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Business Objects Community – 2008 Year in Review

2008 seems like one big blurry flurry of activity but nonetheless, it’s been an incredible year for the Business Objects Community (BOC). On behalf of my community team colleagues Kuhan, Jason, and Tony, I want to give thanks to the SAP Community Network team for making us feel welcome in our new home and for their continued and fanatical support. But the community exists because of you, so thank you for embracing and supporitng BOC, whose membership has grown by over 400% this year. To show our appreciation, we have compiled a Best of 2008 content list, organized by product. Take a look at it for some great information that you may have missed the first time around because much of this content has helped make BOC one of the most popular areas on SCN. In fact, these six BOC pages are among the top 25 most popular SCN pages:


  • Business Objects Community home page
  • Business Objects Support for Crystal Reports and Xcelsius
  • Business Objects Downloads for Crystal Reports and Xcelsius
  • Business Objects SDK Library
  • Crystal Reports product portal
  • Business Objects Sample Applications home page

Now that we’re part of SCN, we’re thrilled about the opportunities in 2009 to enrich your community experience. We’re going to have a full slate of educational webinars, content about the latest product releases, and an expanded Business Objects mentors program – to name a few. Just as important though is to have the discussions about the Business Objects topics that you care most about. To this end, we hope that you’ll accept our invitations to join the conversations in 2009. In the meantime, let’s take a brief look back on the incredible year that was.

A Fast Start

Soon after the acquisition of Business Objects by SAP was announced in October 2007, things started to change quickly, and for the better.  In early January we had a great first meeting with the SAP Community Network team in Palo Alto. By mid-January, the Business Objects (Diamond) Community and SCN each had a presence on each other’s sites for Day 1 of the combined new company.

Two Forums Are Not Better Than One

Business Objects had two sets of overlapping and unmoderated forums, one run by Customer Assurance (CA) and one run by the Diamond Community team that created a lot of confusion for members and employees alike. We simply had no good explanation to tell people which one to use, and when. As you can expect, participation stagnated and frustrated members ended up double-posting. Worse still, many posts went unanswered. Thankfully, in April not only were the forums combined, but 80+ moderators were assigned to help answer questions and provide guidance. The results were dramatic – the total number of postings went from 2,000 per month to over 14,000 within just three months of the migration – and the feedback has been positive:

THANK YOU!! I really appreciate all of the help on this forum!!!
Re: Running Total Grouping Formula

“I’d just like to say that forums (fora?) like these are an absolute lifeline for relatively isolated programmers like myself. All the forum contributors are greatly appreciated!”
ClickOnce deployment in VS 2005 and CRXIR2

Thank you for your helpful ideas and your work.
It’s great to have such a forum.
CRAXDDRT Licence Problem after 5 times of Export

The Big Migrations

By July 1, after months of working tirelessly, the CA, SCN, and IT teams had migrated over 40,000 notes, 2,000 software downloads, and 1,500 articles that resided on multiple and disparate systems. Next up was the final piece of the migration – that of the Diamond Community. It got down to the wire, but by mid-October, another several thousand contributed articles, blogs, and pages were organized and searchable on SCN, and 10 portal areas were created.

Diamond Community: A Skunk Works Project

Looking back at the Diamond Community, it really was a “skunk works project”, as Kuhan likes to refer to it. It was launched on August 1, 2006 to help address the needs of the woefully neglected Business Objects Developer community. With limited resources, Diamond was based on the open-source Drupal (PHP/MySQL) platform running on a single server, and run by a team of three. Over the following two years, the Diamond Community underwent two site redesigns, expanded to include other groups such as IT Administrators and DBAs, and reached a peak of just over 40,000 members. To put this number in context, since the migration to SCN, BOC membership has grown to over 175,000 members.

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  • I will give you that things happened FAST - I will not give you that the experience thus far has been an improvement over the BOBJ sites.

    Things are improviing, but it is still much more difficult to locate content than it was in the two BOBJ websites.
    I am very frustrated by broken and incorrect links, and please!!! find a way to make SSO work. I do use the tool provided but it is still a pain to signon every other click.

    Given a choice I'd give up the enhancements and improvements to go back to the "old" way in a moment!!