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

Book review: Reporting and Analysis with SAP BusinessObjects

Posted by on Mar 5, 2012

For the past months I’ve been busy reading (and listening) a bunch of interesting tech books so it’s time for another review. It looks like SAP Press is updating its book portfolio this year, since after the Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.x with SAP Netweaver book I posted about in January we now also have a second edition of Reporting and Analysis with SAP BusinessObjects, and in April the successor to Creating Dashboards with SAP BusinessObjects is planned for release.

This is a good thing. We’ve seen lots of changes in just a few years; BI4 has been release, new product names are introduced, integration has been improved and so on. If you are just entering the new SAP BusinessObjects world and you would follow the ‘old’ books and documentation it would only get you confused and probably frustrated. We don’t need that. The book is updated for release 4.0 FP3.

So let’s have a look at this new Reporting and Analysis with SAP BusinessObjects book, which is again written by Ingo Hilgefort, who is one of the ultimate gurus on SAP BusinessObjects and SAP BW tooling and integration and has been blogging and writing books on these topics since SAP acquired BusinessObjects a few years back. Follow this guy if you want to keep updated and learn more.

This book is really an overall overview of the complete SAP BusinessObjects reporting portfolio. It starts with the basics by describing the different reporting capabilities in just a few pages. A lot of SAP BI consultants still can’t name the five main BI tooling areas so there is nothing wrong to start with this again.

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Posted in: Books, Knowledge sharing, New technology, SAP BusinessObjects

New Book: Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.x with SAP NetWeaver

Posted by on Jan 1, 2012

SAP Press recently released Integrating SAP BusinessObjects BI Platform 4.x with SAP NetWeaver by Ingo Hilgefort. This book is the successor to the 2009 Integrating SAP Business Objects XI 3.1 BI Tools with SAP NetWeaver and is now updated with content on the latest SAP BusinessObjects 4 (BI4) release.

In this book Hilgefort explains how we can setup the (new) BI4 platform on top of a SAP BW or SAP ECC environment. He does this by covering the complete implementation cycle: First he goes through the installation steps for the SAP BusinessObjects server and client tools (Crystal Reports, Dashboards, Live Office, Analysis and the BI Platform Client tools like the Universe Designer and the Information Design Tool). This is done in a very detailed step-by-step manner, discussing every installer screen that will appear in the process. This really is very helpful the first time you have to do this! This extremely detailed approach is followed throughout the whole book.

Each front-end tool has a chapter dedicated to it in which the several data connectivity scenarios are discussed for the specific tool. These chapters all have the following approach: First all possible connectivity options are discussed. As you can see the overview figure for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) now really has become art. 🙂


Next the supported and unsupported SAP BW elements are shown in a table for each connectivity option. Also a metadata mapping is given for the BEx Query elements, showing for example how a navigational attribute or variable is treated by the front-end tool. I also like the translations of the terms used in SAP BusinessObjects, like Key figure becomes Measure and Variable is called Prompt. All these overviews make things very clear.

To get you started these chapters all have a Create your first report section, that shows you step-by-step how you can create a simple report with each tool and how to set up the several connections. Again, a lot of screenshots are used here so even if you haven’t worked with some of the tools yet, you will learn fast on how to configure the data connection. Good stuff!

Live Office and BI Web Services (QaaWS) haven’t been forgotten. There roles have become less important with the new connectivity options in BI4 but they can still be used. Hilgefort discusses this situation and shows how to use them in combination with Dashboards. The book finishes with chapters on report publications and SAP Portal integration, which makes this book very very complete.

Just like all the other books written by Ingo Hilgefort you really should pick up this one! Not only as a reference guide but also to go through the step-by-step sections to get a good understanding of the several connectivity options when integration BI4 with SAP. Also make sure you check his site/blog which is totally dedicated to the SAP BI integration subject.

Posted in: Books, Knowledge sharing, New technology, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, SAP BW

SAP BusinessObjects BI4 is (almost) here!

SAP BusinessObjects BI4 is (almost) here!
Posted by on Jan 24, 2011

Finally SAP has come up with a date on the BI4 release: February 23, 2011. SAP is announcing a Virtual Launch Event for BI4 and EIM4 on this date, so make sure you register for it.
SAP BusinessObjects BI4 virtual launch
Below I put another weird video I found somewhere on the web covering the upcoming BI4 release. Also check out the SlideShare presentation for an overview of BI4.

Posted in: SAP, SAP BusinessObjects

Xcelsius 2011: Direct query binding

Posted by on Jan 10, 2011

Somewhere in the first half of 2011 the next version of SAP Crystal Dashboard Design (Xcelsius) will be released as part of the new SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 (#BI4) portfolio. SAP hasn’t given us a release date yet, but they did put a few demo’s and tutorials online that already give an impression of what is coming.

The most important new feature to Xcelsius seems to be an additional way to connect a dashboard to a Universe. A new Query Browser menu is introduced which enables the creation of queries on Universes without leaving Xcelsius or having to use tools like Query as a Web Service (QaaWS).

Xcelsius 2011 - Query Browser Xcelsius 2011 - Query creation

In these queries you can determine which fields should be loaded into the dashboard and define some filters, prompts and sorting settings. To use these prompts to filter data during dashboard runtime the new Query Prompt Selector component can be used.

Xcelsius 2011 - Prompts

Binding the results of such a query to the spreadsheet works just like binding the current data connections. Additionally it will be possible to bind a component directly to a query, so without using the spreadsheet at all! This feature will certainly make development a lot easier and faster.

Xcelsius 2011 - Direct query binding Xcelsius 2011 - Direct query binding

Finally I want to share a video that demonstrates these new possibilities. Also have a look at the tutorials SAP put on their community website which learned me the above, since I do not have access to the beta/ramp-up version yet. BTW if you can get me this, plz let me know. 😉

Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, Xcelsius