BOBJ for BW: Create a BICS OLAP Connection

Create a BICS OLAP Connection using the BusinessObjects Central Management Console (CMC)
 
At evtechnologies.com, we are starting a new blog series on getting your SAP BusinessObjects and BW environments in sync and configured for optimal reporting and query design.  Previously, with BusinessObjects XI 3.1, there were limited options to deliver BW data to BusinessObjects. With the release of the BI4 platform, the opportunities have increased as well as the tools to visualize the data.  
 
One of the best ways to get started viewing your BW data inside of BusinessObjects is with a BICS connection. BICS stands for “Business Intelligence Consumer Services” and is enhanced from the previous method of connectivity in that it directly connects the BOBJ reporting tool to a Bex Query.  While you can still create a traditional OLAP Universe against a Bex query in 4.0, it is no longer the preferred method as it contains an additional MDX layer that makes query maintenance and updates time consuming and tedious. 
 
We start the series with a quick tutorial on creating a BICS connection inside of the Business Objects Central Management Console.  One of the advantages to creating  a connection inside of the CMC is that you don’t need client tools, just a browser. In a future blog, we will address creating an OLAP connection inside of the Information Design Tool and some of the advantages with that method.
 
Step #1
Log into your Central Management Console with your appropriate admin credentials.
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Step #2
After logging in, use the menu bar to access your existing OLAP Connections by clicking on the “OLAP Connection” icon
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Step #3
Click on the green icon to create a ‘new OLAP connection’
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 Step #4
Enter your BW system credentials, name the connection, and click ‘Connect’ to choose a cube
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Step #5
You have the ability to connect to a single bex query, or to a cube.  One benefit to connecting to a cube is the ability to add more queries down the line to the connection without creating additional connections.  Once you’ve connected to a query, you can select the authentication that best suits your users and business.
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Step #6
Save your connection and it should now appear alongside your other OLAP connections and folders
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Step #7
Test your OLAP connection against a new Web Intelligence report with Bex as a data source
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Step #8
Your work is now complete from a data accessibility standpoint.  Once you’ve clicked on the connection you will now be able to access a Bex query through Web Intelligence directly without having to go through a Universe. 
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