10/08/2014

#SAP Project on the Horizon

I viewed the menu for next week.  It consists of SAP.  Some Webi, some Crystal Reports, some ETL and some spec gathering.

That's right.  A new project is starting up.

I've been working with Crystal Reports since about 1995 / 1996.  Version 5 was just being released.  Working for the bank, we had just aquired a bank in St. Louis and one of their consultants was onsite and I spent the entire day locked in a room asking him questions.  By the end of the day, I was fluent in Crystal.

Fast forward a couple of decades, man has the product evolved.  With Business Objects CMS, which I was a former admin working at the County, to WeBi to Universes and of course, trusty Crystal Reports, which hasn't changed much to be honest.

Universes are simply meta data layers in between the front end reports and the back end OLTP database.  It doesn't actually store a copy of the data like Microsoft SQL-Server Analysis Services OLAP does.  However, Universes allow end users to build ad-hoc reports without having to know about databases, SQL, joins, etc., which is a nice feature.  Except it's basically a pass-through to the OLTP database.  And you have to do some magic to handle date hierarchies, like build summary tables at each level.

There's two ways to work with Universes, as the product has evolved.  And there's an Explorer utility.  And Predictive Analytics.  And SAP Hana, an in memory database.

So the SAP offerings have all the bells and whistles.  And next week I'll be in the deep end of the pool.

Should be fun~!

Babalon