Later this quarter the next big SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio update will be generally available: version 1.5. Let’s have a look at what we can expect in this edition.
Performance, performance, performance
Despite the fact that Design Studio is developed in a much more future proof way than SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius), it still appears to be pretty difficult to develop apps/dashboards that load quickly and respond rapidly to user inputs (setting a filter value for example). Particularly in the case of dashboards that use multiple data sources this is a problem. Until Design Studio version 1.4 these data sources were in fact executed sequentially. The effect of this was that 10 pretty fast queries, each of which only needed 1 second to execute, still would take about 10 seconds to finish.
Version 1.5 finally offers a solution to this problem and lets data sources be run in parallel, just as we are used to from SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards. This will obviously lead to huge reductions in load times. On the other hand, this will probably lead to more peak loads of the source systems (e.g. SAP BW). The developer can manage this with so-called processing groups that indicate which data sources should or should not be executed in parallel.
Preview, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio
This week we got access to the beta program for one of the new upcoming SAP BI tools: SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Edition for Application Design, codename ZEN. I played around with it for about an hour to get a quick first impression and to see how fast I would be able to create my first ZEN app with some interactivity.
If you haven’t heard about ZEN before you should check the following blogposts:
The user guide gives the following definition of ZEN:
SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for application design enables application designers to create analysis applications and dashboards for browsers and mobile devices on top of BW and SAP HANA data sources. It is the product of choice when full support for BW and HANA data models and engine capabilities is required. The product offers a design tool that allows you to create applications in an easy and intuitive way without the need for native HTML and iPad UI programming skills.
Looking at the SAP BI tools, the features of the current BEx Web Application Designer (WAD) and SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) will be merged into this one tool (to rule them all!). Note that ZEN is now in beta, ramp-up is planned for end 2012 and it will be general availability not before the middle of 2013!! So we have enough time to learn about this new tool.
The ZEN software installer required me to install Internet Explorer 9 on my Windows 7 VM. This could lead to some problems in production environments that are using WAD, since WAD only works well with Internet Explorer 8. At one of my current projects we now also have this problem after upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 with IE9. Check SAP note 1635870 for more info on this issue.
Setting up the connection to the SAP BW system was easy; just copy-pasting the settings from the SAP logon settings. There is no ‘check connection’ option, so you have to execute the app to check if your settings are correct. Interesting is the option to create multiple SAP BW and SAP HANA connections. Also it seems like you don’t need a live connection to work on an app. In WAD this was required.
The program looks a bit like WAD and Xcelsius, with several components to choose from on the left, a canvas in the middle and on the right the properties of the selected component.
Knowledge sharing, New technology, Preview, SAP, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, ZEN
Wow, seems like SAP is going to launch some very cool stuff in 2010: Constellation/12Sprints and Koda (all codenames). What can we tell about these two tools? Well, not very much yet. There are some articles on the internet and a short demonstration video which gives us some clues. You can watch the video below.
Constellation seems to be some sort of collaborative workspace, that allows its users to share data, discuss it and make decisions together. To me this idea looks a bit like Google Wave, but now tailored to the decision making processes within enterprises.
This is what SAP says about Constellation:
Imagine a virtual war room
It’s not just a place where things get discussed. It’s where things get done. Invite the right people. Bring in the pertinent data. And choose the most informed course of action with the help of pre-defined, interactive decision-making tools. It’s all built in. Everything you need to get everyone on the same page — finally under one roof.
At 12Sprints.com you can sign-up to get access to the beta.
Kona is a web-based business intelligence platform/tool, which gives you access to dashboards and reports with drill-down functionality. Also the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer will be a part of Kona. Data and graphs from Kona can be exported to Constellation.
This leaves me with a some questions:
– Why introduce two separate platforms and not one integrated platform?
– How open will these platforms be? Can we make our own Robots/Gadgets?
– What about Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence, Xcelsius and Pioneer? Will they also be integrated in Kona?
– And hey, what about the BusinessObjects InfoView portal environment? Will it be ditched?
Posted in: Preview