I was poking around the SAP Developer Network (http://www.sdn.sap.com) website this weekend and found a presentation entitled "SAP NetWeaver BI 7.0 Native Microsoft Excel 2007 Integration"
(https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/7083c7d3-d1ab-2a10-08ae-c8470148c7c2). Although these slides are dated January 2008, they are worth looking at. Slides 3 and 4 talk about the competitive positioning of Excel 2007 and the business case for Excel vs BEx Analyzer. Slides 5 and 6 show some architecture. In slide 6, I would like to point out that irrespective of how you access NetWeaver BI – ODBO, XMLA, or BAPI – you will hit the same MDX Processor. Many people have asked me if there are advantages of one API vs another and my answer has been that if it is just about the MDX, there is no difference because it is the same MDX Processor that underlies all the different APIs. ODBO and XMLA are industry standard APIs whereas BAPI is an SAP specific API. BAPI does have some slight advantages in that it exposes things that are SAP specific but again, these are minor. When it comes to supporting the MDX Query Language, the SAP MDX Processor has been upgraded to better work with Excel 2007. Slide 9 tells you more about what SAP Support Packages are needed to enable the Excel 2007 ODBO/MDX connectivity.