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Upgrading SAP BI: Features of SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.1

by Dr. Berg and Brandon Harwood

October 18, 2013

We just finished updating our BI 4.0 server to Dashboards 4.1 to assess its new functionality. The update to Dashboards provides some enhancements for support on mobile devices as well as improved object and component browsers functionality. In this blog we look at some of the changes.

Installation and Upgrade

Installation of Dashboards 4.1 is very similar to that of the 4.0 versions with one exception. The installation for 4.1 now checks to any previous versions of Dashboards that may be installed. If a previous version of Dashboards is installed it may need to be uninstalled before the 4.1 version can continue with installation.

Dr. Berg - SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards 4.1 Setup

Mobile Enhancements

Dashboards 4.1 are now capable of creating mobile dashboards that can be viewed on devices running iOS as well as Android. However, some components and features are still unsupported on the mobile platform due to different mobile control options, i.e. as ‘mouse over’. The smaller screen also limits the mobile platform to use specific components.

On a cool note, the later patches to Dashboards 4.0 (SP05 and later) the “Mobile Compatibility” panel has found its way back into 4.1. This panel displays information about each component’s mobile compatibility. I

f you are trying to convert your flash based dashboards to Mobile, you may see warnings concerning specific limited functionality. That means that the dashboard will work, in Mobile, but be limited in certain functionality (see yellow warning in image below). If you see ‘red’ warnings it, means that the component is not supported in Mobile/HTML-5.

SAP BusinessObject Upgrade - Mobile Check

 

Component and Object Browser Enhancements

The “Component Browser” now has an option to display all or only mobile components. This will help expedite mobile dashboard creation and reduce the number of errors in the mobile compatibility panel. This option is selectable as a drop down at the top of the components panel.

SAP BusinessObjects Upgrade - Mobile Only Check

Objects in the “Object Browser” also include a search function. This is especially helpful for complex dashboards that have many hidden or nested items. This search field can search by component type or by name.

SAP BusinessObjects Upgrade - Object Browser

Summary

For now, Dashboards 4.1 marks only an incremental update to the outgoing 4.0 version. Primarily consisting of minor functionality enhancements and for those on 4.0 SPS05 or higher, the 4.1 iteration of Dashboards does not bring any new groundbreaking features to the tools capabilities. Those seem to be reserved for SAP’s new tool called DesignStudio.

Thanks,

Dr. Berg

Dr. Bjarne Berg has extensive experience in implementing in-memory solutions for SAP analytics in Europe and in the USA. He is a frequent speaker at SAPinsider conferences, including sessions recently at BI 2013 and his upcoming multi-city seminars on SAP BusinessObjects tools  in Copenhagen (October 28-30), Orlando (November 20-22) and Las Vegas (December 2-4). Dr. Berg is also co-author, with Penny Silvia, of the SAP PRESS book SAP HANA: An Introduction.

You might also be interested in...
the Spotlight on SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1 featuring the top 10 reasons to upgrade to SAP BusinessObjects BI 4.1, best practices for upgrading your BI platform, and a look at how SAP is simplifying the BI portfolio moving forward.

Read the full report today

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COMMENTS

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Dave Hannon

10/8/2014 5:07:35 PM

twainFC, thank you for your comment. Nick Le, a colleague of Dr. Berg's at Comerit, has provided the following response, which I hope you find helpful: Currently Dashboard Designer does support MOBI but it is limited in design. The only theme recommended is the NOVA theme with basic components including tables, charts, pies. While third-party tools like Roambi and Razorflow are available, there are other SAP tools that will give the user MOBI functionality on a grander scale. SAP's intent was to have Design Studio pick up the reigns and go forward with MOBI functionality.

twainFC

10/8/2014 5:02:21 AM

This post is now a year old. I’m curious to know if mobile support has improved since. Do the dashboards have touch support, and custom themes? I’ve read on Timo Elliot’s blog that 3rd party tools like https://www.razorflow.com/ and http://roambi.com/ are good options for extending SAP dashboards to mobile. Is that still the case?


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