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

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook released

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook released
Posted by on May 26, 2011

I am very happy to announce the release of the SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.0 Cookbook I worked on the past year with co-author David Lai and the team at Packt Publishing.

In this book we discuss over 90 so-called recipes that give a step-by-step explanation of the possibilities of SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, formerly known as Xcelsius to create advanced dashboards. We cover the ins & outs of the Dashboard Design components, creating drill-downs, applying dynamic visibility, alerts and exporting & publishing. Also we show you how to improve the look and feel of your dashboard and how to use the spreadsheet in an optimal way. Furthermore dashboard connectivity options (i.e. SAP BW, BI4, XML) are included and we discuss the top third-party add-ons for SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards like the GMaps plugin and Antivia XWIS.

Each recipe is supported by a large number of screenshots and for most of the recipes we included XLF source files for even better understanding. Throughout the book you will find lots of tips, tricks and best practices.

The book is published in eBook (ePub and DRM-free PDF) and paperback format and is available from the Packt Publishing website. Here you can find more info on the book, the table of contents and a sample chapter. Also this is the place to download the XLF and SWF source files we provide with the book.

SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards cookbook

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Posted in: Books, Cookbook, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, Xcelsius

BI4 product names for Xcelsius

BI4 product names for Xcelsius
Posted by on Mar 21, 2011

Last year I wrote about the new product name for Xcelsius: SAP Crystal Dashboard Design. Almost 10 months later everybody still uses Xcelsius and to make life even more difficult SAP has made some more ‘official’ adjustments to it.

The book I am working on now has its third different cover name since we started last summer! We decided to use SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards as the product name. We are referencing to the tool as Dashboard Design since that is the name that is displayed when you run it and SAP also uses it in the official guide. I think the Twitter hashtag now should be #SBOD.

SAP released a FAQ-document which provides the new names for all the products in the BI4 portfolio.  I copied the part on SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (fka Xcelsius) below.

In an effort to bring clarity around the BI solutions from SAP and use names that reflect the capabilities of our solutions, we have made several name changes in the SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.0 release. These new names will make it easier for everyone to identify the BI solutions they are looking for and better understand their capabilities.

Q: Has Xcelsius Enterprise been renamed?

A: Yes. SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius Enterprise and Xcelsius Enterprise Interactive Viewing have been renamed:

Former Name New Name
SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius Enterprise SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards
SAP BusinessObjects Xcelsius Enterprise Interactive Viewing
SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards Interactive Viewing

Q: What is SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards?

A: SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (Xcelsius Enterprise) is a desktop dashboard and visualization solution that is a core part of SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.0. Once a user creates a dashboard model, it can be deployed in Flash format to Web portals, SAP environments, the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform, and desktop applications such as PowerPoint, Word or PDF.

Q: What are the related Dashboard offerings out there?

A: For our customers that buy through our partners, distributors and through our Web store SAP offers:

  1. SAP Crystal Dashboard Design, personal edition
  2. SAP Crystal Dashboard Design, departmental edition
  3. SAP Crystal Dashboard viewing option
  4. SAP Crystal Presentation Design

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Posted in: SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards, Xcelsius

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

LOLvid: Fun with SAP BusinessObjects naming conventions

LOLvid: Fun with SAP BusinessObjects naming conventions
Posted by on Jan 12, 2011

Hahaha check this video on the recent SAP BusinessObjects name changes.

I lol’d.

Posted in: Fun, SAP BusinessObjects