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BEx Report Designer and Business Objects / Crystal Reports

Former Member
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Hi,

I am making a comparison between the functionalities of new SAP BEx report Designer and the functionalities of Crystal Reports / Business Objects.

We are using BW 3.5 now in combination with Crystal Reports because we need formatted reports for our marketing/sales department.

With an uprade to BW 7.0/NW2004s i was wondering whether the new designer in BW can fulfill my requirements in reporting.

Can somebody give a clear overview of the major differences between the 2 reporting possibilities?

Thanks

Accepted Solutions (1)

Accepted Solutions (1)

former_member184494
Active Contributor
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Geldof,

For formatted reporting , you have the new BeX Report designer which can do most of the formatting required... and Visual composer is also worth investigating for the necessity of rich flash based reports...

If you are looking for an alternative to crystal reports - report designer does most of what you need...

Arun

Hope it helps...

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Hello,

you should check the documentation on BEx Report Designer. It gives you a good idea on its capabilities:

http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nw2004s/helpdata/en/4b/157e41ec0d020de10000000a1550b0/frameset.htm

Best Regards

Eric Schemer

Product Manager BI

SAP AG

Answers (4)

Answers (4)

Former Member
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We are using Cognos 8 as front end for formatted reports on BEx 7.0. Report Designer cannot meet our requirements.

To answer your question...

Report Designer is to be used on top of a BW Query ro other BW datasource, to create formatted header, footer and text. Most of Report Designer formatting capability comes from having a very structured query, for example 2 structures (one in rows and one in cols). The tool has absolutely no calculation capability. All calculations need to be performed by BEx Query designer. The tool is created to allow formatting BEx cannot provide.

Cognos/Crystal tools have lots of capablity to do calculations, stored procedures, etc.

When you look at the documentation, there is not much because there really is not very much to it. Even in the BW Reporting Delta class, less than 2 hours is given on the functionality.

Former Member
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We have done some tests with the new Bex Report Designer but the solution is just not ready yet. For simple reports it might be a good tool, but for extensive reports this tool is not sufficient. You expect a certain MS Office look and feel but it is not even near to that.

Let's hope SAP can improve this tool in the following releases.

Former Member
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Hi,

So, whats the verdict ? BO is great when compared to the SAP reporting tool ? and does SAP reporting tool doesnt have much feature that BO has ?

Vaishali

Former Member
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Geldof,

I am basically in the same situation as you describe. We are using 3.1 and envision upgrading to 2004S. I feel from the feedback that the formatting is comparible, however, my concern is that the Report Designer be able to duplicate some of the functionality within Crystal that is creating "calculated fields" with "if, then, else logic". From the feedback, I have received, this is not possible. Please let me know about your progress with this issue. It's rare that I find someone who is using Crystal on top of SAP BW.

Former Member
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Crystal that is creating "calculated fields" with "if, then, else logic".

yes thats not possible with Report designer.

RD isnt as Robust as BO or crystal and does warrant a lot of improvements (which i hope would be incorporated). With the product as it is, is no replacement for Crystal, and doesnt even compare close to crystal.

Former Member
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I am not really using BO on top of SAP BW, i was making a comparison of the 2 frontend abilities.

The report designer has some functionalities like in Crystal Report, but it is not totally finished yet. I have seen demo's of BO on top of BW and I must say that graphically BO is much further then BW. It is eye-candy, but for a price. SAP has a long way to go to deliver a similar frontend package i think.

Former Member
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Hi,

the way is not so long... it is true that BI tools like BO, Cognos, Microstrategy, just to name some of them, are eye catching in terms visualization; however I find personally the effort very heavy in order to achieve the result. Don't forget as well the target users of such tool; usually it is meant to be used by business analysts but when it is about SAP data, moreover SAP BW data, I really doubt that a business analyst would be able to achieve his goal without knowing how the data is stored (data model), what is the architecture behind (performance tuning on the data containers) and what the data itself mean...

I believe that the dashboards and other cockpits should be created by the BI team since these people know what it is all about and can influence on the model behind; the delivery time is therefore much reduced and the accuracy of the figures are guaranteed which is what business operations are asking for.

Finally these tools are very expensive (money + implementation + maintenance) if you compare how they are used at the end. In most of the case the final users will pull their data from a BW query; store it in an access or other DB and will then create their "universe" in order to create their dashboard... What's the added value for the company in doing that? The updating of such reports would be manual, the guy who realize will be the only one who knows how it works...

I have seen a lot of these implementations finally not bringing the expected results... Even BW implementations are sometimes not used or not accepted by the operations because the of not accurate or missing objects to report on...

In any case the way is not so long as I said; the visual composer will soon be a serious competitor for the BI software editors; if SAP does it clever, whenever an organization is using SAP systems (ERP, BI, CRM...), it will be no question to implement a third party tool; the visual composer will even be able to show data from these BI tools with the corresponding Java adapter...

have a look:

<a href="https://www.sdn.sap.comhttp://www.sdn.sap.comhttp://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/visualcomposer">SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer</a>

Olivier.

Message was edited by:

Olivier Cora

IngoH
Advisor
Advisor
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Hi,

perhaps you can explain a little bit more what exactly you looking for and I can for sure provide you with all the details around Crystal Reports

Ingo Hilgefort

Business Objects