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SAP Analytics Cloud – News #01: Release 2021.01 – 2021.13

The news may now have got around that with the use of the SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC for short), your company has a full-value, cloud-based BI platform. In this context, in contrast to the On-Premise world, the maintenance work and local server landscapes which are associated with high costs (in addition to the licences) are a thing of the past. The security of your valuable corporate data is also ensured based on live connections – the data does not leave the corporate network!

Furthermore, with the available resources, the possibilities for the allocation of planning applications, analyses, dashboards and stories are fully marketable and can more than hold their own against competing products.

You could almost say that “nothing is left to be desired”. Despite this, our experiences have shown us that this doesn’t quite equate with the truth. With quarterly updates, SAP makes consistent efforts to promptly provide new functions, optimise the user interface, or correct existing errors. This can add up to quite a lot per quarter, even if the changes are only of a minor nature.

And this is exactly where this series of blog articles steps in. To be able to give you a practical insight into the development of SAC, we take a close look at the respective new features – it is often the case that we too have been waiting impatiently for specific updates, as certain functions are required by our customers but not yet available in the current release. We classify these for you and highlight the new features or the changes that are relevant to you. In this respect, we also draw on the experiences we have gained in our projects, and are therefore able to assess the practical suitability.

Join us on our series of blog articles, and keep up-to-date along with us at all times.

In our blog on this topic, we want to present you with the most important new features in the SAP Analytics Cloud up until the 2021.13 release. The full list for the year to date is long, and in addition to ground-breaking developments, it also includes all the additional new features, including ones that aren’t of much importance. Of course, each new feature does something good – although many are simply technical background enhancements or corrections to errors which the user doesn’t see or perceive during their daily work. We will isolate the new features for you, and discuss the ones that offer genuine added value for your work.

“Advanced Formula Editor” – Planning

Exit Loop on the Basis of Termination Condition

The FOREACH loop has been available in the formula area for a long time. But, until now, it has not been possible to interrupt the loop pass. That meant that it was necessary to process all the data, even when the termination condition was already fulfilled. With the new additional specification of the “Break” command, it is possible to end the loop pass prematurely. This means an exit can take place due to a value check. For example, if the loop is only to be repeated until goods in stock are 0 or if a specific upper limit is reached. This saves time and increases the acceptance level of the user.

Example:

FOREACH [d/DATE]

    IF ResultLookup([d/DATE]=PREVIOUS(1)) * 1.1 > 200

               BREAK

    ENDIF  

    Data() = ResultLookup([d/DATE]=PREVIOUS(1)) * 1.1

ENDFOR

Default Values

Another unusual new feature implemented in the area of the “Advanced Formula Editor” benefits developers and relates to the default values of the Member List. With a preceding semicolon, the following alphabetical letters are matched directly and suitable proposals are made. This is something you are familiar with from programming using the key combination “CTRL” + “Space” – which is why the note is provided at the start.

Administration and Infrastructure

Something everyone has experienced before, poor performances during analyses and the search for their cause. Depending on the solution, different options are available for isolating time-consuming operations and subsequently optimising them.

Starting from this year, the Performance Analysis Tool has been available in SAC as an out-of-the-box solution. This currently offers three prepared stories and/or applications. These can be used for the runtime analysis of your stories and applications, as well as on a retroactive basis. Auditing the data in the database of the tenant is also possible.

Demo Performance-Analyse-Tool

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SAP Analytics Cloud add-in for Microsoft Office

Depending on how the reporting is allocated in your company with the new edition of the SAP Analytics Cloud add-in for Office, the workbooks can also be saved in your existing reporting landscape. No matter it taking place directly in the BW Repository or on the SAP BI platform. A link can also be made, with your BW or the SAP BI platform, without the live link within the SAP Analytics Cloud. Therefore, the reporting can stay where it was, and relocation of the workbook to SAP Analytics Cloud is technically no longer necessary.

Analytics Designer

Another highlight is the area of performance analysis: In the future, the script performance will be logged with the parameter APP_PERFORMANCE_LOGGING=true in the call URL of your analysis or planning application and can be viewed via the key combination CTRL+Shift+A.

Enterprise Reporting

In the past, the Enterprise Reporting environment was primarily used to access SAP Crystal Reports. For pixel-accurate reporting, in particular, it was the right tool. Additionally, Web Intelligence has been and is often used for this purpose. However, both are only available as On-Premise versions. In SAC, the necessary features for the creation of visually appealing Enterprise Reporting are now gradually being made available as well.

At present, these include:

  • Repeating table headers on the following pages to ensure the readability of the table contents at all times
  • Inserting sections to enable the characteristic-based repetition of figures and tables

Integration of Data

SAP has taken a step in the right direction regarding scaling options for key figures. But this still is an area in which we are waiting for additional flexibility. For example, in the form of input controls, so that the end-user can also use this feature on an ad-hoc basis. Though, a start towards improvement has been made. In the Edit mode, the display factor of key figures can also be adjusted according to their attributes.

We regularly publish further updates for you here in the blog.

SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud

You can find more information about the SAP Analytics Cloud including a table to help you decide which planning tool is best for you here.

More information

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About the author
Oliver Dworschak
Oliver Dworschak
Oliver Dworschak has been Senior Consultant at PIKON Deutschland AG in Saarbrücken for many years. He is primarily involved in the architecture, design and implementation of user-friendly reporting solutions based on SAP BI.

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