Deliver high performing dashboards and cockpits with sap netweaver visual composer
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Deliver high-performing dashboards and cockpits with SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer. Dr. Berg Comerit Inc. In This Session . You will learn all the essentials on how to build and deploy SAP NetWeaver ® Visual Composer models

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Deliver high-performing dashboards and cockpits with SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer

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Deliver high performing dashboards and cockpits with sap netweaver visual composer

Deliver high-performing dashboards and cockpits with SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer

Dr. Berg

Comerit Inc.


In this session

In This Session ...

You will learn all the essentials on how to build and deploy SAP NetWeaver® Visual Composer models

We will take a quick overview of the environment followed by a step-by-step model build example

We will see a detailed demo of simple techniques and good design principles for building reports with SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer

Finally, we will look at performance tuning options and the future of SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer in the new SAP BusinessObjects landscape


What we ll cover

What We’ll Cover …

  • SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer overview

  • Building an SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer model

  • Demo – A complete cockpit from scratch

  • Improving performance tuning

  • Upgrading SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer 7.0

  • Looking at other options

  • Wrap-up


The sap netweaver bi core toolset

The SAP NetWeaver BI Core Toolset

SAP BI is an enterprise-wide comprehensive decision support system (DSS) for the analytical needs of an enterprise

BI can also support some degree of operational reporting

The SAP BI tool set has many presentation tools and options for companies to leverage. SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer is an extension of those tools.


There are two versions of visual composer vc

There are Two 'versions' of Visual Composer (VC)

Visual Composer 7.0 is for SAP BI Development, 7.1 is for the Composite Environment (CE).

There are different SDN forums and blogs for each - This can be confusing!

5


Visual composer for dashboards

Visual Composer for Dashboards

A Visual Composer is a tool to visualize the data.

It is a browser-based modeling and design tool for rapid application development & prototyping in a code-free development environment.


Visual composer for complex dashboards

Visual Composer for Complex Dashboards

Modeling of BI applications using Visual Composer allows users to create analytical content. It integrates with infoproviders, views, BEx web applications, Xelsisus, PDF, APIs, and access to OLAP and relational data sources


Visual composer is easy to learn

Visual Composer is Easy to Learn

Visual Composer is a power user tool that is simple to learn for someone with a little bit of technical background i.e.

controllers, report writers and analysts.

No coding is required to create good-looking Web-based cockpits

Image source: SAP designguild


Visual composer some graphic examples

Visual Composer Some Graphic Examples


It all starts with a query

It All Starts with a Query

The BEx Query Designer

The query is the core method for accessing BI data. You can use existing queries in your SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer models


Sap netweaver visual composer data methods

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer Data Methods

Can integrate data from multiple data sources, including SAP and non-SAP systems, into one model

Different options available for data access include:

BI Extension Kit

Remote Function Call (RFC)

Web services

BI Extension Kit allows access to the following DataSources

SAP NetWeaver BI 2004 (SAP BW 3.5 Support Package 14)

SAP NetWeaver BW 7.0

JDBC

XMLA


Visual composer data providers

Visual Composer Data Providers

You can use BI queries and views as Data Providers for SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer models

You also can use BI query functionalities for exceptions and variables along with SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer models

  • SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer allows access to BI history, favorites, and roles


Sap netweaver visual composer 7 0 portal publishing

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer 7.0 Portal Publishing

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer design-time deploys Visual Composer models directly as iviews to the Portal Content Catalog

You can then use SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer iviews in portal pages, roles, etc.


Sap netweaver visual composer 7 0 using bobj xcelsius

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer 7.0 Using BOBJ Xcelsius

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer 7.01 (or 7.02) SP5 or higher allows you to use existing Xcelsius UI controls and use them inside Visual Composer.

You can also use any Flex component made by Adobe Flex Builder (Flex 2 SDK).

You can download flash objects & 'how-to' on sdn.sap.com (by Sap's Amir Mimran)

14


Details about visual composer cockpits

Details about Visual Composer Cockpits

  • Delivered as part of SAP NetWeaver Portal in SAP NetWeaver BW 7.0 Usage Type (SP8 and higher)

  • Different options available for rendering SAP NetWeaver VC output

    • Flash

    • Web DynPro (HTML)

  • Flash provides high-end visualization of SAP NetWeaver VC models

You can pick your own rendering method in the menu: Tools  Options


There are many resources at the sdn community

There Are Many Resources at the SDN Community

This is a great site for quickly getting started with SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer and for down loading a free demo-version


Sap netweaver visual composer and the sap community network

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer — And the SAP Community Network

Many of the beginner questions have already been answered in the expert forums on the SAP Community Network


Sap netweaver visual composer sdn community blogs

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer — SDN Community Blogs

You can also learn from others’ experiences by getting “plugged-in” to the community network blogs dedicated to SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer


What we ll cover1

What We’ll Cover …

  • SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer overview

  • Building an SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer model

  • Demo – A complete cockpit from scratch

  • Improving performance tuning

  • Upgrading SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer 7.0

  • Looking at other options

  • Wrap-up


Downloading and getting started the trial version

Downloading and Getting Started — The Trial Version

You can download a CE trial version on the SAP Community Network

However, to put it into production you must work with your SAP account executive for a license. It is normally not covered by a general SAP license.


Creating a model

Creating a Model

The first task is to create an overall model to store all your pages and iviews

The name cannot have blanks or special characters

You can organize your model in standard folder structures

Remember that this is a power user task, so providing the group with some formal training (4-6 hrs) would be beneficial. Also, teach them your naming conventions.


The sap netweaver visual composer add ons

The SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer Add-Ons

The models are actually graphics rendered with Adobe SVG (vector graphics)

If you don’t have Adobe SVG installed, you must go to their Web site and download it. It is a small file and it is free.


The work environment getting connected

The Work Environment — Getting Connected

First you must make sure that your SAP NetWeaver VC environment is set up with connection back to your SAP environment(s).

You can also work with your technical team to set up connections to other non-SAP environments.


The sap netweaver visual composer configure toolbar

The SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer Configure Toolbar

We can add items and see then from the highest level, or you can “drill down” on each item and configure them individually

Navigation is provided as a toolbar and you can also zoom in on each item

This tool bar allows you to zoom, access layers, insert grid lines for layout, and move objects.


The magnifying glass

The Magnifying Glass

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer has many tools that power users can play with

The fastest way to proficiency is to try the many features

Very few things can break, and the undo button is always available

The magnifying glass is helpful when the model is very complex and zooming in and out is cumbersome.


The annotation tool

The Annotation Tool

When you are developing very complex models, it is very helpful to add annotations (comments) to document your work.

Consider proposing standards within your company (i.e., dates, initials, and what needs to be documented).


Getting an overview over complex models

Getting an Overview Over Complex Models

Very large SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer cockpits can be hard to read

The Browse feature allows you to see the cockpit in a tree format that makes it easier to navigate

Graphical model displays can get hard to read once very complex dashboards are created.


Development methodology

Development Methodology

Plan on spending serious time with users working on layout and Web page organization

P.S.! You can use the SAP delivered calendar for display, or for users to interact with your data set

The best way to create cockpits is to prototype it first, then ask for feedback. Since this is a discovery-oriented process, it is not a best practice to use functional specifications to create Web cockpits. Rapid Application Development (RAD) is the preferred methodology.


The back end gml code

The Back-End GML Code

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composeruses the standard GUI Modeling Language (GML).

If you are familiar with this language, you can see the code page under the Source tab.


Our target dashboard

Our Target Dashboard

  • We will build a dashboard based on 2 queries called country and customer view, and present this with tables and graphs as well as navigational links between them (passing variables between the queries)


Step 1 find the data you want to model

Step 1 — Find the Data You Want to Model

You can look at existing queries developed by others.

In this example we will create a Web Cockpit based on two SAP NetWeaver BI queries.

More advanced developers can also call Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPIs) that are delivered with SAP NetWeaver BI to build complex applications.


Step 2 selecting the queries and defining a starting point

Step 2 — Selecting the Queries and Defining a Starting Point

  • After the query is selected, the metadata is transferred to the model.

  • We select one query as the starting point and can require users to use a prompt (in this example we will leave this blank).


Step 3 adding a table view based on query data

Step 3 — Adding a Table View Based on Query Data

  • We add a table view and select the fields we want from the query.

  • We give the table view a meaningful business name.


Deliver high performing dashboards and cockpits with sap netweaver visual composer

Step 4 – Adding a Chart view based on Query data

  • We add a chart view based on the query data.

  • We decide to make it a column chart.

  • The fields that we want to graph are selected.

  • We add animation to the column chart.


Step 5 defining graph and assigning meaningful names

Step 5 — Defining Graph and Assigning Meaningful Names

  • We select the fields we want to graph as different data series (columns).

  • We give each column a meaningful business name (this is what the users will see).


Step 6 suppressing zero values from the query

Step 6 — Suppressing Zero Values from the Query

We can suppress the sum rows from the query, so that the graphs are more meaningful and the tables are less cluttered.


Step 7 adding navigation linking tables to other queries

Step 7 — Adding Navigation: Linking Tablesto Other Queries

  • When a user selects a row in the country table, we want to show all the customers in that country and their sales.

  • We link the output from the country table view to the customer query and map the country-key value between the two objects.


Step 8 adding navigation linking graphs to other queries

Step 8 — Adding Navigation: Linking Graphsto Other Queries

  • We also want to give the users the option to click on a country in the graph and see all the customer’s sales.

  • Again, we link the output from the country graph to the customer query and map the country-key value between the objects.


Step 9 adding a table view for customer sales data

Step 9 — Adding a Table View for Customer Sales Data

Previously we added a table and a graph of country sales. Now we want to add similar views for customer sales.

  • First we add a table view.

  • We select the fields to be displayed from the query.

  • We give the table a meaningful name.


Deliver high performing dashboards and cockpits with sap netweaver visual composer

Step 9 — Adding a Table View for Customer Sales Data (cont.)

Now we add a pie chart.

  • First we add a graph view.

  • We select the pie chart type and the fields to be graphed.

  • We give the field a meaningful business name.


Step 10 suppressing zero values from the query

Step 10 — Suppressing Zero Values from the Query

Again, we suppress the sum rows from the query, so that the graphs are more meaningful and the tables are less cluttered.


Step 11 layout and compiling of dashboard

Step 11 — Layout and Compiling of Dashboard

In the layout section we arrange the objects and resize them so that they look good. We also compile the model and can now view it in the Portal


The result the web cockpit in sap netweaver portal

The Result: The Web Cockpit in SAP NetWeaver Portal

All country sales are displayed based on the first query


The result navigation between the graphs

The Result: Navigation Between the Graphs

By clicking on the country in either of the top views, the bottom views display sales for those customers


What we ll cover2

What We’ll Cover …

  • SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer overview

  • Building an SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer model

  • Demo – A complete cockpit from scratch

  • Improving performance tuning

  • Upgrading SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer 7.0

  • Looking at other options

  • Wrap-up


Demo a complete cockpit from scratch

Demo – A complete cockpit from scratch


External web services

External Web Services

External Web services such as email, stock quotes, news services, and weather maps can also be integrated into your SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer cockpit.


External data providers web services

External Data Providers — Web Services

Each Web service may require different input, so you have to spend some time trying out what works for your site and how to format it.


What we ll cover3

What We’ll Cover …

  • SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer overview

  • Building an SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer model

  • Demo – A complete cockpit from scratch

  • Improving performance tuning

  • Upgrading SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer 7.0

  • Looking at other options

  • Wrap-up


Performance tips bia and summary cubes

Performance Tips: BIA and Summary Cubes

1) If your cockpits are at a higher level such as weekly or monthly, consider the use of summary cubes to reduce the data accessed (also take a look at building aggregates).

2) For high volume or high number of users, you should seriously consider the BW Accelerator Solution.

This compresses the data and

stores the data in memory (no

disk access when queries

are run).

This is “hyper fast”…


Making cockpits fast using the cache as a data provider

Making Cockpits Fast — Using the Cache as a Data Provider

  • It is very beneficial to use the cache as the method for data service retrieval

  • This makes the cockpits faster by relying on previously accessed data stored in-memory

    • You can also use broadcasting to cache as a method to pre-populate the cache as well

Since a cockpit may have many different DataSources (queries), it can take quite some time to execute them if the memory cache is not used consistently


Performance tips using jump to and drill down query links

Performance Tips: Using jump-to and drill down query links

  • If you pre-run the underlying queries using

    BEx Broadcaster, and cache the results, you

    can make the VC cockpits open much faster.

  • You can then also use Web Application Designer to provide links to the underlying queries for more detailed information.

  • When user click the link, the query will not be run again (already in cache).

Leverage the OLAP and the MDX cache to speed up the initial loading of the web page. Consider using jump-to and drill down links to more detailed information.


What we ll cover4

What We’ll Cover …

  • SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer overview

  • Building an SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer model

  • Demo – A complete cockpit from scratch

  • Improving performance tuning

  • Upgrading SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer 7.0

  • Looking at other options

  • Wrap-up


Upgrade options are limited so pick the right version

Upgrade Options are Limited… so pick the right version

There are no automated upgrade paths from Netweaver VC 7.0 to Netweaver VC 7.1 or 7.2.

Customers who want to use Netweaver VC 7.2 will have to keep both running and migrate the content from 7.0 to 7.2 manually.

Plan carefully how you want to use Visual Composer and pick the version you want: 7.0 for SAP BI focus and 7.2 for BPM and composite applications.

54


What we ll cover5

What We’ll Cover …

  • SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer overview

  • Building an SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer model

  • Demo – A complete cockpit from scratch

  • Improving performance tuning

  • Upgrading SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer 7.0

  • Looking at other options

  • Wrap-up


Sap netweaver visual composer options

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer Options

In the Tools  Options section, you can control items such as auto save, display levels, formats, highlights, and more.

These preferences are stored for each user and can be personalized.


Who gets to use the sap visual composer

Who gets to use the SAP Visual Composer?

There is a temptation for the IT community of wanting to keep the Visual Composer tool under their domain – That is a mistake

- Spend time teaching Super Users VC

57


What we ll cover6

What We’ll Cover …

  • SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer overview

  • Building an SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer model

  • Demo – A complete cockpit from scratch

  • Improving performance tuning

  • Upgrading SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer 7.0

  • Looking at other options

  • Wrap-up


What tool to select

What tool to select

All SAP tools have strength and weaknesses. This is a subjective summary of each of the major tools.


Resources

Resources

Visual Composer - ppt download with more dashboard option details

http://www.comeritinc.com/UserFiles/file/Jumpstart_Building_or_optimizing_cockpits_or_dashboards_v9.pdf

Visual Composer Reference Guide

http://help.sap.com/saphelp_nwce10/helpdata/en/7c/0feaee0d214b5e9f2e890e0668a833/content.htm

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer

Mario Herger

The Developer's Guide to the SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment

Jan Rauscher and Volker Stiehl.

Integrating VC and WAD objects - a How-To Guide

http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/ad182ac7-0a01-0010-4fb8-8a4d217b19c1?QuickLink=index&overridelayout=true


7 key points to take home

7 Key Points to Take Home

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer is a tool that is easy to learn

The tool is intended for power users – Not primarily IT

SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer is not going away

You should provide individual training to each of the power users

Spend serious time performance tuning the back-end queries and data stores

Plan for SAP NetWeaver BW Accelerator if you have many users of the SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer models

Seek advise of best practices and plan on integrating data across systems, Web services, and other non-SAP sources


Your turn

Your Turn!

How to contact me:

Dr. Berg

[email protected]


Disclaimer

Disclaimer

SAP, R/3, mySAP, mySAP.com, SAP NetWeaver®, Duet™®, PartnerEdge, and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries all over the world. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies. Wellesley Information Services is neither owned nor controlled by SAP.


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