Today Business Objects announced its newest version of its Business Intelligence platform, BusinessObjects XI 3.0. Built on top of BusinessObjects Enterprise XI and Release 2, XI 3.0 has a number of great new features that we will feature on Diamond in the coming weeks and months. The new feature list is long and extensive and I haven’t really had the chance to look at all of them yet, but I am going to give you a quick review of my favorite features to date. For an extensive list of XI 3.0 features see What’s New: BusinessObjects XI 3.0 . Notice we are no longer using the R as in R1 or R2; we don’t want to confuse it with our SAP’s R3 product.
The following is not a comprehensive list of new features, but just the ones that I’m familiar with and excited about the most.
Platform Support for Crystal Reports 2008
Anyone who follows Diamond will be aware of the Crystal Reports 2008 launch that happened in the Fall of 2007. We did a number of educational pieces on the most recent and largest Crystal Reports release to date. Crystal Reports 2008 has number of great features like on-report reformatting, Xcelsius and Flash Integration, sorting controls and the parameter panel to name a few. BusinessObjects XI 3.0 brings full support of the business intelligence platform to Crystal Reports 2008. You now have full access to the powerful features and security of the platform with your Crystal Reports 2008 reports.
Web Intelligence Rich Client
To me one of the most exciting new features is the Web Intelligence Rich Client. This new feature allows you to take all of the capabilities of the Web Intelligence Java Report Panel and take them offline to the desktop. This new feature allows you to have the same Query and Analysis capabilities whether you are connected to BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.0 or disconnected. The rich client allows for another new innovation to WebIntelligence called the Personal data provider which allows you to combine Universe data with personal data in a single report using Excel, CSV and Text files as the personal datasources. It’s really a disservice to Web Intelligence to only mention the Rich Client, their a numerous new features like data change tracking that I’m sure you will want to check out.
BusinessObjects XI 3.0 now provides publishing support for Crystal Reports, Web Intelligence, and Desktop Intelligence reports, to enable administrators to share a single personalized report with multiple recipients both inside and outside the organization. Easily add external recipient lists or build them on the fly. This feature is a huge step forward for publishing Business Objects reports.
BI Anywhere Anytime
As you read through the marketing material there is a focus on connecting the right data, to the right people, at the right time, in the places that they work. The following three features are really making this happen by providing data to end users in the places they work: their desktop, their mobile phone, and Microsoft Office.
The Business Objects Labs have graduated yet another exciting prototype to primetime with the inclusion of BI Widgets in Business Objects XI 3.0. Formerly the BI Desktop project in the Labs, BI Widgets allows you to place live widgets containing Xcelsius and Web Intelligence content on your Desktop. BI Widgets enables end users to drag and drop Xcelsius files and Web Intelligence report parts onto their desktop, making their data more accessible and easier to find.
Mobile also originally started out as a Labs project and is now in its second official release for the platform. Users of Mobile will find new offline access and improved alerting on newly scheduled and modified reports.
Updated Live Office
The newest version of Live Office now supports integrated search capabilities, Outlook integration and Office 2007 ribbon support. While providing cut and paste support for Live Office objects within Office documents, users will also benefit from universe-level security, query panel enhancements, and user specified viewing locals.
Enhanced SAP Support
Talk about great timing! Within weeks of being officially acquired by SAP, Business Objects announces the most comprehensive support available for connecting to SAP data and BW systems. These new features had been in the works long before the acquisition announcement, but the timing is pretty nice for SAP and Business Objects customers. It’s now even easier to integrate BusinessObjects XI 3.0 with SAP BW and the SAP portal.
Stay tuned for more information on this exciting new release. As I take the time to learn all the new features I’ll be publishing a number of new articles and videos on the new features.