This week we got access to the beta program for one of the new upcoming SAP BI tools: SAP BusinessObjects Analysis Edition for Application Design, codename ZEN. I played around with it for about an hour to get a quick first impression and to see how fast I would be able to create my first ZEN app with some interactivity.
If you haven’t heard about ZEN before you should check the following blogposts:
The user guide gives the following definition of ZEN:
SAP BusinessObjects Analysis, edition for application design enables application designers to create analysis applications and dashboards for browsers and mobile devices on top of BW and SAP HANA data sources. It is the product of choice when full support for BW and HANA data models and engine capabilities is required. The product offers a design tool that allows you to create applications in an easy and intuitive way without the need for native HTML and iPad UI programming skills.
Looking at the SAP BI tools, the features of the current BEx Web Application Designer (WAD) and SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius) will be merged into this one tool (to rule them all!). Note that ZEN is now in beta, ramp-up is planned for end 2012 and it will be general availability not before the middle of 2013!! So we have enough time to learn about this new tool.
The ZEN software installer required me to install Internet Explorer 9 on my Windows 7 VM. This could lead to some problems in production environments that are using WAD, since WAD only works well with Internet Explorer 8. At one of my current projects we now also have this problem after upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7 with IE9. Check SAP note 1635870 for more info on this issue.
Setting up the connection to the SAP BW system was easy; just copy-pasting the settings from the SAP logon settings. There is no ‘check connection’ option, so you have to execute the app to check if your settings are correct. Interesting is the option to create multiple SAP BW and SAP HANA connections. Also it seems like you don’t need a live connection to work on an app. In WAD this was required.
The program looks a bit like WAD and Xcelsius, with several components to choose from on the left, a canvas in the middle and on the right the properties of the selected component.
Knowledge sharing, New technology, Preview, SAP, SAP BusinessObjects, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio, ZEN
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:
- 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.
- SAP BW 7.3, the latest upgrade for SAP BW 7. Two sessions: 1, 2.
- 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: 1, 2.
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.SAP