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Analysis for Office 2.4 New Features

What are the latest features SAP has introduced with AO 2.4?

By Trevor Gere

Analysis for Office (AO) 2.0 was first released in late 2014, and the major release marked a significant change from past releases. The previous release (AO 1.4) only included Analysis for Office, and there was a separate installation for EPM.  From 2.0 onward, the Analysis and EPM add-ins are now both included in the same installation package, which has streamlined the installation process for companies using both add-ins. The color scheme and icons also received numerous updates. Aside from visual updates, there are a number of great functionality updates in the most recent version, AO 2.4


Application Level

1.)EPM and BOBJ are now one Add-in


a.) Note: Although both add-ins are active automatically when you start Excel, in our experience the Best Practice is to utilize separate instances of Excel to avoid memory issues due to Excel limitations. This is particularly important if you have 32 bit office, as the maximum memory that can be allocated per instance is 2 GB.

2.) Analysis/EPM both launch automatically with Excel (ie Analysis is now an “active” add-in and does not have to be launched separate from Excel). This default setting can be modified through a user’s Registry file (search for “Load Behavior” in the AO Admin Guide for additional details).


Design Panel

1.) Analysis Tab


a.) Properties Panel

  • Measures: Rename Measure, set Scaling Factor, and Decimal places
  • Dimensions: Display type (key/text), Show/Hide Totals, Sort



2.) Components Tab

a.) Log off of AO without closing out of Excel

  • Navigate to the components tab in the design panel and then right click on the data source to log off.


b.) Define Refresh Behavior using Subsequent Refresh

  • Log off and Reconnect- Ensure that you are always retrieving the newest data load and eliminates doubling due to caching issues. This setting is recommended for clients who plan in EPM and report using Analysis for Office.
  • Note: Setting is specific to a file. All files previously saved in earlier versions of AO will default to Transaction Data.blog5

c.) Determine whether ‘Refresh All’ affects planning objects (only applicable to planning functions).


3.) Design Rules Tab –

a.)Display and maintain rules created in Table Design through this tab.



Features and Functionality

1.)Insert row/columns will now stay after refresh

a.)You can either leave the row/column blank for visual breaks or insert formulas based on the key figures in the query.

2.) Improved Formatting: ex. Format Total (ie “Result”) row

a.)Apply formats across just a dimension header or all of its components using ‘Format Cells’.


3.) Ability to cancel a long running query (Fetching Data from Server pop-up with a “Cancel” button).


4.) Improved Filtering

a.)Filter data by members directly from a file.

Navigate to the bottom left of the filter function to input members defined by an outside file.blog10

b.) Exclude Members via copy and paste values from clipboard or file by using “!” before the member



5.)Differences in Layout

a.) Repeat Members is now an option under the Crosstab dropdown within Format. Previously, this setting was only available in the “Components” section of the display pane.


6.)Smart Copy

a.) The Smart Copy function can be used to export an analysis data source into Design Studio and PowerPoint.


b.) Use Smart Paste within a separate Excel Workbook, PowerPoint, or Design Studio to display the data as a table or graph.

Leveraging these new features makes using the Analysis Add-in more powerful and user friendly than ever.

If you are an SAP customer, contact Method360 today to learn more about how to get the most out of BusinessObjects Analysis for Office.

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