Got SAP BW? Get Tableau.

By Francois Ajenstat December 13, 2011
Today at the SAP Influencer Summit, Vishal Sikka (SAP’s CTO) demonstrated Tableau connecting to SAP® Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) running with HANA. Vishal showed Tableau connecting directly to a BW system to analyze a large data set seamlessly. He analyzed over 28M rows of data with near instantaneous response times.

SAP is working with Tableau Software to bring real-time visualization to business information. SAP HANA powers exploratory and investigative analysis with no pre-built queries and materialized views at accelerated speed for businesses to have a conversation with their data.

This is exciting as it will help SAP customers have an unconstrained conversation with their data.

Here’s a quick demo of Tableau connected to SAP BW running on HANA.

But even without Hana, you’ll be able to use Tableau on top of BW. You will get the same functionality as you do when connecting Tableau to OLAP sources. Just connect and go.

The Tableau and SAP partnership will bring this new connection to market in the new year. If you are interested in finding out more details, please contact your Tableau account manager for information about the timing and possibility of participating in the Tableau-SAP BW beta program when it begins.

SAP® Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) is the trademark(s) or registered trademark(s) of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries.


Submitted by Jason P. on

Does this mean connecting to a BusinessObjects Universe is in the future? That would help current SAP BusinessObjects customers "leverage" their legacy investments in Universes.

Submitted by Francois A. on

Hi Jason - we have no immediate plans to support a BusinessObjects Universe.

Submitted by bkv (not verified) on

are u connecting to the infocube or to a bex query here?

Submitted by Gregory L. on

Strongly agree with the request for connection to BO Universes, would be a complete game changer!!

Submitted by Jeffrey S. on

This is wonderful to see progress. Will desktop be enabled to the BW Bex queries or only directly to the Infocubes? Both would be beneficial (of course).

Submitted by GeorgeC (not verified) on

From what I understand of Tableau's approach, this will work for both Infocubes and BEx queries.

Submitted by Luc V. on

what about consuming directly HANA views ?

Submitted by Francois A. on

That is correct, we will be able to support both Infocubes and BEx queries. In the video posted on the blog I was connected to a BEx query.

With regards to connecting directly to HANA, our goal is to support that as well. The 3rd-party APIs for HANA are not available yet.

Submitted by Amyn Rajan (not verified) on

Actually, HANA does have an OLE DB for OLAP interface which supports the MDX query language. We already use Microsoft Excel to connect directly to SAP HANA. So, in theory, Tableau should be able to connect directly to SAP HANA and issue MDX queries.

Submitted by ParagS (not verified) on

Will this native connector to BW be using OLE DB for OLAP (ODBO) interface or SAP's native BICS? Thanks!

Submitted by Francois A. on

it will connect through the OLE DB for OLAP (ODBO) layer.

Submitted by Jay S. on

What will be the impact on the performance of the BW system when connected without HANA ?

Submitted by Francois A. on

Jay - the performance will be as good (or as bad) as your BW system. Hana definitely makes things much, much faster. You can always deploy the NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator to improve the BW system performance.

Submitted by Fabien S. (not verified) on

Will there be as well a direct connector to SAP ECC ?

Submitted by Vamsi P (not verified) on

Please let us know on the update of timelines for the release of connectivity with SAP BW

It will be in the next monthly maintenance release (7.0.4) coming mid-May.

Submitted by Sandy (not verified) on

Does it support BW 3.5?

Yes. With client version 720 and higher.

Submitted by Chad (not verified) on

I'm able to paste the SQL directly from business objects into the SQL server connection with custom sql statement with a few modifications and it works great.

Submitted by tw (not verified) on

how are hierarchies dealt with ... ???

The SAP BW connector is now available for everyone. Please download the Tableau 7.0.4 release to get access to the connection. You can get more details on it here -

Submitted by Jayakkumar K. on

Does Tableau flatten the Hierarchies in SAP InfoCube? If it does will it have any performance impact on accessing the data?

No. we do not flatten the hierachies. They are fully exposed and usable in Tableau.