GMaps Plugin – Update on Google Maps API

Posted by Xavier Hacking

In 2010 I wrote this post about the great GMaps Plugin for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards. In the past 2 years some things have changed. I’m now getting some mails and tweets about this post and want to give you a short update.

First, development on the GMaps Plugin has – obviously – been continued and they are now at version 3.5. In the post I use version 2. So not everything may look the same when using the 3.5 trial version.

In the post I refer to a Google Maps API key you have to use to get the Google Maps running inside your dashboard. But, the API key option in the component properties doesn’t exist anymore! After adding the component to the canvas the Google Maps will appear instantly. From the Centigon Solutions FAQ:

As of March 2012, Google no longer supports creation of API keys for their maps APIs. Furthermore Google no longer supports the free Maps API for Flash per their deprecation policy. GMaps Plugin standard trials no longer require any API keys and provide newly enforced publishing limitations.

If your try to publish and  run your dashboard with the GMaps Plugin trial component on a remote server you’ll get some kind of Initialization failed error. Due to changes introduced to the free Google Maps API and removal of API key generator GMaps Plugin trial does NOT allow for publishing of content on a server environment anymore.

Below is the mail that Centigon Solutions sent about this issue to its users in April 2012:

We apologize if you have recently had difficulties using GMaps Plugin NFR copies against remote servers. As you know Google had long provided  their free maps APIs, allowing us to extend our GMaps Plugin technology to trusted partners and consultants for development and testing purposes ranging from public facing campaigns, to product demonstrations that fall within the Google Maps API terms of use.

Unfortunately, six months ago, Google announced the deprecation of their Flash Maps API. The 3 year deprecation period will ensure support for Google Maps enterprise customers who using the maps APIs, which includes Centigon Solutions and all of our customers.

While we hoped this announcement would not impact our NFR version, Google recently made changes that eliminate the creation of API keys to force developers away from using the free Flash API. The result is the inability to use GMaps Plugin NFR for new development efforts. After multiple attempts to establish a channel to request additional keys for existing demos and campaigns, we have not been able to do so.

It is very important to re-iterate that these recent changes only effect the free API, which is completely independent of our enterprise product (GMaps Plugin Bundles), which leverages Google Maps for Business (formerly Google Maps Premier) APIs. Existing and new customers are not effected in any way.

The result is that while you are still permitted to use the NFR copies against existing API keys or on your desktop, we are no longer able to support GMaps Plugin NFR deployments to server environments moving forward, and as such we will no longer continue providing updates for this version.

GMaps Plugin Standard Trials- We still offer the GMaps Plugin standard trial which only allows for development and testing on local computers and does not allow for remote publishing of content. For these cases we are creating a new process for obtaining a new GMaps Plugin Enterprise Trial.

New GMaps Plugin Enterprise Trials- We recently completed development on a new GMaps Plugin trial system that consulting partners and re-seller partners can use for qualified, revenue generating opportunities that is logged with our sales team.  Unfortunately, this version will NOT be available for general development, creating demonstrations, or public facing campaigns due to the time and page view restrictions we have on these trials. Because Google no longer supports their free APIs for these purposes, it will require a fully licensed copy of GMaps Plugin Bundle or GMaps Plugin Premier from us.

Lisa Neale (lisa@centigonsolutions.com) can work with you if there are more questions on how the new trial system works.

The future of GMaps Plugin

We have committed to an official statement of direction for GMaps Plugin in Q2. At that point we will indicate any potential API or platform changes to ensure GMaps Plugin remains the top location intelligence integration for SAP Dashboards well beyond the Google Maps Flash deprecation. We have lots of exciting new functionality lined up for our Flash based GMaps Plugin 4.0 and beyond, and look forward to working with you to ensure you can continue to demonstrate the value of GMaps Plugin.

Thank you for your support and understanding

Ryan Goodman

Centigon Solutions

ryan@centigonsolutions.com

HackingSAP.com - Aug 5, 2012 | SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, Xcelsius
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2 comments

  1. Ryan Goodman
    August 13, 2012

    Thanks for posting this. Just to make sure readers understand, the email above was not sent to current or perspective customers. It was sent only to partners and consultants who were previously using the free trail or NFR copies of GMaps Plugin on a server environment which is in-fact no longer supported for reasons provided above.

    Current and prospective GMaps Plugin customers are not impacted in any way. A prospective customer wanting to take their evaluation from their desktop to a server, can contact our sales team to obtain an full enterprise trial which is full featured.

    Thank you as always for covering GMaps Plugin!

    Reply
  2. Ryan Goodman
    September 9, 2014

    Still a great post that we get questions now and then, so I wanted to provide an update…

    As of last week Google ended all support for their Flash API so the GMaps Plugin we know and love is no longer. Since 2013 we ushered in a new wave of mapping via CMaps Analytics which is our successor. It has 100% of GMaps Plugin features but also has 9 new base layers, better performance, and mobile support. Additionally, all HTML5 developments still use Google APIs so we are still very much investing in Google Maps and our brand new Designer which will offer maps for custom apps, and new BusinessObjects tools to come.

    The new website for everything CMaps Analytics is here: http://cmapsanalytics.com

    Reply

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