Category Archives: SAP

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding SAP BusinessObjects Certification Exam Realignment

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

1. What changes are upcoming for the SAP BusinessObjects certification program?

Effective April 30, 2010, there will be new SAP BusinessObjects certification exams available after realignment with the SAP certification program.  All existing SAP BusinessObjects exams will be retired at the end of April and will be replaced by the following three exams:

  • C_BOCR_08 – SAP Certified Application Associate Crystal Reports 2008
  • C_BOE_30 – SAP Certified Application Associate SAP BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.x
  • C_BOWI_30 – SAP Certified Application Associate BusinessObjects Web Intelligence XI 3.x

2. Do current certificates keep their value?

Absolutely; individuals holding a current valid Business Objects certification will not need to recertify.

3. If a test taker has already passed 3 out of 4 papers for BusinessObjects Certified Professional – Business Objects Enterprise and is only left with the XI 3-1 upgrade exam (SABE 501) what should he/she do?

To avoid taking the full certification exam after the retirement of the XI 3-1 upgrade exam the final exam should be taken prior to its retirement at the end of April.

4. What has changed in the new exams?

There are some minor content updates and the scoring model has been changed to dichotomous scoring. The dichotomous scoring model scores multiple response questions as either correct or incorrect and does not give partial grades for responses. This better reflects the need for SAP customers and partners to know whether a certified individual can perform a task to the complete satisfaction of all concerned. Leaving a question blank is equivalent to a false response. In addition there is now only one exam required to gain the full certification.

5. Will the current certification holders automatically be considered at SAP Associate level?

Yes, those holding the existing certification BusinessObjects certification are entitled to use the SAP Associate certification logo and title. The former BusinessObjects Certification branding and logo will no longer be used by SAP or provided to test takers.

6. For those who already possess the BOCP-CR XI, there is currently a delta BOCP-CR 2008 update exam to update to CR2008. Will a CR delta exam exist after this realignment?

No, after the realignment there will no longer be a delta exam to update to CR2008. This will be retired in April and not replaced.

7. Will the exam duration change?

The exam duration will be aligned with the rest of the SAP Global Certification program. There will be 80 questions in 3 hours.

8. Why is the series of exams for each BusinessObjects product line being compressed into single exams?

This is a step to align the BusinessObjects exam format with the rest of the SAP Global Certification program.

9. How many times can the test taker take the certification exam?

He/she can sit for an SAP certification exam a maximum of three times. If he/she is unsuccessful in passing your certification exam after two attempts, and has not previously taken SAP training classes, we highly recommend that they complete the training. The fee for certification retakes is the same as the initial exam. No candidate may sit for the same examination for the same release more than three times. A candidate who has failed an examination three times for a release may not attempt that examination again until the next release. There are no rules on waiting periods prior to a retake.

10. A test taker just missed reaching a passing grade and would like SAP to review my exam for possible rescoring. What is the appeals process?

Unless there were technical system difficulties experienced while taking the exam, exams will not generally be reviewed for rescore. If however a test taker feels that there are grounds for appeal it is necessary to submit that appeal to the local SAP Education team as soon as possible – but at the latest up to 3 months – after the testing event.

11. Where can SAP BusinessObjects tests be taken?

From April 30, 2010 SAP BusinessObjects certification exams will no longer be available via Pearson VUE test centers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. However the exams will continue to be available via Pearson VUE test centers in the rest of the world. From April onwards the registration for an SAP BusinessObjects exam at a Pearson VUE Test Center will no longer be possible athttp://www.vue.com/busobjects. All future registrations must be made via http://www.vue.com/sap. In addition to this, the SAP BusinessObjects exams will also be available in SAP Education Centers around the world from April 2010 onwards. Registration for this can be arranged viahttp://www.sap.com/certification/ or by contacting your local SAP Education representative.

12. Is there any difference in the certification exam at an SAP Education center or through SAP’s delivery partner, Pearson VUE?

No. Certification exams are the same no matter where the test is taken.

13. Does the test taker need to enter a SAP user ID when registering for a certification exam and does he/she need to be affiliated with an SAP customer or partner in order to take an exam?

The test taker does not need to be affiliated with an SAP customer or partner in order to take an exam, but does have to apply for a so-called S-User ID (or in the case of internal employees an I, D or C-user ID) from SAP prior to registering. Instructions on how to apply for that ID and register for the exam can be found at http://www.vue.com/sap.

14. How does a test taker obtain the actual certificate?

On successfully passing the exam, the certificate will be sent to the test taker within 4-6 weeks. For queries please contactkps.businessobjects.kt@sap.com.

15. Are professional and master exams planned for SAP BusinessObjects certifications?

There are not currently plans for professional and master exams.

16. Can SAP BusinessObjects vouchers be ordered for taking tests at VUE?

Yes. Vouchers can be ordered online here http://www.vue.com/vouchers/pricelist/

17. Will the pricing change?

The pricing will be aligned with the rest of the SAP Global Certification program to reflect the increased exam duration and the single exam per certification scenario. Pricing will not differ between an exam taken at a VUE test center or an SAP Education Center.

18. How can a test taker get information about recommended training offerings to prepare for the tests?

The recommended training alternatives are listed in the test section on http://www.sap.com/services/education/certification

19. Are Academies or eAcademies planned as part of the SAP BusinessObjects curriculum?

Academies are planned for launch in 2011.

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Update of the New SAP BusinessObjects Certification Exams

Check the below links for additional information about the certification exams and options you have for preparation.

C_BOCR_08 – SAP Certified Application Associate Crystal Reports 2008

C_BOE_30 – SAP Certified Application Associate BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.x

C_BOWI_30 – SAP Certified Application Associate BusinessObjects Web Intelligence XI 3.x

C_BODI_20 – SAP Certified Application Associate – BusinessObjects Data Integrator

SAP PRESS announces 4 NEWLY PUBLISHED BOOKS

SAP PRESS proudly announces 4 NEWLY PUBLISHED BOOKS. All of these titles have been released in June 2010 and are shipping now. You can view complete details and order your copies today when you visit http://www.sap-press.com.
Integration of Materials Management with Financial Accounting in  SAP
Integration of Materials Management with Financial Accounting in SAP is written for professionals who work with materials management and SAP ERP Financials. It explains how an effective configuration can help streamline your business processes, shows you how to continually improve your procurement processes, and provides examples, troubleshooting techniques, and step-by-step descriptions.
Efficient SAP NetWeaver® BW Implementation and Upgrade Guide

Efficient SAP NetWeaver® BW Implementation and Upgrade Guide
offers a clear and easy-to-follow path for efficient SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse (SAP NetWeaver BW) implementations and upgrades. The book examines proper project management and upgrade strategies, including understanding common mistakes, resource requirements, and much more.
ABAP™  Cookbook
ABAP™ Cookbook is a necessary resource for beginners and experienced ABAP professionals alike. This book provides quick answers to typical ABAP development problems or tasks, such as persistence programming, interface programming, security issues, and tracing techniques.
SAP  Enterprise Support – ASAP to Run SAP (2nd Edition) SAP Enterprise Support – ASAP to Run SAP (2nd Edition) provides IT managers and decision makers with a detailed guide to SAP Enterprise Support services. This second edition includes new topics such as the KPI measurement platform, the updated SAP Solution Manager strategy, and everything you need to know about choosing between different support models.
Visit www.sap-press.com for complete details on the new releases above. Plus, check out the entire selection of 250+ SAP-related titles and get the latest updates on upcoming books and technical guides when you visit www.sap-press.com today.

When is a large document too large? Some rules of thumb for sizing Web Intelligence.

In a typical scenario, Web Intelligence is used by report authors who want to deliver interactive content to consumers. Sometimes authors have pressure to create extremely large WebI documents that ideally will provide answers to any possible question a consumer might have. One WebI customer is delivering documents spanning nearly 200,000 pages. It works, but the delivery is pretty delicately controlled. In general, however, this tendency to build documents with huge data volumes is the same affliction that causes someone to buy a house with 2 extra bedrooms on the chance that someday somehow both sets of grandparents will come calling the same weekend. It might just happen. Whew! What peace of mind to have shelved out an extra $150k for two rooms you might simultaneously fill once a decade!

In the WebI world, the desire to build reports with large data volumes pushes inevitably the limits that the Webi server (for dHTML or Java clients) or Webi Rich Client can handle. WebI memory use, which of course increases as the document size increases, is limited by the processor. As of XI 3.1, at 32 bits, the processor limit for Webi doc size is around 2 gigabytes. This memory is consumed by the storage of the DP results, calculations and the report engine.

In practice, from the perspective of data in the data provider(s) results, WebI can support until a maximum of around 500 megabytes, being roughly 25 million values (e.g. 5 cols * 5 million rows, 25 columns by 1 million rows, etc.). In this case, the document will consume all memory available to the process. For the Rich Client, the content can be consumed offline on each user’s machine, so this memory is not shared. For online clients, the process must be shared by each concurrent client on a given server, so divide the document size limit by number of concurrent users (e.g. 10 concurrent users on a doc of 2.5 million values could max out the server).

Again, it’s important to note that these are rules of thumbs, not absolutes. You might find the server performing adequately even with such gigantic documents. However, the size of a WebI document in terms of rows/cells is not the only variable in play. Synchronization of dimensions between multiple data sources and the number of variables also has an impact, as does the complexity of the layout. So, a 10 million value document with multiple sources and lots of complex variables and calculations and a lot of charts and tables and conditional formatting might put pressure on the server as much as a table-dump with 25 million values.

But before you start categorizing WebI as a client that is best for small documents, let’s step back and think about what a document with 25 million values means to report authoring and interactive consumption. First, it’s absurdly large. Just for reference, a 5 million word MS Word document could easily be more than 10,000 pages. Second, it’s absurdly large. Take the example of a query that retrieves 500,000 rows and 50 columns – 25 million cell values. Among those columns, you might have Region, Country, City, Year, Quarter, Month, Product Level 1… Product Level n, Industry Code, Customer Name, Address…. And then of course there are measures like Sales, Units sold, various Counts, etc. Maybe these columns/rows are fed by another source or two – a customer support site plus maybe even an Excel file with forecast data. This report is great! It contains the sandbox for answering any question at any levels. Just which of the dozen tabs should I click on and how long should I scroll to get my answer? Third, it’s absurdly large. Maintaining a document this large – with all of its different analytical views and web of interdependent variables and calculations – is always going to be painful. You better hope the author never leaves the organization, because untangling the intentions and interdependencies within such a large document will be next to impossible.

How will users, concretely, consume this volume of data? A handful of aggregation in a table with options to drill to 4 or 5 levels of details at any class of dimensions – Geography, Time, Product Levels, Customers, etc.? In this case, since the author is not adding value to the content – either through formatting, calculations and variables, juxtaposition of content to tell a story or synchronization of data between different sources, etc. – this is a clear case where Explorer would bring value to this scenario. If the expectation is for consumers to explore the data “as is”, then give them Explorer to let them find their factoid answers at any detail of data.

Often in these scenarios, the author does try to add value by defining a multi-tab WebI document with dozens of different detailed views of the data organized in different themes. These documents take weeks to create and validate and could take days to go through, but in theory they enable users to have any of their possible questions answered, no matter how detailed and unlikely they may be. For the vast majority of users, putting content detailed as this into one document is like buying flood insurance if you live in the Sahara. Yes, it is possible that someone, one day, might want access to those details in one session. And over years, a user might access quite a few details related to numerous dimensions. However, is it worth the price of performance to buy such insurance with a document that size? Instead of building such a monstrosity as one document, consider alternatives for delivering the same content in a couple, linked documents, using features such as query drill or prompts (optional prompts might help), using queries to pull specific levels of aggregation instead of in one giant chunk, allowing more ad-hoc query and document creation with compulsory prompts turned on, etc.

Rest assured, however, that help is on the way for customers insisting on such humongous documents. In an upcoming release, we plan on making WebI 64 bit, effectively removing the process limit and enabling the addition of more physical memory on the server to improve the handling of larger reports/throughput. The Rich Client on an end-user’s machine, which uses a “local server” implementation, will also become 64 bit in a future release. (Note that the Rich Client has essentially repatriated some Webi server components to be part of the Rich Client installation. This is what enables WebI content to be taken offline from BOE.)

But in the meantime, authors should constantly check the trade-offs involved with building extremely large documents. And ultimately, it comes down to understanding what end users (consumers) really want to and need to do with the content. Next time you get pressure to create a 12-tab, 50 dimension, one-size-fits-all report, push back a little. The consumers are not always right. Ask how many 10,000 page word documents they use.

Michael Thompson is Director of Product Management at SAP Business Objects.

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Office 2010 – SAP Gives the Go-Ahead

Microsoft Office 2010 is already available for enterprise customers, while users of the home edition will have to hang on until June 15. Microsoft promises to make Office our constant companion – but just how compatible is the software with SAP systems?

Wählerische SAP GUI: 32 Bit ja, 64 Bit nein (Bild: Jan Meyer)
SAP GUI says yes to 32-bit but no to 64-bit (graphic: Jan Meyer)

The current SAP GUI 7.20, which SAP launched in April 2010, supports both the latest Microsoft operating system Windows 7 and the new Office package. But while the SAP GUI runs easily on the 32-bit and the 64-bit versions of Windows 7, SAP is only giving the go-ahead for the 32-bit version of Office. Why is that?

Microsoft now offers a 64-bit version of its Office suit. However, SAP GUI 7.20 is not compatible with the 64-bit Office version. This is because the SAP GUI is a 32-bit application. When it runs on Windows 7 (64-bit), the operating system’s integrated emulation mode kicks in. But the 32-bit SAP GUI and plug-ins such as Outlook integration cannot communicate with the 64-bit Office version. SAP is aware of the incompatibility and is currently examining two different approaches to address the issue. The result will probably be a 64-bit SAP GUI – but there is currently no indication of when this might become available.

Collaboration, smartphones, and the Web office

Microsoft promises those who buy the new Office suite that it will be their constant companion, wherever they go. According to Ralph Haupter, the new head of Microsoft Germany, a tailored version of Office 2010 will be available for all the major platforms (PC, smartphone, and Web). Thanks to the new Office Web Apps – online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote – files can be processed, downloaded, and published using the Web browser.

Zuversichtlich: Der neue Microsoft Deutschland CEO Ralph Haupter beim Deutschland-Launch (Foto: Benjamin Blaume)
Ralph Haupter, the new CEO of Microsoft Germany, oozes confidence at the launch in Germany (photo: Benjamin Blaume)

In combination with Microsoft SharePoint 2010, which was launched at the same time, Office 2010 is slated to strengthen its position as a collaboration platform. Several people can work on opened files at the same time, while social networks such as Facebook and the Microsoft service Windows Live can be integrated using Outlook Social Connector.

Haupter predicts that most companies will upgrade to the new Office version in the medium term. His confidence stems from the fact that the Office version was already very stable when it hit the market – thanks to the biggest beta test of all time (8.6 million users worldwide, 520,000 in Germany) – and the license model adopted. Haupter says that 50% of large companies in Germany can upgrade to Office 2010 with no additional costs, because their enterprise license agreements already include the licenses required.

Anyone who would like to try out Office 2010 can download a 60-day version of Office Professional Plus from the Microsoft Web site (http://www.microsoft.com/office/2010/en/download-office-professional-plus/default.aspx). The beta version for private customers will expire in October 2010.

VIA [SAP.INFO]

Announcing the SAP Crystal solutions portfolio

SAP Crystal Solutions

Today the team is happy to announce the creation of the new SAP Crystal solutions portfolio brand.  This new portfolio brand includes four familiar product lines:

SAP Crystal solutions is a portfolio brand.  It’s a peer of the SAP BusinessObjects brand, and is focused on delivering products that are easy to try, easy to buy and easy to use.  SAP Crystal solutions are available on our eStore and through our reseller partners.

Why Are We Doing This?

This is an important evolution of both the SAP and Crystal brands, and is a very tangible and visible commitment to the Crystal product line by SAP.   SAP is recognizing and embracing the role of volume products like Crystal Reports, and of volume oriented sales channels like eStore and 2-tier distribution.

The Crystal brand is now elevated from a reporting-focused product line to a portfolio.  Its meaning now goes beyond reporting, to cover dashboarding, presentation, analysis, and other new products we add to the portfolio over time.

With this transition, we will be phasing out the Xcelsius brand name.  The strong technology foundation that underpins our dashboarding and presentation products will stay the same.  This is a name change, not a technology change.  For more information on the Xcelsius brand migration please consult this blog.

Are the Product Names Changing?

As SAP Crystal solutions is tied to SAP branding standards, we will be adopting the SAP standard of using descriptive product names.  That means you should be able to tell what the product does (at a high level) from the product name.

Old Name

New Name

Crystal Reports SAP Crystal Reports
Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2010 SAP Crystal Reports for Visual Studio 2010
Crystal Reports for Eclipse SAP Crystal Reports for Eclipse
Crystal Reports Viewer SAP Crystal Reports viewer
Crystal Reports Server SAP Crystal Reports Server
Crystal Reports Visual Advantage SAP Crystal Reports Dashboard Design package
Crystal Reports Developer Advantage SAP Crystal Reports runtime server license
Xcelsius Present SAP Crystal Presentation Design
Xcelsius Engage SAP Crystal Dashboard Design, personal edition

What New Products Are Being Announced?

In addition to the SAP Crystal portfolio brand, we are also announcing a number of new products and add-ons.  Most of these products will be available for sale starting June 7 2010.  The exception is SAP Crystal Interactive Analysis which will be available in July 2010.

New Product

Description

SAP Crystal Reports Server, add-on for Microsoft Outlook Work with SAP Crystal Reports Server right from within Outlook.
SAP Crystal Reports Server, add-on for ESRI GIS software Bidirectional integration with your ESRI ArcGIS, ESRI ArcIMS or ESRI ArcMap products.
SAP Crystal Reports Server, advanced administration package Lower the cost of ownership of large SAP Crystal Reports Server implementations.  Consists of 5 tools: Object Manager, InfoScheduler, Instance Manager, Instance Monitor, and KPI.
SAP Crystal Dashboard Design, departmental edition Full featured dashboard design software.  Deploy dashboards standalone or to SAP Crystal Reports Server.  Limited to a maximum of 100 named users per dashboard deployment.  Viewers of connected dashboards require a named user license.
SAP Crystal Dashboard Viewing option The named user viewing license that complements SAP Crystal Dashboard Design, departmental edition.  Sold in packs of 10 named users. Required for standalone dashboarding deployments.  Dashboards can be viewed by named users of SAP Crystal Reports Server without additional licensing.
SAP Crystal Dashboard Design starter package A bundle of 1 named user of SAP Crystal Dasbhoard Design, departmental edition and 10 named users of SAP Crystal Dashboard Viewing option.  Ideal for projects that require dashboard viewing but don’t require the additional features in SAP Crystal Reports Server.
SAP Crystal Interactive Analysis Formerly known as Web Intelligence Personal, this desktop query and analysis tool brings powerful BI functionality to business analysts and knowledge workers.

Available for sale in July 2010.

SAP StreamWork While not strictly part of the SAP Crystal family of offerings, SAP StreamWork will be available in distribution starting in June 2010.

If you’re not familiar with this product, visit SAPStreamWork.com to learn more about this exciting collaboration and decision making product.

What Does This Mean To You?

  • SAP Crystal solutions is a family of BI solutions that are easy to try, easy to buy, and grow with your organization.
  • SAP Crystal solutions represents the best of both the SAP and Crystal Reports brands.
  • SAP Crystal solutions demonstrates a tangible commitment to these product lines and channels by the broader corporation.

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