BOBJ for BW: Create a BICS OLAP Connection using the Information Design Tool

Create a BICS OLAP Connection using the Information Design Tool

We continue our series on BOBJ for BW with our second method to creating an OLAP BICS connection.  This method utilizes  the Information Design Tool (IDT). The IDT comes as part of the standard installation of the BI4.x client tools.  Previously, we covered the OLAP connection creation using the Central Management Console (CMC).  You can find that post here.

Why go through creating a connection with the IDT if you can create one in the CMC?

Well, not all developers have access to the CMC.  In general, companies like to limit the amount of access to the CMC because of the amount of control and settings that can be changed.  Granting these developers access to the IDT offers them an alternate route for report development against BW.  This post will focus on creating a BICS OLAP connection using the Information Design Tool.

Step #1

Open up your  Information Design Tool and log into a new session


Step #2

Create a Project on your local machine.  Select File –> New –> Project

Step #3

Right-click on your project folder and select ‘Create an OLAP Connection’

After giving your connection a name, select ‘Next’ and specify a BICS Client Connection under the SAP Netweaver BI 7.x option.


Select ‘Next’ and input your credentials


Always a good idea to test your credentials. Don’t click on ‘Finish’ yet as we want to specify our connections to either a cube of queries or a specific query. Click on ‘Next’.

Step #4

Specify whether you want this connection to be affiliated with several queries in a cube or a specific individual query.  If subsequent queries will be developed in the future with this cube, it may be useful to connect OLAP connections at the cube level to consolidate connections.  For purposes of this exercise, we will connect at the cube level.


Once you’ve found and specified your cube, you can now click ‘Finish’

Step #5

Our connection is still only on our local project folder, so we will now publish it to our repository.  Right-click on the OLAP Connection inside your project folder and select ‘Publish Connection to a Repository’.


You may specify a folder for the connection to fall under and then select ‘Finish’

You will get asked whether you want to create a connection shortcut in the same folder to reference the secured connection.  It wouldn’t hurt to select ‘yes’, but even if you say ‘no’ you can bring in the shortcut later into the folder if need be.  The shortcut is not necessary for the OLAP connection to function at the server.


Once you’ve published the connection to the repository, no additional work is needed inside of the Information Design Tool for the connection to work.  You can always double-check to make sure your connection in the repository tests successfully.



Step #6

Test your BICS OLAP connection against a BI reporting tool.  I always like to use Web Intelligence.



Select Bex as your data source inside of Web Intelligence


If you’ve specified the OLAP connection to a single Bex Query, once you click on it on the left panel, it will take you straight to it inside of Web Intelligence.  Otherwise, if you’ve specified the OLAP connection to a cube, you will see all of the Bex Queries affiliated with the cube.  In our example, two of our queries are greyed out and one is not.  The two greyed out are Bex Queries that have not yet been enabled for external access.

Next in our blog series, we will walk through enabling Bex Queries to be available for external access in Web Intelligence.

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