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Author's profile photo Mark Finnern

SAP Mentor Monday Webinar Ingo Hilgefort: Hands-On Xcelsius for SAP

Join the SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort for a public SAP Mentor Monday Webinar where he is going to introduce Xcelsius for SAP practitioners including the upcoming NetWeaver integration. Monday July 27th 9-10am PST

SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort

There is no person in SAP land that has done more for the SAP integration of Business Objects on a technical and knowledge transfer level than SAP Mentor Ingo Hilgefort. For example he singlehandedly covered the whole Business Object tracks at SAP TechEd’s Community Days in Las Vegas as well as in Berlin.

This is why I am really happy to offer this webinar to you, where Ingo will introduce and show Xcelsius including the upcoming improved integration with SAP NetWeaver.

Francois Imberton intoduced the upcoming integration in a New Xcelsius 2008 – NetWeaver 7.0 integration soon available:

What functions will the integration provide?

  • A new Xcelsius direct connector to BEx queries and views
  • Support for SAP lifecycle transport mechanism
  • Support for text translation
  • Xcelsius Dashboards accessed via NW Portal BEx iView using standard SAP credentials
  • An solution independent from BusinessObjects Enterprise

When should this solution be considered?

When BI data resides in SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse.

When the business requirements are about highly visual interfaces with intuitive guided navigation for casual BI users: executives, managers and operational staff. Xcelsius dashboards are not designed for OLAP style analysis. For example, Xcelsius does not provide out-of-the-box visualizations for hierarchical data.

If you have any interest in Xcelsius and come from an SAP BI background, you shouldn’t miss this session. Spread the word and see you on Monday.

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      Author's profile photo Mark Finnern
      Mark Finnern
      Blog Post Author
      Hi SCNers,

      Was a great session with 72 of you participating in a very fast paced dialog and chat.

      The recording is available here:

      Mark your calendar for the next session: Monday 17th of August 9am PST.

      If you want to know what is going on around the SAP Mentors, you may want to follow us on Twitter: and follow all everyone that SAP Mentors is following, as these are the SAP Mentors that are twittering.

      See you on the next call, Mark.

      P.S. There was one question open that Ingo will answer in a comment here. He will also provide a link to his slides. 

      P.P.S. Copy of the Q&A and General Chat follows:

        (g) John Appleby:What is the difference in eXcelsius support between NetWeaver BW 7.01 SP5 and 7.2?
        (g) Syed:At what level will the security be handled; i.e. where will the swf be hosted(at my organization there is not portal we do have infoviews)
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):Looking at the BW url, looks like a BI7 query? would the connector work for 3.5 queries as well?
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:Any plans of adding Flex 3 or even better Flex 4 support in the Xcelcius SDK? .... Flex 2 is so 2006 🙂
        (g) Peter Scott:2) we have SAP BI 7.0.  We have zero BusinessObjects products
        (g) Peter Scott:to match what you did today what do we need to buy/license/install?
        (g) Pratik Tandel:Will the publish work similar to what was shown in demo .. for the MOSS environment
        (g) Mangesh:Does the query refresh goes to BW every time. or the refreshed data can stay in the dashboard.
        (g) Marcus Pospiech:How about offlince usage of query data with Xcelsius ?
        (g) Peter Scott:how would an offline reporting scenario work? (follow up based on Mangesh's question)
        (g) Marcus Pospiech:I see no "wait_clock" when the query is working/refreshed in the demo, is that planned ? It looks confusing for a user if not
        (g) John Appleby:Is that to say that the BOBJ XI Enterprise with NetWeaver 7.01 analysis authorisations are not an issue here?
        (g) Syed:could you be a  little more specific regarding the hosting of the swf (please take into consideration the possible locations that the swf can be hosted)
        (g) Fred Knaut:Since Xcelsius uses sa large amount of memory since Microsoft Excel is embedded, are there any plans to streamline the memory handling of Xcelsius?
        (g) Naveen Kumar Ketha:Whats the release date for SP2.
        (g) Naveen Kumar Ketha:Do you have any info on timelines for next release of BOE
        (g) Viraj:We have Xcelsius enterprise with BOE3.1 with live office connectivity to BW. Any guidelines on when to use Live office and when and when to use the BI connector for BW data ?
        (g) Keith 2:follow up to question regarding having 7.01 installed and wanting to use eXcelsius, do we need to purchase eXcelsius 2008 or do we just add to GUI like Web Application Designer?
        (g) Syed:do you have a link to the presentation document please
        (g) Fred Knaut:But when you exit Xcelsius, it doesn't always shut down Excel.
        (g) John Appleby:I'm just in the process of rolling out  BO-DS 3.2 at a customer and we have had to do a "lean" rampup process. Will SP2 of Xcelsius have the same process?
        (g) Peter Scott:if I save a SWF file to our intranet site, where does the viewing license kick in?
        (g) Marcus Pospiech:You mentioned bursting via BOE, is it planned to use Information Broadcasting from NW BI as well ?
        (g) Nicholas Chambers:I appreciate it is primarily a dashboarding tool, but are there any plans to integrate any planning functionality?
        (g) Morgan Cohen:If we already build our dashboards in the Universe, which in turn accesses NW BW via queries, do you see a need to use this new ability to build dashboards based on queries directly (bypassing the universe) ?
        (g) John Appleby:Will the BOE XI process via universes be desupported?
        (g) Mangesh:Can the restriction on the excel rows selected at design time be bound to the BI query result row .
        (g) John Appleby:webdynpro integaation
        (g) John Appleby:flash islands
        (g) John Appleby:that's about all i can think of, BPC integration, portal rollouts

      General Chat:

        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):greetings everyone from Saudi-Raja
        Mark Finnern:Ingo will be here any minute. You can mute your phone by hitting *6
        (g) Ingo Hilgefort:there
        (g) Karin Tillotson:hello everyone
        (g) Graham Robbo:Hi all
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):Hi Graham
        (g) Paul Taylor:Hello All
        (g) Paul Taylor:Audio is still up and loud
        (g) Fred Knaut:How do we go full screen on what Ingo is showing?
        Mark Finnern 2:thanks for letting us know
        Mark Finnern 2:I enabled it now
        (g) Markus Doehr:@Fred: press on "full screen" in the left corner of the presentation window
        Mark Finnern 2:is the sound O.K. for you?
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):yes very good
        (g) Fred Knaut:Google Maps is available as a plug-in through Centigon Solutions - Ryan Goodman.
        Mark Finnern 2:Xcelsius Community:
        Mark Finnern 2:Xcelsius Add-On Marketplace
        (g) Syed:will this be an add on that will be avialable via hot fix/support pack or as a stand alone product that will have to be purchased in marketplace?
        (g) Fred Knaut:Xcelsius Community has changed:
        Mark Finnern 2:@Fred thanks for setting the record straight
        (g) Fred Knaut:NP
        Mark Finnern 2:You can now go to full screen. I have to enable it every time when there is a switch. Sorry.
        Rich Heilman:There is also an additional free "Add-On" site.  Xcelsius Free Add-ons and Prototypes
        Mark Finnern 2:Thanks for the link Rich
        (g) dan_mcweeney:Sorry for possible dumb question.... Never used the designer before.... What if you have more products next time the query returns?
        (g) dan_mcweeney:Seems _very_ tightly tied to that excel sheet still.
        (g) dan_mcweeney:Is the data "cached" there??
        (g) dan_mcweeney:Can you see the numbers or are they yellow just because of Connect?
        Rich Heilman:@dan, so say if you have 5 product ids at time of design, and you specify only 5 cells to hold that data, if there are any that are added later, then they will not show as part of the list into you redefine the range
        (g) dan_mcweeney:@rich - eep!
        Rich Heilman:yea, i know..
        (g) dan_mcweeney:SO basically you are mapping the query to that excel... then linking the dashboard to that excel sheet.
        Rich Heilman:@dan, yes
        (g) dan_mcweeney:Is the data cached in that "spreadsheet?"  #data_cache
        (g) Fred Knaut:For those that want to learn to create their own add-in components, the SDK is available here: SAP Dashboard Design (Xcelsius Engage) 2008 Component SDK SP3 and download and learn Flex go here:
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):variable number or rows of results is a big issue here
        Rich Heilman:@Raja yes, you always need to specify a range which is big enough to hold the result
        (g) John Appleby:Raja - yes and no, you're dashboarding, so you should be avoiding huge data sets
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:Anyone know if there are any plans of adding Flex 3 or even better Flex 4 support in the Xcelcius SDK? .... Flex 2 is soo 2006 🙂
        (g) John Appleby:My understanding is that SAP have been concentrating on NetWeaver BW connectivity rather than Flex 3/4 support
        (g) Fred Knaut:Flex 3 does work with the SDK. Flex 4 is not due out until the end of this year.
        Rich Heilman:@Fred, since when?
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:@John thanks
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:@Fred I know I tried
        Rich Heilman:@Fred you still need to compile against Flex 2
        (g) Fred Knaut:Ryan Goodman at Centigon Solution showed me back in February that you can use Flex 3. There is a way to do it. Not the best way, but it does work.
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:oh you ment to say it does work... hmmm
        (g) Syed:Yes
        Rich Heilman:@Fred,  do you mean....  You can use Flex 3 IDE to develop the add-on.  That is true, but you must compile against the older Flex SDK
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:@Rich I thought so too
        (g) Fred Knaut:Unfortunately, yes.
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:@Fred Ah, so you dont really get any benefits of the newer framework
        Rich Heilman:@mrinal thats right
        Rich Heilman:@mrinal for example, I could not extend from the AdvanceDataGrid when developing my component last year
        (g) Marcus Pospiech:I see no "wait_clock" when the query is working/refreshed in the demo, is that planned ?
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:@Rich got ya, thoght so too
        Rich Heilman:yep, was pretty frustrating.  🙂
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:@Mark I have a question waiting in the pod for approval
        (g) Fred Knaut:@mrinal - As usual, SAP BOB is not in line with the rest of the industy with development packages.
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):@Mark - do you see my question?
        Mark Finnern 2:@mrinal I thought the flex questions got answered already
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:@Rich can imagine,thee flex framework has improved so much in 2 yrs
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):thats a big drawback, lot of customers still use 3.5
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):though they are on BI 7
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:Thanks
        (g) John Appleby:have you seen the latest BW Expert article?
        Rich Heilman:FYI.  Last time I checked with Xcelsius guys, they mentioned that they plan to support Flex 3, but have not addressed Flex 4, as it is too new.
        (g) John Appleby:there is code to integrate Xcelsius with BW that can work in 3.5
        (g) dan_mcweeney:@raja couldn't just remote cube the 3.5 cubes and build the query on 7.0?
        (g) Peter Scott:thanks Mark
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):@John - i have a working model - i have a REST query to expose BI query rsults which i use with xcelsius
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):@dan you are right, it was not the issue, i was trying to avoid the BI7 java runtime
        (g) dan_mcweeney:@raja - Fair enough, don't blame you for skipping the extract stack, pretty heavy ( at least it was at first not sure if it's gotten better )
        (g) John Appleby:@dan - did we meet in the hackers night at teched berlin?
        (g) Alex:@dan, Xcelsius also supports the QUERY_VIEW_DATA WS
        (g) Alex:@dan - your favorite web service!
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):@dan the funny BI7 web API is actually translated to old BW3.5 web api commands at the backend
        (g) dan_mcweeney:@alex - Hey!  Yea, the things I've done with that API are not from this world.  I hate that thing.
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):@Alex but managing the result set to a row/column format for excel needs lot of formulas
        (g) Alex:@dan/Raja - your are both right.  Nice to see this new easier to use technique
        (g) dan_mcweeney:@john - Yes, I think we did.
        (g) John Appleby:@dan haha then thanks for the copy of Flex builder, it's been put to good use...
        (g) dan_mcweeney:@john - Swweeeet!  Glad to hear you're had success messing with it!
        (g) John Appleby:we have some fun stuff to show at teched this year, if i'm not too burnt out with putting together our demo jam submission this week!
        (g) Ingo Hilgefort:just a quick not - the query_view_data wouldn' work unchanged because it does not bring back the data in a format that Xc can read
        (g) John Appleby:ingo: i'll send you some code if you want it
        (g) John Appleby:ingo: but yes, you are right, you need to rewrite it to flatten the query
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):@Ingo have you seen my REST service code which uses query_view_data? i massage the results as return in row/column format. we have been using it with all sort of quiries
        (g) dan_mcweeney:@john - Nice can't wait to see the Demo Jam submission!
        (g) Ingo Hilgefort:sure with changes it is possible but without any change in the code it will not work
        (g) Alex:I only mentioned the WS for the people worried about upgrading their BI
        (g) Keith 2: follow up to question regarding having 7.01 installed and wanting to use eXcelsius, does anyone know if we need to purchase eXcelsius 2008 or do we just add to GUI like Web Application Designer?
        (g) Ingo Hilgefort:in addition to my knowledge it does not expose the variables
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):REST service that i posted in SDN WIKI
        (g) John Appleby:ingo: yeah, we wrapped up RSCRMBAPI to do that
        (g) Peter Scott:Keith 2: you need to purchase
        (g) Keith 2:thx
        (g) dan_mcweeney:How tightly integrated will this be in the future?  Seems very tied to that embedded Excel sheet which seems redundant with a well built query.
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:dan good point ... but I think thy are too tied in architecturaly
        (g) Ingo Hilgefort:to Dan ; the Excelsheet is used for design purposes. doesn't contain the actual data
        (g) Mangesh:We had developed a lot of VB Macros to do what Xc is doing now
        (g) Pratik Tandel:thank you very much for putting this webinar together ... ingo's posts always very helpful .. thank you for taking time out for this presentation
        (g) dan_mcweeney:Yea, but the design is _bound_ to those Ranges defined in Excel.  It should be bound to the result set of the query ( which can vary ).
        (g) Mangesh:@ dan good point
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:Dan or any other table UI?
        (g) Peter Scott:to Ingo: so when I click on a link to a SWF file it prompts to log in? (i.e. use a viewing license) like BEx does?
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):separate vieweing license for dashboards developed using Xcelsius? #FAIL
        (g) John Appleby:those ranges are a bit of a pain
        (g) John Appleby:peter: certainly my code prompts you to login as it accesses a SICF service
        (g) John Appleby:peter: i assume the SAP code will work similarly and prompt a login
        (g) Ingo Hilgefort:Dan: agreed but that is the way Xcelsius works today and the Excel fail is a major part of the design workflow
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:@raja isnt the output just a swf so why a license?
        (g) dan_mcweeney:@ingo - Fair enough, just trying to see where you are going long term.  The BI tools need a face lift badly and so does the presentation UI.  So glad SAP is moving to the BOBJ functions.
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):@Mrinal - thats exactly the question, but i have been hearing now about viewing license
        (g) John Appleby:nick - SAP demoed some  nice IP/WD4ABAP stuff at teched last year
        (g) John Appleby:nick - check the teched stuff on the network drive
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):the out put is just swf, you take it and plug it in where you want? i still dont understadn whee the viewing license comes in
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:@raja me niether
        Rich Heilman:@Nicholas  It would be the other way around, for example, we are working to do more Xcelsius type stuff inside of SAP BPC. 
        (g) Syed:@ raja may be taking a look at viewing the source code(actual Xelsius app)
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):@syed may be!
        (g) Keith 2:does anyone know if there are plans for tools to migrate WAD templates over to eXcelcius?
        (g) dan_mcweeney:@keith - If I remember correctly there is no upgrade path.
        (g) dan_mcweeney:@keith - that was as of last TechEd, so not sure if it changed.
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):@keith AFAIK there is going to be a equivalnet tool from BO
        (g) Bhanu:@Raja: Equivalent to WAD?
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):@Bhanu - just now Ingo is talking about it  - Pioner
        (g) dan_mcweeney:So "similar" but if you have 200 WAD templates, there is no upgrade to Pioneer.
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):Pioneer
        (g) Bhanu:ok thanks. My line got disconnected...
        (g) dan_mcweeney:Gotta run to another meeting.  @ingo thanks so much for the demos!
        Mark Finnern 2:August 17th will be the next public SAP Mentor Webinar with Ingo Hilgefort
        Rich Heilman:Thanks Ingo!
        (g) Keith 2:are there going to be web api modifications available in Xcelsius similar to document content module for analysis grid?
        (g) Mrinal Wadhwa:thanks Ingo and everyone else ... see ya all later
        (g) Bhanu:Looking forward to it. Thanks so much!
        (g) Athavan Raja(Raja):Thank you Ingo and Mark
        (g) Mangesh:Thanks
        (g) John Appleby:cheers guys
        (g) Marcus Pospiech:thanks
        (g) Markus Doehr:Thank you all!
        (g) Dagfinn Parnas 2:thank you
        (g) Markus Doehr:*lol*
        (g) 5795926235 2:Thanks, bye
        (g) Nicholas Chambers:Thanks
        (g) Tony de Thomasis:thx Ingo
        (g) Vijay:Thanks
        (g) Jerome Blanc:Thanks!
        (g) ashfaq:Thanks
        (g) Roland Penzinger:thank you, bye
        (g) Mangesh:next time mute all automatically
        (g) KAN:Thanks
        Mark Finnern 2:@mangesh How do we get them back in efficiently to ask their questions?
        Mark Finnern 2:@mangesh I don't want to only have chat + Q&A

      Author's profile photo Mark Finnern
      Mark Finnern
      Blog Post Author
      Here is the link to Ingo Hilgefort's slides of the SAP Mentor Xcelsius Webinar:
      Enjoy, Mark.
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Good Presentation