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9/9/2014 Common Issues and Errors Associated with SAP BW | Tableau Software

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9/9/2014 Common Issues and Errors Associated with SAP BW | Tableau Software
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Common Issues and Errors Associated with SAP BW
Product(s):
Version(s):
Last Modified Date: 15 Jul 2014
Arti cl e Note: This art icle is no longer act ively maint ained by Tableau. We cont inue t o make it available because t he informat ion is st ill
valuable, but some st eps may vary due t o product changes.
The list below outlines several common issues and errors that you may experience while connecting to a
SAP Business Information Warehouse (SAP BW) data source.
Connection
When attempting to connect to an SAP BW data source, Tableau displays an SAP client version x
is not supported error message.
To resolve this issue, ensure that you are using SAP 7.20 or later GUI for Windows. SAP 7.10 GUI and
earlier are no longer supported by SAP. Refer to the SAP Support Matrix for more information.
Your SAP Logon connections either do not display or display the incorrect connections in the drop-
down list of the SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Connection dialog box.
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This issue can occur when Tableau is unable to determine the correct location of the saplogon.ini file. To
resolve this issue, add or verify a system environment variable on the machine running Tableau called
SAPLOGON_INI_FILE that points to the correct location of the file. Alternatively, you can copy the
saplogon.ini file to the C:\Windows directory.
After entering your credentials to connect to SAP BW, you see an error message like the example
below:
Ensure that you are using the correct Client ID, username, and password. To verify your information is
correct, try connecting to SAP BW from another tool such as BEx Analyzer or the SAP Logon GUI. If this
issue continues to occur, talk to your SAP administrator.
Despite having the correct information in the SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Connection
dialog box, you must click the Connect button a second time to connect to SAP BW.
To resolve this issue so that you only have to click the Connect button once, add a system environment
variable on the machine running Tableau called SAPLOGON_INI_FILE. This environment variable must
point to the location of the saplogon.ini file, which is typically found at: C:\Users\
<USERNAME>\AppData\Roaming\SAP\Common\saplogon.ini.
When sharing a workbook with another user or publishing a workbook to Tableau Server, you
receive an error about an invalid username or password when connecting to the SAP BW server.
This situation can occur when the SAP Logon connection name is different between the two machines. In this
case, you will need to edit the connection properties to specify the correct SAP Logon connection defined on
the other machine.
The workbook you just published to Tableau Server does not load, and instead displays a spinner
in the Publish Workbook Results or browser window.
This issue can occur if the Tableau Server Run As User account is not the account that was used to establish
the initial SAP connection from the SAP Logon application on the Tableau Server machine. To resolve this
issue, log in to the Tableau Server machine using the Run As User account that Tableau Server uses to run its
services, and connect to SAP BW using the SAP Logon application. Validate that the connection is
successfully, and republish the workbook.
When trying to connect to SAP BW, you have selected InfoProvider from Step 4 of the SAP
NetWeaver Business Warehouse Connection dialog box, but then you are unable to select or find a
BEx Query in Step 5.
To resolve this issue, ensure that the BEx Query has the check box Allow External Access to this Query
selected in the Properties tab of the Query Designer. Additionally, also verify the Query does not have a
mandatory variable defined in it. Tableau does not support Queries with mandatory variables. You can also
refer to this forum post on the simba.com website to help resolve your issue.
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You want to connect to a MultiProvider or ODS object, but are unable find it when connecting to
SAP BW from Tableau.
Tableau supports connections to a BEx Query or InfoCube. To connect to another object such as a
MultiProvider or an ODS object, you must first create a BEx Query on it, and then connect to the BEx
Query. Ensure that the check the box Allow External Access to this Query in the Properties tab in the BEx
Query Designer application.
Hierarchy
In some of your analyses, you may notice that certain dimension hierarchies have a value called
Not Assigned on Level 0 of a hierarchy, with the other values not appearing until the bottom
level.
This issue occurs when there are characteristic values that do not appear in a hierarchy. By default, a Not
Assigned node is added to the hierarchy. For example, suppose there are 1000 characteristic values for the
characteristic Material. A hierarchy with material groups from a total of 100 materials is defined for it. The
remaining 900 (1000-100) characteristic values, are positioned under node Not Assigned. This is a data
modeling issue that you should work with your SAP BW administrator to resolve.
When attempting to use a dimension hierarchy, you may see an error message similar to the
example below:
To resolve this issue, ensure that all the special SAP business content, such as date hierarchies, have been
activated properly and characteristics have been assigned to the proper hierarchies. If you continue to see this
error message, you may have a data modeling issue that you should work with your SAP administrator to
resolve.
Performance
If your Query performance is poor, some contributing factors may include the following:
The size and power of the hardware supporting the BW instance is insufficient.
The system is not well-tuned. For example, the right indexes are not defined.
The data model is not optimal. For example, are you connecting to a very large InfoCube with 100+
million records, or a smaller object?
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There other operations happening on the system. For example, are there frequent data loads/refreshes
happening?
Is your company leveraging the BW Accelerator or SAP HANA? Those products are known to
significantly improve system performance.
The performance you experience in Tableau should not be significantly different from other tools.
Tableau recommends working with your SAP BW administrator to identify potential improvements
that can be made to benefit your overall experience.
Other tips
Tableau suggests the following tasks that may help you narrow down the sources of the issue you may be
experiencing:
For additional troubleshooting tips, you may need to narrow down the sources of the issue.
Tableau communicates with the SAP BW server using the MDX query language through the OLE DB
for OLAP provider. The MDX queries that Tableau submits are logged in a file called log.txt, usually
located in the Tableau Logs folder. By default, this folder is located in C:\Users\
<user_name>\Documents\My Tableau Repository.
While connected, if Tableau receives an error message back from the SAP BW server, it will also be
logged in the log file.
If you experience issues that are not covered in this article, consider a few tools listed below that may
be useful to help you and your SAP administrator isolate the cause of any errors or issues.
Use transaction MDXTEST.
The MDXTEST transaction is a useful tool for debugging MDX issues, syntax errors, server errors,
and performance concerns. Since the transaction runs natively in SAP BW, this helps narrow the
source of the problem to the SAP BW server because it removes Tableau and the OLE DB for OLAP
provider out of the equation. If you notice an error in the Tableau log file for a particular MDX query,
or would like to test the performance of an MDX query that appears slow, or validate the output of an
MDX query issued from Tableau, you can copy and paste it from the Tableau log file into
the MDXTEST transaction and determine if the SAP BW server is the source of the issue.
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Reproduce the issue in a different tool.
Sometimes it is useful to see if the issue also occurs using another tool, such as BEx Analyzer. Using
another tool like BEx Analyzer helps eliminate Tableau or the OLE DB for OLAP provider as the
source of the problem. If you need to investigate issues such as determining if accessing a particular
InfoProvider is slow or understanding an error message you receive when attempting to use a BEx
Query, you may consider reproducing the issue in another tool to help narrow down the source of the
issue.

Reproduce the issue in another tool that uses the OLE DB for OLAP provider.
If you believe you have eliminated the SAP BW server as the source of an issue, you can try to
reproduce it in another tool that uses the OLE DB for OLAP provider. This can help further narrow
down the issue to the OLE DB for OLAP provider or to Tableau. For example, it can be helpful to
connect to SAP BW from Microsoft Excel Pivot Tables, without using the BEx Analyzer plug-in. For
detailed information about how to do this, refer to the following tutorial on the simba.com website:
http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/scn/go/portal/prtroot/docs/library/uuid/1031a475-a633-2a10-f4b4-
ccfe615c0517?overridelayout=true.

SAP NetWeaver is a registered trademark of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries.
Alternate Search Terms:data, connection, sap, sap bw, bw, netweaver, warehouse, hierarchy
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