Example using the functionality of the report designer SAP BI

Now that you have studied some of the advanced functionality of the Report Designer, including tips and tricks for working through some of the more high profile and difficult issues, we will look at a real-world example of using the Report Designer’s advanced functionality. During a number of projects I have been involved in, requests for these formatted types of reports came from the finance team, and in some cases a “report book” needed to be generated for the corporate headquarters. In some countries, such as China and Japan, the government requires a specific set of reports in a specific series in a book to be submitted for review. This was very difficult to do with BW before, but with the Report Designer this task can be set up just once and then generated on a monthly basis. The Information Broadcaster can be used for distribution over the Web, and the Adobe printing functionality can be used to create the actual “accounting book” for period-end analysis. With this scenario in mind, we will develop a full example by setting up a Balance Sheet report for a corporation using a basic query from BI and the Report Designer.

The first of the following two illustrations shows the basic query that we will use for this example. As you can see, the Balance Sheet accounts are listed as a long line of GL accounts and are not in the format that we are used to seeing them in, which would be side by side. The second illustration shows the remaining accounts at the bottom of the list for reporting purposes using the basic BEx Analyzer process.

Example using the functionality of the report designer

Example using the functionality of the report designer

Now, we’ll move to the Report Designer to enhance the formatting and functionality of this Balance Sheet statement. The following illustration shows the initial screen of the Report Designer with the Insert Data Provider button highlighted. The steps that follow take you through the rest of the example.

Example using the functionality of the report designer

1.Click the Insert Data Provider button to open the Open dialog box, shown next, in which you choose the query or query view

Data Provider button to open the Open dialog box

2.Choose the Balance Sheet report and click Open. Once this query is inserted into the Report Designer, the GL accounts and information such as the text and the actual key figure values are available in the Report Designer’s design area.

3.Add two columns to the right of the last column, as shown in the following illustration, to accommodate the display of two portions of the Balance Sheet statement side by side—Assets, and Stockholders’ Equity and Liabilities.

Balance Sheet statement side by side

4.Drag and drop the GL accounts from the left side of the query to the right side of the Report Designer design area so that you can start to format the GL accounts in the appropriate display, as shown in the following three illustrations.

This is a manual process, and if there are a number of GL accounts to move around on the screen, it may take some time to complete. However, this is a one-time setup for the Balance Sheet display. Once this is complete, the query is refreshed with the new data and the formatted report will reflect the amounts appropriately.

one-time setup for the Balance Sheet display

one-time setup for the Balance Sheet display

one-time setup for the Balance Sheet display

5.Move the Total lines to set up the alignment of the totals for the assets and liabilities. The following two illustrations show the movement of the cells, which are lined up directly across from each other.

movement of the cells, which are lined up directly across from each other

movement of the cells, which are lined up directly across from each other

The actual report is coming along nicely, and in the following illustration you can see how this report is beginning to resemble a normal Balance Sheet report that would be submitted to shareholders and stakeholders for review. Although a number of options still need to be completed, the initial format is visible.

number of options still need to be completed

6.Because in many cases this final report will be printed, you need to format the print settings. Choose Report | Page Setup, as shown next.

Choose Report | Page Setup, as shown next.

7.In the Page Setup dialog box, shown next, configure the margins, height, width, and the view of the report and click OK.

Page Setup dialog box

NOTE Be sure to save your work frequently if you are new to this tool, because there may be a time when a particular indicator or option is executed but doesn’t work like you expected and all your work will be lost. As a rule of thumb, save often when you feel that the work you’ve completed is consistent with the expected outcome.

8.Now begin the process of setting up the headers and titles for the columns. As shown in the following two illustrations, delete the current text in the top-left cell (right-click and choose Delete Field) and change it to “Assets.”

Page Setup dialog box

Page Setup dialog box

9.Use the same approach to designate the “Stockholders’ Equity and Liabilities” column.

The following illustration shows the final result of the adjustments made with the formatting options for the font, background color, and size of the headings of the columns. As you can see, the report is starting to take shape and looks like something that can be published to all the appropriate stakeholders of the corporation.

appropriate stakeholders of the corporation.

10.The following illustration shows the addition of highlights to the total lines for the subtotals of Assets and Liabilities.

addition of highlights to the total lines for the subtotals of Assets and Liabilities

11.Realign the columns and add a separator column between Assets and Stockholders’ Equity and Liabilities. The following illustration shows the result.

columns and add a separator column between Assets and Stockholders’ Equity and Liabilities

NOTE:To some, this process may not seem that exciting, but for anyone who has been working in BW for the past several years, this one example sums up many different formatting requests from a typical corporate headquarters.

12.You can do additional work on the borders of the headings and also of the report itself. The following two illustrations show the use of the Borders option on the report toolbar. To accomplish this, highlight the cells that are to have borders and use the options either from the toolbar or from the Format | Borders menu.

options either from the toolbar or from the Format | Borders menu

options either from the toolbar or from the Format | Borders menu

13.Double-click the column separator, and the columns will automatically “fit” the information in the column. The following illustration shows the results of this activity. The actual report is very close to being completed.

options either from the toolbar or from the Format | Borders menu

14.Insert an additional section for the header, as shown in the following two illustrations.

Insert an additional section for the header

Insert an additional section for the header

15.Finally, add a title for the report and also another line to provide some space between the heading and the information. The report looks great, and the final result can be viewed on the Web. The following two illustrations show the end results.

illustrations show the end results

illustrations show the end results


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