A new year has begun and we would like to take this opportunity to review the year 2023 from the perspective of SAC Planning and provide an outlook for 2024. In 2023, we were pleased to see 58 innovations in SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) planning and 24 more are planned for 2024.
We start with the long-awaited debugging function for advanced formulas. With the help of trace points, it is now possible to analyze data changes. This makes troubleshooting much easier, as the script logic and syntax of SAC requires some induction to compared to FOX. We have explained how tracing works in advanced formulas in the article "Advanced Formula Debugging with SAP Analytics Cloud".
A lot has also happened in terms of linking SAC and SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC). In this scenario, SAC is used as a web-based front end and the computing power is provided by BPC. This combination is primarily used for complex planning applications. In the second quarter of 2023, support for BW comments was implemented in SAC Live connections. This function can also be used for BPC Live connections. The comments entered in SAC are stored in BW DocumentStore objects. You can find more information on this in our article "Integrated comment functions in SAP Analytics Cloud and BW/4HANA". In the third quarter of 2023, comment support was expanded to include rich text formatting.
In the same quarter, another new feature that has further improved the use of BPC in conjunction with SAC. It finally became possible to create new lines with a live connection. What is now taken for granted was not possible in SAC until recently. This function makes it easier to create new (unbooked) data combinations.
So 2023 has brought some functions that will advance the use of SAP Analytics Cloud as a planning tool. We have missed these important basics so far. In 2024, further functions will be added that seem obvious to BPC users but were missing in SAC.
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Further functions have been announced for 2024 that seem obvious to BPC users but are currently still missing in SAC.
Three important updates will be released in the first quarter of 2024, which we believe will make planning in SAP Analytics Cloud much easier. It will finally be possible to use an analytics model as the source for a cross-model copy. Previously, a planning model always had to be used. In the second quarter of 2024, the LINK function, which reads data values from other models, will also be able to query analysis models in advanced formulas. This function increases flexibility in modeling and we are eagerly awaiting the ability to use live models as a source in the future.
Disaggregation will also be provided with additional options - likely from the first quarter of 2024, it will be possible to disaggregate a plan value using a different key figure. Both the disaggregation of full and delta amounts will be supported. Another function that BPC users have been missing from SAC is now being added.
And speaking of BPC - from the first quarter of 2024, fluid data entry will also be used for BPC Live connections. Plan values can be entered in quick succession and will be processed simultaneously as a batch. This means the user does not have to wait for the system response every time they make an entry.
Another long-awaited function is likely to be added in the third quarter of 2024. Users will be able to upload plan values from a file. It is still unclear which file format is allowed. We will see whether CSV files, Excel files or both can be uploaded. A data import function will be delivered for this purpose. When executing, the user can select the source file and quickly upload prepared plan data to SAC. This is required in many planning applications and until now had to be implemented in SAC via custom developments. We are delighted that a standard solution is finally being delivered which makes life easier for users and developers.
A fascinating topic is on the roadmap for the fourth quarter of 2024 - SAC is to be accelerated and improved through generative AI. Natural language will be supported for queries and an AI assistant for stories will be introduced. The planning and simulation workflows in SAP Analytics Cloud are also to be enhanced with generative AI. So it remains exciting.
Would you like to learn more about the planning possibilities of SAP Analytics Cloud? Or do you need support with a specific question? Simply get in touch with us - we look forward to exchanging ideas with you!