SAP BusinessObjects

Exploring SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.2

BI4.2 beta testing has been very smooth and BI4.2 is now available for all customers to download.
There are numerous performance enhancements to the platform, tools and some very useful features have been implemented. One feature has even been added arising from popular demand via the ‘Idea Place’ portal. 
We have played with the platform and we highly recommend an upgrade. 

Below are a few of the important features we came across that will surely catch your interest. Note that there are many more enhancements but the ones listed below really left an impression on us. 

1. BI Administrators’ Cockpit

BO Administrators can now have a real time view of the infrastructure. This includes Servers, Scheduled jobs, Content usage and Applications. A demo can be found here.
The cockpit accommodates both an overview of the platform and a detailed view of the platform components.  

 Location under CMC

Location under CMC

 Example of a BI Administrator's Cockpit 

Example of a BI Administrator's Cockpit 

Servers
- High level overview of the actual status of the servers: 

 Servers

Servers


- Detailed status of all the servers with different display options: All, Failed and Running.

 Server status

Server status

Scheduled Jobs
- High level overview of the scheduled job status with the possibility to filter by time

 High lever overview

High lever overview

- Detailed overview of the scheduled jobs status with different display options: All, Failed, Running and Statistics (jobs with most instances and jobs with longest run time).
- Details of the selected instance. From the Failed tab it is possible to execute the failed instance.

2. Recycle Bin

Another great addition to the BI4.2 platform is the Recycle Bin. This comes from popular demand via the ‘idea place’.
Put simply, administrators can now recover deleted content without the need to look into backups (biar files or other possible sources). This feature saves time and provides an addition level of security for those accidentally deleted contents moments.
By default this is disabled and has to be enabled. 
However, there is a limitation of what can be recovered. Documents deleted from public folders may be recovered. Documents deleted from personal folders are not retained by the recycle bin and are not recoverable.

 Location under CMC

Location under CMC

 Example of Recycle Bin

Example of Recycle Bin

It is also possible to empty the recycle bin, same as in a windows environment context.

3. Notifications

Another great innovation for BI 4.2 are the new user notifications. This allows administrators to easily broadcast information to single user/group or to all users. For example, if there is upcoming system maintenance. Administrators can specify the timeline for the notification to be visible and also send it as an email notification. Notifications will show up in the BI Launchpad and the “My Alerts” area as well. 
In yellow, on the side screen the alert can be seen.

 Alert notification when logging in

Alert notification when logging in

 Example of notification

Example of notification

4. Webi Comments

The new Commentary feature allows any user with assigned rights to add comments to a report in the form of cell element. The comment appears in a different format from a normal cell and can only be added under “design” mode view. Users can assign the comment a title and corresponding text.
After the initial comment is created and document saved, another user can open the same document and view the comments. They can then reply to this comment thread in the side panel, all categorized under the title, and add additional notes to the comment as well.
Webi comments get exciting in the context where multiple business units need to interact on a single report. Imagine a manager, report designer, data analyst, key user or more stakeholders sharing comments on a WEBI document without a single email!

 Commenting directly on webi document

Commenting directly on webi document

5. Parallel Queries in Webi

Parallel queries are now activated by default. There is the option to deactivate and the also number of concurrent refreshes are customizable. 
Before 4.2 queries were run in sequence and the performance was obviously highly affected. 
Now with BI4.2, queries are run in parallel. This has a huge impact on report performance. 
This feature is supported on UNX, SAP HANA direct access (we will come to this shortly). Can be performed via rich client, html and applet. 

 The side screen shows an example of the parallel feature which was non-existent before BI4.2.

The side screen shows an example of the parallel feature which was non-existent before BI4.2.

6. Webi Direct access to SAP HANA

Now you can create a document directly on a Hana view as source. Same as you would do for an excel as source. 
All calculations will be done on Hana engine as much as possible adding a great performance touch to the report. 
There is no query panel, only drag and drop. This leverages the full power of SAP HANA on a simple WEBI document.
This is supported on OLAP and relational connection, html interface as shown and with the java applet.

Source of information for this blog can be found here. In case you are thinking about upgrading to BI 4.2 and are seeking the best partner to support you, don’t hesitate and contact us at sales@clariba.com.  We are running time-limited offers on upgrades to BI4.2 which you can review here.

Clariba to host webinar on data discovery, self-service BI and SAP Lumira in Spain

SAP Lumira: Convierta grandes volúmenes de datos en información manejable

¿Qué es Data Discovery? ¿ Qué es el self-service de BI ? ¿Qué es SAP Lumira? 

Descubra con nosotros los beneficios que proporciona esta útil y dinámica solución de negocio en la próxima conferencia web de Clariba en 30 de Septiembre.

 

 

How to overcome limitations of having 1 data source: Multisource SDK with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.5

As a SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio SDK developer, I always faced the limitation of having only one data source on my components, but now with SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio 1.5 the option of binding a data-source to a property on any component (SDK or out-of-the-box) that limitation no longer exists, and here is how to overcome it.

How to implement dynamic maps in SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 Web Intelligence

As you may know, there are different workarounds to include dynamic maps in SAP BusinessObjects 4.1 Web Intelligence, such as using hyperlinks (i.e. Dashboards) or external API’s (i.e. google maps).  In case that the reports have to be printed as they are, these options do not provide a solution because it’s necessary to embed an image and not a hyperlink in the document.

Our solution consists in using empty cells and insert PNG images of the regions/countries as a background.

SAP BusinessObjects BO Dashboards – How to bypass Microsoft Office prerequisite?

In one of Clariba’s customer projects we had to install SAP BusinessObjects BO Dashboards 4.1 on top of Microsoft Office 64 bit version. Now, the 64 bit version is not supported by the tool based on SAP Product Availability Matrix, so the setup will fail, but there are still ways to install it. Find out how to bypass this issue.

What to do when DataServices Designer doesn’t launch after SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 SP4 upgrade

When upgrading the SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 Platform in a server that also contains an installation of DataServices, you are risking to damage the DataServices installation, specifically when opening the DataServices Designer after the SAP Business Objects 4.1 SP4 upgrade. You may receive an error as the following -- DataServices is down!

SAP BusinessObjects 4.1: How to disable SELECT ALL values with WebIntelligence Input Controls

Recently, I received the following requirement from a customer: To hide the “Select (All)” value that WebIntelligence places by default in the Input Controls.

Before the SAP BusinessObjects BI4.1 SP4 version, there was no way to hide that line. However, SAP has finally addressed the topic with an BuisnessObjects enhancement and now it is possible to disable it in the Properties of the Input Control.

An easy solution for e-mail delivery using SAP BI BusinessObjects and Gmail

In order to distribute content of SAP BI BusinessObjects, there are currently several automated options, including send to Inbox, FTP, default location and e-mail.

Regarding the send to e-mail feature, sometimes it is easy to configure — that is the case of big corporations that have their own accounts set up within their domain and unlimited power to administer them — but sometimes it’s not that easy and it involves extra cost.

A alternative way of configuring the send to e-mail feature is by using a Gmail account, which is explained in this article.

Have you encountered the migration bug for SAP BusinessObjects (BO) BI Platform 4.x?

When trying to upgrade your SAP BusinessObjects (BO) Business Intelligence (BI) Platform from XI3.1 to 4.0 or greater and migrate your Windows AD Users and Groups, you will notice that they were migrated with Copy (1) in their name. 

The resolution provided by SAP in this case is to manually rename the Users and Groups.
This is fine if you have up to 50 objects to rename; but in general this is not the case, so you will want an automated solution (unless you want to waste some good hours).

Now the question is: How you can create an automated solution? There is a simple answer: by taking advantage of the Platform SDK.

Clariba receives certification for SAP recognized expertise in business intelligence and SAP HANA

Based on Clariba’s specific expertise and successful completion of all requirements of the SAP® Recognized Expertise Program, Clariba Consulting Middle East has been granted the SAP Recognized Expertise designation in SAP HANA® and Business Intelligence.