Easily generate Briefing Books from SAC in PowerPoint, Word, PDF and Excel formatscreated: 22.03.2020
This is the first of a series of posts that will focus on compiling different views of the same SAP Analytics Cloud dashboard (or even multiple dashboards) into one document. This feature we often refer to as Iterative Exports or Briefing Book Generation.
Briefing Book generation is available for all Export Formats: PDF, Word, PowerPoint, Excel and CSV. You can always choose between generating one document containing all views or generating multiple documents for each chosen entity.
This flexibility makes biExport the best choice for exporting and creating documents from SAP applications!
This post will focus on the simplest and fastest way of generating Briefing Books. Other posts will describe:
- How to set up the feature in your tenant
- How to implement the expert feature as a developer with scripts
- How to create a huge number of Briefing Books from a Control File
The SAC Application and export requirements
Let’s assume you have created a dashboard similar to this one:
The dashboard shows sales figures in three widgets. It optionally allows for choosing a location to analyse the key figures in detail.
Now a monthly requirement is to create a management presentation which includes the sales figures of several freely selectable Locations.
The Briefing Book Feature of biExport
With biExport, the user clicks on the Export button on the upper left and chooses PowerPoint as an output format.
Instantly, a popup is displayed that allows the end user to choose the widgets that shall be exported:
On the Define BriefingBook Views tab, the user can enter multiple locations, for which the selected widgets shall be generated. Optionally, the user can activate mail delivery with just one click – which is very handy if huge documents shall be generated.
On Submit the export collects all necessary data on the server-side and in background mode – no client installation or scripting is needed! The end user can continue working, until the export document is delivered:
How it is implemented
Let’s move back to the design time of the application to see how this was implemented. We will focus only on the Briefing Book parameters of the biExport Widget here. For an overview of all parameters, please read the Getting Started.
First of all, you need to define a Script Variable (aka URL Parameter):
Unfortunately, SAP only supports those parameters to be passed to an Analytic Aplpication that have been explicitly created in this way.
Do not forget to set a description – biExport automatically reads out all Script Variables that are exposed as URL Paramters, and shows the description as a label on the end user popup!
In a second step you have to make sure that the application processes the parameter. For this, we implement the onInitialization event:
You can see that we simply pass the LOCATION parameter to the filters of the location dimension. At the same time, we have to translate the displayId, which the user has entered on the popup, into the technical id of the dimension. We do so by checking the master data in the “// fill dropdown” section. We could easily enhance this script to allow entering location names instead of their ids – simply by reading the id to the passed location name from the location master data!
Having done so it is wise to check the script by manually adding the new parameter to the application URL:
If the filter is taken, you are already almost done!
Only two parameters still have to be maintained for the biExport Widget:
- Activate the Show View Selector and Show Component Selector. The latter is optional, as you might also want to always include the same widgets to the Briefing Book.
- Activate Background Processing by selecting an OAuth Client from the dropdown box – all other values are automatically set by biExport! If the dropdown is empty, please read how to set it up in your tenant.
It’s hard to believe - but this is all you have to do in order to enable your SAP Analytics Cloud users to create Briefing Books!