An Exploration of BOBJ On BW – Part 2: To BICS Or Not To BICS?

Welcome to the second blog in a series documenting what I learned while dealing with my evil twin, BW, and how we learned to get along. You can check out the first entry in the series here.

When dealing with BOBJ on BW, you’ve probably asked yourself how you even connect the two. One way to do so is to utilize a Business Intelligence Consumer Services (BICS) connection. Another option is to build a universe on top of the BW data source. There are some pros and cons when using BICS connections that you need to be aware of.


Pro: SAP says reports run faster. Con: You have to deal with BW.

Knowing is Half the Battle

Before choosing a connection type you need to know the ramifications of choosing BICS or a universe to connect to BW. Below are some of the basic ramifications of choosing BICS or a universe.

Ramifications of choosing BICS connectivity and universe connectivity.

Once you have considered a few of the ramifications of choosing one over the other. There are a few more things you need to know and knowing is half the battle!

Knowing is Half the Battle

It was too good to pass up! Don’t hate me…

Not All BW Data Sources Are Alike

One of the most import things you can do is take a good look at your BW data sources. What type of data sources do you rely upon? Do you primarily use InfoProviders, BEx Queries, or a mixture of both? This is important to know because not every reporting tool can access InfoProviders or BEx Queries.

BICS connections understand BW’s OLAP structure. This means that BICS connections can access things like restricted key figures (RKF’s), calculated key figures (CKF’s), structures, and variables. A universe connection does not understand the OLAP structure. This means that the connection will not have access to RKF’s, CKF’s, etc…

What Reporting Tools Are You Using and Want to Use?

As stated previously, not every report can access an InfoProvider or BEx query using a BICS connection. The chart below allows you to see what reporting tools can access InfoProviders and/or BEx Queries with different connection types.BOBJ Reporting Tool versus the BW Data Connections BICS, UNX Universe, UNV Universe and InfoProviders and BEx Queries

BW Access by Connection Type and Reporting Tool

There are several ways to connect to BW. We’ve covered what to consider when choosing a connection type. This blog is the second entry in a series documenting what I learned while dealing with my evil twin, BW, and how we learned to get along. My next entry in the BOBJ on BW series will discuss what happens when you decide to switch from a universe on BW to using a BICS connection.

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