Panelist: Kristof Gramm, IT-Logix
Sponsor: BI & HANA 2018
SAP has introduced a number of new functions with the latest upgrades to SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence. Read this Q&A transcript to get answers about new functionality, and how you can use it to support end users in creating faster and better reports.
Bridget Kotelly: Hello, and welcome to today’s live Q&A, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: Leveraging New Functionality to Enhance User Experience and Improve Self-Service.
We’re joined for today’s event by Kristof Gramm with IT-Logix. Kristof is a frequent speaker at SAPinsider events and will be presenting on this topic at the upcoming SAPinsider BI & HANA 2018 conference, 27-29 June in Prague. To learn more, click here.
Kristof: Hello, this is Kristof and I am happy to answer your questions.
Bridget Kotelly: Kristof, thanks so much for taking the time out of your busy schedules to be here. I’ll turn things over to you to start taking questions.
Comment From Madhu: How can I benefit from new functionality such as shared elements, global input controls, and custom visualizations?
Kristof: Madhu, with the new functions you can speed up your development of reports; that is, with shared elements, you can reuse a chart or table by simply inserting it to another report.
Comment From Carmen: How can I leverage components of different existing reports or reuse visualizations to save time?
Kristof: You can use the shared element functionality introduced in SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2 Support Package 3 and save it to a folder within the launchpad. In the document you want to reuse, the shared element functionality can be used to insert the shared element from the folder. All queries, variables, and other elements will be copied to the new document.
Starting with SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2 Support Package 5, you can now also create breaks on values. I think this feature is a really nice improvement.
With SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2 Support Package 5, you can add a parameter to your OpenDocument URL to provide a link to the SAP Fiori launchpad as a target: sViewer=fiori
Comment From Allen: How can I benefit from new functionality such as shared elements, global input controls, and custom visualizations?
Kristof: You can use the shared element functionality introduced in SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2 Support Package 3 also to create a repository for some of your variable functions.
Comment From Tammy: Do you see customers using the new SAP Fiori launchpad with SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence?
Kristof: Yes. I see a lot of customers now switching to the new SAP Fiori launchpad. I think this is one of the best innovations in the SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence area since the release of version 4.0 because the old launchpad was looking old and outdated. With the new launchpad, I am sure that the user adoption rate will increase.
Comment From Tammy: Do you expect to see SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence consume SAP Analytics Cloud models in the future similar to Analysis Office?
Kristof: SAP is trying to go more into hybrid scenarios. For example, there is a connector to consume universes from SAP Analytics Cloud. Maybe there will also be the possibility to consume the SAC Models from SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence.
Comment From Keshav: Will there not be an added latency with a connection now from database > Cloud connector > BIP instead of database > BIP universe connector?
Kristof: Yes, but think of other cloud sources like Salesforce or Concur. I think it depends on the scenario.
Comment From Allen: Can you discuss whether SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence integrates with SAP Analytics Cloud?
Kristof: At this point there is no integration besides the fact that you can use universes also in SAP Analytics Cloud. But I think SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence integration in the SAP Analytics Cloud would be great to see. It would combine the strength of SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence with all the benefits you have in the cloud. But this is what the future might bring. I have not seen a road map with something in this direction.
Comment From Mike: How can I connect SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence on top of SAP HANA?
Kristof: There is a new option available since SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2 Support Package 3 where you can connect directly to your SAP HANA system from SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence. You can also check this video:
Comment From Joshua: How does the new launchpad interface work?
Kristof: The new SAP Fiori launchpad provides you with a complete new look and feel. It is completely redesigned with the SAP Fiori style in mind. You can access the new SAP Fiori-styled launchpad by changing the URL from yourserver/BOE/BI to yourserver/BOE/BILaunchpad.
Comment From Joshua: Can I use a Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) file to style my report?
Kristof: Yes, you can apply a CSS on the report level or even serverwide. But you are limited. For example, you cannot control a chart layout via CSS. For more information, check the CSS part in the user guide or watch this video:
Comment From Lara: How can I create a series of template objects for my SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence reports?
Kristof: You can create a document containing your SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence chart or table based on variables. If you change the content of the variable to another datasource, the layout and structure of your chart/table will remain so that you can use it in different documents.
Comment From Marcel: Hi, Kristof, is it also possible to add dashboards using SAP Lumira Designer directly to the launchpad, thereby creating my own tiles with SAP Lumira?
Kristof: Yes, you can save your dashboard created with SAP Lumira Designer into the launchpad. The users can consume it from there.
Comment From Tammy: What are some tips/best practices for using SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence with SAP BusinessObjects mobile BI?
Kristof: If you consume SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence with the SAP BusinessObjects mobile BI app, you need to keep in mind the different rendering of your reports. Also, it is very important to arrange your reports correctly. Some reporting functionalities such as scorecards are specific to the mobile BI app. You can check this in the corresponding guide: https://help.sap.com/doc/69f1ff9285c046e7829edf92f407a8cd/6.8.1/en-US/68_mobiOS_Developer_en.pdf
Comment From Umair: Hi, Kristof, for using this new SAP Fiori-style launchpad, which version did you mention that we need to have for SAP BusinessObjects?
Kristof: You need to have SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2 Support Package 4 or higher. I would recommend Support Package 5 because a lot of improvements have been made to SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence 4.2 Support Package 5.
Bridget Kotelly: Kristof, we are just about out or time for today’s Q&A. Are there any additional recommendations or resources you can provide for our attendees?
Kristof: Yes. Here is a small list of helpful links:
Bridget Kotelly: That wraps up our time for today. Thanks to everyone who participated for your great questions.
To learn more on this topic, and many other SAP data, data warehousing, and analytics topics, join us at BI & HANA 2018, 27-29 June in Prague. Find out more and register here.