Sunil S. Ranka's Weblog

Superior Data Analytics is the antidote to Business Failure


Posted by sranka on March 13, 2012

Hi All

I am keep getting different questions on what is XMLA or what is BAPI?  What are the differences when we use this connectivity to OBIEE ? What does it mean for a customer ? Do I have to pay for this ?  I am hoping below blog post would help existing BW-SAP or new customers.

What is XMLA 

XML for Analysis (XMLA)  is a standard that allows client applications to talk to multi-dimensional or OLAP data sources.The communication of messages back and forth is done using web standards – HTTP, SOAP, and XML. The query language used is MDX, which is the most commonly used multi-dimensional expression language today. Oracle’s Essbase, Microsoft’s Analysis Services, and SAP’s NetWeaver all support the MDX language and the XMLA spec.

For More details Please visit  XMLA Details .

What is BAPI

OLAP BAPIs (Business Application Programming Interfaces) offer third-parties and customers who program for themselves an industry standard for accessing BW business processes and data, via their own frontend tool.OLAP BAPIs are defined in the BOR (Business Object Repository) as methods belonging to SAP Business object types. They are implemented as RFC-enabled function modules.Applications, regardless of their OLAP architecture, can use the available methods to connect to the BW server.

SAP BW provides direct access via the BAPI library so as to enable a platform-independent access to the OLAP BAPIs.

More Details on BAPI, Please visit SAP BAPI Details

Below is the summary of BAPI and XMLA :


Interaction with OBIEE

Way to interface

Supported Platform

XMLA MDX Webservices using web standards – HTTP, SOAP, and XML. Industry standard, supported by key OLAP leaders like SAP,Oracle, Microsoft
BAPI MDX RFC (Remote Function Call) SAP Platform

FAQ on BAPI and XMLA :

Q1.   What are the difference between BAPI and XMLA

A       Please refer the above content.

Q2.  What degree of performance improvement, we are looking for  ?

A      We may see 3X to 5X, you will see significant improvement in the cases where we are pulling lot more data.

Q3.  How do I connect OBIEE to BW-SAP using BAPI ?

A      Oracle has certified connector developed by Bristle Cone, for details please follow Bristle Cone Adaptor

Q4.   Do I have to pay for this additional adaptor ?

A      It’s FREE., you will need to download from Bristle Cone Website.

Q5.  What we got to know is that, BAPI interact on native call, what does it mean?

A      BAPI is an interface to interact with SAP, it works on RFC (Remote Function Call).

Q6.   If we use BAPI Will Query be generated in SAP Language?

A      Even in case of BAPI obiee interacts using MDX

Q7.   To enable BAPI, do I need to configure any thing on BW-SAP server ?

A      To enable BAPI, there is no configuration needed on BW-SAP server. You will need to get SAP NW RFC SDK. The details are mentioned in Bristle Cone Adaptor.


Hope this helps.

“Superior BI is the antidote to Business Failure”




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