Home > Semantic Layer, Set Analysis > Sets Integrated into the Semantic Layer

Sets Integrated into the Semantic Layer

On August 5, 2009, the SAP BusinessObjects Innovation Center announced a prototype for moving Sets Technology directly into the Semantic Layer.

Potential Future of Sets

Since the EOL announcement of BusinessObjects Performance Manager and two of the three analytic engines, Process Analysis and Predictive Analysis, there has been an ongoing question on the future of Set Analysis.  I have long been an advocate of the incredible power and importants of sets to help customers get a better understand of how data is changing under the covers.  If you have 100 more customers, that’s great… but how many did you lose and how many did you gain?  You may have lost 50 and actually added 150.  What about my “Gold” Customers?  How many new Gold Customers do I have?  Where did they go?  Did they become Silver members?

We have many customers who have successfully implemented Set Analysis; however the solution had not had significant R&D investment for some time and was tied to the legacy metrics engine of Performance Manager.  How could this technology be integrated into the new XI 3.X platform?

Sets and the Semantic Layer – I’m in Heaven

The Innovation Center has delivered a prototype which show Sets integrated directly into the Semantic Layer.  This prototype is a plug-in to the universe that allows you to create these “sets” , static or dynamic – all in the query panel.  Semantic layer sets lets customers leverage the complexity of  sets natively within that environment.  This is a huge step forward.

Check out the 15 minute video on the SDN website

You can see that this implementation can support all the classic calendar sets which will support of joiners, leavers, stayers, which are at the core of Set Analysis.  In this labs implementation there is support for both Visual Data and Visual Sets; however I hope this is expanded in the future to support Freehand SQL and an imported list.

I think this is a fantastic new innovation and needs to be added to the core product ASAP.  If you think so too, let your voice be heard:  http://sets.uservoice.com

I’ll keep you up-to-date with additional innovations around sets and may provide some additional posts on this topic if there’s interest.  Let me know.

«Good BI»

  1. Shiva
    August 20th, 2009 at 07:33 | #1

    Thanks David,

    This is amazing.. Looks like SAP BO is upto something BIG. Thanks for updating. 😀

  2. Sailash
    January 19th, 2010 at 09:01 | #2

    Hi David,

    Just read through your Set Analyzer (SA) write up – its very good and very “unique” I might add; since there is not an awful lot that BI Consultants can glean about Set Analyzer from Business Objects themselves. I had the fortune (or should I say misfortune) of using Set Analyzer in all off its guises for many years, and whilst it is a powerful tool it is:

    a) poorly documented and understood
    b) has little to no support offered for it and
    c) completely unreliable/unstable i.e. prone to many errors

    Since the full client version of SA Business Objects have never really taken the time or trouble to properly integrate Set Analyzer into the various flavours of XI. Having spoken to many support and sales agents at Business Objects the impression given was that Set Analyzer would reach EOL very soon – I am glad to see that someone out there is taking steps to change that but is it really likely to happen? If so I sincerely hope that some effort is made to integrate this component properly.

    • January 19th, 2010 at 12:56 | #3

      I wish I could say you just “had a bad experience”. The truth is that while Set Analysis did have a lot of power, it never got the type of attention that it deserved within the company. As a result, the product never evolved like it could have. The bottom line was that most organizations didn’t use Set Analysis. As a a company, we were more focused on core reporting and end-user self service. This meant that when it came to setting priorities, Set Analysis was low on the list.

      I have personally championed Set Analysis for some years and think it is a great tool. The problem was that there were many imperfections/issues/limitations that never got addressed. There were no significant changes to Set Analysis from the original release of application foundation. Set Analysis will eventually go EOL in it’s current state, but I’m hoping that the power of Set Analysis can somehow be brought forward as an integrated aspect of our semantic layer. Time will tell.

      Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Wayne Vovil
    April 20th, 2010 at 20:12 | #4

    very informative site!

  4. Roger Chi
    December 8th, 2010 at 04:10 | #5

    Wayne Vovil :very informative site!

    Does “Sets Integrated into the Semantic Layer” will be a platform feature or product ?

    XI4 beta2 has released. But cannot find Set related solution .

    • February 2nd, 2011 at 23:13 | #6

      Thanks for the feedback! Many of us were hoping to see Sets Integrated into the semantic layer, but it doesn’t appear it make it for the initial v4.0 release.

  1. July 28th, 2016 at 05:53 | #1