Bex Broadcaster dynamic variables

A couple of weeks ago I got a question from a sales analyst asking if it’s possible to automatically send out workbooks. Every morning the sales analyst is waiting for output of multiple workbooks. This consumes a lot of time. I responded that for this purpose SAP has a standard functionality available in the form of the Bex Broadcaster, but that I needed some time to setup the infrastructure and testing it.

If you have already worked with the Bex Broadcaster you probably know that scheduling queries can be used out of the box, without any additional server. However if you want to schedule workbooks you will need a precalculation server (which is actually a Windows computer with Excel and the precalculation service installed). Since the sales analyst is using workbooks with more than 35 queries in it (we are not talking about efficiency here), this additional precalculation server is required. All steps to setup this server are mentioned in this post on SCN.

During the testing phase scheduling a simple workbook worked straight out of the box (that’s a good thing!). Second test was executing the workbook consisting out 35 (!) queries. Believe it or not, this also worked. The only downside of scheduling this workbook, is that the variables which are assigned to the underlying queries were fixed values. This is a disadvantage because the workbook is refreshed every day based on the current calendar day. One option I considered in order to solve this, is to redesign the complete workbook (including the queries). This will take a lot of time, thus I started searching on Google and SCN, resulting in viewing this post. There someone explains how workbook variables can be changed dynamically by using a program he created. My quest was finished! We will use this program to manipulate Bex Broadcaster variables.

Process chain monitoring tool

Normally when monitoring process chains I used to execute the transaction code RSPCM. The overview which this t-code generates does not always show the most accurate information regarding the state of the process chains.

Many organisations have therefore implemented the program /SSA/BWT. Sometimes this program is assigned transaction code ZMONITOR. This program, which can also be executed via SE38, has various options available.
The first option, process chain analysis, lets you analyse all the scheduled and nonscheduled process chains in BW.  In order to do this, execute the program in SE38, fill in the variables (if applicable) and hit F8. You also have the possibility to filter out certain statuses immediately. Once executed it will display an overview as shown below.
Process Chain Runtime Analysis
One of the great features of using this program, is the ability to compare the runtimes . This can be done easily by requesting a larger timeframe for a given process chain and sorting the result based on the columns CHAIN, Day Date and Time.

ABAP program to change Bex User Template

At one of my projects most of the end-users are still used to the old 3.x Bex Analyzer. Whereas the 3.x version works primarily with workbooks the new 7.x analyzer one is able to open queries as well. When a query is opened in the new 7.x Analyzer a standard template is being used to display the data. This template, supplied by SAP, contains alot of custom visual basic code to make interaction in the report possible (like showing a graph). This custom Visual Basic code raises a lot of performance issues, especially when users are working on a Citrix environment.