19-05-2016

SAP is combining business intelligence, planning and predictive analytics into one cloud solution that is entirely based on the HANA Cloud platform called SAP BusinessObjects Cloud (SAP BO Cloud), formerly known as Cloud for Analytics. The new SaaS solution provides access to all the possible data so that the user can visualise, plan and predict using real-time data. In this blog, we will present the components of the solution architecture.

Introduction to SAP BusinessObjects Cloud?

As was stated in the introduction paragraph, SAP BO Cloud is the one-stop-shop for end users, for anything in the field of BI & Analytics. Previously several tools had to be used for data integration, visualisation, planning and predicting, however, Cloud for Analytics promises to be an integrated whole. The cartoon below is SAP’s displaying of the message and promise of SAP BO Cloud / Cloud for Analytics.

SAP BO Cloud solution architecture

An interesting question that can be raised is how the integration of all these product features will be translated into a solution architecture based on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. In these paragraphs below, we will explain this in detail using the image below as a form of reference.

The SAP BusinessObjects Cloud solution architecture consists of three layers:

  1. Applications
  2. Analytic Capabilities
  3. Core Capabilities

Applications combined in SAP Digital Boardroom

The applications layer of the architecture is the setting in which the functionalities from the underlying layers are brought together in one integrated app, the SAP Digital Boardroom application. In this app BI, Planning, Predictive and GRC functionalities are seamlessly integrated within a single user interface. Previously users had to switch from answering traditional BI questions in one application, to planning application functionalities in another and predicting functionalities in yet a third. The integration of these three left something to be desired. This is a trouble of the past since the Digital Boardroom app.

The Digital Boardroom app was developed using SAPUI5 technology and looks very accessible. Furthermore, additional applications can be developed within the SAP ecosystem, which is displayed in the vertical block apps block. An example is a client who must be based on the Cloud for Analytics platform and requires specific app functionalities.

Analytic Capabilities

The analytics layer for SAP BO Cloud integrates almost all SAP BI4M suite components, concerning functionalities, in one environment. Exploration is portrayed in a Lumira like environment, and will be recognisable to current Lumira users.

Planning is an extension of the environment in which a user can neatly enter values in simple input sheets in the Fiori style, using SAPUI5. Ergo, switching between an analyses and planning tool is a thing of the past.

The predictive function, as we know it from SAP Predictive Analytics, is again integrated within the same look, feel and environment. By means of a few clicks a data set is chosen, a predictive function is selected and tuned, after which the predictive function is executed resulting in a visualised dataset by means of Lumira-like storyboards.

Core capabilities

The core of SAP BusinessObjects Cloud is fully based and developed on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform and use is made of all the strong features on the platform. For example, a variety of modelling and data connectivity options are available. The HANA Cloud Integration (HCI) functionality is used allowing easy connections to be made with on-premise SAP HANA, SAP BW or S/4HANA sources. An important detail is that it is possible to make Cloud for Analytics only fire queries towards the on-premise system in which, if desired, the data is never stored on the cloud platform.

For the visualisations within the platform the Fiori design style, using SAPUI5 as a technology enabler, is consistently used. This can be seen in all sub functionalities and sets SAP BO Cloud apart from the competition.

The security aspect of SAP BO Cloud uses SAP HANA Cloud Platform functionalities. Earlier this year we wrote an extensive blog concerning the security of the SAP HANA Cloud Platform. In the HCP it is possible to separate each multi-tenant application environments as each tenant has its own audit trail. Additionally, if the user wants, there are several data encryption options for data that is stored on the HCP.

Various extensions for the SAP BusinessObjects Cloud platform can be developed using API’s. As before, the regular APIs and integration capabilities are available for HANA Cloud Platform.

Are you curious about SAP BO Cloud and the Digital Boardroom app? Visit our special Digital Boardroom site and book a personal demo by SAP and The Next View.