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

BI 2011 Amsterdam recap

BI 2011 Amsterdam recap
Posted by on Jun 12, 2011

Last week I attended the 3 day conference part of the SAPinsider BI2011 event in Amsterdam. Earlier I posted my expectations here so it’s now time for some evaluations.


The conference started with a classic keynote with cameras, enormous screens, demos and some high-level managerial talks from Sanjay Poonen and Jason Rose. The only things I can remember from this were the various very cool iPad apps that were nicely demonstrated and that there were 1400 people attending the event (BI2011, HR2011, GRC2011 and Financials2011 combined).


So I expected to hear some informative things in three areas at BI2011: HANA, SAP BW 7.3 and SAP HR reporting with SAP BW. The sessions for first two completely succeeded in this, the SAP HR reporting area on the other hand was a big disappointment. Based on the session’s descriptions I expected to learn more on SAP HR data in combination with SAP BW reporting, since this would be very helpful for my current project. Unfortunately only SAP queries where discussed in the first session and the second session just went through the standard BW tooling, without any actual reference to SAP HR data. Maybe my expectation level was completely off, but this was just a waste of time.

The sessions on BI4 that I attended (WebI & Analysis) could have been more detailed but were okay overall. The session on Crystal Report was cancelled last minute because the speaker couldn’t make it to Amsterdam in time. Too bad.

I loved those tips & tricks sessions! This is where you really learn things. Top two here were the session of Jesper Christensen on data load improvements and my final session on the last day by Shell on their experiences regarding the SAP BusinessObjects integration with SAP BW. Very good job guys!

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Posted in: SAP

BI 2011 Amsterdam 7-9 June event

BI 2011 Amsterdam 7-9 June event
Posted by on Jun 2, 2011

Next week SAP is coming to Holland with its BI 2011 event in Amsterdam and I will be attending together with a colleague for Interdobs. SAPInsider introduces this event as The most important event of the year for professionals that use and support SAP® solutions for reporting, business intelligence, and data management so I am pretty excited about what we are about to hear and learn.

This BI 2011 event is hosted with Financials 2011, GRC 2011 and HR 2011 and the conference will take place from June 7 until 9. After looking at the Tracks & Sessions and building my personal agenda at the BI 2011 website I guess the three most interesting topics for me will be:

  1. SAP HANA. I’ve read and heard a bit about this new technology which will be a big part of the future of SAP BI. Unfortunately only one complete session on HANA, but it is also discussed in a session on SAP BW 7.3.
  2. SAP BW 7.3, the latest upgrade for SAP BW 7. Two sessions: 1, 2.
  3. SAP HR reporting with SAP BW, since the client I work for at the moment has a SAP HR focussed SAP landscape and is positioning SAP BW as its main reporting environment. There will be two sessions discussing this: 12.

These three topics, together with numerous export sessions and case studies on SAP BusinessObjects front-end tooling and the SAP BW back-end promise to make this a very cool event. I might decide to take the train from Eindhoven to Amsterdam instead of my car so I have some more time to write a few blogposts during these three days, but we’ll see about that next week.

BI2011 Amsterdam

Posted in: SAP

SAP HTG: Calling BEx Web Applications from SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius)

SAP HTG: Calling BEx Web Applications from SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius)
Posted by on Feb 21, 2011

It has been a while since my last post here. I’ve been busy at work and of course I am spending a lot of my time on writing the SAP BusinessObjects Dashboard Design (Xcelsius) cookbook The writing process is nearing its end which means we are finishing the final ‘recipes’ and reviewing and discussing the chapters that already completed with the publishing team and the technical reviewers. Last month I also reviewed a number of add-ons for Dashboard Design which was pretty cool. I will blog about it later when I got some more time.

Meanwhile I found this How-To Guide by SAP somewhere on SDN, which shows you how to open BEx Web Applications from a SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards dashboard (uh, this sounds weird). It shows you how to use Flash Variables, the URL button component and some MS Excel formula magic to make this work.

The second part of the HTG explains how to call a dashboard from a BEx Web Template or a BEx Query with the good-old Report-to-Report interface (RRI).

You can find this HTG here. Have fun!

Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, Xcelsius

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