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Getting started XCelsius (Crystal Presentation Design) for Free! How to do it? See below.

To be honest, coming from a SAP Business Warehouse background, when I first saw Xcelsius in at the ASUG Annual Conference a few years ago, I understood the application to only have Excel as a datasource – I was not impressed at the time!  I confess I am more of a function over form person.  But when you work with Form over Function people, you will want this Crystal Presentation Design product, AKA, Xcelsius.

Over the past few months I attended a session by David Taylor, who made a statement that now resonates with me: if you want to report using BEx Analyzer, your data must be in BW.  How true!  We use Crystal Reports where I work but not against SAP (getting there soon).

After an e-mail (nudge) from the great Ingo Hilgefort, that we from ASUG should promote the free download of Crystal Presentation Design, and after my boss’s boss said we should look into it, I finally downloaded it.  Here is my experience:

1) Downloads easily

Click here to download

2) Simple way to create very nice, professional-looking graphs
3) Easy to see trends, and incorporate into PowerPoint (where all things end up, don’t they)?

How easy is it?  I did a recording of it, so you can download it and get started with it yourself, using the data from the Worldwide Workflow Survey.  At work, I am using it to measure key performance indicators for our company.  No training was needed – there is an online guide in Xcelsius (the shortcut is still called Xcelsius) that walked me through what I needed to know to get started.

Confession time…I made some mistakes; I didn’t plan out my dashboard nor did I follow the tips from Ryan Goodman’s most excellent Part I Extreme Makeover webcast.  I also need to attend Mico Yuk’s and Ryan Goodman’s  ASUG webcast on Monday, August 16th where they will present for the first time ever  a ‘5 Step Process to Design or Re-design your Dashboards’.  I didn’t plan my dashboards for work; I just created them (‘get er done’).  But to do it right the first time, I should follow their process!


If you are you not an ASUG member you should know that ASUG is now offering SAP BusinessObjects customers who do not use other SAP solutions a complimentary membership. Sign up today.  If you have any questions, please contact

Note: SAP ERP and BW integrates with Xcelsius – this is nicely explained in Ingo’s Reporting Analytics book. I also ‘heard’ that with XI 4.0 Xcelsius will be able to read even more datasources.


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