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Microsoft BI vs SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on May 19, 2022

We performed a comparison between Microsoft BI and SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform based on our users’ reviews in five categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Most Microsoft BI users say the initial setup is straightforward. Some SAP BusinessObjects users say the initial setup is straightforward, while others say it is complex.
  • Features: Reviewers of both products are happy with their stability, scalability, and reporting tools. Microsoft BI users say it is user-friendly and flexible with good integration options, but that its performance lags when handling large amounts of data. SAP BusinessObjects users like its scheduling feature and say it is secure. Several SAP BusinessObjects users note, however, that its UI needs enhancement.
  • Pricing: Some Microsoft BI reviewers feel that the price is fair while others feel it is too high. SAP BusinessObjects reviewers say it is an expensive product.
  • ROI: Reviewers of both products report seeing an ROI.
  • Service and Support: Microsoft BI reviewers are very satisfied with the level of support they receive. Some SAP BusinessObjects reviewers say the support is good, but others say there is a slow response time.

Comparison Results: Microsoft BI comes out on top in this comparison. It is reliable and easy to use. In addition, when compared with SAP BusinessObjects, it is easier to set up, less expensive, and has better customer support.

To learn more, read our detailed Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform report (Updated: May 2022).
Buyer's Guide
Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"Its visualizations and dashboards are most valuable. Power BI is great in terms of visualizations and dashboards. The reports that we previously had were not very nice in terms of visualization. It also provides the ability to play with the data.""The initial setup is simple to do.""The most valuable feature is shareability, where we can publish work to the cloud and share it with team members.""The solution is very intuitive, you do not need to have too much programming knowledge to use it. Advanced Excel users can use it very easily.""The initial setup is relatively simple.""The initial setup is easy.""The solution is easy to set up and implement.""I like the downloadable visualizations a lot. I think that they give the user a very nice starting point in creating awesome dashboards, with the right way to tell their data story."

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"One of the most valuable features of SAP BusinessObjects is that it's not a dashboarding solution. It's a real product. You can create operational reports and publish it to anyone. You can create schedules. You can create a Universe, semantic layers. There's also a security configuration. It's a huge product, so if there is a business need, SAP BusinessObjects can cover it.""It is stable and robust. It has pretty direct integration with SAP ERP. It is easy to use.""If I were to compare it with Power BI and I wanted to build proper well-formatted reports, BusinessObjects Business Intelligence does that much better. Power BI is just getting into that space. They've concentrated more on visualization, which is what the SAP Lumira does. With Web Intelligence, you are able to build reports that users can interact with. They can also do a lot of querying themselves. It is robust in terms of security and integration. It is also quite scalable.""We find the product to be very stable.""The features which the solution has been awesome. The way the data is fetched from the database, and the queries are executed, is unique using the Universe of Business Objects. That makes it unique and we could not find another solution that functions in a similar way. It's has a great way of receiving and executing queries.""The setup is pretty easy. It's not hard at all.""The development using SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is very good.""The features that I have found most valuable are that we are able to build all dashboards with self-service BI and are able to provide our business users with self-service BI. We are building a repository on top of our data warehouse and building all the dashboards and KPIs."

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Cons
"The Microsoft BI interface should be simpler and more user-friendly. I find it very difficult to move between their data sources and their analytics section.""I would like to see integration with Excel.""A lot of people work on Excel, so being able to export an Excel file as part of a subscription would be an improvement.""It's not really complicated, but I didn't find the things I was looking for. The ones I used to work with within Dash are more open, and there are more choices. But with Power BI, there are only limited types of plots that I can use. For example, when I wanted to put the plots in Power BI, there was no extendable space. You have a limited page where you can place a maximum of three plots in that, and you can't do more than that on a single page. You have to create a new page, a different page for that. That made it a bit annoying, and the filtering part is limited, with basic functions. If you want to make custom filtering or custom functions, you can't do that.""The graphic interface could be better.""Power BI doesn't support some open-source data sources that are new, such as SnowSQL, Iceberg, or ClickHouse.""Microsoft needs to do some more research and development to make it more stable.""It should be more scalable for an enterprise-level implementation. When you deploy large data sets, the response has to be faster in Power BI. This is one thing that needs to be improved in it."

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"The integration could be improved. The SAP suite has some integration problems and it has some huge development needs. For example, when you use Power BI, if you publish a dataset to the web, there is no issue in seeing the data with the report. The data and report are integrated automatically. Or when you use QlikView, when you publish the QVD file, the report is integrated with QVD. Also, with Tableau, when you publish the data, it's in the hyper database, in the memory, and the dashboard with data is integrated seamlessly. In the SAP side, it's not easy. There are lots of business layers. There are also some performance issues in the SAP BusinessObjects suite. They should focus on the technologies. We are partners and every step of the way, SAP asks us for money. If you want to see the products, the PDFs, if you want to learn the product, online training, etc., everything has a cost on the SAP site. Because of this, partners try to get to know the products on their own. SAP only focuses on the sales side—only money is important for SAP, not the quality. In that way, the operation is not easy on the SAP side. As a suggestion, they should focus on customers first instead of money.""They could reduce the licensing expenses. There is nothing really wrong with the product in terms of what it does. It works well. If you are a part of BI Launch Pad, then you could run ad hoc reporting, but for the integration, you need access to BI Launch Pad, which is quite expensive. We're an organization with 18,000 employees. It is not really practical to give people access to BI Launch Pad. So, from a customer perspective, in terms of saturating our employee base, we don't really have great saturation because of the expense.""The initial setup could be simplified.""SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is lacking dashboards and this would be the only reason we are looking for another solution.""Most of the Apps right now are into dashboarding. This tool, for the Crystal Reports in the phase I'm primarily working on, does not have those dashboarding capabilities, like in the other advanced tools like Power BI or ClickView, and compared to them the dashboard generation is not that great.""SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform has to be improved performance-wise. The look and feel of this application, its scalability, setup, and technical support also need improvement.""Its price should be better. It is expensive and not cost-effective. It should also be improved in terms of end-user experience. It requires further improvements for usability and ease of use. It should have more dashboarding metrics and much faster integration with ERP so that when you double click, you can instantly see the scenario-based result.""Its data visualization tool is not as good as Power BI and Tableau. Currently, for data visualization, you need to spend more money to buy another solution such as Power BI or Tableau. It is also very hard to integrate it with other third-party solutions. Its integration with other solutions should be improved."

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Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "We have a premium Power BI license in-house that's quite an expensive license. It's $10 a month for four users and then I think 35,000 at the premium rate."
  • "It is somewhere in the middle in terms of price. Licensing is quite clear."
  • "Its cost seems to be unreasonable if you have many users, but for a lesser number of users, it is reasonable. It is $10 per month. Clients easily accept this option, so they must think it is reasonable. It is quite cheap as compared to other tools, such as Tableau. One of the best things about this solution is that it has a trial version."
  • "Once the trial period for the BI service is over, the cost is approximately $10 USD per user, per month, so it's quite reasonable."
  • "The pricing is very reasonable compared to any other tool."
  • "Microsoft BI is not very cheap. A premium license costs roughly 5,000 euros a month."
  • "This product offers good value for the money."
  • "Microsoft BI is free for the personal edition, but there is also a paid-for professional version."
  • More Microsoft BI Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "Its price is fair."
  • "It is not cost-effective. It is expensive."
  • "I have always found SAP BI to be expensive. It is expensive even when you compare SAP BI Cloud with Microsoft Power BI. Power BI is probably around $9.99 per month, and the cheapest SAP BI is around $20, which is double. In terms of price, Power BI is definitely a lot better. If you have budget issues, you may want to go for Power BI."
  • "We purchase licenses through Epic. So, we get an Epic price as opposed to the SAP price. If we were going to use other products like Webby that they offer or exclusively use BI Launch Pad, it would cost a lot because half of our employees would touch it in some fashion. So, we use Epic-Crystal integration to keep the licensing cost down. I believe the BI Launch Pad licensing is something like $800 for each, and the Crystal Report licensing is something like $500 for each, but that's not what we pay."
  • "The price and the pricing model are fine. We find the solution does not give us a lot of additional value."
  • "SAP is losing market to its competitors because of its costly user license and licensing model. They can do much better on the licensing side. That's what Microsoft has been doing, and that's why Power BI is gaining market share at the moment. SAP needs to relax a little bit on the licensing part. If Microsoft is giving people a solution that is half of the cost of SAP, people will definitely go with Power BI."
  • "SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is an expensive application."
  • "We are satisfied with the solution, but we are not satisfied with the licensing cost which SAP offers. They offer one lumpsum licensing which does everything. That is not the right strategy, because sometimes you don't have power users, they are only viewers, but we need to buy the full license for them. This is not something we want to continue with."
  • More SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:There are many...It would rather depend what System BI architecture or Enterprise legacy you have at your end...I would recommend as follows:  1) If you have legacies of SAP, Oracle  - look for SAP… more »
    Top Answer:Oracle OBIEE is great in allowing design and creativity per the individual needs of the organization. Dashboards are fully customizable and very user-friendly. This solution is very stable. Oracle… more »
    Top Answer:The most interesting feature of Microsoft Power BI is that it's very user-friendly.
    Top Answer:SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform's most valuable features are it has a great presentation layer. We can develop the presentation layer with drag-and-drop capabilities. For end-users… more »
    Top Answer:There is an annual license to use SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform. I rate the price of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform a four out of five.
    Top Answer:SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform should be made easier for the end-users and the performance could be improved. In a feature release, SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence… more »
    Ranking
    Views
    43,914
    Comparisons
    35,006
    Reviews
    183
    Average Words per Review
    534
    Rating
    8.1
    Views
    11,838
    Comparisons
    9,261
    Reviews
    31
    Average Words per Review
    669
    Rating
    7.9
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    SSRS, SSAS, MSBI, MS Reporting Services, Power BI, Microsoft BI Tools, Microsoft Big Data, Power BI Pro, MS BI
    SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform, SAP BusinessObjects, Business Objects
    Learn More
    Overview

    Microsoft BI is a business intelligence solution that turns data into insightful and useful business information that is relevant to all levels of the business.

    Microsoft BI combines familiar Microsoft tools - Office, SharePoint, and SQL server, with extra features for end-users, such as Power View and Power Pivot. This powerful product gives businesses a competitive advantage by allowing end-users to better analyze their data, collaborate and better present their data.

    SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence is a centralized suite for data reporting, visualization, and sharing. SAP BusinessObjects BI provides a flexible, scalable platform that leverages up-to-date technologies and a comprehensive range of data sources to transform data into valuable insights, available anytime, anywhere.

    SAP BusinessObjects BI’s central, user-friendly, web-based interface provides simple data access and interactive analysis through a variety of customizable graphical reporting formats. Intelligent reporting, analysis, and a sophisticated dashboard allow users to ask business questions involving multiple data sources using their own business terms.

    SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Key Features

    • Central management: Access all your BI from a single, central launchpad that can be customized to meet user-specific needs. The launchpad provides business users with access to all their BI tools, reports, notifications, and applications in a single place. This includes the ability to launch SAP Analytics Cloud.

    • Data visualization and analytics: Create powerful visualizations, dashboards, and applications to assess risk, improve efficiency, identify opportunities, and enable users to analyze developments and data. Business insights can be shared with colleagues across enterprises.

    • Integration with Microsoft Office: Integrate with SAP Business Warehouse and SAP HANA to power real-time analytics. For large-scale data analysis, you can integrate with Microsoft Excel to discover in-depth business insights and forecasts. Data analytics information can also be embedded into Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.

    • Cloud support: Extend and expand your BI on the cloud. SAP Analytics Cloud connects your BI to the cloud and offers enterprise planning and advanced analytics from a single online solution.

    Reviews from Real Users

    SAP BusinessObjects BI stands out among its competitors for a number of reasons. Several major ones are its user-friendly dashboard, its impressive reporting and analytic features, and its ability to integrate with multiple solutions.

    A managing partner at a tech services company writes, "One of the most valuable features of SAP BusinessObjects is that it's not a dashboarding solution. It's a real product. You can create operational reports and publish it to anyone. You can create schedules. You can create a Universe, semantic layers. There's also a security configuration. It's a huge product, so if there is a business need, SAP BusinessObjects can cover it."

    An associate manager at a consultancy notes, "It provides flexibility for creating reports. It is very good for creating highly complex reports. I like this solution because when I buy BusinessObjects, it comes with many components, such as reporting, dashboard, and data visualization tools. Its performance is good. It is running on top of SAP BW and SAP HANA."

    A manager of data analytics and interfaces at a healthcare company says, "It has got great flexibility. As a reporting tool, it has a great deal of flexibility for numerous data resources that you can bring into it. It allows you to write your SQL query directly within the product. It has great visualization. 

    Offer
    Learn more about Microsoft BI
    Learn more about SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform
    Sample Customers
    Konica Minolta, Klout, Mahindra Satyam, The Weather Channel, Argus, Credit Suisse, NCR, and Sysmex.
    SRAM, Kennametal, Fairfax Water, British American Tobacco, Velux, and FedEx.
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Manufacturing Company12%
    Computer Software Company12%
    Government10%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company20%
    Comms Service Provider16%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Government6%
    REVIEWERS
    Manufacturing Company20%
    Healthcare Company12%
    Energy/Utilities Company8%
    Retailer6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company24%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Government8%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise45%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business17%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise68%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business28%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise55%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business15%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise72%
    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    609,272 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Microsoft BI is ranked 1st in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools with 188 reviews while SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is ranked 3rd in Business Intelligence (BI) Tools with 33 reviews. Microsoft BI is rated 8.0, while SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is rated 7.8. The top reviewer of Microsoft BI writes "A complete ecosystem with an builtin ETL tool, good integrations with python and R, and support of DAX and Power Query (M languages)". On the other hand, the top reviewer of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform writes "Integrates very well with SAP ERP, allows you to scale up or down anytime, and is absolutely trustworthy". Microsoft BI is most compared with Tableau, Amazon QuickSight, MicroStrategy, Oracle OBIEE and IBM Cognos, whereas SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is most compared with SAP Analytics Cloud, Oracle OBIEE, MicroStrategy, Qlik Sense and IBM Cognos. See our Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform report.

    See our list of best Business Intelligence (BI) Tools vendors.

    We monitor all Business Intelligence (BI) Tools reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.