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Running Xcelsius Dashboards on iPad

In this blog, I am going to discuss the existing methods used to run Xcelsius dashboards on iPad, and solutions that SAP could choose to make it achievable at the enterprise level.

 Why iPad cannot directly run Xcelsius dashboards?

Current Flash based sites could never be brought to appear flawlessly on any touch screen device. The main reason is because of the hover or mouse over problem. The hardware of the iPads is not yet ready for running heavy flash based applications.

Can we use HTML? Xcelsius can export the SWF file to HTML format.

No, iPads would not support HTML. Apple’s operating system (iOS) uses Safari as the default web browser. It supports web standards, including HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3. HTML5 can achieve functionalities that previously were only available in Flash or Java Applets. It supports offline storage, advanced graphics and runs the multimedia content without plug ins.

What about converting the existing SWF file into HTML5?

Yes, it’s achievable. There are many third-party products that are available in the market. All the events that are occurring at the SWF side will be converted to corresponding events in JavaScript. Below are few of them, which enable this conversion. 

1) Smokescreen.

2) combination of Sothink SWF Decompiler and Adobe Wallaby.

3) Swiffy.

 Is there any way other than converting to HTML5  file?

Yes, we can generate a IPA file format (new iPad application) from an Xcelsius dashboard using Adobe AIR Packager. This can be later installed in iPads. iPhone developer certificate is required for this installation. Also, there are iPad web browsers and iPad applications that can support Flash. Skyfire, iSwifter, CloudBrowse and MyBI are few of them. Citrix front end for the iPad can render Xcelsius dashboards.

What are the drawbacks in using the above approaches?

1) All the above approaches have performance issue. As the complexity and size of dashboard increases, the application will become slow.

2) Touch is not that responsive while using Adobe AIR Packager.

3) The HTLM5 converters would not guarantee the full conversion of SWF file components. Furthermore, a complete conversion from Action script to JavaScript is difficult to achieve.

4) Security issues while running dashboards using iPad applications.

5) Bandwidth problems for the Citrix front end.


 Now, are we doing it backward with the intention that my tablet will be iPad, and the dashboard will be Xcelsius? Are the above workarounds an ideal way to tackle the problem?

What SAP could do to overcome these roadblocks?

 1) Make components, specifically for mobile dashboards (performance improvement).

 2) Custom canvas sizes.

 3) Have a better internal algorithm for processing the binding of different components.

 4) Have a standard HTML5 converter tool integrated into the Xcelsius.

 5) Export to HTML5 functionality.

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    • Yes Arka,this is another alternative for Skyfire where all the contents will be rendered at first on a remote server and then sent the content to iPad using any transport protocol.

      But need to see, how efficent it will be based on performance and rendering highly complex dashboards.

  • Hi Mahesh,

       I I have generated a Flash file from Xcelsius and i tested it in browser.Now if i make any changes in SWF (At runtime) will i able to get real time data? (Modify & view data at Runtime based on data at the backend).