button next to Labels and bind it to the labels/names column of the area for the filter values for each dimension TIME and PRODUCT

For the “Data Insertion”, named your “insertion line” and define the insertion type as “Row” so that the selected value be inserted in the destination line as completed row. Then bind the source data to the complete value area and the destination to the line corresponding to the dynamic filter for the given dimension.

The figure below illustartes this process for the dimension TIME. You have to repeat the same process for the dimension PRODUCT.

bild05

5-      Add a button to your dashboard layout for submission of your selection and to refresh your data

Drag and drop a “Connection Refresh Button” from the components list into the layout editor

pic20

Configure the submit button to refresh the EPM Connection, by checking the connection in the refresh button property sheet.

pic21

6-      You are done with the insertion of the filters for the data selection. You can now test your dashboard by clicking on the “Preview” button.

bild06

Once the dashboard is loaded, you can select some new value for the filter and click the “Submit” button. You will then be asked to enter the BPC user name and password, and then click “Ok”.

4    Steps to enhance your dashboard with the function to write back data to the BPC Server

Now, let say you want to store the data of your simulation back to the BPC server. For that, you have to define an EPM connection for each parameter you want to write the value back to the server.

I’ll present here the process to write the value of the simulation parameter “Quantity of Sales” back. You have to repeat the same process for each value you want to write back to the server (i.e.: Sale Price/Item, Mat. Cost/Item, Man. Cost/Item).

1-      First start by preparing an area on the sheet for the storage parameters of your EPM Connection

This area consists of 4 columns: the first one for the dimensions name, the second for the dimension IDs, the third for the member names and the fourth for the member IDs.

On the figure below, note that I marked in orange color the parameters that are subject to change (either they are part of the report –i.e. they are included in the rows or columns- or part of the dynamic filters) plus the parameter to write back (third row: Qty of Sales). I also marked in yellow the parameters that are supposed to be static. For the first part in orange, the first row is for the dimension ENTITY the member name and ID are set trough a formula that return the entity on which the current simulation is based. The second row is for the dimension CATEGORY, which is set to FORECAST, since we want to store the value as forecast. The third row is for the parameter to store, i.e. the Quantity of Sales which is a member of the dimension ACCOUNT. The fourth row is for the dimension TIME the member of which is returned from the selection made for filtering. So here we just copy the value from the dynamic filter. The same is true for the fifth row (dimension PRODUCT) which is copied from the corresponding dynamic filter row.

bild08

Tip: You can first use the “Retrieve Dimensions” and the “Retrieve Dimension Members” operations to retrieve dimensions and members for those dimensions in two columns each, one for the names and the other for the unique IDs.

2-      Add a new connection based on the EPM Connector

bild07

3-      Define and configure the connection

Give a meaningful name for this connection.

Next choose the EPM Application which you want to connect to. In this case, select “Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP NetWeaver platform”.

For the “Operation” field, select “EPM Report”.

In the “Input Details” section:

Next, enter the host name of the BPC web server. Enter both the host name and port.

Click the dropdown box next to “Data Source” and select “Retrieve”, the data source will then be retrieved according to the hostname and port you entered previously.

Repeat this action for the fields Environment and Models then choose when necessary the right value between the one shown by the retrieve operation.

Bind the “Cell Definition” to the area you previously define on the sheet for the storage parameters. This will settle for this connection the dimension members for which the value have to be written back to the server.

Bind the “Cell Value” to the cell where the value of the parameter to be written back to the sever is put.

bild10

In the “Output Details” section

Click on the button next to “Result” and bind this to the cells where you want the result of the operation (which is the value written back when the operation is successful) to be written on your sheet.

You can also select a cell where to put an eventual error message for the connection by clicking on the button next to “Message” and binding this to a cell on the sheet.

bild11

You have to create a similar connection for each parameter you want to store back the value to the server.

4-      Now, add a button on your dashboard layout to save your data

Drag and drop a “Connection Refresh Button” from the components list into the layout editor and named it accordingly to the action the button will operate (i.e. “Save”).

bild12

Configure the Save button to refresh the EPM Connections defined previously for each of the parameter to store, by checking the connections in the refresh button property sheet.

bild13

5-      The model is now complete.

Test it out by clicking the “Preview” button. You can then select a month and a product and submit your selection to refresh the data. After having selected an entity you can go for a simulation. After what you can store your changes back to the server by clicking on the “Save” button. If you did everything well, the changed data should have been saved back to the server.

bild15

Enhance the visualization of your data on a dashboard (based on BPC Data) by using the Hichert’s Success Rules for data visualization

In this article I’ll show you how to build a dashboard based on the Hichert’s Success Rules for data-visualization. I’ll use the graphomate Add-On which implements these success rules for SAP Dashboard Design.

The dashboard is built on data from a SAP BPC System and use for the connectivity with the BPC backend-system the EPM-Connector which comes with the EPM Add-In for MS Office.

1    Business Scenario

The business wants to compare the ACTUAL and FORECAST data (KPIs: Revenue and Cost) for the top 10 companies of the group. Furthermore, it wants to make some simulation for forecasting of the Costs (Manufacturing, Material, General Expense, Wages and Salaries…etc.) according to the variation of the sale quantities and the unit price for a given product.

At the backend, there is a SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP NetWeaver (BPC for NW) system and for the frontend a dashboard created with the SAP Dashboard Design tool (formerly called Xcelsius) is preferred. Using a flash-based dashboard provides a zero footprint solution for viewing critical data in real-time. The dashboard user would not need anything more than flash player to view the data. This type of data visualization is very attractive to high level decision makers in the enterprise.

2    Software Versions

The required software for this scenario are the following (Only to build the dashboard. The versions mentioned here are the one I used for this tutorial):

  1. SAP Dashboard Design SP06 Patch 01
  2. Graphomate Enterprise version 1.3-F4 (Add On for Dashboard Design from graphomate GmbH)

The following software are optional (only if you intend to use BPC as backend system and the EPM Connector for the connectivity):

  1. SAP BPC 10 EPM Add-In SP14 Patch 02
  2. EPM Connector of EPM Add-In, (add-On for Dashboard Design, located in the EPM Add-In installation folder)
  3. SAP BPC 10 ODBO Client
  4. Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package(x86)

For simply running and viewing the dashboard, only Flash Player is required.

All software (except for the Microsoft Visual C++ component) can be downloaded from the SAP Service Marketplace. It is suggested to always apply the latest support package for each software component.

3    Steps to build your dashboard

1-      In SAP Dashboard Design, create a new dashboard and used a local connection to Log into the backend System (BPC server)

bild01pic05

Enter your credential for the connection to the server and click Log On

pic06

2-      Create a new BPC-Report in the Excel-sheet

Click on “New Report” in the EPM tab of the excel workspace.

pic07

The “Report Editor” dialog will then be launched. Here you can configure the report output.

Drag and drop the ENTITY.PARENTH1 node from the cube dimensions box into the “Row” box.

Drag and drop the CATEGORY.PARENTH1 and the ACCOUNT.PARENTH1 nodes from the cube dimensions box into the “Column” box.

Drag and drop all remaining dimensions except TIME and PRODUCT from the cube dimensions into the Page Header box. Note: The dimensions TIME AND PRODUCT will be configured in the dashboard as dynamic filters.

pic08

For each dimension in the row and column box, select the members by clicking the checkboxes, then clicking the “Right-Arrow” key to move the selections into the “Selected Members” box. Then click “Ok”.

Note: For the ENTITY dimension, you can just select the top 10 entities you want to show and eventually the parent node for the grouping/total.

pic09

For each dimension in the “Page Header” box, select one or many members to define the context of your report

pic09_2

3-      The report is then generated in the excel spreadsheet. The values are retrieved from the BPC system and statically stored in the excel sheet.

pic09_3

4-      Before starting to build the layout of your dashboard, it is recommended to prepare your excel sheet in order to facilitate your subsequent actions.

I recommend to first copy the data return by you report (actually those data you want to show on your dashboard i.e. the top 10 entities + the total) in a specific area on your sheet.

In the sheet, mark you different data area with different colors

pic10 pic10_2

Some Excel EPM-functions like the function EPMOlapMemberO() are not supported in Dashboard Design.

pic10_3

In order not to have the label value not showing on your dashboard, you have also copy the columns and rows where those functions are called to your dashboard data area.

pic11

Note: Further on, you can set a data connection to the BPC server to update the value for these fields (see my previous post on “How to use the EPM Connector to visualize BPC Data via Dashboard Design” in the “Extra Notes” section)

Lastly, it is important for better visualization to define an optimal “Scale” for your data in order to best use the available space for important information. You may have to convert you data in thousand (by dividing by 1000) or in Million (by dividing by 1000000) depending on how big or small your figures are.

5-      Next, you will begin to build the layout of the dashboard starting with the first chart for the Revenue KPI.

Drag and drop the components for your dashboard from the components section on the left into the layout editor.

Start with the graphomate Enterprise component to build the chart for the comparison of the Revenue KPI.

bild02

Configure your component as follow:

On the “General” Tab

Under Chart, select the “Column/Bar” Chart type, then choose the structure orientation for the chart and check to show basic values (this is to allow to show both values ACTUAL and FORECAST on your chart). In addition to the base chart, check to see the percentage deviation chart and choose the “Needles” representation.

bild03

Under Data, click on the button next to the “Measures” input box and bind this to the cells where you want to hold your KPIs data from (i.e. actual Revenue). Then click the button next to “Basic values” input box and bind this to the cells from where you want to get your basic-KPIs for comparison (i.e. the forecast Revenue). The same way, bind the “Category labels” to the cells where you load you entities labels. Check to specify that in this case, positive deviation is good (for Revenue). Also check to display the category labels on your chart.

bild04

For the data type definition, you should have previously defined an area in your sheet for the data type for both KPIs (Actual and Forecast). Next bind the button next to the data type for each KPI to the corresponding cell range in the sheet.

bild03_2

The data type is useful in formatting the data accordingly to the definition you made in the setting for each type of data (AJ=Actual Year, PR=Forecast, VJ=Previous Year, PL=Planning).

These settings are made under the tab “Appearance > Data types”.

bild03_3

Under Label, click the button next to “Measures” and bind it to the cell from where you want to hold the label for the KPI (i.e. Actual). Do the same for the “Basic values”, this time bind it the label for the basic values (i.e. Forecast). Then bind the “Title” to the cell with the chart title (i.e. Revenue). Finally, check to display both the legends and the title.

bild05

You can continue if you need with other settings for your chart i.e. “Appearance” and “Behaviour”

bild06 bild06_2

You end up with a chart similar to the one on the figure below:

bild07

6-      Repeat the previous action to build the chart for the Cost KPI.

This time, choose not to display the Category labels, since the both chart (Revenue and Cost will use the same). Also, do not check “Positive deviation is good” in the case of cost the positive deviation is not good.

bild08

The end result is then similar the one shown below.

bild09

7-      Next drop on the layout the controls for the simulation.

Start with the a List box to allow to user the select an entiy on which the simulation will be based.

bild10

Configure the list box accordingly

bild10_2

Next drop 2 Gauges on the layout; one for the General Expense and the other for the Wales and Salaries. Then configure the Gauges to reflect the values of the General Expense and the Wales and salaries that you defined on your sheet.

bild11bild11_2bild11_3

Now add 4 horizontal sliders to allow the variation of the parameters quantity of sales, Sale Price/Item, Material Cost/Item and Manufacturing cost/Item. Then configure them to behave accordingly.

bild12

Also add a “Reset” button to reset the simulation to the initial values.

bild12_2

8-      Finally, add another chart to show the variation of the Cost KPIs when the parameters change in the simulation.

Drop another graphomate Emterprise component on the layout and configure it like on the picture below (This time, use a waterfall diagram instead):

bild13 bild13_2

You end up with a Waterfall diagram showing how the different cost behave when the parameters (quantity of sales, sale price/item…etc.) change

bild13_3

9-      You can also enhance the dashboard with controls to hold live data from the BPC server, to allow the user to select new filters and submit a new request for data and to write-back the simulation parameter into the database.

The complete figure looks as follow:

bild14

10-      The model is now complete. You can test it out by clicking the “Preview” button.

bild15

Once the dashboard is loaded, you can select a specific product for the filter and click the “Submit” button. You will then hold form the BPC server the data related to this product. By selecting in the List Box an entity, you can make some simulation by changing the values of the different parameters. Afterward, you can save your change back in the BPC System.

How to Use the EPM Connector to Visualize BPC Data via Dashboard Design (aka Xcelsius)

 

This article explains the steps to visualize BPC data in a dashboard build using SAP Dashboard Design (formerly Xcelsius). It shows how to use the SAP BPC EPM-Add-In for Excel to build a report, and the SAP BPC EPM Connector to enhance the functionality of the dashboard.

The SAP BPC product version referred in this post is SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation 10.0, version for SAP NetWeaver.

1    Business Scenario

In this scenario, the business wants to view real-time data from their SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP NetWeaver (BPC for NW) system via a dashboard created with the SAP Dashboard Design tool (formerly called Xcelsius). Using a flash-based dashboard provides a zero footprint solution for viewing critical data in real-time. The dashboard user would not need anything more than flash player to view the data. This type of data visualization is very attractive to high level decision makers in the enterprise.

2    Software Versions

The following software are required (only to build the dashboard. The versions mentioned here are the one I used for this tutorial.):

  1. SAP Dashboard Design SP06 Patch 01
  2. SAP BPC 10 EPM Add-In SP14 Patch 02
  3. EPM Connector of EPM Add-In, (add-On for Dashboard Design, located in the EPM Add-In installation folder)
  4. SAP BPC 10 ODBO Client
  5. Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package(x86)

For simply running and viewing the dashboard, only Flash Player is required.
All software (except for the Microsoft Visual C++ component) can be downloaded from the SAP Service Marketplace. It is suggested to always apply the latest support package for each software component.

3    Steps to build you dashboard to visualize the BPC data

1-      In SAP Dashboard Design, create a new dashboard and click on the EPM tab in the Excel-Workspace

pic01

2-      Create a local connection to the BPC-server

Use the SAP BW OLE DB Provider as OLAP provider

pic02

Enter the BPC-BW server name. Also, enter the BPC user and password. This is the same user and password that you would used to connect to BPC via the BPC Excel Client. Click “Next”.

pic03

Select the Environment/Infoprovider and click “Finish”.

pic03_2

pic04

3-      Log on to the BPC-server using the local connection you created

Select the newly created connection, and click “Ok”.

pic05

Enter your credential for the connection to the server and click Log On

pic06

4-      Create a new BPC-Report in the Excel-sheet

Click on “New Report” in the EPM tab of the excel workspace.

pic07

The “Report Editor” dialog will then be launched. Here you can configure the report output.

Drag and drop the ENTITY.PARENTH1 node from the cube dimensions box into the “Row” box.

Drag and drop the CATEGORY.PARENTH1 and the ACCOUNT.PARENTH1 nodes from the cube dimensions box into the “Column” box.

Drag and drop all remaining dimensions except TIME and PRODUCT from the cube dimensions into the Page Header box.

Note: The dimensions TIME AND PRODUCT will be configured in the dashboard as dynamic filters.

pic08

For each dimension in the row and column box, select the members by clicking the checkboxes, then clicking the “Right-Arrow” key to move the selections into the “Selected Members” box. Then click “Ok”.

pic09

For each dimension in the “Page Header” box, select one or many members to define the context of your report

pic09_2

5-      The report is then generated in the excel spreadsheet. The values are retrieved from the BPC system and statically stored in the excel sheet.

pic09_3

6-      Before starting to build the layout of your dashboard, I recommend to prepare your excel sheet in order to facilitate your subsequent actions.

I’ll first recommend to copy a subset of the data returned by you report (actually those data you want to show on your dashboard – for example the Top 10 entities) in a specific area on your sheet.

In the sheet, mark your different data area with different colors

pic10pic10_2

The Excel EPM-functions (for example: EPMOlapMemberO()) are not supported in Dashboard.

pic10_3

So, also copy the columns and rows where those functions are used to your dashboard data area (actually, you don’t copy the formula but the content).

pic11

Note: Further on, you can set a data connection to the BPC server to update the value for these fields (see that in a later section: extra notes)

7-      Next, you will begin to build the layout of the dashboard.

Drag and drop the components for your dashboard from the components section on the left into the layout editor.

pic12

Map the components on the layout with the data on your sheet

pic13

8-      When you are satisfied with the layout of your dashboard, in a next step, you will add a new connection using the EPM Connector.

pic14

This connection will allow you to retrieve data from BPC at runtime, instead of getting the values statically from the excel sheet.

9-      In the appropriate cell, enter the command =GetReportDefinition() and hit enter.

pic15

This command retrieves the XML based definition of the BPC report and puts it in this cell. Later you will bind a property of the EPM connector to this cell.

10-      Add a new connection to your dashboard

Call the data manager by clicking on “Data > Connections” in the main menu on by clicking on the manage connection button in the toolbar

pic16pic16_2

Then Add a new connection based using the EPM Connector

pic16_3

11-      Define and configure the connection

Give a meaningful name for this connection.

Next choose the EPM Application which you want to connect to. In this case, select “Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP NetWeaver platform”.

For the “Operation” field, select “EPM Report”.

In the “Input Details” section:

Next, enter the host name of the BPC web server. Enter both the host name and port.

Click the button next to “Report Definition” and bind it to the cell where the BPC Report definition resides then click “OK”. The other information like Report Name, Environment, Models and also the “Result” field in the “Output Details” section should be filled automatically from the report definition.

The finished connection configuration should now look like this. Notice that the cell range for the output has automatically been configured based on the EPM report definition. Click “Close”.

pic17pic17_1

12-      The model is now complete. You can test it out by clicking the “Preview” button.

pic22

 

 

4    Extra Notes

1-

You can configure your connection to refresh on load. This could be necessary if you do not like to have the dashboard loaded initially with the static data used for the dashboard creation (which data could have been updated and would then not reflect the real data in BPC).

For that, just check the “Refresh on Load” checkbox in the “Output Details” section of the EPM Connection configuration

pic23

2-

By copying the Label data in the report data area to avoid the unsupported EPM-Excel functions in Dashboard Design, you make this area of data static for the dashboard, i.e.: if these data change (member name modified or deleted) in the BPC-System, these changes will not be reflected on the dashboard, which could conduct to inconsistency.

pic24

To avoid that, you can create a new EPM Connection to retrieve the dimension member and replace the default one. This connection should then be refreshed the same time as the previous “dataRead” connection.

To define the connection:

First set the connection name and choose the EPM Application which you want to connect to. In this case, select “Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP NetWeaver platform”.

For the “Operation” field, select “Retrieve Dimension Members”.

In the “Input Details” section:

Next, enter the host name of the BPC web server. Enter both the host name and port.

Click the dropdown box next to “Data Source” and select “Retrieve”, the data source will then be retrieved according to the hostname and port you entered previously.

Repeat this action for the other fields (Environment, Models, and Member) and choose when necessary the right value between the one shown by the retrieve operation.

You end up with a configuration similar to the one shown below.

pic25

In the “Output Details” section

Click on the button next to “Result” and bind this to the cells where you want dimension members to be loaded on your sheet.

You can also select a cell where to put an eventual error message for the connection by clicking on the button next to “Message” and binding this to a cell on the sheet.

You can choose the Connection to be refreshed on load (this is a good idea if you want to have the dashboard loaded with the real/right data, but this will make the dashboard to wait for the data load before showing, which could be annoying if you do not have a high-performance connection to the BPC Server).

pic26

Einführung

Liebe Leser,

mit diesem Blog möchte ich meine Erfahrungen aus über 20 Projekten und mitlerweile 20 Jahren Erfahrung am Markt der “EPM” Lösungen darstellen.

Meine Entwicklung ging von Hyperion Enterprise, Pillar, Essbase zum SAP ECCS, SEM BCS  dann zurück zum Hyperion Financial Management. Ein grosser Fan immer noch vom SAP BO FC, ehemals Cartesis Magnitude, Finance, hin zur integrierten OLAP, Planungs- und Konsolidierungslösung von SAP dem Business Planing and Consolidation BPC.

In Ergänzung mit SAP HANA sicher eine der zukunftsträchtigsten Lösungen auf dem Markt der Produkte zur integrierten Planung und Konsolidierung, oder dem gesamten Reporting.

So, 2017, Wir sind 4 Jahre weiter, viel ist passiert SAP hat BPC um das Modell RTC (Real time consolidation) erweitert. Ich bin seit Mai 2017 Mitarbeiter von SAP im BTC (Business Transformation Consultant) Team CFO Advisory tätig.

Wir sind dabei mein Starter Kit von BPC 10.0 auf die Real time Variante zu heben. Unser Partner in Indien hilft bei der technischen Umsetzung. Wir haben die Zusammenarbeit intensiviert und im Rahmen eines Retail Projektes in Kopenhagen das BPC integriert in die Welt des ERP´s.

Wir werden in diesem Blog wieder Artikel schreiben und über das RTC Modell berichten.

2019 ein paar Projekt weiter:

  1. S4/HANA Controlling Konzept:
    1. Ergebnisrechnung mit FICA als Datenbasis
    2. CO / Versus BPC
    3. BPC versus Group Reporting
    4. SAP HCM integration mit BPC S4/HANA
    5. Vertriebsplanung mit CRM nach BPC
    6. Wo mache ich was im S4/HANA (SAC/BPC/Group Reporting/COPA/CDS VIEW/ Analyse for Office) ?
  2. Central Finance Konzept Pharma
  3. Retail Planung auf BPC 11.0 BW4/HANA als Ablösung einer BW Version
  4. Produktionsstrassen Planung Automotive auf BPC 11.0 (Prototyp)
  5. Zwischengewinne im Maschinenbau über eine Wertschöpfungskette mit BPC
  6. Ablösung einer Planungsapplikation auf Tagetik mit SAP BPC 11.0
  7. Berührungspunkte mit SAP Group Reporting Konsolidierung
  8. Erweiterung einer SAP FC Applikation um einen Cashflow und dem Thema Verschmelzung / Endkonsolidierung

Ich hoffe, dass dieser Blog Ihnen Hilfe bietet, Diskussionsstoff, Anregungen und Ansichten zum Thema integrierten Berichtswesen.

Viel Spass

Frank Mülder