SAP Analytics Cloud – Application Design Overview


Introduction

This blog will provide an overview of Analytics Designer by:

  • What is Analytics Designer?
  • Application Design categories
  • Application modes

Analytics Designer – What is it?

Analytics applications are used to show data in different forms for analysis and planning purposes. These applications come in various forms and can include highly customised user applications. Usually, these applications are represented with scripts and include custom logic, hence giving flexibility for the implementation of custom behaviour. Just like stories, with analytics applications, custom behaviour can be included in applications such as adding storyboards and building dashboards. However, the analytics application use case in the “Application Design” gives customers the ability to create analytics for applications with the usage of widgets (such as dropdown boxes and buttons), and custom logic through scripting.

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In the first stage of analytics application design, the data model is defined according to the requirement that the data needs to be represented as a chart or table. The analytics applications are driven by data; hence the next step involves picking up a model to show the data. Finally, to handle the events created by widgets, custom logic can be added using a scripting language.

The applications designed for analytics can be classified into three categories.

  1. In the first category, the application is made up of tables with a user interface around to edit table features such as changing dimensions or filtering the data. However, even with a single table a large amount of data can be represented.
  2. The second category includes applications using a dashboard with data visualising using tiles.
  3. The third category of analytics applications is a generic application in which a model has to be provided every time an application runs requiring the logic to work with the data model selected by the user at runtime.

As discussed earlier, for the purpose of adding custom logic to application design scripts are used. JavaScript is the programming language used to write analytics application scripts. It is a commonly used scripting language for developing interactive web pages and creating web as well as mobile applications. Web browsers JavaScript engine is used to execute the scripts.

Analytics applications use a clear separation between runtime and design time. The former is rarely used by expert users and most of the end-users only use applications at runtime. The key design elements of the analytics application include widgets and filters, canvas and, data sources and models (based on different models such as SAP HANA or SAP BW).

Analytics applications work in two modes which are edit mode and view mode. For the editing of applications, edit mode is used, and view mode can be used for the execution of applications. The edit mode is only available to the owners of the application, and the users who are not owners or have only read-only access to the application can only view it in the read mode.

For the management of applications, analytics applications can be imported or exported from varying SAP Analytics Cloud tenants. Moreover, the owner of the application possesses the right to share application access with others, and the end-users have the ability to bookmark the state of the application after applying any filters or changing dimensions.

Summary

SAP Analytics Cloud is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that combines business intelligence, enterprise planning, and augmented analytics. This blog will help you to understand advanced capabilities for users.

For a comprehensive presentation of all the topics discussed here, please watch this webinar.

You can download the latest version here: https://d.dam.sap.com/a/3Y16uka

Video guide – Video by Fabien Aubert: How to build a guided planning application

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