Overview Of The SAP BW Reporting Tools Landscape

The purpose of the overview of the SAP BW Reporting tools landscape is to look deep into the BEx Query Designer to help us understand how we create our reports and where they can be used. The SAP BW Reporting tools landscape consist of the following structure:

  • InfoProvider,
    • InfoCubes
    • InfoObjetcs
    • DSOs
    • InfoSets
    • Virtual InfoProviders
    • MultiProviders
  • BEx Query Designer
    • BEx Web Application Designer
    • BEx Web Analyzer
    • BEx Report Designer
  • BEx Analyzer

Here is the brief explanation of some components in the SAP BW Reporting Tools Landscape.


An InfoProvider is like a database that is used when building queries. InfoProviders are have specific names such as InfoCubes which is a multidimensional set of tables, Data Store Object (DSOs) and InfoObject (characteristics).

InfoProviders can also be classed as Logical InfoProviders. These are defined as InfoProviders but do not actually hold any data. They hold the mapping rules to where the data actually sits. For example a MultiProvider combines multiple InfoCubes or DSO Objects all in one place and helps us access the data in the Query Designer as if it is just one InfoProvider . Logical InfoProviders are classed as under:

  • InfoSets,
  • Virtual InfoProviders,
  • MultiProviders

Virtual InfoProviders

Virtual InforProviders map the rules to allow us to actually connect to our data source. For example, in your normal SAP ERP system you do not need to bring the data into a BW system, instead you can set up the mapping rules that will allow you to connect to the source system where the data actually sits and that enables direct reporting  from that system.

SAP NetWeaver BW InfoProvider

BEx Query Designer

The BEx Query Designer is used to build queries with the help of an InfoProvider. When we create our reports, we select the infoProvider that is to be used to provide data to our query. After defining the query by using drag and drop techniques and calculations then it can be used in different BEx Query Designer applications such as BEx Analyzer and the BEx Web Application Designer. The BEx Analyzer tends to use the query more frequently than any other BEx application tool.

BEx Web Application Designer

The BEx Web Application Designer is used for creating web applications based on our queries.

BEx Web Analyzer

The BEx Web Analyzer is the same as the BEx Analyzer in MS Excel. The only difference is that it is a web based version.

BEx Report Designer

The BEx Report Designer is used for creating printed reports. You can create a printed report in a PDF document through this tool, but the BEx Report Designer is no longer being actively developed by SAP. SAP have replaced it with Business Object Reporting Tool which is the preferred method for web reporting now.

BEx Analyzer

The Business Explorer Analyzer (BEx Analyzer) is the analysis and reporting tool that is embedded in Microsoft Excel.

SAP BW BEx Query Designer

We have two different platforms to carry out our reporting activities. MS Excel which has just been discussed and the other is a web based interface most commonly the SAP Portal.

SAP BW Tools BEx Analyzer/Query Designer

So now we can see the full flow of data which starts with the InfoProviders, onto the BEx Query Designer which is used to design our queries, then those queries are used by BEx Analyzer (MS Excel) or BEx Web Analyzer (Web Portal) then our data is pushed through either the portal or MS Excel down to our users.

Here you can see the full process flow:

SAP BW Tools Landscape Process Flow



About the Author:

Pete has been working with SAP technologies for over 10 years. He started out as an ABAP consultant and then moved on to BW where he has worked many different clients covering a wide variety of industries. "I love introducing SAP technology (especially BI) to new clients and showing them how they can go from zero to hero within their business in super fast time". Contact me on twitter @PeterMoxon