Book review: Mastering SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP with SAP NetWeaver BW

Posted by on Mar 29, 2013

hilgefortanalysisolap1SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP is probably the one BI4 tool I have spent the least time in yet. It can be seen as the successor to the BEx Web Analyzer and it is the web counterpart of SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for Office.

For my projects this might be a very useful tool to offer to our users since it is fully integrated in the BI Launchpad platform and doesn’t require any locally installed software (in contrast to the Office edition, which uses an MS Excel plugin).

Ingo Hilgefort wrote an eBook that is fully dedicated to Analysis OLAP in combination with SAP BW as a data source: Mastering SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP with SAP NetWeaver BW.

I picked up the Kindle edition at Amazon.com which was quite cheap at $14,51. I think if you are living in the USA the price will be even lower (around $10) due to ‘some’ taxes we have to pay in the European Union. Anyway, with or without taxes this obviously is no money for this kind of content.

After positioning the tool within the SAP BusinessObjects BI portfolio and discussing the data connectivity options the book quickly dives into the details. Since it is focussed on SAP BW environments as a datasource only, literally all the BW and BEx stuff is discussed: BEx Query elements, variable types, hierarchical functionality and so on. For every one of these features it is stated how Analysis OLAP supports it. Also some comparisons are made with the BEx Web Analyzer and Analysis Office.

Next the book demonstrates in a step-by-step manner the features of Analysis OLAP. Here a load of screenshots are used, so it is very clear what you have to do. I didn’t have access to an environment with Analysis OLAP when reading the book but with the clear texts and figures I could easily follow what was happening. The book ends with a chapter on deployment of Analysis OLAP which gives some interesting performance tweaking tips.

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I got the book on my Kindle, which is a small device and has no colors. A lot of tables are used in the book and the formatting of them gets messed-up on my Kindle. The screenshots are also quite hard to view. Luckily I can also use the Kindle app on my Mac to view the details. Unfortunately the indexing from chapter 4 and up doesn’t work. So you have to scroll page by page to the right section if you want to look up something in stead of just clicking the section in the table of contents. Hopefully Ingo will fix this and also keep updating the contents of the book every time a new service pack is released. Good stuff!

Mastering SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for OLAP with SAP NetWeaver BW [Kindle Edition] by Ingo Hilgefort.

Posted in: Books, Knowledge sharing, Review, SAP BusinessObjects

I want iSlate [updated]

I want iSlate [updated]
Posted by on Jan 9, 2010

As you may have read Apple is expected to make a major product announcement by the end of this month. Will the iTablet/iSlate/iGuide finally come? Many rumor/news sites think so and I sure hope it is true. Gizmodo made a nice overview on the Apple tablet rumors so you don’t have to read all those rumor sites yourself. For me this feels like the months before the iPhone release in 2007 all over again.

The #1 reason for me to buy such a device – besides the fact that I obviously like new Apple stuff – would be that I am ditching paper in 2010. At the end of 2009 I purchased and read lots of paper books which made me think. Why am I still driving to my local bookstore to get my books, and why am I still waiting days/weeks for my Amazon/Bol.com orders to be delivered when I know that most books are available in digital format. Every week I receive several paper magazines and until last week I even got a daily newspaper on my doormat! Also, at work my desk is always filled with prints of documents because I don’t like to read long texts from a computer screen and I want to write some small notes on them.

So I started looking for a digital paper/e-reader like device that would allow me to really go digital. Fast conclusion was that they all kinda suck. Yes even the Amazon Kindle DX. I don’t want to use an USB cable to sync it to my Mac. I want a real browser. I want a multitouch screen. I want a color screen. I want to edit docs. I want to use spreadsheets. I want to watch videos. I want to install small Apps.

So actually I just want a big iPhone with a screen that is easy on the eyes. When can I get it, Apple?

Update: 24 hours after writing this blog I got the Plastic Logic News Alert in my mailbox. I think over a year ago I read something on the web about a cool e-ink/e-paper prototype, which was of a much higher quality than the available e-readers. It must have grabbed my attention because I signed up for the newsletter, which learns me that they finally unveiled the specs, prizing and release date for their QUE product. After a quick look at the website I think this comes pretty close to what I am looking for. Its business oriented, supports MS Excel, has a multitouch screen, enables commenting, is Mac compatible and it sure looks great. Major remarks are the high price ($649 – $799) and the no-color screen. QUE will be available in April 2010. The video below gives an impression of the device.

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Posted in: New technology