Microsoft Office now includes an add-in for SAP Analytics Cloud

Sap Analytics Cloud Add In For Microsoft Office

Many individuals and companies are resistant to change. When an organization adopts a robust planning and reporting tool like SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC), there will inevitably be business users who still prefer the familiarity, flexibility, and macro capabilities of Microsoft Excel. SAP now offers two options for using SAC with Excel: the new SAC Add-in for Office and SAP Analysis for Office. Today, we will explore some important concepts related to integrating SAP Analytics Cloud, the SAC Add-In, and Analysis for Office in order to determine which option is most suitable for your organization.

Introduction to SAP Analysis for Office and the SAP Analytics Cloud Add-In

SAP Analysis for Office, simply known as Analysis or Analysis for Office, is a downloadable add-in that connects to various SAP sources. The purpose of this blog is to explore how this tool connects specifically to SAP Analytics Cloud. The package includes:

– Plug-in for analyzing data

– Plug-in for managing enterprise performance

– Plug-in for business planning and consolidation

SAP provides two separate downloads for Analysis: Analysis for Office and the Analysis for Office Edition for SAC. The SAC edition can only connect to SAC whereas the primary Analysis version is able to connect to SAC in addition to other SAP systems. The choice between the two should be made depending on your organization’s SAP landscape and focus, however for extended functionality beyond SAC, it is better to use the full Analysis for Office.

SAP Analytics Cloud Add-In for Microsoft Office

The SAC Add-In, also known as the SAP Analytics Cloud Add-In for Microsoft Office, is a recently launched add-in that became available in Spring 2020. With this add-in, users can directly connect to SAC from Excel workbooks to perform various tasks such as adding tables and modifying data. It can be easily installed from the Microsoft Add-in store and can also be centrally deployed and managed by IT administrators.

What is the SAP Analysis for Office Add-In?

SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office enables users to gain a deep understanding of business data and make informed decisions that have a direct impact on the overall performance of the company. This powerful tool is comprised of three main components:

1. Analysis Add-in – This component includes both the Analysis Plug-in and BPC Plug-in, which provide advanced analytical capabilities within Microsoft Office applications.

2. EPM Add-in – The EPM (Enterprise Performance Management) Add-in offers additional functionality for financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, and consolidation tasks.

By leveraging these components, users can effectively analyze data, generate insights, and drive strategic decision-making processes in their organizations.

Comparing and Contrasting: Selecting SAP Analytics Cloud Add-In or Analysis for Office

Since the SAC Add-in is still a new tool as of Spring 2020, and Analysis for Office has been available much longer than that, one might immediately find comfort and security in an established product compared to the new functionality of a new product. SAC connectivity with Analysis for Office has only been available since late 2018. Here we will review a few of the basic requirements of both products, and then dive into functionality differences to best match SAC users’ needs.

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1. Technical Requirements

It is assumed that the user is currently using the most recent version of SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) available in production, which is 2020.8.9 at the time of writing. When downloading Analysis for Office, it is important to choose either the 32-bit or 64-bit version based on the Microsoft Office version installed on your computer. Although both versions can be installed together, it is recommended to check the requirements and select the one that suits your needs better.

SAC Add-In Interface for Microsoft Office

The user interface of the SAC Add-In in SAP Analytics Cloud is more modern and visually appealing compared to Analysis for Office. The SAC Add-In takes inspiration from SAP Analytics Cloud and Fiori UI5, while Analysis for Office maintains its traditional interface. As a result, there are some variations in terms of functionality between the two.

We will utilize TruCharm, a sample cosmetics company with an SAC model. Here are comparisons of the identical table in SAP Analytics Cloud, SAC Add-in, and Analysis for Office.

Picture: TruCharm Net Income in SAP Analytics Cloud

Picture: TruCharm Net Income in Analysis for Office

Please be aware that the interface of this tool will be recognizable to those who are already using Analysis.

The builder in SAP Analytics Cloud Add-In for Microsoft Office stands out with its distinct appearance and features. Although there are some slight variations among the three tools, they all serve the common purpose of constructing tables. Notably, the interface of Analysis for Office differs significantly as it draws inspiration from a tool primarily used for BPC, BW, and HANA. On the other hand, SAC Add-in closely resembles SAP Analytics Cloud in terms of design and functionality.

Visual: SAP Analytics Cloud displayed to the left with SAC Add-in showcased to the right.

Presented here is the Analysis for Office, which will appear familiar to BEx power-users and be particularly convenient for existing Analysis for Office users. The tabs located at the bottom combine features from SAP Analytics Cloud, including Version Management, while still maintaining the original capabilities of Analysis for Office.

The SAC Add-in and Analysis for Office lack the same level of visualization capabilities as SAC. However, users can still utilize Excel visualizations, which can be created based on tables in either the SAC Add-in or Analysis for Office.

SAC Interactions with Microsoft Office

The SAC Add-in and Analysis for Office are both capable of analyzing and planning data from SAP Analytics Cloud. However, there are certain distinctions in terms of their functionalities. These differences encompass features such as version management, the ability to work with multiple models, and support for Excel macros.

3.1 Acquired Data Models and Live Connections

The main distinction between the SAC Add-in and Analysis for Office lies in their utilization of live connections and models created from these connections. Currently, the SAC Add-in is unable to interact with live connections, whereas Analysis for Office has the capability to utilize both acquired data and live data connections.

Picture: List of systems currently connected to my Analysis for Office, showing SAC, BPC11, and BPC 10.1.

3.2 Version Management

Version Management is a highly useful function offered by SAP Analytics Cloud. It allows users to generate private versions for conducting what-if analyses and public versions for planning and forecasting purposes. While Analysis for Office possesses similar capabilities, the SAC Add-in does not provide this feature.

Here is a demonstration of how to generate a fresh personal edition in Analysis for Office using our TruCharm model.

Picture: Version Management for our TruCharm model in Analysis for Office

In SAP Analytics Cloud, it is observed that the recently generated Private Version is synchronized.

Picture: Version Management for our TruCharm model in SAP Analytics Cloud

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3.3 Connecting Multiple SAC Models

Analysis for Office has the capability to establish connections with various models in different tenants within a single workbook. However, there is a limitation to this feature. Analysis for Office can only accommodate one Planning Model in a workbook at any given time.

The SAC Add-in does not have the ability to connect with multiple tenants within a single workbook. However, it is possible to add multiple different models. Once the SAC tenant has been selected and saved in the workbook, it cannot be changed thereafter.

4. Macros

Excel spreadsheets often utilize macros to streamline user tasks, and effective VBA programming can significantly enhance the efficiency of these processes. Analysis for Office takes macro functionality a step further by providing numerous Excel VBA functions that expand the capabilities of both SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) and Excel itself. These functions enable users to perform various actions such as modifying filters, saving data, and configuring change modes within SAC and Excel workbooks.

Picture: Analysis Plug-in User Guide found on SAP Support portal. Includes a list of all macros, functionality, and usage.

The SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) Add-in does not offer advanced VBA capabilities for working with SAC. This means that while Excel macros can still be used with the SAC Add-in, they cannot directly interact with SAC features like changing filters or saving data. Macros can only interact with the cells within the SAC Add-in table, and any data saved to SAC must be done manually by the user.

5. Performance

Upon initial observation and utilization of a basic table, it becomes evident that the SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) Add-in exhibits superior speed when refreshing and saving data. Conversely, Analysis for Office demonstrates greater stability when dealing with larger tables. It is important to consider that these performance durations may differ depending on the processing capabilities and memory of individual machines.

When working with larger tables that have more than 3,000 rows, users of Excel may encounter stability issues with the SAC Add-in. These problems include longer loading times for the table, freezing when saving, and difficulties in opening additional hierarchies. If users are accustomed to using SAC tables, they will need to modify the default Drill Limitation when creating tables that exceed 500 rows and 60 columns.

In the Analysis for Office tool, users can generate tables that exceed 3,000 rows. Through my testing, I have successfully created stable results with tables containing over 10,000 rows and 100 columns. However, it is worth noting that these results may not always be consistently reproducible on various computers.

One major challenge with conducting performance tests is the presence of various distinct functions in each tool that cannot be directly compared.

Data Actions are exclusively available in SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC), while SAC-Interacting Macros can only be found in Analysis for Office. The SAC add-in does not include Version Management, and Excel macros cannot be found within SAC.

Supported Features of SAP Analytics Cloud Add-in for Microsoft Office in India

In Excel, you can perform analysis on various models and queries from SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP Datasphere analytic models, SAP S/4HANA Cloud queries, SAP S/4HANA queries, and SAP BW queries. Enhance your analysis by utilizing filters, totals, and Excel formulas. Additionally, you have the ability to sort and rank your data for better organization.

Sap Analytics Cloud Integration for Microsoft Office

An investment in SAP Analytics Cloud will provide businesses with streamlined processes and the benefit of freeing up time for users to work on more valuable tasks. The addition of an add-on such as the SAC Add-in or Analysis for Office can dramatically enhance SAP Analytics Cloud adoption rates by keeping the familiarity of Excel, while helping users understand SAP Analytics Cloud better and faster. It takes significant time and resources to fully train someone on a new product and new process, but by integrating as many familiar processes as possible, the new process is easier to adopt and faster to train on.

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The performance may differ across different computers. Additionally, it does not encompass evaluations for crucial features like Data Actions, Macros, and Version Management.

When deciding between the SAC Add-in and Analysis for Office, individuals seeking to maintain workbook and macro functionality within their SAP Analytics Cloud models may find Analysis for Office to be a more suitable option. It is worth noting that most, if not all, capabilities offered by the SAC Add-in can also be achieved using Analysis for Office.

Installing SAP Analysis for Office: A Step-by-Step Guide

To install the SAP Analytics Cloud Add-In for Microsoft Office, you need to start by opening the installer file. This file usually has a .exe extension. Once you have located and opened the installer file, a dialog box will appear.

In this dialog box, you will see a list of components that can be installed with the SAP Front End Installer. You can choose which components you want to install by selecting them from this list. After selecting your desired components, click on the “Next” button.

If you want to change where the software will be installed on your computer, you can do so in this step. The default target directory is usually set automatically, but if needed, you can modify it according to your preference. Once done with any changes or if no changes are required, click on “Next” again to proceed with the installation process.

After completing all these steps successfully, a confirmation screen will appear indicating that the installation process is complete. At this point, simply select “Done” and now you should have successfully installed SAP Analytics Cloud Add-In for Microsoft Office on your computer.

System Information

All photos sourced from TruQua Internal Systems unless otherwise specified

SAP Analytics Cloud Add-In for Microsoft Office version 2.8 SP03 is a software tool that allows users to integrate SAP BusinessObjects Analysis with Microsoft Office applications. This add-in provides enhanced functionality and seamless integration between the two platforms, enabling users to access and analyze data from SAP directly within their familiar Microsoft Office environment. With this tool, users can create interactive reports, perform ad-hoc analysis, and share insights with colleagues easily. The latest version of the add-in offers improved features and performance enhancements for an even better user experience.

The latest version of the SAP Analytics Cloud Add-In for Microsoft Office is 2020.0.833. This add-in allows users to seamlessly integrate SAP Analytics Cloud with their Microsoft Office applications, enhancing their data analysis and reporting capabilities.

SAP Note 2649756: Only one Planning Model is allowed in a single Analysis for Office workbook

The meaning of SAP in Microsoft Office

SAP Analysis for Microsoft Office (aka AO or AFO) is designed for financial analysts who require analytical capabilities in Microsoft Excel on SAP data sources like SAP BW, SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business Planning &amp, Consolidation. It can also be used with SAP HANA or SAP Data Warehouse Cloud.

What functionalities does SAP offer for Microsoft Office analysis?

Furthermore, SAP Analytics Cloud Add-In empowers users to present their findings in a visually appealing manner using MS PowerPoint. They can create dynamic presentations that incorporate live data visualizations directly from SAP Analytics Cloud into their slides. This not only enhances the overall quality of presentations but also ensures that the information shared is up-to-date and accurate.

Unsupported browser for SAP Analytics Cloud add-in in Microsoft Office?

The SAP Analytics Cloud Add-In for Microsoft Office does not support mobile web browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge on iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile, and other phone/tablet operating systems. Instead, users should utilize the SAP Analytics Cloud Mobile App for a seamless experience.