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SAP Analytics cloud provides an immersive experience to end users with explorer type navigation, smart insights, out of the box ESRI maps support, etc. But it is important to know what to expect when moving from SAP BusinessObjects Explorer to SAP Analytics Cloud.


Advantages of using SAC over Explorer for similar use cases:


In addition to hundreds of other advanced capabilities (including Smart Insights, commentary, etc..) offered by SAC, below are the key advantages of using SAC over Explorer.

  • Unlike Explorer infospaces which needs to be scheduled individually, SAC model updates can be scheduled and all SAC stories based on the model will reflect the latest data. This will ensure the number of calls made to back-end system is minimal.

  • Security can be applied on Model level and hence is respected in all the stories. The need of personalization on individual info spaces can be eliminated.

  • SAC provides direct (Live) connectivity to UNX (SAP BusinessObjects universe) there by enabling the users to see the latest data without needing to replicate/schedule the data import.

  • In addition to what Explorer supports today, SAC offers lots of other data connectivity options including (S/4HANA, BW/4HANA and other cloud Sources)

  • Getting away from Flash.


Comparison: Capabilities while creation of Infospaces against a story on SAC:


Capability SAP BO Explorer SAP Analytics Cloud
Grouping Facets Yes No
Filters support Yes Yes
Rename Measures & Dimensions Yes Yes
Validate Infospaces Yes Yes
Add, Subtract, Multiply & Divide two measures Yes Yes
Set Trend on custom measures Yes Yes (with Thresholds in Stories)
Display Formatting Options (Thousands, none, percentage, Currency & Scientific) Yes Yes
Scheduling support Yes (on Infospaces) Yes (at the Model level)
Security (Personalization) On individual infospaces Yes (Can be done at model level)


Comparison: Capabilities Supported while exploring Infospaces against using SAC

Capability SAP BO Explorer SAP Analytics Cloud
Split View Yes Yes
Facets only view Yes No
Visualizations only view Yes Yes (Stories)
One click Filtering Yes Yes
On the fly variable creation Yes Yes
Free text search Yes Yes
Bookmarking Yes Yes
Export Visualization data as csv Yes Yes
Sorting Yes Yes
Ranking Yes Yes
Direct link to the infospaces/story (Opendoc) Yes Yes
Pass parameters in document link Yes Yes
And many more functionalities

Comparison: Supported Data Sources:

Data Source SAP BO Explorer SAP Analytics Cloud
SAP BusinessObjects Universe (UNX) Yes Yes
SAP BusinessObjects Universe (UNV) Yes No
Microsoft Excel Yes Yes
SAP BW Yes Yes
And Many more

Key Capabilities of SAP Analytics Cloud

There are a lot of new features in planning, predictive and in BI areas on SAP Analytics Cloud. Below are to name a few that could be interest for users currently using SAP BusinessObjects Explorer.

Capability SAP BO Explorer SAP Analytics Cloud
Smart Insights (Predictive) No Yes
Smart Discovery (What if analytics, correlations and unexpected values) No Yes
Live connectivity to UNX No Yes
Linking datasets No Yes
Data enrichment capabilities while modelling No Yes
Commentary No Yes
Templates for (Stories/Views) No Yes
Planning No Yes


Where to Start your SAP Analytics Cloud journey from SAP BusinessObjects Explorer?




What’s your source for SAP BusinessObjects Explorer?

SAP BusinessObjects Universe (UNX)

You could either import data from UNX or make a live connectivity to UNX. In case if you are using UNV format universes, first you should convert your UNVs to UNX to get started with SAP Analytics Cloud. Leverage existing security defined in the universe to restrict data while connecting to a universe live/direct. Imports from universe can be scheduled. You would have to define the security in SAP Analytics Cloud in case if you plan to import data from SAP Universe. Currently only imported models support planning and smart discovery features on SAP Analytics Cloud.


Access all your Calculation views (information views) and analytical views directly from SAP Analytics cloud without the need of replicating the data. End to End SSO is supported and the security defined on the views are respected by SAP Analytics Cloud.

Microsoft Excel

You can directly upload the excel spreadsheets to SAP Analytics cloud and start building your stories right away. Optionally, in case if you would like to automatically schedule the refresh, you could use the below setup.



If SAP Analytics Cloud could directly access data sources why should I maintain on-premise BO server just to connect to SAP BusinessObjects universes?

Universes are not just used by SAP BusinessObjects explorer, but also by other tools including web-intelligence, CRE, Lumira as well as your existing dashboards. So, consuming the existing universes will be easy.

You may also have complicated calculations/joins/contexts in universes which might be difficult to replicate in SAP Analytics cloud using it’s current capabilities.

If your data source is supported by SAP Analytics cloud and your semantic layer is light you can consider directly accessing the data source than going through the universe.

If SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is the only on-premise solution you use and SAP HANA is your data source, you can directly move to SAP Analytics cloud without the need or dependency on BusinessObjects on-premise solution.

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer creates index and hence the performance is better than other tools. When SAP Analytics Cloud can directly access the universe, will the performance be poor?

SAP Analytics Cloud provides 2 options. One, to import the data from universe and the other to directly access the data through universe. If your database is slow, we recommend you to replicate the data in SAP Analytics cloud. You can also schedule the imports so that it happens regularly with little or no human intervention. Note that you will need to define data security on SAP Analytics Cloud when you import data.

On the other hand, if your data base is fast enough, you can connect SAP Analytics cloud to the universe with live/direct option. However some functionalities like planning and smart discovery will not be available when you use Live connectivity as of now.

SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is not the only solution we use. We use other tools as well. Now since we are introducing Cloud agent, SAP Cloud Connector and other tools, Should I consider sizing my landscape again?

Once you decide to adopt SAP Analytics Cloud for Explorer use cases, all Explorer related servers can be decommissioned/explorer services can be disabled.

This will free up system resources, which could be used for scheduling data imports. Also, note that every single explorer infospaces needs to be scheduled whereas in SAP Analytics cloud, you can build several stories based on a model. Only this model needs to be scheduled and all the stories will reflect the latest data after a successful import schedule.

In case if you plan to use Live access to universes, make sure that your BusinessObjects server can handle and respond to all requests from SAP Analytics Cloud.

Useful links


  • Installing SAP Analytics Cloud Agent: here

  • Installing SAP Cloud Platform Cloud Connector: here

  • Setup live connectivity to SAP BusinessObjects Universe (UNX): here

  • Importing Data from Excel and CSV files from file server: here

  • SAP Analytics Cloud – Connectivity Options: here

  • SAP Analytics Cloud trial | here

  • SAP Analytics Cloud - Business Content | here

  • SAP Analytics Cloud road map | here

  • SAP Analytics Cloud release info and What's new | here

  • SAP Analytics Events and Recordings | here

  • Product Availability Matrix| here

  • SAP Analytics cloud documentation| here

  • SAP Analytics Cloud URL API ( OpenDoc like feature for SAC) | here

  • SAP Analytics cloud connectivity options | here