At the SAP Sapphire conference this week, I spent some time looking at the SAP BusinessObjects Analysis product.  Analysis was previously code-named Pioneer.  This product replaces the BEx and Voyager products.  A very nice product if you want OLAP/dimensional analysis against your data.  There are two versions of Analysis – web and office.  The office version only works with SAP BW and is intended to replace BEx.  The web version works with both SAP BW and Microsoft Analysis Services.

A few points I did note:

1. The Office version seems very similar to Excel Pivot Tables which also works with SAP BW.  I tried to find out what the differences were with Analysis Office and was told that Analysis Office was more SAP’ish than Excel Pivot Tables.  I couldn’t really ascertain much difference in functionality though.  Most people have Excel and if it works against SAP BW (at no extra cost), not sure why you would pay to use Analysis Office.

2. The Web version seems very similar to Pivot Tables in Excel Services.  Ok, if you want Excel Services, then you need to also install SharePoint so this could definitely be a reason to go with Analysis Web.  Analysis Web does work with both SAP BW and Microsoft Analysis Services so that is a good thing.  However, it would be great if SAP would extend this to other OLAP/dimensional sources like Oracle OLAP or Teradata Business Intelligence Optimizer.

3. We currently have Voyager (the predecessor product to Analysis Web) working with Oracle OLAP and have had a fair bit of interest for this.  The challenge has been that most customers want SAP to officially support this which they have not yet done.  Note to any SAP people reading this – we have actual SAP customers who have licensed Voyager and really want to have Voyager officially support Oracle OLAP.

Any other comments on SAP Business Objects (SBO) Analysis would be most welcome.