Schedule Bex Broadcaster report using a process chain

A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog about changing Bex Broadcaster variables. Now this post is an follow-up on that article which describes how to automate the process of changing Bex Broadcaster variables and sending the reports to the users.

One way of automating this process is by creating a process chain. Leaving aside that this is probably the most easiest activity for a SAP BI consultant, creating a process chain with a Bex Broadcaster step could be challenging. Why? Because the default program which SAP advises to use for sending Bex Broadcaster workbooks, sets the monitor of the process chain directly to green. This results in multiple workbooks being calculated at the same time, which then leads to a decrease in performance on our Precalculation servers.

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.

Important tables in SAP BW

A BW blog without mentioning some of SAP’s most important tables is useless. These tables can be quite handy when analyzing issues or coding ABAP. Use the read more button to view the complete list, or download the attachment.