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Last month, Christina Obry, SAP, provided this ASUG webcast on the Roadmap for Self-Service BI.  On the agenda was a brief overview of BI4 and feature pack 3, an overview of planned innovations beyond FP3 and Q&A. The usual disclaimer applies that things are subject to change; forward looking statements may change in the future.

You can download roadmaps on SMP at service.sap.com/roadmap

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Figure 1: Source: SAP

As Figure 1 shows self service means helps user locate and consume content and organize it in a secure fashion.

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Figure 2: Source: SAP

Christina said roadmaps support product adoption planning for customers.  It includes today – what is new.  Planned Innovations are future release 12-18 months

The “today” means BI4 FP3/SP04. It offers “easy access to information” such as Launch pad, Workspaces, and portal integration.

Feature Pack 3 offers StreamWork collaboration.

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Figure 3: Source: SAP

The BI Launch pad replaces InfoView and has an intuitive web interface.  With 4.0 release you see enhanced design to work better.  As Figure 3 shows they have simplified common workflows and capabilities to access reports and applications

The home page gives you quick access to frequently used items

They introduced a pin feature – permanently pin so it is always available to you.

In BI4 have the BI Workspace that replaces Dashboard Builder.  It is part of the base part of BI Platform that helps:

  • Centralize and unity information
  • Streamline work to access multiple applications

Search now offers ranking to find faster.

Customization – users can set their own preferences and have a quick access to information they need.

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Figure 4: Source: SAP

Figure 4 shows customizing. As an administrator you can over ride styling, adding logos and colors.  Christina said you can customize a little or a lot.

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Figure 5: Source: SAP

Figure 5 covers portal integration – different ways of portal integration to help search, manage and view BI content within your portal of choice.  Users are already accessing portal to access other information and having seamless access to contact.

In BI4 – IOMS replaces .net InfoView and it is a  free integration option and MS Sharepoint 2007 & 2010

Out of the box, IOMS provides instant access to BusinessObjects repository  which can be deployed into SharePoint.  With IOMS the user can search, manage and view content using familiar look and feel of SharePoint.

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Figure 6: Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows a sample of the SharePoint integration and view your content.

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Figure 7: Source SAP

With FP3 offering collaboration with the BI Launch pad via StreamWork, allowing real-time StreamWork feeds.  You can send a Crystal Report or Web Intelligence report to StreamWork

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Figure 8: Source: SAP

Use BI Workspaces to create home pages with StreamWork as shown in Figure 8

Planned Innovations:

Planned innovations covers the next 12-18 months (after BI4, Feature Pack 3) with a focus on collaboration, globalization & MS SharePoint

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Figure 9: Source: SAP

In the future, SAP plans to have ability to view comments while viewing the report as shown in Figure 9.  It will give you the ability to comment on instances while scheduled.  You can view/follow/unfollow instances.    The StreamWork panel will be optional if you need the real estate space.

SAP wants to allow the BI launchpad for countries that read from right to left on the BI launch pad. This is planned for the future and based on the language preferences in browser and the launch pad.

SAP plans on enhancing integration with MS SharePoint to support SAP authentication with other SAP systems and allow subscribing to alerts and receive alert notifications from SharePoint.

Question & Answer:

Q: The XI3.1 dashboard builder doesn’t link with SAP EP well.  Can the new BI work Space be accessed through SAP EP ?  through KM or iview ?

A: Document list iView – open BI Launchpad in a frame. 

Q: WebI document in Portal, is it possible to hide the left pane permanently, so that users do not have access to hide / unhide the left pane

A: Not possible; you get the entire viewer

Q: In order to use the Collaboration functionality, do you have to be a SAP user?  Not all companies that use Business Objects use SAP also.

A:  You need BI Platform FP3 & StreamWork license

Q: Will comments linked to reports persist forever or do they get deleted over time / deleted after # of comments?

A: Persist forever – linked to StreamWork itself

Q: Regarding BI Launch Pad customization, I was told I needed to edit the .war file and redeploy it. Is there a simpler way to change colors and add a custom logo?

A: With FP3 an easier way logos and css files

Different .JAR file that contains the customizing

Q: Can you update the scheduling properties to select values in multiple prompts at once instead of do one at a time

A: No, this has not changed

ASUG is having a webcast on 7/18 with SCN that is open to everyone – it will be an update on SAP Integration with BI4 – for more information check see this blog

or see this link here:

http://scn.sap.com/community/bi-platform/businessobjects-bi-for-sap/blog/2012/07/05/bi-webinar–sap-businessobjects-bi-and-sap-systems–an-integration-update-and-outlook

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