I was happy just reading SAP Solution Management Director Ingo Hilgefort’s key concept to his new article, in which he gives a short, understandable answer about the difference between BusinessObjects BI 4.0’s SP04 and FP03:
Service Pack 04 (SP04) includes the functionality of Feature Pack 03 (FP03) so that you do not have to apply FP03 first and then apply SP04 to your landscape.
Ahh, sometimes simple explanations go a long way in our technically heavy articles here on SAPexperts.
For example, he details the following enhancements for BusinessObjects Dashboards (formerly Xcelsius):
Key figures from BEx queries with a configured scaling factor
Level-based selection for hierarchical reports
SAP ERP data sources via a universe
Report-Report Interface as a valid sender
Support for OLAP connections from BusinessObjects Enterprise
By the way, Hilgefort has more about SP04 in another upcoming article for us, and he will also speak on the topic at the brand new SAPexperts Theater during the Reporting & Analytics 2012 conference in Las Vegas in October (he’s on schedule for October 29 at 10:45 a.m.).
Recently, I moderated a web chat Q&A with consultant Dr. Bjarne Berg (a.k.a. IceBerg and Dr. Bergmeister, according to his doting students at Lenoir-Rhyne University), during which he further discussed Comerit Labs’ research into BusinessObjects tools for the iPad versus Android devices.
Given the infancy of tablets and the suboptimal feedback both the Android and iPad OS experiences received from your testers, what is the viable argument at this stage for pursuing a mobile solution with BusinessObjects?
Berg’s answer: “The trick is to selectively pick the tools and methods on how to deploy the mobile solution. For example, the WebI and [Crystal] tools seem to work great on the iPads when used through the downloaded app. The dashboard works fine when going through third-party tools.”
Berg also noted that the new iPad 3 has 400% more pixels than its predecessors, which allows you to zoom down to many more details. This made Berg wonder whether developers will create monster dashboards that prompt you to zoom in instead of shift pages.
Based on those observations, Berg concluded that companies should not hold off on going mobile with BusinessObjects simply because the tablet technology is new. “Just be sober when you decide what to do and what tools to deploy,” he said.
As we round the corner to the big BI 2012 conference next week in Las Vegas, I thought it would be fun to pair up SAP BI functionality and features with some of the memorable hotels and casinos that comprise the Las Vegas strip:
SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (formerly known as Xcelsius) — The Planet Hollywood hotel seems a good fit for this software, given that before a recent name change and spruce-up, the hotel was previously known as the Aladdin. And even before the huge towers of the new Aladdin were built on the site, the old-school version of the Aladdin was a lower-lying casino that had cache among long-time fans of Vegas. The old Aladdin and Xcelsius share a story, as both are still fondly remembered even though by name, they are long gone. (Suggested BI 2012 session: “Case study: An inside look at McKesson’s deployment of SAP BusinessObjects for its financial dashboard and analysis requirements”)
SAP HANA — The in-memory technology of SAP HANA reminds me of the new CityCenter Las Vegas property, which features a series of hotels and attractions along with technologically advanced design. Looking at CityCenter can leave you in awe, and early reports on SAP HANA also indicate an impressive experience. The marks that both may leave remain to be seen, however. (Suggested reading: BI Expert’s latest series of HANA articles)
SAP NetWeaver BW — Much of the modern-day Las Vegas strip seems to be built on the back of Caesars Palace, given what the resort accomplishes with its size, pomp, and architecture. The same can be said of NetWeaver, which continues to lay the foundation for much of your SAP BI environment. Upcoming SAP HANA integration will build upon NetWeaver BW’s role. (Suggested BI 2012 networking opportunity: Dan Kearnan of SAP will talk about the HANA roadmap with NetWeaver during a special session at the SAPexperts booth on Thursday, March 1 at 11:30 a.m. PST)
SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation — Just about everyone, including many SAP employees, refers to the planning and consolidation application by its old, outlawed initials: BPC. Similarly, the TI hotel is known by many still as its former name, Treasure Island. In both cases, it is a tale of abbreviations gone awry. (Suggested reading: “If I could use the initials BPC, I’d tell you about new Web client features”).
SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Accelerator (BWA) — There is some talk that SAP HANA may outdistance BWA in terms of improving NetWeaver performance. Yet depending on the size of the data you need to analyze, BWA may give you more at a cheaper price. BWA would be at home in the Flamingo hotel, which has a great location and reasonable rates, even though you won’t get a jet-setting experience. For many folks, the Flamingo and BWA work just fine. (Suggested vendor session at BI 2012: “Business Warehouse Accelerator or SAP HANA: Which one is right for your company's analytics?”).
I’m sure many of you out there can add to this list, so let me know by posting a comment.
We can all appreciate the frustration of an SAP BusinessObjects user who crunches data in a language not supported as a standard offering from SAP.
Haksar and Dubey show you how to download new language packs – in this case, for Arabic – and install them into SAP BusinessObjects (formerly Xcelsius). The result is a dashboard (below) with Arabic fonts that runs from the right side of the screen to the left, as is custom in Arabic.
“At the universe level, Arabic data is not seen correctly (i.e., it is not presented in the correct format of right to left indented) because the table values are not affected by the font or the language pack you installed,” the authors wrote, following with advice on how to remedy that obstacle.
Their approach also applies to Crystal Reports and SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence.
I hope others who are interested in writing for BI Expertcontact me, as we’re planning to publish more articles in 2012 than ever before. We want to hear about implementation experiences, best practices you use, and how-to instructions that have helped your company or clients.
Those of you celebrating Halloween on Monday may want to know about some cool SAP-themed costumes that I’ve run into this year:
HANA Man – Similar to the late Charlton Heston’s spin as The Omega Man, HANA Man speeds (really speeds) around in a cool car, trying to collect as much candy as possible and then returns home to quickly sort it by weight, color, and any other useful characteristic. Only the rich kids can afford this costume.
Mighty Xcelsius – A battle-weary warrior seeking to reclaim his lost name, the Xcelsius costume inspires many loyal trick-or-treaters to follow him around the neighbor extolling his virtues.
McSnabe – This get-up takes a pair of trick-or-treaters to make it work because McSnabe is a two-headed giant, with one face resembling SAP Co-CEO Bill McDermott and the other bearing a likeness to his counterpart, Co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe. (Perhaps if you added Vishal Sikka’s face to this costume, you’d get a version of Cerberus.)
The Ghost of Pioneer – A ghoul long forgotten and now trapped in the software netherworld, the hooded Ghost of Pioneer spooks all who try to remember what it was.
Lèo – A hobo without a home, anyone dressed up as Lèo may try to take up residence in your house if you let them in.