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SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office (aka AO or AFO) is designed for financial analysts who require analytical capabilities in Microsoft Excel on SAP data sources like SAP BW, SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Planning & Consolidation. It can also be used with SAP HANA or SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.

There are two editions available for SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office:

  • The standard edition is part of the SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise and SAP BusinessObjects Planning & Consolidation license

  • The edition for SAP Analytics Cloud is included with the subscription to SAP Analytics Cloud Business Intelligence or Planning

As more and more customers have SAP Analytics Cloud purchased, a switch of the edition can be interesting from a cost perspective (or to replace BEx Analyzer). Therefore, this blog series focuses on the differences between the SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office standard edition and the edition for SAP Analytics Cloud, followed by two additional blogs for the replacement of data source connections (link) and the storage of workbooks (link).

Note: SAP Analytics Cloud, add-in for Microsoft Office (more info) sounds similar and is also included in the subscription of SAP Analytics Cloud, but it is a different Microsoft Excel add-in and not to be confused with the two editions of SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office. A high-level comparison also at the end of this blog added.


Differences between Standard edition and Edition for SAP Analytics Cloud

In case no further capabilities of the SAP Business Intelligence Platform like the scheduling of workbooks are needed, a switch towards the Analysis for Office Edition for SAP Analytics Cloud should not be an issue. Since 2.8 SP9 both editions provide the same capabilities when accessing data sources. On-premise data sources like SAP BW, S/4HANA and BPC can be accessed for reporting and planning. Additionally, connections to SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Data Warehouse Cloud can be established with the latest SP. The biggest differentiator is that the standard edition has capabilities for pre-calculation of workbooks on the BI Platform. Also, the EPM, Microsoft PowerPoint and Business Process Flow add-ins are only contained in the installation of the standard edition.

Analysis for Office capabilities


Connect to SAP Analytics Cloud

Another difference is that in the Edition for SAP Analytics Cloud the user is forced for a logon to SAP Analytics Cloud before a connection to any data source is established. With SP17 (February 2023) the setting UseExternalBrowserForSacLogon will become default which opens an external window of the installed default browser to log on to an SAP Analytics Cloud tenant. Later this year additional changes are planned to make the SAP Analytics Cloud logon less strict.

SAC Authentication - SAP Note 3346842

To roll-out the SAP Analytics Cloud tenant URL to all users, the URL needs to be added to the BocSystems.xml file in %appdata%\SAP AG\SAP BusinessObjects Advanced Analysis and distributed to the users machine with the installation. To pre-select a default tenant or hide the pop-up the two settings LastSelectedSacSystem and AutoConnectToLastSelectedSacSystem are useful.

This are already the differences between both editions. After installing the Edition for SAP Analytics Cloud existing workbooks can be used as before.

Additional links for Edition for SAP Analytics Cloud:

Within the next blog the focus will be on the replacement of BI OLAP connections towards direct BW or SAC Live connections.


Update from March 2023:

High-level comparison between SAP Analytics Cloud, add-in for Microsoft Office vs. SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office, edition for SAP Analytics Cloud:

High-level comparison