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In SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC), we have option to create stories and analytic applications. But which should we use after getting a requirement. Both have similar features but both are serving different roles. In this blog post, Let's check this in depth.

What are the difference between Analytic Applications and Stories?

Before we know about analytic application, let us see how analytic applications are different from stories.


  • Definition - Documents containing mostly visualizations designed by end users to answer ad-hoc business queries using visualizations.

  • Primary Use – Trends or KPIs

  • End Users – Business Users, Analysts, etc.

  • Development Time – Few Hours / Few Days

Analytic Application

  • Definition - Consolidated Information presented in a guided analytic path with analytical capabilities for end users.

  • Primary Use – Trends and KPIs with Drilldown to data

  • End Users – CXOs, Managers, Analysts, etc.

  • Development Time – Few Days / Few Weeks


Creating Analytic Applications in SAP Analytics Cloud

In SAP Analytics Cloud, you can create analytic applications by clicking Create -> Analytic Application.

Creating an Analytic Application

Layout of the Analytic Application

Let's start with the layout of the Analytic Application. It consists of a main canvas on the right side, and a toolbar on the top of the window. This arrangement is very similar to stories in SAP Analytics Cloud. In addition, we can find the Outline, Layout, Canvas, Popups, Script Variables, Script Objects, Bookmark Set, Export to PDF, Search to Insights, oData Services, Planning Models and Timer on the left.

Analytic Application Layout

The Canvas displays all the widgets used in the canvas. The Popups would list widgets that act as a separate canvas – which can be used as popup panels whenever needed. The Script Variables would contain the variables used in the application. These variables in turn can be referenced by scripts used in the application. The Script Objects would contain objects used in the application.

The toolbar at the top allows us to perform several actions such as file actions (save, copy, etc), insert widgets, and perform other actions such as conditional formatting, editing prompts, chart scaling and more.

Widgets available in Analytic Applications

Adding a widget to the canvas in SAP Analytics Cloud is same as in stories. We can insert widgets from the Insert section of the toolbar, where we will find all the widgets as shown in the image.

Note that widgets such as Panel, Tab Strip, Page Book, Input Field, Text Area, Button, Dropdown, Checkbox Group, Radio Button Group, Slider, Range Slider, Filter Line, List Box etc. are unique to Analytic Applications and these are not available in Stories.

Widgets available in Analytic Application

Once we add a chart to the canvas, it adds chart in the outline. Here you can rename the name of the chart or write script on the chart. By default the chart name will be Chart_1.

Adding Measures, Dimensions, Filters, etc. to the chart is same as in stories. This can be done using the Designer appearing on the right top.

We will continue more about  Advantages of an Analytic Application over story in the next part of the blog post. Hope all of you will like the blog. Please feel free to shoot out if there is any mistake in the blog post as I'm a beginner in SAC and SAP Blogs.


I'm concluding this blog post by referring to the words of one of my motivator in SAP Analytics Cloud:
"When you want to develop dashboards, reports always prefer stories. This should be your first choice of design, because SAC stories are simple and easy, so you save lot of time.

Application Design should be your choice where your requirements are more complex. For eg. - When you want to display table on the click of a bar (like Customer ID, Product ID) etc., in a popup."

Prakash Kamaraj (Senior Manager - EY Digital Boardroom / SAP Analytics Cloud Expert at EY)

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