What I miss in the Query as a Web Service (QaaWS) and Live Office query panels

Query Panel Query as a Web Service (QaaWS)

I’ve been using Query as a Web Service (QaaWS) as the means to bring live data into executive dashboards. Sometimes, I get frustrated by features that I appreciate in the Web Intelligence query panel that are missing from QaaWS. The Query as a Web Service user guide documents several limitations with the QaaWS query panel.

  • Multi-cubes cannot be used
  • Combined queries and subqueries cannot be used
  • IndexAware prompts are not implemented

And although it isn’t explicitly mentioned, developers will quickly notice that:

  • There is no View SQL button in the QaaWS query panel

Because of the query limitations, it has often been necessary for me to add a derived table to my universe to achieve the SQL that I’m looking for. Today, I discovered yet another limitation:

  • Query filters cannot use universe objects as operands

The QaaWS Query Panel:

 

Query Panel Query as a Web Service (QaaWS)The Live Office query panel, although it is visually different from the QaaWS query panel (different development team?), is functionally identical. There are buttons for sorting and ranking, but combined queries, subqueries, and view SQL are nowhere to be found. And as with the QaaWS query panel, it is NOT currently possible to build a query filter that uses a universe object as an operand. (The screen shot below shows the three supported options: constant, list of values, and prompt).

Query Panel Live Office

Although I’ve focused on design time limitations in this post, it’s worth noting at run time that neither product currently supports object restrictions (restriction sets) defined in Designer.

Clearly, QaaWS and Live Office have similar capabilities and similar deficiencies as compared to the Web Intelligence query panel. Although the QaaWS application has been redesigned in XI 3.1, it does not contain any new query functionality compared to previous versions. It appears that we’ll have to wait longer (XI 3.2? XI 4.0?) for the query functionality gap with Web Intelligence to be closed.

For now, I’m grateful for derived tables in the universe. However, I sometimes feel that I am doing “unnatural” things to the universe that I wouldn’t have to do if these query panels had the functionality I’m accustomed to in Web Intelligence. Fortunately, the only “user” of the universe is our QaaWS-enabled Xcelsius dashboards – there are no “real” users of Web Intelligence.

Do you have similar experiences with Xcelsius + QaaWS? Feel free to post your experiences and clever solutions.

Author: Dallas Marks

I am a business intelligence architect, author, and trainer. I help organizations harness the power of analytics, primarily with SAP BusinessObjects products. An active blogger, SAP Mentor and co-author of the SAP Press book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, I prefer piano keyboards over computer keyboards when not blogging or tweeting about business intelligence.

7 thoughts on “What I miss in the Query as a Web Service (QaaWS) and Live Office query panels”

  1. Dallas, you’re a machine. All these blog posts, I’m feeling very inferior 🙂 I’ve noticed the lack of functionality in LO/QaaWS query panels, but as I’m not focusing too much on these ATM, I have yet to experience the frustration I’m sure you are encountering.

    – Josh

  2. I have in the past only used Live Office to create an Xcelsius dashboard, because at that time it QaaWS was only available from the labs/on one of the extra discs and I couldn’t get it to work properly. What I don’t understand though, is why you don’t use (part of) a Webi document to display your input for Xcelsius, because that way you’ve got best of both worlds – since you can then use all of Webi’s query panel functionality.

  3. Sandor,

    You make an excellent point regarding the use of Live Office and either a Crystal Report or Web Intelligence document. In our current situation, there are requirements that have biased us toward using QaaWS. I’ll try to write more about our design decisions in a future post.

  4. Hi,
    Very interested to get your thoughts on LO & QaaWS pros & cons.
    A few of comments, on what you mention below.
    1) With 3.0 version, QaaWS does expose indexes along with object labels, so you can take advantage of index awareness.
    2) Universe restriction do apply, apart from object restrictions (query fails to execute for users on which restriction apply).
    3) Multi flows queries operate when flows share a column allowing resultsets to be joined.

  5. Hi All,

    Is there anyway in which i can access the BO universe through Xcelsius directly.

    Regards,
    Anusha

    1. Xcelsius always requires some kind of middleware between the dashboard and live data. If you desire to use a universe, you can create queries using either Query as a Web Service (QaaWS) or LiveOffice. Check the BusinessObjects Board (forumtopics.com/busobj) for pros and cons of each.

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