SAP BI product name shake-up: the 2017 edition

Posted by on May 26, 2017

Another year, another set of product names for our beloved SAP BI tools. Seemingly out of nowhere a list of new names were presented last week at the SAPPHIRENOW event in Orlando FL. Even after all the name changes we had in the past 10 years (‘member Xcelsius?), this still came a bit as a surprise for me.

So let’s have a look at what happened here. First it seems like the whole BI portfolio is now recognized as SAP Analytics. Apparently it was named SAP BusinessObjects Analytics before (I always thought it was ‘SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence’, but that could be because I’m mostly focussing on the BI part of the tools), but this makes sense. The old BI terminology is probably seen as too limited, as the current and future analytics will go way beyond only internal data and usage scenarios. Of course the bigger change is that SAP continues to ditch the BusinessObjects brand: SAP BusinessObjects Cloud becomes SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP BusinessObjects Lumira will be SAP Lumira and SAP BusinessObjects Roambi just SAP Roambi.

Meanwhile, some of the more classic BusinessObjects tools keep their BusinessObjects brand: SAP BusinessObjects Web IntelligenceSAP BusinessObjects Enterprise. Analysis for Office loses the ‘for Office’ specification: SAP BusinessObjects Analysis. Following the conversion strategy this makes sense, as Analysis OLAP hasn’t been improved for a while and should be replaced by the Design Studio generic analysis template. Talking about Design Studio, which is not in the above photo, it is now labeled as SAP Analytics Design Studio (!!!) on SAP.com. Which, is a pretty insane name change at this point in time as the upcoming edition of the tool (only weeks away) will merge into Lumira 2.0 anyway. Talking about insane stuff, when I was browsing SAP.com I also saw that SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) is still actively advertised. Madness.

Anyway, what I don’t understand is why SAP is keeping this BusinessObjects brand alive at all. Does it still have a value if all your major (new) tools are not using it? Maybe it’s for the non-SAPBW/HANA legacy customer base? But come on, it has been 10 years now since the acquisition and this is again (or still) a mess. Some tools have SAP Analytics in the name, some SAP BusinessObjects and some only SAP. I can’t wait for next year’s edition!

Posted in: Featured, SAP, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP Lumira

SAP BI4.2 What’s New

Posted by on Oct 17, 2015

Some interesting What’s New slides on SAP BusinessObjects BI4.2 appeared this week. You can check the high-level info slides here, the slides with a bit more detail here, and if you are really hardcore you can find the 150 slides ultimate edition here.

You can also go through my tweets with all the highlights and my comments:

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Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects

SAP BI4: Override OLAP Connections in Promotion Management

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014

The Promotion Management corner in the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform CMC is still a bit of a strange place for us coming from the SAP BW world. I really like the fact that you can use a single promotion job to promote a report again and again after each change. In SAP BW that would require a new transport every time. But, something as the Overrides Settings is still a difficult to get through and set up. The official admin guide for the BI4 platform mentions it briefly, but does not explain it good enough.

Until we had this configured we had to manually reconnect each SAP BW BEx Query in a promoted Webi report. I wrote about this annoying situation before.

With an override setting on an OLAP Connection to a SAP BW system, we can make the connection change (or better: override) its settings when promoted, so it connects to the right source system. Say we have two SAP BusinessObjects Platforms (BOTest and BOProd) and two SAP BW systems (BWTest and BWProd). We want the OLAP Connection on the BOTest environment to connect with the BWTest system. The connection on the BOProd environment should connect to the BWProd system. So if we promote a Webi document that uses this OLAP Connection from BOTest to BOProd, the Webi should load data from BWProd after refreshing it on the BOProd environment.

Now, how can we set up this override thing?

1. Log in to the CMC of the SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform that acts as the ‘source’ (where you want to promote from).

2. Make sure you have an OLAP Connection set up on your SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform. You can create this in OLAP Connections.

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Posted in: Knowledge sharing, SAP BusinessObjects

De Nederlandse BI Podcast – Episode 11: BO Simplification

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014

We recorded a very current edition of De Nederlandse BI Podcast, discussing the latest SAP blog by Jayne Landry on the future simplification of the SAP BusinessObjects BI product portfolio. Check the blog here.

Jaynes-post

You can find the show in iTunes, on our website or just use the Podcast player below to listen instantly.

Posted in: De Nederlandse BI Podcast, SAP BusinessObjects

QlikView Next front-end vs SAP BusinessObjects Mobile

Posted by on May 4, 2014

I just took the time to watch this video previewing QlikView Next. In the video a good preview is giving of what this new QlikView tool looks like and works, and it seems pretty cool. It also worries me when I look at the mobile BI solutions SAP is currently providing in the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app.

If I understand it correctly Next is some kind of BI vision for the future, where they want users to move from passively receiving reports to more actively participating in analysis. They made a beautiful website for this, but I can’t really find out what the really big deal is here. Things like the Discover, Decide, Do cycle are not really groundbreaking or unique.

But, I can see from the video demo that the tool itself is purely developed from a user experience perspective and fully compatible for mobile usage. It runs in Safari on an iPad without having to install something. You can easily select data and use ‘natural’ gestures as pinching to zoom in on charts. I really like the way you can circle around a group of data points to select them.

The user can create new analyses himself by drag-and-dropping components (charts, filter boxes etc.). From these analyses a story can be composed, including written text. This storyboard can be distributed to others and from a datapoint in this storyboard a user can go back to the original (more detailed) analysis.

So let’s compare this to what SAP is offering in their SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app. The Mobile app can show predefined Webi, Crystal, Dashboards and Design Studio application. Except from some basic annotations and mailing screenshots there are no options to add information or adjust what you are seeing. The interactivity/usability options within the reports (making selections for example) are miles behind what QlikView Next is showing in the video demo.

I also tried SAP Lumira Cloud on the Mobile app. It let’s you create a single chart, add and move some dimensions and measures. You can even click one or more datapoints on the chart to filter, but this doesn’t work really smooth. Also pinching and swiping seems to have no effect. And I just can’t figure out how to add more charts and/or a storyboard. Frustrating.

Conclusion is that the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile app still sucks and there is a lot of work to do to close this gap. The problem is that the approach for the Mobile app always has been to make (existing) BI4 reports available on mobile devices, which led to crappy solutions. It is just like publishers trying to port their newspapers and magazines to the iPad, in the exact same format as the printed paper (see my Blendle post).

Instead, SAP should start all over again and recreate their Mobile app from a pure mobile usage perspective (and not just continue to port Lumira to the iPad!). Also for Design Studio we need upgraded components that include these cool mobile gesture features like smart data selections.

By the way thanks to @pieter_hendrikx for the tip on this QlikView Next video.

Posted in: New technology, SAP BusinessObjects