Ordering Getting Started with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio book in Europe

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014

3307-bobj-design-studio-lg__13516_stdI got some questions about ordering the Getting Started with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio book. The website I normally refer to – SAP-Press.com – ships the book globally, but if you are not in the U.S. or Canada the shipping costs are pretty high. I you order a single book they may be as high as the price of the book itself!

SAP Press even acknowledges this in its FAQ:

For most international shipments, customers can optimize the shipping cost per book by ordering more than one book at a time. We recommend that you test different quantities in your shopping cart in order to determine the most cost effective way to proceed, or consult with one of our customer service specialists.

Mmkay… Luckily the are also some cheaper options to get the book in Europe:

Posted in: Books, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

The End of Work

Posted by on Jan 12, 2014

raceMachSo, where did all the jobs go? And where are future jobs coming from? I recently read the 2011 book Race Against The Machine by Brynjolfsson and McAfee and these guys have an interesting view on these questions.

To answer the where did all the jobs go question the authors take another direction than the standard “the economy is not growing fast enough” or “the economy is stagnating and productivity has stopped rising” reactions. They came up with the End of Work argument, which I don’t think I have heard somewhere before as the reason for the current – and constant – high unemployment.

This End of Work idea states that we don’t have too little technological progress, but instead too much! Fewer people are needed to produce the goods and services we require, and all of this is caused by computer automation. But, not only automation of the “dump & easy” repetitive tasks, also more advanced work is evaporating. Think of translating a conversation in real-time or driving a car. 15 years ago this was almost science fiction but today Google is pretty far with these technologies. And once these jobs are gone they just won’t come back anymore.

The big question is who will be effected most by this End of Work. This is actually the interesting part. If we divide the labour market in low, middle and highly skilled workers, surprisingly the workers in the middle category will be effected most, and not the low skilled workers. Why? In an era of more and faster automation it probably is easier to automate the work of a bookkeeper, translator, call-center agent or taxi-driver, than the work of a gardener or hairdresser. For the latter types of jobs you would need very sophisticated and expensive robots, while a translator will be easily substituted by a free Google Translate service. Imagine the impact this will have on our society.

Here in Holland the babyboomers are leaving the workforce since a few years. This would mean more room for younger people on the job market. But I still don’t see any positive effect on the unemployment rate. Two years ago I even did a SAP BI project myself to fully automate the work of two office employees that were about to retire. And they indeed weren’t replaced by new hirees anymore…

Obviously the jobs that require a lot of teamwork and creativity will stay in high demand. I was happy to see that they specifically named jobs in data visualization and analytics as highly valued, so we are probably safe for now. On the other hand, if you are in a traditional type of job where someones tells you exactly what you have to do every day, you will get in real trouble sooner or later…

Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee – ISBN: 978-0984725113

Posted in: Books, Featured, New technology, Other, Review

eBook Bonanza: Get SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook for only $5

Posted by on Dec 25, 2013

Just like last year Packt Publishing is having an eBook Bonanza. The coming two weeks you can get any of their eBooks for only $5! So this is a good time to pick up the SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook if you haven’t done that already!

Packt Publishing also has some other interesting (SAP) BI books in its catalogue:


Packt eBooks are flexible and easy to use on any eBook reader or just on your Mac or PC:

  • Download any version, any time, from your account on packtpub.com
  • Available in PDF, ePub [Android, Kobo], Mobi [Kindle] – You can email it right onto your Kindle from your account.
  • No DRM, meaning you can copy to any device, as often as you like
  • You can print, and copy and paste from the eBook directly.

This offer is available until 3 January 2014.


Posted in: Books, Cookbook, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards

SAP BI books, books & books!

Posted by on Nov 19, 2013

It’s a great era for those of us who like to learn about SAP BI topics by themselves, at your own pace and at a moment that is the most suitable. We have the openSAP online courses on HANA and BI4, there is Twitter, the blogs, podcasts and of course the good old books. Lots of SAP BI books I must say. In this post I made an overview of the books that just have been released and the ones that are coming in the near future.

3293-ImplementingHANA__47519_std-1Implementing SAP HANA, by Don Loden, Jonathan Haun, Chris Hickman, and Roy Wells, ISBN 978-1-59229-856-3, 838 pages.

Currently the #1 selling book at SAP Press about the more than epic HANA platform; the #1 topic at SAP TechEd this year. This book offers the practical details about implementing SAP HANA, plus the integration of SAP Data Services and the SAP BusinessObjects BI tools with SAP HANA.

3278-100-about-NWBW-lg__25739_std100 Things You Should Know about SAP NetWeaver BW, by Andrew Joo and Buntic Georgian, ISBN 978-1-59229-447-3, 369 pages.

100 tips and tricks to make your work as a SAP BI consultant more efficient. Real-world examples/problems, short chapters, practical step-by-step instructions and a lot of screenshots. Cookbook style, so I like!

3307-bobj-design-studio-lg__13516_stdGetting Started with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, by Xavier Hacking and Jeroen van der A, ISBN 978-1-59229-895-2, 504 pages.

Yeah of course the book I worked on myself needs to be in this list. A brand new book on this brand new tool, covering everything you need to know to get started with Design Studio! More info and a nice discount coupon code here.

h3311__38753_stdUniverse Design with SAP BusinessObjects BI: The Comprehensive Guide, by Christian Ah-Soon, Pierpaolo Vezzosi, and Didier Mazoué, ISBN 978-1-59229-901-0, ±650 pages, expected release December 2013.

I think this book will be the first in-depth guide to the Information Design Tool, which can be used to create those BI4 UNX universes.

3317-PredictiveAnalysis-lg__67529_stdPredictive Analysis with SAP: The Comprehensive Guide, by John MacGregor, ISBN 978-1-59229-915-7, ±500 pages, expected release December 2013.

I joined the hands-on session at TechEd to play around with Predictive Analysis for the first time. I expect this book to bring me a bit further than the basics and do some real analysis and modeling.

3314-IntegratingBOBI-lg__11702_stdIntegrating SAP BusinessObjects BI with SAP NetWeaver (3rd Edition), by Info Hilgefort, ISBN 978-1-59229-923-2, ±550 pages, expected release December 2013.

I love the first two editions of this book. They were really helpful in setting up the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform on top of SAP BW. This version will be up to date for BI4.1.


SAP NetWeaver BW: Administration and Performance Optimization, by Jesper Christensen and Joe Darlak, ISBN 978-1-59229-853-2, ±750 pages, expected release June 2014.

BW is not dead (yet), so this one is for the back-end guys to keep BW running smoothly. I expect this book to cover a lot of the contents of the 2010 release SAP NetWeaver BW: Administration and Monitoring, but we’ll see.

So, which one(s) will be under your Christmas tree next month?

Posted in: Books, Knowledge sharing

Remote: Office Not Required

Posted by on Nov 16, 2013

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson have come up with another cool book after writing ReWork in 2010: Remote: Office Not Required. You can check my post about ReWork here. Where ReWork took a more broader view on the traditional, conservative way businesses are still being run nowadays, Remote focusses on working remotely.

Actually, this book is from the beginning till the end a plea for more remote work. The authors use a lot of short topics and stories which makes this an easy read. They discuss a lot of arguments in favor of working remote, reply to the myths and excuses not to work remotely and give a bunch of tips on how to do this remote work as a team, organization, manager and employee.

remote_front remote_back

I think they are right. The biggest problem though is that managers still try to ‘manage’ knowledge workers like they run a production crew working on a 1910 factory assembly line. They still want to ‘see’ them work, sitting on that chair in front of a monitor, instead of evaluating them on their pure output. Of course this kind of real meaningful evaluation requires some more advanced (technical) skills for these managers, so they actually have a clue what their team is doing.

Working in an office can be really fun, but also offers too much natural distractions. Low priority questions, a lot of unnecessary meetings that seem to never end, an inferior computer setup, bad coffee and so on. And don’t forget of course all that time wasted in our daily commutes.

At Amazon you can read the first chapters for free. Check it here.

Remote: Office Not Required – Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson – ISBN: 978-0091954673

Posted in: Books