Roel van Bommel

Five considerations when choosing between Webi and SAC

Are you still working with old-school Web Intelligence (Webi) reports and are you considering to move to SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC)? SAC offers an interactive dashboarding and storytelling experience for your end users. Even though Webi looks old-fashioned in comparison, it provides significant reporting capabilities. The 4.3 upgrade brings a modern look and feel to Webi in the new interactive portal that has a similar look and feel to SAC and embedded analytics. McCoy helps you decide between Webi and SAC with this blog.

1. Consider making models instead of queries

SAC stories are created based on a model and Webi reports are built directly on HANA views, BW queries or a universe.

Models in SAC show all dimensions and measures from the source. The model grows large when connected to a large dataset and might run into performance issues. To prevent this, it is advised to create preset datasets for SAC models.

Users can make a preselection of fields when creating a Webi query. This allows the user to utilize views and universes with large amounts of fields and makes them less dependent on a preset data model.

Webi 4.3 offers a new feature that allows users to create reports on other reports, leveraging calculations and filter settings set by a Key user of de BI department.

2. Consider telling a story

SAC allows you to create a flexible and interactive dashboard which does not require in depth technical knowledge of the tool, which makes it suitable for self-service BI.

Webi on the other hand has more possibilities on working with table and list reporting to generate overviews with totals and sub totals for different calculations. This is often required for detailed analysis.

You are able to create an interactive report with dashboard look and feel in Webi, but it requires extended knowledge of Webi and it is still less “sexy” and flexible as a dashboarding tool like SAC.

For example, you have the possibility in SAC to layer bars for a comparison between actual, budget and forecasting in finance reporting.

Also, SAC allows a very easy way of linking visuals with other visuals on the same page or in the entire story. This is called linked analysis and hyperlinking.

3. Consider coding versus clicking

Webi offers the variable and formula editor with a great variety of complex calculations.

In comparison, SAC’s calculation possibilities are limited in comparison. For example, running sums or a date offset against the system date is not supported in SAC.
SAC does however offer a more user friendly interface to add calculations.

Another powerful option in SAC is a measure input control. This allows visuals to use a variable measure and gives the user the choice to select the most relevant one.

This feature is not supported in Webi by default, but is possible to implement with specialized knowledge.

4. Consider mailing to all

Webi has always had a great way to share its reports. You can share reports using schedules and publications.
SAC requires a third-party tool to share/schedule reports to e-mail.
Webi 4.3 includes a new feature that gives the possibility to set schedules to send out or refresh the reports during a set of hours.

5. Consider live over import

You can connect to your data in different ways using Webi, but they are always considered data import in the report on premise. You can compare this with the data import from SAC where the data is imported to the SAP Cloud.

SAC also offers live data connection that allows you to filter directly on you dataset without the need of refreshing it. Important to know is that the data will not be transferred to the SAP cloud but stays in your data center.

The advantages of data import are that users will not experience loading times after the initial data refresh and the design or volume of your data model has less restrictions compared to live data connections. Large volumes and complex data models often impact the report’s performance negatively.

Webi is more flexible at creating a report on larger and complex data and in data blending.


Upgrading to Webi 4.3 will refresh the look and feel and aligns with the SAC & Embedded analytics. SAP modernized the tool with the introduction of a new features like the HTML 5 portal and creating queries based on other Webi reports. Webi still gives a lot of freedom and flexibility for the developer when combining data and creating complex filters and list reports.

SAC offers a great dashboarding environment, but does still lack some few vital functions in modeling and reporting compared to Webi. On the other hand, SAC is very end-user friendly and makes it easy to make simple and fast analysis.

McCoy advises to use these tools as complementary to each other instead of replacing one tool as the other and find a good understanding of your reporting requirements.

Consider calling McCoy

Do you want to learn more on the latest updates on Webi 4.3 and SAC? Do you need help to pick the tool(s) that suit you best? Consider contacting Roel Van Bommel (06226938392) or Joury Jonkergouw (0682622361) to answer all your questions.