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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: July 2022).
Buyer's Guide
Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
621,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: BI Reports for business users - which BI solutions should we choose?
Answer: Your Collegue may want to look at Tableau.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
"What's most valuable in this tool is that it gives its users detailed error messages. It's a very stable data analytics tool, and it offers good scalability.""The most interesting feature of Microsoft Power BI is that it's very user-friendly.""The solution is easy to use.""I have found the quick reporting and the conductivity with all the data sources valuable.""It is quite easy to use and it helps me to achieve the projects that I've been assigned.""The best feature of this solution is the way you can plan, communicate, and visualize all the knowledge you extract from the data for the customers. I like the way you can show or visualize the information a client needs to answer a business question.""The most valuable feature is definitely the visual aspect and the DAX capabilities to virtually do anything.""The most valuable feature would be the abundance of connectors. It is also easy to use."

More Microsoft BI Pros →

"The ability to merge dimensions in a report is great.""To share a metadata service layer, you don't need to add a user or write a SQL query. Instead, you can present a raw database to your end user.""We find the product to be very stable.""The development using SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is very good.""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.""Business analytics are the most valuable features of this solution; I don't have experience with the other functional features offered.""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.""There are two tools inside BusinessObjects' schematic layout called the Universal Design Tool and Information Design Tool. These are the most powerful tools that set BusinessObjects' reporting from other solutions. If my organization has 300 or 400 tables, I can combine all of them into one universe, and everyone can use that. It is just a schematic layout that does not hold any data but the table relationships."

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"The upgrade process could be improved.""Its desktop tool is a little bit memory CPU intensive, and it can be improved, but the machines nowadays come with a lot of memory. For the desktop users who are using it on the desktop, we recommend that they do an upgrade. It is a minor issue. We can fix it on the desktop.""In my opinion, the software is a little bit limited in terms of the flexibility it offers, with regard to the design of the visualization.""The initial setup is a little bit technical.""I'm not overly technical, and so I can't really speak to any shortcomings from a technical standpoint.""Creating dashboards could be easier.""The solution could improve the extraction and transformation of data. For example, you transform the data and then send it to Microsoft BI without having to use your own API. We are only providing the API to Power BI, and then Power BI is doing the job.""Automation could be improved and performance enhanced."

More Microsoft BI Cons →

"It needs to be more flexible for the end-user.""Tableau was easier for me to use because the interface is more similar to Excel which I was used to using.""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.""The solution can improve by having more analytical features.""The UI could be updated a bit.""When we implemented BusinessObjects, the setup was straightforward. After SAP bought BusinessObjects, it gradually became more and more stepwise. There are too many steps, and they take too much time.""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.""It is limited for us because SAP is shifting toward the cloud, and we can't use a cloud solution for SAP BusinessObjects. SAP introduced a product called PlusTimes one or two years ago and another one that I believe was called Automatic BI. This tool is more powerful than BusinessObjects and other tools because it's provided in the cloud."

More SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "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."
  • "Setup is easy, and the cost is economical. You do sometimes need to pay additional costs for third party products which "plug-in" to Microsoft BI."
  • 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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    Answers from the Community
    Avigail Sugarman
    it_user278766 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user278766 (Co Founder at a tech vendor)

    All the traditional BI platforms including Business Objects and Microsoft Reporting services and Analysis services require IT involvement almost at every step in preparing the data and report.

    Self serve BI is the promise to these business analysts without technology background. However following characteristics are a must to meet the self serve BI dream.
    - BI tool should be capable of reading data from its source without a dependency on ETL or a warehouse.
    - While a dimensional model gives most flexibility for ad hoc data analysis, it brings a overhead of consistent modeling mindset requiring very technical background.
    - Ability to convert grid data into visualization and vice versa with few clicks
    - Ability to mashup multiple analysis from multiple sources on to a single screen.
    - Finally a framework that let's end users seamlessly build their analysis while IT can throttle, govern, audit and scale end user data needs with a great amount of automation behind the scenes as a continuous process as opposed to be a pre process.

    Two such platforms I have come across are
    1) Tableau
    2) CarbonBI

    it_user125805 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user125805 (Software Development Leader at a university)

    These solutions seem good for Visualizations. I like Pentaho personally. Wondering why the this suggestion hasn't been made??

    it_user120558 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user120558 (Head of Data Analytics at a hospitality company)

    Sap business objects can provide a sophisticated self service solution that is very easy for the end users to engage with for both ad hoc analysis and report writing and distribution. However as with all Bi solutions the back end data warehouse must be designed intelligently and business objects universes configured correctly. The same thing really applies no matter what toolset you select. If you already have business objects then it makes sense to ask IT to set it up as a self service solution rather than look for another technology. If IT do not have the skills then look for a good consultant to perform a review of your BI solution and make recommendations.

    it_user125418 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user125418 (Owner/Principal at a tech services company with 51-200 employees)


    Good comments similar to the points I was making. I think that it is still
    important to consider how much data you expect to be dealing with, the
    tool's analytical architecture (ROLAP or MOLAP), the sophistication of your
    analyst end users, and how complex your reports are likely to be. If you
    or the analysts expect that solution development is going to be in the
    hands of the analyst, then the tool needs to be relatively easy to learn.
    On the last point, if you expect a lot of slicing-and-dicing you need an
    architecture that will support the high indexing load. Anyway, success and
    use acceptance is not just a question of apparent simplicity and seemingly
    low cost.


    Keith Breedlove
    Polyglot Analytics, LLC
    Groveland, FL

    it_user141816 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user141816 (User)

    I suggest Power Data, the new Microsoft develop.

    it_user80007 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user80007 (CTO at Writer Safegaurd )

    Try Tableau.

    it_user138423 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user138423 (BI Expert)

    I would suggest looking at Tableau for requirements of self-service nature. The success factor for a self service tool depends on the ease-of-use for the end-user who is less proficient in IT skills and the range of tasks it allows the end user to accomplish. Tableau scores highly on both these parameters. Backed by a well designed data mart, Tableau can be the solution that pretty much allows the end user to replace the need for IT. It has excellent training materials available in one-click and many forums where people are ready share their cool experiences. Developing a report in Tableau for me was more like playing a video game, a throughly enjoyable experience to get to a cool end-product. You want the end-users to cherish the process of creation and Tableau does that with ease.

    it_user74586 - PeerSpot reviewerit_user74586 (Project Manager at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees)

    I would focus on Tableau and MicroStrategy (we went with MSTR several years ago to supplant BO), although QlickView has its proponents for ease of use...

    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:Power BI is an advanced visualization tool oriented to big data with a very complete set of widgets to visualize information, control users accessing information, the configuration of governance… 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:Both tools have their positives and negatives. First, I should mention that I am relatively new to Tableau. I have been working on and off Tableau for about a year, but getting to work on it… more »
    Top Answer:Business analytics are the most valuable features of this solution; I don't have experience with the other functional features offered.
    Top Answer:This is a standard licensing fee. It is not a subscription model, but you must purchase a perpetual license for this.
    Average Words per Review
    Average Words per Review
    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

    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. 

    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
    Financial Services Firm14%
    Manufacturing Company12%
    Computer Software Company11%
    Computer Software Company19%
    Comms Service Provider17%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Manufacturing Company20%
    Healthcare Company12%
    Energy/Utilities Company8%
    Computer Software Company23%
    Comms Service Provider14%
    Financial Services Firm10%
    Company Size
    Small Business38%
    Midsize Enterprise17%
    Large Enterprise45%
    Small Business18%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise68%
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise16%
    Large Enterprise55%
    Small Business15%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise71%
    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform
    July 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft BI vs. SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform and other solutions. Updated: July 2022.
    621,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Microsoft BI is ranked 1st in BI (Business Intelligence) Tools with 187 reviews while SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform is ranked 3rd in BI (Business Intelligence) Tools with 34 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 BI (Business Intelligence) Tools vendors.

    We monitor all BI (Business Intelligence) 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.