SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6 Preview

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015

SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.6 is coming up later this quarter so it is time to do a little previewing! You can find the full roadmap for Design Studio here. Below I’ll discuss the highlights of all the new features that we can expect.

New Scorecard component

Design Studio 1.6 brings a new component that we have seen before in Xcelsius (SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards): the Scorecard component, or formatted table. This component can display multiple visualizations on a single table row. A table can display multiple of these rows, for example for each product type or region a separate row. We can show simple numbers but also charts (micro charts/trend lines without x/y-axis). Exceptions as defined in the underlying BEx Query can be shown as trend icons, colored text or colored cell backgrounds.

Very very useful if you want to display a lot of performance indicators in a compact way. Should also be easy to develop as you now only need a single scorecard component to achieve this, instead of using multiple text, chart etc. components to to the same.


New Spreadsheet component

A bit of a surprise is this new Spreadsheet component. It has the same functionality as the Crosstab component, so it can display data and has a context menu with all the OLAP features (filter, sort etc.). Difference is that you can now copy and paste data to and from this component. This is meant for planning scenarios, where you have to enter values (the planning template also uses the spreadsheet component). Now you can copy the data from a Design Studio app to Excel, make some adjustments there, and copy and paste them back into the spreadsheet component in the Design Studio app and use the planning functionality to save the data. The component also really looks like a familiar spreadsheet environment as in MS Excel, so that is also a plus. There is no info on using formulas or such as we are used to in Excel.


Geo pie charts

You can now use custom point markers (images) in the Geo Map component. Also pie charts can be plotted on the geo layers. Don’t use this, as pie charts suck.

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Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

SAP Design Studio Roadmap minor – but interesting – update

Posted by on Jul 26, 2015

To my surprise a new roadmap for SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio was published last week: version July 22 2015. This is only two months after the previous update (May 5 2015) and it is still covering the same current 1.5 release. You can find the roadmap here (S-account required).

I went through it and made some comparisons:

Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

SAPinsinder Q&A on What’s New in Design Studio 1.5 this Wednesday

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015

Jeroen and I are doing another SAPinsider chat this Wednesday June 10th. Topic is the new Design Studio 1.5 release. If you have questions you can already submit them through the SAPinsider Q&A tool, or just ask them during the chat.

The chat starts at 11am EDT/4pm GMT at If you can’t join us live, there will be a replay/transcript available later.

SAPinsider logo

How Does SAP Design Studio Change Dashboard Design and Performance? Q&A on What’s New in Release 1.5

How does Design Studio fit your dashboarding needs? Design Studio is held out as the successor to SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius), and the latest version – release 1.5 – is being called the “performance release.”  What is changing in 1.5?

Join this one-hour online chat on June 10 with BI 2015 speaker Jereoen van der A and Xavier Hacking for their insights on top improvements and significant changes in performance and dashboard creation. Whether you are evaluating Design Studio or looking at an upgrade to 1.5, post your specific questions, including:

  • What are the performance and load-time improvements in 1.5 and what should we expect to see changing after upgrade?
  • What’s new with geomapping support?
  • When should we use SDKs and when should we build our own components?
  • How does Design Studio compare to Analysis for Office and Dashboards?
  • Any updates to Design Studio integration with Lumira?
  • What data sources are supported and how will parallel processing impact performance with 1.5?

We’re looking forward to a great Q&A and to your questions on this chat on Design Studio 1.5.

Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

Design Studio 1.5 Preview

Posted by on May 16, 2015

Later this quarter the next big SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio update will be generally available: version 1.5. Let’s have a look at what we can expect in this edition.

Performance, performance, performance

Despite the fact that Design Studio is developed in a much more future proof way than SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius), it still appears to be pretty difficult to develop apps/dashboards that load quickly and respond rapidly to user inputs (setting a filter value for example). Particularly in the case of dashboards that use multiple data sources this is a problem. Until Design Studio version 1.4 these data sources were in fact executed sequentially. The effect of this was that 10 pretty fast queries, each of which only needed 1 second to execute, still would take about 10 seconds to finish.

Version 1.5 finally offers a solution to this problem and lets data sources be run in parallel, just as we are used to from SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards. This will obviously lead to huge reductions in load times. On the other hand, this will probably lead to more peak loads of the source systems (e.g. SAP BW). The developer can manage this with so-called processing groups that indicate which data sources should or should not be executed in parallel.


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Posted in: Preview, SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio

Design Studio updated roadmap January 2014

Posted by on Jan 26, 2014

SAP put a new and updated version of the Design Studio roadmap online last week. These roadmaps are publicly available via the SAP Road Maps page on the SAP Service Marketplace:

A product road map describes how the feature/function capabilities in an SAP product or technology are planned to progress over time, in general:

  • Today = changes in the current release version, which is Design Studio 1.2.
  • Planned Innovations = changes planned in upcoming development releases (next 12-18 months).
  • Future Direction = proposed themes for a product or technology beyond the planned releases.

Let’s have a look at it.


The long announced Integrated Planning (IP) feature will arrive soon in Design Studio. This will make Design Studio not only an analytical tool but also a tool to create a nice interface for some data input. This is also a feature that never made it to SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards.

Next, the back-end updates for the HANA and SAP BW platform will get those deployment options up to par with the BI4 Platform. I’m not sure if this also means that HANA and SAP BW will enable mobile Design Studio applications. Don’t think so.

The other planned innovations are nice increments, although I have no idea what they mean with Advanced scripting.


The big change with the previous roadmaps is the planning for three important and much requested features: Context menu, Drag and Drop and Report-to-Report Interface (RRI). These two features made the old BEx Web Application Designer a real analytical web tool.

With the context menu you could change for example the number of decimals shown, switch between keys and texts, set filters, add dimensions and so on. This was quite powerful in combination with drag and drop t0 edit your result set table. In Web Intelligence, Analysis, Lumira and other BI tools we are also used to work like that. With these options Design Studio would get really close to being the ultimate BI tool.

Also the Report-to-Report Interface (RRI) seems to be postponed. With RRI we could jump from a report to other reports, while taking the filter settings of the start report with us to the other report(s). It’s somewhat the BEx variant of OpenDocument.


So yes, I’m a quite disappointed about these features being pushed back on the release calendar. I have some customers that are eagerly waiting for this so they can finally ditch their old BEx Web Application Designer reports. Now we have to find some creative workarounds to get to the desired functionality.

For reference, the old roadmap (SAP TechEd 2013):


Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio