SAC Application Design and Lumira Designer – Roadmap questions

Posted by on Mar 7, 2019

I recently got quite some questions about the new Application Design feature in SAP Analytics Cloud, especially its position in relation to SAP Lumira Designer (Design Studio). I understand that all this may raise some questions with SAP BI customers that haven’t hopped on the SAC train yet or are just starting with their orientation on cloud solutions. So let’s bring some clarity here by starting from the beginning. 

Application Design is part of the SAP Analytics Cloud platform and gives you the possibility to offer centrally governed analytical applications, created by professional application designers. These applications range from simple dashboards with just a few charts or tables to complex applications with custom layouts and interactivity options created with scripts. 

With the option to use custom scripts the applications go a big step further than the SAP Analytics Cloud stories. That’s also why the stories are positioned to be (also) created by business users, while the applications are solely built by application designers. Eventually, the idea is to be able to integrate and combine features coming from the whole SAC platform in applications. For example, an application could visualize a live data source (BI), run a predictive scenario and offer planning capabilities to update data based on this. 

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Posted in: SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, SAP Lumira

SAPinsider Q&A on What’s Next with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and SAP BusinessObjects Lumira 2.0

Posted by on May 10, 2017

Jeroen and I did another Q&A chat for SAPinsider. This time the topic was the big upcoming  Lumira 2.0 release. As always, we discussed a lot of interesting topics, ranging from the new features and interoperability scenarios, to new licensing setup and migration scenarios.

You can find the chat replay and the transcript here.


Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, SAP Lumira, Webinars

Development Tips for Creating Mobile Apps with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform

Posted by on Mar 5, 2017

My latest article for the BI Expert online magazine is all about creating mobile applications with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio. The learning objectives are:

  • How to set up the BI platform for mobile applications
  • How to use the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app
  • Constraints to consider when developing mobile Design Studio apps
  • How to set up a Design Studio template for mobile applications
  • Best practices for designing mobile applications


Development Tips for Creating Mobile Apps with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform

Today’s business users expect their data, reports, and dashboards to be available everywhere, all the time. Not just when they are behind their desks, but also on mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablets. Design Studio and the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform can support this request. However, the way a user interacts with a mobile dashboard differs a lot from using a dashboard on a laptop or desktop computer—the smaller mobile screen means less space for visualizations, filters, buttons, and other components.

Thus, developing mobile applications requires a different approach than developing dashboards for normal desktop usage. This article demonstrates practical best practices on how to achieve this with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio and the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform.

The Basics: Setting Up the BI Platform and Mobile Applications

You can use the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app to run Design Studio applications on a mobile device. This is the preferred option, as the app provides a secure and easy way to connect to the BI platform and run Design Studio applications, as well as other BI documents such as Web Intelligence, Crystal Reports, and SAP Lumira documents.

The alternative would be to use a web browser like Safari or Google Chrome on the mobile device to access the BI applications. A big disadvantage to this alternative is that the BI Launchpad interface isn’t responsive to the decreased screen size and appears and functions in the same way as on a desktop browser. This means that users must log on using tiny log-in screens, and must browse to specific documents using the folder structure in the BI Launchpad, which is optimized for use on a big screen with a mouse—in other words, not ideal for mobile phone use with their smaller screens. (I go into more detail about the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app later in this article, in the “Features of SAP BusinessObjects Mobile Applications” section.)

You can get the full article at BI Expert.

Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

Design Studio 1.x and hierarchies: Not Assigned node filtering

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017

In BW hierarchies, the values that are not assigned to a hierarchy node are gathered under the Not Assigned node. The query output shows this node in the hierarchy on the same level as the top node of the hierarchy. This works the same for all SAP front-end tools that support hierarchies (Design Studio, Analysis for Office, BEx Analyzer, BEx Web Analyzer).

So far so good. Last week I ran into an issue with filtering on these Not Assigned nodes in Design Studio. The option just isn’t available! The whole hierarchy is visible in the filter menu, expect for the Not Assigned node! This happens both in prompt filters and the normal filters via a component (i.e. Dimension Filter or filtering via context-menu on Crosstab).

Filter in BEx Web Analyzer:

Web Analyzer Not Assigned

Display and filter in Design Studio:

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Posted in: Featured, Knowledge sharing, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

Relative OpenDocument links

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017

In the BI Platform each document and folder has its own direct Document Link. Via this OpenDocument concept the specific object can be opened instantly, without having to browse through the BI Launchpad. You can find the Document Link by right-clicking a document in BI Launchpad/CMC.

In addition, we can use this link to pass parameters between reports. This video explains how to do this in Design Studio:

Lately I got several questions on using OpenDocument links in Design Studio dashboards in the context of BI landscapes with multiple BI Platform installations, let’s say with separate Development, Test, Production systems. For example, what to do when a Design Studio dashboard needs to link to another dashboard?

If we just use the OpenDocument URL it will always reference to the object on a specific system (i.e. Production), independently of the installation the dashboard is running on. This will definitely lead to issues during development and testing, as the referenced object is on a different environment giving probably some unrelated results, and might even not be available or accessible at all!

The solution is pretty simple, but you just have to know this: Always use relative URLs instead of the full absolute URLs. This relative URL should look like: /BOE/OpenDocument/opendoc/openDocument.jsp?sIDType=CUID&iDocID=<CUID>

So it’s basically the OpenDocument Link without the http://<server>:<port> part. This setup will also reuse a session on the BI Platform, saving login time and platform resources.

Posted in: Knowledge sharing, SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio