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Book Report Inside SAP BusinessObjects Explorer
Inside SAP BusinessObjects Explorer
By Ingo Hilgefort

This past weekend, I read Inside SAP BusinessObjects Explorer, available from SAP Press at

I read the book online, which is the first time I bought a online book from SAP Press.  I know it’s not “green” of me, but I still prefer the paper version of books; I can make my own notes, highlights, etc. so I still ordered the paper version as well.

My boss just returned from the SAP Solution Tour in Philadelphia and said he really liked the SAP BusinessObjects Explorer presentation.  I recall seeing a Polestar demo at SAP TechEd 2009, given by Ingo Brenckmann, SAP.  At the time, for me, it was one of the more interesting highlights of that TechED.

One of the appealing features is “searchable” BI for the consumer.  Now on to the book…

The author indicates the tool is for the BI Information Consumer; not the power user or business analyst.  Any function can be used with a left mouse click (not a right click).  It is built for question-centric BI.  It offers “a large set of data in a simpler user interface”.  The tool was built for those “who can’t wait for IT”.

The author encourages the reader to download trial licenses and then follow along with the book.  I did not do this, but I recommend this as well.  I like all the step-by-step instructions, including installation instructions.

The predecessor to Explorer, Polestar, started in 2006.  The book is so recent that it mentioned that BusinessObjects Explore for the iPhone was a demo jam winner at SAP TechEd Vienna.  He even explains how this works in an advanced topic chapter.

The author frequently describes some of the limitations – for example, you cannot use display attributes; only one structure can be used if you are using BW query designer as a source.  He also spends time on authorizations (always a forgotten step child in books). 

While SAP doesn’t offer SAP BusinessObjects Explorer as a dashboarding tool, many of the examples in the book reminded me of using Visual Composer with BW.  Now on to the pros/cons of the book:

*Excellent step-by-step instructions
*Fantastic use-case scenarios; I particularly liked the finance and procurement use case scenarios
*Great discussion on limitations
*Enjoyed advanced topic BI in a Cloud

I could only think of one con – I wish, at parts of the book when he describes the “back-end” part, such as building indexes or authorizations, I think it would help if the author said “your BW developer” or BW security person should do this.  I would not expect a BI Information Consumer to build an index.

All in all, another great book from the great Ingo Hilgefort.  A big thumbs up!  I hope to download the trial licenses and go through the exercises myself when the paper version of the book arrives.


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  1. Gregory Misiorek

    did the book make you a “BI Information Consumer” or are you still a business analyst? i think i will stick to the good old accountant for a while, myself.

    1. Tammy Powlas
      Post author
      A little of both…I could use this tool on several million records…something I could use today for queries.
      Thanks for posting!

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