A while ago I was delivered a relatively easy task: create a SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence report that only needed one user entry in the prompt to calculate all the needed parameters for the query. After creating all the calculations and receiving the correct data in the Universe I proceeded to update the query of the Web Intelligence report, but encountered a problem. Due to unknown circumstances the report started showing the numbers and dates with scientific notation. When modifying my Web Intelligence report with the new values for the prompt, the SQL generated was showing the numbers in exponential form. "5.93e2" for example, as opposed to the actual value "593".
After several tests (and hours of research) I found a workaround that gave me satisfactory results. I went to the universe and copied the object with which I was doing the prompt but changed its type to a String instead of a Numeric. I proceeded to change all of the other object calculations types to String. Once this was done, I tried to use it in the report prompt. I was still getting the numbers in exponential form. I was missing one step, which was to get my desired values by applying substring (or any formula applicable to a String) on the object, despite the fact that it was a String.
Once I did this, and tried to run the prompt of the report again and everything was working like a charm. I could see the correct values for all my calculations in the Universe and in the Web Intelligence.
If you want more information about this bug, I found a SAP note that could help you - SAP note 1838027. This note did not give me the answer to the problem, but helped me to think about how to develop the workaround.
If you have an installation with BI4.0 Support Pack o8 or higher, this should not be an issue for you.
I hope that you find this tip useful for your SAP BusinessObjects implementation in a Unix-system; and please, if you have any questions or anything to add to help improve this post, please feel free to leave your comments so we can help you.