A couple of weeks back I got an opportunity to work with SAP Business Objects Cloud .I used the videos on Youtube and then went on to develop a Financial Planning Application. At the end of it I realized that I could have spent much less time if i had some document which had the steps to develop a planning application in BoBJ Cloud like we have for SAP BPC or Integrated Planning. So I decided to document the steps so that others can use it.
In this and the next few blogs I will go over all the steps for developing a basic Financial Planning Application where we can enter numbers, do simulation, create versions, send numbers to others for review and approval and finally send the data to my boss .What i wanted to do was to develop a basic planning application and then play around and try out all the features like allocation functions, input tasks, versions and collaboration.
I plan to have a separate blog for Modelling, Importing Data, Creating a story, Analysis Steps, Input Tasks, Visualization, Collaboration and Others. I will update the links as I publish them.
Where to find the learning material?
I started on my learning journey with a series of some very good videos by SAPAcademy on Youtube (SAP Academy Youtube). There is also a course on OPENSAP. And then there is some content available from SAP, mostly for analytics, that one can import and explore (SAP Blog).
Most of this training material is focused on analytics (“read only” reports, dashboards etc.) and there is somewhat lesser focus on planning.
How complex is it to take to develop a planning application?
Coming from a SAP BI/Integrated Planning/BPC background I was able to develop my first planning application in about two days. This includes the time to go over the Youtube videos and various Blogs.
If I had to build another one now I think I can do it in half the time if not less.The development interface is very intuitive and after maybe an hour or two with Youtube videos one can start building stuff.
Those with SAP BPC background would find the going easier with its mandatory Account, Categories etc. Those with out BPC but with Integrated Planning or/and BW background will learn a few new things esp. with the mandatory fields.
In the end the application we are developing will look like this
Master Data for the application
Before we start modeling we should create the master data in an excel file esp. if you plan to have a huge list of data. For the purpose of this blog please use attached file (Master_Data.XLS ) for sample data.
We will use Time,Category,Version,Account,Region and Product Hierarchy Dimensions in the table.
Let’s start with Modelling.Consider it similar to creating infocubes in SAP BI.You can create the dimensions and then use them while creating the model.I just prefer to create them while creating the model.
Go to Main Menu–>Create–>Model
Give the model a name and ensure that “Enable Planning” is checked.
Time & Category, Version and Account are mandatory fields for a Financial Planning Model.
Decide on the “Level of Granularity” for time and “Frequency” for each category.
Version will have “Actual” as a default value. Leave the dimension as it is.
For Account, Region and Product please take the data from the attached excel and copy + paste.
When creating Region please remember to add the ‘Person Responsible’ to somebody in your organization who also have BoBJ Cloud Access. This will be helpful while assigning input tasks to other users for editing or/and approving planned values.
Click on “Save Model” and your Model is ready. The next step that I would cover in the next blog would be to import “Actuals “.
Before i end please note that BoBJ Cloud has too many functionalities to cover. So I will only focus on the main ones. If you are looking for any particular functionality then please refer the videos on Youtube.If there are still any you would like me to cover then please leave a comment and I will try to cover that.