Designing Mobile
BI Reports for
BlackBerry Users
What does this presentation cover?
 This presentation describes how a real-world SAP customer has used
various developer tools to build optimized SAP BI reports for
BlackBerry device users within their organization
 It covers the following topics:
– Understanding the mobile requirements for BI reports
– Using SAP BW Web Application Designer to build optimized web-based
reports for BlackBerry users
– Using BlackBerry MDS Studio to develop custom rich-client applications
for BlackBerry to interact with SAP BI
– Key lessons learned
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Learning Objectives
As a result of this workshop, you will be able to
 Understand options available to deploy SAP content to BlackBerry
 Recognize pros and cons associated with different approaches
 Use best practices to quickly create BI content for BlackBerry using
SAP development tools
 Use BlackBerry Mobile Data System (MDS) Studio to quickly create
custom BI content for BlackBerry devices
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Mobility Requirements
Pushing SAP Web Content to the BlackBerry
Use MDS to Create Custom Applications for BlackBerry
Use MDS to Create SAP BI Content for BlackBerry
Typical Mobile Applications
Sales Needs
– View and update accounts and transactions
– Remote approval and communication
Business Intelligence
– Real-time access to confidential information
– Target participants could be anywhere
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Challenges to be Overcome
Mobility is a fact of today’s business
 Executive and Sales / Field Service Reps have to be mobile in today’s
global business place
 Cached information is not sufficient
 Real-time workflow is impossible with disconnected or sync-based
 Typical applications require secure communications
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Mobility Requirements
Pushing SAP Web Content to the BlackBerry
Use MDS to Create Custom Applications for BlackBerry
Use MDS to Create SAP BI Content for BlackBerry
Goals for Deployment of BI Content
 Centralized information from many sources
– Cross-functional audience / Cross-functional content
 Multi-tiered authorization to control access
 Respect internal territory guidelines
 Security roles need to encompass deployment
 Static reports are seldom read when generated
 Self-service must be seamless to be efficient
 Analysis tools generally best-suited to desktop workstation
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Available Deployment Alternatives
Portal Deployment
 Perfect to act as a gatekeeper for BPS / BW deployed to workstations
 Best suited to dashboard content and analytics
 NOT designed for mobile deployment
Email Broadcasting
 Perfect for sending reports via email to distribution lists
 In-line content designed for viewing from a desktop or BlackBerry
 Challenge: multiple BlackBerry models deployed across customer base
BlackBerry Deployment
 Best suited for mobile deployment
 Easy click for real-time rendering of data as required
 Customizable to the individual PIN holder
 Alternatives:
– Browser push: Fast deployment of existing web content from SAP
– Custom MDS Studio application: Requires design work to use BW services
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Email Broadcasting
 If content is delivered in-line from broadcaster, content must be viewable
by any email reader used by the recipient
 Design content to be long and narrow (scrollable down not across)
for blackberry distribution
 Advantages
– One template can be ”filtered” to create multiple slices of data
– Flexibility to publish to the portal as well as via email
– Flexibility on output options
- Independent HTML files is the only option used if BlackBerry usage expected
- Attachments sent to the BlackBerry have to be opened and read by another application
- Online Links need to be modified by parameters to be viewed correctly
on BlackBerry
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Broadcasting Best Usage
 Best use of
 Regularly deploy
content to
recipients via
email or portal
Rich Content for Analysis
Static In-line HTML
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BlackBerry Deployment Using SAP Toolset
 SAP toolset
provides ability
to produce rich
content including
graphics, tables,
text, and XML
 Content is webdeployed and
therefore can be
deployed on a
blackberry with
a browser
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URL Parameters for Web Templates
Mobile BW Web Applications have two modes: WAP and HTML
 Default is WAP (WML) when connecting from a BlackBerry device
 Change to HTML mode (to enable richer rendering on BlackBerry)
– Append following string to the URL (see OSS note 902036)
Passing Variables
MU_04031 is the name of the variable
01.01.2004 is the value of the variable
Passing Parameters
<SAP_BW_URL Parameter1='Value1' Parameter2='Value2' ...>
Add other parameters with “&“ after <SAP_BW_URL> tag:
Example, Password Parameter
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Useful Settings for HTML Rendering
Ensure to address the following areas for correct rendering
 BlackBerry Browser settings (on device)
 Template properties
 Table properties
 Graphic design
 Query design
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BlackBerry Browser Option Settings
Browser Configuration (Under Browser Options)
 Emulation Mode:
– Microsoft IE (if viewing BSP content)
– otherwise, BlackBerry
 Support HTML Tables: Checked
 Support Style Sheets: Checked (if using style sheets)
 Style sheets media type: Handheld
General Properties
 Default Font Family: BBCondensed
 Default Font Size: 7
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HTML Editing Tips
Create a Main template (series embedded URLs) to Control Parameters
Calling up Web Templates
Calling up the Variables Screen
Changing the Values of Variables
Data Provider - Commands
Back and Back to Start
Undo the last action: CMD=BACK
Undo all actions: CMD=RESET
Jumping using Report-Report Interface
Report-Report Interface Receivers on the BlackBerry device can be BW queries, BW Web Applications, or arbitrary URLs. The
parameterization of the target action is taken from the source context you have jumped from
General Formatting Tips
 Use horizontal rule <hr> tags to separate sections of content
 Use filters (drop down preferred) to limit results
 Use <br> tags rather than <p> tags to separate objects
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Template Properties
Template Properties
 Output Device Optimization: unchecked
 Do not display system messages: checked
 Do not display warnings: checked
 Force variable screen display: unchecked
 Reset variables to default values: checked
 Read-Mode for Data: Pre-calculated, if it Exists (depends on template
Use style sheets to control object presentation
 Sizing, spacing and colors are controllable with style sheets
Create generic report structures
 Avoid creating multiple templates with the same data
 Use queries with exit variables to provide filters or make use of query
 Create central Web templates with links (edit HTML)
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Table / Graphic Properties and Design Tips – 1/2
Table Properties
 Title: leave blank
 Generate Title: unchecked
 Border Type: With Border
 Objects with Navigation Links: unchecked
 Only Hierarchy Navigation: unchecked
 Number of data columns displayed at once: 4
– Explicitly control table width so rows do not wrap
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Table / Graphic Properties and Design Tips – 2/2
Chart Properties
 Title: leave blank
 Generate Title: unchecked
 Objects with Navigational Links: unchecked
 Height and Width of graphic will be proportional to width of tables if
Output Optimization on template is disabled
 Pie charts/ vertical bar charts/speedometers are preferable
 Minimize series to one level for simplified axis display
 Legends take up significant space … consider leaving off and making
axis display intuitive
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Query Design Tips
Create global queries to maximize reuse
 Create filters that can be set with parameters
 Central maintenance; deploy once
 One controllable access point/different content per user
Maximize use of dynamic BW constructs
 Hierarchies (e.g., profit/cost centers)
 Master data (e.g., 0Customer, 0Material)
 Utilize navigational attributes to provide different dimensions to slice
 Use exit variables to minimize user interaction
 Use structures and hierarchy display to replace ”Overall Result”
with ”Total”
 Create ”intuitive” short keys for attribute names
– e.g., regions such as ”NA” (North America) and ”EUR” (Europe)
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Mobility Requirements
Pushing SAP Web Content to the BlackBerry
Use MDS to Create Custom Applications for BlackBerry
Use MDS to Create SAP BI Content for BlackBerry
Custom Applications Using MDS Studio V4.1
SAP Web Services
MDS v4.1
Enterprise Server
with MDS v4.1
Application Server
 MDS Studio v4.1 provides simple drag and drop tools for building
rich-client applications
 Custom rich-client application provides enhanced user experience
 Applications function whether in or out of wireless coverage
 Requires Web Services to be exposed on the back end
 May require customization to existing Web Services
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Web Services - Overview
 ”Enabling technology” that allows disparate systems to connect and
 Characteristics of a Web Service
programmable URL widely accessible via the Internet
addressable code that can be activated with http requests
called remotely using standard Internet Protocols (HTTP; XML)
provides a standard mode of access for multiple languages and multiple
 Standards are Key for Communication
– most important of these is the WS-Interoperability standard called BASIC
Profile (WS-I BP)
– a service that supports WS-I BP can communicate with any other service
that supports WS-I BP
 Relies on three XML protocols: SOAP, WSDL and UDDI
– the web service is exposed on the Web through the SOAP protocol
– described with a WSDL file
– registered in UDDI registry
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Web Service Discovery / Analysis / Exchange
Three Step Process
 Universal Description, Discovery and Integration
– Internet registry for web services: advertise and search for services.
 Analyze the Service
– Web Service Description Language (WSDL) file, an XML file, defines the
– WSDL provides critical application design details:
- How to communicate with the service
- Operations and messages supported; data exposed by the service
- Protocols and data elements passed/returned as parameters
 Message Exchange
– Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is used to exchange messages
– SOAP most commonly uses HTTP as a transport and supports several
modes of operation
– Most common: RPC (remote procedure call):
synchronous Request/ Response pattern
XML Web Service
Find service
Discovery: UDDI
Analyze service
Schema: WSDL
Send messages
Communications: SOAP
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BlackBerry Mobile Data System (MDS) Components
BlackBerry MDS Studio
 Visual design tool used by developers to build applications
 Used to discover services, interpret WSDL and quickly build apps
 Drag and drop component-based methodology
 Enables enterprise developers to build rich-client applications
for BlackBerry without having to do custom coding
 Server-side connectivity based on Web Services
BlackBerry MDS Runtime
 BlackBerry device software component
 Provides runtime services to BlackBerry MDS applications
BlackBerry MDS Services
 Resides on the BlackBerry Enterprise Server
 Binds to selected Web Services and provides secure connection
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BlackBerry MDS Studio: Key Concepts
Visual ”drag and drop” assembly of components
 Screens (UI)
 Data
 Message
 Scripts
Three Development Approaches
1. Quick Start
– Automatically generates first version of your application based on WSDL
2. Bottom Up
– Generates essential data components, bindings and messages from WSDL
leaving developer to create screens and additional logic
3. Top Down
– Developer creates entire application and binds messages to existing WSDL
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Discovering SAP Services
”Out-of-the-Box” RFC Web Services in SAP
 All RFC-enabled function modules (all BAPIs) are exposed as web
services by default
 Available since Web AS 6.20, browse using:
 To retrieve the WSDL for a specific function module, use:
 Only available for
out-of-the-box RFC
function modules
 Web Services are
delivered ”as is” and
cannot be modified
 There is also no way to
configure web service
security profiles
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Mobility Requirements
Pushing SAP Web Content to the BlackBerry
Use MDS to Create Custom Applications for BlackBerry
Use MDS to Create SAP BI Content for BlackBerry
SAP BI Queryview WSDL
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Messages in SAP BI Query View Data Service WSDL
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SAP BI Query View Data Service WSDL (cont.)
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Results From Using MDS Studio Quick Start Approach
 Data binding from messages
(in and out)
 Screens created to capture
inbound message
 Screens created to display
outbound message
 Result needs to be ”assembled” from its parts:
– AxisData – row and column information
– AxisInfo – provides key figure and dimension information
– CellData – provides actual key figure values returned
– TextSymbols – provides characteristics, filters and variables
(including Query Name, Last Refresh Date, Key Date, etc.)
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MDS Scripting to Interpret Results
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 Handled by BlackBerry Infrastructure
Re-usable Code
 Useful for any query
 Use SAP tools to build content
 Build more complicated structures as required
Central Interface
 Use one central interface to content for all users
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Mobility Requirements
Pushing SAP Web Content to the BlackBerry
Use MDS to Create Custom Applications for BlackBerry
Use MDS to Create SAP BI Content for BlackBerry
Bringing It All Together
 Advantages
- scheduled content
 Disadvantages - email deployment must consider blackberry
SAP Developed Web Content
 Advantages
– rich content with graphics and analysis
 Disadvantages – BlackBerry deployment must consider real estate/usage
MDS Studio Developed Rich-Client
 Advantages
– quick custom application built from any web service
 Disadvantages – no graphics; best suited to interact with field content
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Further Information
Public Web
Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG)
Research In Motion
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Further Information
Specific Links of Interest
Command URLs:
Commands for Web Templates:
BEX Mobile Intelligence:
Text Elements:
Editing Charts:
Data Provider Commands:
Report to Report Interface:
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ASUG and SAP: Partners in Education
ASUG, the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group, is the world’s largest, customer-run community of SAP
professionals and partners, with 45,000 individual members and 1,700 companies represented. ASUG
delivers the highest value to member companies, allowing them to maximize their SAP investments.
Some highlighted benefits include:
Access to a year-round community for SAP customers and partners
Diverse mix of educational topics and events through a variety of formats
Exclusive opportunity to influence SAP future product direction
Unparalleled networking opportunities with a dynamic professional network
Unprecedented partnership with SAP
Access to ASUG Groups and Chapters
To learn more about ASUG, visit the ASUG booth in the SDN Clubhouse, or visit our Web site at
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