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SAP HANA Reporting – Connectivity Options

Hello Everyone,

Once we have data transformed based on the business requirement in our data warehousing system, it is very important to present the data in a better way visually too, for the business who will be analyzing it day in and day out.

In this article, let’s talk about different reporting tools that are certified to be connected to SAP HANA Database (models and tables) from SAP and the languages and client drivers it uses to interact with the database system.


Below image gives us the details about how the reporting tools can be connected to SAP HANA Database system.


The above image shows three different layers for apart from SAP HANA, they are

  • Interaction Language
  • Connecting Drivers
  • Reporting Tools

Interaction Languages:

These are the languages in which the reporting tools sends the queries to Database platform whenever reports are executed.

  1. MDX:
    • This is the language used by reporting tools to access data from multi dimension objects in database environment.
    • In our case, only MS Office uses this language to access get the data from SAP HANA. That’s the reason it is the only the reporting tool that can access hierarchies from SAP HANA.
  2. SQL:
    • This is standard database language that is used across all the platforms to access data from database platform.
    • In our case, all the reporting tools that connects to SAP HANA using either ODBC or JDBC drivers uses SQL as interaction language to send the queries.
  3. SQLDBC:
    • This is the interaction language used by reporting tools when it connects to database platform using BICS connection.

Connecting Drivers:

These are the objects used to establish the connection with database platforms like SAP HANA and send the queries back to the system to get the data out.

  1. ODBO (OLE DB for OLAP):
    • Microsoft built driver for multi-dimensional reporting and request are sent using MDX (Multi Dimension Expression) language to the database platform.
    • In our case, MS Excel uses ODBO driver and MDX language to interact with SAP HANA system.
  2. ODBC:
    • It stands for Open DataBase Connectivity built for relation reporting and uses SQL language to interact with database platform.
    • It is widely adopted in the industry and we do have ODBC drivers for other platform like LINUX and UNIX.
  3. JDBC:
    • It stands for Java DataBase Connectivity built for relational reporting from Java community which uses SQL as interaction language to send queries to the database platform.
    • It is widely used in UNIX platform.
  4. BICS:
    • It stands for BI Consumer Services which is SAP proprietary diver that offers advantages for OLAP access over MDX for multi-dimensional reporting.
    • This uses SQLDBC as interaction language to send queries to the database platform.

Reporting Tools:

Now let’s look at the overview of different reporting tools.

MS Excel:

  • Microsoft Excel has the powerful reporting inbuilt options available and one of them being quickly build the reports using pivot tables and charts.
  • We can use MS Excel to connect to HANA using ODBO driver and MDX interaction language. MS Excel is the only reporting tool that can access hierarchies built in SAP HANA as it uses MDX as interaction language.
  • The other thing with MS Excel is we can only access the SAP HANA models that has the property as ‘Cube’ in semantics (like Analytic Views and Calculation Views), however we cannot access attribute views using MS Excel.

SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform tools:

We have so many tools as part of SAP BOBI stack and we recommend to go through article Introduction SAP BOBI 4.1 platformto get an overview on the environment and the features available in each tool.

Information Design Tool:

  • The Information Design Tool (IDT) is an SAP BusinessObjects metadata design environment that enables a designer to extract, define, and manipulate metadata from relational and OLAP sources to create and deploy UNX universes.
  • Universes are a semantic layer that hides database complexity from end users. It abstracts the complexity of data by using business rather than technical language to access, manipulate, and organize data.
  • Information Design Tool (IDT) can be connected to SAP HANA using either JBDC or ODBC driver and SQL as interaction language. Technically we can also connect Universe Design Tool (UDT) to SAP HANA system.

Please go through the below articles to know the process of creating universe in IDT on SAP HANA models.

By | 2016-03-22T04:08:13+00:00 October 11th, 2015|BOBI, HANA|0 Comments

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