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SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio: What's New in Version 1.3

by Dr. Berg

May 22, 2014

In this blog we take a quick look at the new features included in version 1.3 of Design Studio. We explore the major additions and changes that are expected to be included in the next release.

Overview
Today Design Studio is already a far superior alternative to BEx Web Application Designer but the tool is also making great strides in becoming the tool to use for all dashboard development within BOBJ and SAP. With the release of 1.3, planned in a couple of weeks at the end of May 2014, there will be a large impact not only on your desktop but on any mobile device as well. Some of the major features included in this update include:

  • BW Integrated Planning support
  • Native HANA deployment
  • More charting and table formatting and customization
  • Personalization and Bookmarking
  • Advanced Scripting
  • Printing
  • Lumira SDK Integration

BW Integrated Planning Support

Dr Berg on BusinessObjects Design Studio

With BW Integrated Planning support, you will be able to add columns and rows to tables and allow key figures to be edited to perform a what-if analysis. Your measures will display in a crosstab component just like the current version of Design Studio. However, with version 1.3, you can allow ad-hoc values to be changed within that table and the results will be shown on the fly. This will allow Design Studio to more easily perform a what-if analysis on your BW data. Columns can also be added to display planning functions and planning sequences.

Native HANA Deployment
When creating an application using Analytic and Calculation views from HANA, you will soon be able to save the application in the HANA Repository. With this option, runtime of the application is being done by just the browser so no Java is required (BI Launchpad).

During runtime, there will be no use of BICs. Instead, firefly will connect to the data. In order to use this feature, you must be using HANA 1.0SP7 or newer. Any SDK that is created can also be uploaded to and downloaded from the HANA repository.

New Charting and Table Customization

Dr. Berg on BusinessObjects Design Studio

In previous versions of Design Studio, adding titles and axis labels required the use of multiple text-boxes and advanced CSS. With the additions being made to the Additional Properties pane, being able to add and edit titles, legends, axis-labels and more can be done very easily. You can control whether users can select values for filtering in the legend, chart, or labels.

Many more formatting options are added to the legend, tooltips, and data labels. You will also be able to determine which measures display on which axis, how it should be displayed (bar or line), and what colors the measures should display as. SAP is tapping heavily into the CVOM charting configuration options to provide these new customizations.

Conditional formatting for tables was a new feature introduced in version 1.2 but there was still a need to display conditions in charts. With 1.3, you will be able to create rules to determine if a measure reaches a certain threshold and what color should be displayed if the condition is met. Scaling of values will now be displayed in the chart, and with the new configuration options, you can decide whether that scaling is shown in the axes, legend, or tooltips.

Personalization and Bookmarking
A new feature that has been needed within Design Studio that Dashboards has is the ability to save. In the new version, end users can personalize the way the application looks and save their own copy onto the BI Platform or locally. Bookmarks are the equivalent of the Dashboards’ “Save Scenario” functionality. These bookmarks come with URL links that can be shared between users and can be created many times in just one application.

Advanced Scripting, Printing, and Lumira SDK Integration
Currently, the scripting engine within Design Studio only provides a small subset of the powerful Javascript language. After the update, you will be able to create scripts that utilize loops, arrays, and sorting. For example, you can create an array of objects, loop through each of the items, and make a necessary change to all of them in just a few lines of code instead of needing to code a separate line for each component (which can add up quick).

The ability to print the application will be added as well. This is merely a WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) printing. For this release, you won’t be able to just print certain components, only the entire application.

With version 1.2, the ability to create custom components using the eclipse platform was introduced and in a later Service Pack of 1.3, you can use the custom SDK components not only in Design Studio, but also in SAP Lumira.

Summary
Design Studio is already a powerful tool that allows you to create customizable applications that can be viewed on a desktop computer and on a mobile device. With version 1.3, set to be released at the end of May, you can more easily perform a what-if analysis with Integrated Planning, deploy applications on a HANA repository, customize and format charts and tables, save your application and create scenarios, use more advanced scripting, and print your application.

When this update is released, be sure to update your Design Studio installation to take full advantage of these amazing new features.

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