Dear aBI: How Does Connecting to XML Compare with BusinessObjects?
When Jason Cao asked me to participate as a guest panelist in the Dear aBI program on SCN, I jumped at this opportunity to get more involved and share my knowledge of Dashboarding and Xcelsius with the SAP community. I look forward to adressing more questions that come in publically with the goal to educate and spread good practices and ensure you are succesful.
I am an Xcelsius user, and we are currently developing some dashboards. We are experimenting with XML connectivity option instead of QAAWS as we notice a performance issue with latter, since QAAWS retrieves data on a real-time basis.
We were planning to use the XML Excel maps connectivity option, and will have the XML files stored on a shared drive. The dashboard users will still be accessing the dashboards from Infoview.
I would to like to ask, if it will be better to store the XML files in our shared drive, or in the BO server? If we choose BO server, will it also have an impact on performance, especially if there may be other users running Crystal Reports or WebI reports at the same time?
Thank you for your inquiry Newbie,
In your case, it sounds like using QaaWS caused performance issues which could be attributed to multiple factors which we wont dive into for this particular inquiry. If QaaWS did not provide satisfactory results, there are other options available to you:
Live Office: Live Office does provide access to scheduled instances of reports but the development process is painful and convoluted; I only recommend Live Office as a last resort.
Xcelsius XML Connectivity: With XML Data and XML Maps connections, you can connect directly to XML files or streams.
Third Party Connectivity: There are a variety of third party solutions available for integrating live data into Xcelsius. Certified software solutions from vendors including Antivia, InfoSol, Centigon Solutions, and Flynet all provide their own connecting options to your Xcelsius dashboard.
In your evaluation of using XML maps, based on your specific business requirements, you may have found this as the best fit. To outline the advantages and disadvantages I have listed some key criteria that you need to consider while choosing an alternative connectivity method:
Performance– As you have found, XML maps performs extremely well because the Xcelsius dashboard connects and downloads XML file(s) with no security or middleware in between.
Security– Because the XML files are stored in a web directory, there is no real data security, rendering your end users with “all or nothing” access to your data. You must access your XML files via HTTP, which means your XML files must reside on a web application server. The only way to access XML files on a file share or desktop is if users open the SWF file from their desktop or file share (also requires sandbox security access).
Scalability- When using XML files, scalability is usually not a concern because you are only limited to the bandwidth available on the server for downloading XML files. In this scenario it will not impact any other applications running on the server. I usually compare downloading an XML file to Xcelsius like downloading a JPG file from a web site, since they essentially eat up the same relative bandwidth.
Hopefully that paints a better picture for you how XML Maps connectivity will impact your existing BusienssObjects applications. Feel free to provide any feedback on your exploratory experiences and any additional questions.
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