An Exploration of BOBJ On BW – Part 1: A Tale of Two Lingos

If you’ve been in the Business Intelligence (BI) business long enough, you’ve had to deal with your evil twin. You’ve been working contently off a relational database and now you have to work with BEx queries; The query developers now have to cater to reporting tools like Web Intelligence (Webi).

BOBJ Logo with Mustache

I hear they call it BW

For BusinessObjects (BOBJ) developers, this can mean waiting sometimes days for a change to the BEx query whereas a Universe would take minutes to hours. For BW developers, this can mean your normal ways of developing BEx queries no longer works with BOBJ. Throw in the fact that your BOBJ or BW counterpart speaks a different lingo then you and it can be a pretty frustrating experience.

BW Logo with Mustache

Calling it a Universe seems a bit pretentious

When I first started my career as a BOBJ consultant, I noticed that there was some animosity between the BOBJ developers and the BW developers. Everyone loved to point fingers at the other side whenever an issue was encountered. No one wanted to spend the time learning how the other side works.


I was lucky enough to be put on a project where I was forced to interact with a BW developer on a daily basis. Even luckier for me, it was a man who sat right next to me and had started his career at the same time as me. We were both pretty fresh and quick to admit that we didn’t know everything. The first thing that we had to learn was how to speak to each other. So we sat down and talked about the terminologies that each of us used. The result was the table below, which we considered our own BOBJ to BW and BW to BOBJ Dictionary (non-comprehensive of course).

 BOBJ Term BW Term
MeasureKey Figure
Query Level Filter on a Measure Based Off a DimensionKey Figure Restriction
Measure Created in the Universe that is Filtered  by a DimensionRestricted Key Figure
Measure Created in the Universe with CalculationsCalculated Key Figure
Query Level Filter on a MeasureCondition
Detail or AttributeAttribute
Class/Folder in UniverseDimension
Prompt Created In Universe with Extra ProcessingUser Exit Variable
List of Values (LOV)Input Help


BOBJ Logo with Mustache

If you can’t remember the data provider name, just add “Info” to the front of it. Works 80% of the time

Don’t worry BW folks I haven’t forgotten about you. Here’s the same table formatted for your own ease of use.

BW TermBOBJ Term
Key FigureMeasure
Key Figure RestrictionQuery Level Filter on a Measure Based Off a Dimension
Restricted Key FigureMeasure Filtered  by a Dimension
Calculated Key FigureMeasure Created in the Universe
ConditionQuery Level Filter on a Measure
AttributeDetail or Attribute
DimensionClass/Folder in Universe
User Exit VariablePrompt Created In Universe with Extra Processing
Input HelpList of Values (LOV)

This blog is the first one in a series documenting what I learned while dealing with my evil twin, BW, and how we learned to get along.

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