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
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
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.
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!
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.
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 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
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
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)
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
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 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 7.01 (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)
You can pick your own rendering method in the menu: Tools Options
This is a great site for quickly getting started with SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer and for down loading a free demo-version
Many of the beginner questions have already been answered in the expert forums on the SAP Community Network
You can also learn from others’ experiences by getting “plugged-in” to the community network blogs dedicated to SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
We can suppress the sum rows from the query, so that the graphs are more meaningful and the tables are less cluttered.
Previously we added a table and a graph of country sales. Now we want to add similar views for customer sales.
Now we add a pie chart.
Again, we suppress the sum rows from the query, so that the graphs are more meaningful and the tables are less cluttered.
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
All country sales are displayed based on the first query
By clicking on the country in either of the top views, the bottom views display sales for those customers
External Web services such as email, stock quotes, news services, and weather maps can also be integrated into your SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer cockpit.
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.
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
This is “hyper fast”…
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
BEx Broadcaster, and cache the results, you
can make the VC cockpits open much faster.
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.
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.
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.
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
All SAP tools have strength and weaknesses. This is a subjective summary of each of the major tools.
Visual Composer - ppt download with more dashboard option details
Visual Composer Reference Guide
SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer
The Developer's Guide to the SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment
Jan Rauscher and Volker Stiehl.
Integrating VC and WAD objects - a How-To Guide
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
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