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Chapter 1. SAP Business Intelligence Overview

Chapter 1. SAP Business Intelligence Overview

Before we delve into the details of the functionality of NetWeaver 2004S (7.0) BI reporting, we need to review some of the architecture and concepts of the SAP systems that support these analysis tools. This chapter explores the overall architecture and structure of the SAP NetWeaver System and then goes into further detail concerning the BI architecture and options. In this way, you will be able to position the details of BI 7.0 report functionality within the larger picture of the new NetWeaver platform. We will start with an analysis of the different areas and elements of NetWeaver, of which BI is a part, so as to understand the integration between all the different components. Then we'll take a more detailed view of the data-flow process within the BI system to understand what more there is in support of the reporting functionality.

One of the challenges of current business processes is that they are made up of multiple, different systems, all trying to talk to each other in various languages, different platforms, and different landscapes. Companies want to reduce their costs, find new ways of increasing turnover and profitability, and be able to flexibly adjust to all types of changes. In this context, the question of how to adjust or integrate existing applications and flexibly implement new applications plays a central role. Existing investments should be used optimally, and at the same time new business processes have to be supported quicker and in a more intelligent way. These days, realistic system landscapes often consist of many systems. This situation may have grown out of a specific corporate strategy of going with best of breed, or perhaps with numerous mergers and acquisitions, the system landscape has just grown out of control. The business processes that are to be mapped in these complex system landscapes contain process steps that run over multiple, different systems. For all system transitions, sending systems are connected to receiving systems by means of interfaces (point-to-point connections). Different interfaces are often implemented using the technology that is considered to be ideal for the respective interface. Due to this, administrators not only have to take care of complex system environments, but must also know many different system technologies.


  

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