Building Queries on Web Intelligence Documents


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Use Web Intelligence documents as a data source

Use Web Intelligence Documents as a Data Source

The support of Web Intelligence Document as a data source for another document is a new capability offered in SAP BI 4.3. The source document can be considered as a virtual universe and a database; and their metadata and data can be shared and leveraged by other documents.

This feature covers several use-cases:

  • A document that queries a large dataset can be refreshed during quiet periods through a schedule and then be used as a data source for other documents. These documents do not query the initial data sources, but the dataset saved in the source document. This prevents initial data sources from being too solicited and improves the refresh time.
  • A power report designer may prepare metadata (merged dimensions, geo-dimensions, time dimensions, variables) and share it through a source document.
  • Likewise, a document that queries multiple heterogeneous data sources can be exposed as one single metadata provider and hide the complexity of the data sources it queries.

Expose Web Intelligence Content

When you create a document based on another document, the source document used as a data source exposes the following metadata to the target document:

  • Dimensions, measures, attributes
  • Hierarchies
  • Time and geo dimensions
  • Variables

The Query Panel opens and displays the document’s objects: its dimensions, attributes, measures, hierarchies or variables…

Refresh Data

By default, when you create a document based on another document and run the query, the new document retrieves data from the document source’s cube. To load underlying data beyond the source document on refresh, you have to enable the Keep Data Up-To-Date on Refresh option in the Query Panel.

When you refresh a document based on another document with the Keep Data Up-To-Date on Refresh option enabled, Web Intelligence loads up-to-date data from underlying data sources. If the document source contains prompts, you will be prompted to provide answers for source document prompts before continuing the refresh action.

This refresh is propagated to only one level, i.e if the data source document also queries another Web Intelligence document, this document will not be refreshed.

If this document contains prompts, they are also prompted and factorized with other prompts when possible.


  • Groups of prompts are not leveraged and not exposed.
  • Prompts for contexts are not displayed and they are answered by reusing the previously selected context(s).

After the refresh, the objects that your query consists of appear in the Objects tab. You can use them to feed the tables and charts in your report like you would for any data source. If you have enriched the source document with merged dimensions and/or geographical or time dimensions, they are retrieved as well and can be reused in the new document.

The aggregation of variable defined as measure is delegated to the source document. If you change the aggregation scope, the measure returns #TOREFRESH. Refresh the document to send the query against the source document so it returns the new aggregated value for the measure.

View-Time Security Filer

The date of the dataset retrieved from the source document corresponds to the source document’s last refresh time. At refresh time, it is secured with the security profiles that apply to the user who is running the query. As the source document is not refreshed, it might be an issue if this source document dataset is shared with other users who do not have the same security profiles.

If the source document queries a universe created with Information Design Tool and secured with a Business Security Profile, you can enable the Apply Security Filtering at View Time option to filter the dataset when a document based on this source document is opened.

If you set this option for the consuming document, the Business Security Profiles that apply to the user are enforced on the fly when the document is opened and without refreshing the source document, nor the document created on it:

  • Display Data Business Security Profiles prevents a denied object and its data to be displayed.
  • Only rows that match the filters conditions defined in the Filters Business Security Profiles are displayed.

If you set this option for the source document, the filtering is applied when data is retrieved from this source document:

  • Display Data Business Security Profiles prevents a denied object and its data from being retrieved.
  • Only rows that match the filters conditions defined in the Filters Business Security Profiles are retrieved.

You can also set this option for both documents.

As this security relies on universe’s Business Security Profile, it applies only to source document queries based on universe created in Information Design Tool.

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