Book review: Reporting and Analysis with SAP BusinessObjects

Posted by Xavier Hacking

For the past months I’ve been busy reading (and listening) a bunch of interesting tech books so it’s time for another review. It looks like SAP Press is updating its book portfolio this year, since after the Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.x with SAP Netweaver book I posted about in January we now also have a second edition of Reporting and Analysis with SAP BusinessObjects, and in April the successor to Creating Dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects is planned for release.

This is a good thing. We’ve seen lots of changes in just a few years; BI4 has been release, new product names are introduced, integration has been improved and so on. If you are just entering the new SAP BusinessObjects world and you would follow the ‘old’ books and documentation it would only get you confused and probably frustrated. We don’t need that. The book is updated for release 4.0 FP3.

So let’s have a look at this new Reporting and Analysis with SAP BusinessObjects book, which is again written by Ingo Hilgefort, who is one of the ultimate gurus on SAP BusinessObjects and SAP BW tooling and integration and has been blogging and writing books on these topics since SAP acquired BusinessObjects a few years back. Follow this guy if you want to keep updated and learn more.

This book is really an overall overview of the complete SAP BusinessObjects reporting portfolio. It starts with the basics by describing the different reporting capabilities in just a few pages. A lot of SAP BI consultants still can’t name the five main BI tooling areas so there is nothing wrong to start with this again.

The book uses a set of business scenarios for reporting which all have a list of specific requirements. Throughout the book these requirements are plotted to the several tooling options. This gives you a good insight in what tool to pick in which situation. Furthermore it shows you the different audiences/users for each tool.

All tools are discussed in their own chapter, by first giving an overview of the data connectivity options. Next the requirements of the business scenarios are discussed. The requirements that can’t be fulfilled with the tool are listed and an explanation is given why this is and what other tool would be a better fit. This is really informative and you’ll easily get to know the different purposes of each tools.

Next the options of the tool itself are introduced and a step-by-step example is given. I’m not sure what to think of these sections. If you already worked with some of the tools before there is little new to find here, and if you really want to dive into one of the tools you can better pick up one of the more specialized books. On the other hand, for first timers I would prefer some examples with less text and more screenshots. Some of the examples have a few hundred steps to follow!

So to round things up, if you are new to the SAP BusinessObjects reporting and analysis portfolio and you want to learn about the different tooling options you should definitely get this book. If you already know about the tools, but you are not sure when to use Crystal Reports instead of Dashboards or Web Intelligence, the business scenarios approach will help you to make these decisions better. But, if you are looking to learn more about the tools themselves you should have a look at te more tool specific books out there.

HackingSAP.com - Mar 5, 2012 | Books, Knowledge sharing, New technology, SAP BusinessObjects
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2 comments

  1. Richard
    August 9, 2012

    Hi Xavier,

    Do you have examples of the more specific books for BusinessObjects. I’m looking for a book that goes indepth in the BI Launch Path (Web Intelligence)

    Reply

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  • […] Book review: Reporting and Analysis with SAP BusinessObjects | HackingSAP.com For the past months I’ve been busy reading (and listening ) a bunch of interesting tech books so it’s time for another review. It looks like SAP Press is updating its book portfolio this year, since after the Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.x with SAP Netweaver book I posted about in January we now also have a second edition of Reporting and Analysis with SAP BusinessObjects , and in April the successor to Creating Dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects is planned for release. This is a good thing. […]

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