In the previous blog, we explored the cool new features of version 1.3 of Design Studio. In this blog, we take a look at the upcoming new features in version 1.4. We explore some of the major additions that will enhance any application. These new features are extremely useful and will make developing richer applications much easier.
With each new release, Design Studio becomes a much stronger tool in performing analytics. SAP continues to bridge the gap between BEx Web Application Designer and Dashboards with Design Studio. With the release of 1.4, planned to go live at the end of November 2014, that gap will be greatly reduced. Here are a few of the features to be introduced:
- Context Menus
- Checkbox Group
- Drag & Drop
- Fragment Bookmarking
- Global scripting functions
- Data Source SDK
- Report-Report Interface
Data Source SDK
Working with Design Studio, you may have found yourself in a situation where you need to create a prototype or demo but the data isn’t ready to consume in your application. Without connecting to a live data source, all the charts and crosstabs will look the same and will give you a message that says “Assign a data source” or “No data”. With version 1.4, you will be able to use static data from CSVs or manually insert data into a spreadsheet.
Even though Design Studio will allow you to use static data sources, we don’t recommended rolling out an application with this kind of source. Design Studio is meant to have the data controlled by the backend which ensures that the users will see the most current data possible. However, this feature will greatly reduce design time, allowing developers to design their application without having to rely on a live data connection.
Checkbox groups and context menus are two new components that were announced. Checkboxes have been a part of the list of basic components in Design Studio but when you need a dynamic amount of checkboxes, given different data sources with different sets of dimensions, it was hard to display them properly without lengthy scripting. This group will allow checkboxes to be dynamically displayed just like the radio button group.
Context menus are an interesting addition but a necessary one. Without context menus, your applications may end up having buttons and selectors strewn about and it can get messy and unorganized fairly quickly. This new component will allow you to create and attach a right click menu to charts and tables. So when developing an analytical app, you can limit buttons to the bare essentials and place any other functionality within the menus. This will make your applications look much cleaner and will definitely impress users.
Version 1.3 introduced bookmarking which allows users to save snapshots of the application and open them when the application is used again. The limitations of this, however, is that each user is still ultimately stuck with the application they are given.
With fragment bookmarking, all that changes. Any piece of an application can be bookmarked and saved into a gallery. Here is the best part: all these fragments are shared between every application available. An application can be created that features placeholders and with drag and drop introduced with 1.4 as well, any fragment can be dragged and dynamically sized to ensure each user sees what is important to them.
With these new features to be released in version 1.4 as well as the planned innovations to be implemented shortly after this release, Design Studio is a strong, all around tool that should be a part of anyone’s reporting strategy. When these new features are released, be sure to update your Design Studio installation to take full advantage of these incredible new features.
Dr. Berg spoke on the SAP BusinessObjects Design Studio at the annual SAPinsider Reporting and Analytics event. He'll also be on hand with a full slate of presentations, including hands-on labs, at BI2015.