Replacing BEx broadcasting workflows in SAP BW/4HANA

Using APOS Publisher for Cloud to replace workflows previously served by BEx Broadcaster


BEx broadcasting has been an important tool for organizations using SAP Business Explorer (BEx) reports and SAP Business Warehouse (BW). It has effectively served important communication workflows over the past twenty-plus years, allowing organizations to distribute SAP BEx reports to a wide variety of users, partners and customers. However, with the need to push content out to stakeholders continuing to be a critical requirement for many of these organizations, and with the sunsetting of BEx reports, such organizations need to deploy an alternative to BEx broadcasting as part of their digital transformation and move to S/4HANA, BW/4HANA, Datasphere, and other updated technologies.

APOS Publisher for Cloud is very effective in replacing these broadcasting workflows in SAP Analytics Cloud, including options for both SAP Analytics Cloud reports (SAC Stories & Applications) and SAP Analysis for Office reports.

SAP Analytics Cloud Reports

In order to meet these needs, organizations create an SAP Analytics Cloud report to replicate the information that was previously being provided by a BEx report. APOS Publisher for Cloud is then used to provide the broadcasting and distribution function which was previously being provided by BEx Broadcaster. The automated, data-driven functionality of Publisher for Cloud, including secure filtering, formatting and distribution of content, is an excellent solution to meet these report broadcasting needs.

SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office (AfO) Reports

In SAP BW 7.5 and earlier versions, report broadcasting was achieved through Business Explorer and BEx Broadcaster. When SAP Analysis for Office was introduced, it had no broadcasting capabilities and organizations generally used SAP BusinessObjects AfO report scheduling to achieve such capabilities. Organizations also frequently turned to the APOS Publisher solution (for SAP BusinessObjects) for dynamic AfO report broadcasting.

APOS Publisher for Cloud can broadcast reports from SAP Analytics Cloud stories and SAP Analytics Cloud applications, and from SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office (AfO).

SAP Analysis for Office Report Broadcasting - APOS Publisher for Cloud

AfO is most commonly used by Finance personnel, but frequently also by departments such as sales, production, and other management personnel – essentially any user who connects to BW, BW/4HANA, or HANA for data which they can refresh, and on which they can run calculations. APOS Publisher for Cloud can replace BEx Broadcaster workflows as well as AfO report scheduling in SAP BusinessObjects.

Implementing APOS Publisher for Cloud as your AfO broadcast scheduling solution:

  • Removes barriers and enables capabilities that allow companies to move beyond SAP BusinessObjects, and to move ahead with adoption of SAP Analytics Cloud
  • Allows companies to retire BusinessObjects deployments that have been in place only to serve Analysis for Office scheduling needs
  • Enables existing BEx Broadcaster deployments to move ahead with their adoption of Analysis for Office
  • Reinforces centralized governance over team-based AfO report scheduling processes

Use Case: Replacing BEx Broadcaster in an SAP BW/4HANA Environment

This customer, a leading, highly diversified agricultural sciences manufacturer, has been using BEx Broadcaster to keep its large network of customers, partners and resellers informed. The company planned to move their SAP BW deployment to SAP BW4/HANA, and needed to replicate BEx broadcasting capabilities on the new platform.

More specifically, they needed to broadcast hundreds of targeted reports to their partner and reseller networks. They needed their analytics to reach stakeholders outside of the SAP Analytics Cloud environment to fulfill their business process workflow requirements, and to meet user expectations. Key solution functionality drivers identified by this customer included:

  • Formats
    They needed to broadcast multiple formats such as Excel and PDF, and to be able to include multiple formats per email.
  • Dynamic Formatting
    They needed a large number of columns to fit within a landscape-mode PDF, and include color coding to emphasize key KPIs. Requirements also included a dataset that would vary in the number of rows being distributed, and formatting needed to adjust accordingly dynamically, with accurate pagination.
  • Targeted Distribution
    They needed to achieve broadcasting automation through data-driven bursting, and emails constructed through story filters.
  • Scheduling
    They needed to schedule targeted reports to a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders, including executives, partners and resellers.
  • On-Demand Bursting
    They needed to be able to burst on an ad-hoc basis to ensure they could meet the informational requirements of their recipients.
  • Volume
    They needed confidence that they would be able to deliver hundreds of reports in a timely manner both internally and externally.
  • Support for both Acquired data connectivity and Live data connectivity
    They needed to be able to broadcast a report, regardless of whether the report is using a live connection or an acquired data connection.
  • Single sign-on (SSO)
    They needed the broadcast process to access and distribute report content using their SSO technologies.
  • Emailing with distribution lists
    They needed report distribution to support both individual recipients and email group recipients.
  • Emailing from different senders
    They needed broadcasting to support emailing ‘on behalf of’ different senders.
  • Dynamic file-naming
    They needed a way to assign naming conventions dynamically for the attachments that would be sent with the broadcast email.
  • Ease of configuration and maintenance
    They needed to optimize automation, and limit ongoing manual intervention.
  • Printing
    They needed to be able to print SAP Analytics stories as they are displayed in the SAP Analytics Cloud stories, including Excel tables with all columns and rows.


Developing a BEx Broadcasting Replacement Strategy

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Customer examples of similar broadcasting, bursting and publishing needs addressed:

SAP Analytics Cloud:

SAP BusinessObjects:

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