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I left beautiful Vancouver (it was not raining today) to go to Frankfurt for two weeks (the forecast was rain and snow). So I am sitting here in the Lufthansa plane writing my first in a series of blogs I am planning to write over the next couple of weeks.

I will focus on the current integration between SAP and Business Objects products and will try to outline some of the great options that we can offer in the BI area.

Myself - I started with Seagate Software (later Crystal Decisions) in 1999 as a Crystal Decisions trainer and moved to Walldorf to work with the development group from SAP and Business Objects on the OEM partnership between both of them. I had great 4 years in Walldorf and made some great friends (greetings to Ingo and Falko). I was given then the opportunity to move to Vancouver and in my latest role I am working on the SAP Education for Business Objects employees and partners.

So here are the topics I would like to cover in my blog series

1.       Overview on current SAP connectivity integration with the Business Objects product suite

2.       Crystal Reports and SAP BW

    a.       Creating a simple report with a SAP BW query

    b.      Using BW variables in Crystal Reports

    c.       Using hierarchies in Crystal Reports

3.       Crystal Reports and SAP R/3

    a.       Using InfoSets in Crystal Reports

    b.      Using tables and ABAP functions in Crystal Reports

4.       Web Intelligence and SAP BW

    a.       Building a universe on top of SAP BW

    b.      Using BW variables in Web Intelligence

    c.       Using hierarchies in Web Intelligence

5.       Xcelsius and SAP datasources

    a.       Creating an Xcelsius dashboard with Crystal Reports

    b.      Creating an Xcelsius dashboard with Web Intelligence

    c.       Creating an Xcelsius dashboard with web services



The idea behind all these topics is to give you a brief overview of the capabilities and to provide a quick outline of how you can use this functionality in your own environment. I will try to use existing SAP content as much as possible so that each group can follow my steps in their own system.


As part of my first blog I will describe the available connectivity options for the Business Objects product suite.


This diagram shows the available sources from SAP R/3 and SAP BW.

Depending on the tool you are using you can either use all of the shown datasource or only some of them.

In the next diagram you can see the available options for Crystal Reports. 

Crystal Reports is offering the following connectivity for SAP R/3

  • An InfoSet connection providing access to classic InfoSets and SAP queries
  • Table, cluster and ABAP function connectivity

Crystal Reports is offering the following connectivity for SAP BW

  • Access to SAP BW queries and SAP BW cubes
  • Direct access to SAP ODS objects



This diagram shows the current options for Web Intelligence.




Web Intelligence is offering connectivity to SAP BW queries and SAP BW cubes. As shown, Web Intelligence does not offer direct connectivity to SAP R/3 but instead works in combination with our Data Integrator product and our available Rapid Marts. In this way we can provide a data mart solution on top of SAP R/3 which then can be used in combination with Web Intelligence.


I hope this gave you a quick overview on the available connectivity for Crystal Reports and Web Intelligence in combination with SAP R/3 or SAP BW.

I would really appreciate suggestions for further blogs and would like to hear what is of most interest to people. I will then try to provide the information in the form of a short blog entry 

Stay tuned for more on Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence, and Xcelsius on top of SAP R/3 and SAP BW.